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

REPUBLICANS-TLAIB

Tlaib says Trump, GOP, twisting her Holocaust remarks

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and House Republicans are criticizing a Democratic freshman for her remarks about the Holocaust and the creation of Israel.

Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib told a Yahoo News podcast that she gets “a calming feeling” when she thinks of how her Palestinian ancestors suffered to create the state of Israel. She said: “All of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time.”

Trump tweeted Tlaib “obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.” That echoed earlier comments by House Republicans. Tlaib said Republicans were twisting her words to create “vile attacks” on her.

ROSA PARKS-COAT

Supreme Court rejects appeal over Rosa Parks coat

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a dispute over a coat that belonged to civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks.

The court rejected an appeal Monday. A lawyer for the trustee of Parks’ estate says relatives reneged on a deal to turn over a wool coat that Parks wore when she was arrested on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus in 1955. But a niece insists she doesn’t have the coat.

Steven Cohen turned to the Supreme Court after exhausting appeals in Michigan courts. Despite the loss, he predicts the “controversy will continue.”

In 2014, the foundation of philanthropist Howard Buffett purchased hundreds of Parks’ personal belongings for $4.5 million, without the coat. Cohen says Buffett subsequently donated them to the Library of Congress. Parks died in 2005.

TROOPER CHARGED-MICHIGAN

Ex-Michigan trooper gets prison for teen’s Taser crash death

DETROIT (AP) — A former Michigan state trooper has been sentenced to at least five years in prison for involuntary manslaughter for firing a Taser at a Detroit teenager who crashed an all-terrain vehicle and died.

Mark Bessner told a judge Monday that he understands the anger of Damon (Da-MAHN’) Grimes’ family. He says he wishes he could enter a “time machine” and change the events of August 2017.

Bessner faces up to 15 years but is eligible for parole after five.

Bessner says he shot Grimes with a Taser from a moving patrol car because he wrongly believed the black 15-year-old had a gun. Bessner, who is white, quit the state police after the incident.

Judge Margaret Van Houten says cases like the teen’s death cause the public to distrust police officers.

BATTLE CREEK SCHOOLS

$15.5M grant seeks to boost Battle Creek schools, teachers

(Information from: Battle Creek Enquirer, http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com)

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — A 5-year, $15.5 million grant will seek to help better prepare Battle Creek Public Schools students for careers in science, technology, health care and education.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports the funding announced Monday by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation also will help offer teachers additional support and career pathways. The grant was awarded to Grand Valley State University, which is partnering with the school district to roll out programs.

As part of the effort, Grand Valley State plans to open an outreach center this summer in downtown Battle Creek.

The Battle Creek-based W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2017 awarded the public school district a $51 million grant to support quality education while attempting to bridge racial and economic divides in the district.

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SMALL PLANE-SEARCH

Crews search water off northern Michigan for small plane

FRANKFORT, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say crews are searching the water off of northern Michigan for a small plane that’s reportedly missing.

The Benzie County sheriff’s office says the plane was reported missing Sunday night over Lake Michigan about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) west of Frankfort.

WPBN-TV reports the sheriff’s office says two people were believed to be aboard the plane.

The U.S. Coast Guard is involved in the search and says Monday morning that a helicopter crew from Detroit searched without finding anything. The Coast Guard says a plane and boat crew both are searching Monday, and a Traverse City-based helicopter crew was scheduled to join the search.

GUN SHOP THEFT

Authorities: Burglars strike gun shop in western Michigan

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say burglars took an undisclosed number of guns from a gun shop in western Michigan.

The Ottawa County sheriff’s office says the break-in happened early Monday at Palladium Gun Shop in Coopersville. The sheriff’s office says a law enforcement dog tracked the suspects a short distance, but it lost their scent. It’s believed that they got into a vehicle and drove away.

The break-in is under investigation.

DAMON KEITH-FUNERAL

Funeral service set for civil rights icon Judge Damon Keith

DETROIT (AP) — Flags are being lowered and federal court offices are closed for the day in parts of Michigan to honor prominent Judge Damon J. Keith , who was a figure in the civil rights movement.

A funeral service for Keith is Monday at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered U.S. and Michigan flags within the state capitol complex and on all state buildings to be lowered Monday to half-staff. Federal court offices for the Eastern District of Michigan are closed.

Keith, who was remembered as a legal trailblazer, died April 28 at age 96. He served more than 50 years in the federal courts, and before his death still heard cases about four times a year at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

GAS PRICES-MICHIGAN

AAA: Michigan gas prices fall 11 cents to $2.80 per gallon

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says average gas prices statewide are down about 11 cents from a week ago to about $2.80 per gallon.

The Dearborn-based auto club says Monday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded is about 13 cents less than a year ago. AAA described the drop as a surprise and said it could be a result of unpredictable weather curbing demand. Typically, gas prices rise heading toward the Memorial Day holiday.

The state’s highest average was about $2.85 a gallon in the Marquette area. The lowest was about $2.71 in the Flint area.

Prices in the Detroit area were about $2.82 per gallon, down about 6 cents from a week ago.

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

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Online:

https://gasprices.aaa.com

MEDICAL DEBT ERASED

Indiana church helps pay off $1.5M in families’ medical debt

(Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, http://www.courierpress.com)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A church in southwestern Indiana is helping to pay off $1.5 million in medical debt for families in its community.

Jeff Kinkade, pastor at Evansville’s City Church, tells the Evansville Courier & Press the church is working with Rye, New York-based nonprofit RIP Medical Debt on the effort.

The church won’t know whose debt is paid off, but those families will get a note saying: “We may never meet, but as an act of love in the name of Jesus Christ, your debt has been forgiven.”

The newspaper says City Church will purchase $1.5 million of medical debt for $15,000.

RIP acquires packages of overdue charges for a fraction of their value and forgives them. It’s worked with other organizations, including the Michigan Nurses Association , to clear medical debts.

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GENERAL MOTORS-INVESTIGATION

US agency probes whether GM pickup recall went far enough

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators are investigating whether General Motors went far enough when it recalled about 3,000 small pickup trucks in 2016.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will determine if GM should recall about 115,000 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups from the 2015 model year. The agency says it has received 50 complaints about failures from owners of trucks that weren’t included in the 2016 recall.

The failures happened while the trucks were being driven in a variety of conditions.

No crashes or injuries were reported to the agency.

GM says it’s cooperating and conducting its own investigation. Owners with concerns should contact their dealer.