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

HOT PRISONS-AIR CONDITIONING

Michigan inmates, advocates raise concerns over high temps

DETROIT (AP) — Inmates at Michigan’s state prisons and prisoner rights advocates are raising concerns regarding the heat behind bars because most of the state’s 29 prisons don’t have air conditioning. Advocates say the heat is made worse by precautions set in place to control the coronavirus spread as prisoners are required to always wear reusable masks made of thick cloth that makes it hard to breath through in the heat. A state prison system spokesman says it started distributing lighter-weight masks after receiving several complaints, but prisoners say that is not enough.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-CONVENTS

26 deaths in 3 US convents, as nuns confront the pandemic

LIVONIA, Michigan (AP) — At a convent near Detroit, 13 nuns have died of COVID-19. The toll is seven at a center for Maryknoll sisters in New York, and six at a Wisconsin convent that serves nuns with fading memories. Each community perseveres, though strict social-distancing rules have made communal solidarity a challenge as the losses are mourned. Only small, private funeral services were permitted as the death toll mounted in April and May at the Felician Sisters convent in Livonia, Michigan. For weeks the nuns went without Mass and dined in shifts, one per table. Those restrictions have eased in recent weeks as regular activities slowly resume. 

HORSE RIDER KILLED

Car runs into horse riders, killing 1, in western Michigan

MOLINE, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a woman riding a horse was killed when a car ran into a group of horse riders on a rural road in western Michigan. The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office says the collision happened about 9:30 p.m. Friday when a car approaching from behind a group of three horse riders struck two of the animals. One badly injured rider was taken to a hospital from the scene about 15 miles south of Grand Rapids. That rider, 26-year-old Brittany Fender of Schoolcraft, died from her injuries. Another horse rider suffered minor injuries.

COLLEGE-CHARTER SCHOOL

UP university will offer classes, degrees in Lower Peninsula

ST. HELEN, Mich. (AP) — An Upper Peninsula university is expanding into Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Lake Superior State University says it will offer classes at Charlton Heston Academy in Roscommon County, 150 miles north of Lansing. Students can pursue bachelor’s degrees in nursing, cannabis chemistry, cannabis business, business administration management and elementary education. Two-year degrees will be available in general studies and cannabis science. The university’s president says its presence will enhance the quality of life in the region.  

COAL ASH CLEANUP-INDIANA DUNES

EPA eyes cleanup of coal ash threatening Indiana Dunes

CHESTERTON, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking the public’s feedback on a proposed cleanup of coal ash buried along Lake Michigan that the agency believes is threatening wildlife at the Indiana Dunes National Park. The EPA has drafted a cleanup plan for part of Northern Indiana Public Service Co.’s former Bailly Generating Station in Chesterton. The agency believes coal ash buried around the former coal-fired power plant is seeping through groundwater and threatening plants and wildlife at the 15,000-acre national park along Lake Michigan’s southern shore.

POKER PLAYER-DEATH

Pro poker player’s burned body found in Michigan park

WHITE LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Police in southeastern Michigan are investigating the death of a professional poker player whose burned body was found in a recreation area a month after she returned from Los Angeles to live with family. Susie Zhao was 33 years old and known to other players as Susie Q. Police say her death could be related to her travels on the poker circuit. Zhao’s body was discovered July 13 at the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area in Oakland County, Michigan. Investigators have declined to go into detail about how she was killed. On her Twitter page, Zhao said she plays “high stakes poker for a living.” She had earnings of at least $187,441, according to the World Series of Poker website.

SCHOOL BUSES-PROPANE

Some Michigan schools get federal cash for propane buses

ALLENDALE, Mich. (AP) — School districts in western Michigan will be replacing old diesel buses with cleaner vehicles. Three districts and a private school have been awarded $450,000 in federal grants to make the switch. Robert Jackson of Michigan’s environment department says diesel emissions from older vehicles can harm kids and the environment. Hamilton, Allendale and Allendale Christian School are getting propane buses. Saugatuck is replacing an old diesel bus with a cleaner diesel bus. Separately, the state last year said seven school districts would be receiving electric buses.

CAR EXPLOSION-VIDEO-WOMAN ARRESTED

Video shows explosion after woman sets car interior on fire

A suburban Detroit woman has been arraigned on charges alleging that she set fire to an acquaintance’s SUV in an act that was apparently caught on video and posted online. The video shows a woman get blown backward after setting fire to a liquid she had poured through the vehicle’s rear window. Sydney Parham, of Fraser, was formally charged Friday in a Clinton Township court on one count of third-degree arson in Wednesday’s fire outside of an apartment complex in Harrison Township. The 26-year-old was released on a $20,000 personal bond. Her lawyer says she should be presumed innocent.

DETROIT MARATHON

Organizers cancel Oct. 18 marathon, half marathon in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon in Detroit is joining other large cities in canceling its fall event because of the coronavirus. It would have been the event’s 43rd year. It offers a 26.2-mile race that takes runners over the Ambassador Bridge to Windsor, Ontario, and back to the U.S. through a Detroit River tunnel. There are also two half marathons. Runners who had registered can participate in a virtual event, roll over their registration to 2021 or 2022 at no cost or get a 50% refund. Details on the virtual races will be announced July 30.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

MSU football suspends workouts due to virus infections

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan State University football team has suspended workouts and its players will quarantine for 14 days after a second staff member and a player tested positive for the coronavirus. Meanwhile, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has extended a ban on family visitors at nursing homes and congregate care sites through Aug. 31. There’s an exception for people who want to see someone in serious or critical condition or in hospice care. Facilities must make “best efforts” to help residents communicate with people by phone or electronic devices. The state health department reported 594 new cases and three additional deaths Friday. About 3.7% of tests have been positive this week.