Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT

AP-US-VOTING-LOCAL-ELECTION-OFFICIALS

Exodus of election officials raises concerns of partisanship

There is no shortage of job openings for local election officials in Michigan. It’s the same in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and other states. After facing threats and intimidation during the 2020 presidential election, and now the potential for new punishments, county election officials are quitting or retiring early. The once quiet job has become a political minefield thanks to the baseless claims of widespread fraud pushed by many in the Republican Party. Their exits raise concerns over whether the jobs will be filled by loyalists of former President Donald Trump who are intent on sabotaging the process of running elections.

STOLEN CAR-CHILDREN

Children found inside car stolen earlier

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety says two children inside a car when it was stolen near Western Michigan University over the weekend have been found unharmed. MLIVE reported Sunday that officers soon after discovered the 5-year-old girl and 18-month-old boy sleeping inside the parked vehicle.  The car was reported stolen Saturday just before midnight. The department didn’t specify when and where the children were found, and it didn’t mention arrests or suspects.  The incident remains under investigation. 

LANSING SCHOOLS-ONLINE

Zooming in: Lansing will keep, expand online school option

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Lansing school district never returned to classrooms during 2020-21. It now plans to further embrace online education in the fall by keeping it and offering it to other students in the capital region. Lansing still plans to open schools in a traditional way as the COVID-19 pandemic eases. But Superintendent Sam Sinicropi says there’s a demand for online classes. Lansing expects to enroll up to 600 students and hire 15 new teachers, who will teach solely online. Kids also can participate in sports and other activities.

EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY-GIFT

Eastern Michigan gets $1M gift for math, automotive programs

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — Eastern Michigan University has received a $1 million gift from alumnus Jack E. Roush who co-owns NASCAR team Roush Fenway Racing. Eastern Michigan says the gift will support mathematics and automotive programs. A $400,000 endowment will enhance and expand math preparation and tutoring programming. Another $400,000 will go to the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology. A $200,000 fund will be created for immediate use to support the purchase of industry standard automotive lab equipment. Roush received his master’s degree in scientific mathematics at the Ypsilanti school. He is chair of Livonia-based Roush Enterprises, a product development supplier.

DIGITAL DIVIDE-DETROIT

Campaign aims to improve internet access for some in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — A new campaign to help close Detroit’s digital divide will provide a monthly $50 internet access credit and one-time $100 subsidy for a laptop, desktop computer or tablet to eligible city residents. The EBB 313 program streamlines access to the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a federal program that subsidizes the cost of internet and technological devices for eligible households, which include those at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines, or that participate in certain assistance programs. Detroit’s area code is 313. The campaign was announced this week. 

PRIVATE PROPERTY-HUNTING ACCESS

DNR enrolling property owners in hunting access program

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources is enrolling private property owners in some parts of the state in a program that pays them to allow controlled public hunting access on their land. Interested landowners should have at least 40 acres of land with some wildlife habitat, such as forest, brush, grassland and/or wetland. Priority will be given to land near urban and suburban areas with limited public access. Enrollment in the DNR Hunting Access Program also will focus on areas where the distance to public land is more than 30 miles, land with sharp-tailed grouse hunting opportunities in the eastern Upper Peninsula and counties where bovine tuberculosis has been identified in the northeastern Lower Peninsula.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-EMERGENCY LAW

State board ordered to OK bill to end emergency powers law

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has unanimously ordered the state elections board to certify a veto-proof initiative that would let Republican legislators wipe from the books a law Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used to issue sweeping pandemic orders. The decision Friday came after two Democrats on the Board of State Canvassers opposed ratifying the ballot measure in April, despite a finding from the elections bureau that enough signatures had been collected. The justices say the four-member panel “has a clear legal duty to certify the petition.” The canvassers are expected to meet soon to certify the petition. 

PRISONER KILLED

Prisoner stabbed, killed after fight in breakfast line

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan prison inmate has died after being stabbed during a fight Friday at the Cotton prison near Jackson. The fight involved more than a dozen inmates at breakfast. Spokeswoman Brianna Brugel says one prisoner was treated at a hospital and returned to the prison. Thirteen prisoners involved in the fight were detained by corrections officers. 

JUDGE-MISCONDUCT

Court: Judge who lost race gets 6-year ban for misconduct

LAPEER, Mich. (AP) — A judge who lost reelection in November while a misconduct case against him was pending will be barred from serving again for six years. The Michigan Supreme Court announced the result Friday against former Lapeer County Judge Byron Konschuh. The misconduct case against  Konschuh stemmed from acts that occurred when he was a judge and years earlier when he was a prosecutor. Konschuh deposited at least 42 checks totaling more than $1,000 into his personal accounts when he was prosecutor. They were fees owed by a collections company hired in bad check cases. Konschuh argued that he used the money to reimburse a portion of his personal spending on office snacks and other expenses.  

FOUR SHOT-DETROIT DRIVE-BY

Man slain, 2 others and boy wounded during drive-by shooting

DETROIT (AP) — Three men and a 6-year-old boy have been shot during a drive-by shooting on Detroit’s westside. Police say the victims were outside about 6:30 p.m. Thursday when shots were fired in their direction from a passing SUV. Four men were inside the vehicle which was driven away. A 51-year-old man was pronounced dead at a hospital. The other men, ages 38 and 22, and the boy were in stable condition at the hospital. No arrests have been made.