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VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

Detroit going door-to-door to promote vaccination sites

The city of Detroit is hoping to push vaccination numbers up by sending teams door-to-door throughout neighborhoods to promote walk-in sites. The city says Detroit Health Department teams began fanning out Saturday and on Monday started ramping up efforts in six neighborhoods surrounding recreation centers, a community resource center and a church where vaccinations are being held. So far, canvassers have knocked on 4,936 doors through Monday. Fewer than 31% of city residents have been vaccinated, compared with more than 50% statewide. Nearby counties also have outpaced Detroit from 48.5% in adjacent Macomb County to 59.5% in Washtenaw County to the west.

FATAL SHOOTINGS-LANSING

Police identify man, woman shot to death at Lansing home

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Police in Lansing have released the names of a man and woman shot to death at a home over the weekend. Police on Monday say the bodies of 39-year-old Harley Owens and 29-year-old Kelsey Coon-Lennon were found early Saturday morning by officers responding to a report of a shooting. Coon-Lennon and Owens both lived in Lansing. Police say that no arrests have been made.

DETROIT COUNCILMAN CHARGED

Detroit councilman resigns, pleads guilty to misconduct

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland has resigned from office and admitted in court to accepting an illegal cash campaign contribution. The Detroit News reports that Leland pleaded guilty Monday in Wayne County Circuit Court to misconduct in office and his attorney later announced that Leland also stepped down from his elected post. Sentencing is scheduled for June 7. Court documents have said the contribution was $7,500. A prosecutor said last year that the cash was to influence a vote. A federal grand jury also indicted Leland in 2018 on corruption charges tied to $15,000 in bribes and free auto body work. Defense attorney Steve Fishman says Leland is expected to face no jail time and the separate federal case was expected to be dismissed.

ANCHOR STRIKE-POWER CABLES

Company begins replacing underwater cables damaged by anchor

PEWAUKEE, Wis. (AP) — The company whose underwater power cables were damaged by an anchor strike in Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac says it’s beginning to install replacements. A ship anchor in April 2018 struck three of American Transmission Co.’s six cables, which moved electricity between the Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula. Two were severed and another was seriously damaged. About 600 gallons of insulation fluid leaked into the straits, which connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. It will take about seven months to finish removing the old cables and lay the new ones.

MICHIGAN LAWMAKER-ARRESTED

Michigan lawmaker arrested for driving while intoxicated

ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A state lawmaker who crashed his car in western Michigan has been arrested for driving while intoxicated. State. Rep. Bryan Posthumus was arrested Friday. The Republican had left his farm in Oakfield Township in a Jeep, which drifted off the road, hit a mailbox and rolled over.  He was was taken to a hospital for evaluation and released. According to the lawmaker’s office, his blood alcohol level was .13% when Michigan’s legal limit is .08%. Posthumus released a statement late Saturday apologizing, saying it’s clear he has a problem with drinking and plans to attend alcoholics anonymous meetings. He was previously arrested in January 2013 for operating while intoxicated. 

SUICIDE PREVENTION GRANTS-MICHIGAN

Grants awarded for suicide prevention programs in Michigan

DETROIT (AP) — Nine organizations across Michigan will share $650,000 for suicide prevention programs. The funding is from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, Michigan Health Endowment Fund, the Children’s Foundation, and the Detroit-based Ethel and James Flinn Foundation. It will establish the Suicide Prevention Support for Health Care Clinics Working with Michigan’s Health-Disparate Populations initiative. The program offers grants to develop evidence-based and sustainable programming aimed at decreasing the rate of suicide attempts and deaths by identifying children or adults who may be at risk. 

VIRTUAL-FIRST CARE

Employers, insurers push to make virtual visits regular care

Some U.S. employers and insurers want you to make telemedicine your first choice for most doctor visits. Retail giant Amazon and several insurers have started or expanded virtual-first care plans to get people thinking telemedicine routinely, even for annual checkups. They’re trying to make it easier for patients to connect with a regular doctor by using remote care that grew during the COVID-19 pandemic. Advocates say this approach can keep patients healthy and out of expensive hospitals. But some doctors worry that it may create an over-reliance on virtual visits.

BICYCLISTS KILLED-DRIVER

Driver in hit-and-run that killed 2 women given 18 years

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man will spend at least 18 years in prison after pleading no contest to charges in connection to a June crash that killed two women who were riding their bicycles. According to prosecutors, 29-year-old Coleen Huling and 25-year-old Melissa Williams were riding on the shoulder of a road in London Township when Ryan Miettinen hit them with his car and fled. A Monroe County judge ordered that Miettinen, who is 22, serve at least 18 years before becoming eligible for parole. 

STUDIO-HISTORIC SITE

Michigan art studio added to Register of Historic Places

BENZONIA, Mich. (AP) — A northern Michigan art studio that is a tourist destination has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The studio belonged to Gwen Frostic, who made stationery and prints from linoleum block carvings. The business began in suburban Detroit in the 1950s before Frostic opened a shop in Frankfort and a studio in Benzonia in Benzie County. Frostic died in 2001. The studio now is owned by Kim and Greg Forshee. The studio was nominated by Debra Ball Johnson, a historical architect with the State Historic Preservation Office. Western Michigan University’s art school is named for Frostic.

FOUNDATION GRANTS-MICHIGAN

Foundation awards $200K to 7 Detroit-area nonprofits

DETROIT (AP) — Seven Detroit-area nonprofits will share $200,000 from the Detroit Auto Dealers Association Charitable Foundation Fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The organizations provide youth mental health services, disability services, and academic support. Among those receiving awards are CARE of Southeast Michigan which will get $50,000 to increase in-person and virtual counseling for youth in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the LifeLab Kids Foundation which will use $40,000 in funding to provide parent and patient-led telehealth services in response to COVID-19 for children with special needs. Racquet Up Detroit is getting $30,000 for a youth development and academic enrichment program for Detroit students.