Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST

AP-US-OPIOID-LAWSUIT-MICHIGAN

Michigan sues opioid distributors under drug dealer law

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is suing four companies over the deadly painkiller epidemic. State Attorney General Dana Nessel says Michigan is the first state to sue major opioid distributors under a drug dealer liability law. The suit filed Tuesday names AmericsourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson and Walgreens. They have been sued in other states, too. Michigan is the 49th state to file legal action against the opioid industry. Only Nebraska hasn’t. Nessel says the opioid crisis has led the state to bear high financial costs. The companies have contended they functioned as a delivery service and kept authorities apprised of the quantities being shipped.

AP-US-FORD-NEW-JOBS

Ford to add 3,000 jobs in the Detroit area, invest $1.45B

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is adding 3,000 jobs at two factories in the Detroit area. It’s also investing $1.45 billion to build new pickup trucks, SUVs, and electric and autonomous vehicles. The company says about $750 million will go the Michigan Assembly Plant in the Detroit suburb of Wayne. The factory will get 2,700 new jobs during the next three years. Another $700 million will be invested in the truck plant in Dearborn, where 300 new jobs will be added. Hiring will begin next year, and the jobs on average will pay about $61,000 a year.

TRUMP IMPEACHMENT-STEVENS

Michigan Democrats Stevens, Dingell to vote to impeach Trump

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Rep. Haley Stevens, a freshman Democrat who represents a swing district in suburban Detroit, says she will vote to impeach President Donald Trump. Her announcement on the eve of the House vote ensures that Michigan’s 14 House members will break along party lines. Seven Democrats are expected to support impeachment, as will in all likelihood independent Justin Amash. Seven Republicans plan to vote no. Stevens says Trump solicited Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election by investigating potential rival Joe Biden, and he “must not go unchecked.” Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell also has announced she will support impeachment.

COLLEGE STUDENT KILLED

Jury convicts man in slaying of Michigan college student

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A jury has convicted a Mississippi man in the fatal shooting of a Michigan State University student outside an off-campus apartment building. Isai Berrones of Alamo, Texas, was shot while trying to break up a fight between women in October 2018 in East Lansing, Michigan. Investigators say he was shot by Steven Washington, the boyfriend of one of the women. Berrones was a senior at Michigan State majoring in food science.    

HUNTER DEATH-CONVICTION

Michigan man convicted in fellow hunter’s fatal shooting

BELLAIRE, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man who authorities say accidentally shot and killed a fellow hunter on the first day of the state’s annual firearms deer season last year has been convicted on all three charges he faced. An Antrim County jury found 46-year-old David M. Barber of Gaylord guilty last Friday of involuntary manslaughter, felony firearm and trespassing in the November 2018 shooting death of 38-year-old Justin E. Beutel. The Bay City Times reports that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the men were hunting separately when the shooting occurred near the village of Alden, about 20 miles northeast of Traverse City. 

JEWELRY STORE ROBBERY-HOBART

Detroit man pleads guilty in NW Indiana jewelry store heist

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A Detroit man has pleaded guilty in a smash-and-grab robbery during which he and two others allegedly stole more than $1 million in jewelry from a northwestern Indiana jewelry store. Twenty-nine-year-old Darren S. Bell pleaded guilty last week in federal court in Hammond to a federal charge of armed robbery that interfered with interstate commerce. Authorities allege that in January 2019, Bell, another Detroit man and a third unidentified individual entered a jewelry store in Hobart, smashed display cases with hammers and fled the fled the store with $1,009,145 worth of miscellaneous jewelry in bags.

SPINE DOCTOR-FRAUD

Long prison sentence upheld for doctor who hurt patients

DETROIT (AP) — A federal appeals court has affirmed a nearly 20-year prison sentence for a doctor who performed unnecessary spinal surgeries in California and Michigan. Prosecutors referred to the procedures as “plain butchery.” Aria Sabit pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud but argued that the sentence was excessive. He had a financial stake in Apex Medical Technologies and made money when he used its spinal devices. He worked at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, California, until moving to suburban Detroit in 2011. The appeals court noted that some patients are permanently disabled after seeing Sabit.

TRUMP-IMPEACHMENT-DEMOCRATS

Vulnerable Democrats fall in line behind Trump impeachment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vulnerable House Democrats are announcing they’ll vote for President Donald Trump’s impeachment even if it means losing their seats in Congress. About a dozen lawmakers from competitive districts say they will vote in favor of the abuse and obstruction charges against Trump. The exception is New Jersey congressman Jeff Van Drew, a Democrat who opposes impeachment and is poised to become a Republican. A cascade of announcements Monday came ahead of the House vote later this week. If the articles pass, Trump will become the nation’s third impeached president. 

AP-US-TRUMP-IMPEACHMENT-SLOTKIN

Michigan Rep. Slotkin says she will vote to impeach Trump

ROCHESTER, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin says she will vote to impeach President Donald Trump. The freshman Democrat, who represents a swing seat, explained her decision Monday during a raucous town hall in suburban Detroit. Slotkin, a former national security official, says Trump used the power of the presidency for his own advantage and she has a duty to protect and defend the Constitution. The House will vote Wednesday on the impeachment articles approved last week by the House Judiciary panel. Slotkin’s district backed Trump in 2016 but elected her over a Republican incumbent in 2018. 

FRESHWATER MUSSELS DIE-OFF

Scientists seeking cause of huge freshwater mussel die-off

KYLES FORD, Tenn. (AP) — Scientists are working to quickly discover what is killing hundreds of thousands of freshwater mussels on the Tennessee-Virginia border. Mussels are extremely important to rivers for their ability to filter algae, silt and even heavy metals. Their populations everywhere have declined steeply from pollution, habitat loss and climate change. The current decline looks like it might be something different _ infectious disease. Similar mussel die-offs have been reported on at least five U.S. rivers and in Spain. Scientists say they are working quickly to identify the culprit because if all the mussels die, the rivers will never be the same.