Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. EDT


U-Michigan strips provost of role amid sex misconduct probe

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan has removed a faculty member from his job as chief academic officer over sexual misconduct allegations that have been made against him. Martin Philbert has been on paid leave since January when several allegations were made. He lost his job as provost on Wednesday but will remain on the payroll as a faculty member with tenure protection while the investigation continues. The university says Philbert was notified in a letter from President Mark Schlissel. The investigation will determine if the school ultimately attempts to remove Philbert as a faculty member.


Virus cases in Michigan force changes at state universities

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s largest universities are suspending face-to-face classes, and courts have been advised to consider postponing trials. It’s the fallout after Michigan’s first two cases of coronavirus were announced. Michigan State and Michigan said Wednesday that online classes will last until the week of April 19. Similar moves have been announced at Central Michigan and Michigan Tech. Wayne State in Detroit has added another week to spring break. Michigan Chief Justice Bridget McCormack is telling judges to consider postponing jury trials unless a criminal defendant is in jail or there have been long delays. It’s a recommendation, not an order.


China auto sales plunge in February amid virus shutdown

BEIJING (AP) — China has reported its auto sales plunged 81.7% in February from a year earlier after Beijing shut down much of the economy to fight a virus outbreak, adding to problems for automakers already struggling with shrinking demand. An industry group, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said Thursday that sales of SUVs, sedans and minivans fell to 224,000, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Auto dealerships, cinemas and other consumer businesses were ordered to stay closed after the Lunar New Year holiday to help contain the virus that emerged in central China in December.


Democrats buoyed by high turnout in Michigan primary

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Democrats are buoyed that a record-high number of peopled voted in Michigan’s Democratic presidential primary, which was won by Joe Biden. Nearly 1.6 million people cast ballots on the Democratic side Tuesday. That is almost 380,000 more than four years ago — a 31% increase. Michigan Democratic Party Chairwoman Lavora Barnes says Democratic voters are ready to hold President Donald Trump accountable in the November election. Turnout was down on the Republican side, though that was expected since Trump faced no serious challenge.