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AP-US-CENSUS-2020-REDISTRICTING

Census data puts target on rural, Rust Belt House districts

New census data shows declining populations in rural areas and some Rust Belt cities, which could make them targets during redistricting for the U.S. House. State politicians and commissions must redraw U.S. House districts before the 2022 elections to account for population shifts toward big cities and suburbs. That means that some districts that lost residents will need to be eliminated or expanded geographically to take in more people. Rural areas in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania showed population losses, as did some of their cities. Republicans and Democrats will be battling over which districts must be eliminated. 

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

Michigan tops 20,000 COVID-19 deaths, braces for new wave

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has passed the grim milestone of 20,000 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a top state health official warning that people must continue taking precautions. State health officials reported Friday that Michigan had totaled 20,011 confirmed deaths since recording its first one in March 2020. Michigan Health and Human Services director Elizabeth Hertel says the state has seen “real devastation” from COVID-19. Health officials are preparing for a possible new wave of infections caused by the highly transmissible delta variant that is sweeping the country. On Friday, Michigan identified delta variant infections in more than 50 counties and the city of Detroit.

HEART SCANS-FIRST RESPONDERS

First responders offered free coronary calcium scans

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area cardiologist and his partners are donating free coronary calcium scans for first responders. Beaumont Health says the Hearts for Heroes program is designed to help prevent heart attack deaths among police, firefighters and other first responders. The test takes about three minutes and involves a couple of deep breaths while under a CT scanner. The screening typically costs about $100 and is usually not covered by insurance. In April, 57 members of the Farmington Hills Fire Department were given the free screening. Other members of the fire department are expected to be screened Saturday.

DETROIT VIOLENCE

Teen charged with shooting near Detroit youth football game

DETROIT (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a 16-year-old boy with firing gunshots that wounded three teenagers at a youth football game last weekend in Detroit. The Wayne County prosecutor’s office announced Saturday that the teen faces charges including three counts of assault with intent to murder. The shooting happened Aug. 8 near McCabe Field while a Detroit Police Athletic League football team was playing, The teen fired into a crowd during an argument between two groups, authorities said. Those wounded _ a 14-year-old and two 15-year-old boys _ were not involved in the football game but were standing nearby.

AP-US-AUTO-WORKERS-ELECTION

UAW members to vote in fall on direct election of leaders

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union’s 397,000 members will vote by mail this fall on whether they want to pick their leaders in direct elections. In a posting on his website, union monitor Neil Barofsky says ballots will be mailed by an election vendor starting Oct. 12. They must be returned by 5 p.m. Nov. 12. They’ll be counted as soon as possible, and Barofsky will announce the results. Barofsky was appointed by a federal judge as part of a settlement that avoided a government takeover of the union after a wide-ranging corruption scandal. Currently, union leaders are chosen every four years at a convention, with the delegates picked by local union offices. But the new slate of leaders is picked by the outgoing president, and seldom is there serious opposition. 

FIREARMS TRAINING-WOMEN

Gun rights group aims to give firearm lessons to 4,000 women

DETROIT (AP) — A gun rights advocacy group based in Detroit is holding its annual free firearm shooting lessons for women interested in learning about guns and personal protection. The lessons are scheduled Aug. 21-22 at target ranges in Taylor, southwest of Detroit. Pre-registration is required. Legally Armed in Detroit founder Rick Ector says the group hopes to provide lessons to 4,000 women. The sessions will include a firearm instructor’s safety briefing, use of a firearm, ammunition and range time. Ector says no prior firearms training or experience is required. The free lessons have been offered for a decade. Ector said 50 women received training the first year and more than 1,900 women participated last year.

CHILD FATALLY SHOT-MOTHER CHARGED

Woman charged with murder in fatal shooting of daughter, 5

INLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A mother has been charged with open murder in the fatal shooting of her 5-year-old daughter in their northwestern Michigan home. The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that 33-year-old Suzanne Jacobson was arraigned Friday in 85th District Court and ordered held without bond in the Benzie County Jail. Benzie County Sheriff Kyle Rosa said a man identified as her boyfriend called 911 Thursday afternoon to report the child had injuries and may have been shot. The man, who was not the child’s father, also told police he wrestled the gun from his girlfriend who then fled into nearby woods. Sheriff’s deputies and state police later found her sitting in a vehicle at a nearby business.

ISLAMIC STATE-MICHIGAN

Michigan man linked to Islamic State gets 98-month sentence

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man has been sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State group. Twenty-five-year-old Mohamud Muse of Lansing was sentenced Thursday to 98 months in prison by a federal judge in Grand Rapids. He pleaded guilty last year to a conspiracy charge. Federal authorities say Muse, his brother and another man were arrested in January 2019 at the Grand Rapids airport, where his 22-year-old brother, Muse Muse, was starting a journey to Somalia to join IS. The Grand Rapids Press reports the three men conspired to provide support and resources to the militant group.

SEVERE WEATHER-MICHIGAN OUTAGES

Crews restoring power to hundreds of thousands in Michigan

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s top energy providers are making progress restoring power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses left in the dark by outages caused by severe thunderstorms, but some customers could remain without power through the weekend. As of 11 a.m. Friday, more than 400,000 outages remained across the state, with about 250,000 of those DTE Energy customers in southeastern Michigan. The utility says around 95% of its customers should see their power restored by late Sunday. Consumers Energy reported more than 148,000 of its customers still in the dark. The Detroit News reports that at one point, more than 850,000 customers lost power across Michigan.

1990 SLAYING-SENTENCE

Woman’s life sentence reduced in Michigan man’s 1990 slaying

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A woman sentenced to life in prison three decades ago for her role in the robbery and killing of a Michigan man slain when she was 16 has received a reduced sentence. A Muskegon County judge on Wednesday cut Amy Lee Black’s life sentence to 35 to 60 years in prison. The Detroit News reports Black and her boyfriend were convicted of first-degree murder for Dave VanBogelen’s December 1990 killing. Both were sentenced to life in prison without parole. But Black was entitled to a review of her case after the U.S. Supreme Court found mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles were cruel and unusual punishment.