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VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

More schools take holiday week off as illnesses climb

ELK RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — More Michigan schools are shutting down for the entire week of Thanksgiving, giving staff and families an opportunity to recover from illness, including COVID-19. The decisions come as the state continues to post the worst new case rate in the U.S. In northern Michigan, Kingsley, Elk Rapids and Kalkaska schools added Monday and Tuesday to the Thanksgiving break. Elk Rapids was conducting over 100 rapid tests for COVID-19 but ran out of supplies. The Kalkaska district says its schools would undergo a “thorough, deep cleaning” during the break.

ABORTION-WHAT IF ROE CRUMBLES

Conflict over abortion laws won’t abate if Roe v. Wade falls

On both sides of America’s abortion debate, activists are convinced that the 1973 Supreme Court ruling establishing a nationwide right to abortion is imperiled as never before. Yet no matter how the current conservative-dominated court handles pending high-profile abortion cases, there will be no monolithic, nationwide change. Instead, the fractious state-by-state battle over abortion access will continue. The demise of Roe v. Wade would return abortion policymaking to the states. At least 20 Republican-governed states would likely impose sweeping bans; perhaps 15 Democratic-governed states would reaffirm their strong support for abortion access.

BOY KILLED-MURDER CHARGE

Man charged with murder after crash kills boy, 5, on bicycle

WARREN, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit man who had been free on bond following a June crash that killed a 5-year-old boy is back in custody after new evidence led a judge to increase the charge he faces to second-degree murder. Twenty-two-year-old Maurice Sumler, was originally charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash after he struck and killed Preston Singleton as the boy was on his bicycle crossing an intersection in the Detroit suburb of Warren. But the Macomb Daily reports that a judge raised the charge to second-degree murder after a preliminary examination showed Sumler was driving at least 59 mph and had smoked marijuana before the crash. 

BORDER-COLD CELL

US wins appeal over keeping man in cold Detroit border cell

DETROIT (AP) — A man detained for hours in a cold cell at a Detroit border crossing has lost his lawsuit against a federal agent. An appeals court ruled in favor of the U.S. border officer on technical grounds and dismissed the case. Anas Elhady, a U.S. citizen and a Muslim, was detained at the Ambassador Bridge while returning to Michigan from Canada in 2015. He claims he’s on a watch list and gets harassed when he travels. Elhady says he had to give up his coat and shoes and sit in a cold cell for four hours. The appeals court says different liability standards apply at the border.

PURE MICHIGAN-WINTER CAMPAIGN

Michigan’s winter focus of ads aimed at shoppers, travelers

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Pure Michigan is marketing the state’s upcoming winter season in an advertising campaign running in key regional and state markets. Michigan’s Economic Development Corp. says the Still Pure Michigan campaign is expected to run through the end of February and use broadcast and connected television, online video and digital ads, and social media. Much of the focus of the tourism and marketing campaign will be on travel and shopping. Advertising spots will run in some of Michigan’s largest cities. They also will be seen in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Kentucky. This year’s total winter advertising budget tops $3 million.

HOFFA SEARCH

FBI looks at land near NJ landfill for Jimmy Hoffa’s remains

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — The decadeslong odyssey to find the remains of former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa apparently has turned to land near a former New Jersey landfill that sits below an elevated highway. The FBI says it obtained a search warrant to “conduct a site survey underneath the Pulaski Skyway.” The work was done in late October. An FBI spokeswoman, Mara Schneider, declined to offer any details. Hoffa was last seen in 1975 when he was supposed to meet with reputed mob figures at a suburban Detroit restaurant. The latest effort appears to be tied to interviews given by a man named Frank Cappola. He says his father, Paul Cappola, explained how he buried Hoffa’s remains in a barrel in Jersey City in 1975. Both Cappolas are deceased.

HOFFA SEARCH-TIMELINE

Events in disappearance of former Teamsters head Jimmy Hoffa

The FBI’s confirmation Friday that it was looking at a former New Jersey landfill as a possible burial site for former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa is the latest development in a search that began when he disappeared in 1975. It’s a search and investigation that so far has turned up many leads with no resolution. Hoffa was last seen when he went to a suburban Detroit restaurant to meet with a reputed Detroit mob enforcer and alleged New Jersey mob figure.

RACISM LAWSUIT-HIGH SCHOOL

Parents of Black student allege racism at Michigan school

The parents of a Black student have filed a $150 million lawsuit against a suburban Detroit school district over allegations of death threats and racial discrimination against their daughter and other Black students. The federal lawsuit filed Thursday by Cedric McCarrall and Carmen Davidson-McCarrall also alleges that officials at Bloomfield Hills High School said a white teacher’s decision to place a noose around the neck of a Black doll and dropping it over a railing was a science project. The lawsuit follows a walkout last week by some students at the mostly white school north of Detroit protesting its response to racist messages on walls and on social media. The Associated Press left voicemails and emails Friday seeking comment from the district.

DOG ATTACK-ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER

Saginaw-area animal control officer attacked by dogs, bitten

BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities were trying to identify the owner of two dogs that attacked an animal control officer in the Saginaw area. MLive.com reports that the officer was bitten Nov. 5 in a Buena Vista Township neighborhood after a resident reported being nearly attacked by two pit bulls outside his home. Two officers were attempting to catch the dogs when the attack occurred. Saginaw County Animal Care & Control Director Bonnie Kanicki says the wounded officer used a catchpole to fend off one dog, but was bitten on the leg by the other dog. Both officers then used repellant spray to stop and capture the dogs. The wounded officer was treated at a hospital emergency room and later released.

WATER FUNDING

Whitmer proposes $300M in water funding for communities

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is proposing $300 million in water spending to help local utilities address elevated lead levels, plan for pipe replacement and connect users of contaminated wells to the municipal supply. The governor said Thursday that the funding will expand her $500 million MI Clean Water Plan, some of which has been authorized since it was unveiled more than a year ago. The new funds, which would come from U.S. pandemic relief dollars, will need to be approved by the Republican-led Legislature. She says there’s a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to use the federal dollars to “make lasting investments in our water infrastructure.”