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


Trump-Biden showdown, Senate race top Michigan’s ballot

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Joe Biden is seeking to reclaim once-reliably blue Michigan for Democrats, while President Donald Trump is trying to again seize the key battleground. Tuesday’s election also features the state’s most competitive U.S. Senate race in 20 years, several closely watched U.S. House contests and a dogfight for control of the state House. Voters also are deciding the makeup of the Michigan Supreme Court. In the Senate race, Democratic Sen. Gary Peters is eyeing a second term. Republican John James is looking to become just the second Michigan Republican to serve in the Senate in more than 40 years.


Michigan Sen. Peters faces stiff challenge from GOP’s James

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — John James is aiming to be the first Michigan Republican to win a U.S. Senate seat in a quarter-century. Sen. Gary Peters is eyeing a second term, which would extend Democrats’ dominance in the state’s Senate races. Tuesday’s expensive, heavily contested election will also help shape which party controls the Senate. The 61-year-old Peters is one of two Democrats running for reelection in a state Donald Trump won in 2016. Michigan is a presidential battleground and a rare place on the Senate map for Republicans to play offense. James is a Black businessman and Iraq War veteran. He’s waging a stiff challenge.


Meijer, Scholten vie for House seat in western Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican Peter Meijer and Democrat Hillary Scholten are vying in what may be Michigan’s most competitive House race after Rep. Justin Amash decided not to seek reelection. A victory would make Scholten the first Democrat to represent Grand Rapids in Congress in 44 years. The five-term Amash has represented the western Michigan district for a decade. It stretches south to the Battle Creek area. Meijer is a 32-year-old veteran who served in Iraq. His family founded the Meijer chain of stores. Scholten is a 38-year-old immigration lawyer who worked at the Justice Department during President Barack Obama’s administration.


Due to virus, restaurants now taking names and phone numbers

DETROIT (AP) — Meals at Michigan restaurants came with a new side dish Monday: What’s your name and phone number? The latest order kicked in from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s health department. Restaurants must be able to contact customers if there’s a virus case linked to the business. The Michigan Restaurants & Lodging Association insists coronavirus transmission doesn’t occur much at restaurants. The group predicts job losses and more financial struggles. Michigan’s coronavirus cases have risen significantly, setting a new daily high Saturday at nearly 3,800. The state reported a Sunday-Monday total of 6,709. That’s an average of 3,354 each day.


Juvenile lifer in prison for nearly 50 years gets big break

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A man who was 17 when he said he felt threatened and shot a man from the top of a gas station has been granted a shorter sentence. It means that 68-year-old Robert Cook will likely leave prison in the months ahead after roughly 50 years behind bars. In 1971, Cook was sentenced to life in prison for murder. But he was eligible for a new hearing due to a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions that struck down automatic life sentences for minors. There’s no dispute that Cook shot a man in 1969. But he says he was targeted by a motorcycle gang.


Judge’s blunt emails to prosecutor lead to new trial

ALLEGAN, Mich. (AP) — A man convicted of criminal sexual conduct has been granted a new trial in western Michigan. Emails show a judge was sharing her opinion of the case with the prosecutor’s office. An Allegan County jury last year convicted Daniel Loew of criminal sexual conduct. Judge Margaret Zuzich-Bakker sentenced him to at least 20 years in prison. It turns out that the judge sent emails to prosecutor Myrene Koch during the trial, asking a question about the victim and offering an unflattering opinion about state police. Koch said she wasn’t directly involved in Loew’s trial and didn’t share the judge’s remarks with an assistant prosecutor. The judge declined to comment.


The Latest: Trump predicts he’ll ‘so easily’ win Michigan

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump declared he would win Michigan “so easily” as he rallied supporters in a midnight gathering that wraps up his reelection campaign and heralds the beginning of Election Day. Thousands turned out in Grand Rapids in low 40s weather to cheer Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. While polling in several key states shows Trump trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden, the president assured his Michigan supporters that “I think we’re doing well all over” and predicted a “red wave.”


Hospitals competing for nurses as US coronavirus cases surge

FENTON, Michigan (AP) — U.S. hospitals are scrambling to hire more nurses as the coronavirus pandemic surges, leading to stiff competition and increased costs. Experts say the situation is especially difficult in rural areas and at small hospitals. To alleviate the shortage, nurses are being trained in care areas where they have limited experience, hospitals are scaling back services and health systems are turning to short-term travel nurses to help fill the gaps. Meanwhile there is evidence that some nurses are choosing to retire or take less stressful, safer jobs. In Wisconsin, one hospital system is offering $15,000 signing bonuses to handle a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations.


Medical provider agrees to $100K settlement in jail death

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — A health care provider has agreed to pay $100,000 to settle part of a lawsuit over the death of a Macomb County jail inmate who killed himself. The Macomb Daily says The parents of Dieter Herriges-Love will receive about $50,000, with much of it going to his mother. The balance will go to lawyers. Herriges-Love was found dead in a cell in 2017. The lawsuit says authorities knew he had a history of drug and alcohol problems and depression but didn’t do enough to help him. The lawsuit in federal court in Detroit will continue against Macomb County and two county employees.


Officials: 3 people die in Benton Harbor apartment fire

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Public safety officials say three family members are dead in southwestern Michigan after an early morning apartment fire. Officers with the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety responded to a fire at a duplex just before 5 a.m. Sunday. The second floor collapsed to the first floor and three members of a family were killed. The victims were a 30-year-old mother, 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter. The father is only survivor and was being treated for smoke inhalation. The names of the victims were not released. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.