Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT


Soldano raises most money of Republican governor candidates

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Kalamazoo chiropractor Garrett Soldano raised nearly $625,000 since launching his run for governor, topping the field of Republican candidates vying to face Democrat Gretchen Whitmer next year. Soldano, who launched his campaign in April, reports spending about $250,000 as of last week, leaving him with $375,000 on hand with just over a year until the primary. Whitmer had $10.7 million in the bank after collecting $8.6 million since the start of 2021. Soldano’s fundraising is more than triple the Republican contender with the second-highest amount, Oakland County pastor Ralph Rebandt II.


Judge tells county to retrieve some COVID-19 relief payments

CORUNNA, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan county has been ordered to claw back COVID-19 relief payments from some of its workers after a resident challenged the way the federal money was approved. It’s the latest development in a controversy over how Republicans who control government in Shiawassee County handled a windfall from the federal government. A judge directed the county to recover any “hazard pay” bonuses that exceed $5,000. Attorney Philip Ellison says county commissioners violated Michigan’s open meeting law on July 15. Ellison says the injunction doesn’t affect frontline county employees who received $1,000 to $2,000. Ellison is targeting larger payments that went to elected officials and senior employees in Shiawassee County. 


Whitmer OKs $385M bill with aid for hospitals, nursing homes

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a $385 million supplemental budget bill, two-thirds of which will go to Michigan hospitals and nursing homes confronting financial pressures due to the coronavirus pandemic. The new law also allocates $10 million in state emergency spending for the response to tornadoes or flooding in four counties in late June and $105 million to increase subsidy rates by 40% for child care providers that serve low-income children, retroactive to last October. All but $17 million of the funding is from federal COVID-19 relief aid enacted by Congress and former President Donald Trump.


Michigan board declines to certify LGBTQ rights ballot drive

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan elections board has declined to certify an LGBTQ-rights ballot drive because it didn’t submit enough voter signatures. Monday’s 4-0 vote comes after the state did a second review and estimated Fair and Equal Michigan turned in 263,000 valid signatures. That’s 76,000 short. The group is vowing to appeal in court. The proposal would revise the state’s 1976 civil rights law to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations. Organizers want to place the measure before the Republican-led Legislature. If lawmakers didn’t act, it would go to a statewide vote.


Man wrongly convicted of two murders awarded about $10M

DETROIT (AP) — Arbitrators have awarded about $10 million to a Detroit-area man who spent more than 16 years in prison before two murder convictions were overturned. Mubarez Ahmed insisted he was wrongly convicted of a 2001 double homicide in Detroit. In 2018, the Wayne County prosecutor’s office acknowledged that the convictions were fueled by false testimony and other problems. Ahmed was released from prison in 2018 and subsequently sued Detroit police, saying his rights were violated. Ahmed’s convictions were investigated by private eye Scott Lewis and the Innocence Clinic at University of Michigan law school.


Detroit-area man dies in fall at Pictured Rocks park

MUNISING, Mich. (AP) — A 21-year-old man from the Detroit area lost his footing and fell to his death at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula. The man was identified as Dominic Rotondi of Lincoln Park. Authorities say Rotondi stepped over a barrier Saturday evening at the top of Miners Castle, lost his footing and fell about 100 feet, striking the cliff face. He landed in Lake Superior. Miners Castle is the only cliff area at Pictured Rocks accessible by vehicle.


7 at candlelight vigil in Detroit shot in drive-by incident

DETROIT, Mich. (AP) — Detroit police say a man in a car opened fire on a candlelight vigil, injuring seven people, including one critically. Police say the six others wounded in the shooting Sunday night on Detroit’s west side were listed in serious condition. The candlelight vigil attended by about 100 people was being held for a man who died Friday night in an ATV crash. Detroit Police Chief James White went to the scene early Monday morning.  He says officers “found a number of different shell casings in the area so it’s possible there was some return fire.” 


Family puzzled over missing tree; CMU says new one coming

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — The family of a longtime Central Michigan University administrator likes to visit a tree and plaque that were placed in his honor. So relatives were surprised during a recent visit: the memorial for Edward Brown was gone. A daughter scrambled to get some answers. CMU says the buckeye tree and plaque were removed outside Foust Hall due to a construction project. The tree was too large to transplant. Brown was CMU’s health administrator from 1976 until his death in 1990. The university says a new tree will be planted in September and the plaque will return. Theresa Brown Hoffman calls the news “very positive.”


Whitmer’s veto of reading scholarships sparks voucher debate

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s veto of $155 million in proposed spending on reading scholarships for students has sparked fresh criticism from opponents who say it would have addressed pandemic-related learning loss and approval from those who liken the grants to vouchers. The Democratic governor struck the Republican-backed program while signing a $17 billion school budget this month. It would have been funded with federal COVID-19 aid. The Republican-controlled House unsuccessfully tried to override the veto last week. The funding would have gone to Grand Valley State University to disburse up to $1,000 each to public K-5 students not proficient in reading.


Tornadoes confirmed near Flint, Detroit; 1,000s lose power

DETROIT (AP) — The National Weather  Service says tornadoes struck near Detroit and near Flint on Saturday evening. It says two EF-1 tornadoes touched down in Genesee County’s Clayton Township around 6:30 p.m. and in Oakland County around 7:45 p.m. Damage from both storms was consistent with winds of 100 mph (161 kilometers per hour). Both twisters traveled about 1.8 miles (2.9 kilometers), damaging trees. One person suffered minor injuries.