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Fatal illness detected in another Michigan cattle herd

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Officials say a small beef cattle herd in northern Michigan has been infected with bovine tuberculosis.

The state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says the herd was in Alpena County, which is part of an area in the northern Lower Peninsula where the fatal disease is commonly found in whitetail deer. Contact with deer is believed to be a common means of transmitting the illness to cattle.

The infection was detected through routine testing. It was the 74th cattle herd found to have the illness since 1998.

An investigation is planned to identify and test other herds that had an association with the infected one.


Trust wants hungry bacteria to remove Lansing-area pollution

(Information from: Lansing State Journal,

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Scientists want to use an unconventional method to remove pollution from former General Motors properties near Lansing where an underground plume of chemicals is creeping toward drinking water wells.

The Lansing State Journal reports that the trust that controls the sites is proposing a method called “biosparging,” which removes pollution by injecting air into groundwater. This encourages bacteria to consume 1,4-dioxane, a chemical the GM plants used to clean oil off car parts.

Engineers say it could take six to 12 years to fully clean the water.

The pollution was discovered after the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust took over the GM sites following the company’s bankruptcy reorganization in 2009.

The trust will need state approval to pursue the pollution removal plan.



First in family to graduate loses cap, gown in fire

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A woman who is becoming the first in her family to graduate from college has lost her cap and gown in a fire that destroyed her home.

Kiara Phelps is graduating Sunday at Eastern Michigan University. WDIV-TV reports that a kitchen fire destroyed her family’s townhouse in Ann Arbor. No one was injured.

Phelps plans to borrow a graduation gown. She says her graduation “seems a little ruined,” but she takes comfort in the words of her mother, who told her: “Life has to go on.”

Phelps says, “That’s very true.”


Flint can’t be sued; cops gave gun to man in suicide

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan appeals court says Flint can’t be sued for the death of a man who killed himself after police returned a gun to him.

Kyle Wheeler’s gun was taken after he tried to kill himself in 2014. The weapon was returned 13 months later in January 2016. He killed himself in May of that year.

Wheeler’s family says Flint was negligent in returning the gun. The appeals court says police failed to follow “guidelines, ordinances and statutory requirements,” but Flint still is immune to a lawsuit because the conduct doesn’t fall into any of six exceptions.

The court reversed a decision by Genesee County Judge Geoffrey Neithercut.


This story has been corrected to change Wheeler’s first name to Kyle, not Ken.


‘Wheel of Fortune’ host becomes chairman of Michigan college

HILLSDALE, Mich. (AP) — Pat Sajak will take a “C” for Chairman.

Hillsdale College in Michigan says the “Wheel of Fortune” host will lead the governing board at the small liberal arts school. Sajak has served on the board for more than a dozen years.

Sajak tells campus newspaper The Collegian that he’s been preparing for months to succeed William Brodbeck by spending more time on campus with students and staff. College President Larry Arnn says Sajak has “calm and steady judgment” and a “wicked wit.”

The post won’t interfere with Sajak’s television work. The college is located in Hillsdale, Michigan, about 100 miles southwest of Detroit.


Finders keepers? Police say no way after $30K spills on road

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — Police in Michigan are appealing to people to surrender their instant riches after a box with $30,000 fell off the back of a truck.

Authorities in Grand Haven say drivers stopped Thursday to pick up cash for themselves.

Only $2,500 was immediately recovered and returned to the owner, who had forgotten that a cash box was on the truck’s bumper. Traffic was backed up on U.S. 31 after money hit the ground.

But by Saturday, more money was trickling in. The Department of Public Safety says two teenagers turned in $630, and a woman gave up nearly $3,900.

The department says on Facebook : “We commend you for your honesty!!”


Former Michiganders sentenced to life in 2 Arizona killings

PHOENIX (AP) — A former Michigan man and his wife have been sentenced to life in prison for the 2016 slayings of two women during a burglary in the Phoenix suburb of Surprise.

Judge Danielle Viola of Maricopa County Superior Court sentenced Montez Wright and Tichina Shephard on Friday in the Feb. 8, 2016 fatal shootings of 70-year-old Barbara Leslie and 75-year-old Ruth Schwed at Leslie’s home.

Jurors in February convicted Wright and Shephard of first-degree murder and related charges.

Schwed was a friend of Leslie and was visiting from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Authorities say Wright and Shephard moved to Arizona from Southfield, Michigan in January 2016.

Andrew Lauro of Goodyear pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and burglary and was sentenced to two life prison terms in 2017.


Connecticut’s drug drop boxes can be found on Google Maps

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s drug drop boxes can now be found with the touch of a keystroke.

The Department of Consumer Protection says Connecticut is now part of a 12-state pilot program that allows people to find the drop box locations through Google Maps by searching “drug disposal near me.”

Connecticut is joining Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin in the program which encourages the safe disposal of unwanted medications.

Connecticut Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull says the number of boxes in Connecticut is growing, adding how it’s another way to help combat the opioid abuse crisis. The state has produced an educational video to instruct people on how to use the boxes.

Google plans to expand coverage and add more locations in the coming months.


This is spring? Weekend snow, cold hit Midwestern states

CHICAGO (AP) — Winter storm warnings have been posted in at least four Midwestern states as spring pauses for a mix of rain and snow just days before the calendar turns to May.

The Chicago White Sox scratched a Saturday baseball game with the Detroit Tigers as snow fell in northern Illinois. The National Weather Service predicted as much as 8 inches (20 centimeters) on both sides of the Illinois-Wisconsin border. Hundreds of flights were canceled at Chicago airports.

Winter storm warnings were also posted for southern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa, where snow was piling up.

The National Weather Service is predicting difficult travel and possible tree damage due to strong winds and limited visibility. The temperature in Chicago was 33 degrees (0.56 Celsius), 30 degrees colder than Friday’s conditions.


Michigan State ensembles to memorialize Holocaust victims

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Two Michigan State University ensembles are performing music in memory of the Holocaust.

The MSU Symphony Orchestra and Choral Ensembles perform Saturday night in East Lansing’s Wharton Center and Sunday afternoon in Detroit’s Orchestra Hall.

The concerts feature performances of Dimitri Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. 13” entitled “Babi Yar,” which memorializes the massacre of Ukrainian Jews by Nazi forces in 1941. In the two years following, many more Jews and others would also be killed at Babi Yar, a ravine near Kiev.

Also on the program are selections from “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” by Charles Davidson. The piece is a setting of poems by Jewish children who died in the Holocaust.

Before the concerts, lectures are planned about the Holocaust’s artistic reaction and remembrance.