Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. EDT
State approves permit for power plant to burn pellets
L’ANSE, Mich. (AP) — State regulators say a power plant in the Upper Peninsula can burn fuel pellets to make electricity.
The Daily Mining Gazette says the pellets are made from paper, cardboard and plastics. They’ll be burned at the L’Anse Warden Electric plant in Baraga County, which supplies electricity to DTE Energy .
The Department of Environmental Quality issued a permit at the end of March with some conditions. The power plant will not be allowed to burn pellets and scrap tires at the same time. The daily maximum amount of scrap tires has also been reduced.
A local group, Friends of the Land of Keweenaw, has expressed concerns about the power plant’s emissions. The Mining Gazette says the group has been calling for more emission controls since the plant was converted from natural gas.
Woman sentenced in death of child who drowned in basement
DETROIT (AP) — A woman will spend up to 15 years in prison after an 11-month-old girl drowned in standing water and sewage after falling through a hole in an upstairs floor and into the basement of a Detroit home.
Tonya Peterson was sentenced Tuesday for involuntary manslaughter.
Ca’Mya Davis was unattended July 6 when she fell through the hole in a bedroom floor. Her death was ruled accidental. Peterson owns the home.
Prosecutors say 27-year-old Dasiah Jordan left her daughter with the 29-year-old Peterson while she visited friends and that both women were aware of the hazard.
Jordan pleaded guilty to child abuse and involuntary manslaughter. She was sentenced Monday to a year in jail and probation.
Lawsuit filed against firms in Michigan sewer line collapse
FRASER, Mich. (AP) — A lawsuit has been filed against three companies in connection with a sewer line collapse north of Detroit that cost $75 million to repair.
Officials say the Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District filed the lawsuit Tuesday and seeks to recoup losses from the Christmas Eve 2016 collapse in Fraser.
The broken line along 15 Mile Road caused a football field-sized sinkhole. Three houses had to be condemned and the major road closed.
Macomb Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said earlier this year that an assessment determined a quick release of waste and water into a sewer line fractured the pipe which drew in sand and created a void in the surrounding soil.
The Associated Press left messages seeking comment from the companies named in the lawsuit: Jay Dee Contractors, Inland Waters Pollution Control and Metco Services.
Men took bribes for tips on Detroit demolition work
DETROIT (AP) — Two people have pleaded guilty to corruption in Detroit’s home demolition program, the first convictions in an investigation of a multimillion-dollar effort to eliminate widespread blight.
Anthony DaGuanno says he rigged bids for a subcontractor in exchange for more than $372,000. The New Baltimore man was working for Adamo Group, a demolition contractor.
Detroit has been spending millions of dollars in federal money to get rid of thousands of abandoned homes. Another former Adamo employee, Aradondo Haskins, also pleaded guilty Tuesday. He admits accepting $26,000 to help a subcontractor.
Haskins also worked for Detroit’s building department, overseeing bids on demolition projects.
Matt Borgula (Bor-GOO’-la), an attorney for Adamo Group, says DaGuanno fired when he admitted his wrongdoing to his bosses.
CHILD ABUSE PENALTIES
Michigan Senate backs longer sentences for child abusers
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Legislation advancing in Michigan would prescribe longer sentences for certain repeat child abusers.
Bills approved unanimously by the state Senate on Tuesday would set new maximum prison terms for people convicted of third- or fourth-degree child abuse following a prior conviction.
The max for third-degree child abuse currently is two years. It would rise to five years for a second offense. The max for fourth-degree child abuse is a one-year misdemeanor. The legislation would increase the punishment to two years imprisonment for a second offense.
Sentencing guidelines are advisory, so the tougher sentences would not be compulsory for judges.
The bills head to the House next.
Senate Bills 29-30: http://bit.ly/2uVKrPL
Michigan House votes to add cryptocurrency to criminal code
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers have voted to update various criminal laws to specify that acting illegally for financial gain includes cryptocurrency transactions.
The House voted 108-1 Tuesday to send the legislation to the Senate, where the bills will be considered next.
The bills would add direct and indirect references to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin to prohibitions against animal fighting, racketeering, embezzling, counterfeiting records and money laundering.
House Bills 4102-07: http://bit.ly/2U6nzXZ
Relatives of family killed suing bars that served driver
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Relatives of a family who were killed by a wrong-way drunken driver on a Kentucky highway have filed a lawsuit against the bars that served him. He also died in the crash.
News outlets report that family of the five Abbas killed in the January collision are suing Roosters Wings in Georgetown and Horseshoes Kentucky Grill & Saloon in Lexington.
The couple and their children were driving home to Michigan from vacation. Greg Bubalo, an attorney for the family, says the civil lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Fayette County Circuit Court.
The suit says both bars kept serving 41-year-old Joey Bailey, but would’ve known he was intoxicated. The Abbas’ attorneys are seeking compensation and damages from the bars and Bailey’s estate.
It’s unclear if the bars or Bailey’s estate has a lawyer who could comment.
FOOD AND FARM-DAIRY HELP
Dairy safety net program expected in June
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The federal Farm Service Agency says a program to help hard-pressed dairy farmers is expected to be ready for enrollment in June.
Dairy farmers are in their fifth year of low milk prices that have driven thousands out of business.
Thirty-eight U.S. senators recently signed a letter urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement the insurance program quickly, saying dairy farmers’ situation “is urgent.”
Farmers would pay for coverage and receive payments when the gap between milk prices and feed prices reach a certain level. The program was delayed by the partial government shutdown.
Payments will be retroactive to January.
Michigan dairy farmer Ken Nobis says after going through a four-year drought in revenue, each month the program gets put off “the more disheartened producers become.”
Michigan measles up to 41; Washtenaw County makes list
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The number of measles cases in Michigan has reached 41, including the first reported in Washtenaw County.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated the numbers Monday with two additional cases. Thirty-nine cases have been confirmed in Oakland County.
Authorities are trying to determine possible exposure sites in Washtenaw County in southeastern Michigan. They’re also urging people again to get vaccinated if they haven’t received the vaccine in the past. Measles is highly contagious and is spread by personal contact and through the air.
The state considers the vaccine to be highly effective and safe. A single dose protects about 95% of children. After two doses, almost 100% are immune.
The number of measles cases in Michigan is the highest since 65 in 1991.