Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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


U of Michigan gets $40M gift to help 1st-generation students

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A program at the University of Michigan to combat struggles that low-income and first-generation college students can face is getting $40 million from the Judy and Fred Wilpon Family Foundation. Former New York Mets owner and real estate developer Fred Wilpon alongside his wife, Judy, created the Kessler Scholars Program in 2008. The program helps scholarship recipients combat various collegiate struggles, including: Not feeling connected, uncertainty about how to navigate financial aid or class systems and difficulty networking. The foundation has awarded scholarships to more than 400 undergraduates. The university says that with the most recent gift announced Thursday to fund the program in perpetuity, the Wilpons will have donated more than $75 million to the university.


Teacher on hunger strike to put light on climate change

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A teacher in southwestern Michigan says he’s on a one-week hunger strike outside his school to draw attention to climate change. Josh Gottlieb says he took a week off without pay to sit outside Kalamazoo Central High School. Students and teachers have dropped by to support him. Gottlieb says he will continue his hunger strike and protest through Sunday, when the UN’s climate summit begins in Scotland. He says political conflict in the U.S. means President Joe Biden isn’t bringing much to the conference. Freshman Giuliana Bush supports Gottlieb. She says climate change is everyone's problem.


State's top court looks at law that makes convicts pay bills

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to look again at a law that allows communities to collect millions of dollars from poor criminal defendants. The money helps pay salaries, keep lights on and wax floors in courthouses up and down the state. The issue is whether it’s unconstitutional, especially when a judge knows a conviction will bring in cash and please local officials who count on the money. The Supreme Court says it will hear arguments in the months ahead in a case from Alpena County. Travis Johnson was ordered to pay $1,200 in local court costs for a pair of convictions.


'Heroic' mom saves 4 kids in house fire in SE Michigan

CHELSEA, Mich. (AP) — The mother of four children is recovering from severe burns after rescuing her kids from a fire at their home in southeastern Michigan. Firefighters say Mikala Vish repeatedly went back into her Chelsea home to save the kids Tuesday. Lt. Derek Klink calls it the “most heroic thing” he's ever seen. Vish is in a hospital with burns on more than 60% of her body. A 6-year-old son also was badly burned. The family lost everything in the fire. A GoFundMe page has raised more than $35,000 so far. Chelsea is in Washtenaw County, 15 miles west of Ann Arbor.


Detroit FBI launches email for public to report corruption

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit FBI office has created an email address for members of the public to report suspicions of public corruption directly to federal agents and analysts. The launch of follows years of investigations into corruption in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs, such as bribery, kickbacks, the rigging of bids for municipal contracts, and intentional non-enforcement of local regulations. The agency says public corruption can be difficult to detect making information from the public critical to the FBI’s efforts. Two Detroit police officers recently were charged in federal court with taking bribes to break the rules and steer cars to a favored towing company.


Prayer for kidnappers deeply rooted in mission group's faith

Relatives and supporters of 17 missionaries kidnapped in Haiti are praying at least as much for the captors as the captives. They're tapping into a long history in their conservative Anabaptist tradition when they use phrases such as “Love your enemies,” “Forgive them,” and “Pray for the kidnappers.” The missionaries from the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries were abducted Oct. 16 by a gang seeking ransom. People "hope for a good outcome” to the crisis, said Wayne Wengerd, member of a steering committee representing the Amish in church-state relations. But, he added: “We realize as Christians, as followers of Christ, there will be persecution.”


No charges after stolen money is returned, with an apology

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — Police say a Chicago woman whose purse was stolen at a Detroit-area grocery store has decided not to press charges after the culprit returned money swiped from the purse and apologized. The 80-year-old woman’s purse was recently stolen from a Kroger in Oakland County before being found with $100 missing. The Detroit Free Press reports that after surveillance footage was released to the media, several tipsters called police and identified the thief. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard says the 63-year-old woman who took the money returned the cash Wednesday and apologized. He says the victim chose not to press charges because she “simply wanted to move on."


Whitmer orders alternatives to products with toxic chemicals

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is ordering state officials to buy fewer products containing toxic compounds that are used widely, despite being associated with serious illnesses. The Democratic governor wants purchasers to seek alternatives to goods made with chemicals known as PFAS. They're used in nonstick frying pans, water-repellent sports gear, stain-resistant rugs and countless other products. They're called “forever chemicals” because they degrade slowly, if at all. PFAS have been associated with health problems including cancer and reduced birth weight. The Michigan Chemistry Council says PFAS chemicals are not identical and shouldn't be treated the same.


Michigan Legislature OKs school accounts destined for veto

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican lawmakers have passed veto-destined bills that would let Michigan students attend private schools and pay other educational expenses with scholarships funded by taxpayers who would get tax credits for their donations. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who opposes vouchers, has called the fast-tracked legislation a “nonstarter.” Michigan has what is considered to be the country’s strictest constitutional ban on providing public assistance to nonpublic schools. GOP legislators say the bills would boost educational opportunities for kids who have fallen behind during the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats call the proposal unconstitutional and say it would drain resources from public schools.


Judge clears path for recall campaign over COVID-19 bonuses

CORUNNA, Mich. (AP) — A judge has cleared the way for a recall campaign against three Michigan county officials who gave themselves bonuses with federal COVID-19 money before public outcry caused a reversal. The three officials in Shiawassee County had filed an appeal over the recall petition language, but a judge says those appeals were full of errors. The decision means signatures can be gathered to try to force a recall election next year against Jeremy Root, Cindy Garber and John Plowman. The Republicans serve on the county Board of Commissioners. Shiawassee mostly is a rural county between Lansing and Flint.

News from © The Associated Press, 2021
The Associated Press

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