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


Earthquake occurs near Monroe in corner of Michigan

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a magnitude 3.2 earthquake occurred Friday night near Monroe in the southeastern corner of Michigan. The U.S. Geological Survey says the depth was about 5.7 miles. The earthquake was felt in Ohio, which is just minutes from Monroe. It happened around 7 p.m. Earthquakes of that magnitude aren’t considered major, although people say they felt it. Vicki LaVelle of Temperance says there was a “loud boom” and her “entire house shook.” Earthquakes of 3.2 magnitude aren’t considered major. State police had no reports of damage.


Michigan appeals court upholds governor’s emergency powers

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s appeals court says Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency declarations and orders to curb the coronavirus clearly fall within the scope of her legal powers. The court on Friday rejected Republican lawmakers’ contention that she cannot indefinitely act without their approval. Republicans vowed to appeal the 2-1 ruling to the state Supreme Court. The appeals court denied GOP lawmakers’ contention that a 1945 law only lets a governor indefinitely extend emergencies that are local, not statewide, in nature. Also Friday, Michigan was approved by the federal government to provide an additional $300 weekly benefit to 910,000 unemployed residents.


Judge won’t stop virus tests for migrant farm, food workers

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge won’t block a requirement that Michigan farm workers get tested for the coronavirus, rejecting claims that it violates the rights of Hispanics. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a handful of workers as well as some fruit producers. But farm worker advocates are in favor of the tests. Compliance starts Monday under an order from the state health department. Federal Judge Paul Maloney says the order is neutral, noting it doesn’t mention Hispanics or any other race. The state says the tests are intended to protect vulnerable people who live in close quarters.


Michigan teachers train outdoors to stay safe amid outbreak

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — A school in western Michigan is taking learning outdoors as a way to help keep students and teachers safe from the coronavirus. The Holland Sentinel reports Friday that Holland Christian elementary level teachers went through a so-called boot camp on outdoor education with the Outdoor Discovery Center. The Outdoor Discovery Center conducted the training Aug. 17 on an 84-acre property the school district gained access to for educational purposes. Rynsburger noted that teachers will not be required to participate in outdoor learning.


Boy, 11, dies in sand dune collapse in Upper Peninsula

AU TRAIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A sand dune collapsed, killing an 11-year-old boy who was digging near Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. State troopers tried to revive the boy but were unsuccessful. The incident occurred Friday in Alger County’s Au Train Township. Police say the boy and his family were from outside Michigan.


Quarantines, closures: Confusion reigns as schools reopen

For countless families across the country, the school year is opening in disarray and confusion, with coronavirus outbreaks triggering sudden closings, mass quarantines and deep anxiety among parents. Schools in at least 10 states have had students and staff test positive for the virus since they began opening for the fall term. The outbreaks have occurred in a variety of settings: marching bands, high school football teams, elementary classrooms, high schools. The stress for parents is compounded by the fact that some states are citing privacy laws in withholding information about outbreaks from families.


Michigan businesses fined for lax worker virus protections

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan has fined six businesses thousands of dollars for allegedly not protecting workers from the coronavirus, in what is described as an initial round of citations in cases where regulators flag serious violations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the firms for infractions like letting employees work near each other without masks. One business, Coop’s Iron Works — a fitness center in Saginaw — opened in defiance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order that has kept gyms closed. The local health department referred the fitness club after it became associated with nearly 20 cases of the virus.


Whitmer: $600M Flint water deal a step toward making amends

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says a proposed $600 million deal between the state of Michigan and Flint residents harmed by lead-tainted water is a step toward making amends. Officials announced the settlement Thursday. Several judges must approve it. It would establish a fund from which residents of the impoverished, majority-Black city could seek compensation. Nearly 80% will go to children, whose nervous systems are especially vulnerable to lead. Flint’s water was contaminated after the city switched its water source to the Flint River to save money in 2014, while under control of a state financial manager. State officials advised against measures that could have prevented the contamination. 


Detroit teachers OK ‘safety strike’ over virus concerns

DETROIT (AP) — Educators in Detroit concerned about exposure to the COVID-19 virus in classrooms and hallways have given their union the OK to call a “potential safety strike” in which teachers would agree to teach and work remotely. The Detroit Federation of Teachers insists the strike would not be a work stoppage with the start of the school year looming, and said the aim is to press the public school district to implement science-based safety protocols during the coronavirus pandemic. Classes in Detroit are scheduled to start Sept 8. Friday is the deadline for  parents to complete a survey on whether they want online or face-to-face learning for the first quarter. A district spokeswoman says teachers also can choose face-to-face or online instruction.


Schools in northern Michigan OK for soccer, volleyball, swim

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — High schools in the Upper Peninsula and much of the northern Lower Peninsula can compete in fall soccer, volleyball and swimming. But officials say schools in other regions of Michigan need to wait to hear more from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Schools that have the green light are in regions 6 and 8, which cover the entire Upper Peninsula and nearly 20 counties in the northern Lower Peninsula. There will be limits on the number of people who can watch a contest. Football is being moved to spring from fall to reduce the risk of the coronavirus. Teams can have 16 contact practice days from Aug. 24 through Oct 31.