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


Officials: Detroit auto show attendee diagnosed with rubella

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan health officials say people who attended the North American International Auto Show in Detroit might have been exposed to the viral illness rubella.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says it’s been notified that someone from another state who attended the show from Jan. 13-15 has been diagnosed with rubella . The person might have been contagious while visiting Detroit.

Officials say symptoms include low-grade fever, sore throat and a rash that starts on the face and spreads. The illness also known as German measles spreads through coughing and sneezing.

Those infected can be contagious from seven days before to seven days after a rash appears.

The last reported rubella case in Michigan was in 2007. A vaccine for it is included in the series of childhood immunizations.


Group: Article on Henry Ford’s views on Jews should go out

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-area historical group is protesting a mayor’s decision to stop it from sending out the latest issue of its publication, which delves into Ford Motor Co. founder Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism.

The Dearborn Historical Commission says the latest edition of The Dearborn Historian, a city-financed quarterly journal, should be sent to its roughly 200 subscribers and that Mayor Jack O’Reilly should reverse his decision to cut ties with longtime Detroit journalist Bill McGraw, who wrote the Ford piece.

The story, which can be read online, highlights Ford’s writings and views on Jews and explores how they still influence modern neo-Nazi groups.

The Dearborn-based automaker disavowed its founder’s views before he died in 1947 and sought to make amends with Jews and Israel.

O’Reilly said in a statement he thought the publication “could become a distraction from our continuing messages of inclusion and respect.” The mayor added he didn’t fire McGraw, who wasn’t an employee of the city or the history museum.


Michigan firefighter files lawsuit alleging discrimination

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An African-American firefighter’s federal lawsuit alleges that Lansing leaders failed to stop racial discrimination at the fire department.

The Lansing State Journal reports Michael Lynn Jr. filed a civil complaint last month in U.S. District Court. The suit alleges other firefighters frequently commented on Lynn’s race and qualifications, which created a hostile work environment.

Lynn says the discrimination escalated until a banana was left on the windshield of his truck in 2017. Lynn says he felt it was harassment and intimidation. He also alleges the city retaliated against him after he complained about the behavior, a charge Lansing officials have denied.

A city spokeswoman says Lynn is still employed at the department. Lynn says he works in the maintenance and alarm division.


Michigan Democrats elect Barnes leader of state party

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Democratic Party says Lavora Barnes has been elected as the new leader of the state party.

Democrats gathered at Detroit’s Cobo Center for their convention Saturday. Barnes was the favorite among seven declared candidates. She has worked as the Michigan Democratic Party’s chief operating officer for more than three years.

She had the backing of new Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, labor unions and others.

Current party chairman Brandon Dillon decided not to seek re-election after Democrats in November flipped control of top state offices and two congressional seats while making gains in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Barnes, who joined President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign after working many years as a staffer in the Michigan House, was later a deputy clerk/register of deeds in Oakland County.


Carbon monoxide exposure claims life in Detroit-area home

WAYNE, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say one person has died and another taken to a hospital because of carbon monoxide exposure in a Detroit-area apartment.

Fire officials say crews went to the Hickory Hollow Cooperative apartment complex in Wayne Friday evening after getting a report of two unconscious people. One was pronounced dead in the residence.

The condition of the person taken to the hospital hasn’t been released.

Fire Chief Mike Stradtner says the cause appears to be related to a chimney not properly venting because of condensation buildup. Several other units reported high carbon monoxide levels and had to be evacuated.


Wishful Woody: Early spring predicted by Michigan groundhog

MARION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Handlers of Woody the Woodchuck, billed as Michigan’s official groundhog, say she’s predicting an early spring.

She emerged from her house Saturday at the Howell Conference and Nature Center and stayed out for at least 30 seconds — a decidedly non-scientific indication that an early spring is on the way.

If she hadn’t come out or ran back in before the 30 seconds were up, she’d be forecasting six more weeks of winter. That was the case last year at the nature center in Livingston County’s Marion Township.

The Groundhog Day prediction matched that from handlers of Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil.

Regardless of the critters’ predictive abilities, it’s feeling a bit warmer as a large swath of the northern U.S. emerges from a bitter polar vortex.


Detroit museum highlights Pop Art works acquired in 1960s

DETROIT (AP) — An upcoming exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts takes a look at Pop Art and highlights many works acquired by the museum in the 1960s.

“From Camelot to Kent State: Pop Art, 1960-1975 ” opens Feb. 17 at the museum and runs through Aug. 25.

Pop artists took inspiration from advertisements, logos, comic strips and television. DIA Director Salvador Salort-Pons notes in a statement the museum owns “a beautiful and delicate collection of Pop artworks on paper that we rarely show, because of their sensitivity to light exposure.”

The exhibition includes 73 objects and features lithographic prints with etchings, mixed media and 3-D works primarily from the museum’s collection. Artists in the exhibition include Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, as well as Sister Mary Corita and May Stevens.


Michigan redistricting deal killed by federal judges

DETROIT (AP) — A three-judge panel has thrown out a deal to redraw at least 11 Michigan House districts for the 2020 election, saying the state’s new Democratic secretary of state had no authority to make a pact with fellow Democrats who accused Republicans of crafting unconstitutional maps.

Friday’s decision means the panel of federal judges will hold a trial, starting Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed by the League of Women Voters and others who claim districts were shaped by Republican operatives to guarantee the party’s dominance in the state Capitol after the 2010 census. They say constitutional rights were violated when Democratic areas were packed in certain districts or diluted elsewhere.

The secretary of state was a defendant in the lawsuit as the state’s chief election officer. The office changed hands — and parties — when Jocelyn Benson won in November.


Michigan State U. ousts lawyer but he’ll still be paid

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Robert Young Jr. has been ousted as the top lawyer at Michigan State University.

Acting President Satish Udpa says Young was “relieved of his duties” Friday as vice president and general counsel. Young, a former chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, joined MSU last year when John Engler was interim president.

Engler was removed by university trustees on Jan. 17.

Young had more than two years remaining on a three-year contract worth $425,000 a year. MSU spokeswoman Emily Guerrant says Young will be paid the full amount.

Young played a critical role in the $500 million settlement with sexual-assault victims of sports doctor Larry Nassar .

In a written statement, Udpa said: “We appreciate that Bob stepped in last year to help the university with the settlement and many legal issues.”


Demand for high-tech health help grows during cold stretch

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A health-care system in western Michigan says more than 400 people used an online service to seek help for non-emergencies during the extreme cold spell.

Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids says MedNow typically sees 250 people over a four-day period. But demand rose significantly Monday through Thursday. MedNow allows people to see a health professional over a computer or mobile device instead of going to a doctor’s office.

Senior director Joe Brennan says it’s best for people with aches, rashes, cold and flu.

Matthew Streichhirsch of Newaygo County was in pain after removing snow. He and wife Tracy used MedNow on Wednesday. She feared that her cold was growing into pneumonia.

They got medication for the short term and avoided a trip to the emergency room.