Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT

TOXIC CHEMICALS-MICHIGAN

Air Force official to discuss community’s water pollution

OSCODA, Mich. (AP) — A Pentagon official is scheduled to visit a northern Michigan community where toxic chemicals from a former U.S. Air Force base are polluting drinking water.

Air Force Assistant Secretary John Henderson will hold a public forum Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Oscoda.

Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan says the program will provide updated information about efforts to clean up contamination of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known collectively as PFAS.

The toxins are used in a wide variety of stain- and stick-resistant household products. They’re also a component of firefighting foam used at the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda and many other military installations.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is pushing the Air Force to step up treatment of polluted groundwater in the area.

BACKPACK SEARCH

Michigan court tightens legal standard on car searches

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has tightened the legal standard for searching people during a traffic stop.

The court ruled in favor of a car passenger who said his rights were violated when police in Jackson County searched his backpack without his consent.

The backpack held marijuana and methamphetamine. But in a unanimous decision Monday, the Supreme Court says the search was unconstitutional. Chief Justice Bridget McCormack says Larry Mead had a “legitimate expectation” of privacy.

Mead was a passenger in a car stopped by a sheriff’s deputy. The deputy looked in Mead’s backpack after the driver said the car could be searched.

McCormack compared it to someone using a ride-sharing service. She says police can’t search a passenger based on consent from a driver. Mead served nearly three years in prison.

WEBASTO EXPANSION-PLYMOUTH

Michigan approves $2.7M grant for auto parts expansion

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has approved a $2.7 million grant to a German auto parts manufacturer that’s investing nearly $48 million in a new plant in Wayne County that’s expected to create 440 jobs.

It said Tuesday that Webasto Roof Systems has recently won several large projects for Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and will add 300,000-square-foot plant in Plymouth Township to produce roof systems.

The agency says Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Ohio and Indiana and Plymouth Township is supporting the project with a 50% Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption for up to 12 years.

Webasto already has more than 800 employees at other locations in Michigan.

HUSBAND SLAIN-WIFE CHARGED

Mother, adult son charged in 2016 slaying of her husband

DETROIT (AP) — A suburban Detroit woman and her adult son have been charged in the slaying of her 60-year-old husband whose body was found in the trunk of a burning car.

The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says 67-year-old Beatrice Flint-Tennyson was arraigned Sunday on charges of murder, tampering with evidence, and disinterment and mutilation of a body. Her son, 46-year-old Delbert Flint of St. Joseph, Missouri, was arraigned Tuesday on the same charges.

Darvin Tennyson was reportedly last seen on March 19, 2016, after returning to his Farmington Hills home, northwest of Detroit. His body was discovered several days later by firefighters and police on Detroit’s east side.

Defense attorney Cyril Hall says that based on his review of the case he has no reason to believe his client, Delbert Flint, “is guilty of anything.”

CHILD POVERTY

Michigan child poverty rate drops, but 20% live in poverty

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s child poverty rate dropped over five years, but hundreds of thousands of kids — or one in five — are still living in poverty.

The annual Kids Count Profile released Tuesday by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation reports about 416,000 of Michigan’s children lived in poverty in 2017. That was down from roughly 549,000 in 2012.

The study also finds a spike in child abuse and neglect, with confirmed cases up nearly 30 percent.

Michigan’s bottom-ranked counties for child well-being are Lake, Luce, Alcona, Schoolcraft and Muskegon. The top five are Livingston, Clinton, Ottawa, Oakland and Washtenaw.

Kids Count in Michigan project director Alicia Guevara Warren says the “alarming increase” in child abuse and neglect cases “underscores the urgency of the issues facing our kids.”

PENCE-MICHIGAN

Pence to visit Michigan to tout trade deal, raise money

TAYLOR, Mich. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is visiting Michigan to tout the new North American trade agreement and to raise money for President Donald’s Trump re-election campaign.

Pence will have three events in the Detroit area Wednesday.

He will first participate in a fundraiser in Detroit for Trump Victory, a joint account with the Republican National Committee used for high-dollar gifts.

He next will tour Ford’s truck plant in Dearborn and then visit a Taylor business to speak to auto industry officials about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the tentative pact that would replace NAFTA.

The revised version, signed by the countries but awaiting approval by their legislatures, is designed to encourage factories to move back to the U.S. It would give the U.S. economy a modest boost, according to an independent federal agency.

DOG STABBING SENTENCE

Suburban Detroit man gets 3-6 years for fatally stabbing dog

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — A judge has sentenced a suburban Detroit man to three to six years in prison for stabbing his dog and leaving it to die under a park picnic table.

Twenty-three-year-old Alexander Gerth of Utica learned his sentence Tuesday in a Macomb County courtroom packed with about 40 animal lovers who burst into applause upon learning the length of the prison term.

Gerth pleaded no contest last month to a charge of killing/torturing an animal for the Jan. 24 death of the 2-year-old dog named Sterling. Utica public works employees found the dead dog in a city park.

County Prosecutor Eric Smith says Gerth had a prior criminal record that included a bank robbery in Illinois.

AIR BAG INVESTIGATION

US expands probe into air bag failures to 12.3M vehicles

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto safety regulators have expanded an investigation into malfunctioning air bag controls to include 12.3 million vehicles because the bags may not inflate in a crash.

As many as five deaths are blamed on the problem. The probe covers parts made by made by ZF-TRW that were installed in Toyota, Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Fiat Chrysler vehicles from the 2010 through 2019 model years.

Government documents say electrical signals can interfere with a circuit that monitors crash sensors. The interference can damage the circuit.

Investigators recently found two serious crashes involving 2018 and 2019 Toyota Corollas in which the air bags did not inflate. One person was killed. The agency opened an investigation in March of 2017 involving Hyundais and Kias. Four fatalities were reported at that time.