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Michigan has 1st coronavirus death; auto plants set to close

DETROIT (AP) — Officials say a man in his 50s who had COVID-19 has died at a Detroit-area hospital. It’s the first coronavirus death in Michigan. Beaumont Health says the man had the virus and other underlying health conditions. Meanwhile, Detroit’s three automakers agreed to close all U.S. factories due to coronavirus fears. The U.S. and Canada have agreed to temporarily close their shared border to nonessential travel, although trucks carrying goods between the countries are exempt. Michigan is reporting at least 80 cases of the coronavirus but probably has more than 100.   


Automakers shut North American plants over coronavirus fears

DETROIT (AP) — Concerns about the spreading coronavirus has forced most of North America’s auto plants to close temporarily. Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Honda and Toyota said on Wednesday they would shut down all factories in the region, citing concerns for employees who work in close quarters building automobiles. Nissan is closing U.S. factories. In addition, Hyundai closed its Alabama plant after a worker tested positive for the virus. Detroit’s three automakers said their closures would begin this week, while Honda and Toyota will start next week. Nissan will close U.S. plants starting Friday. Closings will run from a few days to over two weeks, but most automakers said they’ll have to evaluate the spread of the virus before reopening.


Coronavirus layoffs spark surge in state jobless claims

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Applications for jobless benefits are surging in some states as coronavirus concerns shake the U.S. economy. The sharp increase comes as governments have ordered millions of workers, students and shoppers to stay home as a precaution against spreading the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. In some states, the demand for help may outstrip the ability to pay claims. The U.S. Labor Department says 21 states began the year with unemployment insurance fund balances below the levels recommended to stay solvent in a recession. States are expected to get some help from the federal government. 


2 UP teens who died in vehicle had carbon monoxide poisoning

BARAGA, Mich. (AP) — A sheriff says two of three Upper Peninsula teens found unconscious in a running vehicle in February died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The deaths of Dylan Roberts and Christopher Turpeinen shocked their small communities, especially the L’Anse school district. A third person emerged from a coma three days after the Feb. 17 incident. WLUC-TV says Baraga County Sheriff Rick Johnson released the cause of the deaths after toxicology tests were completed.


Retired judge who was father of Detroit mayor dies

LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) — Patrick Duggan, a retired federal judge and father of the Detroit mayor, has died. He was 86 years old. Duggan died Wednesday at Angela Hospice in Livonia following a lengthy illness. He was the father of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. Duggan was a Wayne County judge for 10 years before a promotion to federal court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. Duggan retired in 2015.


Man convicted in killings of 2 gay men, transgender woman

DETROIT (AP) — A 19-year-old Detroit man has been convicted of gunning down two gay men and a transgender woman who authorities believe were targeted because of their sexual orientation last year following a house party. The Detroit News reports that a Wayne County jury convicted Devon Kareem Robinson on Tuesday of first-degree premeditated murder, assault with intent to murder and felony firearm. He could face life behind bars without the possibility of parole when he’s sentenced April 13 for the May 2019 shooting deaths of 21-year-old Alunte Davis, and 20-year-olds Timothy Blancher and Paris Cameron.


Detroit 3, UAW agree on measures to keep plants running

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit’s three automakers have agreed to partial factory shutdowns, deep cleaning of equipment and longer periods between shifts to head off union demands for U.S. plant closures due to the coronavirus threat. The agreements came Tuesday night after union officials spoke individually with General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. The companies also agreed to “extensive plans” to avoid member coming in contact with one another, the United Auto Workers union said in a statement. The United Auto Workers union said earlier in the day that it wanted the automakers to shut down their factories for two weeks to keep its members safe from the spreading coronavirus.


US governors expand shut downs amid coronavirus concerns

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A growing number of governors across the U.S. are ordering the temporary closure of certain businesses such as dine-in restaurants, fitness centers and movie theaters because of concerns over the coronavirus. Other governors on Monday were still leaving those decisions to local officials or the businesses themselves. That’s created a patchwork of precautions nationwide in the absence of the type of national directives that have occurred in some other countries. Some governors expressed a desire Monday for greater direction from the federal government. Others said such decisions are best made by mayors, county officials or school boards who are more closely in touch with their communities. 


Expert: Flint children’s baby teeth to be examined for lead

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A pediatrician and public health expert says about 100 baby teeth from Flint children will be evaluated to determine lead exposure, nearly six years after the city’s drinking water was contaminated after a switch to a new source. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha helped end the city’s use of river water in 2015 when her study revealed that the percentage of Flint infants and children with above-average lead levels had substantially exacerbated. She told The Flint Journal on Monday that the parents of a children who were in the womb during the summer of 2014 should also preserve their kids’ baby teeth for possible future testing.


Man, 82, charged with murder; family took car keys from him

CHARLEVOIX, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say an 82-year-old northern Michigan man who was told he couldn’t drive has been charged in the fatal shooting of his daughter. The man’s 77-year-old wife was also shot Sunday and survived at their home in Charlevoix County’s Bay Township. The man, whose name wasn’t released, was charged with murder and attempted murder. His wife told police that he’s in the early stages of dementia and was upset that car keys had been taken away. The prosecutor says it’s too early to make determinations about the man’s mental health.