Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 4:20 p.m. EDT

POLICE-DISCIPLINED DATABASE

Michigan lawmaker wants database of disciplined officers

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan lawmaker is proposing legislation to create a central database of disciplined police officers to boost accountability and help departments vet prospective new hires. The Detroit News reported over the weekend that State Rep. Tyrone Carter is seeking support for the idea and is open to suggestions on provisions in the bill being drafted. Critics say what’s needed is more and better training, as well as more staff to enforce current Michigan laws mandating information sharing about why officers left a department. The Police Officers Association of Michigan says one of its concerns is that a central database would maintain records about the discipline of officers for comparatively minor acts, such as calling in sick too often.  

VIRUS OUTBREAK-EASTERN MICHIGAN

University offers single rooms to students who want them

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — Eastern Michigan University is guaranteeing a single room starting this fall for any enrolled student who wants one. The Ypsilanti school announced its “EMU Single Room Guarantee” in response to physical distancing and other safety concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s for students living in campus residence halls who don’t want a roommate. Eastern Michigan says single rooms typically cost approximately $2,500 a year more than a shared, double room. Under the new plan, the university is offering a credit to reduce the annual cost of a single room to $100 per month more than the cost of sharing.

AMERICA PROTESTS-POPCORN COMPANY

Owner loses popcorn company over Floyd-related Facebook post

REDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A minority-owned financial services company is buying a popcorn business in Detroit that lost major clients after its owner posted a racially charged comment online that trivialized the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Harris Financial Group announced Thursday that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire the Detroit Popcorn Company. The Detroit Free Press says the deal should close in 30 days. David Farber, who sold the company to Evan Singer 18 months ago, said last week that Singer’s Facebook post contravened their sale agreement and that he would buy the 97-year-old company back and sell it to an African American investor.

ELECTION OFFICIAL CHARGED

Clerk to stand trial on altering voter records charges

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — An election official in suburban Detroit will stand trial on charges related to the handling of absentee ballot records. The Michigan Attorney General’s office says Sherikia Hawkins was bound over this week to Oakland County Circuit Court. Hawkins is the elected clerk in Southfield. She’s charged with election law-falsifying records and forgery of a public record, among other charges. The attorney general’s office says a computer was used to fraudulently modify a qualified voter file after the November 2018 election to falsely reflect that previously logged absentee ballots were void due to arriving in envelopes not signed by the voter.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

Michigan reports 22 virus deaths; thousands have recovered

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan health department is reporting 22 more deaths from COVID-19. It also says roughly 45,000 people have recovered. The total number of confirmed deaths in the state is 5,767. Nearly 60,000 people have tested positive and an additional 6,000 are listed as probable. Barbershops, salons and spas are allowed to open Monday after months without business. Cans and bottles with 10-cent deposits also can be returned that day to stores that have machines. Michigan residents likely have returnables worth tens of millions of dollars.  

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN COLLEGES

Pandemic pauses Michigan students pursuing trade careers

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Many Michigan college students’ futures are being delayed during the coronavirus pandemic. In-person classes stopped in the state due to safety concerns surrounding COVID-19. But educators say that for trade and skills careers, online learning efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 are difficult and can fall short as hands-on learning is paused and graduations are postponed. It all comes at a time when the state has tried several approaches to entice students into trade careers as gaps in the workforce are expected through 2026. 

ABSENTEE BALLOTS

Trump supporters burn Michigan absentee ballot applications

WALKER, Mich. (AP) — People gathered near Grand Rapids to burn letters informing them that they can vote by absentee ballot in future elections. The applications were burned Friday during an event called Operation Incinerator outside the DeltaPlex in Walker. Many people had flags, shirts and signs showing support for President Donald Trump and Republicans. Michael Farage, president of the Grand Rapids Taxpayers Association, says the absentee ballot applications were unsolicited and a waste of money. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says she took the step to make it convenient for people to vote by mail with an absentee ballot and avoid the risk of the coronavirus.

ORPHAN BEARS

Bear with 3 cubs euthanized after being shot by poacher

BRANCH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a bear with three cubs was shot by a poacher in northern Michigan. Officers from the Department of Natural Resources found the bear Thursday in a creek in Oceana County’s Branch Township. The bear was struggling and was euthanized while the cubs were in a tree. The DNR got a tip from someone who called a poaching hotline. The bear probably was shot a few days earlier. The cubs were taken to a wildlife specialist. Anyone with information can call or text (800) 292-7800.

UP SCHOOL-GIFT

Seniors at UP school get gifts from 1925 alumnus, wife

LAKE LINDEN, Mich. (AP) — A school district in the Upper Peninsula is giving college scholarships to graduates, thanks to a $2.5 million gift from a couple with ties to the area. Wayne Nester was a 1925 graduate of Lake Linden-Hubbell High School in Houghton County. He attended Western Michigan University and was a high school teacher and baseball coach in Detroit. Nester died 20 years ago. When his wife, June, died in 2019, her will granted a large part of their estate to the school district. Investment returns are earmarked for scholarships. About $100,000 given to graduates this year came from the Nesters’ gift to the Lake Linden-Hubbell Public Schools Foundation.  

TRUMP BOAT PARADE

Trump supporters celebrate his birthday with boat parade

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Supporters of President Donald Trump have celebrated his birthday with a parade of boats in Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River in southeastern Michigan. The procession began in Macomb County and moved southwest toward downtown Detroit and the Ambassador Bridge, which links Detroit to Canada. Many boats had pro-Trump flags and U.S. flags. Trump turns 74 Sunday. Matt Seely of the Michigan Conservative Coalition says, “We love our president.”