Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. EST
Michigan governor says she has authority for stay-home order
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she has the authority to issue a second stay-at-home order to curb the spiking coronavirus if necessary and called a comment by an adviser to President Donald Trump urging people to “rise up” against the state’s latest restrictions “incredibly reckless.” The Democratic governor spoke with reporters Monday, a day after announcing restrictions amid a surge of COVID-19 cases that has led to increased hospitalizations and deaths. Whitmer responded to a tweet sent Sunday night by Scott Atlas, a science adviser to Trump, who urged people to “rise up” after the governor’s announcement. Atlas later tweeted that he “NEVER” would endorse or incite violence.
US Rep. Walberg says he has COVID-19; symptoms mild
JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan congressman says he has tested positive for COVID-19. Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg says his symptoms are mild so far. Walberg was reelected to a seventh term in the 7th District, which stretches from suburban Lansing to southern Michigan. He defeated Democrat Gretchen Driskell for a third time. Walberg says he hasn’t been at a public event in more than a week. Walberg is the second House member from Michigan to disclose a coronavirus infection. Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga said he had it in October.
Conservative group alleging voter fraud ends its lawsuits
HOUSTON (AP) — A conservative group has dropped its voter fraud lawsuits in four states days after the group’s leader made baseless allegations questioning the integrity of the election. Lawyers for True the Vote filed notices to dismiss their cases in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania on Monday, less than a week after suing in all four states. Attorney Jim Bopp Jr. declined to say why they were ending their lawsuits but confirmed the group had no other cases pending. The action highlighted the dwindling legal options that President Donald Trump has as he continues to insist that fraud cost him an election he still claims to have won.
Sheriff says crafty inmate who escaped jail still at large
MASON, Mich. (AP) — A Lansing-area jail inmate still is on the run. It’s been about four days since Michael McKerchie disassembled a window and used mattress padding to fool officers into believing that he was in his cell. Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth says his priority is to capture McKerchie, who has been on the run since Thursday night. McKerchie had been in custody since Sept. 21. He was accused of unlawfully driving a vehicle away from a donut shop and other crimes. The sheriff says he’ll share more details about the escape at a later time.
JAIL LAWSUIT-GLUTEN-FREE FOOD
Man sues Washington jail over lack of gluten-free food
SEATTLE (AP) — A Michigan man says he lost about 35 pounds and was malnourished to the point of unconsciousness during a three-week stay in a Washington state jail early this year because staff failed to provide him gluten-free food to accommodate his celiac disease. Gaven Picciano, 26, sued the Clark County Jail in Vancouver, Washington, as well as NaphCare, the for-profit Alabama company that provides medical services at the jail, in U.S. District Court in Tacoma last week. One of his attorneys said he weighed about 200 pounds when he entered the jail Jan. 30 and 165 pounds when he left it Feb. 20. The county declined to comment.
GAS STATION SHOOTOUT
Deputy, robbery suspect injured in exchange of gunfire
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State Police say a mid-Michigan sheriff’s deputy and a robbery suspect have been shot and wounded in an exchange of gunfire. Police say officers from the Isabella County Sheriff’s Office and state police investigating two robberies found a suspect vehicle at a gas station in Mount Pleasant late Sunday. They say that as officers approached the gas station, “the suspect exited with a handgun and was shot multiple times.” The suspect is hospitalized in critical condition. The deputy was wounded in the leg and treated and released at a hospital.
US casinos recovering from virus, but challenges remain
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The trade association for the U.S. gambling industry says America’s casinos are recovering from months of closures necessitated by the coronavirus outbreak, having regained 81% of the gambling revenue they saw in the third quarter of last year. But that recovery is threatened in places as the virus continues to surge: Sunday night, Michigan’s governor ordered casinos to close for three weeks, and Atlantic City’s top casino last week laid off or cut the hours of 422 workers in response to restrictions imposed by New Jersey’s governor. Virtually all U.S. casinos are operating with some restrictions amid the pandemic.
Donor giving millions to build Jackson sports fieldhouse
JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A businessman is pledging to spend millions of dollars to build a fieldhouse for sports and other activities at a high school in Jackson. The fieldhouse at Jackson High will have a weight training area, a full-width football field, sprint lanes and batting cages. Superintendent Jeff Beal says a variety of students, from the marching band to soccer, should be able to use it. Al Glick is donating $10 million for the project. Glick and brother Robert co-founded Alro Steel in Jackson in 1948. Glick hopes Jackson High will “stand out for generations to come.”
VIRUS OUTBREAK-INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Pandemic pushes steep drop in foreign college students
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Colleges in the U.S. have seen a sharp enrollment drop among international students this fall. University administrators say a number of hurdles and new policies brought on by the coronavirus pandemic are to blame. A new survey out this week shows a 43% drop among new international students enrolled online or in-person. And total international enrollment fell by 16% when including both new and returning students. Many foreign students were unable to get visas earlier this year when American consulates were closed because of the pandemic. Others were stranded because of travel restrictions or faced financial problems related to the outbreak.
Michigan orders high schools, colleges to halt in-person classes; closes restaurants to indoor dining as virus spikes
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan orders high schools, colleges to halt in-person classes; closes restaurants to indoor dining as virus spikes.