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

September 23, 2021 - 6:21 PM

AP-US-UNIVERSITY-OF-MICHIGAN-DOCTOR-ASSAULT

Assault victims protest outside U-Michigan board meeting

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Protesters appeared outside a meeting of the University of Michigan's governing board, calling for more accountability from the school for sexual assaults by a now-deceased doctor. Some protesters were victims of Dr. Robert Anderson, who worked on campus for decades. Former football player Chuck Christian handed out T-shirts that read, “Hail to the Victims.” It's a reference to “Hail to the victors,” a lyric in the Michigan fight song. Christian says Anderson was a “monster.” The university has acknowledged that assaults occurred. A report by a law firm hired by U-M found that officials failed to stop Anderson, especially in the 1970s. The university is in mediation with lawyers who are seeking a financial settlement

VOTING LIMITS

GOP group clears step to pursue Michigan voting restrictions

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican organizers of veto-proof legislation that would make it harder to vote have cleared a procedural step. The Michigan elections board on Thursday approved a 100-word summary that will appear on the ballot petition. Secure MI Vote will soon begin collecting signatures. The group needs roughly 340,000 valid voter signatures and wants the GOP-controlled Legislature to enact the bill in 2022 rather than let it go on the ballot. Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer couldn't veto it. The initiative would, among other things, require prospective absentee voters to provide a copy of their photo identification or to include their driver’s license number, state ID number or the last four digits of their Social Security number.

GAS LEAK

Flat Rock gets the all-clear weeks after gas leak from Ford

FLAT ROCK, Mich. (AP) — Authorities told hundreds of people in a Detroit suburb to return home, ending a three-week voluntary evacuation after gasoline from a Ford Motor factory got into the sewer system. The gas leak is no longer a risk to indoor air of Flat Rock homes and business in Zone 1. Zone 1 has about 500 homes. Zone 2, with 635 homes, got the green light Monday. The only exception is a handful of homes. Flat Rock’s drinking water system wasn’t affected. Ford Motor has been paying to put residents in hotels. The offer will continue for residents who still are awaiting written results from tests.

DAN-GILBERT-DETROIT-TAX-RELIEF-FUND

Fund pays back tax debt of 1,600 Detroit homeowners

DETROIT (AP) — About 1,600 homeowners have had their back taxes paid through a program designed to preserve wealth and home equity in Detroit while helping families achieve financial independence. A foundation connected to billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert says Thursday that another 3,250 Detroit homeowners also are in the Detroit Tax Relief Fund pipeline and could see their property tax debt paid in full by the end of the year. Gilbert announced the program in March through his Gilbert Family Foundation, starting with $15 million to pay off the property tax debt of 20,000 of the city’s poorest homeowners. Money saved by homeowners can be used to make repairs to their houses, pay bills and meet other financial needs.

BODY MOVED

Driver accused of killing pedestrian, moving body to woods

DECATUR, Mich. (AP) — Charges have been filed in southwestern Michigan in the case of a woman whose body was found in a wooded area, miles from where she was hit while out for a walk. Colby Martin is accused of striking Melody Rohrer in Van Buren County and then moving her body to St. Joseph County. Investigators said he led them to the body Tuesday. Martin and the 64-year-old Rohrer didn’t know each other. Sheriff Daniel Abbott says he's grateful to get closure for Rohrer's family. She lived in the Decatur area.

SUB SHOP-ABDUCTION

Michigan Supreme Court to review sentence in '09 murder

EASTPOINTE, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court is taking a look at the life sentence of a man who was a teenager in 2009 when he was charged with a notorious kidnapping and murder in suburban Detroit. Robert Taylor is serving a life sentence with no chance for parole for his role in the death of Matt Landry. Landry was kidnapped from outside a sandwich shop in Eastpointe. Taylor was 16 at the time, a key issue at sentencing. Life sentences are no longer automatic for teenagers convicted of murder. The Supreme Court will hear arguments next year about whether a judge properly weighed many factors, including Taylor’s family life, when she ordered a life sentence.

GUN THREAT-STUDENT ARRESTED

Detroit-area high school student faces threat, gun charges

TAYLOR, Mich. (AP) — A 15-year-old Detroit-area student has been charged after allegedly threatening a high school security guard and being caught with a gun. The Wayne County prosecutor's office says the teen was to appear Thursday at a preliminary hearing for carrying a concealed weapon, an intentional threat to commit an act of violence against school employees or school and weapons possession charges. He will be prosecuted as a juvenile. Taylor police officers arrested the teen Wednesday morning at Taylor High School, southwest of Detroit. They were called to the school after the teen was told to return to class and allegedly threatened to shoot a security officer. Police found the loaded gun in the teen’s fanny pack.

BENTON HARBOR WATER

Michigan sending water, filters to Benton Harbor due to lead

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan will provide bottled water and water filters in Benton Harbor where tests have revealed elevated levels of lead. The action comes less than two weeks after about 20 groups urged the Biden administration to immediately step in. They say state officials have not adequately responded since the contamination was discovered three years ago in the Black, mostly low income community. A local activist, the Rev. Edward Pinkney, praised the state's moves but noted that three years have passed since elevated lead levels were revealed. The Natural Resources Defense Council says the free water should continue beyond a target date in early October.

MICHIGAN BUDGET

Lawmakers OK $55B budget bills; $7.5B in virus relief left

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers who have finished passing the state budget will next turn to allocating an unprecedented amount of federal COVID-19 rescue funding — money that largely is flexible and can be spent however the state decides. For months, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been proposing ways to allot $6.5 billion in discretionary funds approved by Congress and President Joe Biden. About $5.7 billion remains after budget negotiations and the enactment of two spending bills in July. In recent talks, legislators also left unspent $1.8 billion in nondiscretionary federal coronavirus aid and $3 billion in state revenues.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

Michigan passes 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has recorded more than 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. That figure comes from the state health department. The state crossed that threshold by reporting 6,000 new cases over the last two days. There have been more than 20,000 deaths in Michigan linked to COVID-19. Nearly 58% of eligible Michigan residents are fully vaccinated. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan told The Detroit News that he believes a “major wave” of cases is coming to Michigan this fall. When coupled with staff shortages in hospitals, Duggan predicts that Michigan is “going to have a major problem.”

News from © The Associated Press, 2021
The Associated Press

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