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

July 23, 2021 - 6:19 PM

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

Michigan COVID-19 infections double in 2 weeks

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is reporting an average of 431 new daily COVID-19 infections over three days, up 47% from the same period a week earlier. Cases have gone up in all but one state over the past two weeks, which health officials nationally have attributed to the fast-spreading delta variant. Michigan’s seven-day average, 332, is double what is was two weeks ago. Its two-week case rate, however, is better than in all but four states. Just 256 adults were hospitalized with confirmed infections, a fraction of the peak of more than 4,000 in April.

LAWMAKER-DRUNKEN DRIVING

State lawmaker gets 15 days in jail for drunken driving

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A state lawmaker from the Grand Rapids area has been sentenced to 15 days in jail for drunken driving. Republican Rep. Bryan Posthumus expressed remorse and says he hasn’t had a drink since he rolled his vehicle in April in Ada Township. He says he'll repay his state salary for the 15 days in jail. Posthumus says he let his family and constituents down. Judge Jeff O’Hara noted that Posthumus had a similar case in 2013. Posthumus’ family is well-known in government and politics: His father, Dick, was a state senator and lieutenant governor, and his sister is the Kent County clerk.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-BONUSES

Congressman: Federal virus aid wasn't for elected officials

CORUNNA, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan congressman is criticizing COVID-19 bonuses awarded to commissioners and other elected officials in Shiawassee County. U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee says American Rescue Plan dollars were intended to help frontline workers and families impacted by the pandemic. Kildee was reacting to news that Republican county commissioners last week signed off on more than $500,000 in “hazard pay” for dozens of county employees. What’s unusual is that commissioners rewarded themselves and other elected officials. The county board chairman and sheriff each got $25,000, along with the county administrator. The prosecutor and county clerk each received $12,500. A lawsuit was filed Thursday to try to rescind some of the bonuses.

MICHIGAN PIPELINE-ANCHOR

Enbridge: Anchor in Straits of Mackinac will be recovered

ST. IGNACE, Mich. (AP) — Enbridge Energy says an anchor will be recovered from the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac after it became detached from a cable during maintenance of an oil pipeline. The incident involved an Enbridge contractor. Enbridge says there was no risk to Line 5. The pipeline crosses the bottom of the straits connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Enbridge wants to build a tunnel in the water to house the pipeline. It has a permit from the state but needs approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Critics want the pipeline shut down, saying the lakes are at risk.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NURSING HOMES

Justice Department won't probe Michigan nursing home deaths

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Justice Department will not open a civil rights investigation related to COVID-19 deaths in Michigan’s nursing homes. The notification to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday came nearly 11 months after the department’s Civil Rights Division requested data from the Democratic governors of four states, including Michigan, and said it was considering whether to investigate under a federal law that protects the rights of people in public nursing homes. Most nursing homes are privately owned. Republicans have criticized Whitmer for allowing recovering COVID-19 patients to return to nursing homes, but she has said doing so complied with federal guidance.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-BONUSES

Officials in Michigan county used virus money for bonuses

CORUNNA, Mich. (AP) — Elected officials in a Michigan county gave themselves bonuses with federal relief money related to the coronavirus pandemic. The money, described as “hazard pay,” included $25,000 for Jeremy Root, chairman of the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners. Shiawassee is a mostly rural county between Lansing and Flint, with a population of 68,000. Commissioners — all Republicans — voted last week to award money to dozens of county employees. It ranges from $25,000 for administrators to $2,000 for cleaning staff. All workers got at least $1,000. Commissioner Marlene Webster says she didn’t know she voted to reward herself and plans to return the money. Meanwhile, a resident has filed a lawsuit to try to rescind some of the bonuses.

FLINT-POLICE HELICOPTER

Flint police might patrol from sky with a helicopter

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Flint is taking steps toward renting a helicopter for the police department. Officers told the city council that a helicopter could help them find reckless drivers, crime suspects and missing children. A plan to lease a helicopter for $304,000 for three months could win final approval as early as next week. Violent crime in Flint is up slightly compared to the same period in 2020, but homicides have increased 40% as of July 18. Police Chief Terence Green says three months should be enough time to judge the effectiveness of having a helicopter.

MASKS-CASINO THEFTS

Man in 'Hollywood-esque' masks gets prison for casino thefts

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-area man who wore realistic masks while robbing $125,000 from cash kiosks in casinos has been sentenced to four years in federal prison. Prosecutors say John Colletti of Harper Woods pulled off an elaborate scheme while wearing “Hollywood-esque disguises." Colletti admits that he obtained personal information from people who had accounts with Global Payments Gaming Systems. He had false IDs made overseas and then withdrew money from kiosks at casinos while wearing prosthetic masks. Colletti was sentenced in federal court in Detroit, three months after pleading guilty to wire fraud and identity theft.

FATAL FALL-MACKINAC ISLAND

Police: Man jumps to death from Mackinac Island's Arch Rock

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — Police say an investigation reveals that a man who was found dead at the base of a popular Mackinac Island tourist destination intentionally jumped from the top and left a note indicating plans to take his own life. Mackinac Island Police Chief Doug Topolski says Thursday that a passerby found the man’s body about 9:15 a.m. Wednesday at the base of Arch Rock. Arch Rock is a unique natural limestone arch that rises 146 feet above the Lake Huron shore in northern Michigan. Climbing on it is strictly prohibited and viewing platforms are available at the site. The name of the man, an Upper Peninsula resident in his 40s, wasn’t immediately released.

News from © The Associated Press, 2021
The Associated Press

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