Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EST
Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon has been charged with lying to police conducting an investigation of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse.
Simon, who stepped down earlier this year over the scandal, was charged Tuesday with two felonies and two misdemeanors.
She is now the fourth person other than Nassar to face criminal charges related to his serial molestation of young female athletes under the guise of treatment. Numerous other people have lost their jobs or been sued.
A charging document alleges that Simon told state police that she was aware that in 2014 a university sports doctors was the subject of an investigation, but she did not know it was Nassar. Police says she knew he was under investigation.
For more stories on Larry Nassar and the fallout from his years of sexual abuse of young women and girls: https://www.apnews.com/LarryNassar
Judge says families ‘shattered,’ wants Iraqi detainees freed
DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit federal judge has ordered the U.S. government to release about 100 Iraqi nationals who are under deportation orders but have been in custody for more than six months.
It’s the latest ruling from Judge Mark Goldsmith in a dispute that began in 2017 when the government began rounding up Iraqis living in the U.S. with criminal records. Some have been locked up for more than a year while the American Civil Liberties Union fights on their behalf.
Goldsmith said Tuesday that “families have been shattered.” He says Iraq has told the Trump administration that it only will accept people who are willing to leave the U.S.
The judge says “public interest overwhelmingly favors freedom over mass detention.” The immigration agency didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Michigan’s SpartanNash buying Indiana grocery chain
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A Michigan company is acquiring Martin’s Super Markets, an Indiana-based chain.
SpartanNash announced the deal Tuesday. Martin’s is based in South Bend and has 21 stores and 3,500 employees in northwestern Indiana and southwestern Michigan.
SpartanNash supplies grocery stores and also operates stores, including Family Fare and D&W Fresh Market. Martin’s has been a customer since 2005.
Martin’s president, Rob Bartels, says the family-owned company shares similar values with SpartanNash, which is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He says the company was “seeking a partner we could trust.”
Judge tells lighthouse lens collector to give up the glass
DETROIT (AP) — A judge has ordered a Michigan man to surrender two antique lighthouse lenses worth at least $600,000, months after the collector lost a court battle with the federal government.
Judge Mark Goldsmith told Steve Gronow that he doesn’t want to jail him. He set a new February deadline Monday. Gronow didn’t object.
Coast Guard officials went to Gronow’s mansion in Howell, 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Detroit, and weren’t allowed through a gate. He was supposed to give up the lenses last summer. Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Caplan says it’s time “for the games to end.”
The lenses are from the Spring Point Ledge lighthouse in Maine and the Belle Isle lighthouse in Detroit. Gronow bought one on eBay and the other from the Henry County Historical Society in Indiana.
Civilian officers get attention of state agency
(Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com)
DETROIT (AP) — A state agency that certifies police officers says it will study the large number of civilian officers who operate with no oversight.
The Detroit Free Press says a three-member committee has been formed by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards, weeks after the newspaper reported that the state hasn’t created training requirements for civilian officers.
Michael Wendling, chairman of the commission, says the issue will be a priority in 2019. He says reserve officers have a legitimate role in law enforcement.
The officers’ responsibilities range from directing traffic to serving as partners of licensed officers and assisting with patrols, raids and arrests.
The Free Press estimates that Michigan has at least 3,000 civilian officers, although not all agencies provided the information when the newspaper filed public records requests.
Lawsuit challenges civil service exam as unfair to blacks
(Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com)
DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Civil Service Commission is accused of using an exam that discriminates against black applicants who want to work for the state police or become conservation officers.
A lawsuit claims the civil service exam produces racially disparate results because blacks have a higher failure rate than white applicants. The Detroit Free Press reports that a Wayne County judge has certified the case as a class-action, although an appeal is likely.
State attorneys say the exam only is a screening tool and that each agency does its own hiring.
Carlos Bell says he failed two versions of the exam but passed a Detroit police screening test. He says he “may not have a lot of book smarts” but his common sense is “pretty good.” He wanted to become a trooper.
Tips sought in illegal shooting of 2 Michigan bull elk
ATLANTA, Mich. (AP) — Michigan conservation officers are seeking help from the public in solving the illegal killing of two bull elk in the northern Lower Peninsula.
Lt. James Gorno of the state Department of Natural Resources says the carcasses were discovered Saturday in Montmorency County, about 7 miles north of Atlanta. He says both elk apparently had been shot a couple of days earlier. That’s when the firearms deer hunting season was getting underway.
The DNR says information can be reported anonymously. Monetary rewards could be available for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.
Tipsters can contact the DNR’s Gaylord Operations Center at 989-732-3541. They also can call or text the 24-hour Report All Poaching line at 800-292-7800.
Shock in Japan as Nissan’s Ghosn held in financial probe
TOKYO (AP) — The arrest of Nissan Motor Co.’s chairman Carlos Ghosn on charges he underreported his income and misused company funds caused the company’s shares to tumble and shocked many in Japan who view him as something of a hero.
Prosecutors said they were holding Ghosn and another Nissan executive for allegedly collaborating to falsify securities statements and underreport Ghosn’s income for five years.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday that the government was watching for economic fallout from the scandal at one of the world’s biggest automakers.
Ghosn was arrested Monday and Nissan’s CEO said the company’s board will meet on Thursday to approve his dismissal. Prosecutors refused to say where he was being held in Tokyo.
The Brazilian-born executive was credited with engineering Nissan’s revival over two decades.
DRUG ENFORCEMENT OFFICE
Federal drug agency opens new office in Traverse City
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is opening an office in Traverse City.
The DEA’s Detroit Field Division says the new post will help the agency identify, disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations and their subsidiaries in northern Michigan.
Special Agent in Charge Timothy Plancon (PLAN-sun) says the office will work closely with the Michigan State Police Traverse Narcotics Team, which includes more than a dozen federal, state and local agencies.
Plancon says the opioid epidemic is a priority for the DEA, but the new partnership will enable the agencies to deal with any future threat posed by illegal drugs in northern Michigan.
Police identify Lansing man fatally shot while hunting deer
BATH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities have identified a Lansing man shot and killed while apparently hunting deer in mid-Michigan.
The Bath Township Police Department said Monday the man was 68-year-old Chong Yang.
Police say Yang was pronounced dead at the scene after he was found after 10 p.m. Friday northwest of Lansing in Clinton County.
They say a preliminary investigation has revealed Yang was deer hunting on public property when apparently shot by someone. Yang was wearing hunter’s orange clothing at the time.
Police say they have no suspects in the shooting.
Police initially reported the shooting victim was 67 years old.