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


Whitmer’s veto of reading scholarships sparks voucher debate

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s veto of $155 million in proposed spending on reading scholarships for students has sparked fresh criticism from opponents who say it would have addressed pandemic-related learning loss and approval from those who liken the grants to vouchers. The Democratic governor struck the Republican-backed program while signing a $17 billion school budget this month. It would have been funded with federal COVID-19 aid. The Republican-controlled House unsuccessfully tried to override the veto last week. The funding would have gone to Grand Valley State University to disburse up to $1,000 each to public K-5 students not proficient in reading.


Tornadoes confirmed near Flint, Detroit; 1,000s lose power

DETROIT (AP) — The National Weather  Service says tornadoes struck near Detroit and near Flint on Saturday evening. It says two EF-1 tornadoes touched down in Genesee County’s Clayton Township around 6:30 p.m. and in Oakland County around 7:45 p.m. Damage from both storms was consistent with winds of 100 mph (161 kilometers per hour). Both twisters traveled about 1.8 miles (2.9 kilometers), damaging trees. One person suffered minor injuries.


Officials in Michigan county will return virus bonuses

CORUNNA, Mich. (AP) — Elected officials in a conservative Michigan county who gave themselves bonuses of $65,000 with federal COVID-19 relief aid say they will return the money following days of criticism. Shiawassee County commissioners decided to act after the prosecutor said the payments were illegal. The Michigan Constitution bars additional compensation for elected officials after services have been performed. The commissioners, all Republicans, voted to award themselves $65,000 as part of a broader plan to give money to 250 county employees. It was described as “hazard pay” for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.


Decades later, police still try to solve fisherman’s death

MERRITT, Mich. (AP) — A man fishing near a dam in Missaukee County didn’t make it home. More than 30 years later, police still are trying to figure out who shot him. John Skamelka was killed while fishing near the Reedsburg Dam, not far from Houghton Lake, in July 1989. Det. Sgt. Doug Baumann of the state police says “it’s truly just a whodunit” at this point. First responders believed Skamelka had suffered a heart attack but then discovered that he had been shot. His wallet was missing. Police got a description of a vehicle and a man with “greasy” long hair and facial hair. Skamelka’s son, Philip, regularly visits his father’s grave near Midland. He says someone knows what happened.


Climate council to discuss energy intensive industries

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Energy intensive industries are expected to be discussed by a council advising the state on a climate plan. The Council on Climate Solutions is scheduled to gather Tuesday and meet once each month through December. Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy says the council is working with the department and the Office of Climate and Energy on developing an effective and equitable strategy to achieve economywide carbon neutrality by 2050. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed 14 Michigan residents to the council, which also includes representatives of several state departments. It will advise EGLE in forming Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan.


Police: Man wounded after firing shot at undercover officers

DETROIT (AP) — Undercover officers targeting illegal street racing have wounded a man who fired a shot at them on the city’s eastside. The shooting occurred late Friday night after the man’s vehicle nearly struck the officers’ unmarked vehicle. Detroit police say Saturday that the officers followed the vehicle, but before a marked police car arrived to assist, the vehicle stopped and the man exited with a gun. The officers identified themselves as police and told the man to drop the weapon. The police department said he shot at them and they returned fire. He was treated at a hospital and later taken to a police detention center. No officers were wounded.


Empowering Black men focus of barbershop competition

DETROIT (AP) — Community-focused barbershops in the Detroit area can compete for a $10,000 grant as part of program designed to educate and empower African American men. Applications are being accepted through Aug. 9 from state-certified barbershop owners for the Ford Men of Courage Barbershop Challenge. Barbershop owners are asked to submit innovative community proposals designed to stimulate positive social economic mobility in their community. Up to three finalists will compete over a six-month period by developing community engagement programming for adults and youth. The challenge is part of the Ford Men of Courage initiative aimed at building communities by advancing the narrative of Black men through storytelling, educational events and other programs.


Michigan resident says noose in window meant for politicians

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A white man in western Michigan says a noose he placed in a window was a statement against corrupt politicians and had nothing to do with race. WOOD-TV reports Friday that someone took a photo of the noose in a second-floor window at Greg Kazemier’s Grand Rapids home and posted it Thursday on social media The 59-year-old Kazemier tells the television station that his ire is aimed at elected officials in Washington. A hangman’s noose is symbolic of the lynching of Blacks, mostly in southern states, and stretches back to the nation’s slavery past and Jim Crow era. It mostly is used now in efforts to intimidate and instill fear.


Vintage game at Fort Mackinac pays homage to ‘base ball’

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — Players paying homage to how baseball once was played are expected to take the field behind historic Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island. The Fort Mackinac Never Sweats will take on the Rochester Grangers Saturday evening in the annual vintage “base ball” game which will be played barehanded and by gentlemen’s rules. Mackinac State Historic Parks says soldiers at the fort used the field as far back as the 1870s, and local residents and summer workers played baseball at the “fort ball grounds” throughout the 20th century. Mackinac State Historic Parks Director Emeritus Phil Porter says the fort’s soldiers played “base ball” on the field. The vintage game got its start in 2003.


Renovations scheduled for former Negro League stadium

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (AP) — A ballpark that once was home to the Negro League’s Detroit Stars will undergo renovations. Wayne County commissioners have approved an $850,000 grant proposal from County Executive Warren Evans for work on Historic Hamtramck Stadium. Hamtramck is an enclave of Detroit. The $2.6 million restoration project also is being funded by various foundations and other groups. Renovations are expected to start this summer and will include a new roof above the stadium’s grandstand and restored seating. The work is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The county says Hamtramck Stadium opened in 1930. The Stars were among three Negro Leagues teams to play at the ball park.