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APNewsBreak: Ex-governor’s phone seized in Flint water probe
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Authorities investigating Flint’s water crisis have seized from storage the state-owned mobile devices of former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and 65 other current or former officials.
Documents The Associated Press obtained through a public records request show the search warrants seeking the devices were sought two weeks ago by the attorney general’s office and signed by a Flint judge.
Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy confirmed they executed a series of search warrants related to the criminal investigation of Flint’s lead-contaminated water and a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. They declined further comment.
One warrant lists all content from Snyder’s cellphone, iPad and computer hard drive. Similar information was sought for state devices used by employees in his office and other departments.
DETROIT-POLICE SERGEANTS CHARGED
2 DPD sergeants charged in casino parking garage incident
DETROIT (AP) — Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged two Detroit police sergeants with official misconduct and assault and battery for attacking a man in a casino parking garage last year.
Forty-year-old Sgt. Raytheon Martin also was charged Monday with assault with intent to do great bodily harm. He’s charged with 35-year-old Sgt. Lacell Rue in the July 22 incident at the Greektown Casino.
Worthy’s office says in the incident captured on video, a 26-year-old Detroit man didn’t make any aggressive physical gesture before Martin struck the man in the back of the head and punched him multiple times and that Rue shocked the man twice with a stun gun while he held his hands up.
Detroit Police Sergeants and Lieutenants Association Union President Mark Young says Martin and Rue “were overcharged.”
NURSING HOME DEATHS
Judge urged to clear path to parole in nursing home deaths
WALKER, Mich. (AP) — A lawyer has urged a judge to ignore “popular opinion” and affirm the release of a woman who has spent 30 years in prison for killing residents at a nursing home.
Kent County Judge Joe Rossi heard arguments Monday in a challenge to parole for Catherine Wood. There was no immediate decision.
Five people were suffocated at the Alpine Manor Nursing Home in Walker, near Grand Rapids, in the late 1980s. Wood pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and murder conspiracy, but the attorney general’s office says she admitted to participating in all five deaths and was planning more.
Relatives of the victims have sued to try to overturn the parole board’s decision. Another woman, Gwendolyn Graham, was sentenced to life in prison for her role in the murders.
Family of American man held in Russia wants more aid from US
WASHINGTON (AP) — The arrest of a Michigan corporate security executive on espionage allegations in Russia seemed to his family like a horrible mistake, a misunderstanding that could quickly be resolved with help from the U.S. government.
But it hasn’t worked out that way.
Nearly six months later, and despite extensive U.S. efforts on his behalf, Paul Whelan is entangled in a Russian legal system so opaque that the evidence against him remains unknown. His brother, David, says the family has had only limited contact with him and no idea when, or if, he will be released.
The Whelan case has become a lesson on the limits of American power to help a U.S. citizen charged in a hostile country. The 49-year-old faces a sentence of 20 years on a charge of espionage.
Woman surrenders to face charges in death of buried mother
(Information from: Kalamazoo Gazette, http://www.mlive.com/kalamazoo)
LEROY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A woman has surrendered to authorities to face charges in the death of her 74-year-old mother found buried outside their southwestern Michigan home.
The Kalamazoo Gazette reports 46-year-old Marcia Lutz of Leroy Township reported to Calhoun County District Court to face a felony charge of concealing a death and a misdemeanor charge of failing to report a body. Court records show she posted $1,000 bond during her arraignment Monday
The body of Phyllis Lutz of Leroy Township was found in January wrapped in blankets in a 4- to 5-foot-deep hole in an area used as a burn pit. She had last been seen in September.
Leroy Township is about 110 miles west of Detroit.
Emergency declared in another Michigan county after flooding
CARO, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared a state of emergency for Tuscola County following the county’s request for state assistance to address damage caused by recent flooding.
Monday’s declaration makes available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts. Heavy rainfall on May 25 caused widespread flooding in Tuscola County, damaging infrastructure and private property in the county located about 80 miles (129 kilometers) north of Detroit.
Last week, teams started working together to assess damage in the Detroit area due to spring flooding. Whitmer earlier announced a state of emergency in Wayne County, which includes Detroit.
Areas along Lake St. Clair and western Lake Erie also have been hit by flooding in recent weeks due to winds and rainfall amid high water on the Great Lakes.
Michigan to allow commercial solar panels on more farmland
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials have decided to allow solar panels for larger commercial solar arrays to be built on more farmland around the state.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell announced Monday that the department has decided to allow land enrolled in the Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program to be used for such solar power projects.
McDowell says in a statement the change “will not result in a loss of useable farmland” and will provide a “new opportunity for Michigan’s farmers to diversify.”
The land preservation program provides tax incentives to landowners who keep properties for agricultural use. Michigan says about 3.4 million acres (1.4 million hectares) of farmland currently are enrolled in the program and developers were having trouble finding farmland for large solar projects.
Man gets prison in crash that killed Michigan newlyweds
(Information from: The Holland Sentinel, http://www.thehollandsentinel.com)
ALLEGAN, Mich. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison for a July 2018 crash that killed a newlywed couple in western Michigan near where they were married weeks earlier.
The Holland Sentinel reports 22-year-old Jacob Scot Damron of Wayland was given his punishment Monday after earlier pleading no contest to two felony counts of operating while intoxicated causing death. His minimum sentence is just over 7 years.
The newspaper says Damron had used medical marijuana and was speeding. Defense lawyer Matthew Antkoviak says Damron also was taking an antidepressant.
The Allegan County sheriff’s office says 24-year-old Logan Thunderland Allbaugh and 22-year-old Hannah (Kwekel) Allbaugh died following the crash in Heath Township after a car drove through a stop sign and struck their vehicle .
TOP OF CLASS-TWINS
2 sets of twins graduate top of their class in Michigan
(Information from: Jackson Citizen Patriot, http://www.mlive.com/jackson)
GRASS LAKE, Mich. (AP) — Four high school students in southeastern Michigan have more in common than graduating with the highest grade point averages in their class.
They each also have a twin.
The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports that two sets of twins graduated from Grass Lake High School on Sunday.
Identical twins Kayla and Maria Bolton shared the honor of being valedictorians after earning the same 4.4 GPA. Fraternal twins Connor and Barrett Bagby held the next highest GPAs.
The sets of twins have known each other since elementary school, and they help each other in their studies. They’re all headed to the University of Michigan this fall.
The Boltons plan to study business to pursue their dream of starting a company together. Connor Bagby is joining the business administration program, while Barrett will study nursing.
OFF-DUTY OFFICER DEATH-MICHIGAN
Off-duty officer dies in domestic violence at Michigan home
GARDEN CITY, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say an off-duty Detroit police officer has died following what was described as domestic violence at a home in a suburban community.
Detroit police spokesman Cpl. Dan Donakowski tells The Detroit News that the victim was a female officer, but additional information about her wasn’t immediately released.
Police in Garden City say in a statement that they responded to the home about 11:40 p.m. Sunday and found a person dead inside. Another person was found shot and wounded outside the home and was taken to a hospital for treatment. Details on that person weren’t immediately released.
Police describe what happened as a domestic violence incident and say there’s no active threat to the community. Police are investigating.