Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. EDT
Deal reached on lawsuit over Michigan ban on ballot selfies
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has agreed to settle a lawsuit over a ban on so-called ballot selfies.
Joel Crookston, a voter in the Kalamazoo area, sued in 2016 to try to stop Michigan’s ban on taking photos of marked ballots or publicly exposing them.
Lawyers won’t talk about the deal until details are filed in federal court on May 8. But a court filing last week suggests there will be an easing of the ban. The state said it wanted to avoid “any confusion” in polling places and wait until after local elections are held on May 7.
In 2012, Crookston took a picture of his ballot and posted it on social media. He wasn’t challenged by election officials, but a lawyer warned him that it was illegal and could disqualify his ballot.
Michigan’s prohibition on displaying completed ballots has been around since 1891.
Michigan commission: Trial court funding is ‘broken’
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A commission says the way Michigan trial courts are funded is “broken” and should be overhauled with a new model in which the state shares more of the cost.
The Trial Court Funding Commission, created under a 2017 law, released its interim report Monday. The recommendations are designed to address how judges depend on money from defendants convicted of crimes to cover court operating expenses.
Under one recommendation, the state would establish a fund for receipt of all trial court assessments and state general funds, and distribute the revenue to local courts based on caseloads. Court employees would become state employees, and the state would fund technology needs.
The Michigan Supreme Court is considering whether court costs ordered by judges are an illegal tax against offenders .
COACH HITS REFEREE
Youth basketball coach charged with assaulting referee
PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — Authorities say a Michigan youth basketball coach accused of punching a Kentucky referee, knocking him unconscious, has been charged with assault.
News outlets cite a statement from the McCracken County sheriff’s office in Kentucky that says 40-year-old Keyon Menifield of Flint, Michigan, had a disagreement Saturday with the referee, 61-year-old Kenny Culp of Paducah. The statement says Culp turned to walk away when Menifield struck him.
Culp was taken to a hospital for treatment, and deputies charged Menifield with assault of a sports official. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he has an attorney.
Culp’s niece, KaSondra Barnett, said on Sunday that he was being treated for a broken collarbone, a crack in his sinus cavity, and a concussion.
McCracken County Sheriff Matt Carter says the investigation is ongoing.
Mother of child who drowned in Detroit basement gets jail
DETROIT (AP) — The mother of an 11-month-old girl who drowned in standing water and sewage after falling through a hole in an upstairs floor and into a basement of their Detroit home has been sentenced to a year in jail.
Court records say Dasiah Jordan was given her punishment Monday after earlier pleading guilty to second-degree child abuse and involuntary manslaughter. The 27-year-old also was ordered to serve four years of probation.
Ca’Mya Davis was unattended July 6 when she fell through the hole in her home’s bedroom floor. Her death was ruled accidental.
Prosecutors say Jordan left her daughter with Tonya Peterson while she visited friends and that both women were aware of the hazard.
The 29-year-old Peterson is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
Michigan motorcyclist, 70, dies after collision with turkey
OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a 70-year-old motorcyclist has died after he collided with a turkey that was trying to cross a road in suburban Detroit.
The crash happened Saturday afternoon in Oakland Township, about 22 miles (35 kilometers) northwest of Detroit.
The Oakland County sheriff’s office says several turkeys started to cross the road in front of the man and one of them took flight, colliding with him and causing him to lose control of the motorcycle. The man’s left leg was severed below the knee when he struck a guardrail.
The sheriff’s office says the Oxford Township man was stabilized by paramedics at the scene, but he died after being taken to a hospital. The crash is under investigation.
Actor Seymour Cassel, frequent Cassavetes collaborator, dies
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Journeyman character actor Seymour Cassel, who appeared frequently in the films of John Cassavetes and Wes Anderson, has died. His daughter Dilyn Cassel Murphy says Monday that he passed away. He was 84.
Born in Detroit, he made his way to New York in the 1950s to pursue acting. It was there that he met Cassavetes and made his film debut in his 1958 feature “Shadows.”
He’d go on to work for Cassavetes often, with roles in “Faces,” which earned him a best supporting actor nomination in 1969, “Minnie and Moskowitz,” ”Opening Night” and “Love Streams.”
Later, he’d find a fruitful collaboration with filmmaker Wes Anderson as Bert Fischer in “Rushmore,” the ill-fated Esteban in “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou” and Dusty the elevator operator in “The Royal Tenenbaums.”
Parking tickets rise at E. Michigan under private operator
(Information from: The Ann Arbor News, http://www.mlive.com/ann-arbor)
YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — A news organization’s review has found that parking tickets at Eastern Michigan University have increased at the school since a private company took over enforcement.
MLive.com reports citations issued were up 31.5% overall, from 5,405 issued in fall 2017 to 7,112 in fall 2018. The news organization obtained figures through a Freedom of Information Act request and from LAZ Parking that also show fines collected were higher than the same period a year earlier.
LAZ spokeswoman Mary Brennan Coursey says an increase in citations for parking in a restricted zone were the result of a license plate recognition system installed in an effort make parking enforcement more efficient.
The school got an up-front capital payment of $55 million when it signed a 35-year agreement to monetize its on-campus parking system.
ELECTION 2020-BERNIE SANDERS-MIDWEST
Sanders planning rallies in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pittsburgh
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to hold rallies in battleground states this weekend, starting Friday night in the liberal stronghold of Madison, Wisconsin.
Sanders announced Monday that he will also hold rallies on Saturday at a community college in Warren, Michigan, and in Pittsburgh on Sunday. His campaign says additional stops in Indiana and Ohio are also planned.
Sanders won the Wisconsin and Michigan primaries in 2016 but lost to eventual nominee Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania.
Wisconsin is seen as a tossup state and has been an early focus for Democratic presidential candidates. Beto O’Rourke campaigned in the state last month during the first week of his candidacy.
Sanders says the tour will emphasize that the Democrats’ “clearest and strongest path to victory in 2020 runs through the Upper Midwest.”
Michigan Tech is bringing back mining engineering degree
(Information from: The Mining Journal, http://www.miningjournal.net)
HOUGHTON, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Technological University is reviving a mining engineering program, bringing back a department whose Upper Peninsula roots go back to the 1800s.
Michigan Tech suspended the degree in 2004, due to shrinking enrollment and fewer faculty members. But The Daily Mining Gazette reports the program is returning in summer, and five students are expected by fall. Officials predict enrollment could rise to 20 in three to four years.
Shawn Van Doorn, a junior, has signed up. She grew up in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, home of the former Flambeau mine.
Van Doorn says there are many opportunities to see mines in the Upper Peninsula. Faculty member John Gierke says donations from alumni will pay for scholarships.
Mining engineering was the first department when the Michigan Mining School opened in 1885.
AAA: Michigan gas prices up 5 cents to $2.83 per gallon
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says average gas prices statewide are up about 5 cents from a week ago to about $2.83 per gallon.
The Dearborn-based auto club says Monday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded is about 14 cents more than a year ago. AAA says the statewide average rose to a new 2019 high of $2.86 per gallon last Thursday before easing. AAA says more increases are expected this spring.
The state’s highest average was about $2.89 a gallon in the Saginaw area. The lowest was about $2.67 in the Traverse City area.
Prices in the Detroit area were about $2.79 per gallon, up about 5 cents from a week ago.
AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state.