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

UNION-AUTOS-CORRUPTION

UAW president joins Labor Day march days after FBI search

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers president walked a portion of Detroit’s traditional Labor Day parade just days after FBI agents searched his home while a small group of protesting union members called for his resignation.

UAW President Gary Jones exited Monday’s parade route before its completion and didn’t speak to union members gathered afterward. UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg told the Detroit News that Jones left because of another commitment.

Federal agents searched Jones’ suburban Detroit home Wednesday in apparently another step in a corruption investigation of union officials and Fiat Chrysler executives.

Some union members at the parade told the Detroit Free Press that unity is needed for current contract talks with General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

About 20 marchers hoisted signs with messages such as “Reform the UAW!”

POLICE CRASH SETTLEMENT

Hawaii County to pay $15.1M settlement over police crash

(Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/)

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaii County has agreed to pay a $15.1 million settlement to the family of a Michigan man who was struck and killed by a police patrol car.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Monday that 63-year-old Jeffrey Surnow was riding a bicycle on the Big Island when he was killed in March 2015.

Officials say Officer Jody Buddemeyer was working his second consecutive eight-hour shift when he struck the resident of West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Buddemeyer was convicted last year of misdemeanor negligent homicide and sentenced to one year of probation.

Officials say Buddemeyer no longer works for the police department, although he is appealing the case.

Officials say the Hawaii County Police Department required officers to work back-to-back shifts, but the department has since ended the policy.

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MACKINAC BRIDGE WALK

Thousands join in annual walk across Mackinac Bridge

ST. IGNACE, Mich. (AP) — Light rain let up as thousands of people started the 62nd Labor Day walk across the Mackinac Bridge.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined those walkers crossing the nearly 5-mile (8-kilometer) long bridge that links Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas and crosses the Straits of Mackinac, which connects lakes Huron and Michigan.

Many people waiting in the pre-dawn darkness wore ponchos in rainfall that gave way to some sunshine as the walk started at 7 a.m. Monday.

Local organizers expected 20,000 to 30,000 people to make the trek between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace.

Cindi Feldwisch of New Mexico tells WWTV/WWUP-TV that traveling to Michigan for the bridge walk was a “bucket list” journey.

SEAPLANE CRASH

2 survive crash of seaplane into Detroit-area front yard

INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Officials say a pilot and passenger survived the crash of a seaplane into the front yard of a southeastern Michigan home.

The plane was destroyed when it caught fire after the crash Monday afternoon in Oakland County’s Independence Township, northwest of Detroit. The Oakland County sheriff’s office says the plane didn’t hit any buildings and no one on the ground was hurt.

The sheriff’s office says the two people on the plane suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital as a precaution.

No information on the cause of the crash was immediately released. The sheriff’s office says the Federal Aviation Administration was notified about the crash.

LOST CAT REUNION

Missing Persian cat reunites with family after 3 years

(Information from: The Sentinel-Standard, http://www.sentinel-standard.com)

IONIA, Mich. (AP) — A Persian cat that was missing for three years has been reunited with her family in Grand Rapids.

The Ionia Sentinel-Standard reports that Violet was found in Ionia Aug. 6. She was barely able to stand, and was covered in maggots, flies and fleas.

Ionia County Animal Control Director Carly Quinn took Violet to a vet who was able to identify the 10-year-old because she is microchipped.

It took more effort to track down her humans, 30 miles (50 kilometers) away.

Drew Potter adopted Violet from the Humane Society in 2012, but the contact information on the chip was outdated. Quinn persisted and found him on Facebook after a few hours.

Quinn says the reunification of Potter and Violet was “beautiful.”

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TAILGATE FALL DEATH

Michigan man killed in fall from pickup truck’s tailgate

BRANCH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Police in western Michigan say a 47-year-old man riding with others on the tailgate of a pickup truck fell onto a roadway and died.

The Mason County sheriff’s office says the man from Crystal, Michigan, hit his head on the pavement and was pronounced dead Sunday evening at the rural scene in Branch Township near Ludington.

Police say the 42-year-old man driving the truck told officers that his sandal became stuck on the gas pedal. Several people were riding in the truck’s bed and three others were riding on the tailgate.

GREAT LAKES FORUM

2020 event to focus on Great Lakes water infrastructure

NOVI, Mich. (AP) — A gathering next year in Michigan will seek to identify and explore solutions to water infrastructure challenges faced by the Great Lakes region.

The state of Michigan is lining up speakers for the Great Lakes Water Infrastructure Conference, which runs April 28-30 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi in suburban Detroit. Speaker abstracts are due Sept. 6 and registration to attend opens in January.

Topics are expected to include funding, water affordability, environmental health, water planning, green infrastructure and cybersecurity.

Kelly Green, state administrator in water infrastructure financing, says organizers are “looking forward to engaging a regional audience including policy and decision makers to discuss solutions on how to turn our challenges into opportunities.”

CHAMBER SOCIETY-CONCERT

Chamber Music Society of Detroit opening 76th season

BEVERLY HILLS, Mich. (AP) — The Midwest premiere of a piece by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts will be featured in the Chamber Music Society of Detroit’s 76th season opener.

“Home” will be performed Sept. 14 at Seligman Performing Arts Center in Beverly Hills in Oakland County. The new work was co-commissioned by the society.

The concert features the Miró Quartet and clarinetist Anthony McGill, and other works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Reinhold Glière.

Puts won the Pulitzer in 2012 for his first opera, “Silent Night: Opera in Two Acts,” which recounts the true story of a spontaneous cease-fire among Scottish, French and Germans during World War I.

The society plans to present 26 concerts during the 2019-2020 season in six venues across the Detroit metropolitan area.

CHILDREN’S OMBUDSMAN

Panel: Public should see ombudsman findings in child deaths

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A legislative oversight panel says the public should see the results of state investigations into the deaths of children who are involved with Michigan’s child welfare system.

The recommendation is included in a report adopted unanimously by the House Oversight Committee.

The office independently investigates complaints involving children who are under state oversight for reasons of abuse or neglect, and checks to see if public or private agencies followed laws and policies.

Current law only lets people who can file complaints with the ombudsman’s office — including parents, guardians, their attorneys, mandated reporters or legislators — get the written findings, recommendations and DHHS response to the ombudsman’s investigation.

A similar recommendation was made by the children’s ombudsman in her most recent annual report.

MICHIGAN PRISONS-NEWSPAPERS

Corrections vows review after prison blocks news reports

(Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Department of Corrections is examining how its mail policy is applied after officers at one prison prevented inmates from reading some stories published by the Lansing State Journal.

Workers at the Ionia Correctional Facility blocked inmate access to five stories this year concerning criminal proceedings against a probation officer, prisoners’ parole and re-sentencing hearings and a lawsuit filed by state prisoners.

The Journal reports the Michigan Press Association has questioned why most of the blocked stories were considered unfit for prisoners’ eyes.

Department spokesman Chris Gautz says the mail policy is designed to keep prisons safe and MDOC workers’ lives private. The policy also bars mail that promotes violence or racism, or that contains nude images.

Gautz says Corrections will review inconsistencies brought to its attention.

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