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

FOREVER CHEMICALS-MICHIGAN

Monitoring finds PFAS in some water in Michigan community

EAST BAY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — State environmental regulators are looking into whether some residents in a northern Michigan community have been using drinking water contaminated with chemicals. The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that groundwater monitoring wells have returned elevated results for PFAS — perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. State and local officials are hosting an online town hall meeting Monday night to explain the discovery and the planned investigation in East Bay Township. The 10 monitoring wells were installed this summer. Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy wants to test the private water wells of about 20 homes and one business, and about a half-dozen irrigation wells in the area that remain uncapped.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-LAWSUITS

Whitmer OKs bills to protect businesses from virus lawsuits

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed into law legal protections for Michigan businesses and other employers that are sued by infected people despite having followed all coronavirus safety protocols. She also codified rules shielding hospitals and other medical providers from pandemic-related lawsuits except in cases of gross negligence, from late March to mid-July, in the wake of the state Supreme Court invalidating her executive orders. Another new law signed Thursday, which mirrors one of the orders, prohibits employers from retaliating against workers who stay home because they have been exposed to COVID-19.

ELECTION 2020-DEMOCRATS

Whitmer, Dems launching 4-day bus tour with Biden’s campaign

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is launching a four-day bus tour across Michigan with Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential campaign before the Nov. 3 election. No passengers will actually be on the bus, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats instead will travel in a vehicle caravan. The tour starts Friday in Taylor, a Detroit suburb, with a rally hosted by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell. Whitmer, a co-chair of Biden’s campaign, plans to appear at some events over the four-day period. Stops will include car rallies, sign distributions, early-voting sites, absentee ballot drop boxes and volunteer mobilization events. 

MAN SHOT-MALL PARKING LOT

Man shot, wounded in shopping mall parking lot

HARPER WOODS, Mich. (AP) — A 40-year-old man has been shot and wounded outside a suburban Detroit mall where another man was found shot to death earlier this month. Police investigating a report of shots fired Wednesday evening found the man in the parking lot of Eastland Center in Harper Woods. Witnesses told officers the man had been in an altercation with two men prior to the shooting. His condition was not available Thursday. No arrests have been made. On Oct. 8, a man’s body was found in the mall’s parking lot and an 18-year-old man was discovered wounded in a car that crashed in a nearby field.

ELECTION 2020-VOTING-ARENAS

Arenas, stadiums find new life as safer options for voting

ATLANTA (AP) — Early voting in much of the country has meant hours-long waits at many polling places, but sports venues are emerging as bright spots. Arenas and stadiums repurposed into early voting centers feature plenty of voting machines, ample space for social distancing and employees accustomed to handling large crowds. Voters casting ballots in these mega voting sites say they’re providing a safe and efficient way to vote amid the coronavirus pandemic. The NBA has more than 20 of its arenas used as vote centers, and plans to continue promoting voting after the election. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban calls it “Democracy in action.”

PAROLE-WIFE ASSAULTED

Court backs parole for man convicted of trying to kill wife

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has cleared the way for a man to be released from prison after he served 31 years for beating his wife and driving his car over her. The court reinstated a parole decision in favor of Frederick Wilkins. The Monroe County prosecutor’s office had won key rulings in lower courts to block parole. But the Supreme Court says the work of the state parole board is “entitled to deference.” Wilkins’ parole plan includes outpatient mental health care for up to six months. Wilkins, now 74 years old, was convicted of attempted murder for the 1988 attack on Linda Kudelka, who was seeking a divorce.

AP-US-VIRUS-OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

Whitmer: Michigan at ‘dangerous moment’ as virus cases spike

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is warning that Michigan on average has more confirmed daily cases of the coronavirus than ever, noting a sharp increase since the state Supreme Court invalidated her sweeping orders earlier this month. Since the court decision on Oct. 2, the seven-day case average is up to 1,818 — nearly double. The governor says Michigan is at a “dangerous moment.” She pleaded Wednesday for people to wear a mask and socially distance. Meanwhile, a chiropractor in western Michigan has challenged the state’s mask rule in court, saying that Whitmer’s health department has no authority to make masks mandatory.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NURSING HOMES

Michigan: Indoor visits to nursing homes can resume

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials say indoor visits can resume at nursing homes and other residential care facilities for the first time since March, except in counties with higher daily coronavirus case rates. The emergency order, issued by the state Department of Health and Human Services, takes effect Monday. Indoor visitation has been prohibited except for end-of-life situations. For now, visits will not be allowed in 32 of Michigan’s 83 counties — those where the daily number of new COVID-19 cases per million is more than 150 or the number of tests coming back positive is more than 20%.

TENNECO-INDIANA JOB CUTS

Auto parts supplier Tenneco to cut 350 jobs at Indiana plant

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Auto parts supplier Tenneco plans to cut about 350 jobs at a northern Indiana plant in a move the company attributes to the challenging global business for its piston product line. Tenneco officials told workers at its South Bend plant Wednesday that about 350 employees involved in piston manufacturing would lose their jobs over the next year as those jobs are shifted to other Tenneco plants around the world. The South Bend Tribune reports the Lake Forest, Illinois-based company will keep about 125 assembly jobs at its South Bend plant. Tenneco took control of the plant as part of its 2018 acquisition of Federal Mogul. 

ELECTION 2020-DRIVING VOTERS

Ruling that cleared way to drive people to vote is blocked

DETROIT (AP) — A federal appeals court has suspended a decision that would allow groups to offer free or reduced price rides to polling places in Michigan. The court issued a stay to allow the Republican-controlled Legislature to appeal the ruling by a federal judge in Flint. Since 1895, Michigan has banned paying someone to transport a voter unless the voter can’t walk. It was aimed at preventing fraud or undue influence. But Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis said the state law conflicted with federal law. Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, declined to appeal. So Republicans in the Legislature sought to intervene. The appeals court agreed, 2-1.