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MICHIGAN LAWMAKER-ARRESTED

Michigan lawmaker arrested for driving while intoxicated

ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A state lawmaker who crashed his car in western Michigan has been arrested for driving while intoxicated. State. Rep. Bryan Posthumus was arrested Friday. The Republican had left his farm in Oakfield Township in a Jeep, which drifted off the road, hit a mailbox and rolled over.  He was was taken to a hospital for evaluation and released. According to the lawmaker’s office, his blood alcohol level was .13% when Michigan’s legal limit is .08%. Posthumus released a statement late Saturday apologizing, saying it’s clear he has a problem with drinking and plans to attend alcoholics anonymous meetings. He was previously arrested in January 2013 for operating while intoxicated. 

SUICIDE PREVENTION GRANTS-MICHIGAN

Grants awarded for suicide prevention programs in Michigan

DETROIT (AP) — Nine organizations across Michigan will share $650,000 for suicide prevention programs. The funding is from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, Michigan Health Endowment Fund, the Children’s Foundation, and the Detroit-based Ethel and James Flinn Foundation. It will establish the Suicide Prevention Support for Health Care Clinics Working with Michigan’s Health-Disparate Populations initiative. The program offers grants to develop evidence-based and sustainable programming aimed at decreasing the rate of suicide attempts and deaths by identifying children or adults who may be at risk. 

GAMBLING HOTLINE

Calls to Michigan gambling helpline spiked in February

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Calls to Michigan’s helpline for people struggling with gambling addiction spiked early this year, and researchers believe the timing is linked to the start of online gambling. The Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline received 563 calls about gambling addiction in February. That’s more than five times the total for the same month in 2020. The Lansing State Journal reports that the increase followed high interest in online gambling and sports betting that launched in January. The Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline is available 24/7 at 1-800-270-7117. The service is confidential. 

BICYCLISTS KILLED-DRIVER

Driver in hit-and-run that killed 2 women given 18 years

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man will spend at least 18 years in prison after pleading no contest to charges in connection to a June crash that killed two women who were riding their bicycles. According to prosecutors, 29-year-old Coleen Huling and 25-year-old Melissa Williams were riding on the shoulder of a road in London Township when Ryan Miettinen hit them with his car and fled. A Monroe County judge ordered that Miettinen, who is 22, serve at least 18 years before becoming eligible for parole. 

VIRTUAL-FIRST CARE

Employers, insurers push to make virtual visits regular care

Some U.S. employers and insurers want you to make telemedicine your first choice for most doctor visits. Retail giant Amazon and several insurers have started or expanded virtual-first care plans to get people thinking telemedicine routinely, even for annual checkups. They’re trying to make it easier for patients to connect with a regular doctor by using remote care that grew during the COVID-19 pandemic. Advocates say this approach can keep patients healthy and out of expensive hospitals. But some doctors worry that it may create an over-reliance on virtual visits.

STUDIO-HISTORIC SITE

Michigan art studio added to Register of Historic Places

BENZONIA, Mich. (AP) — A northern Michigan art studio that is a tourist destination has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The studio belonged to Gwen Frostic, who made stationery and prints from linoleum block carvings. The business began in suburban Detroit in the 1950s before Frostic opened a shop in Frankfort and a studio in Benzonia in Benzie County. Frostic died in 2001. The studio now is owned by Kim and Greg Forshee. The studio was nominated by Debra Ball Johnson, a historical architect with the State Historic Preservation Office. Western Michigan University’s art school is named for Frostic.

FOUNDATION GRANTS-MICHIGAN

Foundation awards $200K to 7 Detroit-area nonprofits

DETROIT (AP) — Seven Detroit-area nonprofits will share $200,000 from the Detroit Auto Dealers Association Charitable Foundation Fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The organizations provide youth mental health services, disability services, and academic support. Among those receiving awards are CARE of Southeast Michigan which will get $50,000 to increase in-person and virtual counseling for youth in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the LifeLab Kids Foundation which will use $40,000 in funding to provide parent and patient-led telehealth services in response to COVID-19 for children with special needs. Racquet Up Detroit is getting $30,000 for a youth development and academic enrichment program for Detroit students.

MICHIGAN-TRAFFIC STOP-VIDEOS

Police video shows officers’ use of force after traffic stop

Police in western Michigan have released bodycam video showing officers arresting three men suspected of littering in a parking lot, and punching and wrestling one of them to the ground after he tried to flee from his vehicle. The videos from March 26 were posted Thursday to the Grand Rapids police Facebook page following requests under the Freedom of Information Act. Police say four guns were recovered during the traffic stop. In one video, the driver of the car that was stopped repeatedly refuses orders to step from the vehicle before lunging toward the passenger door where he is wrestled to the ground by other officers. One officer can be seen punching the man around his face and head as another tells him to “stop resisting.”

VERY OLD FISH

Hold on! 240-pound fish, age 100, caught in Detroit River

DETROIT (AP) — This fish probably has a few fish stories. A 240-pound sturgeon was caught last week in the Detroit River. Experts believe it was female and could be more than 100 years old. The sturgeon was nearly 7 feet long. It was weighed and measured and then released back to the water by a crew from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency calls it a “real life river monster.” The typical lifespan is 55 years for a male sturgeon and 70 to 100 years for females. Lake sturgeon are listed as a threatened species in Michigan. All sturgeon caught in the Detroit River must be released.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

Republicans question vaccine-only metric for reopening steps

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican legislative leaders welcome Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s metric-based approach to further relaxing coronavirus restrictions but question what will happen if Michigan’s COVID-19 vaccination rate falls below targets. Their comments Friday come a day after the governor announced four benchmarks that will trigger additional economic reopening — when 55%, 60%, 65% and 70% of people ages 16 and up get at least one shot. About half have done so to date. The state now needs at least two of every five unvaccinated residents to receive a dose. One GOP leader suggested tying reopening to other metrics like infection rates.