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Former Rep. Dingell, US’s longest-serving lawmaker, dies
DETROIT (AP) — Former Michigan Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in American history, has died. He was 92.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says her husband died at his Dearborn home on Thursday.
Dingell was dubbed “Big John” for his imposing 6-foot-3 frame and sometimes intimidating manner. The Democrat was a master of legislative deal-making and a staunch advocate for the U.S. auto industry.
Among the landmark laws he supported were Medicare, the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act.
Dingell was first elected in 1955, to fill the House seat vacated by his late father. The family tradition continued when his wife, Debbie, was elected to replace him in his Detroit-area district after he retired in 2014.
Former President Bill Clinton once said that presidents come and go, but “John Dingell goes on forever.”
In or out of the House, John Dingell was at home on Twitter
DETROIT (AP) — Right up until the end, John Dingell wouldn’t go down without a fight — or a tweet.
The longest-serving member of Congress in American history, who died on Thursday at 92, boasted more than 250,000 followers on the account he started in 2010.
Dingell was long known for his wry takes and quick wit alongside his mastery of legislative deal-making. But the longest-serving Congress member’s musings on Twitter drew widespread interest and kept him au courant.
Favorite topics and targets for the outspoken Democrat included President Donald Trump and his favorite Michigan sports teams.
Air Force pledges cooperation over toxins near former base
OSCODA, Mich. (AP) — Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson is pledging cooperation with the state of Michigan over toxic chemical pollution near a former military installation, despite a continuing dispute about cleanup responsibilities.
Wilson made the promise in a letter to U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, who released it Thursday.
Peters complained to Wilson after the Air Force told Michigan in December it wasn’t bound by state standards involving chemicals known as PFAS. They are used in firefighting foam and have polluted surface and ground waters near the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says the Air Force isn’t doing enough to clean it up.
In her letter, Wilson said the Air Force is complying with federal law and Assistant Secretary John Henderson plans to visit the state.
Years later, court orders a look at 2010 jury deliberations
DETROIT (AP) — A federal appeals court says deliberations in a 2010 Detroit homicide trial should be re-examined to determine if jurors’ use of the internet spoiled the verdict.
A judge had ordered a new trial for Darrell Ewing, who is serving a life sentence for a gang-related shooting on a Detroit street. But the appeals court this week says a hearing first should be held to determine what effect, if any, the online information influenced jurors.
A juror says two other jurors looked up gang codes and gang history on the internet and shared the information during deliberations.
The appeals court acknowledged that “jurors move and memories fade” more than eight years after a trial. Some jurors might be deceased.
USA GYMNASTICS-BANKRUPTCY-THE LATEST
The Latest: USA Gymnastics meeting called ‘frustrating’
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Three women who are suing USA Gymnastics over alleged sexual abuse by sports doctor Larry Nassar expressed frustration with its chief financial officer’s lack of answers during a meeting on the group’s bankruptcy proceedings.
USA Gymnastics filed for Chapter 11 protection in December. During a Thursday creditors meeting, three Nassar accusers who are members of the creditors’ committee questioned the Indianapolis-based group’s CFO about its assets, insurance policies and its liabilities in claims filed by women who accused Nassar of abuse.
Scott Shollenbarger replied that USA Gymnastics has an estimated $75 million to $150 million in liability claims, but he said he couldn’t answer many of their other questions.
Tasha Schwikert, who earned bronze at the 2000 Summer Olympics, said she was “incredibly frustrated” with his lack of answers, calling the meeting “one big I-don’t-know.”
Man gets 11½ years for crash that killed teenage siblings
BEDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 50-year-old man who didn’t fight charges after a crash killed two teenage siblings as they walked near a southeastern Michigan roadway has been sentenced to a minimum of 11½ years in prison.
Raymond Reyome of Erie Township learned his punishment Thursday after he pleaded no contest to two counts of reckless driving causing death. A no-contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as one for sentencing.
Police have said 13-year-old Justin Haun and 16-year-old Alyssa Haun of Lambertville were struck July 4 by a pickup that left the edge of a roadway in Bedford Township, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Detroit. They were pronounced dead at hospital.
Prosecutors have said Reyome was smoking marijuana when he lost control of his truck.
Judge accused of misconduct for handling money as prosecutor
LAPEER, Mich. (AP) — A Lapeer County judge has been hit with a 96-page misconduct complaint filed by the agency that keeps an eye on Michigan’s judiciary.
Much of the complaint involves Judge Byron Konschuh’s handling of money when he was the Lapeer County prosecutor. The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission says money recovered in bad-check cases was often deposited in Konschuh’s personal bank accounts.
He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor in 2016. The charge was ultimately dismissed after Konschuh stayed out of trouble for a certain period.
A message seeking comment was left for the judge’s lawyer Thursday. Konschuh was appointed to the bench in 2013 and elected to a six-year term in 2014.
The Judicial Tenure Commission is asking the state Supreme Court to appoint a special master to hear evidence against the judge. Any punishment would be up to the court.
NATURAL GAS PLANT-FIRE
Michigan regulators open probe of fire that cut gas supply
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan regulators have opened an investigation into a compressor station fire that raised concerns about keeping natural gas flowing to millions of residents in bitterly cold weather.
The Public Service Commission voted 2-0 Thursday to launch the review.
Consumers Energy asked people to temporarily lower thermostats last week following the fire at its facility in suburban Detroit. The fire cut the amount of natural gas that could be delivered.
Commissioner Norm Saari says the commission has an “increasing, serious concern” that gas utilities have strong safety programs following the fire, an explosion in a Pontiac neighborhood and a contractor’s “dig-in” of a gas line in Warren.
Also Thursday, commissioners agreed to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request to issue a report on Michigan’s supply and deliverability of natural gas, electricity and propane.