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

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN-DOCTOR

Former Michigan gymnast says doctor assaulted him in 1969

DETROIT (AP) — A University of Michigan gymnast from decades ago is speaking out as a victim of Robert Anderson, the deceased campus sports doctor. Ward Black is 68 years old and lives in Las Vegas. Black says he was molested by Anderson during annual physicals and while seeking help for injuries, from 1969 to 1973. Black says he tried to speak to his coach about Anderson back in 1969, but Newt Loken “changed the subject.” Hundreds of former athletes have made complaints about Anderson. The university says it believes athletes were assaulted. It says it wants to compensate victims outside court.   

MICHIGAN BUDGET

Budget chairs: Lift July deadline; Senate wants federal help

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers are backing legislation that would waive a requirement that they pass the next state budget in less than three weeks, citing uncertainty over a major shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas, a Republican, said Thursday he’ll push for passage of the Democratic-sponsored bill. It would, for one year, lift the new July 1 deadline by which legislators must send Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a spending plan for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. The Republican-led Senate also urged Congress to give the state flexibility to use federal relief aid to fill budget holes.

ELECTION 2020-VOTING

‘It’s broken’: Fears grow about strength of US voting system

ATLANTA (AP) — The chaos that plagued Georgia’s primary this week is raising concerns about a potential broader failure of the nation’s patchwork election system that political leaders and elections experts say could undermine the presidential contest. Less than five months before the November contest, fears are mounting that several battleground states are not prepared to administer problem-free elections under the continued weight of the pandemic. The reasons are both complex and simple: a dramatic shortage of poll workers scared away by coronavirus concerns and an emerging consensus that it could take several days after polls close on Election Day to determine a winner because of increased mail voting.

AP-US-MICHIGAN-PIPELINE

Court: Michigan Great Lakes tunnel deal constitutional

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Court of Appeals says the Legislature did not violate the state constitution by approving a deal to drill an oil pipeline tunnel beneath a Great Lakes channel. In a unanimous ruling Thursday, a three-judge panel sided with a lower court that upheld the plan last November. Former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder made the deal with pipeline company Enbridge to build the tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac. Lawmakers approved the agreement in 2018, shortly before Snyder left office. Attorney General Dana Nessel contends the bill authorizing the deal was unconstitutional because its provisions went far beyond what its title specified. The courts disagreed. Nessel’s spokeswoman says her office will appeal.

GROUNDED BARGE

Coal tar, fuel barge grounded in eastern Michigan river

DE TOUR VILLAGE, Mich. (AP) — Authorities are investigating why a 302-foot-long barge carrying coal tar and diesel fuel ran aground in a river in Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula. MLive.com reports that the Canadian barge became stuck in the St. Marys River Wednesday. Its owners and the Coast Guard are working on plans to remove the vessel. The river acts as a maritime highway for freighters, barges and other vessels traveling between lakes Superior and Huron. The Coast Guard has established a safety zone around the barge, which means other vessels have to stay 500 yards away from it.

SEARCH WARRANTS-CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

Data protection measure could end up on Michigan ballot

LANSING, Mich (AP) — A proposed constitutional amendment to consider electronic communication and data as personal property has unanimously passed the Michigan Senate. If it passes the state House, voters would decide in November whether or not to amend the Michigan Constitution to require law enforcement to obtain a warrant to search emails and cellphones seized during an arrest. Sponsor Sen. Jim Runestad says the change is essential to preserve personal privacy now that smartphones and other technologies are an integral part of daily life. He says “Americans shouldn’t be forced to choose between using new technologies and protecting their privacy from authority.”

SEVERE WEATHER-MICHIGAN

Thousands without power after storms sweep through Michigan

DETROIT (AP) — About 290,000 homes and businesses were without electricity in Michigan after thunderstorms barreled through the state, downing hundreds of trees and power lines. Detroit-based DTE Energy says that as of 6 a.m. Thursday about 137,000 of its customers in southeastern Michigan remained without service after 90,000 had power restored following Wednesday’s latest round of storms. Jackson-based Consumers Energy says its crews were trying to restore power to 151,000 customers. It says about 240,000 lost service from the start of the storms on Tuesday evening. The storms were remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal which moved from the Gulf of Mexico north into the Midwest before continuing into Canada.

BODIES FOUND-HOUSE FIRE

Firefighters find bodies of 3 men in burning Detroit home

DETROIT (AP) — The bodies of three men have been found inside a house that burned on Detroit’s east side. Authorities were trying Thursday to determine if the victims died in the fire or were slain before the blaze started. The bodies were found in the living room of the home. The fire was reported shortly after midnight Thursday. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

SMALL PLANE CRASH-ILLINOIS

NTSB: Plane spiraled before fatal crash in Illinois field

CARLINVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a small plane that crashed last month while heading from Missouri to Michigan, killing four men aboard, entered into a “right descending spiral” before it went down in a southwestern Illinois farm field. The National Transportation Safety Board says in a preliminary report that investigators will examine the wreckage to determine if there was any mechanical failure. They’ll also study the plane’s maintenance history and the pilot’s history. The single-engine plane crashed May 31 near Carlinville. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the four men who died were engineering graduates from Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, and belonged to the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

UAW CORRUPTION-LAKE HOUSE

UAW to sell lake home built for ex-president under scrutiny

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers says it has accepted an offer on a lakefront house in northern Michigan, three months after federal prosecutors warned that it could be confiscated as part of a corruption investigation. Cabin 4 at a union conference center on Black Lake was being built for former union President Dennis Williams, who retired in 2018. The government filed an affidavit in Cheboygan County in March, noting that any property traced to law violations is “subject to forfeiture.” The government says it will remove the affidavit when it’s appropriate. UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg says the buyer has no affiliation with the union.