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


Faith-based adoption agency sues after Michigan settlement

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A faith-based adoption agency is suing Michigan, challenging a settlement that prevents them from refusing to put children in LGBT homes for religious reasons.

St. Vincent Catholic Charities and a couple who adopted five children filed a federal lawsuit Monday, less than a month after Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the agreement. The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sued the state in 2017 on behalf of lesbian couples who allege they were turned away because they’re gay.

Michigan contracts with private agencies to place children from troubled homes with new families.

A Republican-enacted law says child-placement agencies aren’t required to provide any services that conflict with their religious beliefs. But the settlement says the law does not apply if agencies are under contract with the state.


Judge sends Canadian to US prison for risky tunnel scheme

DETROIT (AP) — A Canadian cab driver has been sentenced to 16 months in a U.S. prison for sending desperate immigrants through a risky international tunnel under the Detroit River.

Juan Garcia-Jimenez wept and apologized Monday in federal court in Detroit. Besides prison, he was fined $8,680, the amount of money paid by nine people who were caught last year when they emerged on foot on the Detroit side of a railroad tunnel.

The 1.6-mile (2.5-kilometer) tunnel is used by cargo trains moving between Ontario, Canada, and the U.S. Prosecutor Susan Fairchild says it’s extremely risky: The walkway in the tunnel is only 17 inches (43.1 centimeters) wide.

Garcia-Jimenez is a 53-year-old Canadian citizen and native of Guatemala. He would drop people off at the tunnel entrance, then drive away.


Jonathan Wolman, Detroit News editor, former AP exec, dies

Jonathan Wolman, who over more than 45 years in journalism served as editor and publisher of The Detroit News and previously worked as a reporter, Washington bureau chief and executive editor at The Associated Press, died Monday in Detroit. He was 68.

His family told the News that Wolman died of complications from pancreatic cancer.

Wolman had been editor and publisher of the News since 2007, during which the paper met financially challenging times but still kept Detroit as one of the few U.S. cities with more than one major daily newspaper.

Wolman had a nearly 31-year career with the AP, starting in 1973 as a reporter in Madison, Wisconsin. He rose to serve as Washington bureau chief, managing editor and executive editor.


Man gets life in prison for Michigan workplace shooting

DETROIT (AP) — A man convicted of murder for killing a man at a trucking business before allegedly fatally shooting another man in a different suburban Detroit community has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Forty-six-year-old Vernest Griffin of Sterling Heights was sentenced Monday. A Wayne County jury earlier found him guilty of first-degree murder and other charges in connection with the February 2018 fatal shooting in Taylor of 60-year-old Keith Kitchen. Griffin declined to address the court.

Authorities said Griffin had lost his job at the company in November 2017.

Griffin also is awaiting trial in Oakland County on first-degree murder and gun charges in the slaying of 58-year-old Eriberto Perez at an aluminum stamping firm in Pontiac. Griffin was captured after a shootout with officers.


Authorities: 2 hurt in crash along interstate in Michigan

GRANDVILLE, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say two girls have been injured in a pileup involving a school bus and 13 other vehicles along an icy interstate off-ramp in western Michigan.

Michigan State Police said the girls ages 12 and 14 were transported to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries following the crash Monday morning along westbound I-196 in the Grandville area. The girls were riding in a passenger vehicle.

Police said one vehicle spun-out due to icy roads, triggering the pile-up that collected 14 vehicles. The roadway was icy after recent snow, sleet and freezing rain.

Andy Hefferman, who was among the drivers involved, says the vehicle in front of him tried to stop and slid. He says there were “cars lined up about three deep pretty far in front of me.”


AAA: Michigan gas prices up 9 cents to $2.92 per gallon

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says average gas prices statewide are up about 9 cents from a week ago to about $2.92 per gallon.

The Dearborn-based auto club says Monday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded is about 14 cents more than a year ago. AAA says the statewide average rose to a new 2019 high of $2.93 per gallon last Friday before easing. AAA says more increases are expected this spring.

The state’s highest average was about $2.96 a gallon in the Saginaw area. The lowest was about $2.88 in the Traverse City area.

Prices in the Detroit area were about $2.89 per gallon, up about 10 cents from a week ago.

AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state.




Parts of 2 counties designated as high-risk for bovine TB

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Officials have designated parts of Iosco and Ogemaw counties in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula as a potential high-risk area for bovine tuberculosis.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced Monday that it recently made the designation after a free-ranging white-tailed deer in Alcona County tested positive for bovine TB , which is a bacterial disease.

Anytime a positive deer is identified, cattle and bison herds located within a 15-mile (24-kilometer) radius of the deer must be tested for bovine TB within six months.

Herd owners are being contacted to schedule testing and an informational meeting is planned May 2 at the Rose Township Hall in Ogemaw County.


Native American tribe seeks to set water quality standards

(Information from: The Daily Mining Gazette,

BARAGA, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan-based Native American tribe wants to implement water quality standards under the Clean Water Act for its reservation.

The Daily Mining Gazette of Houghton reports the Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on the proposal by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community’s application. If approved, the tribe would be allowed to develop and maintain its own water-quality standards for surface waters on its reservation.

Concerns about water quality potentially affecting the Upper Peninsula reservation are linked to cattle farming; commercial logging, mining; runoff from road salt; illegal dumping; industrial discharge; septic systems; and lawn chemicals. The newspaper says the public comment period is open until May 23.

Officials announced earlier this year that the EPA awarded a $195,000 grant to the tribe to modernize its environmental data reporting system.



Magic Johnson firm’s plans at Detroit fairgrounds move ahead

DETROIT (AP) — Plans are moving forward by a company with ties to former NBA star Magic Johnson to redevelop property at the old Michigan Fairgrounds in Detroit.

The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority announced Monday that Magic Plus LLC’s about $472,000 purchase of about 16 acres (6 hectares) for a mixed-use development along Woodward Avenue has closed. The city of Detroit is paying $7 million for the remaining 142 acres (57 hectares) for additional redevelopment.

Johnson led Michigan State University to the 1979 college basketball championship before a Hall of Fame career with the Los Angeles Lakers. In 2011, he said he’d invest in Detroit.

The planned sale of the fairgrounds property was announced last year. The state fair was held there through 2009 before losing state funding amid declining attendance.


Unions pushing for pocketbook proposals from 2020 Democrats

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Democratic presidential field looks like a union activist’s dream. But some labor leaders worry the broad array of candidates haven’t been talking enough about issues that matter to working people.

The conversation in the sprawling field has been pulled in several directions. Candidates have debated the Senate filibuster, the size of the Supreme Court and breaking up technology companies. Sometimes they’ve embraced proposals that have alienated some segments of the labor movement. Some unions are against a national single-payer system because it’d eliminate the health benefits they fought for. Other worry about the Green New Deal ending good-paying jobs that rely on fossil fuels.

Behind the unease is a recognition that Democrats need to win back some of the workers who voted for Republican Donald Trump in 2016.