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SCHOOL SHOOTING-MICHIGAN

More details emerge about teen in Michigan school shooting

DETROIT (AP) — A judge has denied a request to lower a $500,000 bail set for two parents who with their son are charged in a fatal Michigan school shooting. The judge says James and Jennifer Crumbley failed to turn themselves in when charged with involuntary manslaughter on Dec. 3 and have few ties to the area. The Crumbleys have been jailed since Dec. 4 and unable to meet the bond. They are charged in a shooting that killed four students at Oxford High School on Nov. 30. They’re accused of making a gun accessible to their son, Ethan Crumbley, who is charged separately as an adult with murder and other crimes. Earlier Friday, he waived a key evidentiary hearing. 

EX-MICHIGAN LAWMAKER-SEXUAL ASSAULT

Ex-Mich. lawmaker denies assault allegation, admits affairs

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A former Michigan legislative leader is denying allegations that he raped his future sister-in-law starting when she was 14 or 15, saying they had a sexual relationship for years but were both consenting adults. Lee Chatfield, a Republican, led the House in 2019 and 2020. His attorney Mary Chartier said Friday that Chatfield has had multiple extramarital affairs, including with his accuser. Chartier says Chatfield will vigorously fight the “false claims.” The 26-year-old woman is one of Chatfield’s sister-in-laws. She filed a complaint in late December with the Lansing Police Department. State police in northern Michigan are investigating. Michigan’s legal age of consent is 16.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

Michigan gets initial small shipment of COVID-19 pills

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has received an initial, albeit small, federal shipment of COVID-19 pills that can be taken at home. The arrival of the oral medications comes as the state confronts record high coronavirus cases and near-peak hospitalizations. The pills cleared federal approvals over two weeks ago and can only be obtained with a prescription. State health officials say supplies are scarce and eligibility requirements are tight. People should still get vaccinated and wear a mask in public to protect themselves. The antivirals have to be taken as soon as possible once symptoms appear.

AP-US-ABORTION-BALLOT-DRIVE

Ballot drive to protect abortion rights launched in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A ballot drive being launched in Michigan would protect a woman’s right to an abortion in case the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Supporters of the petition that Reproductive Freedom for All launched on Friday say it would amend the state constitution to affirm the right to make pregnancy decisions without political interference, including about abortion. The ballot committee needs about 425,000 voter signatures to put the measure on the November ballot. Michigan still has a 90-year-old abortion ban on its books if Roe v. Wade is reversed. The high court last month heard arguments about whether to uphold Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks, and abortion rights supporters fear it might even overturn Roe v. Wade.

FLINT WATER

Judge reaffirms review of documents in Flint water cases

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Prosecutors in the Flint water investigation must stop using certain documents seized from state offices until an independent team reviews them for any violation of attorney-client privilege. Genesee County Judge Elizabeth Kelly has turned down a request to reconsider her November order against the attorney general’s office. The dispute over documents has been a key issue since nine people were charged a year ago with crimes related to lead-tainted water in Flint and Legionnaires’ disease. The nine include former Gov. Rick Snyder and his top health officials. All have pleaded not guilty.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SCHOOLS

Families despair over post-holiday return to remote learning

DETROIT (AP) — A growing number of U.S. school districts are moving back to online classes because of the winter surge in COVID-19 cases. In Detroit, the shift involves 50,000 students. The change once again leaves parents juggling home and work schedules around the educational needs of their children. The vast majority of districts appear to be returning to in-person learning after winter break. But other large school systems have gone back to remote learning, including those in Newark, New Jersey, Milwaukee and Cleveland. Virus infections are soaring and sidelining staff members. The disruptions have also raised alarms about the risks to students’ academic success.

FRATERNITY-PARTIES

Fraternity at Eastern Michigan U. is sued to stop parties

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — A prosecutor has filed a lawsuit to try to temporarily stop parties hosted by a fraternity at Eastern Michigan University, citing sexual assaults and excessive alcohol consumption. Delta Tau Delta has created a public nuisance, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Washtenaw County. A public nuisance lawsuit is a legal strategy sometimes aimed at drug houses or other crime dens. This lawsuit also seeks sexual assault and alcohol awareness training. The fraternity hasn’t commented on the lawsuit. Separately, local and national chapters recently settled a lawsuit with at least 10 women who said they were assaulted.

AP-US-EX-MICHIGAN-LAWMAKER-SEXUAL-ASSAULT

Ex-Michigan House Speaker Chatfield accused of sex assault

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — State police in northern Michigan are investigating after a woman accused former state House Speaker Lee Chatfield of sexually assaulting her multiple times, beginning when she was 14 or 15 years old. The accuser, now 26, filed a criminal complaint with the Lansing Police Department, which referred it to state police. Her lawyer, Jamie White, confirmed the nature of the allegations first reported by Lansing City Pulse, including that Chatfield began molesting her more than a decade ago and the sexual contact continued until last year. The 33-year-old Chatfield left the House in 2020 after serving as Republican leader for two years. He was among seven Michigan lawmakers who met with then-President Donald Trump as he tried to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s win in Michigan.

CONDO KILLING-SENTENCE

Michigan man gets life for killing at Muskegon Lake condo

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan man has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting the son of a man he had feuded with at a condominium where both men lived. A Muskegon County judge sentenced 63-year-old Paul Gabriel on Thursday in the September 2018 killing of 22-year-old Anthony James “AJ” Federighe. The Muskegon Chronicle reports that a jury had found Gabriel guilty of first-degree murder in Federighe’s slaying. His father, Tony Federighe, told the court that Gabriel had threatened to kill him months before he killed his son, and that at the time his family was in the process of moving to get away from Gabriel.

DETROIT CRIME

Report: Detroit homicides, nonfatal shootings drop in 2021

DETROIT (AP) — Homicides and nonfatal shootings in Detroit decreased in 2021 over the previous year. End-of-year crime statistics released Thursday by the police department show the city recorded 309 homicides through the end of December compared to 323 in 2020. There also were 1,065 nonfatal shootings in 2021, 105 fewer than the 1,170 the year before. However, total violent offenses were up from 14,365 in 2020 to 14,758 in 2021 as the number of aggravated assaults and rape increased. Detroit had 275 homicides in 2019 and 261 homicides in 2018.