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Michigan apple harvest expected to fall after cold April

SPARTA, Mich. (AP) — A spring freeze will likely put a fall chill on the size of Michigan’s apple harvest. The state is expected to produce 18.25 million bushels of apples this year, down from 22 million in 2020. The Michigan Apple Committee reported the forecast from an industry trade show in Chicago. Some growing areas in April had temperatures in the 20-degree range. Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee, says there will still be plenty of apples for people to enjoy. There are more than 14 million apple trees in commercial production at hundreds of Michigan farms. The state typically ranks third in the U.S. in apple production.


Michigan art installation to be dedicated to Hemingway

WALLOON LAKE, Mich. (AP) — A village in northern Michigan is planning an art installation dedicated to author Ernest Hemingway who frequented the area during his summers in the state. The art installation is part of Walloon Lake’s yearlong Hemingway Homecoming celebration which also will feature formal dedication of a series of historical signs. The village says activities will take place Sept. 4 and will be hosted along with the Michigan Hemingway Society. The Hemingway Society also is expected to officially recognize Walloon Lake on its Michigan Hemingway Tour with the dedication of a bronze plaque. Hemingway’s family spent summers at their cottage on Walloon Lake. His area adventures inspired early short stories.


Illinois woman swims across iconic Michigan lake twice

ALDEN, Mich. (AP) — A medical student from Illinois has swum across one of Michigan’s largest inland lakes — twice — to raise money and awareness about diabetes. Marian Cardwell accomplished the 35-mile feat earlier this month at Torch Lake in Antrim County. Cardwell started on Aug. 4 and finished the next day. She had hoped to keep swimming but stopped after two crossings and 18 hours. Cardwell is trying to promote the Chicago Diabetes Project, which seeks to make islet cell transplants a treatment option for Type 1 diabetes. She is a medical school student at Central Michigan University.


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.


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. 


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’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.