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ELECTION 2020-DETROIT

Michigan court rejects appeal over counting ballots

DETROIT (AP) — An effort to stop the certification of Detroit-area votes from the Nov. 3 election has been rejected by the Michigan appeals court. The court says it’s not convinced that a Wayne County judge made “manifest error” in refusing to stop the work of county canvassers. The canvassers must certify the votes this week and notify the state. Republican challengers who observed the counting of absentee ballots at a Detroit convention hall claimed fraud occurred in favor of Joe Biden. Judge Timothy Kenny says the allegations aren’t credible. Biden won Michigan by more than 140,000 votes.

AP-US-VIRUS-OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

Michigan governor says she has authority for stay-home order

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she has the authority to issue a second stay-at-home order to curb the spiking coronavirus if necessary and called a comment by an adviser to President Donald Trump urging people to “rise up” against the state’s latest restrictions “incredibly reckless.” The Democratic governor spoke with reporters Monday, a day after announcing restrictions amid a surge of COVID-19 cases that has led to increased hospitalizations and deaths. Whitmer responded to a tweet sent Sunday night by Scott Atlas, a science adviser to Trump, who urged people to “rise up” after the governor’s announcement. Atlas later tweeted that he “NEVER” would endorse or incite violence.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-WALBERG

US Rep. Walberg says he has COVID-19; symptoms mild

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan congressman says he has tested positive for COVID-19. Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg says his symptoms are mild so far. Walberg was reelected to a seventh term in the 7th District, which stretches from suburban Lansing to southern Michigan. He defeated Democrat Gretchen Driskell for a third time. Walberg says he hasn’t been at a public event in more than a week. Walberg is the second House member from Michigan to disclose a coronavirus infection. Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga said he had it in October.

HUNTING LICENSES

State says problems with deer license system are cleared up

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state says problems with the system that produces Michigan deer hunting licenses have been resolved. The traditional two-week season began Sunday. The Department of Natural Resources reported Saturday that the system was slow and canceling transactions on the eve of the big hunt. But the DNR says the vendor, Sovereign Sportsmen Solutions, cleared things up later that day. Hunters who had hit the woods without a license still must obtain one. The accompanying kill tag can’t be used to get another deer if a hunter was already successful.

ELECTION 2020-VOTER FRAUD LAWSUITS

Conservative group alleging voter fraud ends its lawsuits

HOUSTON (AP) — A conservative group has dropped its voter fraud lawsuits in four states days after the group’s leader made baseless allegations questioning the integrity of the election. Lawyers for True the Vote filed notices to dismiss their cases in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania on Monday, less than a week after suing in all four states. Attorney Jim Bopp Jr. declined to say why they were ending their lawsuits but confirmed the group had no other cases pending. The action highlighted the dwindling legal options that President Donald Trump has as he continues to insist that fraud cost him an election he still claims to have won. 

JAIL ESCAPE

Sheriff says crafty inmate who escaped jail still at large

MASON, Mich. (AP) — A Lansing-area jail inmate still is on the run. It’s been about four days since Michael McKerchie disassembled a window and used mattress padding to fool officers into believing that he was in his cell. Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth says his priority is to capture McKerchie, who has been on the run since Thursday night. McKerchie had been in custody since Sept. 21. He was accused of unlawfully driving a vehicle away from a donut shop and other crimes. The sheriff says he’ll share more details about the escape at a later time.

JAIL LAWSUIT-GLUTEN-FREE FOOD

Man sues Washington jail over lack of gluten-free food

SEATTLE (AP) —  A Michigan man says he lost about 35 pounds and was malnourished to the point of unconsciousness during a three-week stay in a Washington state jail early this year because staff failed to provide him gluten-free food to accommodate his celiac disease. Gaven Picciano, 26, sued the Clark County Jail in Vancouver, Washington, as well as NaphCare, the for-profit Alabama company that provides medical services at the jail, in U.S. District Court in Tacoma last week. One of his attorneys said he weighed about 200 pounds when he entered the jail Jan. 30 and 165 pounds when he left it Feb. 20. The county declined to comment.

GAS STATION SHOOTOUT

Deputy, robbery suspect injured in exchange of gunfire

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State Police say a mid-Michigan sheriff’s deputy and a robbery suspect have been shot and wounded in an exchange of gunfire. Police say officers from the Isabella County Sheriff’s Office and state police investigating two robberies found a suspect vehicle at a gas station in Mount Pleasant late Sunday. They say that as officers approached the gas station, “the suspect exited with a handgun and was shot multiple times.” The suspect is hospitalized in critical condition. The deputy was wounded in the leg and treated and released at a hospital.

MISSING HUNTERS

Bodies of 2 missing Michigan hunters found in Ohio lake

TIPPECANOE, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say the bodies of two missing hunters from Michigan have been recovered from an Ohio lake a day after they were reported missing. Adria Bergeron of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District said the bodies of the two were found near the shoreline of Clendening Lake on Monday afternoon. Bergeron said the men were 43 and 60 years old and lived in south-central Michigan. Both died of drowning, they said. Their names haven’t been released. Efforts are still underway to locate the boat the men had been using on the lake, she said.

AP-US-VIRUS-OUTBREAK-CASINO-RECOVERY

US casinos recovering from virus, but challenges remain

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The trade association for the U.S. gambling industry says America’s casinos are recovering from months of closures necessitated by the coronavirus outbreak, having regained 81% of the gambling revenue they saw in the third quarter of last year. But that recovery is threatened in places as the virus continues to surge: Sunday night, Michigan’s governor ordered casinos to close for three weeks, and Atlantic City’s top casino last week laid off or cut the hours of 422 workers in response to restrictions imposed by New Jersey’s governor. Virtually all U.S. casinos are operating with some restrictions amid the pandemic.