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CELLPHONE STORE BOMBS

FBI investigates 2 bombs found near northern Michigan stores

CHEBOYGAN, Mich. (AP) — The FBI is seeking information on two explosive devices found outside cellphone stores in northern Michigan. The bombs, which were defused, were found in suspicious packages left outside a Verizon store in Cheboygan and an AT&T store in Sault Ste. Marie. Cheboygan authorities say emergency personal were dispatched around 9 a.m. Thursday after an employee reported a suspicious package near the door of the business. A similar device was reported the same day in Sault St. Marie. The FBI and Michigan State Police believe the devices are related to a series of letters discovered in the Upper Peninsula last month.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-FORT FRIGHT

Virus concerns prompt cancellation of annual Fort Fright

MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (AP) — A popular Halloween-themed event held annually in northern Michigan has been cancelled this fall due to concerns over the coronavirus that include the rising number of cases of the Delta variant in the area. Fort Fright at Colonial Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City was scheduled for October 8-9. The event is drawn from a collection of short stories published by Mackinac State Historic Parks and based on French-Canadian folktales brought to the Mackinac Straits area by the voyageurs during the height of the French fur trade. Organizers say staffing challenges and concerns about housing volunteers also played into the decision to cancel the event.

MIGRANTS-HOUSING

Recall effort launched in Alma after migrant housing vote

ALMA, Mich. (AP) — Three officials in a mid-Michigan community are being targeted for recall after voting in favor of a zoning change that would allow housing for migrant boys who crossed the U.S. border. Petitions were filed against Alma city commissioners Roxann Herrington, Audra Stahl and Nick Piccolo. If the language is approved, recall advocates could start collecting signatures to try to force an election. The commission voted last week to approve a zoning change sought by Bethany Christian Services. Chuck Murphy is a recall supporter and chairman of the Gratiot County Republican Party. He says many people in Alma are upset.

MISSING KAYAKERS

Body of 2nd missing kayaker found off Pictured Rocks in UP

MUNISING, Mich. (AP) — Searchers have recovered a second body after two kayakers went missing in Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The kayakers were reported missing Thursday night in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The bodies were recovered Friday. The conditions were difficult. The U.S. Coast Guard says winds were blowing at 30 knots, or 34 mph, and waves were up to 7 feet. No names were released or other details about what happened to the kayakers.

LAWMAKER-ABUSE ALLEGATIONS

Michigan lawmaker gets protection order against lawmaker

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A lawyer for a Michigan lawmaker says he will challenge a personal protection order that was obtained by another legislator. Democratic Rep. Mari Manoogian was granted an order against Rep. Steve Marino. He’s a Macomb County Republican who has been removed from House committees. The order could conflict with Marino’s ability to vote on the House floor if Manoogian is present. Marino’s attorney says he’ll be reviewing the order Monday. Marino says he and Manoogian had a relationship that ended more than a year ago. Manoogian says his removal from House committees stemmed from that “volatile” relationship. Marino calls it “character assassination.”

JACKSON-PANHANDLING

Jackson rejects ordinance to restrict panhandling

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — After hearing from critics, including the homeless, officials in a southern Michigan city have rejected an ordinance that would have cracked down on panhandling. The ordinance would have stopped people in Jackson from asking for money by speech or sign near banks, building entrances, outdoor dining or on public transportation. A violation would have carried a $100 fine. A first reading of the ordinance was defeated, 5-2, on Tuesday. Kevin Hardman, who says he’s homeless, told the Jackson City Council that finding solutions to poverty would be a better step. Council member Karen Bunnell, who voted for the ordinance, says downtown Jackson business owners aren’t happy about panhandlers. 

AP-US-OBIT-FRED-DAKOTA

Fred Dakota, Native American gambling pioneer, dies at 84

BARAGA, Mich. (AP) — Fred Dakota has died at age 84 after creating a milestone for Native American gambling by opening a garage casino in Michigan in the 1980s. A funeral home says Dakota died Monday at his home in Baraga in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Dakota was a member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community who opened a casino with a single blackjack table in a garage in 1983. That led to construction of a larger casino, but federal courts shut it down. By 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court used a California case to ease restrictions on gambling on tribal land. A federal law followed in 1988.

OBIT-TUKEL

Jonathan Tukel, judge and longtime federal prosecutor, dies

DETROIT (AP) — Jonathan Tukel, a judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals, has died at age 60. Tukel was a federal prosecutor for decades before being appointed to the appeals court in 2017. It’s the second death of an appeals court judge in recent weeks. Karen Fort Hood died on Aug. 15. As a prosecutor, Tukel led the national security unit and handled the case against Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, known as the “underwear bomber.” Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty to trying to blow up a Detroit-bound plane in 2009. He’s serving a life sentence.

COMMON CARP DEATHS-LAKE

DNR: Virus behind deaths of common carp on Detroit-area lake

LAKE ORION, Mich. (AP) — A virus is being blamed on the deaths of between 300 and 600 mostly adult common carp this summer in a Detroit-area lake. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources says Friday that an investigation has confirmed that the koi herpesvirus caused the fish kill in Lake Orion. People living along or near the lake, northwest of Detroit, began finding the dead fish in July. DNR fisheries division staff collected samples July 23 for analysis at the Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory at Michigan State University. DNR Fisheries Division Research Program Manager Gary Whelan says that the koi herpesvirus only affects common carp, koi and goldfish. The DNR says that viruses and bacteria that affect fish typically are not human pathogens.

AP-US-MICHIGAN-GOVERNOR-KIDNAPPING-PLOT

October trial postponed for 5 men in Michigan governor plot

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A judge says he would postpone the Oct. 12 trial of five men accused of planning to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. A new date wasn’t immediately set. But federal Judge Robert Jonker suggested the trial might get pushed to February or March. Defense lawyers say they need more time to pore over evidence shared by federal prosecutors, especially the work of FBI agents and informants. The government says the five men were upset over coronavirus restrictions when they conspired to kidnap Whitmer, even scouting her second home in northern Michigan. They’ve pleaded not guilty. A sixth man, Ty Garbin, pleaded guilty and is expected to be a star witness for prosecutors.