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Fiat Chrysler recalls over 660K trucks; steering could fail

DETROIT (AP) — Fiat Chrysler is recalling over 660,000 heavy-duty trucks worldwide because a loose nut can cause a loss of steering control.

The recall covers Ram 3500 pickups from 2013 through 2017, as well as 2500 pickups and 3500 Chassis cabs from 2014 through 2017.

The company says it’s aware of eight crashes and one injury that could be related.

Fiat Chrysler doesn’t have a date yet for owners to be notified. Dealers will inspect a steering linkage nut. If it’s properly tightened it will be welded to a sleeve to keep it in place. If it’s loose, a steering assembly will be replaced.

Most of the trucks are in the U.S. and Canada.


Ex-FBI agent is out in Flint water investigation

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The former head of the FBI in Detroit has been removed from the Flint water criminal investigation.

Andy Arena was part of the team assembled in 2016 by then-Attorney General Bill Schuette. He’s had a distinguished career in law enforcement, especially with the FBI in New York and Detroit.

In a written statement, Fadwa Hammoud says she wants the new chief investigator to be someone inside the attorney general’s office. Arena is being replaced by Jeff Seipanko, who already is part of the Flint water team.

Hammoud is overseeing the investigation after the election of Dana Nessel, the new attorney general. Arena says, “I wish them the best.”

The Flint water probe so far has resulted in seven misdemeanor plea deals. Arena defended the deals in a January interview with The Associated Press, saying cooperation is critical to get other targets.


2 Detroit officers suspended for video taunting black woman

DETROIT (AP) — Two Detroit police officers have been suspended amid an investigation into racist comments and social media posts about a traffic stop.

Officer Gary Steele and an unidentified officer stopped 23-year-old Ariel Moore for driving with an expired license plate last week. They seized the vehicle, leaving Moore to walk a block home in the cold and dark.

WXYZ-TV reports that video posted to Steele’s Snapchat account showed Moore, who is black, walking home as Steele says “priceless” and “bye Felicia.” The caption tags read: “What black girl magic looks like” and “celebrating Black History Month.”

Police Chief James Craig said Monday the officers have been suspended with pay. Craig earlier demoted Steele from corporal and apologized to Moore.

The department didn’t immediately respond to a message Tuesday asking whether Steele would comment or had an attorney.


Detroit Lions player arraigned in NYC police assault case

NEW YORK (AP) — Detroit Lions linebacker Trevor Bates was arraigned Tuesday from a psychiatric ward on charges he punched a New York City police officer after he was taken to a precinct house for failing to pay a taxi fare.

Bates, 25, pleaded not guilty to charges of assault, resisting arrest, theft of services and obstruction of governmental administration.

Bates has been hospitalized since his Jan. 26 arrest and was arraigned via a video hookup.

Bates’ lawyer, Eric Breslin, said they were looking forward to “resolving this manner in an expeditious and satisfactory fashion.”

Bates was arrested around 1:30 a.m. Jan. 26 at a hotel near LaGuardia Airport after allegedly refusing to pay a $32 cab fare for a ride from Manhattan.

Police have said they were ready to let Bates go with an appearance ticket if he didn’t have any outstanding warrants, but that Bates refused to be fingerprinted and punched a sergeant in the face.

Sgt. James O’Brien, who was hit as he tried to calm Bates down, suffered a concussion and needed three stitches over his left eye, police said.

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Bates was subdued with a stun gun and taken to a hospital.

Bates’ agent said last week that his alleged actions “are in no way a reflection of who he is as a person” and “not at all consistent with the man and friend we know him to be.”

“At this time our priority is to ensure that Trevor receives the help he needs and that the privacy of the parties involved be respected,” agent Jeff Jankovich said in a Jan. 28 statement.

Bates, who’s from Westbrook, Maine, and played college football at the University of Maine, joined the Lions last year and appeared in nine games.

He was drafted in 2016 by the Indianapolis Colts and was on the practice squads of the New England Patriots and New York Giants.

Lions general manager Bob Quinn has said that the team is aware of Bates’ arrest but had no further comment.

Judge Karina Alomar set Bates’ bail at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond. His next hearing is scheduled for March 8.

Bates faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.


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Remains found under billboard in 1998 identified as boy, 10

MEBANE, N.C. (AP) — The remains of a boy found under a billboard in North Carolina have been identified two decades later.

Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood told news outlets Tuesday that he was 10-year-old Robert “Bobby” Adam Whitt, who was born in Michigan and raised in Ohio.

Last year, the consultant who helped solve the Golden State Killer case, Barbara Rae-Venter, used DNA to determine the child was half-Asian and half-white. Online DNA ancestry services identified a possible relative.

That relative disclosed Bobby’s name, saying family assumed his mother took him to South Korea. Based on that, police determined an unidentified woman whose remains were found in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, around the same time was Bobby’s mother.

Authorities have identified a suspect incarcerated in a separate case. That suspect hasn’t been charged.


The Latest: Michigan man gets life, no parole in 6 killings

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Relatives of the six people killed by a lone gunman in southwestern Michigan told him they believe he is destined for greater punishment after he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Laurie Smith told Jason Dalton during his Tuesday sentencing hearing that he will face “the ultimate judgment” from God after he dies. Smith lost her husband and son in the February 2016 shootings in and around Kalamazoo.

The 48-year-old Dalton pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder last month. Michigan has no death penalty, so he received a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole at the hearing in a Kalamazoo County court.

Prosecutor Jeff Getting says he’s glad Dalton is being locked up but he wishes “somehow (the sentence) could be more.”


Hearing starts to see if ex-MSU president will face trial

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) — A hearing has begun to determine if a former Michigan State University president will face trial in a case related to the Larry Nassar scandal.

A judge listened to one witness Tuesday, a woman who was molested by the sports doctor. The hearing will resume in Eaton County, Michigan, on April 8.

Lou Anna Simon is accused of lying during an interview last May when investigators were trying to determine how Nassar got away with sexual assault for so long. Simon is charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors.

Authorities say Simon knew in 2014 that Nassar had been accused of molesting a woman at a campus clinic. But Simon told police that she knew only that a complaint had been filed against a sports doctor.

Nassar is serving decades in prison for possessing child pornography. He faces separate sentences for sexual assault.


State of the Union guests include drinking water advocates

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — A man who discovered industrial chemicals in his village’s drinking water is attending the State of the Union address as the guest of freshman U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado.

Michael Hickey of Hoosick Falls in Rensselaer County says he hopes his presence puts the spotlight on residents affected by toxic PFOA. Hickey tested for water contaminants after his father died of cancer and found high levels of the chemical long used at a village plastics factory.

Delgado, a Democrat, sent a letter last week to the Environmental Protection Agency’s acting administrator, Andrew Wheeler, urging him to set limits for PFOA and related PFAS in drinking water.

Advocates from PFAS contaminated communities in New Hampshire and Michigan are also invited guests at the Tuesday evening address.


Heavy duty: Detroit 3 all roll out biggest pickups this year

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Ford are rolling out new heavy-duty pickup trucks this year, courting buyers who tow heavy trailers for work or recreation.

The introductions are sure to spark claims about horsepower, torque, towing capacity and payload hauling. Pickups from Detroit were the three top-selling vehicles in the U.S. last year, totaling more than 2 million in sales. Heavy-duty versions, with bigger frames, beds, interiors and engines, make up about 30 percent of that.

There’s a lot at stake for the automakers, who get most of their profits from trucks. Around 90 percent of heavy-duty buyers spend thousands extra for powerful diesel engines, and many go for pricey luxury and safety features. A decked-out truck can top $80,000, although prices haven’t been announced for the new ones.