Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT
VIRUS OUTBREAK-EMERGENCY LAW
State board ordered to OK bill to end emergency powers law
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has unanimously ordered the state elections board to certify a veto-proof initiative that would let Republican legislators wipe from the books a law Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used to issue sweeping pandemic orders. The decision Friday came after two Democrats on the Board of State Canvassers opposed ratifying the ballot measure in April, despite a finding from the elections bureau that enough signatures had been collected. The justices say the four-member panel “has a clear legal duty to certify the petition.” The canvassers are expected to meet soon to certify the petition.
Court: Judge who lost race gets 6-year ban for misconduct
LAPEER, Mich. (AP) — A judge who lost reelection in November while a misconduct case against him was pending will be barred from serving again for six years. The Michigan Supreme Court announced the result Friday against former Lapeer County Judge Byron Konschuh. The misconduct case against Konschuh stemmed from acts that occurred when he was a judge and years earlier when he was a prosecutor. Konschuh deposited at least 42 checks totaling more than $1,000 into his personal accounts when he was prosecutor. They were fees owed by a collections company hired in bad check cases. Konschuh argued that he used the money to reimburse a portion of his personal spending on office snacks and other expenses.
FOUR SHOT-DETROIT DRIVE-BY
Man slain, 2 others and boy wounded during drive-by shooting
DETROIT (AP) — Three men and a 6-year-old boy have been shot during a drive-by shooting on Detroit’s westside. Police say the victims were outside about 6:30 p.m. Thursday when shots were fired in their direction from a passing SUV. Four men were inside the vehicle which was driven away. A 51-year-old man was pronounced dead at a hospital. The other men, ages 38 and 22, and the boy were in stable condition at the hospital. No arrests have been made.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN-DOCTOR-SEXUAL ASSAULT
Schembechler son, players say Michigan coach knew of abuse
NOVI, Mich. (AP) — One of late 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.
US to seek automated braking requirement for heavy trucks
DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto safety regulators say they will move to require or set standards for automatic emergency braking systems on new heavy trucks. The regulatory stance is an about-face from policies under the Trump administration, which opposed many vehicle safety regulations. The Department of Transportation announced the change Friday when it released its spring regulatory agenda. The department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also says it will set rigorous testing standards for autonomous vehicles and develop a national database to document automated vehicle crashes. The announcement comes two days after four people were killed when a milk tanker going too fast collided with seven passenger vehicles on a Phoenix freeway.
Indiana man gets life for role in woman’s torture-slaying
GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana man convicted for his role in the 2019 torture-slaying of a woman whose body was dumped in southern Michigan has been sentenced to life in prison without parole. A judge gave 22-year-old Donald Owen Jr., the life sentence Thursday despite pleas for a lesser sentence from Kimberly Dyer’s mother and aunt, who cited evidence from prosecutors that another man had killed her. The Elkhart Truth reports the judge said prosecutors had proved their case for life without parole, based on the crime’s circumstances. Owen was convicted of murder in April along with 20-year-old co-defendant Mario Angulo Jr., who prosecutors said killed Dyer.
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.