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MICHIGAN STATE-CRASH

Police: Crash with truck kills moped rider at Michigan State

(Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com)

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Police say a person driving a moped has died following a crash at Michigan State University involving a salt truck.

University police Capt. Doug Monette tells the Lansing State Journal the crash happened about 7:50 a.m. Tuesday.

The stretch of roadway where the crash occurred at the East Lansing school’s campus was closed for about three hours afterward.

Additional information about the person who died wasn’t immediately released. Monette says the cause of the crash is under investigation.

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OPIOID OVERDOSE DEATH-TODDLER

Parents charged after toddler dies from fentanyl poisoning

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area couple has been charged in the opioid overdose of their 18-month-old daughter who died on Christmas Day.

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith told the Detroit Free Press that an autopsy showed Ava Floyd had ingested up to 15 times the amount of fentanyl authorities had seen in the county’s last 30 overdose deaths.

Smith’s office says 28-year-old Antonio Floyd and 27-year-old Shantanice Barksdale were arraigned Monday and jailed on second-degree murder charges. They face Jan. 29 preliminary examinations.

Smith says the couple was producing fentanyl in their Clinton Township home, and authorities believe the baby drank something containing the drug.

Ava was taken to a grandmother’s home where she stopped breathing.

Attorneys for Floyd and Barksdale on Tuesday declined to comment on the case.

DETROIT-WATER WOES

Boil-water advisory lifted in Detroit amid auto show

DETROIT (AP) — Officials have lifted a boil-water advisory for downtown Detroit and nearby areas following a weekend water main break .

The affected area included hotels and the Cobo Center, where the annual North American International Auto Show opened Monday for news media from around the world. Drinking fountains at the convention hall were turned off Sunday and those at the show drank bottled water.

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and the Great Lakes Water Authority announced Tuesday that the advisory had been lifted following two rounds of testing that showed no bacterial contamination.

Officials initially said the precautionary boil-water advisory could last until Thursday.

The 42-inch (107-centimeter) water line belongs to the Great Lakes Water Authority, a regional water agency. The break occurred in a parking lot near King High School.

SUGAR COMPANY-POLLUTION

Michigan Sugar Company settles air, water pollution lawsuit

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan beet sugar company will pay $562,500 in fines and environmental restoration costs for air and water pollution violations under a deal with the state Department of Environmental Quality.

The agreement settles a lawsuit the DEQ filed against Michigan Sugar Co. in August 2017. Department Director Liesl Eichler Clark said Tuesday the agreement is “an important milestone in addressing nuisance odor and water quality violations” at the company’s Bay City processing facility.

In addition to complying with its wastewater discharge permit, installing odor-control equipment and reducing trucking debris on nearby roads, the company will restore two rock reefs in Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay, creating habitat for walleye and whitefish.

Michigan Sugar Co. also will plant more than 100 trees to create a dust and noise barrier near its factory.

AUTO SHOW-MOBILITY GRANTS

Michigan awards $4.5M in ‘mobility’ grants to help seniors

DETROIT (AP) — The state of Michigan has announced its final round of “mobility” grants to spur ways to help transport seniors, people with disabilities and veterans with autonomous vehicles and other technology.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and top officials in her administration announced $4.5 million in funding Tuesday at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show. Projects to receive short-term funds include an autonomous electric shuttle at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center and an online booking and trip-management platform for special transportation services for people with disabilities in metro Detroit.

Also getting funds are a ride-sharing app for paratransit in Grand Rapids and a ride-sharing platform in the central Upper Peninsula.

Whitmer says mobility technology “can impact and improve the quality” of people’s lives.

The first round of grants was announced in October.

FATAL FALL-VACANT BUILDING

Man playing hide-and-seek found dead in vacant building

DETROIT (AP) — Police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old man who apparently fell down an elevator shaft while playing hide-and-seek with friends in a vacant Detroit building.

Police say the group was on the building’s ninth floor early Saturday morning. The man’s friends left when they couldn’t find him, but they returned later in the morning to search for him. They called 911 after finding his body amid piles of debris in the shaft on the first floor of the building.

The Detroit News reports that the building was used as a warehouse and cold storage. It closed in 2002.

The property is now owned by the same development company that bought the vacant Packard auto plant complex in 2013 in Detroit. The building is not part of the Packard property.

COUNTY EMAIL PROBLEMS

Email problems hamper southwest Michigan county’s operations

(Information from: South Bend Tribune, http://www.southbendtribune.com)

CASSOPOLIS, Mich. (AP) — Officials say problems with an email system used by a county in southwestern Michigan are hampering government operations.

The South Bend Tribune reports the problems began several weeks ago when the email system used by Cass County became inoperable. Kerry Collins, information systems director for the county, said Monday that email functions have since improved but the system remains unreliable.

At times, some emails weren’t delivered as expected. Collins proposed switching to a different email system, but some commissioners balked at the more than $100,000 cost.

The commissioners plan to discuss possible solutions again at a meeting Thursday.

Last week, Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz highlighted the issue for the county’s Board of Commissioners. He noted that they’re “dealing literally with life and death issues.”

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MICHIGAN PRISON-RASH

Michigan women’s prison inmates getting scabies treatment

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

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — Officials say Michigan’s only prison for women will be closed to visitors for part of next week as inmates are isolated and treated for scabies.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the treatments are part of an effort to deal with itchy rashes reported over the past year affecting more than 200 inmates at Huron Valley prison near Ypsilanti. The prison has nearly 2,100 inmates and officials suspect that the cause of the rashes is scabies.

Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Gautz says 39 women have tested positive for scabies and another 224 have complained about skin rashes.

Scabies is caused by parasitic mites that burrow under the skin and lay eggs.

The prison has been subject to complaints and lawsuits by prisoners and guards about conditions at the facility.

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GARAGE DEATH-MICHIGAN

Authorities: Man apparently electrocuted while making art

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

ST CLAIR SHORES, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a man found dead with severe burns inside a garage in suburban Detroit apparently was electrocuted while trying to create an artwork.

The Macomb Daily reports the body of the man in his 60s was found Thursday at the garage of a home in St. Clair Shores and investigators later discovered equipment used in the art-making process.

Detective Paul Dlugokenski says it appears he was “trying a form of art where you pass electricity through wood and it’s supposed to burn through,” but he ended up being electrocuted. His name wasn’t released.

Police said he was believed to be using an artistic technique called fractal wood burning. The investigation into his death is ongoing and autopsy results were pending.

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BARN FIRE

Authorities: 7 horses dead following Michigan barn fire

PUTNAM TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say seven horses died in a weekend barn fire at a farm in southeastern Michigan.

The fire Sunday in Livingston County’s Putnam Township also destroyed a truck and equipment for horses.

No people were injured. The cause of the fire about 45 miles (72 kilometers) west of Detroit is under investigation, but officials say foul play isn’t suspected.

Putnam Township Fire Chief Greg Amburgey says four racing horses and three other horses died. Several departments responded to help extinguish the fire.