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Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT

RESCUE DEVICE

Family whose son drowned in pond donates sonar device

SHEPHERD, Mich. (AP) — A mid-Michigan couple whose 4-year-old son drowned in a pond has donated a sonar device to police to use in similar emergencies. John and Rachel Kenny say they bought the device with money remaining from a GoFundMe account. The AquaEye can scan two acres of water in five minutes. Their son, Spencer, fell through ice and drowned in a pond last December in Isabella County. The Shepherd Tri Township Fire Department says the outcome might have been different with the device, which can identify bodies, especially in murky water.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING-DETROIT

Detroit senior community gets $19.7M in renovations

DETROIT (AP) — Nearly $20 million in renovations to an affordable housing community that’s home to 198 Detroit senior citizens have been completed. The city says rents on the apartments will not go up due to the $19.7 million in upgrades at Parkview Place. The building is just east of Detroit’s downtown. Each apartment received about $41,000 in upgrades, including new appliances, kitchen cabinets, countertops, sinks and faucets, and flooring. The building also received new elevators, a new roof, new windows, new entry doors, a new boiler, new water pumps and new fire suppression system. Renovations and affordability extensions were made possible, in part, through a 9% low-income housing tax credit award by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

ELECTION BILLS

Gov. Whitmer vetoes 2 more election-related bills

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has again vetoed election bills, blocking proposals to accelerate the state’s review of ballot initiatives and to change the process for canceling the registrations of dead voters. The Democrat said Friday that the legislation would “divert key resources away from ensuring" people can vote. It was the second time in two weeks that she vetoed election measures. She will soon nix more controversial Republican-sponsored legislation that would toughen voter ID requirements and ban the secretary of state and local clerks from mailing unsolicited absentee ballot applications.

AP-US-BIDEN-AUTO-SAFETY

AP review: At least 13 auto safety rules are years overdue

WASHINGTON (AP) — As pandemic-era traffic fatalities spike, the U.S. agency in charge of auto safety is struggling with a backlog of safety rules ordered by Congress that are years overdue. It's estimated the unfinished rules would save thousands of lives. An Associated Press review of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's rule-making activities under the last three presidents found at least 13 safety rules past due. The agency has lacked a permanent leader for four years and auto safety groups say President Joe Biden should act on a nomination. They fear the agency's mission of saving lives and costs from traffic injuries is getting lost.

KIDNAPPED JOURNALISTS-INDICTMENT

Lawyer: 'Preposterous' to blame Afghan man in US war deaths

NEW YORK (AP) — The lawyer for an Afghan commander awaiting trial in Manhattan federal court says it's preposterous to charge his client in the killing of three American soldiers. Attorney Mark Gombiner spoke Friday at a pretrial hearing after Haji Najibullah pleaded not guilty to charges in a rewritten indictment against him. Najibullah was already charged in the 2008 gunpoint kidnapping of a New York Times reporter and another journalist. But an indictment returned last week accused him of commanding the Taliban fighters behind a fatal ambush of the three servicemen in Afghanistan in 2008.

ESCAPED-AFRICAN-CAT

Caracal cat owner ticketed, ordered to find them new home

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit woman has been ordered to find another home for her four African caracals after one of the wild cats spent hours on the loose this week. Royal Oak police have issued Elaine Westfall five citations. Westfall told the Detroit Free Press for a story Friday that the cats have to be gone by Monday, though she's unsure police have the authority to order her to move them out. At least two of the cats escaped from their enclosure on Wednesday. She used raw meat to lure one back, but the other wasn't captured until that evening. Native to Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and India, caracals prey on rodents, other small mammals and birds.

PRISON-JEWISH MEALS

Michigan inmates win right to kosher meat, cheesecake

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan must serve kosher meat, dairy and cheesecake to prisoners observing the Jewish Sabbath and holidays. An appeals court this week affirmed a decision by a federal judge in Detroit. Two men sued after the Corrections Department in 2013 adopted a vegan religious meal for prisoners of all faiths. Jewish organizations also could no longer send special food for holidays. The appeals court says those steps put a “substantial burden” on the rights of prisoners who want kosher meat and dairy to practice their Jewish faith. The court analyzed the case under a federal law that protects the exercise of religion in a confined setting.

JAIL DEATH-OFFICERS CHARGED-MICHIGAN

Four county jail officers to stand trial in inmate's death

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — Four corrections officers in western Michigan have been ordered to stand trial in the 2019 death of a jail inmate who suffered multiple seizures while in a cell. Muskegon County sheriff’s Sgt. David Vanderlaan, and deputies Jeffrey Patterson, Crystal Greve and Jamal Lane are charged with involuntary manslaughter. A county district judge bound them over Thursday for trial following a preliminary examination. Charges were dismissed against a former nurse. In April, Michigan’s attorney general’s office filed charges accusing the five of willful neglect of duty in the death of 39-year-old Paul Bulthouse. MLive.com reports that a medical examiner testified he suffered 18 seizures over 4 1/2 hours.

AP-US-BENTON-HARBOR-WATER

Michigan governor orders urgent response to lead crisis

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered a “whole-of-government” response to elevated levels of lead in Benton Harbor’s water. She's directing state agencies to ensure residents have safe tap water. Thursday's directive came about a week after her administration urged people to use only bottled water for cooking and drinking. That came amid criticism of state and local officials’ handling of the response. The Democratic governor also committed to replacing all of the city’s lead pipes in 18 months, accelerating what had been a five-year timeline. For three years, measurements have detected lead levels well above 15 parts per billion, the federal threshold for taking action.

MYANMAR-US-JOURNALIST

Former job is key in case against US journalist in Myanmar

BANGKOK (AP) — The lawyer for an American journalist detained almost five months in military-ruled Myanmar says he is being prosecuted for an offense allegedly carried out by a news service for which he had stopped working more than half-a-year previously. Danny Fenster, managing editor of Frontier Myanmar, an online news magazine based in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, was detained at its international airport on May 24 as he was about to board a flight to go to the Detroit area in the United States to see his family. A judge in Yangon said Friday that he had been charged for activities carried out by Myanmar Now, another online news service, after February's military takeover.

News from © The Associated Press, 2021
The Associated Press

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