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


Drive to repeal law Whitmer used in pandemic clears hurdle

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group trying to repeal an emergency powers law that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used to issue coronavirus restrictions has cleared a key hurdle after the Michigan elections bureau said it collected enough petitions. Staff said Monday that Unlock Michigan, which has ties to Republicans, submitted 460,000 valid signatures, more than the 340,000 needed. If the Board of State Canvassers agrees to certify the initiative, the Republican-led Legislature will likely pass it. Whitmer couldn’t veto it. The Michigan Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional. But the initiative’s organizers say the law should be permanently repealed because future justices could rule differently.


Father angry after teacher cuts biracial daughter’s hair

A Michigan father has moved his 7-year-old biracial daughter from one school to another after the child’s hair was cut on separate occasions by a classmate and a teacher. Jimmy Hoffmeyer said Monday he also is considering taking his daughter, Jurnee, out of Mount Pleasant Public Schools and enrolling her in a private school. Hoffmeyer says that on March 24, Jurnee arrived home with much of the hair on one side missing, cut by a classmate on the school bus. Two days later — after complaining to the principal and having Jurnee’s hair styled with an asymmetrical cut to make the differing lengths less obvious — she arrived home with the hair on the other side cut by a teacher who tried to “to even it out.”


Michigan commits to $97 million investment into recycling

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — On the week of Earth Day a group of Michigan leaders has announced the state’s $97 commitment to funding recycling efforts statewide. NextCycle Michigan is an initiative to support the state’s sustainability goals to get Michigan to a 30% recycling rate by 2025 and 45% eventually. Leaders announced Monday in addition to NextCycle, $4.9 million in grants have been awarded by Renew Michigan to support community efforts to improve recycling.


Rise and shine: Woman to explore Michigan rustic campgrounds

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Curious about pit toilets? Well, Paige Lackey might be seeing a lot of them. The young woman and her dog, Willow, are hitting the road to learn more about Michigan’s remote rustic campgrounds. Over five months, Lackey plans to visit 77 of Michigan’s 145 state forest campgrounds in the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula. The goal is to collect information for the Department of Natural Resources and people who want to get off the beaten path. Lackey will collect GPS data for mapping, update the DNR’s photo library and evaluate signs. She’ll be sharing her thoughts on a blog for General RV.


Detroit police fatally shoot man after pursuit, gun battle

Police say a man who drove through a Detroit crime scene where five people were shot and one person died in a car crash was fatally shot by officers following a pursuit and gun battle. The early Monday shooting of the 27-year-old man was caught on police video. More than a dozen shots appeared to have been fired by the man and officers. Police were investigating the earlier shooting, which occurred about 10:50 p.m. Sunday, when the man drove by in an SUV and fired a shot that struck a police vehicle. Police pursued the SUV to the city’s east side, where the man was shot after running from the vehicle. His name wasn’t immediately released.


Legislators back expanded gambling at tribe’s Indiana casino

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana legislators have endorsed a deal allowing the tribal casino in South Bend to become a full-fledged competitor to Indiana’s other casinos. The Indiana House voted Monday for final legislative approval of the agreement signed in January by Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Michigan-based Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. It will allow the tribe’s Four Winds South Bend Casino to offer live table games such as blackjack and roulette, slot machines and sports betting. The casino has been limited under federal law to only electronic games since it opened in 2018. In exchange, the tribe will pay 8% of its slot machine winnings to the state.


2 killed after SUV hits building during drag race in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — Two people have been killed after the SUV they were in struck a Detroit building during an illegal drag race. The Detroit Free Press reports that the SUV and another vehicle were racing along an eastside street about 11:15 p.m. Saturday when the crash occurred. A male and female in the SUV were pronounced dead at a hospital. Police said the second vehicle drove away. The crash was under investigation.


Fowler’s Mia Riley wins AP Division 4 Player of Year award

Mia Riley has been voted The Associated Press Division 4 Player of the Year in girls basketball. The junior showcased her versatile skills to college coaches while helping Fowler breakthrough for its first state championship since 1991. Riley averaged 14.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.6 steals and 2.7 assists. She helped Fowler win all its postseason games by double figures en route to its second state championship in program history.


Michigan governor says COVID-19 infections could be dropping

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — After leading the nation’s COVID-19 daily case rate for weeks, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday that Michigan could be seeing a drop in infections. Whitmer has extended a pandemic order that limits business capacity and requires masks in public, but the Democrat has avoided further restrictions in place during previous surges, including suspending indoor restaurant dining. She tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” cases could be beginning to slow down. She didn’t discuss specific data and Michigan doesn’t release coronavirus-related data on Sundays. Health officials said Friday that the seven-day average positivity rate had dropped in recent days to 17.1%, but remained above a December peak of 14.4%.


NMU faculty want raises after a one-year pay freeze

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) — Professors at Northern Michigan University say they took “one for the team” during the pandemic, agreeing to a one-year pay freeze. Now they want a better deal from administrators at the Upper Peninsula school. Faculty held signs and held a rally last week to bring attention to contract talks. Union leader Dwight Brady says NMU has proposed a two-year contract with no increase in base pay along with a 1% bonus. The current contract expires June 30. NMU President Fritz Erickson says he’s looking forward to “fruitful talks.”