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Michigan bans open carry of guns inside state Capitol

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has banned the open carry of guns in the state Capitol a week after an armed mob rioted in the U.S. Capitol and following a protest in the statehouse last year. Moves to ban weapons at the statehouse have been pushed since April, when protesters opposed to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions, some armed with long rifles and other weapons, entered the statehouse demanding to be allowed into the legislative chambers. The Michigan Capitol Commission has been reluctant to issue rules for firearms, but it shifted course Monday and issued the order to ban the open carry of weapons.


Man charged with strangling pregnant wife who was teacher

KENTWOOD, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a Grand Rapids-area teacher pregnant with her third child was strangled by her husband. Richard Guichelaar appeared in Kentwood District Court in a murder charge Monday. Bond was set at $2 million. Police say 32-year-old Amber Guichelaar was killed at her home on Nov. 16. She was a Kentwood teacher and the mother of two children. Investigators say her husband was only the person at home “physically capable” of causing the injuries. The Kentwood school district says the family remains in its “thoughts and prayers.”


Sheriff apologizes; Black man getting signatures arrested

SPRINGFIELD, Mich. (AP) — A Black man who was arrested while collecting signatures to form a tenant organization says authorities have apologized and don’t plan to pursue charges. La’Ron Marshall lives in Springfield, near Battle Creek. He met with the Calhoun County sheriff Saturday. Marshall was arrested Jan. 2 and spent a night in jail after someone called police to report a suspicious person. A deputy told him he was soliciting without a permit. Sheriff Steve Hinkley says the deputy was mistaken. Marshall believes he was racially profiled. Marshall says “things need to change.”


Consumers Energy Foundation announces grants to nonprofits

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — The Consumers Energy Foundation has announced more than $480,000 in grants to help Michigan nonprofits provide critical help to communities during the coronavirus pandemic. Since March, the Jackson-based foundation that is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy has provided $5.4 million in direct response to the pandemic. Grants support those working on the front lines to directly meet basic needs such as food and shelter. The Food Bank Council of Michigan received $200,000 in funding to address food insecurity, including mobile food distributions across the state. Other recipients include the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan which received $100,000.


Ford announces closing of Brazil manufacturing operations

SAO PAULO (AP) — Ford Motor Co. says it will close three plants in Brazil and stop producing automobiles in the South American country where it has been operating since 1919. The company said in a statement Monday that it will cease production immediately at the factories “as the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies persistent industry idle capacity and slow sales that have resulted in years of significant losses.” Unions of two units that will be closed say around 4,800 workers between them are affected. The automaker says it will keep its South America headquarters, product development center and proving grounds in Brazil.


Detroit auto show to be replaced by outdoor event this year

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit’s big auto show will not happen as scheduled in September, but will be replaced by an outdoor exhibit at a race track in nearby Pontiac. Show organizers say the move comes amid worries that the coronavirus pandemic could affect the indoor show, normally held at Detroit’s downtown convention center. The new event is being called Motor Bella and will take place at the M1 Concourse, which has the track and room for 1.6 million square feet of display space. Show organizers say the traditional auto show is changing, but they have reserved the convention center for 2022 and 2023. They hope to return to the venue called the TCF Center. 


US Capitol attack reignites talk on guns in Michigan Capitol

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Concerns over security at Michigan’s Capitol building have reignited after the U.S. Capitol came under attack by a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters last week. In Michigan, concealed and open carry firearms are allowed in the Capitol. Since last spring when armed protesters entered the Capitol and yelled at members of security outside the legislative chambers to be let inside, statewide calls to ban firearms in the statehouse have been made. Republican legislative leaders are reexamining their opposition and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is renewing her call for restrictions.


Students raise enough money to help a family with a home

ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Students at a Grand Rapids-area high school have raised enough money to help a family acquire a home. Forest Hills Central in Ada Township raised $21,000 — more than double its goal — to help families with gifts at Christmas. The balance will be used by Family Promise of Grand Rapids to help a family with housing. Family Promise purchases and renovates affordable homes. After a year, a family gets to keep the home. Forest Hills Central principal Steve Passinault says the pandemic has given students an “opportunity to reflect on what is most important.”


Detroit Economic Club annual meeting to be held online

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Economic Club’s annual Michigan Economic Outlook will be held online this year. The event is scheduled Tuesday and will feature Michigan State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks and Gabriel Ehrlich, University of Michigan director of the Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics. Results of the ninth annual Michigan Economic Outlook Survey will be unveiled at Tuesday’s meeting. The survey involves input from business professionals and associations throughout the state.


Judge fines UP cafe, says civil disobedience ‘not an option’

CALUMET, Mich. (AP) — An Upper Peninsula cafe has been found in contempt of court and fined $2,500 for continuing to serve indoor diners. It’s the latest turn in an effort to get Cafe Rosetta to comply with coronavirus restrictions. Judge Wanda Stokes says civil disobedience is “not an option.” Stokes held a hearing Friday involving the cafe, which serves soup, sandwiches and more in Calumet in Houghton County. Co-owner Amy Heikkinen says she can’t afford to limit her business to carry-out orders. Hundreds of people rallied to support her on Jan. 2. The judge suspended the fine until Wednesday to allow the cafe’s attorney to file legal arguments against it.