Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT
Schembechler son, players say Michigan coach knew of abuse
NOVI, Mich. (AP) — One of legendary University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler’s sons and two of his former players have described in detail how they were molested by the team’s longtime doctor and how Schembechler turned a blind eye when they told him about it. Matt Schembechler, and former players Daniel Kwiatkowski and Gilvanni Johnson told similar stories during a news conference Thursday about how Dr. Robert E. Anderson, who died in 2008, molested and digitally penetrated them during physical exams decades ago. They also talked about how Bo Schembechler, who died in 2006 and whose statue stands outside a university building that bears his name, refused to protect them and allowed Anderson to continue abusing players and other patients for years.
MICHIGAN BUDGET-FEDERAL AID
Whitmer seeks $250M for parks; Senate has $1.5B bridge plan
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has called for spending a “historic” $250 million in federal coronavirus relief aid to upgrade state parks and trails. Thursday’s announcement comes as Senate Republicans propose a $1.5 billion plan to fix deteriorating local bridges. They’re the latest proposals added to the mix as the Democratic governor and Legislature consider how to use $6.5 billion in discretionary COVID-19 funding included in a rescue package. Whitmer says the pandemic disproportionately hit the tourism industry and hospitality sector, and that funds should be used to help tourism-reliant communities rebound. She points to a backlog of maintenance requests at parks.
Lottery winner in 2010 food stamp flap found dead in river
MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan lottery winner who made headlines in 2010 when he collected food stamps despite getting nearly $1 million has been found dead in a river. Police say the body found last Saturday in the Tittabawassee River was identified as 69-year-old Leroy Fick of Auburn. The cause of death was not disclosed. Fick collected nearly $1 million after taking the lump-sum option on a $2 million lottery prize. He said he still received food stamp benefits because large lottery winnings apparently didn’t disqualify him. The Michigan Legislature changed the law after another lottery winner reported similar circumstances.
Culture of Corruption: ex-UAW leader gets 28-month sentence
DETROIT (AP) — Former United Auto Workers president Gary Jones was sentenced to 28 months in prison for scheming to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars in union dues. U.S. District Judge Paul Borman in Detroit sentenced the 64-year-old Jones on Thursday. Prosecutors sought 28 months in prison, lower than federal sentencing guidelines of 46 to 57 months. They cited Jones’ acceptance of responsibility and cooperation in a wide-ranging federal corruption probe of the union. But they also said the sentence should be enough to deter future corruption. Jones’ lawyer also pointed to his cooperation and said most of the crimes happened before he was named president. Jones apologized to the court, the union and his family and said he failed them.
Police mural in Detroit suburb sparks backlash
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit suburb is defending the recent unveiling of a large mural of police officers holding hands with heads bowed in front of the American flag. Sterling Heights says it has no plans to remove the painting, despite regret expressed by the artist. The Detroit Institute of Arts, a partner in the project, acknowledges that some people are offended by the image. The mural, titled “To Serve and Protect,” is a replica of a painting that was in the lobby of the Sterling Heights police department. The city says the mural serves as a memorial to the city’s officers who died in the line of duty.
SECRETARY OF STATE-APPOINTMENTS
Senate: Extend lapsed licenses, plates; keep walk-in option
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Senate has voted to give drivers more time to renew an expired license and vehicle registration during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s also voted to pressure Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to restore people’s ability to visit branches without an appointment. The bills won approval Thursday from all 19 Republicans in the majority and six Democrats. They now go to the House. Benson is a Democrat who opposes a return to the take-a-number system. She is adding 350,000 appointments to help address a backlog caused by a 13-month grace period for expired license plates and driver’s licenses during the pandemic.
Former Michigan State star to remain in jail in murder case
DETROIT (AP) — A former Michigan State University basketball star has been ordered to remain in jail during his first court appearance on murder and other charges in Detroit. Defense attorney Andrew Abood asked for a bond, saying Keith Appling had always appeared in court in previous cases. But a magistrate denied bond, noting the first-degree murder charge. Abood entered a not-guilty plea on Appling’s behalf. Appling is accused of killing 66-year-old Clyde Edmonds during a dispute over a gun. Appling played for Michigan State from 2010 to 2014. His coach, Tom Izzo, says the allegations are sad.
XGR-ELDER ABUSE BILLS
Michigan Elder Abuse Task Force announces new legislation
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan task force has come up with legislation aimed at protecting senior citizens from abuse by creating requirements and oversight for guardians and conservators. The measures are the result of two years of planning solutions and prosecutions by members of the Michigan Elder Abuse Task Force. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel was joined for the announcement at a media conference Thursday by other stakeholders who spoke about the importance of caring for some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens and creating accountability for those who take on the responsibility of care.
Ex-assistant state AG enters plea in misconduct case
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — A former assistant state attorney general has pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty by a public officer. The Kent County prosecutor’s office says Brian Kolodziej also agreed Wednesday to a 5-year suspension of his law license. Two felony charges of misconduct in office were dismissed. Kolodziej was charged in December, more than a year after he was forced to resign when authorities learned he had an intimate relationship with a woman while handling her allegations of sexual assault. Kolodziej was prosecuting a former Central Michigan University student who insisted he had consensual sex with the woman in 2016 after meeting her at a Mount Pleasant bar.
WHITE SUPREMACISTS ARRESTED
Neo-Nazi group members linked to attack plot plead guilty
GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — Two neo-Nazi group members whose talk of planning an attack at a Virginia gun rights rally was secretly recorded by the FBI have pleaded guilty to gun charges and obstruction of justice. Patrik Jordan Mathews, Brian Mark Lemley Jr. and a third member of The Base were arrested on federal charges in Maryland ahead of the January 2020 rally at Virginia’s Capitol in Richmond. Mathews and Lemley entered their guilty pleas at separate hearings on Thursday. They are scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 28.