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OPEN RECORDS

Michigan House gives unanimous approval to records bill

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s governor, lieutenant governor and legislators, to a lesser extent, would be subject to public records requests under a bill the House passed unanimously. Michigan is one of only two states that exempts the governor’s office from Freedom of Information Act requests. Before voting in favor of the measure Thursday, Republicans and Democrats alike said it was essential to increase trust between elected officials and those they represent. If the Senate also passes the bill, it would go to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who said while campaigning in 2018 that if the Legislature didn’t act, she would open the governor’s office to FOIA requests.

FLINT WATER

Michigan ex-governor loses challenge to Flint water charges

DETROIT (AP) — A judge has rejected a request to dismiss misdemeanor charges against a former Michigan governor in the Flint water scandal. Lawyers for Rick Snyder said he worked in Ingham County, not Genesee County, so the indictment was returned in the wrong place. But Judge William Crawford II says prosecutors have flexibility about where to pursue a case. Snyder’s attorneys plan to appeal. The former Republican governor is charged with willful neglect of duty in Flint. The city used the Flint River for drinking water without properly treating it to reduce corrosion. Lead in old pipes contaminated the system.

CAPITOL BREACH-MICHIGAN

2 more Michigan men charged in Jan. 6 riot at US Capitol

DETROIT (AP) — Two more Michigan men have been charged after photos and other evidence showed they were at the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Robert “Bobby” Schornak and Daniel Herendeen are from Macomb County. The FBI says they traveled to Washington in support of President Donald Trump and got inside the Capitol. They were charged in Washington with obstructing Congress, violent entry to the Capitol and other crimes. Both men were released after appearing Thursday in federal court in Detroit. Five men from Michigan now have been charged in the FBI’s investigation.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

Military personnel to assist at Detroit vaccination site

More than 220 Defense Department military and support personnel are expected at Ford Field in Detroit to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts. The Federal Emergency Management Agency requested the deployment and the personnel were expected to arrive Friday at the mass vaccination site. Ford Field was announced earlier this month as a community vaccination center. The indoor stadium is home to the NFL’s Detroit Lions. Vaccinations are expected to start Wednesday. Lieutenant General Laura J. Richardson says 6,000 vaccines can be administered each day at the site. Officials said Thursday that vaccines given at Ford Field will be above the state’s regular allocations.

MASSAGE PARLOR SHOOTINGS-VICTIMS

New mom, Army vet among 8 killed in Georgia spa shootings

A new mother and an Army veteran who installed security systems are among eight people killed by a gunman who opened fire at three massage parlors in the Atlanta area. Family members say 33-year-old Delaina Yaun went to Youngs Asian Massage Parlor on Tuesday to get a rare break from caring for her 8-month-old daughter. A brother of 54-year-old Paul Michels says he was considering a change of careers after doing electrical work for more than 25 years. John Michels says his brother was considering opening a spa of his own. Police have not released the names of all the victims.

FORD-CHIP SHORTAGE

Chip shortage forces Ford to build trucks without computers

DETROIT (AP) — A global semiconductor shortage and a February winter storm have combined to force Ford to build F-150 pickup trucks without some computers. The company says the pickups will be held at factories for “a number of weeks,” then shipped to dealers once computers are available and quality checks are done. The move is the latest ripple from the global semiconductor shortage, which earlier this week forced Honda and Toyota to announce production cuts at some North American factories. Ford’s move is likely to tighten inventory of F-Series pickups, the top-selling vehicles in America. 

EX-HEALTH DIRECTOR

Whitmer, ex-health director agree to waive confidentiality

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office says the state and her former health director have amended his $155,000 severance deal to remove a confidentiality clause that has drawn criticism. Robert Gordon abruptly resigned in January, the day he issued a coronavirus order allowing restaurants to reopen for indoor dining after a monthslong closure. A month later, he signed a separation agreement in which the sides agreed to maintain confidentiality regarding his departure. The parties agreed Wednesday to waive the confidentiality provision “in the interest of greater transparency,” according to the governor’s office.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SUMMER SCHOOL

US schools prepare summer of learning to help kids catch up

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Schools and camps across the county are making plans to help kids catch up academically this summer after a year or more of remote learning for many of them. The governors of California, Virginia and Kansas are among those pushing for more summer learning, as are districts in many towns and cities, including Los Angeles, Atlanta and Hartford, Connecticut. Education experts say the pandemic has left many kids trailing behind where they otherwise would be and that it’s crucial for kids to do some learning over the summer. The new coronavirus stimulus package should help, as it allocates about $122 billion in aid to K-12 public schools, including about $30 billion specifically for summer school, after-school and other enrichment programs. 

STOLEN CAR-CHILD INSIDE

Boy taken in car stolen from Detroit gas station found safe

DETROIT (AP) — A man with a cast on his leg, wearing a hospital band and using a walker stole a car with a 7-year-old boy inside from outside a Detroit gas station. Detroit police say a 28-year-old man drove to the business about 5 p.m. Wednesday and went inside to buy something. The car was taken while he was inside. The boy was found safe about three miles from the gas station. The car has not been recovered.

TESLA CRASH-PATROL CAR

US sends investigators to probe another Michigan Tesla crash

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — For the second time this week, the U.S. government’s road safety agency is sending a team to investigate a Tesla crash in Michigan. This time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is sending a special crash investigation team because a Tesla using the company’s Autopilot partially automated driving system crashed into a State Police cruiser along a freeway. It’s another sign that the safety agency under President Joe Biden may be taking a stronger look at regulating driver-assist systems such as Autopilot, as well as self-driving automobiles. In the freeway crash, the police car was parked on Interstate 96 near Lansing while a trooper investigated a car-deer crash early Wednesday. Neither the trooper nor the 22-year-old Tesla driver were injured in the 1:10 a.m. crash.