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SEMIFINALS FRACAS-INVESTIGATION

Fracas after high school football game under investigation

WALLED LAKE, Mich. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the actions of spectators and players that followed a Michigan high school semifinal football game.

The Oakland County sheriff’s office said Wednesday that unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness penalties prompted referees to stop Saturday’s game between Almont and Detroit Denby with less than 4 minutes to go.

Cellphone video published by the Detroit Free Press shows shouting between some Denby players and spectators. The sheriff’s office says people were spat on after the game, racial slurs allegedly were used and locker rooms were damaged.

Any findings will be forwarded to the county prosecutor.

Almont (13-0) defeated Denby (10-3) 36-8 and is scheduled to play Lansing Catholic (12-1) Saturday in the state Division 5 finals at Ford Field in Detroit.

SECRETARY OF STATE-KIOSKS

Michigan replacing kiosks where drivers can renew plates

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says her office is replacing self-service kiosks that are unreliable and hard to use.

Benson announced Wednesday that all 93 kiosks across Michigan will be replaced with more user-friendly stations by the end of January. The state also will add 57 machines at branch offices and grocery stores.

The stations let residents renew their registration if they have their license plate number and the last four digits of the vehicle identification number (VIN). A new $3.95 service fee will be assessed for each vehicle renewed at a kiosk.

Motorists also can renew their registration online, by mail or in person at branch offices.

The self-service stations will allow drivers to conduct other transactions once a computer system upgrade is completed in March 2021.

VAPING DEATH-MICHIGAN

Michigan reports 2nd vaping-related death

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan health officials are reporting the state’s second death associated with an outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries.

The state Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday it was notified Tuesday of the death of an adult man. It released no other information, citing confidentiality reasons.

Since August, 56 confirmed and probable vaping-related lung injury cases have been reported in Michigan.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, says she’s “deeply saddened” to report the second death. Michigan is urging people not to vape until a specific cause of the lung illnesses occurring nationwide is identified.

Federal officials have identified vitamin E acetate as a culprit. Officials say the chemical compound has been used as a thickener in illicit vaping products that contain THC, the high-inducing part of marijuana.

PHONY SCHOOL-IMMIGRATION

250 enrolled at phony school arrested in immigration scam

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (AP) — The federal government says it has arrested about 250 foreigners who knowingly enrolled at a phony school in suburban Detroit so they could remain in the U.S.

The Detroit Free Press reports that nearly 80% of those have voluntarily left the country. The Homeland Security Investigations Detroit office told the newspaper Tuesday that about half of those remaining have received final orders of removal.

The Department of Homeland Security created the University of Farmington, which has offices in Farmington Hills, but no classes or teachers.

Federal indictments say recruiters were paid to help foreigners maintain their status as “students” and get work permits. The newspaper reports that seven of eight recruiters charged by the government pleaded guilty and have been sentenced. The eighth person will be sentenced in January.

OIL WELL EXPLOSION-MICHIGAN

2 men burned in oil well explosion in north-central Michigan

NORWICH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say two men have been burned in an explosion at a north-central Michigan oil well.

Missaukee County sheriff’s officials say the 65-year-old and 56-year-old men were part of a crew servicing the well Tuesday in a secluded area of Norwich Township, about 130 miles (209 kilometers) north of Grand Rapids.

Undersheriff Aaron Kearns said Wednesday the men were taken to a nearby hospital, then transported to one with a burn unit in Flint. He says their conditions and what caused the blast aren’t known.

AP-US-WINTRY-WEATHER-THE-LATEST

The Latest: Highway lanes from California to Oregon reopen

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The northbound lanes of Interstate 5 have reopened heading from Redding, California, all the way to the Oregon border.

California transportation officials said Wednesday the freeway was clear and no chains are required.

I-5 was closed in both directions near the California-Oregon border Tuesday, stranding hundreds of people.

The southbound lanes reopened at Ashland, Oregon early Wednesday.

Don Anderson, deputy director of the California Department of Transportation in Redding, says Caltrans and many other agencies worked hard to communicate the seriousness of the storm but that many drivers were still caught by surprise.

HEPATITIS A-BLACKBERRIES

Lawsuit filed over hepatitis A outbreak linked to berries

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha woman who contracted hepatitis A after eating blackberries she bought at a Fresh Thyme grocery store has sued the company.

The woman who filed the lawsuit Wednesday, Kerrie Tabaka, says she was hospitalized for a week for treatment of hepatitis A and continues to experience fatigue and other symptoms.

Earlier this month, health officials warned consumers in 11 states against eating some berries bought from the Fresh Thyme chain. Federal and state health officials have confirmed 11 cases of hepatitis A, including six in Nebraska, as part of the outbreak in Nebraska, Indiana and Wisconsin.

Fresh Thyme officials didn’t immediately respond to the lawsuit filed Wednesday. The company has said it is cooperating with investigators to identify the source of the contamination.

Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver and can cause mild, flu-like symptoms for several weeks.

DETROIT POLICE-OFFICERS SHOT

Chief: Sergeant failed to rush to scene of police shooting

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit police officer has been suspended with pay after not rushing to secure the scene of a home invasion and shooting that left one officer dead and another wounded.

Sgt. Ronald Kidd was suspended Monday. Police Chief James Craig told reporters Tuesday that the 21-year police veteran could face misdemeanor neglect of duty charges because he sat in his patrol car a block away instead of joining other “officers who were trying to arrest” the suspect.

Officer Rasheen McClain was slain Nov. 20 and officer Phillippe Batoum-Bisse was wounded inside a west side home. A 28-year-old man was shot by other officers and arrested.

Craig also said Kidd was fired in 2014 after not intervening in an assault upon his female partner but got his job back in a plea agreement.

A phone number listed in Kidd’s name rang unanswered Tuesday when called by The Associated Press.

INTERSTATE 75 PROJECT-PAVING

State: Wrong concrete mix used along portions of interstate

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — Parts of Interstate 75 in Oakland County will have to be repaved because a contractor used the wrong concrete mix.

Michigan’s Department of Transportation says Tuesday the error was discovered along northbound I-75 from 13½ Mile to 14 Mile roads in Madison Heights, and along two exit ramp shoulders further north of Detroit.

Transportation spokesman Rob Morosi tells The Detroit News that the concrete mix used was not adjusted to be poured during cold weather and that the contractor will pay about $500,000 in removal and replacement costs.

The department says “the pavement designated for replacement is safe for drivers to use, but the long-term durability is compromised.”

All paving for the $224 million I-75 modernization project is expected to be completed late next year.