Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT
VIRUS OUTBREAK-HEALTH DIRECTOR
Ex-Michigan health chief ordered to testify about departure
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Former Michigan health director Robert Gordon will testify next week before a legislative committee about his abrupt departure from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration, following the panel’s vote to subpoena him. Gordon ordered coronavirus restrictions after the governor lost powers in a court ruling. He resigned in January as director of the state Department of Health and Human Services and received $155,000 in a separation agreement. The reason for his exit is unclear. He quit after signing an order allowing restaurants to reopen for indoor dining. Amid criticism, the state and Gordon amended the severance deal to remove a confidentiality clause.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-EMERGENCY LAW
Michigan board deadlocks on measure to repeal emergency law
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s elections board has deadlocked on certifying a veto-proof initiative that would enable the Republican-led Legislature to wipe from the books a law Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used to issue sweeping pandemic orders last year. The 2-2 vote means proponents of the ballot drive will go to court. Democrats on the Board of State Canvassers voted not to certify the citizen-initiated measure despite a recommendation by the state elections bureau, which determined Unlock Michigan collected 460,00 valid signatures — more than the roughly 340,000 needed. Republicans supported certification.
Ex-priest pleads guilty to abuse in Upper Peninsula in ’80s
ONTONAGON, Mich. (AP) — A former priest who left Michigan decades ago has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing teens in the Upper Peninsula in the 1980s. The attorney general’s office says 75-year-old Gary Jacobs pleaded guilty to four counts of criminal sexual conduct in Ontonagon County and will serve at least eight years in prison. Jacobs is scheduled to make a similar similar plea deal in Dickinson County on May 3. The Diocese of Marquette has said Jacobs was removed from ministry in 1988 and left the state. He was living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when he was charged in January 2020.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINE BONUS
Detroit teachers to get $500 bonus if they’re vaccinated
DETROIT (AP) — Teachers and other Detroit school employees who get a COVID-19 vaccination are eligible for a $500 bonus and two additional sick days. The sick days are intended to help school employees who might have side effects after a shot. But Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says the sick days can also be carried over if not used. The vaccine bonus will be paid with COVID-19 money from the federal government. More than 30% of school staff have been vaccinated. Detroit has stopped regular in-person learning through at least May 11 because of rising COVID-19 cases in Detroit.
Woman wins drunken driving case at Michigan Supreme Court
BAD AXE, Mich. (AP) — An anonymous call alleging that a driver could be drunk wasn’t enough for police to make a traffic stop in Huron County in Michigan’s Thumb. That’s the opinion of the Michigan Supreme Court. The court says the stop violated constitutional protections against search and seizure. A police officer followed the woman’s car but didn’t see any violations before stopping the vehicle. The woman was charged with drunken driving while with a child and having an open container of alcohol. Justice Richard Bernstein says being obnoxious and yelling at kids doesn’t create a reasonable suspicion that someone is drunk.
Biden to restore California’s power to set pollution rules
DETROIT (AP) — The Transportation Department is moving to reverse former President Donald Trump’s bid to end California’s ability to set its own auto pollution standards. The department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it is proposing to withdraw a rule meant to stop states from setting their own greenhouse-gas and zero-emissions vehicle requirements. The change would allow California and 15 states that follow its standards to set their own rules. President Joe Biden has said he will seek one national standard, as was the case under former President Barack Obama. Trump’s 2019 decision to end California’s independence was challenged in court by the state and environmental groups. The public has about a month to comment on the measure.
Police: Arrested Michigan lawmaker warned he’d call governor
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Police say a Michigan lawmaker who was arrested for drunken driving and resisting officers threatened to call Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and told state troopers it wouldn’t be good for them because he oversees their budget. Rep. Jewell Jones, an Inkster Democrat, was charged in Livingston County last week after driving into a ditch along Interstate 96. Police say they struggled to handcuff Jones, who allegedly ignored commands. They say he warned officers not to hit him, saying it would be very bad for them and that he would call Whitmer. Jones’ lawyer has said he’s presumed innocent.
Lawsuit against attorney Mike Morse can go ahead, court says
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — A woman who claims a high-profile Detroit-area lawyer grabbed her breast can pursue a claim of emotional distress. The Michigan Supreme Court declined to intervene in the case. The decision means an appeals court ruling will stand in a lawsuit against Mike Morse. He’s known for TV ads that feature his mother and tout his success in representing people in injury cases. A woman alleges that Morse grabbed her left breast in 2017 when they posed for a picture at a restaurant. Morse denies it. The appeals court last year said the woman’s claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress can move forward, although the legal threshold is high. Morse’s lawyer, Deb Gordon, says the lawsuit is a “sham.”
BKH-ALL STATE-DIVISION 1
Morasha Wiggins, Jillian Brown named AP D1 Players of Year
The Michigan Associated Press All-State voting panel didn’t have it easy when it came to selecting the Player of the Year in Division 1 for girls basketball. East Grand Rapids’ Jillian Brown and Kalamazoo Central’s Morasha Wiggins were both Miss Basketball finalists. They averaged over 20 points a game, helped their teams advance to the regional finals and are headed to Power 5 schools to play hoops. It’s no surprise Wiggins and Brown will share the honor of being named Player of the Year.
Consumer Reports tricks Tesla to drive with no one at wheel
SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Consumer Reports says it was able to easily trick a Tesla into driving in the car’s Autopilot mode without a person in the driver’s seat. Its revelation comes just days after a Tesla crashed in Texas, killing the two men in the car. Authorities say neither of the men were behind the wheel at the time of the Texas crash. Consumer Reports said Thursday that during several trips on its closed tracks with an empty driver’s seat, its Tesla Model Y automatically steered along painted lane lines without acknowledging that nobody was at the controls. Tesla, which has disbanded its press office, did not immediately respond to inquiries about the Consumer Reports assertions.