Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EDT


Republican file 2nd suit challenging redistricting panel

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Republican Party and other Republicans have filed a lawsuit challenging the formation of a redistricting commission to draw congressional and legislative lines.

Thursday’s suit is the second one brought in under a month.

The party, chairwoman Laura Cox, former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and others say a 2018 ballot measure approved by voters violates the GOP’s fundamental right to associate or not associate. They fear people who do not represent Republicans’ interests will be selected as Republican commissioners.

The constitutional amendment requires that a panel of four self-identified Democrats, four self-identified Republicans and five unaffiliated members draw political maps instead of the Legislature, starting in 2021.

Voters Not Politicians, which spearheaded the anti-gerrymandering change, says it is confident the law will withstand the latest challenge.


Michigan priest accused of binding teen with plastic, tape

ALLEGAN, Mich. (AP) — A priest is accused of wrapping a teen boy in plastic and tape and leaving him in a janitor’s room at a Michigan church.

The attorney general’s office says it charged the Rev. Brian Stanley with false imprisonment after discovering information in files collected from the Kalamazoo Diocese in 2018. The alleged incident occurred in 2013 at St. Margaret Church in Otsego and lasted for more than an hour before the boy was released.

The attorney general’s office says Stanley was asked by the boy’s family to counsel him.

The 57-year-old Stanley was in custody Thursday and wasn’t immediately available for comment. He’s due in court in Allegan, Michigan.

The diocese says it reported the incident to Otsego police in a timely manner, but no charges were filed. Stanley has been prohibited from public ministry since 2017.


Man charged in death of Detroit girl attacked by 3 dogs

DETROIT (AP) — A man has been charged in the death of a 9-year-old Detroit girl who was mauled by three dogs despite rescue efforts by neighbors, her father and emergency responders.

Wayne County prosecutors charged 33-year-old Pierre Cleveland on Thursday with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and having a dangerous animal causing death. Authorities say he’s the owner of the dogs that got loose and attacked Emma Hernandez as she rode a bike Monday in her neighborhood.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Cleveland, in police custody, has an attorney. He’s scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

Police described the dogs as pit bulls or pit-bull mixes. One was shot by a bystander while first-responders tried to save Emma in an alley. Neighbors also threw bricks at the dogs to try and stop the attack.


Detroit rapper’s aunt-manager killed in car shooting

DETROIT (AP) — The manager of Detroit-based rapper Tee Grizzley has died after shots were fired at their vehicle.

The medical examiner’s office says 41-year-old Jobina Brown died Tuesday from multiple gunshot wounds. She was the aunt of Tee Grizzley, whose actual name is Terry Wallace Jr.

Police say Brown, the rapper and another man were in a car when shots were fired in Detroit. Grizzley wasn’t hurt.

Barney McDowell tells TV station WJBK that the shooting occurred near his house. He says he heard shots, opened the front door and quickly closed it.

Another music manager, Mikey Epstein, says he knew Brown. He says he had a “horrible gut feeling” when he heard the news.


Detroit Zoo to be powered entirely with wind energy by 2021

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Zoo plans to operate entirely on wind-generated electricity by 2021.

Officials said Thursday the power will come from three new DTE Energy wind parks scheduled to go online late next year. The move will prevent emissions of as much planet-warming carbon dioxide as 8,740 acres of U.S. forests soak up in one year.

DTE is providing the wind energy under its MIGreenPower program, which helps its customers reduce their carbon output and support development of more wind and solar projects in Michigan.

Detroit Zoological Society CEO Ron Kagan says ecological sustainability is a top priority for the organization. The 125-acre zoo in Royal Oak also has permeable pavement to prevent storm water runoff and an anaerobic digester that converts animal waste and food scraps into compost and energy.


Skydiver who died in Michigan made low turn

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan company that offers skydiving says a man who died last weekend had no equipment problems but turned too close to the ground.

Skydive Grand Haven released a statement Wednesday, saying 33-year-old Paul Van Vuuren of Atlanta, Nebraska, was an experienced skydiver who had made hundreds of jumps.

Skydive Grand Haven says the event at Grand Haven Memorial Airpark involved hundreds of licensed skydivers doing “high-performance maneuvers” with small, fast parachutes. The company says it was a separate group and unrelated to its business.

Skydive Grand Haven says accidents sometimes occur and it is “deeply saddened” by Van Vuuren’s death. Grand Haven is 34 miles (55 kilometers) west of Grand Rapids along Lake Michigan.


Elderly woman, daughter die after car rolls into pond

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Police say an 81-year-old woman and her 56-year-old daughter have died after a car left in drive rolled into a Michigan pond, trapping the disabled pair in the vehicle.

The Ford Escape was being driven by an 83-year-old man who was the spouse and father of the victims. Police in Oakland County’s Waterford Township say he left the vehicle transmission in drive Wednesday while going into a house.

Police say the Escape “became completely submerged with both passengers still inside.” Rescuers pulled the women from the vehicle but neither survived.

The deaths are under investigation. Waterford Township is 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Detroit.


Lawmakers to tour Soo Locks, site of planned $1B upgrade

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — Members of Congress are planning a tour of the Soo Locks complex in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to learn about a proposed $1 billion upgrade.

They’ll be led by Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio and Republican Rep. John Moolenaar of Michigan. Kaptur is chairwoman of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee.

Joining them Friday in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan will be Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Soo Locks raise and lower ships traveling between Lakes Superior and Huron.

The Corps plans to build a second lock that can accommodate 1,000-foot freighters, which haul most of the iron ore used for U.S. steelmaking. Just one of the existing locks can handle those vessels.

President Donald Trump has requested $75.3 million to start construction.


3 indicted in stabbing death of child porn convict at prison

MILAN, Mich. (AP) — Three inmates at a federal detention center in Michigan have been indicted in the fatal stabbing of a fellow inmate convicted of leading a child pornography ring.

A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday charges 39-year-old Alex Castro, 38-year-old Jason Kechego and 39-year-old Adam Wright with first-degree premeditated murder, conspiracy and assault with intent to murder in a January attack at the Milan detention center that killed 40-year-old Christian Maire of Binghamton, New York. Wright also was charged with assaulting and resisting a law enforcement officer.

Maire had been sentenced in December to 40 years in prison for exploiting children. He pleaded guilty to coercing girls to engage in sexual activity on a website.

The center is about 50 miles southwest of Detroit.


Consultant gets probation in prison drug program scam

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A prison consultant has been sentenced to two years of probation for helping federal inmates lie their way into a prison drug treatment program to reduce their sentences.

Constance Moerland, of Hudsonville, Michigan, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in New Haven, Connecticut. She pleaded guilty to a fraud conspiracy charge in May.

Federal prosecutors in Connecticut say Moreland and fellow Michigan residents Tony Pham and Samuel Copenhaver, both of Grand Rapids, helped convicts with no alcohol or drug problems get into the Residential Drug Abuse Program, which can knock up to a year off a prison sentence.

Authorities say the three consultants coached convicts to show up to prison intoxicated and fake withdrawal symptoms.

Pham and Copenhaver have pleaded not guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges.