Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST
VIRUS OUTBREAK-HUNTING SURGE
Hunting licenses soar as virus-weary Americans head outdoors
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Wildlife officials in many states are issuing lots more hunting and fishing licenses this year — apparently because of the coronavirus. Americans who are weary of being cooped up at home and wearing masks elsewhere are taking refuge in outdoors sports that offer safety and solitude. In Michigan, the number of people getting hunting licenses for the first time in at least five years has jumped 80 percent. The trend has reversed a steady decline in hunting’s popularity that once appeared permanent. And it’s providing a potential new source of food for families and food banks pressed by the pandemic.
Michigan GOP backtracks after blocking vote certification
DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s largest county has unanimously certified election results showing Democrat Joe Biden defeating President Donald Trump, hours after Republicans first blocked formal approval of voters’ intentions. The initial move was quickly condemned by Democrats, election experts and spectators at the Wayne County Board of Canvassers online meeting as a dangerous attempt to block the results of a free and fair election. The ultimate resolution in Wayne County propels Biden toward formal victory in Michigan, but Tuesday’s chaotic developments are likely to sow more doubt among Trump’s supporters in the election results.
Flint water lawsuit settlement now totals about $641 million
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The proposed settlement of a lawsuit filed on behalf of residents of Flint, Michigan, who were harmed by lead-tainted water now totals $641 million. The lawsuit was the result of workers following state environmental officials’ advice not to use anti-corrosive additives. Without those treatments, water from the Flint River scraped lead from aging pipes and fixtures, contaminating tap water. The proposed settlement between lawyers representing Flint residents and the city of Flint, McLaren Regional Medical Center, Rowe Professional Services and the state of Michigan was expected to be filed late Tuesday in U.S. District Court. Court-appointed counsel Corey Stern says Flint residents will have 60 days to register to participate in the settlement.
DETROIT TRAIN STATION-FORD
Ford to revamp Detroit book warehouse into innovation hub
DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. has revealed plans to transform a long-vacant book warehouse into a hub for automobile innovation in Detroit’s oldest neighborhood. Corktown, long known for its wood-framed houses, restaurants and taverns, is the site of the automaker’s planned $740 million project to create a place where new automotive, transportation and mobility ideas are nurtured and developed. The Dearborn, Michigan-based company’s foray into Corktown started with its 2018 acquisition of the massive Michigan Central station and other buildings in the neighborhood just west of downtown. When work is completed, the 30-acre site will have more than 1 million square feet of commercial space.
Former UAW exec gets 2 1/2 years in prison for kickback
DETROIT (AP) — A former union vice president who took a $250,000 kickback for a watch contract has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. It’s the latest punishment in what the government calls “systemic” corruption at the highest ranks of the United Auto Workers. Joe Ashton of Ocean View, New Jersey, had hoped for house arrest, noting his wife has multiple sclerosis and needs constant care. But Judge Bernard Friedman says a prison term is appropriate for a crime that shook the faith of thousands of union members. Eleven union officials and a late official’s spouse have pleaded guilty since 2017, including former presidents Dennis Williams and Gary Jones. Not all the crimes were connected.
Restaurants sue to try to stop new Whitmer ban on dining
DETROIT (AP) — Just hours before another shutdown, a Michigan restaurant association is suing to try to stop a ban on indoor dining. It’s an attack on the latest restrictions from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration in response to a wave of coronavirus cases. The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association says it made “several good-faith efforts” to reach a compromise with the state health department before the policy was announced Sunday night. The group says its members could have further reduced risk while keeping their dining rooms open. The indoor dining ban kicks in after midnight. The lawsuit says the order violates the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause and due process rights.
Survey: Michigan educators feel unsafe returning to school
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan Education Association survey finds a majority of educators in Michigan have safety concerns and don’t believe their schools will be able to return to in-person learning in January. It found 74% of educators prefer some level of virtual learning for now. Almost half of the 47,040 educators who responded to the survey said they felt their concerns were not addressed in their school district’s plans for reopening or virtual learning. The state teachers’ union wants to see this change and get teachers more involved in the decision making. The union has about 120,000 members.
Michigan woman who killed abusive husband freed from prison
PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit woman who said she fatally shot her husband in self-defense has been released from prison after serving 20 months. Tina Talbot hugged her 9-year-old son, whom she hadn’t seen since March because of coronavirus-related visitor restrictions. Family and friends cheered outside the Huron Valley prison for women in Washtenaw County. Talbot was eligible for parole after serving her minimum sentence. She pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 2018 death of her husband in Waterford Township. Talbot said her husband had beaten her for days and threatened to kill her and their son. She was admitted to a hospital for her injuries.
Michigan court rejects appeal over counting ballots
DETROIT (AP) — An effort to stop the certification of Detroit-area votes from the Nov. 3 election has been rejected by the Michigan appeals court. The court says it’s not convinced that a Wayne County judge made “manifest error” in refusing to stop the work of county canvassers. The canvassers must certify the votes this week and notify the state. Republican challengers who observed the counting of absentee ballots at a Detroit convention hall claimed fraud occurred in favor of Joe Biden. Judge Timothy Kenny says the allegations aren’t credible. Biden won Michigan by more than 140,000 votes.
Names of 2 missing hunters recovered from Ohio lake released
TIPPICANOE, Ohio (AP) — Authorities have released the names of two missing hunters from Michigan whose bodies were recovered from an Ohio lake a day after they were reported missing. Adria Bergeron of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District said the bodies of 63-year-old James “Bud” Miller, Jr. of Rives Junction and 43-year-old James McKibbin of Parma were found at about 2 p.m. Monday near the shoreline of Clendening Lake. The two were last seen around 1 p.m. Sunday arriving at Clendening Lake Marina. Friends reported them missing late that night. Search crews were still looking for the missing boat the men had been using on the lake.