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LIBRARY FINE SCAM

Jackson library warns about phone scam involving book fines

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — Feeling guilty about a library fine? Skip the call: It’s a scam. The Jackson library in southern Michigan is warning the public about solicitors who are calling people to collect overdue book fines. It might appear to be legitimate because the caller ID shows the phone number of the library. But assistant director Jason Shoup says the library doesn’t take payments over the phone. Any reminders about fines are automated calls without a staff member speaking.

MISSING MAN-CHRISTMAS EVE

Body of Michigan man who went missing Christmas Eve is found

SWARTZ CREEK, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say the body of a suburban Flint man who went missing on Christmas Eve has been found. Twenty-five-year-old Kevin Bacon of Swartz Creek was found Saturday in a Bennington Township residence. A 50-year-old man has been arrested on a murder charge but hasn’t been identified pending arraignment. Police say he could be arraigned as early as Monday. Bacon’s roommate, Michelle Myers, tells MLive.com he was going to see a man he’d met on a dating app. Family members reported him missing when he didn’t show up Christmas breakfast. Bacon worked as a hairstylist and was a student.  

MICHIGAN STUDENT KILLED

Police: Michigan State student home in Chicago fatally shot

CHICAGO (AP) — Authorities say a Michigan State University student was fatally shot in an apparent domestic incident that happened while she home on break in Chicago. Police say 19-year-old Lyniah Bell was shot in the head late Friday evening in an apartment on the city’s South Side. Police say a person is in custody with charges pending. A witness told police Bell was in the bedroom when they heard the gunshot and found her with with a wound to the head.  Bell’s cousin, Sam Brown, says attending MSU was her dream and she was planning to major in business and journalism. 

MARIJUANA-ILLINOIS-MICHIGAN

Legal marijuana sales may spark Midwest interstate tension

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois is joining Michigan as the only Midwestern states broadly allowing the sale and use of marijuana. But consumers must be aware that cannabis remains illegal in surrounding states and can’t be transported over state lines. Data from states that have permitted recreational marijuana sales and use for years suggests the new legal markets will draw customers from neighboring states, despite its continued illegal status under federal law. Nonresidents can legally buy a limited amount of marijuana in Illinois and Michigan. But retailers say they will warn customers to consider where it can be legally consumed and not to drive after using. 

FLINT-STATE PARK

Governor says proposed state park in Flint in the works

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Plans to establish a state park inside the city of Flint are being coordinated by state and local officials. MLive reports that during a recent appearance with Mayor Sheldon Neeley, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called it a great opportunity to develop Genesee County’s first state park. Neeley says he “welcomes the state of Michigan’s investment in Chevy Commons” and supports “the consideration for turning the area into a state park that would remain free and open to all Flint residents.”

FOOD DELIVERY ROBOTS

Michigan company to test food-delivery robots in Ann Arbor

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan company that makes self-driving food delivery vehicles will begin testing them in Ann Arbor in January with patrons from four restaurants. Ann Arbor-based Refraction AI makes the REV, an autonomous robot that’s five feet tall, with wheels and a fuselage that can hold delivery bags. The company will begin using its REVs on Jan. 3 to make meal deliveries from four restaurants to a test group of 300 customers in Ann Arbor. The Detroit News reports Refraction AI hopes that its electric, 100-pound REV can make food deliveries for half the cost of existing delivery services like Grubhub.

INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES

Judge makes it easier for independents to get on ballot

DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge in Detroit is making it easier for independent candidates to run for statewide office. Judge Victoria Roberts says the 30,000-signature threshold is too high and doesn’t reflect a “compelling state interest.” She set the bar at 12,000 petition signatures for the 2020 election. The ruling could immediately affect independent candidates who want to run for U.S. Senate or president. There are no races next year for Michigan governor, attorney general or secretary of state.

LAWMAKER ARRESTED

Lawmaker says drinking and driving was “stupid mistake”

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A state lawmaker suspected of drunken driving says she made a “stupid mistake” by getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. Rep. Rebekah Warren, an Ann Arbor Democrat, was arrested by Auburn Hills police and lodged in the Oakland County jail early Friday. Police say she refused a breath test and declined to give a blood sample until police obtained a search warrant. Any further action will depend on the results. Warren has been in the House or Senate since 2007.

CHEMICAL CLEANUP-FREEWAY

Plenty of contaminants found at Detroit-area industrial site

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — Regulators say high levels of multiple contaminants have been found in soil and groundwater at an old industrial site in suburban Detroit. The inspection was triggered by the discovery of a yellow-green substance along Interstate 696 more than a week ago. The state says there’s no risk to drinking water intakes on Lake St. Clair. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to make dozens of soil borings at the former Electro-Plating Services in Madison Heights. Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller calls the site a disaster.

HENRY FORD FILM-GRANT

Film exploring Henry Ford’s complicated legacy awarded grant

DETROIT (AP) — A film exploring the significant, complicated legacy of Henry Ford has received a financial boost from a Detroit nonprofit that supports the region’s automotive and labor history. “Ten Questions for Henry Ford” is among roughly a dozen projects to receive a share of $66,000 from the MotorCities National Heritage Area. The movie garnered about $9,000 through the University of Michigan Department of Performing Arts Technology. Writer, director and producer Andrew Kirshner says the film is a “human portrait” that portrays the positive and negative aspects of Ford’s life. Kirshner teaches at the University of Michigan.