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

VAPING-LUNG TRANSPLANT

Doctors: Double lung transplant recipient was teen who vaped

DETROIT (AP) — A double lung transplant recipient who severely damaged those internal organs by vaping has been identified as a Michigan teenager.

Doctors at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit described to reporters Tuesday the procedure that saved the 17-year-old’s life and pleaded for the public to understand the dangers of vaping.

The teen was admitted in early September to a Detroit-area hospital with what appeared to be pneumonia. He was eventually taken to Henry Ford Hospital and the transplant was performed Oct. 15.

The double lung transplant is believed to be first performed on a patient due to vaping.

Dr. Hassan Nemeh described the teen’s lungs as having an “enormous amount of inflammation and scarring.” The doctors did not specify what the teen vaped or how long he vaped.

Health officials declined to release the teen’s name. They say he is expected to recover.

MICHIGAN LAWMAKER-ABORTION

Michigan lawmaker criticized for comparing abortion, slavery

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan Republican legislative leader is drawing criticism from state Democrats for likening abortion to the “scourge” of slavery.

State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey told Hillsdale College’s radio station last week that allowing abortion is comparable to “the scourge we endured when we still had slavery in this country.”

Democratic state Sen. Erika Geiss says Shirkey’s remarks were “incredibly insensitive.” Geiss, who is black, said Tuesday it is wrong to compare anything to the “atrocities of slavery” and what it did to black families.

Shirkey’s spokeswoman says he believes abortion is an issue where there’s no middle ground and it has the potential to be as divisive for the country as slavery was. She says he was not referring to the abortion procedure itself as being analogous to slavery.

OFFICIAL ARRESTED-DETROIT

Snowstorm causes delay at Pittsburgh official’s trial

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit trial of an elected official from Pittsburgh is off to a slow start because of a snowstorm.

Jury selection began Tuesday, but the judge ran out of candidates. The National Weather Service says more than 9 inches (22.8 centimeters) of snow fell Monday and Tuesday in southeastern Michigan.

Jury selection will resume Thursday in Wayne County court.

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner is charged with obstructing police and disorderly conduct. Wagner is accused of interfering with Detroit police while they were removing her husband from the Westin Book Cadillac hotel in March.

Wagner, who was re-elected last week, predicts she’ll be acquitted. She turned down a plea deal.

MICHIGAN BUDGET

Michigan budget standoff unlikely to end until December

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A budget standoff between the Republican-led Legislature and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is unlikely to be resolved until December at the earliest.

The Michigan House won’t convene for voting Wednesday. It began a three-week hunting and Thanksgiving break last week but had left open the possibility of meeting Wednesday if a deal was in reach.

The Senate will meet Wednesday before taking two weeks off. The House could return for a day next week if an agreement is struck, though the sides don’t seem optimistic.

Pressure has been building for Whitmer and Republicans to settle their differences after she vetoed nearly $1 billion in proposed spending. They want to restore some funding but are at odds over Republicans’ push to let legislators check her power to shift funds within departments.

SCHOOL GRADES

Group criticizes delayed release of A-to-F grade for schools

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Department of Education is facing criticism from a conservative education group for not publishing A-through-F letter grades for public schools.

A 2018 law requires the agency to have assigned each school a grade in five categories by Sept. 1 and each year following. But the department does not plan to release the initial grades until March.

The Great Lakes Education Project, a pro-school choice group with ties to the DeVos family, says it spent just 20 hours using 2017-18 data to calculate letter grades. It says the State Board of Education should “hold accountable” state officials for violating the new transparency law.

A spokesman says the Education Department has been clear all along that the new accountability system, based on 2018-19 data, will not be ready until March.

THREE-ANTLER DEER

Former lawmaker takes picture of rare 3-antler deer

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) — A former state lawmaker says he took a picture of an unusual deer: a buck with three antlers in the Upper Peninsula.

Steve Lindberg posted the photo to his Facebook page where he regularly shares pictures from the outdoors.

A veterinarian, Steve Edwards of Lakeview, says the deer is normal and healthy. Edwards says it’s possible that something happened when the deer was an embryo before birth. He tells the Detroit Free Press that the three-antler deer is probably a “one-in-a-million thing.”

The traditional deer hunting season starts Friday.

OVERDOSE-SENTENCE

Life sentence affirmed in drug-related death in SW Michigan

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — An appeals court has upheld a life sentence for a man who was blamed for the drug-related death of another man in the Kalamazoo area.

The federal court says the sentence is “severe and perhaps even misguided as a matter of criminal justice policy” but still constitutional.

Steve Whyte was accused of providing heroin that caused the fatal overdose of Adam Boomers in 2016. He denied the allegation and claimed he was set up by a different drug dealer in the Kalamazoo area.

The government’s trial witnesses included a man who said he served as the conduit between Whyte and Boomers.

Prior convictions enhanced Whyte’s sentence in federal court.

WINTRY WEATHER-MICHIGAN

Weather Service: Snowfall records set in Detroit, Flint

DETROIT (AP) — It was a snowfall for the record books in Detroit and Flint.

The National Weather Service forecast office for Detroit/Pontiac says a record daily maximum snowfall of 8.5 inches (21.59 centimeters) at Detroit Metro Airport on Monday broke a record that had stood for nearly 94 years. It was the highest November daily snowfall, topping the previous high mark of 6.2 inches (15.75 centimeters) set on Nov. 15, 1925. It also broke the old record for Nov. 11 of 4.1 inches (10.41 centimeters) set in 1984.

The weather service says Monday’s snowfall of 8.6 inches (21.84 centimeters) measured at Flint Bishop Airport was a record daily maximum for Nov. 11, topping the previous mark of 3.0 inches (7.62 centimeters) set in 1933.

TRADE WAR-FARM AID

Top Democrat assails Trump’s $16B trade bailout for farmers

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A top Democrat says President Donald Trump’s $16 billion bailout for farmers hurt by the trade war with China unfairly picks winners and losers, pitting the South against the North and small farms against wealthy producers.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, of Michigan, is the top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee. She says Trump’s trade agenda has irreparably harmed farmers.

She leveled the charges Tuesday in a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. The letter is signed by 14 other Democratic senators, accompanied by a 12-page report. It’s one of the sharpest congressional critiques yet of the Market Facilitation Program.

Stabenow asked Perdue to improve the program before more payments go out.

The Agriculture Department defends the program, saying payments are based on trade damage, not region or farm size.

CATHOLIC BISHOPS

LA’s Gómez elected 1st Hispanic to lead US Catholic bishops

BALTIMORE (AP) — Archbishop José Gómez of Los Angeles, an immigrant from Mexico, overwhelmingly won election Tuesday as the first Hispanic to head the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Gómez, 67, has been serving as the conference’s vice president for the past three years. Regarding doctrine, he is considered a practical-minded conservative, but he is a strong advocate of a welcoming immigration policy that would include a path to citizenship for many immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

In August, after a gunman targeting Mexicans killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, Gómez wrote a powerful statement condemning white supremacy and noting that Spanish was spoken in North America before English.

Gómez succeeds Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, whose presidency was complicated by the church’s clergy sex-abuse crisis.