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WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY-DONATION

Western Michigan gets $550M gift from anonymous alumni

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A group of anonymous alumni has gifted $550 million to Western Michigan University. The school in Kalamazoo says it will receive the funding over 10 years. It will be divided among scholarships, investing in quality educators, advancing medical research and education, and bolstering Western Michigan athletics. The university says it is the largest gift ever made to a public, higher education institution in the United States. Western Michigan’s main campus in Kalamazoo is about 140 miles west of Detroit. It has more than 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

CHILD STABBED

Man accused of murder, crime spree turns himself in

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — An ex-convict repeatedly yawned and raised his middle finger as he appeared in a mid-Michigan court. Isaiah Gardenhire is charged in the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend’s teen daughter and a series of other crimes in Isabella County. Gardenhire surrendered to police Monday night outside a liquor store in the Flint area. The 40-year-old was wanted for a homicide and sexual assault reported early Sunday in Union Township, near Mount Pleasant. Authorities say Gardenhire’s girlfriend was assaulted and her 13-year-old daughter was killed. Gardenhire is also accused of entering a nearby apartment, assaulting another woman and stealing a car.

SECRETARY OF STATE-APPOINTMENTS

Benson adds 350K appointments to address backlog at branches

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says her office is adding 350,000 appointments over nearly four months to address a pandemic-related backlog as residents try to renew driver’s licenses, transfer vehicle titles and conduct other business in person. Branch offices will be able to serve 25% more customers than planned by shortening 20-minute appointment slots to 10 minutes. Benson also will allow those who need a disability placard to show up without making an appointment. Greeters will be stationed at the doors of some of the department’s busiest offices to help schedule appointments.

MICHIGAN BUDGET-PRESCHOOL

Whitmer: Expand preschool to 22,000 4-year-olds in Michigan

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proposed expanding government-funded preschool to 22,000 eligible but unenrolled 4-year-olds in Michigan, saying too many cannot access an “incredible opportunity” because of inadequate funding. The expansion is designed to ensure all 65,000 eligible kids can attend either through the federal Head Start program or the state’s Great Start Readiness Program, which covers kids whose families make up to 250% of the federal poverty level. It would be funded with an infusion of $250 million in federal coronavirus relief aid and $155 million in state dollars. Whitmer says spending on preschool pays “massive dividends” in the future.

DETROIT EX-MAYOR

Ex-Detroit mayor plans to preach this weekend in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — A former Detroit mayor says he dropped to his knees in January when he learned that President Donald Trump was releasing him after he had served a portion of a 28-year prison sentence for corruption. Kwame Kilpatrick says he thanked God and promised to stay faithful. Kilpatrick, who lives in the Atlanta area, gave an interview to Deadline Detroit, a news website. Kilpatrick says he plans to study theology and is scheduled to preach this weekend at two Detroit churches. Kilpatrick led Bible studies and worship services in prison. He says he’s also planning to get married again. 

MITCHELL-HEALTH

Ex-Rep. Paul Mitchell survives surgery, fights cancer

DETROIT (AP) — A former Michigan congressman says he survived a high-risk surgery to remove a mass and a blood clot near his heart. Paul Mitchell didn’t seek reelection in 2020 after two terms. He says he was recently diagnosed with renal cancer. Mitchell told radio station WJR that he was near death when he had surgery two weeks ago at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital. In 2016 and 2018, Mitchell was elected in the 10th District, a safe Republican seat in Michigan’s Thumb. In December, near the end of his second term, Mitchell quit the Republican Party and became an independent as a protest against GOP efforts to fight President Joe Biden’s election victory.

AP-US-LORDSTOWN-MOTORS-FINANCIAL-TROUBLE

Startup Lordstown Motors warns it may not stay in business

DETROIT (AP) — Startup commercial electric vehicle maker Lordstown Motors says it may not be in business a year from now as it tries to secure funding to start full production of an electric pickup truck. In a quarterly regulatory filing released Tuesday, Lordstown says the $587 million it had on hand as of March 31 isn’t enough to start commercial production and begin selling the truck. The company says it’s seeking more capital but may not be able to raise it. Lordstown says it may not be a going concern within a year. 

VIRUS OUTBREAK-EDUCATION SECRETARY

US education secretary promotes vaccine efforts at colleges

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — The Biden administration’s top education official visited a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at a Detroit-area college. It’s part of a White House effort to encourage similar efforts across the country. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona says it’s “all hands on deck.” He stopped Tuesday at Henry Ford College in Dearborn. Cardona also talked about the Biden administration’s COVID-19 College Challenge, in which colleges and universities commit to working to get their communities vaccinated. The challenge is part of President Joe Biden’s effort to get at least one dose into 70% of American adults by July 4.

CEMETERY CRASH-HEADSTONES STRUCK

Driver plows through cemetery fence, hits 12 headstones

SPRING LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A motorist failed to stop at a T-intersection in western Michigan, plowed through a cemetery’s chain-link fence and struck about a dozen headstones. The Ottawa County sheriff’s office says the vehicle traveled more than 150 feet inside Spring Lake Cemetery before it came to a stop about 3:50 a.m. Tuesday. People in the area located the 59-year-old driver and took her to a hospital. She suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening. Deputies said a medical condition may have contributed to the crash. Spring Lake Township is northwest of Grand Rapids.

NEIGHBORS KILLED

Police: Man said he killed SW Michigan couple over noise

GALESBURG, Mich. (AP) — A man accused of killing two neighbors in southwestern Michigan told police that he shot them last week because they were too loud and he couldn’t sleep. That’s according to a court document filed in Kalamazoo County. A sheriff’s investigator says William Wolfe knocked at the apartment door in Galesburg and shot Virgil Walker and wife Kailey “without warning.” Wolfe told police that he said goodbye to his cat, drove away and then called 911. Investigators say Wolfe’s mental health might have played a role. He’s in custody on murder charges.