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Police abuses lawsuit fades due to Detroit’s bankruptcy

DETROIT (AP) — A police abuse lawsuit could have cost Detroit millions of dollars. But lawyers are closing the case after eight years, acknowledging that the claims of possibly 200,000 people are practically worthless.

The reason? Detroit’s 2013 bankruptcy.

The lawsuit claimed there were poor conditions in holding cells and excessive detentions. It was in progress when Detroit became the largest U.S. city to seek protection from creditors. The city emerged with a clean balance sheet, but that doesn’t mean a windfall for people who won the class-action case.

They would need to get in line like other creditors because the lawsuit was pending during the bankruptcy. A $1,000 recovery per person could be worth as little as $40 — and paid over many years. Lawyers say it’s not worth it.


Detroit faces another lawsuit over towing practices

(Information from: The Detroit News,

DETROIT (AP) — Two Detroit residents and a car leasing company have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the city and a towing company worked with police to impound vehicles without informing owners.

The Detroit News reports that the suit alleges that Bobby’s Towing was allowed to charge exorbitant storage fees to unsuspecting car owners.

Jason Katz is the attorney for the car leasing firm Brite Financial Services of Madison Heights and Detroit residents Gerald Grays and Dale Riley. He says the city violated his clients’ constitutional rights by not informing them about what happened to their vehicles.

City attorneys and the state attorney general’s office say they’ll prove in court that the allegations have no merit.

The lawsuit is the latest in a string of controversies surrounding the city’s police towing operation .



Coast Guard rescues 4 kayakers stranded on small island

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued three adults and a child who became stranded on a small island in the Detroit River during a kayaking trip.

The man, his wife, a 5-year-old girl, and a family friend became stranded on the island in the river’s mouth Friday after launching their kayaks from Lake Erie Metropark.

Rescue crews were sent on a boat and a helicopter, but the water around the island proved too shallow for the boat.

The kayakers were hoisted into the helicopter after 7 p.m. and taken to Gross Ile Municipal Airport, and treated for mild hypothermia.

The Coast Guard says the kayakers spent about four hours stranded, but were prepared with a survival kit and cell phones and had also lit a bonfire to stay warm.


Restaurant offers free food to Coast Guard during shutdown

(Information from: WPBN-TV,

ST. IGNACE, Mich. (AP) — An Upper Peninsula restaurant is offering free breakfast to members of the U.S. Coast Guard during the government shutdown.

The owner of Java Joe’s in St. Ignace says he wants to help Coast Guard members who aren’t getting paid during the shutdown. The Coast Guard has a station in St. Ignace, near the Mackinac Bridge.

Joe Durm tells TV station WPBN that Congress isn’t thinking about people who have car payments, mortgages and kids with braces. He says, “This is what irritates me to no end.”

The owner is getting many compliments on social media. A writer on Facebook asked if Durm can send food to St. Louis. Some Coast Guard members are pledging to visit Java Joe’s if they get stationed in northern Michigan.



The Latest: Snyder signs bill to require grades for schools

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law requirements that letter grades be issued for each public school in the state.

The new accountability system will begin in 2019 under the law enacted Friday.

The Republican governor, who leaves office next week, signed or vetoed scores of other bills Friday. He vetoed one that would have blocked any future attempts to force the disclosure of donors to nonprofits, including political groups whose sway has grown in elections.

He signed an environmental cleanup bill that Democrats say would make it harder to toughen the standard for protecting drinking water from certain toxic chemicals.

The law will require the state to use federal toxicity values when setting cleanup criteria for hazardous substances and take additional steps when upgrading standards. Republicans say it makes long-overdue updates to promote cleanup and reuse of abandoned industrial properties.


Grants fund projects fighting invasive species in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — More than two dozen projects will share $3.6 million to help battle invasive species across Michigan.

The state says the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program funding will support promising new developments to fight the pests on land and in the water.

The projects will include the use of new techniques to increase development of beech trees that are resistant to beech bark disease, and grafting selected ash trees that have survived the emerald ash borer and testing them for resistance.

The program is overseen by Michigan’s departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, and Agriculture and Rural Development.

Over five years, more than $18 million has been awarded to support 109 projects.

The funding has allowed surveys of more than 285,000 acres (115,335 hectares) of land and water for invasive species.


Man charged with murder in Michigan crossbow killing

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (AP) — A 20-year-old man has been charged in the fatal crossbow shooting of an acquaintance outside a western Michigan home.

Nyoky Steven Bull of Grant was arraigned Friday on an open murder charge and ordered jailed.

Marcus Olmstead was shot with a crossbow bolt Wednesday outside his Norton Shores home, northwest of Grand Rapids. Olmstead’s twin brother found him in the driveway. Emergency workers tried to revive the 20-year-old Olmstead but he died at the scene in the city just south of Muskegon along Lake Michigan.

Prosecutor’s office chief trial attorney Matt Roberts said Bull’s girlfriend’s Instagram account was used to “lure” Olmstead outside. Roberts said Olmstead believed he was meeting with the girlfriend. He added that there is no indication the girlfriend was involved in the shooting.