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DETROIT RIVER-ARREST

UK man arrested after crossing Detroit River in wetsuit

DETROIT (AP) — A man from the United Kingdom swam across the Detroit River from Canada in a wetsuit before he was arrested on the property of a steel factory. Christopher Sagajllo has been charged in Detroit with unlawful re-entry to the United States. He was deported from Chicago in 2010 after overstaying his visa. The government says Sagajllo was arrested on Dec. 13 after being discovered by U.S. Steel security. He told authorities that he swam across the Detroit River from Ontario and landed at Zug Island. Indeed, agents checked the island and found the wetsuit. Sagajllo remains in custody.

BIG TIP-NEW YEAR

Happy 2020: Server at Michigan restaurant gets $2,020 tip

ALPENA, Mich. (AP) — The new year already is looking good for a server at a small-town restaurant in Michigan. Danielle Franzoni says she got a $2,020 tip Sunday on a bill that was only $23. The 31-year-old single mother says, “Things like this don’t happen to people like me.” Franzoni works at Thunder Bay River Restaurant in Alpena. She says she was living in a homeless shelter a year ago. Franzoni plans to use the money to reinstate her driver’s license and build savings. 

WINTER STORM-MICHIGAN

‘All hands on deck:’ Trees down, power out in eastern UP

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — Ice and snow have toppled hundreds of trees in Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula and cut off power to thousands of people. Cloverland Electric Cooperative, which serves five counties and Sault Ste. Marie, said it could take days to completely restore power. The sheriff’s office said trees still were falling Tuesday from the weight of snow and ice. In western Michigan, more than 50 snowplows were clearing Kent County roads.

KOREA WAR-SOLDIER’S REMAINS

Remains of Michigan soldier killed in Korean War identified

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (AP) — The remains of a Michigan soldier who died in the Korean War have been identified 69 years after he went missing in action. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Monday that Army Pfc. John Albert Shelemba’s remains were identified in September. The 19-year-old of Hamtramck man was reported missing in action on July 20, 1950, while defending Taejon, South Korea. The Detroit Free Press reports that after the war, Shelemba’s body was among the remains of American soldiers recovered from South Korean battlefields but they could not be identified at that time. Shelemba will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. 

MISSING MAN-CHRISTMAS EVE

Suspect arraigned in slaying, mutilation of Flint-area man

BENNINGTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 50-year-old mid-Michigan man has been arraigned in the slaying of a man who last was seen on Christmas Eve. Mark Latunski appeared via video Monday in 66th District Court in Corunna on murder and mutilation of a body charges. Family members reported 25-year-old Kevin Bacon of Swartz Creek missing when he didn’t show up for Christmas Day breakfast. Bacon’s roommate told MLive.com that Bacon was going to see a man he had met on a dating app. Bacon’s body was found Saturday in a home in Bennington Township, about 80 miles northwest of Detroit. Latunski was being held without bond and was to receive a court-appointed attorney.

MICHIGAN PIPELINE

Enbridge retrieves rod from bottom of Straits of Mackinac

MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (AP) — Enbridge says it has retrieved a 45-foot steel rod that was resting against an underwater oil pipeline where Lakes Michigan and Huron converge. The debris was in the Straits of Mackinac since September. That’s when a borehole collapsed during work in advance of the construction of a tunnel to surround the pipes. Enbridge says favorable weather conditions allowed it to deploy a remote-operated vehicle to remove the rod Saturday. Under an agreement with Michigan, Enbridge will shut down the underwater segment of Line 5 and replace it with a pipe housed in a tunnel drilled through bedrock beneath the straits.  

RACIAL DISPUTE

Woman acquitted of ethnic intimidation in striking black man

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A white woman accused of hitting a black man and using a racial slur in western Michigan has been convicted of assault but acquitted of ethnic intimidation. An attorney for Shelly Hueckel says she was upset by an appraisal for her car at a car dealership and wasn’t motivated by race. Kent County Judge Paul Sullivan agreed, although he also told Hueckel, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself.” The victim, Terrance Smith, isn’t happy with the verdict.

CHEMICAL CLEANUP-FREEWAY

Whitmer orders review of inspections after discovery of ooze

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered Michigan’s environmental agency to review its pollution-inspection procedures and says her administration is reviewing if criminal charges can be filed after the discovery of a green substance along Interstate 696 in suburban Detroit. She called the ooze “very concerning” Monday. She says the situation shows the need for “broad reforms” to address underfunding and understaffing at the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. Whitmer is urging lawmakers to better fund the agency and to pass legislation ensuring polluters pay for cleanup. The substance is groundwater contaminated by industrial waste from a closed-down electroplating shop.

LAWMAKER CHARGED

Supreme Court: Inman recall petition OK despite missing word

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court says an attempt to recall a state lawmaker from office can continue. Monday’s unanimous order reverses a lower court and election officials who tossed petitions because of a missing word. A group wants to recall Rep. Larry Inman, a Traverse City-area Republican who is fighting federal charges in an alleged scheme to trade votes on legislation for campaign donations. It is uncertain if Inman will actually face a recall in May. The committee trying to recall him may not have turned in enough valid voter signatures. 

MICHIGAN STUDENT KILLED

Man charged in Michigan student’s death held without bail

CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors say a Michigan State University student home on break in Chicago was fatally shot by her boyfriend as he played with a gun in an apartment on the South Side. A judge on Monday ordered 18-year-old Lafayette Hodges held without bail. He faces involuntary manslaughter in the death of 19-year-old Lyniah Bell. She was shot in the head. The Chicago Tribune reports that Judge Arthur Wesley Willis calls the death an avoidable tragedy. Bell was a freshman at MSU and was planning to major in business and journalism.