Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
GM says it has 2,700 jobs for workers slated to be laid off
DETROIT (AP) — The General Motors’ massive 14,000-person layoff announced last month might not be as bad as originally projected.
The company said Friday that 2,700 out of the 3,300 factory jobs slated for elimination will now be saved by adding jobs at other U.S. factories. Blue-collar workers in many cities will still lose jobs when GM shutters four U.S. factories next year. But most could find employment at other GM plants. Some would have to relocate.
GM still plans to lay off about 8,000 white-collar workers and another 2,600 factory workers in Canada.
In November, GM announced plans to end production at the U.S. factories and one in Ontario as part of a restructuring.
Legislators and President Donald Trump have hammered GM over the layoffs. GM says the factory hires were in the works before its announcement.
Snyder’s trash fee hike for cleanup dies in Legislature
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal to increase trash fees to fund environmental cleanup is dead.
The Republican-led Legislature did not act on the legislation this week, meaning it cannot be passed before the lame-duck session concludes.
Snyder’s call to raise the landfill dumping fee had hit resistance from both Republicans and Democrats. He and legislative leaders are exploring other ways to replace the Clean Michigan Initiative, a 20-year-old voter-approved bond issue that is drying up.
Snyder had said increasing the fee would have cost households no more than an additional $4 a year and still have been lower than the regional average.
His separate proposal to add a state fee to water bills for infrastructure needs is still alive because of a legislative procedural step, but it also is facing opposition.
NEW MICHIGAN GOVERNOR-TRUMP
Whitmer _ in Trump meeting _ emphasizes infrastructure, carp
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer says she focused on the importance of upgrading road and water infrastructure and keeping invasive carp out of the Great Lakes in a meeting with President Donald Trump.
The Democrat was among incoming governors who met with Trump and top administration officials at the White House Thursday. She says she told him she got elected on “fixing the damn roads,” and he said he is focused on passing an infrastructure bill in Congress and is committed to supporting the Soo Locks rebuild.
She says she and other Great Lakes governors-elect talked about partnering with the federal government to combat Asian carp, and she is not sure he had had a chance to learn about the issue previously.
Whitmer calls is a “really productive day.”
COLLEGE STUDENT KILLED
Mississippi man to stand trial in Michigan student’s death
(Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com)
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A 30-year-old Mississippi man has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the fatal off-campus shooting of a 22-year-old Michigan State University student.
East Lansing District Court Judge Richard Ball ruled Thursday there’s enough evidence to send Steven Washington of Tunica to trial.
Isai Berrones of Alamo, Texas, was shot at an apartment building on Oct. 12. Police say shots were fired and people were fighting at the scene, roughly 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) north of the Michigan State campus.
The Lansing State Journal reports two other people face charges of being an accessory after the fact, including one who was granted immunity to testify against Washington. Defense lawyer Brendon Basiga says that young man’s testimony at Thursday’s hearing was “questionable at best, audacious at worst.”
2000 KILLING-NEW SENTENCE
Man sentenced to life in 2000 slaying gets shorter term
(Information from: WZZM-TV, http://www.wzzm13.com)
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man who was sentenced to life in prison without parole as a teenager after being convicted of murder, kidnapping and other charges has been resentenced to 35-60 years in prison.
WZZM-TV reports Kent County Circuit Court Judge Mark Trusock on Thursday gave 36-year-old Chad Maleski the new term for what the judge described as a “senseless, brutal” crime. Trusock noted, however, that Maleski cooperated with police, including leading officers to the body of 66-year-old Willie Jones.
Maleski apologized to members of Jones’ victim’s family.
Trusock earlier ruled Maleski was eligible to be resentenced under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that deemed mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders to be unconstitutional.
Maleski was 17 when he was convicted for being one of four teens who attacked Jones in 2000.
Ex-U. of Michigan doctor gets 10 years in child porn case
DETROIT (AP) — A former University of Michigan doctor who lost his job and medical license after child pornography allegations surfaced has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
Thursday’s sentencing of 47-year-old Mark Hoeltzel (HOELT’-zel) of Ann Arbor comes three months after he pleaded guilty to online enticement of a minor . The U.S. attorney’s office says in a release that Hoeltzel created a Facebook account for a fictitious boy to chat online with minor girls across the United States and persuade them to produce child pornography.
Hoeltzel was arrested in February after being treated for sex addiction. State regulators had suspended the pediatric rheumatology specialist’s license in December 2017. Hoeltzel practiced at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, before going to the University of Michigan in 2013.
Michigan sheriff pleads guilty after drunken driving arrest
KALKASKA, Mich. (AP) — A mid-Michigan sheriff who was arrested for suspected drunken driving after leaving a deer hunting camp in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula has pleaded guilty in the case.
Midland County Sheriff Scott Stephenson earlier issued an apology following his Nov. 16 arrest in Kalkaska County . He says in a statement his “poor choice has made a difficult time for my family and loved ones, and I truly appreciate the support they gave, and continue to give to me.”
Stephenson pleaded guilty Thursday to operating a motor vehicle while visibly impaired. He was placed on probation for a year and fined.
Stephenson said he drank alcohol at the camp and left to get cellphone reception. He says he felt the alcohol “take an effect while driving,” so he stopped before his arrest.
UP wind project opponents will get referendum on ballot
(Information from: The Daily Mining Gazette, http://www.mininggazette.com)
L’ANSE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Opponents of a wind-energy project in the Upper Peninsula have submitted enough petition signatures to qualify for a referendum.
But a key issue is unsettled: when to hold the vote in L’Anse Township in Baraga (BEAR’-uh-guh) County.
The township board says a special election in May would cost about $3,000. The next regular election might not come until fall 2020.
Township Clerk Brian Jentoft says he verified 410 signatures for a referendum that could overturn zoning changes for dozens of wind turbines, roughly 230 miles (370 kilometers) northwest of the Mackinac Bridge. The area has some of the highest elevation in Michigan. Zoning changes to accommodate the project were approved by township officials.
US STEEL-CHEMICAL SPILL
Indiana cites US Steel for foamy discharge in November
(Information from: The Times, http://www.nwitimes.com)
PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has cited U.S. Steel for causing a foamy discharge into a northwestern Indiana waterway that flows into Lake Michigan.
The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports the department says the discharge into the Burns Waterway is a violation of U.S. Steel’s wastewater permit. The department gave the company 30 days to explain steps it took to correct the problem, which was observed last month.
U.S. Steel says tests didn’t detect a highly toxic form of chromium spilled from the plant in April 2017 and showed other pollutants were below permitted levels.
Surfrider Foundation and Chicago sued U.S. Steel over that spill . A Justice Department proposal would require U.S. Steel to pay civil penalties and damages . Surfrider on Thursday was given approval to intervene in that case.
STATE PARK FEE
State park fee would be an opt-out under Senate-passed bill
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan drivers who renew their registration would have to opt out to avoid paying an $11 fee that allows unlimited entry into state parks under a bill advancing in the Legislature.
Currently motorists must opt into paying the Recreation Passport fee when renewing their license plate annually.
The Republican-led Senate passed the bill on a 28-9 vote Thursday, sending it to the GOP-controlled House for consideration next week.
Supporters say switching to an opt-out participation model would generate more revenue to address a $260 million backlog in infrastructure needs in the state park system.
Nineteen Republicans and nine Democrats supported the measure, while seven Republicans and two Democrats opposed it.
Senate Bill 1258: http://bit.ly/2Er7wAA