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Snyder moves to bar LGBT discrimination by state contractors

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is moving to bar state contractors and the recipients of state grants or loans from discriminating against their LGBT employees.

The Republican, who will leave office next week, issued his directive Friday, effective immediately.

It requires all new or amended contracts, grants or loans to include a covenant stating that the contractor or recipient will not discriminate against workers or job applicants — including by considering their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Snyder says “it is essential for state government to be a leader in welcoming all people to our state and ensuring that everyone is treated fairly and with respect.”

There is an exception for religious organizations.

Civil service rules already prohibit discrimination against LGBT state employees.


Suspect arrested in western Michigan man’s crossbow killing

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (AP) — Western Michigan police say they’ve made an arrest in the fatal crossbow shooting of a 20-year-old man.

Norton Shores police said they arrested a Grant man Thursday on a charge of open murder in Marcus Olmstead’s death.

Police say the 20-year-old suspect knew Olmstead and the shooting wasn’t a random act. The suspect’s identity is being withheld pending his arraignment.

Olmstead’s twin brother found him Wednesday in the driveway of his Norton Shore home, with a crossbow bolt in his torso.

Emergency workers tried to revive Olmstead but he died at the scene in the city just south of Muskegon along Lake Michigan.

Olmstead’s stepmother says he had returned from a friend’s house hours before his death and had been waiting for a girl he had messaged.


Franklin attorney: $3 million in back taxes paid to IRS

DETROIT (AP) — An attorney says the late Queen of Soul’s estate has paid at least $3 million in back taxes to the IRS since Aretha Franklin’s death last August in Detroit.

David Bennett, who represents Franklin’s estate, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the estate is being audited by the IRS, which he says filed a claim this month in a county probate court north of Detroit.

TMZ reported earlier Thursday that legal documents it obtained showed the IRS claimed Franklin owes more than $6.3 million in back taxes from 2012 to 2018 and $1.5 million in penalties.

Bennett says all of Franklin’s returns have been filed. He adds that the IRS is questioning the filed returns and that Franklin’s estate is disputing what the IRS claims “was income.”

Franklin died of pancreatic cancer in August. She was 76.


Despite #MeToo, rape cases still confound police

NEW YORK (AP) — Police are closing rape investigations at the lowest rate in decades despite advancements in forensic testing.

That’s according to FBI data showing sexual assault is second only to robbery in the least solved categories of violent crime.

Police nationwide cleared just 32 percent of rape investigations last year. That rate has fallen from 62 percent in 1964.

The declining clearance rate comes even as the #MeToo movement is empowering women to speak up about sexual assault.

Rape remains among the most underreported crimes with studies showing as few as one in three victims report to law enforcement.

Sexual assault is among the most difficult crimes to solve as the cases often lack witnesses and physical evidence.

But several experts say police have not dedicated sufficient resources to investigating rape.


Snyder signs cyberbullying law, vetoes ‘baby box’ bill

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a bill making it a crime to cyberbully and has vetoed one that would have amended the law to let parents surrender a newborn inside a special “safety device.”

The Republican governor signed legislation Thursday to let Michigan businesses count out-of-state workers for the purposes of qualifying for state economic development incentives. He vetoed a bill he says would have increased the number of digital billboards.

The cyberbullying law makes it a misdemeanor to post a message or statement on the internet with the intent of threatening and committing violence against another person.

Snyder says the newborn law is important, but it’d be inappropriate to let parents deposit a baby into a device rather than hand it to a police, fire or hospital employee.


Michigan’s road salt storage sites need work, report says

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — About half of Michigan’s road salt storage facilities are in poor condition.

The critique comes from the Michigan Department of Transportation and was included Thursday in a report from the state auditor general.

Road salt buildings are owned by the counties, but MDOT helps maintain them because a portion of the salt is used on roads controlled by the state. There are 189 county storage sites. Forty-eight percent are in poor condition, 41 percent are good and 11 percent are fair.

The audit report says salt storage facilities can be risky if not structurally sound. There also can be environmental impacts when salt is regularly exposed to water.

Lawmakers have approved $5 million to rehab salt storage sites.


Tesla names Oracle’s Ellison to board in SEC settlement

NEW YORK (AP) — Tesla is naming Oracle’s Larry Ellison and an executive from Walgreens to its board as part of a settlement with U.S. regulators who demanded more oversight of CEO Elon Musk.

The company said Friday that Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson are the new independent directors, effective immediately.

Wilson-Thompson spent 17 years at Kellogg and is currently an executive with Walgreens Boots Alliance.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Tesla CEO Elon Musk with misleading investors in August with a tweet that said he had “funding secured” for taking the company private. The two board members are part of the agreement reached with the SEC.


Man says $252K in cash seized from luggage was for nonprofit

(Information from: The Charlotte Observer,

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A Michigan man who had about $252,000 seized from his carry-on bag at a Charlotte, North Carolina, airport says the money was for humanitarian purposes.

The Charlotte Observer reported Thursday that Robert Shumake has filed a claim to recover the cash, which authorities say was packaged in a way “consistent with drug trafficking.” The money was seized in June when authorities found it stashed inside a shoe box.

Shumake says he works for the nonprofit International Human Rights Commission, and so has diplomatic immunity. He claimed the same protection when previously fighting authorities in court over cash seized at airports in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

But U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray says Shumake has a criminal history and isn’t with the nonprofit.

Shumake and his lawyer couldn’t be reached for comment.