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State officials warn people to be aware, use caution on ice
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Authorities in Michigan are warning people to be extremely cautious on frozen bodies of water after six snowmobiles have fallen through ice in less than two weeks. Sgt. Jason Becker says state Conservation officers in southeastern Michigan are seeing snowmobilers riding into open water and falling through ice. In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, officers responded Jan. 22 to reports of a drowning after strong winds created a pressure crack in ice over Lake Michigan. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources says people venturing out on the ice should pay close attention to its characteristics, wear insulated snowmobile suits that also can serve as personal flotation devices or carry a flotation device, and carry ice picks.
BOOBY TRAP-MAN CHARGED
Man charged after police find booby trap in Michigan home
TWINING, Mich. (AP) — A 67-year-old northeastern Michigan man has been arrested after authorities say a booby trap was found in his home as police served a search warrant connected to a stolen credit card. WJRT-TV reports that Roger Broadstone was arraigned Monday on attempted murder, arson for preparing to burn a building, placing an offensive substance with intent to injure, disarming an officer, resisting police and other charges. Broadstone is accused of barricading himself inside his Twining-area home Jan. 20 and refusing to allow officers inside. State police say the officers wanted to speak with Broadstone about $1,500 in merchandise purchased online. Officers found the illegally purchased items inside the home, north of Saginaw.
Lawsuit seeks reversal of Michigan’s ban on contact sports
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An athletic advocacy group, hockey league and parents of athletes have sued Michigan’s health director, seeking a reversal of 2 1/2-month state ban on contact sports that was issued to curb the coronavirus. Let Them Play Michigan, a group of student-athletes, parents, coaches and school administrators, is among plaintiffs that sued in the Court of Claims Tuesday. The complaint contends that the order, which was recently extended through Feb. 21, arbitrarily and irrationally singles out and deprives athletes of their constitutional rights and freedoms. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said she’s optimistic that the state can move toward reengagement in sports.
Michigan launches tuition-free program for adults 25 and up
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is accepting applications for tuition-free assistance for adults 25 and older to earn an associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate at a community college or a private training school. The program, called “Michigan Reconnect,” is being supported with an initial $30 million in funding. Applicants must be at least 25, have lived in Michigan at least a year, have a high school diploma or equivalent and not have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Starting this summer, the aid will cover all tuition or mandatory fees not already offset by need-based federal Pell Grants or Michigan’s tuition program for Medicaid recipients.
Two wounded after shots fired into vehicle carrying 6 people
FRENCHTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Two people have been wounded in southeastern Michigan after shots were fired into a vehicle carrying six people, including two children. The Monroe County sheriff’s office says the vehicle was traveling in Frenchtown Township about 10:15 p.m. Monday when a man exited a car that had pulled alongside it and opened fire. An 18-year-old Monroe woman who was driving the first vehicle was shot multiple times and was listed Tuesday in critical condition at a hospital. A 17-year-old female passenger received minor injuries. Two 20-year-old women and two children in the vehicle were not hurt. The man who fired the shots fled in the second car. The shooting was not believed to be random.
Court throws out convictions after misconduct by prosecutor
DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan appeals court says it found “true misconduct” by a prosecutor in a small county. As a result, the court has thrown out conspiracy, theft and drug convictions and the six-year prison sentence of Aaron Mienkwic. The appeals court says Scott Koerner didn’t disclose that he had represented a co-defendant in the same crime before becoming an assistant prosecutor in Shiawassee County. Koerner prosecuted Mienkwic, months after representing Kyle Tower in a plea deal. The men had been accused of conspiring in 2017 to rob retail stores. Koerner believes he informed the defense about his previous work but can’t recall the date. But even with a disclosure, the appeals court says it’s a violation of professional conduct. Koerner now is the elected prosecutor in Shiawassee County.
FIRE DEPARTMENT-VAN CRASH
Police: Michigan man backed van into Indiana fire department
ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — A Michigan man is accused of backing a van into a northern Indiana city’s fire department after he first tried unsuccessfully to crash it into a nearby police building. Thirty-four-year-old James Campbell of Edwardsburg, Michigan, faces felony charges that include resisting law enforcement with a vehicle. The Elkhart Truth reports Campbell was arrested Friday following a police pursuit. That chase began after Campbell allegedly backed a van into the front doors of the Elkhart Fire Department, damaging the building’s metal door frames and shattering a window next to the door. He allegedly tried first to crash the van twice into a nearby police building.
Michigan secretary of state pushes to make voting easier
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s chief elections officer has announced a legislative agenda she says will ensure fair and secure elections following a huge increase in absentee voting and unfounded accusations of voter fraud in the November general election. Michigan had its highest ever voter turnout in 2020 with about 5.5 million votes cast. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told reporters Monday that she’s looking to keep that momentum going and make it easier to vote. She says she will push to make absentee voting more accessible and allow clerks to begin processing absentee ballots two weeks before Election Day.
Whitmer has record $3.5M in bank for reelection campaign
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reports having a record $3.5 million in the bank for her 2022 reelection campaign, shattering what was raised by previous Michigan governors halfway through their terms. Whitmer, a Democrat whose profile has grown nationally in the past year, has collected $5.5 million this cycle, through December. No well-known Republican challenger has entered the race. Whitmer’s campaign said Monday that nearly a third of donations came from new donors in the last quarter.
Michigan Dems want quick vote to disburse federal virus aid
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — House Democrats want a quick up-or-down vote on disbursing $5 billion in federal coronavirus relief throughout Michigan, saying the funding shouldn’t be delayed by Republicans pushing to curtail state-issued COVID-19 restrictions. The aid was enacted by Congress and then-President Donald Trump five weeks ago. It includes money for vaccine distribution, virus testing, food and rental assistance, and education. House Republicans are proposing to withhold $1.8 billion in federal K-12 aid unless Gov. Gretchen Whitmer cedes the state health department’s authority to prohibit in-person instruction and sports to local health departments. House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski says that’s “simply unacceptable.”