Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EST
Michigan rolls out statewide coronavirus exposure app
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has launched the statewide rollout of a voluntary, free coronavirus app that notifies users if they have potentially been in close contact with infected people. Monday’s announcement comes weeks after the state began piloting the technology in Ingham County, including at Michigan State University. State Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon is encouraging all Michiganders to download the app onto their smartphones, especially as COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations are surging after an initial wave subsided last spring. App users who possibly were within 6 feet of infected people for at least 15 minutes are notified.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN-CITY HALL
Warren shuts down city hall due to spike in virus cases
WARREN, Mich. (AP) — Warren City Hall in suburban Detroit has been closed to the public due to a spike in positive COVID-19 cases among city employees in several departments. Mayor James Fouts says the building will be closed this week and disinfected. Confirmed virus cases also are up at the city’s police department and district court which also are being disinfected. Fouts said Warren currently has more employees testing positive for the virus than at any other time during the coronavirus pandemic. Steps are being taken to make sure all city employees receive testing. Virus cases have been going up across Michigan. On Saturday, state health officials reported 6,225 new coronavirus infections.
Hospital worker allegedly set off explosives in trash cans
PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — A 59-year-old man has been arraigned on charges accusing him of setting off explosives in trash cans at the eastern Michigan hospital where he works. The Detroit News reports that Michael Patrick Barna, of Cylde Township, faces charges of explosives violation of a vulnerable target and explosives with intent to frighten. His arraignment was Sunday and his next scheduled hearing is set for Nov. 17. Police say no one was hurt and there was no major damage when three incendiary devices detonated Wednesday afternoon at McLaren Port Huron Hospitals, but the blasts “frightened and terrorized staff inside the hospital.”
Groups fight to keep gray wolf protections for most of US
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates and environmental groups are challenging the removal of federal protections for gray wolves across most of the U.S. Two coalitions of groups have filed notice that they intend to sue the Trump administration in federal court unless protections are restored. The Interior Department last week ended longstanding federal safeguards for gray wolves in the Lower 48 states. That put states and tribes in charge of overseeing the predators and opens the door to more hunting. Gray wolves have recovered from near extinction in parts of the country but remain absent from much of their historical range. Colorado wildlife officials are planning to reintroduce wolves in coming years under a voter-approved ballot initiative.
ELECTION 2020-BLUE WALL
Biden shores up fragile ‘blue wall’ in industrial north
Joe Biden shored up the Democrats’ “blue wall” to rebuild the party’s path back to the White House. He did it more sturdily in Michigan, but more tenuously in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. While The Associated Press had called all three states and their combined 46 Electoral College votes for Biden, the Democrat’s relatively narrow margins there reflect the nation’s continuing deep divisions more than a newly strengthened Democratic bulwark in the industrial north. Trump had stunned the country four years ago by winning by a total of 77,000 votes the three that had been carried for decades by Democrats.
GENERAL MOTORS-TECH JOBS
GM to add 3,000 tech jobs to develop vehicles and software
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors will hire 3,000 more technical workers by early next year to help with virtual product testing and to develop software as a service. The automaker says it will offer more remote work opportunities to help develop electric and autonomous vehicles. GM wants to hire electrical system and infotainment software engineers as well as developers for Java, Android, iOS and other platforms. The company says it wants to increase diversity with the new hires to build on its existing software expertise. Spokesman Stuart Fowle says most of the jobs will be at GM’s Technical Center in the Detroit suburb of Warren, Michigan. Others will be at GM data and technical centers in Phoenix, Austin, Texas; Oshawa, Ontario; and Atlanta.
Suspect arraigned in ’17 slaying of suburban Detroit woman
ROMULUS, Mich. (AP) — An Ohio man has been arraigned in the slaying of a 27-year-old suburban Detroit woman who was shot and bound with Christmas lights in 2017. A brief Twitter statement from Michigan State Police said that Timothy Eugene Moore was arraigned on one count of homicide in 34th District Court in Romulus and that bond was denied. The 34-year-old Moore and a second person were arrested last week in the killing of Egypt Covington. The musician, singer and account manager for a beer distributor was found dead in in her home in Van Buren Township. Police hadn’t released the name of the second suspect. The state police statement didn’t include whether Moore entered a plea or, if he didn’t, when that might happen.
Michigan man arraigned on baby boy’s death
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — A 29-year-old Michigan man has pleaded not guilty to charges that accuse him of killing his 8-month-old son. The Battle Creek Enquirer reported over the weekend that Kyle Kregling remains jailed on charges of open murder and first-degree abuse in the death of the boy, Chris Kregling. At a Friday arraignment, a Calhoun County judge refused defense lawyer Daniel Lehman’s request to free Kregling on bond so he could receive mental-health treatment. Kregling told police he was changing the diaper on his daughter at his Battle Creek home when his son toppled from a from a bed. Investigators said they didn’t believe Kregling’s account and a Thursday autopsy also raised doubts the death was accidental.
Vroom: Thousands of Harley riders, fans will be in UP
ESCANABA, Mich. (AP) — Bikers are coming next year to the Upper Peninsula. The Escanaba area will be the site of a three-day July rally by the Great Lakes Harley Owners Group. It is expected to bring thousands of Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders and enthusiasts to Delta County. The planning process began with a meeting last week at the U.P. state fairgrounds. The last time Harley riders were in Escanaba for a rally was in 2010. The rally will include a parade and block party in Escanaba. The dates are July 22-24.
Tigers, Lugnuts open ballparks for flu shot clinics
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Take me out to the ballpark — for a flu shot. Flu shots will be available Monday and Tuesday at Comerica Park in Detroit and Jackson Field in Lansing. The doses will be provided by the state of Michigan and administered by Meijer pharmacy teams. The clinics are for everyone, including people who are uninsured or have limited health insurance coverage. The hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday and noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The Detroit Tigers play at Comerica Park. Jackson Field is the home of the minor league Lansing Lugnuts.