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Proposed Michigan redistricting deal would lead to new map

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s secretary of state is proposing to settle a redistricting lawsuit by redrawing at least 11 state House districts for the 2020 election.

Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, announced the proposed deal Friday. Under the agreement with Democrats and other plaintiffs who sued the state, Michigan’s congressional and state Senate seats would not be changed.

Benson says the proposed settlement strikes a balance between rectifying unconstitutionally gerrymandered maps while reaching a remedy that is limited in scope.

The Republican-led Legislature would redraw the districts. It is unclear if more than 11 of the 110 House districts could be redrawn because of the impact on adjacent seats.

GOP lawmakers have urged federal judges considering the case to postpone a trial until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on cases out of other states.


Judge: Man accused of killing parents at college wasn’t sane

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — An Illinois man charged with killing his parents in his Michigan university dorm room has been committed to a psychiatric facility after a judge found he was mentally ill at the time of the shootings.

The decision Friday means there won’t be a trial for 20-year-old James Davis Jr. of Plainfield, Illinois, who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He could be held indefinitely.

Police say Davis shot his parents, James Davis Sr. and Diva Davis, last March when they tried to bring him home from Central Michigan University during spring break. He showed erratic behavior the previous night, telling police that someone was trying to kill him.

Davis was captured 16 hours after the shootings. A train conductor called 911 when he saw him wearing only underwear.


Benton Harbor residents to get free water filters

(Information from: The Herald-Palladium,

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Residents in a southwestern Michigan city who are concerned about lead-tainted drinking water will soon have access to free water filters.

The Herald-Palladium reports that the Berrien County Health Department will have filters available for Benton Harbor residents starting Feb. 4. Free water testing kits can also be picked up at City Hall.

Nicki Britten is a health officer with the county health department. She says the filters are important because boiling water doesn’t remove lead.

The state Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued an advisory in October that some Benton Harbor homes had tested for higher-than-acceptable levels of lead in the drinking water.

Britten says tests show lead hasn’t been negatively affecting local children. Experts say children are the most vulnerable. High lead levels can cause health problems and developmental delays.



Crews clear rubble of old bridge that fell onto Detroit road

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit officials say crews have removed the remnants of the collapsed pedestrian bridge that once was part of a Packard auto assembly plant.

The city said in a statement late Friday afternoon that the boulevard where the rubble had been has reopened. Crews had been working since the Wednesday collapse to separate the remaining parts of the bridge from adjacent buildings and remove debris.

No injuries were reported.

The city adds samples of the material were tested for asbestos and none was detected.

The bridge was erected in 1939. It had been off-limits to tour groups in recent years because of concerns about its structural integrity.


The Latest: Cuomo blames airport delays on ‘federal madness’

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says delays at East Coast airports amid a partial federal government shutdown are another symptom of the “federal madness” caused by Republican President Donald Trump.

The Democrat says the delays are hurting the economy and impacting airport safety and security. His comments came at an unrelated event in Manhattan Friday morning.

Earlier in the day Cuomo wrote to Trump demanding an end to the shutdown, saying it could become a national security issue.

The letter was sent shortly before the FAA announced LaGuardia Airport in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey were both experiencing delays in takeoffs due to staffing problems at two air traffic control facilities.


Boy, 3, dies after freeway shooting in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — A 3-year-old boy has died after a freeway shooting in Detroit.

State police say on Twitter the boy died Friday morning at a hospital.

A bullet pierced the side of the vehicle he was in just before 7:30 p.m. Thursday on the Southfield Freeway near Joy Road. A woman driving the vehicle is an acquaintance of the boy’s mother and was not wounded. Police initially described her as the boy’s mother.

First Lt. Michael Shaw has said it’s unclear whether their vehicle was targeted and that the shooting does not appear to be related to road rage.

A suspect has not been identified but police released images and surveillance video from a business Friday evening that show what officers describe as the suspect’s vehicle. It is a silver, four-door Mercedes.


This story has been corrected to reflect that the driver of the vehicle was not the boy’s mother, based on new information from police.


Michigan island residents warned to prepare for deep freeze

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard is warning residents of islands in the river connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron in northern Michigan that they could be cut off from ferry service during next week’s deep freeze.

Those who live on Sugar and Neebish islands in the St. Marys River as well as Drummond Island in Lake Huron are being urged to stock up on supplies including food and heating fuel in case ice blocks ferry service.

Ice-breaking operations are working to keep ferry routes open.

Forecasts for a drop in temperatures came as snow hit the Upper Peninsula, closing Michigan highway 28 in Alger and Marquette counties, as well as parts of the Lower Peninsula. Dozens of schools were closed Friday in western Michigan and light snow left Detroit-area roads slippery.


Commission poised to seek AG’s opinion on LGBT protections

WARREN, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is poised to ask the new attorney general to reconsider her predecessor’s opinion that state law doesn’t protect LGBT people from discrimination .

The commission will decide Monday whether to make the request to Attorney General Dana Nessel at its scheduled meeting in the Detroit suburb of Warren.

The commission in July directed the Michigan Department of Civil Rights to continue investigating complaints based on sexual orientation and gender identity, despite then-Attorney General Bill Schuette’s opinion. He said last year the board overstepped when it said the state’s civil rights law covered those categories.

Department director Agustin Arbulu said last year the commission wasn’t bound by Schuette’s opinion. Schuette’s office said it was binding on state agencies.

Nessel’s office declined to comment before receiving a request.


Michigan reviews nonprofit’s work on lead paint hazards

(Information from: The Detroit News,

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan officials are re-examining work done by a Detroit nonprofit over the last 11 years to clear nearly 600 homes of lead paint hazards after a child tested positive for high blood lead levels in one of the homes.

The Detroit News reports the state issued a stop work order to CLEARCorps/Detroit in December after investigators found lead hazards in the child’s Detroit home.

Lynn Sutfin, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, says investigators found lead hazards in five other homes so far. The nonprofit has had a state contract through the Lead Safe Homes Program to clear lead hazards in the Detroit area since 2007.

CLEARCorps executive director Mary Sue Schottenfels says in a statement they take the state’s concerns “with the utmost seriousness.”