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MUNCIE SHOOTINGS

3 people fatally shot at Muncie apartment were from Detroit

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Police say three Michigan men have been identified as the victims of a fatal shooting at an apartment in Muncie. Police Chief Nate Sloan said late Friday that officers that morning found the bodies of 30-year-old Adrian Demarlo George Jr., 25-year-old Devonte Earl Hollis and 27-year-old Terence Thomas. He says all three died from gunshot wounds and were from the Detroit area.  The Star Press reports autopsies are expected to be conducted over the weekend. Sloan says Muncie police and other agencies are continuing to investigate the slayings. No one has been arrested.

PROPANE DELIVERY

Whitmer signs order to ensure adequate propane distribution

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order declaring a Michigan state of energy emergency to ensure adequate propane distribution over the coming days. The order Saturday temporarily suspends restrictions on commercial driver hours to allow the immediate delivery of energy to homes and businesses. It exempts motor carriers and drivers transporting propane and heating oil from compliance with maximum weekly driving and on-duty limits. The order took effect immediately and will remain in effect through the end of the month.

ICE JAMS-MICHIGAN

Ice-breaking operations continue along St. Clair River

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — Coast guards in the U.S. and Canada were continuing to cooperate on ice-breaking operations in the St. Clair River, northeast of Detroit. The U.S. Coast Guard also says escorts were being provided for commercial vessels in the shipping channel. Commercial ships going through the channel help break the ice which allows water to flow, resulting in lower water levels and less flooding along the shoreline. Earlier this month, both coast guards began deploying icebreaking ships to the river to break up ice jams that contributed to flooding in the area.

RURAL HEALTH WORKERS-GRANT

Federal grant to help add health care workers to rural areas

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A $2.5 million federal grant awarded to Michigan will be used to address health care staffing shortages in the state’s rural communities. Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity says the grant will support the addition of more than 430 new health care workers over the next four years. The agency will lead MiREACH, a network of employer-led collaboratives, to identify targeted health care occupations based on employer demand and feedback. The grant program aims to help individuals gain the skills necessary to provide needed services, fill vacancies and allow employers to find skilled workers more readily. 

MACKINAC BRIDGE-PHOTOS ARREST

Army vet charged after Michigan bridge scaled for photos

ST. IGNACE, Mich. (AP) — An Army veteran already jailed in Ohio after the roof of a Cincinnati skyscraper was accessed has been accused of scaling the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan to take photos. Issac Wright of Cincinnati was arraigned Thursday via video in Cheboygan District Court on a charge of felony trespass upon a key transportation facility. Photos taken on the bridge’s south tower were posted in November on social media. Wright was being held in Ohio after being extradited there following his arrest in December in Arizona. Police in Cincinnati have said security camera wires were cut in November at that city’s Great American Tower and tools were used to get to the roof. A burglary warrant was issued for Wright.

ICE SHANTIES-REMOVAL

DNR: Deadlines to remove ice fishing shanties approaching

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Anglers have until sunset Sunday to take down ice fishing shanties on Lake St. Clair, northeast of Detroit. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources says shanties in most Lower Peninsula counties have to be removed by midnight on March 1, while those in about three dozen counties in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula must come down no later than midnight March 15. Shanties on ice on Michigan and Wisconsin boundary waterways in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula also must be removed by midnight on March 15. Midnight on March 31 is the deadline for shanty removal across the rest of the Upper Peninsula.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Biden defends progress on COVID as weather delays 6M shots

PORTAGE, Mich. (AP) — President Joe Biden has toured a state-of-the art coronavirus vaccine plant. He was intent on showcasing progress against the virus even as extreme winter weather across the U.S. handed his vaccination campaign its first major setback, delaying shipment of about 6 million doses and causing temporary closures of inoculation sites in many communities. While acknowledging the weather is “slowing up the distribution right now,” Biden said at the Pfizer plant in Michigan that he believes “we’ll be approaching normalcy by the end of this year.” Disruptions caused by frigid temperatures, snow and ice have left the White House and states scrambling to make up lost ground as three days’ worth of vaccine shipments were temporarily delayed.

GUN RIGHTS-STATE CAPITOLS

Guns in capitol buildings divide states after armed protests

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — States are going in opposite directions on whether to allow guns in legislative buildings even after insurrectionists breached the U.S. Capitol and protesters forced their way into statehouses nationwide over the past year. On Thursday, Montana began allowing concealed firearms in the state Capitol for those with permits. Utah passed a law this month allowing people to carry concealed weapons into its Capitol building without a permit. But states like Michigan have restricted guns inside their capitols, while others like Washington are considering similar moves. A review by The Associated Press found that guns are allowed in statehouses in some form in 21 states. 

AP-US-WINTER-WEATHER-EXPLAINING-VACCINES-LOGJAM

EXPLAINER: How have storms affected COVID-19 vaccinations?

NEW YORK (AP) — Efforts to vaccinate Americans against COVID-19 have been stymied by a series of winter storms and outages in parts of the country not used to extreme cold weather. Snow and ice have hobbled transportation hubs and highways. That has created challenges for carries such as UPS and FedEx, which have been on the front lines packaging and shipping the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines around the country. So far, there haven’t been any reports of the vaccines going bad because of the delays. The White House says it’s working with shippers to make sure no vaccines are spoiled and says the backlog should be cleared next week — most of it in the next few days. 

POLICE SHOOTING-MICHIGAN

Michigan officers shoot man who came at them with knife

PAW PAW, Mich. (AP) — .Authorities say police in southwestern Michigan have shot and wounded a man who came at them with a knife. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office says officers were called around 9:30 p.m. Thursday on a report of a man cutting himself in the driveway of a house in Paw Paw Township. The sheriff’s office says that when a deputy and a Paw Paw police officer found the man, he went toward them with a knife, and the officers shot him. The sheriff’s office says the suspect, a 49-year-old Wisconsin man, was taken to a hospital in critical condition.