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WAYNE STATE-PERFORMING ARTS
Wayne State breaking ground on performing arts building
DETROIT (AP) — Wayne State University is breaking ground on a major project for theater, music and dance.
Campus officials and others will gather Thursday night to mark construction of the $65 million Gateway Performance Complex and the future home of the Gretchen Valade (VUH’-laid) Jazz Center.
The Performance Complex will have three theaters, production space for students and a cafe for guests who attend performances. Wayne State’s Hilberry Theatre will be renovated to become a 200-seat jazz center named for Valade, a Detroit-area philanthropist and granddaughter of the founder of Carhartt Clothing.
Valade has committed more than $7 million to Wayne State’s jazz program. She founded Mack Avenue Records and owns the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe in Grosse Pointe Farms.
TROPICAL WEATHER-SUPPLY DRIVE
Supplies drive started to help North Carolina storm victims
BINGHAM FARMS, Mich. (AP) — Two businesses are launching an effort to send backpacks pre-filled with supplies from the Detroit area to people in North Carolina impacted by Hurricane Florence.
The #Detroit2NC Stuff-a-Semi campaign plans to fill two semi-trailers Thursday north of Detroit in a Bingham Farms office complex parking lot along Telegraph Road with the backpacks. Solar provider Power Home Solar and Boost 1 Marketing are leading the supply drive.
Soap, shampoo, hair conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine products, shaving items, diapers, hand sanitizers, batteries, flashlights and dog food are among the items being requested. Donated items must be placed in backpacks.
The storm made landfall last week. Rain-swollen rivers and creeks have flooded many communities in North Carolina. More than 30 people have been confirmed dead due to the storm.
Prisoner who won Supreme Court case set to be paroled
ADRIAN, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area man convicted of murder will soon be released from prison, more than four years after winning an unusual case at the Michigan Supreme Court.
The Corrections Department says Matthew Makowski has been granted parole and is scheduled to leave prison on Oct. 2. Spokesman Chris Gautz says the release had been planned for Thursday but was changed.
Makowski has been in prison for nearly 30 years for the death of a co-worker at a Dearborn health club. There’s no dispute that he arranged for Pete Puma to be robbed, but he insists he didn’t know Puma’s attacker would have a knife. Makowski wasn’t present.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm reduced his no-parole sentence before leaving office in 2010 but then changed her mind. The Supreme Court in 2014 said Granholm’s switch was illegal.
Attorney General Bill Schuette, the Republican candidate for governor, wants the parole board to keep Makowski locked up.
Gautz says the parole board believes Makowski “will not become a menace to society or to the public safety.”
New law makes California doctors on probation tell patients
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California doctors will have to tell their patients if they are on probation for sexual misconduct or other wrongdoing under a new law.
Gov. Jerry Brown announced he signed the first-in-the-nation legislation Wednesday.
Patients can already find information online about which doctors are on probation if they know where to look. The law by Democratic state Sen. Jerry Hill of San Mateo will force doctors to tell patients their probation status and basic details of the terms of their probation.
It takes effect in July 2019.
Olympians including gymnast Jordyn Wieber campaigned for the bill in the wake of the sentencing of USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.
Nassar has admitted to sexually abusing women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.
No money for wrongly convicted man in prison for 4 years
DETROIT (AP) — A man whose murder conviction was thrown out because of weak evidence won’t get money set aside for the wrongly convicted.
James Shepherd spent nearly four years in prison until his release in 2016.
The Michigan appeals court says Shepherd doesn’t qualify for compensation because he wasn’t exonerated with “new” evidence. His conviction in Wayne County was set aside because of “insufficient evidence.”
People who have been wrongly convicted can get $50,000 for each year in prison. But the law refers to people who have been cleared based on newly discovered evidence.
Shepherd’s attorney, Wolf Mueller, acknowledges that’s what the law says. He says the law should be changed.
Mueller says someone cleared on appeal because of insufficient evidence is “no less deserving” of money than someone who finds new evidence.
Detroit Schools: High lead, copper levels at 57 schools
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Public Schools says elevated levels of lead or copper have been found in water fixtures at 57 of 86 schools tested so far.
The district announced the latest test results Wednesday. They showed 33 of the 52 schools tested have elevated levels of copper and/or lead. It says it is still awaiting test results for 27 schools.
It says students and staff will continue drinking from water coolers.
District officials have decided no students at Detroit’s 106 public schools should be subjected to drinking mains water until a solution can be found and the water declared safe. School officials believe old fixtures, not the water source, may be to blame.
Man accused of killing girlfriend captured after jail escape
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Southwestern Michigan authorities say a man accused of killing his girlfriend is back behind bars after escaping from jail.
Kalamazoo County sheriff’s officials say the inmate had been in the county jail’s recreation area on Wednesday when he climbed fences and escaped. He ditched his jail-issued orange jumpsuit after getting free, but was found by authorities about a half-hour later in the city wearing underwear and tennis shoes.
He’s expected to be charged Thursday in the escape.
Jail officials are inspecting the fencing for any weak spots.
Michigan unemployment rate down to 4.1 percent in August
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s unemployment rate fell by two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.1 percent in August.
Figures released Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget show Michigan’s jobless rate was two-tenths of a percentage point higher than the national rate of 3.9 percent last month and five-tenths of a percentage point lower than the state’s August 2017 rate of 4.6 percent.
The agency says total employment in Michigan changed little during the month while the number of unemployed fell by 11,000.
Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives Director Jason Palmer says Michigan’s “unemployment rate decrease in August was primarily due to a reduction in the labor force as fewer individuals actively sought employment during the month.”
Parents of Nassar victim praise Schuette prosecution in ads
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The parents of a victim of Larry Nassar are praising Bill Schuette’s prosecution of the former sports doctor in TV ads airing in the race for Michigan governor.
Mark and Lee Weick (WIKE’) of Midland appear in 30-second and 60-second ads that Schuette’s campaign began running on broadcast stations Wednesday. The state attorney general’s office successfully prosecuted Nassar for molesting young female athletes under the guise of treatment.
In the ads, the Weicks credit Schuette for “giving a voice to the survivors” and prosecuting the case with “tenacity and compassion.”
Nassar is effectively serving life in prison for sexual assaults and child pornography possession. More than 400 victims have come forward.
Schuette is running against Democrat Gretchen Whitmer to succeed term-limited Gov. Rick Snyder.
Police arrest more than dozen while clearing homeless camp
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Police arrested more than a dozen people while clearing out a homeless camp in southwestern Michigan that’s been a focus of protests since last month by those seeking better resources for homeless people.
The city of Kalamazoo had set a Tuesday evening deadline for people to leave Bronson Park and police arrived Wednesday morning, about 12 hours after the deadline passed. Police dismantled tents and arrested 14, including protesters who wouldn’t leave.
Public Safety Chief Karianne Thomas tells the Kalamazoo Gazette city Commissioner Shannon Sykes Nehring was arrested for resisting and obstructing police.
Sykes Nehring, who had joined the protesters, said: “They don’t go without me.”
Homelessness has been in the spotlight in Kalamazoo in recent weeks since a proposal to crack down on sleeping and camping in city parks drew criticism.