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AP-US-RACIAL-INJUSTICE-PROTESTS-DETROIT

Detroit to dismiss some tickets issued during Floyd protests

The city of Detroit will dismiss most misdemeanor citations issued last spring during several days of protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Most of the tickets written May 31 and June 2 were for curfew violations as hundreds of people demonstrated in downtown Detroit. Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia says Tuesday that the city expects to dismiss 238 of the 245 tickets issued on those three days. Dozens of demonstrators violated Detroit’s curfew requiring people to be off city streets after 8 p.m. and received appearance citations. Others were ticketed for disruptive or violent behavior. In addition to those in Detroit, charges that stemmed from demonstrations in some other U.S. cities also have been dismissed.

THREE DEAD-FAMILY

Autopsies may provide answers in deaths of 3 from Bay City

WEST BRANCH, Mich. (AP) — A northern Michigan sheriff said there are many “unanswered questions” after the bodies of a man, a woman and their young son were found over the weekend in a wooded area. The bodies were discovered Saturday by a snowmobiler in Ogemaw County. Sheriff Brian Gilbert says all three were outside a pickup truck, which appeared to be stuck on a rock. Autopsies are planned Wednesday. Amanda Pomeroy, Douglas Dougherty and son Jacob lived in Bay City and were reported missing on Jan. 16. The boy was under a year old. 

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

Whitmer mum on health chief’s resignation, sports ban

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is refusing to discuss the circumstances surrounding the abrupt departure of Michigan’s health director during the coronavirus pandemic, including whether she asked for his resignation. The Democratic governor also declined Monday to set a date for the return of youth contact sports, despite growing pressure after her administration extended the ban through Feb. 21. Robert Gordon, who issued COVID-19 restrictions after Whitmer’s powers were upended by an October court ruling, resigned Friday as director of the state Department of Health and Human Services. The governor named Elizabeth Hertel to succeed him.

AP-US-WINTER-WEATHER

Foot of snow blankets parts of Midwest, disrupts travel

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A major winter storm dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the middle of the country while another system blanketed parts of the Southwest with snow. The storms disrupted travel and shuttered many schools. There were closures of several coronavirus testing sites on Monday and Tuesday in Nebraska and Iowa. Both states saw 12 to 15 inches of snow in places. At least 4 inches of snow was expected through Tuesday across most of an area stretching from central Kansas northeast to Chicago and southern Michigan. The storm made travel treacherous in places as wind-whipped snow piled up. In the Southwest, more than a foot of snow fell in the mountains of Southern California, Nevada and Arizona.

CAPITOL BREACH-MICHIGAN

US: Man at Capitol riot hit cops 10 times with hockey stick

DETROIT (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Detroit are disclosing more details about the alleged acts of a former Marine from Michigan who was at the U.S. Capitol riot. Authorities say Michael Foy of Wixom struck police at least 10 times with a hockey stick during the Jan. 6 attack. A judge says the 30-year-old Foy will remain locked up while facing charges in Washington. Prosecutor Hank Moon says Foy took multiple swings at police and subsequently crawled into the Capitol through a broken window. Investigators have the hockey stick. Foy is charged with assault and other crimes.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN SCHOOLS

Michigan asks for a waiver of standardized testing for 2021

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Department of Education again has asked the U.S. Department of Education to waive standardized testing for the 2020-2021 school year so Michigan teachers can focus on making sure students are caught up in their education. State Superintendent Michael Rice says in the request that Michigan can’t safely and uniformly administer a fair standardized test. Standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year was waived for Michigan, but U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos told states to expect testing to come back for the 2020-2021 school year. Rice is appealing to new President Joe Biden’s administration. 

HOMELESS CAMP-FIRE

Fire, explosions at Kalamazoo homeless camp; 1 person hurt

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — More than a dozen small propane tanks exploded at a homeless camp in southwestern Michigan when they were mishandled near an open fire. The fire was brought under control in 10 minutes Sunday by Kalamazoo firefighters. One person had minor injuries. The camp has many tents. Scott Brooks, the Kalamazoo fire marshal, says an improvised adaptor on one of the propane tanks failed, causing an explosion. Due to the intense heat from the fire, other small propane tanks exploded. Katrina Davis was delivering soup and witnessed the fire. Davis says it was “unbelievable.”

INVASIVE SPECIES-MICHIGAN

Michigan adds Beech leaf disease to invasive species list

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Beech leaf disease has been added to Michigan’s invasive species watch list and state officials are asking residents to be on the lookout for trees infested with the damaging disease. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says the disease, which has not been found in Michigan, was discovered in Ohio in 2012 and has been identified in seven eastern states and Ontario, Canada. It causes damage to leaf tissue on American beech and European and Asian beech species. Trees weakened by leaf damage become susceptible to other diseases and can die within six years.