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Presidential contenders O’Rourke, Gillibrand visit Michigan

CENTER LINE, Mich. (AP) — Two Democratic presidential candidates are campaigning in the Detroit area a year before the state’s primary.

Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman, made three stops Monday. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York participated in a town hall hosted by MSNBC and had another stop scheduled.

Democrats are emphasizing Michigan early after Donald Trump in 2016 became the first Republican to win the state in decades.

At a stop in Macomb County, a man asked O’Rourke how Democrats can win back blue-collar white workers who supported Trump. O’Rourke said Trump has successfully “exacerbated the divisions” among Americans, but Democrats must “be above it.”

Gillibrand says Michigan is similar to upstate New York, where she is from. She says Michigan voters “felt left behind” in 2016, and she’s committed to helping “every person in this country.”


Program awards deeds for homes that had faced foreclosure

DETROIT (AP) — About 40 people are now owners of homes in Detroit that had been in danger of tax foreclosure.

The Quicken Loans Community Fund says they received deeds Saturday as part of the Make It Home program. The new owners previously were renting the properties or were owner-occupants eligible for property tax exemptions.

More than 265 deeds have been awarded since the program started in 2017, including over 200 this past year.

The Quicken Loans Community Fund has provided $1.3 million in grants to the United Community Housing Coalition, which allowed the city to buy nearly 600 houses in Wayne County tax foreclosure auctions. The houses were transferred to the housing coalition, which worked with renters or owners who bought the properties back for $2,000 to $6,000.


Car dealer hits the gas on gift for Albion College

ALBION, Mich. (AP) — An auto dealer and his wife are donating $5 million to Albion College to expand recreation and attract more students.

The money from Joe and Julie Serra will add 10,000 square feet to the Dow Recreation and Wellness Center. Albion athletic director Matt Arend says part of the gift will also help renovate Kresge Gym, which serves college sports teams.

Serra says he hopes other alumni will be inspired to give. He says, “We benefited from Albion; let others benefit.”

Serra played basketball at Albion, a private college 40 miles south of Lansing. He is president of Serra Automative.


Beto O’Rourke says he raised $6.1M online in 1st 24 hours

WASHINGTON (AP) — Beto O’Rourke’s Democratic presidential campaign says he raised more than $6 million online during the first 24 hours after he announced his White House bid last week.

O’Rourke spokesman Chris Evans tweeted Monday the “record-breaking” $6.1 million came “without a dime” from political action committees, corporations or special interests.

The $6.1 million is the highest 24-hour number reported by any campaign, just above what Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders reported.

O’Rourke jumped into the 2020 presidential race on Thursday, shaking up the already packed field and pledging to win over voters from across the political spectrum. The former Texas congressman lost a U.S. Senate race to incumbent Ted Cruz last November.


Officer suspended while use of force in arrest investigated

(Information from: The Grand Rapids Press,

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Grand Rapids’ police chief says an officer has been placed on paid administrative leave while the use of force during an arrest is investigated by the department’s Internal Affairs Unit.

Interim Chief David Kiddle said Monday he was concerned after watching video footage of the incident that showed an officer using profanity and punching a man “close to 30 times” in the leg to gain compliance following a traffic stop.

Police didn’t release the name of the officer.

The Grand Rapids Press reports the video of the encounter Sunday night was shot by a resident of the area.

The motorist was jailed on charges of resisting a police officer and driving with a suspended license.

Kiddle said the motorist didn’t report any injuries and didn’t request medical attention.



Andre Williams, who co-wrote ‘Shake A Tail Feather,’ dies

DETROIT (AP) — Andre Williams, an R&B singer and songwriter who co-wrote “Shake A Tail Feather” and performed across musical genres, has died at 82.

Williams’ manager and musical director, Kenn Goodman, says Williams was recently diagnosed with colon cancer and that he died Sunday at a Chicago nursing home.

Williams moved as a young man from Alabama to Detroit, where he signed with Fortune Records and, later, with Motown Records. His early hits included “Bacon Fat,” ”Jail Bait” and “Shake a Tail Feather,” which Ray Charles sang in “The Blues Brothers.”

Williams also produced the recording of “Mustang Sally” by its composer, “Sir” Mack Rice.

Goodman, a Chicago record label owner who worked with Williams for two decades, says Williams’ musical contributions were “massive” and spanned soul, punk, garage rock and country.


Man arrested in 1986 slaying of southwestern Michigan woman

(Information from: WOOD-TV,

PAW PAW, Mich. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man in connection with a 1986 slaying in southwestern Michigan.

Fifty-one-year-old Michael Leon Curry was formally charged with felony murder Monday in Van Buren County District Court in the death of 59-year-old Wilda Wilkinson of Bangor.

The judge denied Curry bond. He’s being held in the Van Buren County Jail.

Michigan State Police say Curry lived near Wilkinson at the time of the crime. WOOD-TV reports he was initially questioned by investigators and was never ruled out as a suspect, but police had to conduct numerous interviews and gather physical evidence before they could arrest him.


This story has been corrected to show Curry lived near the victim, not with the victim.



Former United Auto Workers VP charged in corruption probe

DETROIT (AP) — A former vice president at the United Auto Workers has been charged with conspiracy in a scheme with Fiat Chrysler to buy meals, golf and other perks with money from the automaker.

It’s the latest development in the government’s investigation of how officials at Fiat Chrysler and the UAW enriched themselves by using money set aside for a job-training center. At least seven people have pleaded guilty.

The conspiracy charge against Norwood Jewell was filed Monday as a criminal information, which means a guilty plea is likely. Defense attorney Michael Manley tells The Detroit News that Jewell and prosecutors are working toward a “fair and just resolution.”

Jewell was the highest-ranking UAW official dealing with Fiat Chrysler, from 2014 through 2016. Former Fiat Chrysler executive Al Iacobelli is serving a 5 ½-year prison sentence.


Police departments question Indianapolis police charity

(Information from: The Indianapolis Star,

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — At least four police departments in four states have raised concerns about an Indianapolis-based nonprofit, alleging that the group is conducting scams under the guise of raising money for law enforcement.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the Trenton Police Department in Michigan is among the agencies that have issued scam alerts about the National Police Association.

Police Chief Todd Scheffler says the association has sent letters to residents claiming to raise money for local police, but his department has never received funds.

Critics also say the nonprofit’s letters target vulnerable people and use fear-mongering language.

The association’s president is 59-year-old Eddie Hutchison of Hamilton County, Indiana. Hutchison says he’s a fraud investigator for the Indiana attorney general’s office who volunteers for the nonprofit a few hours a week.

Hutchison’s attorney says the association isn’t a scam.



Detroit Edison’s Rickea Jackson wins Miss Basketball award

DETROIT (AP) — Rickea Jackson has been named Michigan’s Miss Basketball.

The Detroit Edison star was given the award Monday, honoring the state’s top senior female basketball player.

Jackson received 2,939 points in the voting, giving her almost 1,000 more points than Saginaw’s Moira Joiner. Julia Ayrault of Grosse Pointe North finished third and Muskegon’s Alyza Winston was fourth in voting.

The 6-foot-3 Jackson is averaging 22.1 points and 8 rebounds this season and is aiming for her third straight state title.

Jackson signed to play at Mississippi State.