Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. EDT


Michigan budget tussle is about more than increasing gas tax

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — What is expected to be a protracted tussle over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s first budget proposal is about much more than her call to hike fuel taxes.

A resolution, which appears months away, also hinges on the Democratic governor and Republican lawmakers settling big differences over education funding.

Whitmer wants a $527 million boost in the school budget, a 3.5% increase. But it has not been embraced by the Republican-controlled Senate, which supports a $396 million, or 2.7%, boost, partly by trimming other facets of her spending plan.

The Senate also is not supporting Whitmer’s proposal to begin a new “weighted” formula to account for extra costs to educate certain students. How the differences are resolved will affect the finances of every traditional district and charter school in the state.


Pure Michigan’s new album to bring state parks to listeners

DETROIT (AP) — Outdoor enthusiasts soon will be able to appreciate 10 of Michigan’s state parks from their headphones.

Tourism brand Pure Michigan is set to release an album that blends ambient sounds recorded at state parks with music from Michigan artists. Listeners will be able to stream the full album, “Pure Sounds of Michigan,” starting May 22.

The collaboration with Detroit studio Assemble Sound features 10 tracks that capture moments in Michigan’s nature, from beach waves to indigenous birds.

The track “Childhood Memories” includes sounds of children playing in Petoskey State Park alongside music composed by John Beltran. The single was released last month.

Travel Michigan’s vice president, Dave Lorenz, says the project is more than “just the sounds of wave crashing.” He says “it’s truly a one-of-a-kind album that transports listeners.”


‘Bubble’ tribute planned for former Detroit rock promoter

DETROIT (AP) — The life of a former Detroit-area rock promoter, radio DJ and high school teacher will be celebrated outside the renowned venue he once ran.

A flash mob-style event is planned Sunday afternoon outside the former Grande Ballroom. That was the Detroit venue leased by Russ Gibb that hosted the likes of Iggy Pop and the Stooges, MC5, Led Zeppelin, Cream, The Who and the Grateful Dead.

Organizers encourage people to “bring your own bubbles” for an environmentally friendly release.

Gibb died Tuesday of heart failure at 87.

In a statement sent to The Associated Press, Iggy Pop said Gibb was “the one true individual who opened the door to self-expression for me and so many other Detroit kids.” The Grande Ballroom gave the Stooges their first major show in 1968.


Governor to Michigan graduates: Find value in each other

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has encouraged University of Michigan graduates to embrace fairness and find value in one another.

The Democrat, who is a graduate of rival Michigan State University, delivered the spring commencement address Saturday at Michigan Stadium. She said improving the world comes not when people “fight each other,” but when they “fight injustice, intolerance and indifference.”

Despite her Spartan credentials, Whitmer said the honorary degree she received means she is “also a Wolverine.”

At her East Lansing alma mater on Friday, Whitmer received an honorary doctorate and delivered the keynote address to advanced degree candidates.

It’s common for Michigan governors to speak at the University of Michigan’s commencement. Whitmer is the sixth sitting governor to deliver a commencement address for the school in the past 40 years.


Detroit mayor, wife announce plans to seek divorce

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and his wife are divorcing.

Duggan and his wife, Mary Loretto Maher, issued a joint statement Friday announcing the action, which they described as “painful” but the “best decision.” Maher filed for divorce the same day in Wayne County Circuit Court.

A divorce settlement conference has been scheduled for Aug. 2.

Duggan also is facing a possible recall. The recall petition whose language was approved this week cites an investigation into whether Duggan and others provided improper help to a nonprofit group that tries to prevent premature births. It also cites his ties to the woman who leads the nonprofit.

The city’s independent inspector general is investigating the matter.

His office has denied any wrongdoing.


Annual NAACP fundraiser in Detroit to attract 10,000 people

DETROIT (AP) — About 10,000 people are expected to attend an annual fundraising dinner for the Detroit NAACP branch.

Democratic presidential hopeful and California Sen. Kamala Harris will deliver the keynote Sunday evening at the 64th Annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner at Cobo Center.

Harris is among a crowded field of Democrats seeking to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Others include Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Warren, Booker and Biden have delivered past keynotes at the Detroit dinner. Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton also have given speeches at the event.


Acting Michigan State leader recovering at home after fall

(Information from: The Detroit News,

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State University officials say interim President Satish Udpa is home from the hospital after falling on stage during commencement ceremonies.

The Detroit News reports Saturday that Udpa is recovering after what officials described as “a health incident” on Friday. A statement released by the East Lansing school says he is resting this weekend and will likely take some time off in the coming days.

The nature of Udpa’s health problem hasn’t been revealed.

Udpa, university administrator and former engineering dean, was named acting president in January after the forced resignation of interim President John Engler.

Engler was ousted after saying some victims enjoyed publicity from the scandal involving imprisoned sexual abuser Larry Nassar, a campus sports doctor.



Illinois governor announces plan to legalize marijuana

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he’s reached an agreement with key lawmakers on a plan to legalize recreational marijuana in the state starting next year.

Pritzker joined fellow Democrats Saturday to announce the legislation. It would allow adults 21 and older to legally buy cannabis for recreational use from licensed dispensaries. Illinois residents could possess up to about an ounce (30 grams) of marijuana. The legislation also would automatically expunge some marijuana convictions.

Lawmakers plan to introduce the measure Monday, kicking off debate at the Legislature. Democrats hold a majority in both chambers.

Pritzker campaigned on the issue and is counting on $170 million from recreational marijuana licensing fees in his proposed state budget.

Ten states, including neighboring Michigan, have legalized recreational marijuana. Illinois already has approved medical cannabis.


This item has been corrected to state Pritzker is counting on $170 million from marijuana licensing fees, not $1 billion.


Survey seeks residents’ perspectives on bicycling, walking

DETROIT (AP) — Residents across southeastern Michigan are being asked their perspectives on bicycling or walking.

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) says input from the Pulse of the Region survey will help with developing its regional bicycle and pedestrian plan and coordinate and develop strategies for local mobility issues.

It says gaps and areas where people can’t walk or bike will be reported to local communities for their planning efforts. The Metropolitan Affairs Coalition is working with SEMCOG on the survey.

SEMCOG Executive Director Kathleen Lomako says bicycle and pedestrian travel is an important part of the region’s transportation system.

SEMCOG supports coordinated local planning with technical, data and intergovernmental resources. It serves Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties.


Detroit reaches land deals for new Fiat Chrysler plant plan

DETROIT (AP) — Land deals that will allow Fiat Chrysler to build a new assembly plant in Detroit are expected to cost the city and state about $107 million.

Mayor Mike Duggan released details Friday of agreements reached for nearly 215 acres (87 hectares) on the city’s eastside that the automaker wants as part of a $1.6 billion investment .

About 155 acres (62-hectares) are owned by the city and the Detroit Land Bank Authority.

Deals have been reached with several major property owners, including 82 acres (33 hectares) from a company owned by the family of businessman Manuel “Matty” Moroun.

Duggan’s office says Detroit will use $36 million in bond funding, a $7.5 million loan from the city’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and just over $7 million from the sale of a city-owned garage.

Another $57 million in grants and loans has been requested from the state.

The project has to be approved by the City Council.