Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. EDT


Spanish brewer taking control of Michigan-based Founders

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s largest brewery is being sold to a Spanish partner.

Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids has informed state regulators that Mahou San Miguel Group will have a 90% stake in the brewer by January.

Mahou San Miguel, based in Madrid, acquired a 30% stake in Founders in 2014. Founders says Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, who co-founded the brewery in 1997, will each retain a 5% share and “have no intention of leaving.”

In a written statement Thursday, Founders says it has “enjoyed an excellent relationship with Mahou Group.” Founders’ beers include All Day IPA, Breakfast Stout and Centennial IPA. It also produces seasonal beers.


Dem: 45-cent tax hike is dead, other options must be in mix

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A top Democratic lawmaker says Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed 45-cents-a-gallon fuel tax increase is dead, and proposals such as raising the corporate income tax and taxing heavy trucks must be in the mix.

House Minority Leader Christine Greig said Thursday that with majority Republicans vehemently opposing the 45-cent plan, there are alternative ways to raise revenue without having to increase the gas tax by as much.

Whitmer, a Democrat, has defended her plan while saying she is open to alternatives, adding that Republicans have yet to propose a viable alternative.

Greig says the important thing is to generate $2.5 billion to fix the roads.


‘Disgrace’: Michigan House urges indicted lawmaker to resign

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan House has approved a resolution urging Rep. Larry Inman to resign as he faces federal charges over an alleged scheme to trade votes for campaign money.

The Republican from the Traverse City area, who was indicted in May, has refused to step down after being kicked out of the Republican caucus and losing his committee assignments.

The resolution, which passed 98-8 Thursday, says Inman’s conduct and statements since the indictment have “drawn ridicule and disgrace” to the House, and have shaken the public’s trust and confidence in the legislative body.

Inman’s attorney, Christopher Cooke, says the vote is “one more punitive action taken before Representative Inman has had a full opportunity to air his side of the story.”


Body of deported Iraqi national returning to US for burial

DETROIT (AP) — The body of a 41-year-old Iraqi man who died in Baghdad after being deported from the U.S. for committing multiple crimes is being returned to the Detroit area for burial.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Andy Levin, of Michigan, announced Thursday that Jimmy Aldaoud’s body was in transit and was expected to arrive Friday. Aldaoud, who came to the U.S. as an infant and lived in the Detroit area, was deported in June.

Levin says Aldaoud had diabetes as well as schizophrenia and other mental health issues. He spoke no Arabic and had no family in Iraq.

A private funeral is planned for next week. Levin says the Chaldean Community Foundation is covering the costs of repatriating Aldaoud’s body.

He was among hundreds of Iraqi nationals who were arrested to enforce deportation orders.


Woman gets life in ambush slaying of soldier husband

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — The wife of a U.S. Army sergeant from Michigan who was convicted of plotting to kill her husband has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Twenty-two-year-old Kemia Hassel learned her punishment Thursday. A Berrien County jury found her guilty of murder last month in the death of Sgt. Tyrone Hassel III. The 23-year-old was fatally shot in an ambush on New Year’s Eve while visiting family in St. Joseph Township.

Kemia Hassel chose not to speak at the sentencing hearing.

Prosecutors argued at trial that she planned her husband’s death so she could continue a romantic relationship with 24-year-old Jeremy Cuellar. All three were soldiers stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia.

Cuellar has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and faces a minimum sentence of 65 years in prison.


WMU-Cooley law will cut tuition next year by 21%

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan law school says it’s too expensive so it will cut tuition by 21% in fall 2020.

Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School announced the reduction Thursday and said it will seek approval to close its Auburn Hills campus at the end of 2020.

Tuition will be cut to $1,375 per credit hour from $1,750. A student needs 90 credits to graduate, meaning a Cooley education still would cost more than $120,000.

President James McGrath says, “To put it simply, we became too expensive.”

Board Chairman Lawrence Nolan says the tuition cut is a bold move made possible by donations and “effective fiscal management.” Cooley will maintain campuses in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Tampa, Florida.


Test scores up slightly for Michigan third-, fourth-graders

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Reading test scores for Michigan third- and fourth-graders rose slightly in the spring, but fewer than half were rated as proficient or better.

That is one takeaway from the state’s annual release of M-STEP and SAT results, which were released Thursday.

Among third-graders, 45.1% were proficient or better on the English language arts assessment— up from 44.4% the year before. A similar boost occurred among fourth-graders.

Math scores rose slightly for third-, fifth- and sixth-grade students, but results dropped slightly in other grades and on other subject tests.

There also were declines on the 11th-grade SAT exam, though officials say it mirrored similar drops in other states.

State Superintendent Michael Rice says despite schools having a significant number of snow days, test scores in many places increased or remained steady.


Michigan opposes do-it-yourself kit for sex assault victims

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s attorney general is objecting to a product pitched as a do-it-yourself kit for sexual assault victims.

The MeToo Kit website says the product empowers people to collect evidence “in a setting and timing of their choice.” A price isn’t listed. Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office says kits are free in Michigan when assault victims seek medical help within five days.

The state says it’s critical that evidence collection adheres to strict procedures that can stand up in court if charges are filed. The state says a medical exam also includes a check for injuries and disease.

Nessel says the home kit offers “absolutely no benefit.” The Brooklyn, New York, company says it won’t comment until after Monday.

Michigan is demanding that the product not be sold in the state.


Coast Guardsman charged with murder of seaman in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A Coast Guardsman is charged with murdering a 19-year-old seaman who was found unresponsive along the shore of an Alaska island.

The Coast Guard says 19-year-old Ethan Tucker was charged Wednesday with seven violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Charges include murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Ethan Kelch of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Tucker, who is from Ludington, Michigan, is in custody in San Diego.

Kelch was found unresponsive Jan. 27 along the shore of an island when their ship, the Munro, was docked in nearby Dutch Harbor. The charging document says he died of blunt force trauma to the head.

The charges say Tucker lied when he said he injured his hand by punching a steel bulkhead after learning of Kelch’s death.


Detroit mom charged in bathtub drowning of baby daughter

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit woman whose 18-day-old daughter drowned in a bathtub has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy called the allegations “appalling.” Investigators say 22-year-old Jaila Thomas had been drinking and was alone in her apartment Monday when she found Lauren Williams unresponsive. Medics pronounced the girl dead.

Thomas appeared in court by video from jail Thursday. She’s also charged with second-degree child abuse. Bond was set at $150,000. Thomas didn’t appear with a lawyer.

The prosecutor released a statement, saying, “Don’t attempt to care for any infant when you are intoxicated. … Please don’t do it.”

Worthy says the baby was “only in this world for 18 days.”