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Michigan election staff recommend certification of Biden win

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s election bureau is recommending that the Nov. 3 results be certified next week by state canvassers. The decision would bless Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump but likely not cool partisan strife over the vote. The recommendation was posted online with the formal Monday meeting notice of the Board of State Canvassers. The latest guidance came at the end of a stormy week in which Trump summoned Republican state lawmakers to the White House in an effort to try to set aside Biden’s 154,000-vote victory. The Michigan Bureau of Elections says any errors on election night did not affect the tabulation of votes.


Some governors ignore CDC advice on Thanksgiving gatherings

Republican governors in some hard-hit states are refusing to ask families to limit Thanksgiving celebrations despite warnings from federal health officials that gatherings could worsen a coronavirus surge that’s already spinning out of control. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says her administration “won’t stop or discourage you from thanking God and spending time together this Thanksgiving.” Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt says people “should be with their loved ones over Thanksgiving” and that he will also attend a football game this weekend. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pleading with Americans to gather only with people in their immediate households as infections overwhelm hospitals in many states.


Judge declines to halt Michigan’s new indoor dining ban

DETROIT (AP) — A judge has declined to halt a three-week ban on indoor dining in Michigan that is among the latest coronavirus restrictions imposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration. Meanwhile, the state health department on Friday reported a new daily high of confirmed COVID-19 cases — nearly 10,000. Federal Judge Paul Maloney said in his ruling that a restraining order wouldn’t be appropriate, especially when the state hasn’t had a chance to respond to the lawsuit. The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association sued to try to stop the indoor dining ban that began Wednesday. The group says restaurants can take further steps to minimize the coronavirus without cutting off customers.


Authorities: 28,000 pounds of soybeans stolen from farm

KINGSTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — About 460 bushels of soybeans weighing 28,000 pounds have been stolen from a farm in Michigan’s Thumb region. Tuscola County sheriff’s deputies say the soybeans were taken between Oct. 25 and Nov. 3 from grain bins. Deputies say the soybeans belonged to another farmer and were being roasted at the farm in Kingston Township, about 90 miles north of Detroit.


Trump tries to leverage power of office to subvert Biden win

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is trying to leverage the power of the Oval Office in an extraordinary attempt to block President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. But his pleas Friday to Michigan lawmakers to overturn the will of their constituents appear to have left them unswayed. Trump summoned a delegation of the battleground state’s Republican leadership in an apparent extension of his efforts to persuade judges and election officials in the state to set aside Biden’s 154,000-vote margin of victory and grant Trump the state’s electors. The White House meeting came amid mounting criticism that Trump’s futile efforts to subvert the results of the 2020 election could do long-lasting damage to democratic traditions.


Michigan watchdogs lose bid to stop water boost for bottler

EVART, Mich. (AP) — State regulators say they’ve rejected an appeal of a bottled water company’s plan to pump more water in western Michigan. The head of Michigan’s environment department says she can intervene only “under very limited circumstances. Liesl Clark says they’re not present in the dispute involving a grassroots group and Nestle’s Ice Mountain operations. In April, an administrative law judge upheld a state permit, which allows Nestle Waters North America to pump 400 gallons a minute from a well in Osceola County. That’s a 60% increase. The water is trucked to an Ice Mountain production facility in Mecosta County. Nestle pulls water from other wells in the area.   


Grand Rapids man sentenced in 2017 crash that killed 2 teens

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A Grand Rapids man has been sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty in a 2017 hit-and-run crash that killed two 13-year-old girls in Flint. A Genesee Circuit court judge sentenced Jerry Turnbow on Thursday in the August 2017 deaths of Ashyrinta Clemons and her best friend, Tatiana Brown. WNEM-TV reports Turnbow pleaded no contest to six charges, including two counts of reckless driving causing death. He was sentenced to 5 to 15 years on each count, and ordered to serve those sentences concurrently. At Thursday’s sentencing, relatives testified about the pain and loss the girls’ deaths had caused.


Whitmer warns against Thanksgiving gatherings

LANSING, Mich (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has repeated her plea to Michigan residents to limit gatherings at Thanksgiving and keep loved ones safe. Whitmer’s appeal Thursday came as the health department reported 7,500 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 134 deaths. Instead of joining the big-box crowds that come with Black Friday shopping, the governor is encouraging residents to shop at small local businesses. Thursday was the second day of a three-week shutdown of indoor dining at restaurants and bars, the Whitmer administration’s latest strategy to reduce spread of the virus. In-person classes at high schools and colleges are also prohibited. Casinos, theaters and exercise classes are closed.


Minor discrepancies at heart of GOP effort to overturn vote

Poll book problems, unbalanced precincts and false reads are at the heart of the Republican Party’s long shot efforts to toss out thousands of votes in Detroit and other largely Black cities that contributed to Joe Biden’s victory in Michigan. But experts say those issues are present in all elections and almost never indicate any serious threat to the integrity of the results. A state canvassing board is expected on Monday to begin certifying election results from each of Michigan’s 83 counties, including Wayne County, where two Republican canvassers grudgingly certified the election due to what they called ballot “discrepancies” in Detroit precincts.


Charles Levin dies at 94; former state Supreme Court justice

DETROIT (AP) — Charles Levin has died at age 94. Levin was a retired Michigan Supreme Court justice who served for 24 years after creating a party to run as an independent candidate. Levin formed his own independent party to get on the 1972 ballot instead of being nominated by the dominant political parties. Levin won and was reelected in 1980 and 1988. Levin came from a venerable Detroit family steeped in public service. His father, Theodore, was a federal judge whose name is on the downtown courthouse. Cousins include retired U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and U.S. Rep. Sander Levin.