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Remains of Michigan man missing in Korean War to be interred
HOLLY, Mich. (AP) — The remains of a Michigan soldier who went missing during the Korean War nearly 70 years ago will be interred Monday at Great Lakes National Cemetery. Army Corporal Dale Wright of Flint was 19 when his unit was attacked near the Chosin Reservoir in the northeast of North Korea on Dec. 2, 1950. His step-sister Linda Stover, who was 4 when Wright went into the service, said their mother always believed her son was OK even after he went missing in action. Their mother died in 1963, she said. Stover said she “cried and cried” when she learned last year that Wright’s remains had been identified. They were among other remains that North Korea turned over to the U.S. in 2018.
Oudolf-designed garden growing on Detroit’s Belle Isle
DETROIT (AP) — The beautification of Detroit’s Belle Isle park continues with the opening of a 2.5-acre perennial garden designed by Dutch horticulturist Piet Oudolf. A ribbon-cutting is scheduled Aug. 28 for Oudolf Garden Detroit outside the island’s carillon. The 985-acre state park, a few miles northeast of downtown, has been abuzz with improvements in recent years, including the restoration of a 200-acre forested wetland and renovations to a conservatory and the Belle Isle Aquarium. Oudolf Garden Detroit includes 32,000 perennials and grasses. The all-volunteer Oudolf Garden Detroit Grounds Crew spent more than five years working on it. The Garden Club of Michigan was able to secure Oudolf’s commitment to the $4.7 million project.
POLLUTION PLAN-STORM DRAIN
Program aims to capture storm drain debris headed to lake
ROSEVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A new program in Macomb County aims to reduce the amount of trash that reaches Lake St. Clair from a storm drain. The Macomb County Public Works office says a steel bulkhead and a boom have been installed at the outlet of the sewer to capture floating debris before it enters the lake. The sewer drains parts of Roseville and St. Clair Shores. Engineers in the public works office designed the plan. Officials say that if proven to be effective, an identical strategy to reduce pollution in the lake could be deployed at 11 other drains in Macomb County that empty into Lake St. Clair.
Police: 2 dead, 1 hurt in shooting at Lake Michigan pier
SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — Two people have died and a third has been critically injured in a shooting at a Lake Michigan beach pier in southwestern Michigan. South Haven Police Chief Natalie Thompson says two men, including 19-year-old shooter Aidan Topher Ingalls of Bangor, Michigan, were found dead Friday afternoon. She says a third person, the wife of the man Ingalls shot, is in critical condition at a hospital. The names of the couple haven’t been released. Beachgoers scrambled when they heard shots in South Haven, 60 miles north of the Indiana-Michigan border.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SCHOOL MASKS
2 large Michigan counties order masks for young school kids
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Western Michigan’s two largest counties are ordering masks in schools through sixth grade. They’re citing the risk of the COVID-19 delta variant and young children who don’t qualify for vaccines. The orders came from health departments in Kent and Ottawa counties. Teachers and other staff members who are vaccinated still must wear masks in schools. Kent and Ottawa join at least three counties with similar school mask policies: Allegan, Kalamazoo and Genesee. Some school districts elsewhere are acting on their own. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declined to order a statewide mask mandate in schools, though Michigan’s chief medical executive says it would likely reduce the spread of COVID-19.
MICHIGAN-BUDGET DIRECTOR RESIGNS
Michigan’s budget director leaving for Wayne State post
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s budget director Dave Massaron is leaving his position once the fiscal year budget is completed in October to become chief financial officer at Wayne State University in Detroit. The governor’s office announced his departure on Friday. Massaron has held other positions in the Detroit area previously including chief financial officer for the city. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer thanked him for his service to the state in a news release saying his leadership allowed the state to make several investments into the future, including a $17.1 billion K-12 budget.
Biden backs end to wolf protections but hunting worries grow
FARIBAULT, Minn. (AP) — President Joe Biden’s administration is sticking by former President Donald Trump’s decision to lift protections for gray wolves across most of the U.S. But a top federal wildlife official on Friday told The Associated Press there is growing concern over aggressive hunting and trapping for the animals in the Great Lakes and northern Rocky Mountains. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Assistant Director for Ecological Services Gary Frazer suggested the agency could intervene if wolf populations suffer declines that could again threaten them with extinction. Idaho, Montana and Wisconsin have adopted new rules intended to drive down the predator’s numbers. Gray wolves rebounded in parts of the U.S. over the past several decades from widespread extermination in the 1900s.
LOBSTERMAN-SEX CRIMES CHARGES
Lobsterman arrested on charges of sex crimes with minor
HARPSWELL, Maine (AP) — A Maine lobsterman wanted by Michigan authorities for alleged sex crimes involving a minor has been arrested by U.S. Marshals. Michael Bernard was wanted for crimes involving a victim under 13-years-old, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. Bangor Daily News reports that the 26-year-old allegedly met the victim online and communicated with them for several months. Authorities say Bernard traveled to Michigan to engage in sexual activity and then returned to Maine. He was arrested Thursday in Harpswell after leaving his boat and was charged as a fugitive from justice. He will be arraigned in Maine pending his extradition back to Michigan. It’s unknown whether he has an attorney.
BLACK BEAR DEATH-DNR
DNR: Bear found dead in northern Indiana appears hit by car
BRISTOL, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says the carcass of a black bear found this week in far northern Indiana had many fractured bones, injuries that are consistent with having been struck by a motor vehicle. DNR mammalogist Brad Westrich said Friday the fractures were discovered during a necropsy at the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University. DNR officials found the carcass Wednesday morning along State Road 15 in the Elkhart County town of Bristol, near the entrance to the Indiana Toll Road. The DNR had not received reports of black bears in the area since 2015 before finding this bear.
Michigan inmate charged in Florida teen’s 1985 death
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — DNA evidence helped investigators match the 1985 kidnapping, sexual assault and death of a 17-year-old Florida girl to a man already serving two life sentences in Michigan. Jacksonville Sheriff’s Chief T.K. Waters said during a news conference late Thursday that 59-year-old David Nelson Austin has been charged with first-degree murder, armed kidnapping and sexual battery in the stabbing death of Leslie McCray. Her family has waited nearly 36 years for an arrest. Cold case detectives went to Michigan to interview Austin. Additional tests were done to confirm the DNA match. Now they’re awaiting word on when he could be brought to Florida to face charges.