Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT
Woman with food allergy loses appeal over voice damage
COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (AP) — A woman who says a Jimmy John’s sandwich damaged her ability to speak has failed to persuade the Michigan appeals court to reinstate her lawsuit.
Lindsey Bresnahan didn’t want Dijon mustard on her sandwich, but the mustard was mistakenly used. Bresnahan believes she’s allergic to horseradish in the mustard. The impact was severe: She had to undergo speech therapy to regain full use of her voice.
But the appeals court agreed with a Kent County judge who said the Jimmy John’s franchise in Comstock Park isn’t liable, even if staff made a mistake. The court says employees weren’t told Bresnahan was allergic and the reaction was “not foreseeable.”
The court says it’s unreasonable to require restaurants to treat menu modifications as a “possible severe food allergy.”
BENTON HARBOR SCHOOLS
Whitmer: Benton Harbor school board vote is a ‘setback’
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says the Benton Harbor school board’s surprise decision to reject a tentative plan to potentially avoid the closure of the district’s main high school is a “setback.”
Whitmer spokeswoman Tiffany Brown said Wednesday that board members have sent a “troubling signal” to parents that they are “unwilling to negotiate in good faith” to address the district’s academic and financial challenges.
Whitmer had expected the board to approve a resolution Tuesday calling for it to work with the state on the proposed deal. Board members could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.
State officials have warned that the entire district might be dissolved.
A previous “cooperative” agreement between the state and Benton Habor ended Sunday due to the repeal of a section of Michigan law.
Michigan’s pot agency issues rules on sales, growing
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Requirements for businesses that plan to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older are expected to be clearer under emergency rules released by the agency that regulates the selling and growing of pot in Michigan.
Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency plans to start taking business applications Nov. 1. The rules will remain in effect for six months and can be extended for another six months.
Under the rules issued Wednesday there are no capitalization requirements and license holders can apply for temporary marijuana event licenses. Some licensed growers also will be allowed to exceed their plant count. Businesses with licenses under common ownership will be allowed to operate at the same location.
Michigan Cannabis Industry Association spokesman Josh Hovey says “at first glance” the organization believes the “rules are well thought out and forward-thinking.”
Unidentified Detroit homicide victims to be exhumed for DNA
DETROIT (AP) — The remains of unidentified Detroit homicide victims are being exhumed from area cemeteries over the next few months as police and other agencies use new technologies and DNA to try and identify them.
Operation UNITED (Unknown Names Identified Through Exhumation and DNA) will focus on victims dating back to 1959 with no DNA on file.
Detroit police say DNA collected from the remains will be sent to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System where it will be processed. It then will be uploaded into the Combined DNA Index System and the FBI’s National DNA Index System. Those systems will be searched for potential associations.
Families with missing loved ones are urged to submit DNA samples to help identify victims.
2 dead after apparent kayaking accident identified
(Information from: Battle Creek Enquirer, http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com)
EMMETT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Police have identified two people who apparently accidently drowned while kayaking at a lake in southern Michigan.
Police identified them as 25-year-old Morgan Smith, whose family lived on the lake, and her boyfriend, 31-year-old Timothy Geibig of Battle Creek.
Acting Director Lt. Ken Cunningham of the Emmett Township Department of Public Safety tells the Battle Creek Enquirer that the bodies were found early Wednesday about 100 feet (30 meters) from the shore of Beadle Lake, about 110 miles (177 kilometers) west of Detroit.
Cunningham says the victims apparently went into the lake about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday and didn’t return as expected.
The newspaper says Smith’s father started looking for them early Wednesday after realizing they weren’t home.
Cunningham says neither was wearing a life jacket.
Attorneys general weigh in on LGBTQ employment cases
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A coalition led by the attorneys general of Illinois and New York has filed a legal brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in hiring.
The brief comes ahead of oral arguments on three cases that may determine whether gays, lesbians and transgender people are protected from discrimination by existing federal civil rights laws.
Maine is among the states joining the brief filed Wednesday. State Attorney General Aaron Frey said the brief’s argument is “rooted in the fundamental principle of equal treatment” and that discrimination is unacceptable.
More than 200 corporations have issued a similar call.
Others joining the brief are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
School agency to pay $450K to close sexual harassment case
ALLEGAN, Mich. (AP) — An education agency in western Michigan has agreed to pay $450,000 to settle a lawsuit on behalf of two teachers who said they were sexually harassed.
The settlement was filed Wednesday in federal court. The agreement requires the Allegan Area Educational Services Agency to train employees to properly handle complaints of sexual harassment. The agency is required to keep the government informed about complaints and any resolution over the next 18 months.
One teacher will receive $250,000 and the other will get $200,000.
Jonathan Garcia was a principal at the education agency, which serves school districts in Allegan County and offers programs to children with disabilities. He was accused of groping the women and forcing one to perform sex acts.
Garcia went to prison for 2 ½ years.
Ex-Michigan governor turns down Harvard after backlash
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says he has turned down a fellowship at Harvard University following social media backlash over his administration’s role in the Flint water crisis.
He tweeted Wednesday that being a senior research fellow would have been too “disruptive” because of “our current political environment and its lack of civility.”
Harvard announced last week that Snyder would begin his appointment this week. It drew criticism from critics of Snyder who cited his involvement in the 2014-15 lead contamination of Flint’s drinking water while the city was under state emergency management.
Snyder, who is credited with helping to turn around Detroit, says it would have been exciting to share his experiences at Harvard, “both positive and negative.”
The Republican left office in December due to term limits.
TRAVERSE CITY SLAYING
Young man arrested in May death of homeless camper
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — An 18-year-old man is in custody in the slaying of a homeless man whose body was found by hikers near a Traverse City lake.
Police say Joshua Vandehoef turned himself in early Wednesday. He’s charged with murder in the death of 62-year-old James Chisholm , whose throat was slashed.
Vandehoef appeared in court by video and jailed without bond.
Defense attorney Jesse Williams said he was contacted Tuesday evening by prosecutors. Williams than contacted Vandehoef who he said was arrested without incident.
Chisholm’s body was found May 29, about 15 yards (13 meters) from Boardman Lake. He had been living in a tent. Police believe he had been in the area about three weeks.
TV station WWTV, citing court documents, says Vandehoef admitted his role to someone on Snapchat and said he walked home and washed blood off himself.
Lee Iacocca, engineer of Chrysler’s turnaround, dies at 94
DETROIT (AP) — Former colleagues say ex-Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca has died at age 94 in Bel Air, California.
Iacocca was a master pitchman. He put the Mustang in Ford’s lineup in the 1960s. Two decades later, he became a corporate folk hero when he resurrected Chrysler.
He was famous for his TV ads from that time, in which he said: “If you can find a better car, buy it!”
Iacocca also wrote two best-selling books and was courted as a presidential candidate for 1988. He had a 32-year career at Ford and Chrysler and helped launch some of Detroit’s most significant cars — including the minivan, the Chrysler K-car and the Mustang.