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Ann Arbor defeats plan to target deer hunt protesters

(Information from: The Ann Arbor News,

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The Ann Arbor City Council has turned down a request to take action against protesters who are opposed to a special deer hunt.

The Ann Arbor News says protesters have appeared at sites where sharpshooters have been hired to kill up to 150 deer this month. The goal is to reduce the city’s high deer population.

Council member Jane Lumm wants the city attorney to issue tickets or file lawsuits to discourage the protests. But her proposal was defeated Monday, 6-5.

Council member Jeff Hayner says he won’t interfere with the rights of people who want to protest. He says they “feel unheard.”

Members of Friends of Ann Arbor Wildlife say they have quietly held signs after being warned not to interfere. But resident Stephen Kunselman, who supports the deer hunt, says people were honking horns at his property.



Man bound over for trial in Michigan motel room slaying

(Information from: The Flint Journal,

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A man accused of killing a woman during sex and then stuffing her body under a motel room bed has been bound over for trial.

Thirty-six-year-old Aaron Thornton was bound over Monday on charges of first-degree murder and unlawful imprisonment in the strangulation of 28-year-old Jessica Flood, of Flint.

Prosecutors say Thornton killed Flood on June 20 in a room at the Great Western Inn in Mount Morris Township. Her body was found five days later after a motel guest complained about a foul odor.

Thornton’s attorney, Michael Ewing, told The Flint Journal that Genesee District Judge Mark Latchana ruled that there wasn’t enough evidence to bind over co-defendant Jennifer L. Harrington on the same charges as Thornton, but she’ll face trial on a charge of accessory after the fact.

Ewing declined to comment further about Thornton’s case.



Mourners fill mosque at funeral for Michigan family

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Hundreds of people have filled a Detroit-area mosque to honor five family members killed in a wrong-way crash in Kentucky.

Mourners offered prayers and other inspiring words Tuesday while a slide show displayed photos of the Abbas family. Issam and Rima Abbas and their three children were killed early Sunday when their SUV was smashed by a pickup truck operated by a suspected drunken driver on Interstate 75 in Lexington, Kentucky.

The family was returning to Northville, Michigan, from Florida. The pickup driver also died.

A two-hour funeral was held at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn. Five caskets were taken to the main prayer hall and then carried outside.

Men holding the caskets cried out in Arabic: “There is no god but God.”


U of Michigan to pay $300K to settle employee lawsuit

(Information from: The Grand Rapids,

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit by a former employee who claims she was wrongly terminated. reports Tuesday that the school, through its attorney, signed a settlement on Dec. 3. It was released following a public records request by the news organization.

Amy J. Wang alleged that she was asked by her boss to lie to federal immigration officials about the duties of another employee, whom she says shouldn’t have been working in a permanent managerial job. The other employee was a non-U.S. resident.

Spokesman Rick Fitzgerald says the university “categorically denies” the allegation that Wang was asked to lie. He says the university discovered the visa issues on its own.

The university didn’t admit liability in the settlement with Wang.



Whitmer seeks to ensure equal pay for female state employees

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a directive aimed at ensuring that female state employees are paid the same as men doing equivalent work.

The order issued Tuesday prohibits state departments and agencies from inquiring about a job applicant’s current or previous salaries until making a conditional offer of employment, including proposed compensation. The state also cannot retrieve the same information by searching public records or databases.

Whitmer, a Democrat who took office last week, says asking job applicants about their salary history can perpetuate the gender wage gap. She says her directive “is about doing what’s right.”

Her order does not prevent an applicant from volunteering information about compensation, but the applicant’s refusal to do so must not be considered in an employment decision.



Executive Directive 2019-10:


Missing Michigan cat found 2 months later in Florida

DETROIT (AP) — A cat from suburban Detroit decided to take a break from the winter cold, and he turned up in sunny Florida.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Dearborn resident Judy Sanborn was shocked when she received a call in December from a pet hospital more than 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) away in Tampa, Florida.

Staff told her they had her 2 1/2-year-old tabby named Bandit. The cat had been missing for more than two months.

Staff told Sanborn that a local resident had found the cat, who’d been identified through his microchip.

It’s unclear how Bandit made the cross-country trek. Sanborn guesses he hitched a ride on a moving vehicle or was found by someone in Michigan on their way to Florida.

Bandit is set to catch a return flight to Michigan this week.


Driver gets 10-year sentence in crash that killed 9-year-old

PETOSKEY, Mich. (AP) — A northern Michigan woman has been sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for fatally striking a 9-year-old boy with her vehicle.

Emmet County Judge Charles Johnson exceeded the sentencing guidelines, which aren’t mandatory.

Samuel Myers was walking his bike with his mother in August when they were hit by a Chevrolet Trailblazer. Holly Hibbler of Petoskey was sentenced Tuesday, weeks after pleading no contest to reckless driving causing death. The Petoskey courtroom was filled with family and friends of the victim.

Samuel’s mother, Sharon Myers, was injured in the crash. The 37-year-old Hibbler will be eligible for parole after 10 years.


Storm drops heavy snow on northern Michigan; caution urged

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — A storm dropped more than a foot (1/3 meter) of snow on parts of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, creating hazardous driving conditions and keeping some students home from school.

The National Weather Service says the largest snowfall totals Monday were observed in the central and eastern Upper Peninsula and across the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Officials are urging people to be cautious when driving.

Lake Superior State University says its main campus in Sault Ste. Marie is closed Tuesday due to weather conditions, including blowing snow. The school says only essential personnel should report to work. The university says it plans to reopen Wednesday. reports weather including freezing rain led to school closings in parts of mid-Michigan, including some schools in Clare and Gladwin counties.


Wayne State University to move 19th-century Detroit house

(Information from: The Detroit News,

DETROIT (AP) — Wayne State University plans to move the 19th-century Detroit home of its founder to make way for a campus development project.

Matt Lockwood, Wayne State’s director of communications, says February’s move of David Mackenzie’s former home will make room for an expansion and renovation to the neighboring Hilberry Theatre. The Detroit News reports that the $65 million project will convert the Hilberry into a complex for theater, music, dance and arts-related events.

Harry Wyatt, Wayne State’s associate vice president for facilities planning and management, says the 1895 Queen Anne-style home will be moved around the block to property currently occupied by a parking lot. He says the new location still is near “the main part of the historic part of Wayne State.”

The house is part of a historic district.



Michigan Land Bank announces blight elimination grants

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Blight elimination funding is available for land banks and governmental units in Michigan counties with fewer than 50,000 people.

The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority says the Michigan Rural Community Demolition grants are designed to help communities remove vacant and abandoned structures from neighborhoods to prepare the areas for developments that spark business investment and provide good jobs.

The maximum award per proposal is $50,000 and can be used toward dealing with vacant and abandoned, blighted commercial or residential structures.

Proposals will be evaluated based on their anticipated impact in promoting public safety, enhancing economic development, public and private investment in the project and alignment with the community vision or other place-making efforts.

Applications will be accepted until 2 p.m. on Feb. 15.