Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. EDT
FLINT WATER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Flint water prosecutor says ‘I gave everything’
DETROIT (AP) — A lawyer ousted as special prosecutor in the investigation over Flint’s lead-tainted water says the complex cases were handled with professional care.
Todd Flood says, “I walk away knowing that I gave everything I had to give.”
The Michigan attorney general’s office says Flood was dismissed on April 16. Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud says evidence was not properly pursued “from the onset of this investigation.” Her staff told a judge last week that 23 boxes of evidence were discovered in the basement of a state building.
Flood didn’t address that in his written statement. He declined to comment further.
Seven people have pleaded no contest to misdemeanors in an investigation of how Flint’s water became contaminated with lead as well as a related outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. Charges are pending against eight others.
Michigan AG: I’ll move to shut oil pipeline if talks fail
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s attorney general says she’ll move to shut down an oil pipeline in the Great Lakes if the governor can’t find a “swift and straightforward” resolution.
Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is open to allowing construction of tunnel beneath the lakebed to house a new segment of Line 5 in the channel where Lakes Huron and Michigan meet. But she has concerns her predecessor’s plan would keep the existing pipeline in the water too long.
During her campaign, Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel pledged to sue to close the pipeline — saying operator Enbridge has violated a state easement. Nessel released a statement Monday saying if Whitmer’s ongoing talks to resolve the contentious issue fail, she’ll use “every resource available to our office” to shut the pipeline to protect the lakes.
Woman gets 25-70 years for sexual conduct with infant
(Information from: Battle Creek Enquirer, http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com)
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — A southern Michigan woman involved in a child pornography ring has been sentenced to 25 to 70 years in prison after pleading no contest to the criminal sexual conduct of an infant girl.
The Battle Creek Enquirer reports 33-year-old Talia Furman of Springfield apologized to the court Monday in Calhoun County. A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt, but is treated as such for sentencing.
Furman and her boyfriend, 32-year-old Matthew Toole of Battle Creek, were arrested last year on charges. He’s been sentenced to two consecutive sentences of 25-70 years after pleading no contest to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. They’re also among several people charged with conspiring to kidnap and kill a child in Branch County.
Prisoner dies after hospital stay for bee sting
YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan prison inmate who said she was stung by a bee has died after being discharged from a hospital.
Corrections Department spokesman Chris Gautz says Lisa Marie Johnston collapsed Friday while pushing another inmate in a wheelchair at the women’s prison in Washtenaw County. She died two hours after she had been returned to prison.
The 37-year-old was taken to a hospital on Wednesday.
Records show Johnston was sentenced in March to at least two years in prison for a drug crime in the Traverse City area.
Gautz tells the Detroit Free Press that Johnston collapsed before an appointment with prison medical staff. He says a follow-up is typical after a hospital discharge.
Hello, spring: Winning guess is worth $1,508 in ice contest
NEGAUNEE, Mich. (AP) — Someone who must know something about Upper Peninsula weather has won $1,508 for guessing when old mining equipment would break completely through melting ice.
The Teal Lake Melt-Down came to an official close Friday when the metal structure was completely submerged on the lake in Negaunee. Contestants had up to March 31 to buy a $5 ticket and guess when the headframe would sink.
The winning entry was only 49 minutes from the actual time. The winner’s name wasn’t immediately released.
The third annual event was a fundraiser held by the Negaunee Lions Club. Half of the ticket revenue goes to the winner.
A sheriff’s department dive team will recover the structure from Team Lake as part of a training exercise.
Triplets ready to graduate from the University of Michigan
(Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan’s commencement will have an unusual group sitting among this year’s graduating class — triplets who are readying to part for the first time.
The Lansing State Journal reports that Abby, Seraphina and Zoey Provenzano’s time attending the same university will come to an end May 4, when they all graduate with about 3.9 grade point averages.
The triplets started college together four years ago after they were all named valedictorians at Alma High School. Since then, the sisters have chosen different paths.
Abby wants to write fiction and plans to pursue a master’s degree in creative writing at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Zoey has a summer job at consulting firm PwC.
Seraphina will pursue a clinical degree in physical therapy at the University of Wisconsin.
EMU ensured student got cap and gown after house fire
YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — Eastern Michigan University stepped in to help a student who lost her cap, gown and stole in a fire just a few days before graduation.
Kiara Phelps became the first person in her family to get a college degree Sunday. But the milestone was tempered by a fire that started in the kitchen and destroyed her family’s townhouse.
EMU spokesman Geoff Larcom says the university replaced the graduation wear. Phelps also met President James Smith and the university’s governing board at a lunch and was publicly recognized by Smith at graduation.
Phelps says she worked hard for six years to get a bachelor’s degree with honors.
OBIT-JUDGE DAMON KEITH-THE LATEST
The Latest: Politicians praise late Judge Damon J. Keith
DETROIT (AP) — Michigan politicians are praising prominent Judge Damon J. Keith as a “legal trailblazer” and a “civil rights icon.”
Keith died in Detroit on Sunday at age 96.
Among those paying tribute to him are Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and U.S. Sen. Gary Peters.
In their statements, they spoke of Keith’s courage in the face of what Whitmer called the “attacks and threats from others” in his defense of individual liberties and in his commitment to end racism.
Keith was a grandson of slaves who served more than 50 years in the federal courts. He captured the nation’s attention when he was sued by President Richard Nixon over a ruling against warrantless wiretaps.
Whitmer said she planned to order that all U.S. and Michigan flags within the State Capitol complex and on all state buildings be lowered to half-staff on the day of the judge’s internment.
ASIAN CARP-GREAT LAKES
Illinois governor OKs first steps on blocking Asian carp
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The governor of Illinois is authorizing steps toward the installation of technologies in a Chicago-area waterway to prevent Asian carp from reaching Lake Michigan.
Democrat J.B. Pritzker told the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers he’s willing to move ahead with preconstruction, engineering and design work for the project at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam on the Des Plaines River near Joliet, Illinois.
The location is considered a crucial choke point where the invasive carp could be prevented from migrating upstream toward the lake.
Illinois officials previously have agreed to work with the Army Corps and other Great Lakes states on the project while raising concerns about its cost and potential harm to commercial shipping.
Pritzker said in a letter to the Corps Friday that he wants discussions about reducing the project’s price tag, estimated at $778 million.