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BEDBUGS-FLINT CAMPUS

Chairs removed from Mott’s Flint campus after bedbugs found

(Information from: The Grand Rapids Press:MLive.com, http://www.mlive.com)

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Mott Community College officials say bedbug-infested chairs have been removed from a student lounge on the Flint campus.

The college says the chairs were removed for treatment to kill the insects after they were found Thursday on the chairs in the Mott Memorial Building’s student lounge.

MLive.com reports that the bedbug find on the Flint campus follows the discovery of bedbugs earlier this month in a high school classroom in the Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools, which is also in Genesee County.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture all consider bedbugs a public health pest.

But unlike most public health pests, bedbugs are not known to transmit or spread disease.

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POLICE OFFICER-SEXUAL ASSAULT

Detroit-area officer charged with criminal sexual conduct

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area police officer faces criminal sexual conduct charges stemming from an incident that allegedly occurred last year.

Waterford Township Officer Kevin Thompson is charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct. The 29-year-old officer is scheduled for an Oct. 28 court appearance in 67th District Court in Genesee County on the charges, which stem from an alleged December 2018 incident in Grand Blanc while he was off-duty.

Township police say Thompson was placed on unpaid administrative leave in May, immediately after he was charged.

Waterford Township police Chief Scott Underwood says the two-year department veteran “will remain on leave without pay until there is some resolution in the pending case.”

It wasn’t immediately clear Monday if Thompson has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

DETROIT-NONPROFIT PROBE

Report criticizes how Detroit prenatal program was selected

DETROIT (AP) — A report says a nonprofit program aimed at preventing infant mortality in Detroit was not selected through a fair, open and transparent process.

The Detroit Inspector General’s report released Monday says the Make Your Date prenatal program “was unilaterally selected” by Mayor Mike Duggan. The report also says Duggan’s chief of staff ordered employees to delete some emails about the program.

Duggan’s office says the report did not find his actions violated any policies, procedures or laws.

Duggan’s office also says deleting the emails were “not in the best interest of transparent government” and efforts were made to retrieve and post them on the city’s website.

The Detroit Free Press reported earlier this year that Make Your Date received $358,000 of Detroit’s share of state money for maternal and child health programs.

JUDGE-PROSECUTOR

Retired judge is hired as a prosecutor in northern Michigan

CHARLEVOIX, Mich. (AP) — A retired judge is back in court on the other side of the bench in northern Michigan.

Peter O’Connell has been hired as an assistant prosecutor in Charlevoix County. He was a Michigan appeals court judge for more than 20 years and a District Court judge in Isabella County for another 15.

O’Connell joked that Charlevoix County prosecutor Allen Telgenhof is “giving a senior citizen a second chance.” The Boyne City resident says retirement is “not the place for someone with a type A personality.”

O’Connell will handle the county’s District Court docket. He couldn’t run for re-election to the appeals court because he turned 70 years old.

FALL HARVESTS-THEFTS

Sheriff: Michigan crop heists are a ‘major league operation’

(Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com)

DETROIT (AP) — Authorities say a “well-organized machine” of thieves appears to be behind the theft of tons of apples and pumpkins from orchards and farms in Michigan and Indiana.

An estimated 7,000 pounds (3,175 kilograms) of apples were discovered missing Oct. 10 from Spicer Orchards in Fenton, Michigan, during the same week that 1,000 pumpkins were pilfered from McCallum’s Orchard in Jeddo. There were also 50,000 apples reportedly stolen from Williams Orchard in LaPorte County, Indiana, just south of the state line.

Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell told the Detroit Free Press Monday that investigators do not have any suspects, but he called the heists “a major league operation.”

The Michigan orchard operators say they will strengthen security with cameras and alarms to deter future thieves.

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PEDESTRIANS KILLED-CRASH

Police: 2 pedestrians struck, killed in hit-and-run crash

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Two people have been struck by a car and killed during a hit-and-run crash on a western Michigan street.

Grand Rapids police say a preliminary investigation shows the man and woman, both age 56, were walking within a crosswalk after 11 p.m. Saturday when they were struck by a car which drove through a stop sign.

The victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Both were Grand Rapids residents. Their names were not immediately released.

A tip later led police to the driver of the car who was arrested Sunday morning.

YEMEN MONEY-JUDGE

Detroit-area men who sent millions to Yemen spared prison

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit-area men who moved millions of dollars to Yemen have avoided prison, thanks to a 95-year-old judge who says “only people without compassion” would disagree with his light sentences.

Nine men created shell businesses and opened bank accounts to wire money to needy people in Yemen, their war-torn native country. But they were charged with crimes for failing to register as a money transfer business.

Detroit federal Judge Avern Cohn so far has sentenced six men to supervised release, a form of probation. Three more are awaiting a sentence. The judge notes that Yemen’s financial system is a mess and its residents desperately need help because of civil war.

Prosecutors said they had no evidence the scheme was anything more than sending money to relatives and possibly avoiding taxes.

PRISON INMATES-FINANCIAL AID

Michigan allows prison inmates to seek college financial aid

(Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com)

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s prison inmates can apply for college financial aid through a state program that long excluded them but was changed in the state’s 2020 budget.

Michigan’s Tuition Incentive Program reimburses tuition expenses for Medicaid-eligible students at participating public and private institutions.

Vera Institute of Justice program associate Terrell Blount told the Detroit Free Press last week that expanding the program’s eligibility to inmates is a “big win” for Michigan, where college funding opportunities for incarcerated students are limited.

Michigan’s Department of Treasury will administer the $64.3 million allotted to the program from the 2020 budget.

Blount says Michigan is among 18 states that no longer ban students in prison from receiving financial aid.

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SUPERINTENDENT-THEFT

Appeal fails in scheme to get unused school vacation pay

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has affirmed the conviction of a school superintendent who was charged with embezzlement after collecting thousands of dollars for unused vacation days.

Leonard Seawood argued that the Benton Harbor district didn’t suffer a loss because he actually worked on those days. But the appeals court says it doesn’t matter: His contract only allowed him to be paid for five unused days a year.

Seawood got $46,000 for 110 unused vacation days. He was Benton Harbor superintendent for five years until 2015.

The appeals court last week said Seawood deceived the school district by claiming pay that wasn’t justified. He was sentenced last year to 90 days in jail.

HALLOWEEN BAN REVERSED

Michigan elementary school drops ban on Halloween costumes

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

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan elementary school has lifted its short-lived ban on students wearing costumes to school for Halloween following an outcry by parents.

Galewood Early Elementary School pulled its Halloween ban Friday, less than a week after announcing that classroom parties and costumes wouldn’t be allowed this Halloween.

The school’s Halloween parade was also canceled, but all of the Halloween festivities will now be permitted on Oct. 31 at the school in the mid-Michigan city of Charlotte.

The Lansing State Journal reports several parents complained that the school’s Halloween ban wasn’t consistent with what other district schools planned for this Halloween.

Parent Eric Frederick says he’s pleased the Halloween events have been reinstated. He says school officials listened to parents, reconsidered their decision and “we got what we were asking for.”

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