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VIRUS OUTBREAK-VISITATIONS

Michigan ease restrictions on long-term care facility visits

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Orders have been issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that allow for expanded visitations at nursing and other residential facilities. Visits to the facilities have been restricted to slow the spread of COVID-19. The two orders signed Tuesday by MDHHS Director Robert Gordon allow exceptions to the restrictions as long as the facilities meet specific safety requirements, such as requiring masks during visits. Gordon noted the hardship residents of the facilities have faced because they have been unable to see loved ones because of the pandemic. He says while visits are now allowed in come circumstances, caution and safety precautions should remain in place.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

Michigan governor announces plan to reopen K-12 schools

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s governor has unveiled her plans to return students to the classroom this fall for the first time since schools were closed in March in favor of remote learning to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told reporters Tuesday that the Safe Start plan requires districts to make safety plans in preparation for the upcoming school year and includes $256 million from the state to support those efforts. The plan lays out requirements and makes recommendations for districts to follow. Different stages are tied to Whitmer’s six-phase regional approach to economically reopening the state.

MICHIGAN CAPITOL-GUNS

Board finds it has authority on guns at Michigan Capitol

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A board overseeing Michigan’s Capitol has determined that it has the legal authority to decide if guns will continue to be allowed in the Lansing building and on its grounds. The Michigan State Capitol Commission on Tuesday reviewed a formal legal opinion by Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel that said the board had the power to prohibit firearms at the Capitol. In April, a number of people carrying guns took part in a protest at the Capitol over Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders that closing businesses to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Commissioners are scheduled to meet again on July 13.

MICHIGAN PIPELINE

Regulators deny quick approval of new Great Lakes pipeline

Traverse City, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan regulatory agency has denied Enbridge’s request for quick approval of its plan to put a replacement oil pipeline beneath a Great Lakes channel. The state Public Service Commission on Tuesday voted to conduct a full review of Enbridge’s proposal. Enbridge wants to extend the pipeline through a tunnel that would be drilled beneath the Straits of Mackinac, connecting Lakes Huron and Michigan. It would replace dual Line 5 pipes that lie on the bottom of the straits. In a separate hearing, a state judge promises to rule soon on whether Line 5 can resume operating. The judge ordered the line shut down last week after damage was discovered to an anchor that supports one of the pipes.

FATAL FIRE-DETROIT

Girl, 9, dies following fire at west side Detroit home

DETROIT (AP) — A 9-year-old girl has died following a fire at her west side Detroit home. The fire was reported about 3 a.m. Tuesday. WJBK-TV reports that the girl’s 6-year-old sister was in critical condition at a hospital and that their parents suffered cuts and bruises. A 6-year-old boy was not injured. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

FATAL FREEWAY SHOOTING-DETROIT

Woman slain, man wounded during Detroit freeway shooting

DETROIT (AP) — A 37-year-old woman has been shot to death and a man has been wounded on a freeway in Detroit. The Detroit News reports that the victims were northbound on Interstate 75 at the Eight Mile Road ramp about 1:15 a.m. Tuesday when someone in a second vehicle began shooting at the them. The woman was a passenger in the first vehicle. The wounded man drove to an area hospital where the woman died. He suffered wounds that were not considered life-threatening. No arrests have been reported.

GENERAL MOTORS-LORDSTOWN

Ohio AG wants GM to repay $60M after it shut down car plant

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost says General Motors should repay $60 million in public incentives after it shut down an assembly plant near Youngstown. At issue is an economic development agreement that gave GM millions in tax breaks in exchange for a promise to keep the Lordstown plant operating at least through 2027. GM closed the plant last year then decided to build a new electric battery cell factory in the same area, but with far fewer jobs. The automaker has said it hopes the state will take into account its significant manufacturing presence in Ohio.

AP-US-AUTO-WORKERS-CORRUPTION

UAW, prosecutor consider a monitor for avoiding corruption

DETROIT (AP) — A federal prosecutor and the United Auto Workers president are looking at using an independent monitor to avoid a repeat of a recent corruption scandal. Both sides say in a statement that the monitor was discussed during a two-hour meeting Tuesday between UAW President Rory Gamble and Detroit U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider. The meeting was held as the union tries to reform itself and hold off a possible federal takeover. Ten union officials have pleaded guilty in the scandal. Some spent thousands in union money for golf, lodging and fancy meals. 

MICHIGAN BUDGET

Michigan leaders reach agreement on 2020 budget shortfall

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An agreement to address a $3.2 billion shortfall in Michigan’s 2020 budget has been announced by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leaders to respond to deep budget shortfalls brought on by the pandemic crisis. Whitmer, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield said in a joint statement Monday night that he agreement includes reductions in funding. It also provides federal COVID-19 relief funding for schools, universities, community colleges and local governments, businesses and workers. They said would work together to address shortfalls in next year’s budget and asked for congressional help in the next budget. The current budget year ends Sept. 30. The agreement still requires approval by the full Legislature.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-MICHIGAN

Whitmer calls for end to chokeholds, other police reforms

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is calling for an end to the use of police chokeholds and limiting no-knock warrants. The Democrat announced her plans for police reforms on Monday. The recommendations come as states have been looking at ways to prevent racial bias and address police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Whitmer’s plan also includes classifying racially-motivated 911 calls that harass individuals a hate crime. Whitmer says her recommendations will “ensure that law enforcement officials treat all Michiganders with humanity and respect.”