Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. EST
STOLEN POWDER HORN
Powder horn stolen from Detroit-area museum in 1952 returned
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — An oxen gunpowder container stolen more than 60 years ago from a Detroit-area museum has been returned.
The FBI turned the Nowlin Powder Horn over Tuesday at the Dearborn Historical Museum, where it was on loan from the Detroit Historical Society in 1952 when it was taken.
Authorities tracked it down late last year to an estate auction in Pennsylvania. They say it’s unknown who originally took the artifact and that the most recent owner may not have been aware it was stolen.
The historical society says the powder horn was made in 1757 in Charlestown, New Hampshire, for a soldier. It later belonged to John Nowlin, an early settler of what is now Dearborn. It was sold to the Detroit Historical Museum in 1947 for $75.
Man playing hide-and-seek found dead in vacant building
DETROIT (AP) — Police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old man who apparently fell down an elevator shaft while playing hide-and-seek with friends in a vacant Detroit building.
Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office spokesman Keith Owens identified the victim as 21-year-old Jonathan Mazgai of Taylor. The official cause of death has not yet been determined.
Police say the group was on the building’s ninth floor early Saturday. Mazgai’s friends left when they couldn’t find him, but they returned later to search for him. They called 911 after finding his body in the shaft on the building’s first floor.
The site where the incident occurred was formerly Grand Trunk Warehouse & Cold Storage. The facility closed in 2002.
Detroit police Cmdr. Charles Mahone said a city crew went to the building Monday to ensure it was properly secure.
Shepard taking over play-by-play for Tigers’ TV broadcasts
DETROIT (AP) — Matt Shepard is taking over as play-by-play announcer of the Detroit Tigers on their Fox Sports Detroit television broadcasts.
FSD said Tuesday that Shepard will work alongside analysts Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson. Dan Petry and Craig Monroe will be analysts for pregame and postgame shows.
The previous announcing duo of Mario Impemba and Rod Allen was suspended in September.
Shepard has worked for FSD in a variety of roles since 1999, including play-by-play for the Tigers and Detroit Pistons. He is also a radio announcer for Michigan basketball and Eastern Michigan football.
Morris, Gibson and Petry were part of Detroit’s 1984 World Series champions, and Monroe also played for the Tigers.
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Philanthropic organization announces $11 million in grants
DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-based philanthropic organization says more than $11 million in grants is going to organizations and initiatives in seven southeastern Michigan counties.
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan says the funding is designed to support community programs in the arts, education, health, housing and human services, and other areas.
Community Development Advocates of Detroit will receive $75,000 for a pilot, resident-led neighborhood tables program focused on advocacy, organizing and planning.
Another $75,000 will go over two years to Michigan Community Resources to develop and launch a corporate pro bono professional services program to connect nonprofits and skilled corporate volunteers in Detroit and southeastern Michigan.
The National Park Foundation will receive $70,000 for youth fishing clinics at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park and park sites throughout southeastern Michigan.
Michigan lawmakers seek new designation for water pollutants
DETROIT (AP) — Three members of Congress from Michigan want to make federal funds more readily available to clean up public water supplies contaminated with a group of toxic chemicals.
The lawmakers have introduced a bill that would classify the substances known as PFAS as hazardous substances under the federal Superfund law.
The designation would require the Environmental Protection Agency to report releases of the chemicals into the environment and clean up tainted sites. It also allows the government to sue polluters to recoup cleanup costs.
EPA tests have found pollution from PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, in public water supplies for 16 million Americans in 33 states, including Michigan.
Democratic Reps. Debbie Dingell and Dan Kildee and Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan are sponsoring the legislation.
AUTO SHOW-LOSING CLOUT?
No-shows for auto shows? Detroit and others aim to retool
DETROIT (AP) — This year’s North American International Auto Show includes the usual gleaming vehicles, bright lights and flashy displays.
But something is missing: BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Audi and Mazda.
Detroit isn’t the only auto show to have automakers pull out. It could be because of a bad date for their new vehicle cycle, a declining bang for their buck or a desire to do a standalone or strictly digital event.
Shows are retooling to remain relevant: Moving elsewhere on the calendar or otherwise amping up the customer experience with test drives and other enticements.
Detroit is moving its show to June to capitalize on better weather, among other things. Officials hope to lure wayward automakers and offer attendees experiences they can’t find on the internet.
Senate GOP’s top priority is cutting auto insurance premiums
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republicans who control the Michigan Senate are making the reduction of auto insurance rates a top priority.
The first bill introduced in the new two-year session could let older drivers use Medicare or other health insurance to cover their medical costs in an accident. Younger drivers could opt out of Michigan’s mandatory unlimited medical coverage and choose less coverage.
The legislation, which largely signals an intent to lower car insurance costs and leaves the specifics to be ironed out later, was proposed Tuesday. By making it the first bill, Republicans are signaling the importance of the issue.
For years, efforts to curtail Michigan’s high auto insurance premiums have resulted in legislative stalemates.
Michigan AG puts supervisor over Flint water probe
DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s new attorney general has appointed a Detroit-area prosecutor to supervise criminal cases arising from the Flint water crisis.
Fadwa Hammoud was named Tuesday by Attorney General Dana Nessel. She also will serve as the attorney general’s chief appellate lawyer.
The decision means special prosecutor Todd Flood will report to Hammoud. Nessel says the Flint water cases “have gone on for years” at a cost of millions of dollars. She says it’s time for “resolution and justice.”
Fifteen people have been charged in the investigation of lead-tainted water and an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. Seven people have pleaded no contest to misdemeanors in exchange for their cooperation.
Hammoud is joining the attorney general’s office from the Wayne County prosecutor’s office. Flood says it will be a “pleasure” working for her.
Alleged ringleader in opioid scheme wins bond decision
DETROIT (AP) — A judge has agreed to release a 77-year-old Detroit-area doctor who is charged with a multimillion-dollar scheme to distribute opioids and bill insurance providers for unnecessary treatments.
The Detroit News reports that Dr. Rajendra Bothra must liquidate a retirement account to cover the $7 million bond.
Prosecutors argued Tuesday that the native of India might flee the country if released. Bothra will be confined to his home with an electronic tether.
He and five other doctors are accused of prescribing opioids to induce people to visit their office. The indictment says patients were forced to undergo other treatments. Nearly $500 million was billed to insurers, mostly Medicare and Medicaid.
Bothra operated pain clinics in Warren and Eastpointe. He was charged in December with conspiracy, fraud and other crimes.
2 at recovery house charged with poisoning house manager
PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — Police say two residents of a southeastern Michigan recovery center have been charged with poisoning after suspected heroin has placed in macaroni and cheese eaten by the center’s house manager.
Port Huron Police say 40-year-old Shanna Marie Kota and 22-year-old Sarah Elaine Prange were arraigned Tuesday. They’re jailed in lieu of $100,000 bonds.
Police say the suspected poisoning occurred Friday. After the 38-year-old house manager tasted the macaroni and cheese, she thought it tasted strange and discarded it. She told investigators she heard rumors Sunday she had been poisoned by two residents who didn’t want her working there anymore. She received medical treatment.
Investigators found evidence the woman had been poisoned, and Kota and Prange were arrested. It’s not known if they have attorneys who might comment on their behalf.