Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. EST


Woman slain with 15-pound dumbbell; adult nephew charged

TROY, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit man has been charged in the fatal bludgeoning of his 55-year-old aunt with a 15-pound (6.8 kilogram) dumbbell.

Nayir Masrur was arraigned Wednesday on first-degree murder.

Rubab Huq was found slain Monday in the basement of a home in Troy, north of Detroit.

A police officer responding to a 911 call from the home saw a man jump from a second-story window of another house and flee through the neighborhood.

The 20-year-old Masrur was found hiding in a nearby marshy area and arrested. He was ordered held Wednesday without bond and faces a Nov. 27 probable cause conference.

WDIV-TV reports that Masrur attends the University of Michigan. It was not clear Wednesday if he is represented by an attorney.


State completes inspections of 43 Detroit funeral homes

DETROIT (AP) — State regulators have found no serious mortuary science or pre-paid funeral violations following inspections of 43 funeral homes in Detroit.

Michigan’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs office says Wednesday that the completed inspections followed the discoveries last month in Detroit of the remains of 63 fetuses at the Perry Funeral Home and the mummified remains of 10 fetuses and a full-term infant at the closed Cantrell Funeral Home. Both funeral homes are being investigated by police.

The state says 10 of the 43 inspections were completed within the past 15 months, while 33 were done over the last two weeks. Inspectors did find lesser violations that included non-renewal of medical waste permits and improper posting of licenses.

Michigan has more than 700 funeral homes.


Experts: Prospects good for Michigan’s firearms deer season

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — As deer hunters take to woods and fields for the annual firearms season, Michigan wildlife experts say prospects are good for an uptick in the harvest.

The season runs from Thursday through Nov. 30. The Department of Natural Resources says relatively mild winter and spring weather appears to have boosted the deer herd’s health and the number of surviving fawns.

The Upper Peninsula continues to bounce back from harsh winters a few years ago. The deer kill increased in 2017 and the DNR says it should rise again this year.

The department also predicts a bigger take in the northern Lower Peninsula. In southern Michigan, prospects are less certain.

New rules are in place this year to prevent further spread of fatal chronic wasting disease among deer.


Police: Pumpkin tossed from toll road overpass causes crash

LAPORTE, Ind. (AP) — A Michigan motorist has suffered minor injuries after a pumpkin tossed from a northwestern Indiana Toll Road overpass crashed through her windshield.

State police say 64-year-old Susan Brown of Edwardsburg was struck by the pumpkin about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, lost control and drove into a ditch in LaPorte, east of the Michigan City exit.

Brown suffered minor injuries. Edwardsburg is just north of the Indiana state line.

The pumpkin was thrown from the North Goldring Road overpass. Police say it was the second incident at that location and the third time an object has been thrown onto a roadway in the area since Nov. 7.

No arrests have been made.


The Latest: Warrant to be sought in senior complex slayings

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit police plan to seek charges against a registered sex offender suspected in the fatal shooting of two people at a senior housing complex.

Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood told The Associated Press Wednesday that a warrant request naming 69-year-old James Fleming is being prepared for presentation to the Wayne County prosecutor’s office.

A 50-year-old unarmed security guard and a 66-year-old female resident were shot to death at the Phillip Sims Senior Housing complex Tuesday night. Fleming is also accused of earlier trying to rape a 30-year-old woman who was visiting him that day.

Fleming fled after the shootings and is believed to be driving a dark blue 2001 Chrysler Town and Country minivan with Tennessee plates.

Chief James Craig told reporters Wednesday that Fleming lives in the building.


Senate OKs Coast Guard bill with ballast water compromise

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Senate has approved a new policy on ships that dump ballast water in coastal ports and the Great Lakes, a practice blamed for spreading invasive species that damage the environment and the economy.

The ballast plan is contained in a $10.6 billion Coast Guard budget authorization bill passed Wednesday. It now goes to the House for consideration.

Environmentalists and the shipping industry have battled for years over regulation of ballast water, which keeps ships upright in rough seas.

Under the bill, the Environmental Protection Agency would continue setting rules requiring ships to treat ballast water before it’s discharged. The Coast Guard would enforce them.

States could not set regulations tougher than those on the federal level. But Great Lakes regional standards could be established if enough states agree.


Michigan Medicaid approved for drug pricing experiment

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is the second state to receive federal approval for a drug-pricing experiment that supporters say may enable the state to save money and ensure medicines are working as advertised.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced the waiver approval Wednesday, months after OK’ing a similar proposal from Oklahoma. Administrator Seema Verna says Michigan will be empowered to “demand results from drug manufacturers in exchange for paying for medicines” for Medicaid recipients.

Under the value-based purchasing program, the state and a pharmaceutical company would agree to a set payment if its medication works as advertised, but only a fraction of that if the drug is not as effective as promised.


Dan Gilbert selling Detroit’s Greektown casino in $1B deal

DETROIT (AP) — Businessman and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has reached an agreement to sell Greektown Casino-Hotel in downtown Detroit for $1 billion.

Gilbert’s Detroit-based JACK Entertainment said Wednesday it planned to sell the casino to Pennsylvania-based Penn National and New York-based VICI Properties. The deal requires state and federal regulatory approval.

Under the agreement, Penn National will acquire the operating assets of Greektown for about $300 million and VICI Properties will acquire the land and real estate assets for about $700 million.

In a statement, Gilbert and his companies say they are targeting the capital proceeds from the sale for investment in Detroit real estate and business development.

Gilbert already has a major real estate presence in Detroit and has been a key player in the revitalization of the city’s downtown.


Police: Woman, 77, dies after apparent dog attack at home

BIG PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a 77-year-old woman died after apparently being mauled by a family dog at a home in western Michigan.

State police say troopers went to the home Tuesday in Newaygo County’s Big Prairie Township and found Sharon Lee Daniels unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say Daniels, who used a wheelchair, was home alone with three dogs when one of them bit her.

Police say the three dogs, which were described as pit bulls, were seized by county animal control officers and were being held at the county animal shelter.

The home is located about 150 miles (241 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. Results of an autopsy to confirm Daniels’ cause of death were pending.

Police are investigating, but they say criminal activity isn’t suspected.