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BC-US-FLINT-WATER-SETTLEMENT

Source: Michigan reaches $600M deal in Flint water crisis

The state of Michigan has agreed to pay $600 million to compensate Flint residents whose health was damaged by lead-tainted drinking water. That’s according to an attorney involved in settlement negotiations. The attorney confirmed details to The Associated Press on Wednesday but requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about it ahead of an official announcement expected later this week. Thousands of people have sued the state for its role in the crisis, which began in 2014 when Flint switched its water source from the city of Detroit to the Flint River to save money. State officials advised the city not to use corrosion controls. Lead from pipes contaminated the water.

ELECTION 2020-DNC-TRUMP

Trump eager to troll Biden outside his Scranton birthplace

WASHINGTON (AP) — On Joe Biden’s big day, President Donald Trump is planning to show up in his rival’s old backyard. On Thursday afternoon Trump is set to hold an event just outside the former vice president’s birthplace in Scranton, Pennsylvania. That’s mere hours before Biden formally accepts the Democratic nomination for president. The Trump campaign says the president’s speech will cover “a half-century of Joe Biden failing America.” Biden’s campaign says the president’s trip is a “pathetic attempt to distract from the fact that Trump’s presidency stands for nothing but crises, lies and division.”

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

Whitmer assessing if businesses can open after long closures

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she’s reassessing the risk of opening Michigan businesses that have been closed for months under her orders to curb the coronavirus. She’ll have more to say next week. Movie theaters, gyms and indoor pools are among places barred from operating amid the pandemic. The Democratic governor said Wednesday her office is working with the state health department to “drill down” into closed businesses and studying what’s happening in other states. She also announced Michigan will allocate $60 million in federal pandemic relief funds to school districts where more than half of the students are economically disadvantaged.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-UNEMPLOYMENT

Michigan to give jobless extra $300 a week under Trump plan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has applied for federal funding to provide an additional $300 a week in unemployment benefits. It’s less than the $600 boost that expired last month but still more than the maximum $362 weekly payment Michigan dispenses. President Donald Trump this month signed an order extending the added weekly benefit after he and Congress were unable to agree to a broader new coronavirus relief plan. Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says the program will provide much-needed support but is a short-term “Band-Aid” that falls short of what’s needed. The state’s unemployment rate fell to 8.7% in July.

POSTAL SERVICE-MICHIGAN

TV station finds mail equipment dismantled in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A TV station says it found mail sorting equipment dismantled outside a U.S. Postal Service facility in the Grand Rapids area. The discovery occurred a day after the postmaster general said equipment would stay in place across the country. WOOD-TV posted video of the equipment and a full trash bin nearby. Amy Puhalski, president of a postal union in western Michigan, said six of 35 machines have been dismantled in the Grand Rapids area. A Postal Service spokeswoman declined to comment and instead referred to a Tuesday statement from the postmaster general. Louis DeJoy says election mail will be delivered on time.

DOCTOR-SEXUAL ASSAULT-MICHIGAN STATE

Trustee criticized for Nassar case remarks won’t run again

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan State University trustee who suggested that attorneys representing sexual assault victims of former sports doctor Larry Nassar were “chasing ambulances” will not seek reelection to the school’s board. Joel Ferguson said in a news release Wednesday that he will focus on development projects he has in the state. Ferguson is a real estate developer and a Democrat. He was among the eight trustees who came under fire by Nassar survivors and students in the handling of the Nassar scandal, particularly for comments he made that led to calls for his resignation.

ELECTION 2020-COUNTING THE VOTE

Florida modeled a smooth mail election. Yes, Florida.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Election officials are bracing for a prolonged period of uncertainty after Election Day in November because states aren’t ready for an influx of mail ballots. But Tuesday’s primary in Florida shows that delays aren’t inevitable in a mail system. Florida is rarely a poster child for elections, but it has years of experience with mail balloting. Its laws allow election workers to begin processing those ballots weeks before Election Day. That way, when polls close, the ballots can be swiftly counted. The outcome of the most competitive races were known Tuesday within hours of polls closing.

MACKINAC BRIDGE-PLANE

Information sought about plane that flew under Mighty Mac

ST. IGNACE, Mich. (AP) — Authorities are seeking information about a plane that flew under the Mackinac Bridge in late June. Detective Sgt. Gary Demers of the state police called it “extremely reckless behavior.” Demers says it put everyone who was on the bridge at risk. A Coast Guard crew recorded the June 28 incident on video. Reckless operation of an aircraft is a misdemeanor under state law. Anyone with information can call state police at (906) 643-7582. The Mackinac Bridge, of course, links Michigan’s two peninsulas. 

FOUR DEAD

Man charged with killing ex-girlfriend, 3 others

SUMPTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A man has been charged with killing his ex-girlfriend and three more people in weekend shootings in suburban Detroit. Raymond Bailey of Kinross was charged with four counts of first-degree murder. Bailey is accused of killing ex-girlfriend Laura Tanner, her sister Sarah Grupa, Forrest Sampson and Neal Sampson. The Sampsons were brothers and were related to the women. Police were called to a home in Sumpter Township in western Wayne County on Saturday. Bailey was arrested Sunday in Bay County. He’ll be arraigned while in a hospital.

ELECTION 2020-DNC-MIDWEST

Sanders, rising Democrats call for Midwest to unite to win

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders and others from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party are calling on Democrats from key Midwestern states to work together to not only defeat President Donald Trump, but to forge ahead with a progressive agenda. They spoke Wednesday to activists from five Midwestern states during a virtual meeting coinciding with the third day of the Democratic National Convention. Trump narrowly won two of the states, Wisconsin and Michigan, and just barely lost a third, Minnesota. Democrats from South Dakota and North Dakota also participated on the call, which attracted around 250 viewers at any given time.