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Chief: Suspect in officer’s slaying ‘very target specific’

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit’s police chief says a gunman who fatally shot one officer and wounded another was trying “to bait” them as they searched a home for him.

Chief James Craig said Thursday that the 28-year-old man waited at the bottom of basement stairs, fired two shots from an assault-type rifle and ran past the fallen officers. Other officers shot him in the arm outside the home. He was arrested a block away.

Craig said the gunman was “very target specific” and “knew what he planned to do.”

Officer Rasheen McClain was shot in the neck and died. Officer Phillippe Batoum-Bisse is being treated for a leg wound.

The shooting happened Wednesday evening as officers responded to a report of a man with a gun who was looking for an estranged girlfriend.


This story has been updated to correct the spelling of the slain officer’s last name to McClain instead of McLain and the spelling of the wounded officer’s first name to Phillippe instead of Philippe.


Michigan GOP leader uses expletive to call governor ‘crazy’

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Republican legislative leader is drawing criticism after a college newspaper quoted him using an expletive to describe Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Democratic lawmakers as “crazy.”

The Collegian at Hillsdale College reported Thursday that Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey made the remarks to a college Republican group last week. He also called Whitmer’s budget vetoes and transfers “rash political misbehavior.”

A Whitmer spokesman says the comments were sexist. The liberal group Progress Michigan says the remarks were “inappropriate, highly sexist and completely out of line.”

Shirkey spokeswoman Amber McCann says he regrets making the remark, calling it “flippant” and a “poor choice of words.”


Legal hemp, CBD stir more farmers to grow unfamiliar crop

CLAYTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The legalization of industrial hemp in the U.S. has sparked interest from both traditional farmers and newbies.

The early stages are proving tricky. Producing the now-legal cousin of marijuana is labor-intensive. But up for grabs is a market that could grow more than five-fold globally by 2025 — driven by demand for CBD.

The compound doesn’t cause a high like that of marijuana. It’s hyped as a health product to reduce anxiety, treat pain and promote sleep.

Even before hemp was fully legalized federally, some states ran pilot programs under the 2014 farm bill. Last month, the U.S. government finalized an interim national regulatory framework that’s expected to pave the way for the crop’s widespread commercialization starting as early as 2020.


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Gilchrist signs bill making Michigan 5th cage-free egg state

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Egg-laying hens in Michigan will have to be housed in cage-free systems before 2025 under a new law.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist signed the legislation Thursday because Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is on a trade trip in Israel.

The law will also prohibit non-cage-free eggs from being sold in Michigan starting in 2025.

Gilchrist says the measure will ensure Michigan’s standards for protecting animal welfare are among the strongest in the U.S. while ensuring egg producers can thrive.

Each hen was going to have to be confined in a 1-square-foot space by April under an old law. The new law will require each hen to be housed in a cage-free system by the end of 2024.

Michigan is the fifth state and the largest egg-producing state to adopt a cage-free requirement.


Gilchrist becomes first black LG to sign a bill into law

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist had made state history by becoming the first black lieutenant governor to sign a bill into law.

Gilchrist, who is Michigan’s first African American lieutenant governor, enacted legislation Thursday to end a lifetime ban on felons becoming licensed insurance agents. His signature came during a bill-signing event in the rotunda of the Capitol building.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is on a trade trip in Israel.

Gilchrist says the bill signing symbolizes the opportunity that exists when diversity is embraced. Then-Secretary of State Richard Austin was the first black statewide officeholder to sign a bill in 1988.

Starting in six months, the state will be able to issue licenses to certain people who have not been convicted of a felony in the previous ten years.


Coast Guard seaman charged with murder freed from brig

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A U.S. Coast Guard seaman accused of killing a friend during a night of drinking in Alaska has been released from the brig in San Diego.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says Ethan Tucker was released Monday after the admiral overseeing his prosecution ordered a new hearing in the case.

The 21-year-old from Ludington, Michigan is charged with murder and involuntary manslaughter.

Military prosecutors allege he beat 19-year-old Seaman Ethan Kelch of Virginia Beach, Virginia in January and left him in frigid water, where he drowned.

Both were serving on the cutter Douglas Munro, based in Kodiak, Alaska.

The Union-Tribune says during an October hearing, Tucker’s defense said videos from a witness showed that Tucker actually fought with Kelch, trying to prevent him from drunkenly taking a swim that night.


Woman, 86, died after crash; power line kept rescuers away

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Police say emergency responders couldn’t immediately rescue an elderly couple in a suburban Detroit car crash because a live power line was on the vehicle.

Shirley Ann Tobalski, who was 86 years old, died Wednesday night. Clinton Township police say she was conscious and alert after the crash but eventually lost consciousness and died at a hospital.

The Macomb Daily reports that it took more than 30 minutes before electricity to the line could be cut and rescuers could approach the vehicle. Tobalski’s 92-year-old husband told police that he swerved and hit a utility pole to avoid a crash with a flatbed truck.

His condition wasn’t released.


Company released risky emissions, regulators say

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — A factory in Livingston County has been ordered to stop emitting a chemical linked to cancer.

The county health department says tests revealed high levels of trichloroethylene, or TCE, in the air near Diamond Chrome Plating in Howell. The levels are high enough to be considered a health hazard.

Diamond Chrome has complied with an order to stop the emissions. A public meeting is planned Thursday at 7 p.m. at Parker Middle School.

The health department says elevated levels of TCE can cause birth defects and raise the risk of kidney cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Diamond Chrome uses TCE to remove grease from metal parts. Consultant Jim Colmer tells the Daily Press & Argus that the company is taking steps to correct any issues.


Enbridge completes rock sampling for Michigan tunnel project

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Enbridge says it has completed sediment and rock sampling in preparation for building a Michigan oil pipeline tunnel that some state leaders and environmentalists hope to block.

The Canadian company said Thursday its crews took core samples from 27 locations in the Straits of Mackinac area, where Lakes Huron and Michigan meet.

Project manager Amber Pastoor said geologists will study the samples. Results will be used to design the tunnel and a machine to drill through bedrock beneath the lake floor.

Enbridge negotiated an agreement with former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to run an oil pipe through the tunnel and shut down its twin Line 5 pipes that traverse the lake bottom.

His Democratic successor, Gretchen Whitmer, opposes the deal. Attorney General Dana Nessel is appealing a court ruling that upheld legislation authorizing the agreement.

Nessel also has filed a lawsuit to decommission Line 5.


Lawsuit targets ‘filth’ at Michigan’s only women’s prison

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Department of Corrections has been hit with a class-action lawsuit on behalf of inmates who say they’ve been overwhelmed by chronic mold and other unsanitary conditions at the state’s only prison for women.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Detroit federal court, says the Huron Valley prison in Washtenaw County is “operating under a state of degradation, filth and inhumanity.” Lawyers say women have suffered health problems because of mold and their complaints have gone unheeded.

Spokesman Chris Gautz says the Corrections Department “disagrees with the claims.” He declined further comment.

Paula Bailey says exposure to mold has given her a rash, scars and respiratory problems. Another prisoner, Krystal Clark, says she suffers from chronic coughing and wears a mask when visiting with people.