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MICHIGAN REDISTRICTING

State AG: Redistricting panel shouldn’t have met privately

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says the state’s redistricting commission should not have held a private meeting to discuss memos related to racially polarized voting and the federal Voting Rights Act’s requirement that people be able to elect minority candidates. The panel called the controversial closed session with its lawyer Oct. 27, after Detroit residents criticized the members for drawing no majority-Black districts. Nessel, in a legal opinion Monday, said the commission presumably was conducting business that should’ve been done in an open meeting. The panel’s spokesman says the commission respects her opinion and will discuss it transparently at the next meeting.

ELECTION 2022-MICHIGAN GOVERNOR

Businessman Rinke launches campaign for Michigan governor

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican Kevin Rinke, a former owner of Detroit-area car dealerships, has launched his campaign for Michigan governor with TV and digital ads touting himself as a conservative outsider and criticizing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Rinke says he’s prepared to spend at least $10 million of his own money. The Republican primary winner will face the first-term Democratic governor in 2022. Rinke led Rinke Automotive Group after his grandfather had opened one of the state’s first General Motors franchises. Rinke later helmed a traumatic brain injury center, a health care company and became a private investor. Democrats say Rinke’s views are extreme.

MOOSE-TICKS

Study: Warmer summers worsen tick infestations for US moose

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — It’s a ghastly sight: ticks by tens of thousands burrowed into a moose’s broad body and sucking its lifeblood. Winter tick infestation is common with moose across the northern U.S. And a study released Monday says climate change may make it worse. It’s based on observation of moose at Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park. Scientists with Michigan Technological University say higher summer temperatures are quickening the development of tick eggs and boosting the number that hatch. Moose can lose much of their bristly fur rubbing against trees to get rid of ticks. Infestation also makes them anemic and less able to reproduce.

LAST KMART-MICHIGAN

Blue light fades: Last Michigan Kmart closes in Marshall

MARSHALL, Mich. (AP) — The last Kmart in Michigan has closed in the state where the retail giant got its start. Sunday was the last day at a Kmart in Marshall, 100 miles west of Detroit. Marshall City Manager Tom Tarkiewicz says customers were still finding products on the shelves. The first Kmart store opened in Garden City, a Detroit suburb, in 1962. The chain grew to more than 2,000 stores across the U.S., but its fortunes changed as other big box retailers gained momentum. Kmart reorganized under bankruptcy protection in 2002-03 and began closing hundreds of stores before merging with Sears, Roebuck in 2004.

HARASSING CALL-GOP

Flint-area GOP leader pleads guilty to harassing call

DAVISON, Mich. (AP) — The leader of the Flint-area Republican Party has pleaded guilty to making a harassing phone call to a Democratic county official in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Matthew Smith says his actions were “totally inappropriate.” Smith is chairman of the Genesee County Republican Party and a member of the Davison school board. He is facing a recall campaign in Davison. Jennifer Kelly, the elected clerk in Houghton County, says the caller threatened to poison her dogs during a phone call in the wee hours in March 2020. Smith says a friend was running for office against Kelly. Kelly was subsequently reelected in Houghton County.

GRANDPARENTS SLAIN-CHARGES

Livingston County man charged in killing of his grandparents

LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. (AP) — A man has been arrested in the slayings of his grandparents whose body were discovered in their Livingston County home. Chance Raymond Hallam is being held without bond in the county jail after he was arraigned on Sunday on two counts of open murder. He’s accused of killing his 75-year-old Dale Dormanen and 79-year-old Joan Dormanen. Police found the bodies last Friday after the 22-year-old Hallam called them to the Oceola Township home where he was living with his grandparents.  Police have not said how or when the two died. 

KELLOGG’S STRIKE

Kellogg’s to restart talks with striking cereal workers

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Kellogg Co. will reopen contract talks this week with its 1,400 cereal plant workers who have been on strike since Oct. 5. The Battle Creek, Michigan-based company said negotiations are scheduled to resume Monday with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union that represents those workers. This week’s session will be the first time the two sides have met since the beginning of the month when they were unable to reach an agreement after two days of bargaining. The strike includes four plants in Battle Creek; Omaha, Nebraska; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee that make all of Kellogg’s brands of cereal, including Rice Krispies and Apple Jacks.

OFFICER INJURED-CHASE

Officer hurt, 2 Michigan men arrested after chase in Indiana

PORTER, Ind. (AP) — Police say an officer was seriously injured after a kidnapping suspect drove at three police cars during a chase in northwest Indiana and hit one vehicle head-on. Indiana State Police received a call around 7 p.m. Saturday from someone who said their daughter was being held against her will in a vehicle. The caller said the offender had a handgun and was traveling eastbound on Interstate 94 from the Illinois state line. Police located the vehicle but the driver sped away. The suspect later turned his vehicle around and drove at the police cars hitting a Porter, Indiana officer. His injuries were not life-threatening. Two men from Kalamazoo, Michigan were arrested. A female in the vehicle was taken to a local hospital.  

PASTOR-EMBEZZLEMENT PLEA

Ex-pastor pleads guilty to stealing from mid-Michigan church

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) — Prosecutors say the former pastor of a mid-Michigan church has pleaded guilty to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the church over several years. Douglas Hammond pleaded guilty as charged to one count of embezzlement over $100,000 during a court hearing earlier this month in an Eaton County court. The Lansing State Journal reports that Hammond was accused of stealing $285,000 from Olivet Assembly of God Church over nearly six years, from January 2014 through November 2019, when he was a pastor there. Hammond’s attorney, David Carter, says his client pleaded guilty on Nov. 12 because he “wanted to do what was right.”

SOLAR PROJECTS-MICHIGAN

Consumers Energy to add clean energy from 3 solar projects

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan utility says it will add enough renewable energy through three solar projects in 2023 to power nearly 190,000 homes. Jackson-based Consumers Energy says the projects in the southern-central part of the state are expected to produce 375 megawatts of clean energy. Consumers Energy would own and operate one facility, while purchasing power from the other two. Agreements are awaiting approval by the Michigan Public Service Commission. The utility says the solar developments are part of the company’s Clean Energy Plan to dramatically increase renewable energy, eliminate coal as a fuel source for electricity by 2025 and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040. The projects would come online in 2023.