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Police ID officer who killed suspect in custody inside HQ

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Police have identified the Toledo officer who fatally shot a slaying suspect inside police headquarters.

He is 42-year-old officer Carl Schwirzinksi II. Toledo police say he is a field operations officer hired in November 2010. They say their investigation is continuing.

Police say a man suspected of killing his grandmother in the Detroit area was shot Dec. 20 after he rushed at officers and grabbed one of their stun guns. Police say 23-year-old Damon Barstad of Warren, Michigan, died from a single shot to his chest. No others were hurt.

Barstad had been arrested earlier that day at a motel in Toledo, about 58 miles (93 kilometers) southwest of Detroit. He was wanted in the stabbing death of his 68-year-old grandmother.


Man’s body found after report of vehicle striking deer

WAYLAND, Mich. (AP) — Authorities have identified a 24-year-old western Michigan man killed in what was believed to be a crash involving a deer.

The Allegan County sheriff’s office says Monday that the body of Roky Vasquez-Vasquez was found about 8:50 a.m. Friday on the shoulder of U.S. 131 near Wayland, south of Grand Rapids.

About three hours earlier, a motorist reported striking a deer in the same area, but officers were unable to find anything that might have been hit by a vehicle due to darkness.

The sheriff’s office said Vasquez-Vasquez may have been driving another vehicle that crashed about 2:15 a.m. on northbound U.S. 131. That person fled after that crash.

Vasquez-Vasquez was from the Grand Rapids area.


Walmart heirs promote charter schools among black community

Amid fierce debate over whether charter schools are good for black students, the heirs to the Walmart company fortune have been working to make inroads with advocates and influential leaders in the black community.

The Walton Family Foundation is the leading supporter of America’s charter schools, which are publicly funded and privately operated.

An Associated Press analysis of tax filings and non-profit grants data shows the Waltons are spreading financial support to prominent and like-minded black leaders, grassroots organizations and other notable groups including the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Charter schools are often located in urban areas with large black populations but there is a deep rift of opinion about them in the black community, as highlighted by the NAACP’s call in 2016 for a moratorium on new charter schools.


Public comment sought on change to 2 SE Michigan road plans

DETROIT (AP) — A southeastern Michigan group is taking public comment on a proposed change to two regional transportation plans.

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments is looking at a special amendment to the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan and the Fiscal Year 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Plan.

The amendment involves the preliminary engineering phase of infrastructure work on Mound Road in Macomb County. The project calls for reconstruction of Mound Road from Interstate 696 to M-59.

SEMCOG is accepting written comments. Residents can also address the amendment during a Jan. 17 transportation coordinating council meeting and Jan. 25 executive committee meeting.

SEMCOG supports coordinated local planning with technical, data and intergovernmental resources. It serves Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties.


Michigan volunteer effort provides gifts for foster children

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Thousands of Michigan foster children have gifts to open this holiday season through the efforts of 2,000 volunteers.

The Lansing State Journal reportsOperation Good Cheer collects roughly 20,000 gifts for 7,000 foster children. The effort started nearly 50 years ago with 50 kids and one pilot, and now involves 250 airplanes and 34 semi-trucks.

One man collects the gifts and ensures they get where they need to go. That’s Mike Pipia, global logistics manager for Guardian Industries.

Pipia says it’s a personalized process, as people adopt and buy gifts for a child who has provided a wish-list. He adds the children know that someone “cared for them.”

The gifts are sorted and loaded at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford Township.


Family: US soldier spends thousands more after flight mishap

(Information from: Detroit Free Press,

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan family of a U.S. soldier stationed in Germany says he spent thousands of dollars more than expected to travel home for the holidays after his United Airlines round-trip flight was cancelled.

A United Airlines spokesman says the airline’s partner, Lufthansa, canceled the flight and that passengers were notified in advance. He says United will arrange 21-year-old Pfc. Benjamin Jimenez’s transport back to Germany.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Jimenez says he didn’t find out until Saturday, when he arrived at Frankfurt airport, that his $1,100 round-trip ticket to Detroit had been cancelled.

Jimenez’s aunt, Sarah Mundt, says her nephew had to buy a $2,500 one-way ticket to fly to the U.S. She says United said the cheapest return flight before his leave expires would cost $3,000.



Man enters no-contest plea in crash that killed siblings

(Information from: Monroe News,

BEDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 50-year-old man has pleaded no contest in a crash that killed two teenage siblings as they walked near a roadway in southeastern Michigan.

The Monroe News reports that a judge accepted Raymond Reyome’s plea on Dec. 14. He is charged with two counts of reckless driving causing death. A no-contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt, but is treated as such for sentencing.

Reyome of Erie Township is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 7. He faces at least 11½ years in prison as part of a sentencing agreement.

Police have said 13-year-old Justin Haun and 16-year-old Alyssa Haun were struck July 4 by a pickup that left the edge of a roadway in Bedford Township, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Detroit. They were pronounced dead at hospital.



Retired federal Judge Barbara Hackett dies at age 90

DETROIT (AP) — Retired federal Judge Barbara Hackett has died in her southeastern Michigan home. She was 90.

U.S. District Court in Detroit spokesman David Ashenfelter says Hackett’s family alerted court officials to her early Sunday death in Brighton, northwest of Detroit.

Hackett spent more than two decades on the federal bench in Detroit as a magistrate and district judge. She was appointed in 1973 as a magistrate judge for the Eastern District of Michigan. The court says she was first woman to hold that position.

Hackett left the court in 1984, but was appointed two years later by President Ronald Reagan to the U.S. District Court bench.

She transferred in 1997 to the U.S. Courthouse in Ann Arbor and retired in 2000 due to health reasons.

Funeral services were pending Sunday.


Trump’s reluctant backers sour on his leadership, policies

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A small, but significant slice of the American electorate may hold the key to President Donald Trump’s political future.

Call them the Trump reluctant, a group that represents roughly 2 in 10 voters who only “somewhat” approve of the Republican president’s job performance.

That’s according to VoteCast, The Associated Press’ nationwide survey from the recent midterm electorate. The survey reveals warning signs for Trump’s GOP among the small voting bloc with big political influence.

Compared with the 27 percent of voters who describe themselves as strong Trump supporters, the “somewhat” Trump voters are much more likely to disapprove of Trump on issues such as immigration and health care, and much more likely to question his trustworthiness and temperament.

They’re also more likely to have voted for Democrats in 2018.


Indiana wine retailer seeks to sell across state lines

(Information from: Chicago Tribune,

CHICAGO (AP) — An Indiana wine retailer hopes to overturn a Prohibition-era Illinois law and gain the right to sell and ship wines across state lines.

The Chicago Tribune reports Lebamoff Enterprises will be allowed to reopen a 2016 lawsuit against Illinois after prevailing in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month. The appellate move reversed a Chicago federal court’s decision to dismiss the case last year.

Lebamoff owns 15 Cap n’ Cork liquor stores in Indiana and seeks to sell to neighboring states through the internet.

The Illinois Liquor Control Act of 1934 requires alcohol that’s shipped into the state to first go through a distributor and be sold by a retailer at a physical location in the state.

The Illinois attorney general’s office declined to comment on the ruling.