Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EDT
Judge refuses to reconsider GM lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler
A federal judge in Detroit says he won’t reconsider his July dismissal of General Motors’ racketeering lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. U.S. District Judge Paul Borman wrote in an opinion Friday that new evidence presented by GM regarding bribes and foreign bank accounts “is too speculative to warrant reopening” the case. GM alleges that FCA paid bribes to two former United Auto Workers presidents, as well as a former union vice president and at least one former GM employee. It says payments were made so the officials would saddle GM with more than $1 billion in additional labor costs.
Michigan will distribute 4M free masks to fight coronavirus
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says 4 million masks will be distributed to residents — free of charge — to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. The face coverings will go to low-income residents, seniors, schools and homeless shelters through a partnership of the state, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Ford Motor Co. FEMA is supplying 2.5 million of the masks, including 1.5 million that the state has already sent to social service agencies. Ford is paying for 1.5 million masks. They will go to low-income schools, the city of Detroit, health clinics for the poor, some testing sites and other places.
ELECTION 2020-ABSENTEE VOTING
Michigan to mail cards telling 4.4M they can vote from home
LANSING, Mic. (AP) — Michigan will mail postcards telling 4.4 million registered voters they can vote from home in November’s presidential election, and it will spend $2 million to reimburse local governments that provide pre-paid postage on absentee ballot return envelopes. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says the moves are needed to ensure safety. She pointed Thursday to the record number of absentee ballots cast in last week’s primary. The notifications will be sent to people who aren’t already on a permanent list to get an absentee ballot or who didn’t request one as part of Benson’s mass mailing of applications in the spring.
Lawmakers: Postal changes delay mail-order medicine for vets
WASHINGTON (AP) — Policy changes that slow delivery at the U.S. Postal Service are taking a toll on military veterans, who are reporting much longer wait times to receive mail-order prescription drugs. That’s according to a group of Democratic senators. In a letter Friday, the 31 senators take aim at new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a GOP fundraiser who took the post in June and has since imposed operational changes that have led to mail backlogs across the United States. The senators say they’ve heard from hundreds of veterans, as well as Department of Veterans Affairs staff, who cited weekslong mail delays, “causing veterans to miss doses of vital medications.”
AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES-DEDICATED LANES
Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan and private partners are taking steps toward building or assigning dedicated lanes for automated vehicles on a 40-mile stretch of highway between Detroit and Ann Arbor. Eventually, autonomous buses and shuttles will run along the Interstate 94 corridor, linking the University of Michigan to Detroit Metropolitan Airport and the city’s downtown. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other officials announced the project Thursday. A two-year study will determine whether existing lanes or shoulders can be used, or new lanes need to be built. Organizers say the project is the first of its kind in the U.S.
Woman enters plea in fatal stabbing of high school classmate
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — A 19-year-old woman has pleaded no contest to first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of a classmate during a fight inside a Detroit-area high school. Tanaya Lewis’ plea Wednesday came during a pretrial conference in Macomb County Circuit Court. She’s scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 16. Lewis was 17 when 16-year-old Danyna Gibson was stabbed twice in the upper chest with a steak knife Sept. 12, 2018 at Warren Fitzgerald High School. Witnesses told police Lewis smiled and laughed as she chased Gibson with the knife. Authorities have said the fight was over a male student, and that both girls were straight-A students who had posed no history of trouble.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-CANADA-US BORDER
Canada U.S border restrictions extended to at least Sept.
TORONTO (AP) — The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to non-essential travel for at least another month. Friday’s statement by Canada’s Public Safety Minister Bill Blair came a day after Mexico announced a similar measure for its border with the United States. The land border restrictions aimed at controlling the coronavirus pandemic were first announced in March and have been renewed monthly. Many Canadians fear a reopening. Canada has flattened the epidemic curve while the U.S. has more confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 than any other country. Essential cross-border workers like health care professionals, airline crews and truck drivers are still permitted to cross.
Michigan has most new virus cases since May, record tests
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan reports more than 1,100 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the highest number recorded in one day in nearly three months. The state health department on Thursday also recorded 16 deaths, including nine that occurred days or weeks earlier following a review of death certificates. The 1,121 daily confirmed cases of coronavirus are the most since May 14 except for July 26, when a spike was attributed to cases that should have been reflected in the previous day’s count. Thursday’s figure coincides with the state reporting more than 40,000 test results in a day — a record.
Bald eagle shows air superiority, sends drone into lake
ESCANABA, Mich. (AP) — A bald eagle launched an aerial assault on a drone operated by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy — which is known as EGLE — ripping off a propeller and sending the aircraft into Lake Michigan. The department says the attack happened July 21, when the drone was mapping shoreline erosion near Escanaba in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Drone pilot Hunter King says he had completed about seven minutes of the mapping flight when satellite reception became spotty and the drone began to twirl. King and two birdwatchers saw the eagle flying away, apparently unhurt. Tracking data indicates the drone landed in the lake, about 150 feet offshore. It has not been found.
Michigan hospital reinstates visitor limits after cases rise
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area hospital says it will reinstate visitor restrictions out of an abundance of caution following a rise in coronavirus cases among staff, patients and visitors. Beaumont Health said the limits will begin Thursday at its Farmington Hills campus. Beaumont hospitals have cared for more COVID-19 patients than any other system in Michigan. No one will be allowed in the rooms of patients with pending or positive tests except in end-of-life or other extreme circumstance. In cases unrelated to COVID-19, one person can visit under a number of exceptions. Michigan reported nine additional coronavirus-related deaths and 517 more confirmed cases.