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Fire damages hotel, other downtown Holly buildings

HOLLY, Mich. (AP) — A hotel was among several businesses damaged as a fire swept through part of the downtown of a northern Oakland County village. Dozens of firefighters from area departments battled the blaze which started about 4 p.m. Tuesday in Holly, about 53 miles northwest of Detroit. About a half-dozen people, including five firefighters, required medical treatment due to the heat from the flames and hot weather as temperatures Tuesday topped 90 degrees. The fire appears to have started near a building that housed an antiques and collectibles shop. Jon Ruthenbeck, a member of the Oakland County Incident Management Team, told The Detroit News that about a half-dozen structures suffered flame or smoke damage.


Man found not responsible for Times Square vehicle rampage

NEW YORK (AP) — A man who used his car to hit pedestrians in Times Square has been cleared of responsibility because of mental illness. The verdict came Wednesday at the New York City trial of Richard Rojas. The jury affirmed an insanity defense claiming Rojas was so mentally ill he didn’t know what he was doing during the 2017 attack. It injured 20 people and killed a young tourist. The judge has said the finding would qualify Rojas an open ended “involuntary mental commitment” instead of a lengthy prison term. He ordered Rojas held while he drafts an examination order, and said there would be a hearing on the matter Thursday.


17-year sentence sticks for man who killed woman on porch

DETROIT (AP) — A white Detroit-area man who said he feared for his life when he fatally shot a young Black woman on his porch in 2013 has been sentenced to the same 17-year prison term he initially received. Ted Wafer was back in court Wednesday after the Michigan Supreme Court threw out his involuntary manslaughter conviction. Wafer was also convicted of murder in the death of Renisha McBride. The court said he couldn’t be punished twice for one homicide. Judge Dana Hathaway says the prison sentence won’t change: 15 years for second-degree murder, plus two years for using a gun during a crime. The judge says the sentence still is within the scoring guidelines. Wafer says he remains “terribly sorry” for killing McBride.


DNR: Kids built military-style bunker in state game area

TYRONE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — State officials have determined that a 3-foot-deep military-style bunker surrounded by sand bags in a western Michigan game area was built by kids. WOOD-TV reports that a Kent County man came across the bunker Friday in the Rogue River State Game Area. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources says that after news reports, a woman contacted authorities and told them it was constructed for fun by her 15-year-old son and his friends. The game area is north of Grand Rapids. The television station reported that about 70 sandbags were stacked around the bunker. A conservation officer was expected to meet with the boys and have them refill the hole and restore the area.


Near drownings prompt closing of swimming area at state park

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — The swimming area at Grand Haven State Park in western Michigan has been closed following several near drownings. Park officials shut down swimming Tuesday in Lake Michigan off the beach. Grand Haven’s Public Safety Department said in a release that a woman and her husband struggled while swimming Tuesday evening before making it to shore. Meanwhile, an off-duty police officer and bystanders saved a 12-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy from the  water. Officers also helped a man return his wife to shore after she struggled against the current in the lake. Park officials said water conditions for swimming would be re-evaluated Wednesday.


From ‘carp’ to ‘copi’: unpopular fish getting a makeover

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — If “invasive carp” doesn’t sound appetizing, how about a plate of copi? The state of Illinois is unveiling a market-tested rebranding campaign to make the fish appealing to consumers. Four species imported from Asia decades ago now infest the Mississippi and other rivers in the U.S. heartland. They also threaten the Great Lakes. Officials say the fight to contain them would get a boost if more people would eat them. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources hired a marketing firm to find a new name. And “copi” is the winner. Chefs, distributors and others in the food industry say it’s a tasty, healthy fish.


Man who illegally imported/exported live scorpions sentenced

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man who illegally imported and exported hundreds of live scorpions was sentenced in federal court for violating the Lacey Act. U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon said Darren Drake was sentenced Wednesday to two years’ federal probation, 250 hours of community service, and a $5,000 fine. Court documents say in 2017 and 2018, Drake imported and exported scorpions to Germany without an import-export license from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. One intercepted parcel was falsely labeled as chocolates. Drake also illegally mailed or received several hundred live scorpions from other U.S. states, including Michigan and Texas. Drake pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act.


Motocross instructor indicted on federal child porn charges

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Federal officials say a motocross instructor who visited states from New York to Georgia has been charged with producing child pornography. The Justice Department says 30-year-old Ryan Meyung is accused of engaging six minors in sexually explicit conduct to produce sexual abuse images and with transporting and possessing images of child sexual abuse. The agency says Meyung was arrested in Tennessee in December on state charges and has remained in custody. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney to comment on the case. The Justice Department said Meyung visited states including Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.


Snap, crackle, pop: Kellogg to split into 3 companies

Kellogg Co., the maker of Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies and Eggo, will split into three companies focused on cereals, snacks and plant-based foods. Kellogg’s, which also owns plant-based food maker MorningStar Farms, said Tuesday that the spinoff of the yet-to-be named cereal and plant-based foods companies should be completed by the end of next year. The cereal and plant-based food companies will remain headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan, where Kellogg was founded in 1906. The snack company __ which accounts for 80% of Kellogg’s sales __ will have its corporate headquarters in Chicago. Shares of Kellogg rose almost 2% to $70.15 Tuesday.


US importing baby formula from Mexico to ease shortage

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it is providing logistical support to import the equivalent of about 16 million 8-ounce baby formula bottles from Mexico. That starts this weekend as part of efforts to ease nationwide supply shortages caused by the closure of the largest US manufacturing plant. The Department of Health and Human Services is expediting the travel of trucks that will drive about 1 million pounds of Gerber Good Start Gentle infant formula from a Nestlé plant to U.S. retailers. That’s nearly double the amount imported to the U.S. to date. Cargo flights from Europe and Australia already have brought baby formula into the U.S., and more will come this weekend.