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

HEALTH CARE CAMPUS

Plans move forward on new $450 million health care campus

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Plans are moving forward on a $450 million health care campus adjacent to Michigan State University.

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held Monday at the University Corporate Research Park in Lansing with officials from McLaren Health Care and the East Lansing university.

The event marked the beginning of construction on the acute care hospital portion of the project. Design and construction on the campus’s medical services building and cancer center will begin within the next year.

The new South Lansing campus will be developed on land purchased from the Michigan State University Foundation in its University Corporate Research Park. It will house a 240-bed hospital, cancer center, medical services building and other facilities to support health care, education and research.

The facilities are expected to open in early 2022.

APARTMENT FIRE

Authorities: Woman dies in Detroit-area fire, child survives

(Information from: The Macomb Daily, http://www.macombdaily.com)

ROSEVILLE, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a woman has died after reportedly trying to save her 4-year-old grandson from an apartment fire in suburban Detroit.

Crews responded Sunday to the fire at Macomb Manor in Roseville.

Lachesha Cannon, who lives in the apartment complex, told The Macomb Daily she heard a child screaming “fire, fire” and looked outside to see flames coming from a first-floor unit. She says the grandmother, who used a wheelchair, was “crawling on the ground trying to push him outside.”

Roseville Fire Department Battalion Chief Todd Adams said the woman succumbed to thick smoke. He says the boy was taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and was expected to recover.

The woman’s identity wasn’t immediately released. The fire’s cause is under investigation. Several other apartments were damaged.

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DRAG QUEEN STORY TIME

Story hour hosted by drag performers sees some opposition

(Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com)

HUNTINGTON WOODS, Mich. (AP) — A story hour hosted by drag performers at a suburban Detroit public library is seeing some opposition about a year after it made its debut.

Similar programs have taken place around the U.S. for years and sometimes faced criticism . The Detroit Free Press reports some people have voiced opposition to the Huntington Woods Library’s “Drag Queen Story Time” event, which started in 2017.

Allison Iversen is a Huntington Woods commissioner and says “it seems like the wrong way to teach this kind of acceptance.” She says she worries it could be “planting a seed” about gender fluidity.

Jon Pickell is a library clerk. He disputes the criticism, saying: “You’re not going to end up as transsexual . because you saw a drag queen story hour.”

The next event is set for Jan. 26.

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JURY TAMPERING

Supreme Court pitch next for man convicted of jury tampering

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A man charged with a crime for distributing pamphlets outside a western Michigan courthouse will ask the state Supreme Court to review his conviction for jury tampering.

Keith Wood’s misdemeanor conviction in Mecosta County was affirmed last week by the appeals court in a 2-1 decision. His attorney, David Kallman, says he’ll “definitely” ask Michigan’s highest court to take the case. There’s no guarantee.

In 2015, Wood distributed pamphlets that told potential jurors they could choose their conscience over the law when coming up with a verdict. He was accused of trying to influence a case involving a man who had a wetlands dispute with a state agency.

But the wetlands case ended with a plea deal and didn’t go to trial. A jury was never picked.

PROBATION OFFICER-PLEA

Washtenaw County probation officer pleads guilty to lying

(Information from: The Ann Arbor News, http://www.mlive.com/ann-arbor)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A Washtenaw County probation officer who was charged two years ago with lying to investigators about the shooting death of a 20-year-old man in Ypsilanti has formally resigned from her job and pleaded guilty.

The Ann Arbor News reports Sarah Stein quit her job last week before she pleaded guilty on Friday to a felony count of lying to a peace officer and a misdemeanor count of lying to a peace officer. In exchange for her plea, prosecutors agreed to dismiss three felony counts of lying to a peace officer.

Stein is scheduled for sentencing Feb. 5.

The 40-year-old Stein was charged after an investigation revealed that she’d lied about a former juvenile probationer who is now in prison for the 2015 gang-related slaying in Ypsilanti of 20-year-old Keandre Duff.

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GAS PRICES-MICHIGAN

AAA: Michigan gas prices decline 8 cents to $2.26 per gallon

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says average gas prices statewide are down 8 cents in the past week to about $2.26 per gallon.

The Dearborn-based auto club says Monday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded is 19 cents less than a year ago. Prices have fallen 75 cents per gallon in recent months amid declines in oil prices.

The drop come as AAA projects nearly 3.6 million Michigan residents will travel more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) from home this holiday season. Most will drive.

The state’s highest average was $2.37 in the Marquette area. The lowest was $2.17 around Flint.

The Detroit-area’s average was down about 5 cents from a week ago to $2.28.

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

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Online:

http://www.fuelgaugereport.com

NURSING HOME CHRISTMAS

Michigan man celebrates Christmas with wife in nursing home

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) — A 90-year-old Michigan man dressed up as Santa and brought Christmas to a local nursing home so his wife could celebrate the holidays.

The Lansing State Journal reports that Don West sang carols as a guitarist strummed along during a holiday party at Golden Days II Adult Foster Care in Charlotte.

His wife, Jackie West, has been in the home since she suffered her first stroke in 2017.

The couple met at a dance more than 60 years ago. Don West says they still love to dance and pretend to do so while she’s lying in bed.

Don West hasn’t missed a day visiting his wife and plans to spend an even longer visit with her on Christmas Day.

He says they’ve had a great life “and it’s still going.”

GREAT LAKES-INVASIVE SPECIES

Online tools deployed to detect Great Lakes invasive species

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A program designed to keep policymakers up to speed on threats to the Great Lakes has created online tools to support early detection of exotic species.

Blue Accounting is an initiative led by the Great Lakes Commission and The Nature Conservancy, with help from other government agencies and private organizations.

They’ve developed a “watch list” of species poised to invade the lakes, along with priority surveillance locations and guidelines for monitoring the waters for signs of unwanted fish, plants and invertebrates.

An interactive, GIS-based tool let users explore the data behind risk calculations for locations across the Great Lakes watershed.

Using Blue Accounting’s site prioritization tool, officials can understand how local conditions affect levels of risk for species invasions and decide how to deploy resources where they’re most needed.

BC-MI-BUNGLED ROBBERY-JEWELRY STORE

Jewelry case’s shatterproof glass thwarts would-be robbers

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A brazen daylight robbery turned into a bizarre bungle as would-be robbers were thwarted by shatterproof glass at a jewelry store near Grand Rapids.

Mlive.com reports that two men entered a Jared Galleria of Jewelry store Saturday during business hours with several employees and customers present.

They wore hoods and what were described as ski masks.

Grandville police Sgt. Christine Merryweather says the men used a hammer to try to smash a jewelry case but could not penetrate the shatterproof glass.

They then fled the scene in a dark SUV.