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AP-US-VIRUS-OUTBREAK-DETROIT

Detroit mayor turned down J&J vaccine in favor of others

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Detroit this week turned down 6,200 doses of the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine. But the city said Friday it will accept J&J doses in the state’s next allocation. Mayor Mike Duggan had said Thursday that he favored shots from Pfizer and Moderna. He said the two-dose vaccines are “the best.” Duggan’s comments conflict with guidance from top health officials. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun is Michigan’s chief medical executive. She says all vaccines, including J&J’s one-dose shot, should be offered in all communities. She is cautioning against comparing the three vaccines because of differences in when and where each company conducted its studies. The Pfizer and Moderna research finished before concerning variants began spreading.

MICHIGAN GOVERNOR-KIDNAPPING PLOT

Testimony ends in key hearing for 3 tied to Whitmer plot

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A war veteran who says he believes in small government explained how he became an FBI informant in an investigation of an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The man testified Friday. He’s identified only as Dan. Dan says he was given access to a private Facebook page after discovering a group called the Wolverine Watchmen. Dan says he later became “alarmed” by discussions about harming police and agreed to assist the FBI. A judge will decide on March 29 if Paul Bellar, Joe Morrison and Pete Musico will face trial. They’re accused of aiding six other men who are charged in federal court with conspiring to kidnap the Democratic governor.

MICHIGAN REDISTRICTING

Michigan redistricting panel will seek delay to finish maps

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s redistricting commission will ask the state Supreme Court to push back the Nov. 1 deadline to finalize new political maps, citing an eight-month delay in data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The panel authorized the legal step Friday. Under a 2018 constitutional amendment forming the commission, it must adopt once-a-decade congressional and legislative lines no later than Nov. 1. It has to propose a plan or plans for public comment by Sept. 17, before the Census data will be released. Federal officials have blamed operational delays during the 2020 census that were caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

OBIT-MCMULLEN

Paul McMullen, ’96 US Olympic runner, dies in ski accident

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — Paul McMullen, a runner who was a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic team, has died in a ski accident in northern Michigan. McMullen attended Eastern Michigan University. The university says the 49-year-old McMullen died Thursday. In ’96, McMullen won the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 1500 meters and qualified for the Olympics in Atlanta. He made it to the semifinals. McMullen lost two toes in a lawn mowing accident in 1997. But he still won the mile run the next year at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships. McMullen was native of Cadillac, Michigan. He lived in Grand Haven with his wife and three children.

CHILD ABUSE-EXPERT

Michigan Supreme Court overturns 2005 child abuse conviction

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has overturned a child abuse conviction more than 15 years later. The court said Friday that a man’s rights were violated when his attorney failed to request tax dollars to hire an expert witness. Terry Ceasor’s attorney has said he didn’t seek public money because he didn’t believe his client qualified. The Supreme Court says that was enough to spoil Ceasor’s conviction. Ceasor was convicted of child abuse in 2005 and sentenced to two to 15 years in prison. He was accused of shaking his girlfriend’s son and causing injuries. Ceasor denied abusing the child. He says he left the boy on a couch while he was in the bathroom and then heard a thud. The boy recovered.

MICHIGAN STATE-FALL

MSU: 75% percent of fall undergrad classes will be in person

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State University plans to offer in-person instruction in 75% of undergraduate classes in the fall. Spectators will be welcomed again at sports events and performing arts shows. President Samuel Stanley Jr. shared the news in a letter to the community Friday. Stanley is encouraging staff and students to get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as they qualify. Stanley didn’t offer any details about attending Big Ten games on campus but says spectators will be allowed. Stanley says attendance will depend on state rules for large crowds. Most undergraduate classes at MSU have been online since after the outbreak began a year ago.

TROOPER-FELONIOUS ASSAULT

Michigan state trooper charged with assault for dog attack

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State Police say one of its troopers has been charged with felonious assault in connection with a traffic stop in which he let his police dog attack a motorist despite no resistance. It said Friday that Parker Surbrook was charged following the Nov. 13 traffic stop in Lansing where a passenger was believed to be armed. The driver fled and crashed into a tree and had exited his vehicle when Surbrook and a local police officer arrived at the scene. State police say Surbrook let his dog attack the driver “for an extended period of time.” The state police placed Surbrook on leave on Dec. 8 and presented the results of its criminal investigation to prosecutors last month.

DATING APP SLAYING

Indianapolis man arraigned in Detroit dating app slaying

DETROIT (AP) — An Indianapolis man has been arraigned in a Detroit slaying in which the victim allegedly was targeted as a member of the LGBTQ community through an online dating app. The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says Friday that 34-year-old Diabolique Paris Johnson faces a March 18 probable cause conference and March 23 preliminary examination on first-degree murder and using a firearm during a felony charges. The 39-year-old victim was slain Sept. 5 during an armed robbery. Johnson also has been arraigned on charges in a separate armed robbery on Sept. 1 of a 26-year-old man at a hotel in Dearborn, a Detroit suburb. Prosecutors say that man also is a member of the LGBTQ community.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-TEACHER VACCINES

Teacher vaccinations go untracked amid school reopening push

As the U.S. prioritizes teachers nationwide for coronavirus vaccines, states and many districts are not keeping track of how many school employees have received the shots. While vaccines are not required for educators to return to school buildings, the absence of data complicates efforts to address parents’ concerns about health risk levels and some teachers unions’ calls for widespread vaccinations as a condition of reopening schools. The number of school staff members receiving vaccinations — and refusal rates — are unclear so far in several large districts where teachers were prioritized, including Las Vegas, Chicago and Louisville, Kentucky.

FOOT FOUND-RIVERBANK

Teens fishing find human foot along banks of Michigan river

TAYMOUTH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Two teenagers have discovered a human foot while fishing in Saginaw County. The Saginaw News reports Thursday that the foot was found Feb. 26 along the banks of the Flint River in Taymouth Township. Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel says it has been sent to the state police Crime Lab where DNA from the foot will be compared to other collected DNA. He adds that the foot was in a size 10½, lace-up work boot and could have been in the water anywhere from six months to two years. Taymouth Township is south of Saginaw and about 100 miles northwest of Detroit.