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CREDIT CARD THEFTS-RING

Police arrest 3, seize stolen and fake credit cards

(Information from: WXYZ-TV, http://www.wxyz.com)

OAK PARK, Mich. (AP) — Authorities have arrested three people and seized stolen credit cards and fake identification cards from a home in suburban Detroit.

WXYZ-TV reports that a team of police officers raided a duplex in Oak Park Friday morning.

Detroit police Capt. Conway Petty says credit card machines and driver’s licenses from several states also were recovered from the home. Some credit cards were stolen. Others were manufactured by the suspects. They were used at car rental companies, hotels, restaurants and shopping outlets.

The suspects are 20, 27 and 31. Police believe more people are involved.

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AP-US-UAW-CORRUPTION

Ex-United Auto Workers chief resigns from union membership

DETROIT (AP) — Former United Auto Workers president Gary Jones has resigned his union membership.

The union announced Friday that the 62-year-old Jones had left the UAW, after stepping down as its chief earlier in November.

A widening federal bribery and embezzlement probe of the UAW has resulted in more than a dozen people being charged. Jones has not been charged, but federal agents searched his suburban Detroit home in August in connection with the investigation.

The UAW’s International Executive Board had filed paperwork to expel him over allegations raised by the federal investigation. UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg confirmed to The Detroit News that Jones’ dropping his UAW membership allows him to avoid a trial before UAW members next week.

LAWMAKER CHARGED-RECALL

Oops: Missing word spoils recall petitions against lawmaker

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — An effort to recall an indicted state lawmaker suddenly has crashed after election officials say a word was missing on the petition.

Elections director Sally Williams says rejecting petition signatures because of one word might seem “excessively technical and harsh.” But she says there’s no wiggle room: The petition language must match the previously approved reasons for a recall.

State Rep. Larry Inman, a Republican from the Traverse City area, is charged with trying to trade votes for campaign money. The recall petition is missing the word “right” in describing one of the charges against him.

Nearly 14,000 signatures from voters in his district were submitted, more than enough to force a recall election.

Recall organizer Kaitlin Flynn says she’s disappointed by the state’s decision. Inman faces trial next week in federal court. He’s pleaded not guilty.

WESTERN MICHIGAN-PLAYER CHARGED

Prison sentence affirmed for former WMU basketball player

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has affirmed a nearly 20-year prison sentence for a former Western Michigan University basketball player who was involved in a robbery that turned fatal at an apartment near campus.

The court this week found no errors to upset the decision of a Kalamazoo County judge.

Joeviair Kennedy last year was convicted of armed robbery and using a firearm during a felony. He was acquitted of murder in the 2016 slaying of 19-year-old Jacob Jones. Kennedy’s co-defendant, Jordan Waire, is serving a life sentence for Jones’ death.

Police say Waire and Kennedy burst into the apartment demanding money and marijuana. Kennedy was on Western Michigan’s basketball team when he was arrested.

Kennedy and Waire attended the same high school in Muskegon.

GAY JUDGE-CHURCH

Grand Rapids-area pastor denies Holy Communion to gay judge

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Church in western Michigan is defending a priest’s decision to deny Holy Communion to a judge in a same-sex marriage.

Judge Sara Smolenski says the Rev. Scott Nolan privately informed her on Nov. 23, about a week after receiving Communion from him at St. Stephen Church in East Grand Rapids. She says she hadn’t been regularly attending the church for months.

Nolan says the teachings of the Catholic faith aren’t flexible. The church recognizes marriage as between a man and a woman.

In a statement, the Grand Rapids Diocese says: “No community of faith can sustain the public contradiction of its beliefs by its own members.”

Smolenski has been a lifelong member of the St. Stephen parish. She says she wonders “why now and why me?”

HEALTH WORKERS-EMBEZZLEMENT

Charges: 3 home health care aides bilked Michigan woman, 87

(Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Prosecutors have charged three home health care aides with embezzling nearly $40,000 from an elderly Lansing woman.

Court records say the trio were caring for an 87-year-old woman who needed around the clock care when they allegedly made “excessive food purchases,” including spending more than $1,200 on a single grocery visit.

The victim hasn’t worn dentures in several years and has a limited diet. Her daughter-in-law alerted police after noticing the strange purchases and missing money.

The Lansing State Journal reports 22-year-old Debbie Seloberes, her 27-year-old sister, Daenie Quimba, and 52-year-old Michele Covert face embezzlement from a vulnerable person charges.

Brian Morley is Quimba and Seloberes’ attorney. He says they maintain their innocence. Court records don’t list an attorney for Covert.

East Lansing company AdvisaCare has fired all three.

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MARIJUANA-MICHIGAN-ILLINOIS

Michigan, Illinois set to usher in recreational pot sales

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Legal marijuana sales to adults are set to open in two Midwestern states.

But regulators and industry leaders alike warn that consumers will likely see long lines, high prices and product shortages in the early months.

Michigan sales can begin Sunday and Illinois follows a month later, bringing the total of states that broadly allow people over 21 to use marijuana to 11.

Six retailers have been licensed to sell in Michigan initially. In Illinois, regulators have approved licenses letting nearly 30 existing medical marijuana dispensaries add so-called recreational sales.

In the meantime, companies are rushing to complete renovations at dispensaries, expand growing facilities and hire employees. But it takes months to grow marijuana from a cutting to flower that can be sold or used in other products.

POWER OUTAGES

Crews restoring power in Michigan, Indiana

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — Utilities in Michigan and Indiana say they’ve restored power to most of their customers but that thousands remain in the dark after high winds swept through the region.

In a news release, Indiana Michigan Power says that about 13,000 customers saw their power knocked out by the winds that climbed higher than 60 mph on Wednesday but that power was restored to all but on Thursday all but 1,200 customers had power.

After getting power fully restored in Muncie, the utility’s crews headed to assist crews in Fort Wayne and as workers finished up in the South Bend and Elkhart districts, they moved to southwestern Michigan.

Meanwhile, as of Thursday morning, DTE Energy said it had restored power to more than 77% of its 106,000 customers in southeastern Michigan.

PENCE-MICHIGAN

Vice President Mike Pence plans 3 stops in Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence has scheduled three stops next week in western and southwestern Michigan.

Pence plans to visit Grand Rapids, Portage and Holland on Wednesday, with expected meetings with religious and community leaders. The former Indiana governor also will attend a campaign rally with Sarah Sanders, President Donald Trump’s former spokeswoman.

Michigan is one of four swing states — Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida are the others — that could determine the outcome of the 2020 election because their electorates are so evenly divided. Trump’s success in breaking the Democrats’ so-called blue wall in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania was key to him winning the White House.

THANKSGIVING PARADE-DETROIT

Detroit Youth Choir among Thanksgiving parade highlights

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit has carried on a nearly century-old Thanksgiving Day tradition.

Thousands of spectators lined a three-mile (4.8-kilometer) route along Woodward Avenue Thursday morning the 93rd America’s Thanksgiving Parade. Millions more potentially watched televised coverage nationally.

Grand marshals were former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer and the Detroit Youth Choir. That ensemble, which came in second in the NBC reality talent competition “America’s Got Talent,” also served as an opening act.

The event, known for its eye-popping floats and marching bands, is presented by Art Van and produced by The Parade Company.