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Some schools closed, power out for 58K after Michigan storms

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — Classes have been canceled Wednesday in a western Michigan school districts as crews work to restore power and clear debris from a storm that swept across the state. Consumers Energy says about 28,000 customers have no electricity as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, while DTE Energy reports nearly 30,000 without power as of 5:24 p.m.. Schools in the Orchard View district in Muskegon County were closed due to power problems and damage to a school. Muskegon Community College also canceled classes. Classes also were canceled for Kalamazoo Central High School for Wednesday and Thursday. Power was out at the school and was not expected to be restored until late Thursday.


Michigan updates quarantine guidance for masked students

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has issued updated guidance to help schools and local health departments navigate whether asymptomatic students exposed to a coronavirus-infected student should quarantine at home or stay in school. Unvaccinated but masked students who were less than 3 feet from a COVID-positive student now can remain in school but only if they are tested daily for seven days after the exposure. Such a student previously would have been told to isolate for 10 days or seven days with a negative test. The recommendation is among many included for the first time in a school-specific document for the general public.


AP FACT CHECK: Biden overstates UAW support of electric cars

DETROIT (AP) — President Joe Biden is glossing over important details and oversimplifying the facts when it comes to United Auto Workers’ support for his effort to dramatically boost U.S. production of electric vehicles. That’s according to an AP Fact Check. In remarks Wednesday, Biden said UAW backed the effort by the largest automakers and his administration to significantly increase EV sales, which is part of his plan to combat climate change. While UAW has expressed general support, it has specifically declined to endorse the automakers’ target that 40% to 50% of new car sales be electric vehicles by decade’s end, due to its concern about the impact on jobs.


Whitmer proposes spending $200M to replace lead water pipes

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to spend $200 million in federal pandemic relief funding to replace lead water pipes across the state, where aging underground infrastructure was exposed by Flint’s disaster. The plan, if approved by the Legislature, would set aside $20 million to replace all of the lines in Benton Harbor in five years. The majority Black city in the state’s southwestern corner has been exceeding the federal lead limit since 2018. That year, Michigan began enforcing the nation’s strictest rules for lead in drinking water in the wake of the crisis in Flint, another impoverished city with a majority Black population. The regulations will result in replacing every lead service pipe statewide by 2041.


Man who led charity pleads guilty to taking cash

CLINTON, Mich. (AP) — The former leader of a Michigan charity for children and families has pleaded guilty to fraud in a scheme to use the group’s cash for lodging, travel and even a new roof. The government says John Lynch had “unchallenged authority” as chief financial officer and then chief executive at the Holy Cross organization, based in Clinton in Lenawee County. The Grosse Pointe Park man pleaded guilty in federal court in Detroit. The government says Holy Cross largely relied on public money for its activities, including services for needy families and children. Lynch’s plea agreement describes more than $200,000 in payments that benefited him or a relative.


Michigan State football, basketball players to get $6,000

DETROIT (AP) — A suburban Detroit mortgage company led by a former Michigan State walk-on will pay $500 a month to all football players and members of the men’s basketball team. The sponsorship by Mat Ishbia and United Wholesale Mortgage will provide more than 130 athletes with $6,000 a year. The NCAA in July said athletes could be paid for their name, image or likeness. The players will be paid for promoting the company on social media. Ishbia was a walk-on who was a member of Michigan State’s 2000 national championship basketball team. In February, Ishbia announced a $32 million donation to MSU’s athletic program.


Recall campaign launched in wake of COVID-19 bonuses

CORUNNA, Mich. (AP) — Three elected officials who voted to award themselves bonuses with federal COVID-19 money are facing a recall campaign in Shiawassee County. The county election commission approved petition language Tuesday. If the petition survives an appeal after 10 days, recall supporters plan to start collecting signatures to force an election. They would need roughly 1,100 for each of the targeted county commissioners: Jeremy Root, Cindy Garber and John Plowman. After much controversy, commissioners in July decided to return the “hazard pay.” Root got $25,000, Plowman received $10,000 and Garber got $5,000. The bonuses were approved as part of a plan to distribute $557,000 in federal virus relief to county rank-and-file workers and elected officials.


Court weighs drug distributor’s insurance coverage fight

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court is deciding whether the insurance company for a drug distributor should be forced to provide a legal defense in the company’s fight against government lawsuits related to the opioid epidemic. At issue before the court is a dispute between Hamilton County-based Masters Pharmaceutical and its insurer for eight years, Wisconsin-based Acuity Insurance. Masters argues that previous court rulings have upheld the notion that insurance companies must provide a defense for businesses for plausible claims of alleged damages inflicted by a business. Acuity counters that it’s liable for coverage of injuries incurred by specific persons, not overall costs of the opioid epidemic to governments.


Redistricting commission sued over deadline for new maps

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan commission drawing new maps for seats in Congress and the Legislature is being sued over its plan to skip a Nov. 1 deadline to create the districts. The lawsuit by a Detroit-area activist means the Michigan Supreme Court could ultimately get involved. The court earlier this year turned down the commission’s request for new deadlines and legal protection from possible lawsuits. The commission hopes to have maps ready for a final vote by Dec. 30, citing a delay in detailed census data. Critics, however, say a Nov. 1 deadline in the constitution can’t be ignored and data have been available.


Whitmer urges GOP lawmakers to repeal ‘arcane’ abortion ban

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is urging the Republican-controlled Legislature to repeal a 90-year-old law that criminalizes abortion, warning that the U.S. Supreme Court may overturn women’s constitutional right to abortion. GOP legislative leaders oppose abortion and will not support Whitmer’s request. Legislation that would rescind the 1931 law is stalled in a Senate committee. Whitmer made her appeal days after the high court decided not to block a law banning most abortions in Texas. She says the court’s 5-4 order “sets the United States on a dangerous towards overturning Roe v. Wade,” the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.