Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT


Survivor: Woman with COVID-19 gives birth, gets new lungs

DETROIT (AP) — A suburban Detroit woman who was infected with COVID-19 gave birth early then underwent a double lung transplant just weeks later to save her life. Jackie Dennis says she feels “pretty normal” and is getting stronger every day. Dr. Lisa Allenspach of Henry Ford Health System says Dennis’ lungs were “completely destroyed” by an inflammatory response to the coronavirus and that she would not have survived without the transplant. The doctor says the 31-year-old teacher’s condition was as severe as any candidate for a lung transplant at Henry Ford. Mia Rose was born in late November and the double lung transplant was performed Jan. 16.


Michigan has 5th-highest virus rate in US over past week

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan had the country’s fifth-highest rate of new COVID-19 cases in the last week and is among 14 states where infections rose over the past two weeks. It’s a trend state health officials say is potentially tied to the increasing prevalence of a more contagious coronavirus variant. One in every 602 people was diagnosed in the past week. Michigan had the country’s 10th-highest per-capita case rate over the last 14 days. Chief medical executive Joneigh Khaldun says Michigan is in a “different place” than earlier in the pandemic because of vaccinations but warns herd immunity is in the distance.


Tesla on autopilot drives into Michigan trooper’s patrol car

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State Police say a Tesla on autopilot crashed into a Lansing-area state trooper’s patrol car early Wednesday. Police said neither the trooper nor the 22-year-old Lansing man who was driving the Tesla were injured in 1:10 a.m. crash on Interstate 96 in Eaton County. WLNS-TV reports that the crash occurred as the trooper was investigating a collision between a car and a deer. Police said the trooper’s patrol car’s emergency lights were activated when the Tesla drove into the patrol car. The Tesla’s driver was issued citations for failure to move over and driving with a license suspended. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced it is aware of the incident involving the Tesla and will investigate.


Woman charged after attempted theft of vaccine in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — A woman whom city officials described as a nurse has been charged in the theft of COVID-19 vaccines from a downtown Detroit convention center where mass vaccinations are taking place. The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says Saeedeh Elahi of Livonia will be arraigned Wednesday on one count of larceny in a building. Prosecutors say two syringes filled with the Moderna vaccine and two vaccination cards were taken Monday afternoon. City officials say a nurse staffing COVID-19 vaccinations at the TCF Center was detained by police for suspicion of stealing two doses of the vaccine. The woman was stopped after another staff member saw her take two syringes.


Shifting sand, water again reveal shipwreck from 1880s

WHITEHALL, Mich. (AP) — A change in Lake Michigan water levels has revealed a shipwreck from the 1880s. It’s visible in western Michigan for the first time since 2018. Craig Rich of the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association believes it’s the wooden spine of the Contest, a schooner. The wreckage is along the shore in Muskegon County, near where the White Lake channel meets Lake Michigan. In 2018, parts of the ship were seen for the first time in decades, a result of changes in lake current, water levels and sand. Now the wreckage is visible again.


Elk Rapids seeks help, hopes Canadian can heal community

ELK RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Leaders of a northern Michigan community desperate for peace have voted to chip in to hire a Canadian man who specializes in healing public conflicts. Doug Griffiths is the author of “13 Ways to Kill Your Community.” Elk Rapids, about 20 miles northeast of Traverse City, believes it needs his help. There have been many public controversies, including closing a street to downtown traffic and leadership of the local library. Village President Jim Janisse recently apologized for using coarse words. The Elk Rapids council voted to give $10,000 toward the goal of $100,000 to hire Griffiths. The local Chamber of Commerce is seeking financial support from the school district, the Rotary Club, the library and surrounding townships.


Woman, unborn child killed in hit-and-run crash; man charged

SOUTHGATE, Mich. (AP) — A 31-year-old old man has been charged following a hit-and-run crash southwest of Detroit that killed a pregnant woman and her unborn child. The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says Raymond Alkewich of Wyandotte was arraigned Tuesday on a failure to stop at the scene of an accident causing death charge. Police found the 35-year-old woman Saturday evening along a street in Southgate. The prosecutor’s office says she and her unborn child later died. Alkewich was ordered jailed on a $2 million bond. A probable cause conference has been scheduled for March 26. The Associated Press was unable Tuesday evening to determine if Alkewich has an attorney.


Group details ballot bill to open gov, lawmakers to FOIA

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Advocates for open government have unveiled the specifics of their ballot proposal to open Michigan’s governor and lawmakers to public-records requests. Michigan is one of only two to wholly exempt the governor’s office from the Freedom of Information Act and among eight where legislators are explicitly exempt. The liberal group Progress Michigan will have to collect about 340,000 valid voter signatures to send the bill to the Republican-led Legislature, which could make it law or let the measure go to voters in November 2022. Advocates say their ballot initiative is not riddled with “loopholes” like bills pending in Lansing are.


Council calls for Indiana mayor’s job after profane message

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — A northwestern Indiana city council has unanimously approved a resolution asking the city’s mayor to resign and expressing no confidence in his ability to lead after he made profanity-laced remarks about a Black pastor. All nine members of the Michigan City Council sponsored the resolution approved Tuesday night. The pastor, Rev. James Lane, last week publicly released a voicemail message Parry left for him in which the Republican mayor declined to meet with Lane and a task force seeking a meeting over Parry’s recent public admonishment of his Black police chief. Parry told the City Council that he is “not a quitter.”


Republicans consider whether to block Whitmer’s health chief

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican senators critical of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic are weighing whether to reject her appointee to run the state health department, which has issued orders restricting business capacity to limit COVID-19’s spread. Elizabeth Hertel took over the Department of Health and Human Services in January, when Robert Gordon abruptly resigned. Her appointment stands unless the Senate blocks it by March 23. Hertel’s nomination is drawing considerably more attention than usual. About a third of the 20-member Republican caucus oppose Hertel. But Republicans would need to be in near lockstep, which appears unlikely. Democrats support her.