Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:25 a.m. EST
Off-duty Detroit officer, man wounded in highway shootout
DETROIT (AP) — Police say an off-duty Detroit police officer and a man were wounded in an overnight shootout after the man rammed her vehicle against a highway construction barrier, pinning it there before he left his vehicle and opened fire. Police say the female officer, who returned gunfire and drove from the scene after the shooting, was hospitalized in stable condition with a graze wound, while the 34-year-old man was listed in critical condition with a gunshot wound. Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood with the Detroit Police Department, says the wounded man is known to the officer, but the circumstances of the incident remain under investigation.
State scientist: Michigan virus numbers looking better
A state scientist says Michigan’s rate of new COVID-19 cases has been dropping for more than 29 days. The state last week reported its lowest weekly new case total — 28,072 — since the end of October. The state reported a record total — 50,892 — during Nov. 15-21. Sarah Lyon-Callo, head of the epidemiology bureau, says social distancing will be important during the holiday season. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s health department imposed a ban on indoor restaurant dining, in-person high school classes and other business restrictions. The dining ban remains in place through Jan. 15.
The autopsy, a fading practice, revealed secrets of COVID-19
NEW YORK (AP) — Experts say the COVID-19 pandemic has helped revive the autopsy at many hospitals. The procedure has helped doctors this year understand what coronavirus does to patients’ organs and how they might better treat some of the disease’s more baffling symptoms. At the same time, hospital autopsies remain far less common and much more under-resourced than they were 50 years ago. By demonstrating how a hospital’s morgue can help improve care in its ICUs, experts hope the pandemic could lead to something of a renaissance for the practice. Others are less certain about whether autopsies can fully rebound.
Woman charged in threats against Michigan election official
DETROIT (AP) — A woman has been charged with making threats against a Detroit-area Republican election official. The FBI says Monica Palmer received photos of a mutilated body, a day after after she had initially refused to certify local results in favor of Joe Biden. A criminal complaint was filed against Katelyn Jones. Monica Palmer chaired a raucous meeting of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers on Nov. 17. Palmer and a fellow Republican on the board initially refused to certify local election results, typically a routine step. They later changed their position. The FBI says Jones sent threats the next day from New Hampshire where she was staying with her mother.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-BUS TRIBUTE
School bus parade honors driver who died of COVID-19
CHEBOYGAN, Mich. (AP) — Nearly two dozen school buses drove past the northern Michigan home of a beloved driver who died from COVID-19. It was a surprise tribute for Dale Wiersum’s wife. He was a driver for seven years in Cheboygan, a rural district where buses play a critical role in getting kids to school. His wife, Karen Wiersum, was overwhelmed when she saw the buses Tuesday. Karen was also given a folded Navy flag to honor Dale, who was a 69-year-old veteran. Karen says, “It was wonderful to have all those buses come through.”
Winter storm in Dakotas, Minnesota make travel frightful
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A storm that began with snow, strong winds and bitter cold into the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota and began moving east was making travel treacherous and grounded flights on one of the most anticipated air travel days since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Blizzard warnings were posted in the region as National Weather Service officials called for wind chills to dip to 35 F below zero, pushed by gusts of more than 60 mph. Numerous travel advisories urged motorists to stay off the roads. The storm was centered in southeastern Minnesota and was expected to track steadily toward Eau Claire, Wisconsin and northern Michigan by Wednesday night. Flights were cancelled at airports from Fargo, North Dakota to the Twin Cities.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-MAN CHARGED
Police: Detroit inmate freed because of virus shoots fiancée
DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit man who was released early from prison because of the threat of COVID-19 has been charged with attempted murder in the shootings of his fiancée and her mother. Ronald Segars is accused of shooting them during a fight last week. Segars was serving a five-year sentence for drug and gun crimes when federal Judge Arthur Tarnow released him in June. Segars was told he could return to Detroit on supervised release, a form of probation. Segars had pledged to get a job and stay out of trouble. The judge also warned him to stay away from guns.
Court: Nassar won’t be resentenced despite judge’s remarks
DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan appeals court says a judge who sentenced sports doctor Larry Nassar to 40 years in prison made “wholly inappropriate” remarks about him. But the court says they’re not enough to violate Nassar’s rights and upset the punishment for sexual assault. The appeals court notes that Judge Rosemarie Aquilina stuck to the sentencing agreement. Nassar was a doctor at Michigan State University and at USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. In 2018, Aquilina sentenced him to at least 40 years in prison after listening to more than 150 victims describe how he had molested them with his hands. The judge called Nassar a “monster” who is “going to wither” like the wicked witch in “The Wizard of Oz.”
Flint joins $641M deal to settle lawsuits over lead in water
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Flint City Council has signed off on its portion of a $641 million settlement with residents of the poor, majority-Black Michigan city who were exposed to lead-tainted water. Flint’s insurer would kick in $20 million as part of a sweeping deal to settle lawsuits against Flint, the state of Michigan and other parties. The Flint council approved its stake early Tuesday after an hourslong meeting that raised concerns about whether residents were getting shortchanged. Most of the money — $600 million — is coming from the state of Michigan. State regulators allowed Flint to use the Flint River in 2014 and 2015 without treating the water to reduce corrosion. The disaster made Flint a nationwide symbol of governmental mismanagement.
Michigan to allow thousands on food aid to go to restaurants
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan residents who receive food assistance from the state can use their benefits at restaurants. The program could give a boost to restaurants that are prohibited from offering indoor dining because of coronavirus restrictions imposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration. The health department says more than 300,000 people will soon be able to use their Bridge Card to buy discounted meals at restaurants. Restaurants first must enroll with the health department, which will publish an online list. People who are eligible include those over 60 and people with a disability.