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Michigan plans to charge ex-Gov. Snyder in Flint water probe
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Associated Press has learned that former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, his health director and other ex-officials have been told they’re being charged after a new investigation of the Flint water scandal. The majority Black city’s water system was contaminated with lead in 2014-15. It was also blamed for a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. Two people with knowledge of the planned prosecution said the attorney general’s office has informed defense lawyers about indictments in Flint and told them to expect initial court appearances soon. They spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Flint water crisis: Rooted in neglect, fallout continues
The Associated Press has learned that former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, his health director and other ex-officials have been told they’re being charged after a new investigation of the Flint water crisis. It’s the latest twist in a scandal that began in 2014 when the source of the impoverished city’s water supply was switched to save money. It made Flint a symbol of the nation’s decaying drinking water infrastructure. The majority Black city’s water system was contaminated with lead in 2014-15. It was also blamed for a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.
Detroit mayor: 600-700 calls per hour for vaccinations
Operators scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations for elderly Detroit residents were receiving 600 to 700 calls per hour Tuesday for appointments as people seek more vaccines than currently are available. Mayor Mike Duggan told reporters Tuesday that the city has started scheduled vaccinations for residents 75 and older and will begin offering them to people 65 and older once more doses are received from the federal government. Detroit received about 120,000 calls Monday, but many people were not eligible yet for the vaccine. Duggan said about 40,000 people in Detroit are 75 or older.
Key moments in Flint, Michigan’s lead-tainted water crisis
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Flint water crisis began in 2014 when the city began taking water from the Flint River without treating it properly, contaminating it with lead. Numerous developments have occurred in the aftermath. The disaster made Flint a nationwide symbol of governmental mismanagement, with residents lining up for bottled water and parents fearing that their children had suffered permanent harm. Lead can damage the brain and nervous system and cause learning and behavior problems. The crisis was highlighted as an example of environmental injustice and racism. At the same time, bacteria in the water was blamed for an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.
Enbridge rejects Michigan’s demand to shut down oil pipeline
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Enbridge says it will defy Michigan’s demand to shut down an oil pipeline that runs through a channel linking two of the Great Lakes. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November moved to revoke a 1953 state easement that allowed Enbridge’s Line 5 to be placed along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac. The Democratic governor said the company had violated the terms and put Lake Michigan and Lake Huron at risk. In a letter Tuesday, officials with the Calgary, Alberta-based company said the issues that Whitmer raised have been fixed and the pipeline meets the easement requirements. Line 5 runs between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario, traversing parts of northern Michigan and Wisconsin.
Drive-in coming amid efforts to boost Detroit amid pandemic
DETROIT (AP) — A 65-vehicle drive-in theater is coming to downtown Detroit amid efforts to boost the city amid the coronavirus pandemic. Detroit-based Bedrock real estate and Emagine Entertainment are scheduled to open the Monroe Street Drive-In Powered By Emagine later this month with 1993’s “Jurassic Park.” Family-friendly movies will be shown on a 60-foot-by-32-foot outdoor digital projection screen on the site of a future office, retail and residential development called the Monroe Blocks. The drive-in will feature outdoor seating, pedestrian paths, concession pavilions, lighting and warming areas. Mask-wearing, social distancing and other COVID-19 virus guidelines will be enforced while visitors are outside their vehicles.
GM charges up new unit to sell electric delivery vans, gear
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is forming a new business unit to tap the market for delivery vehicles and equipment powered by electricity. The new venture is called BrightDrop, and its first product will be a battery-powered wheeled pallet that will take goods from the warehouse to trucks and from trucks to destinations. Then GM will roll out a delivery van. The company wasn’t clear on how the products would be sold, giving no specifics on whether they would be distributed through dealerships or if GM would sell directly to customers. The EP1 pallet will go on sale early this year, with the EV600 van on the roads late in the year with FedEx, the company’s first customer.
Michigan bans open carry of guns inside state Capitol
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has banned the open carry of guns in the state Capitol a week after an armed mob rioted in the U.S. Capitol and following a protest in the statehouse last year. Moves to ban weapons at the statehouse have been pushed since April, when protesters opposed to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions, some armed with long rifles and other weapons, entered the statehouse demanding to be allowed into the legislative chambers. The Michigan Capitol Commission has been reluctant to issue rules for firearms, but it shifted course Monday and issued the order to ban the open carry of weapons.
Man charged with strangling pregnant wife who was teacher
KENTWOOD, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a Grand Rapids-area teacher pregnant with her third child was strangled by her husband. Richard Guichelaar appeared in Kentwood District Court in a murder charge Monday. Bond was set at $2 million. Police say 32-year-old Amber Guichelaar was killed at her home on Nov. 16. She was a Kentwood teacher and the mother of two children. Investigators say her husband was only the person at home “physically capable” of causing the injuries. The Kentwood school district says the family remains in its “thoughts and prayers.”
Sheriff apologizes; Black man getting signatures arrested
SPRINGFIELD, Mich. (AP) — A Black man who was arrested while collecting signatures to form a tenant organization says authorities have apologized and don’t plan to pursue charges. La’Ron Marshall lives in Springfield, near Battle Creek. He met with the Calhoun County sheriff Saturday. Marshall was arrested Jan. 2 and spent a night in jail after someone called police to report a suspicious person. A deputy told him he was soliciting without a permit. Sheriff Steve Hinkley says the deputy was mistaken. Marshall believes he was racially profiled. Marshall says “things need to change.”