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

VIRUS OUTBREAK-FINES

Whitmer vetoes ban on fining employers for COVID violations

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has vetoed a bill that would prohibit Michigan’s workplace safety agency from fining employers for first-time violations of COVID-19 rules and require them to be reimbursed if they violated 2020 executive orders that were later declared unconstitutional. The Democratic governor said Friday that the Republican-sponsored legislation would cause the state to fall below minimum standards required by federal law, which would have “disastrous consequences.” The bill was approved on party lines by the Republican-controlled Senate last week. The sponsor has said his bill would “give some grace and relief to the employers in our state.”

STOLEN VEHICLE CRASH-TEEN KILLED

Teen charged in stolen vehicle crash that killed passenger

DETROIT (AP) — A 16-year-old boy who was driving a stolen vehicle while fleeing Detroit police has been charged with murder in a crash that killed his 13-year-old passenger. The Wayne County prosecutor's office says Friday that the teen was being held in a juvenile detention center and faces arraignment next week. Prosecutors said officers on Oct. 21 attempted to stop the stolen vehicle which was speeding as the driver lost control and crashed. The 13-year-old boy was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and another 16-year-old boy in the vehicle were injured.

BODY EXHUMED

Body found off Lake Michigan in 1988 exhumed for DNA

NEW BUFFALO, Mich. (AP) — Authorities in southwestern Michigan are trying to identify a woman's body that was discovered in rocks off Lake Michigan more than 33 years ago. Police this week went to a grave in Berrien County to get a DNA sample. The body washed ashore in New Buffalo on April 8, 1988. Investigators believe the woman was 40 to 60 years old, 5 feet, 5 inches tall and 175 pounds. She was wearing jeans, a bra and black boots but no top. The woman had a porcelain bridge replacing a front tooth — dental work that was considered experimental at the time. Anyone with information can call (269) 683-4411 or (269) 469-1500.

BIDEN-JUSTICE NOMINEES

White House nominates 10 for US Marshals, US attorney posts

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is nominating its first set of U.S. Marshals, including the first Black man to serve as the U.S. Marshal in Minnesota, along with a slate of other historic firsts for U.S. attorney posts across the nation. The Justice Department’s 93 U.S. attorneys, who are responsible for federal criminal prosecutions in their respective districts, are likely to be central to efforts to combat violent crime. The White House says the 10 candidates were “chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law" and commitment to the independence of the Justice Department. The announcement also means Biden has now nominated 37 people to serve as U.S. attorneys.

BENTON HARBOR-WATER

Lawsuit over Benton Harbor water seeks class-action status

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan and local officials have been targeted in a lawsuit over high levels of lead in Benton Harbor’s drinking water. The lawsuit was filed this week in federal court. It accuses the state and city of “deliberate indifference” in their response to the problem, which began to emerge in 2018. Doretha Braziel, one of many Benton Harbor residents in the lawsuit, says she only recently became aware that she should avoid drinking the water. Michigan has been supplying free bottled water for weeks and is pledging to help Benton Harbor replace lead service lines outside homes. Lead has been leaching from old pipes, although chemicals to reduce corrosion have been applied.

OFFICER FIRED-BLACK MAN

Off-duty officer fired after pointing gun at Black man

DeWITT, Mich. (AP) — A white Michigan police officer has been fired after pointing a gun while off-duty at a 19-year-old Black man who was delivering newspapers in January. WLNS-TV reports that Chad Vorce is appealing his May 5 termination from the DeWitt Police Department, near Lansing. He told investigators he thought the man was a suspect in recent break-ins when he followed him Jan. 14, asking if he needed directions. The man said he drove to a gas station after Vorce pointed a gun at him. He later told police he didn’t know Vorce was a police officer. The Associated Press was unable Friday to find a telephone number for Vorce, who was fired for violations of departmental policies and regulations.

CHILD KILLED-DEARBORN

Man charged in hit-and-run death of girl, 6, in Detroit area

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — An 18-year-old man has been charged in a hit-and-run crash that killed a six-year-old girl in the Detroit area. The Wayne County prosecutor's office says Friday that Jyon Collins was arraigned on failure to stop at a scene resulting in death and driving without a license charges. Collins voluntarily turned himself in Wednesday to authorities following Sunday’s crash. The girl was struck in a residential neighborhood of Dearborn. Prosecutors say she was crawling beneath a car and another car parked behind it obstructed the view of the victim at the time of the incident. Emergency workers took the girl to Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, where she died from her injuries.

COLD CASE-TEEN

Man arrested in 1997 death of woman; he was teen at time

LENNON, Mich. (AP) — A man who was a teenager in 1997 was arrested in the death of an 88-year-old woman, a slaying that was unsolved in Genesee County for nearly 25 years. Mary Prieur emigrated from Czechoslovakia when she was a child and had a candy business in Flint. The discovery of her body in a swampy, wooded area stunned Lennon, a village in the county. The sheriff says 41-year-old Michael Bur is charged with murder, criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping. He doesn't have a lawyer yet who could comment on the allegations. Sheriff Chris Swanson says Bur has been a suspect for years. He recalled trying to interview him in 2004.

GRAY WOLVES-PROTECTIONS

Fight over US wolf protections goes before federal judge

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. government attorneys have asked a federal judge to uphold a decision from the waning days of the Trump administration that lifted protections for gray wolves across most of the country. The request during a Friday hearing before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in California came as officials in Republican-led states including Wisconsin, Montana and Idaho have sought to drive down wolf numbers through aggressive hunting and trapping. Wildlife advocates say the hunts threaten to reverse the gray wolf's recovery to large parts of the West and Midwest over the past several decades. They want a protections restored for wolves under the Endangered Species Act. Judge Jeffrey White did not immediately rule.

MYANMAR-US-JOURNALIST

Myanmar court sentences US journalist to 11 years in jail

BANGKOK (AP) — A court in military-ruled Myanmar has sentenced U.S. journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years in prison with hard labor. It's the maximum penalty under three charges and was imposed despite calls by the United States and rights groups for Fenster's release. It is also harshest punishment yet among seven journalists known to have been convicted since the military ousted an elected government in February. Fenster, the managing editor of the online magazine Frontier Myanmar, still faces additional terrorism and treason charges under which he could receive up to life in prison. Fenster's penalty is the ruling military’s latest rebuff of calls for a peaceful end to Myanmar’s political crisis.

News from © The Associated Press, 2021
The Associated Press

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