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


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.


2 Detroit cops accused of taking bribes from towing company

DETROIT (AP) — Two Detroit police officers have been charged with taking bribes to break the rules and steer cars to a favored towing company. An indictment was unsealed in federal court. The charges are the latest in a federal investigation of Detroit’s towing procedures. Lt. John Kennedy is accused of accepting more than $14,000 in cash, cars, and car repairs from a towing company and an undercover federal agent. Kennedy was supposed to be investigating the company. Kennedy and Vickers were charged with bribery and conspiracy. They asked for court-appointed lawyers. Vickers said, “I did not do this.”


Charges dismissed against Detroit officer who fired at media

DETROIT (AP) — Charges have been dismissed against a Detroit police officer who was accused of firing rubber pellets at three journalists covering a protest against police brutality. Judge Roberta Archer cited a 1931 law that protects police when an unlawful gathering is declared. Daniel Debono, a corporal, was charged with assault. Investigators say an photojournalist and two independent photojournalists were struck with rubber pellets after identifying themselves and raising their hands. The prosecutor's office says an appeal will be considered. Prosecutors argued that the protest was over and journalists were not part of it.


Ford, GM profits fall as sales drop due to chip shortage

DETROIT (AP) — The global computer chip shortage cut into third-quarter profits at both Ford and crosstown rival General Motors, with both companies having to temporarily close factories, pinching supplies on dealer lots. Ford’s net income of $1.83 billion was down 23% from a year ago. GM’s profit dropped 40% to $2.4 billion. For both automakers, high prices mainly for the pickup trucks and big SUVs that they sold eased the sting from lower sales. Ford, which reported results after Wednesday’s closing bell, said its revenue dropped 5% from a year ago to $35.68 billion. But the company said it would resume paying a 10-cent-per-share dividend starting in the fourth quarter, at a cost of $400 million per quarter.


Woman gets 27 years in crash that killed Michigan trooper

IONIA, Mich. (AP) — A woman has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for a drunken driving crash that killed a Michigan state trooper. Thomasina Jones was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty in Ionia County Circuit Court to second-degree murder, operating a vehicle while intoxicated and other charges. Police have said that trooper Caleb Starr was driving east of Grand Rapids in Boston Township in July 2020 when a vehicle crossed the center line from the opposite direction and smashed into his patrol car. Another trooper testified in an earlier hearing that Jones’ blood-alcohol level was 0.23, about three times over Michigan’s legal limit.


HUD official tours Detroit, sees city's use of federal funds

DETROIT (AP) — The Biden Administration has been given a look at how Detroit has used more than $12 million in federal funds to help with the city’s revitalization. U.S. Housing and Urban Affairs Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman on Tuesday toured small business corridors, neighborhoods and housing developments where some HUD money was used on resident-led planning studies. HUD money allowed the city to leverage more than $169 million in investments through philanthropic grants and city and state funds across 10 areas through the city’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund initiative. Todman said she was impressed with how the city has used federal funding to fill “pockets” where disinvestment has existed.


Whitmer orders state to prep for vaccinating kids ages 5-11

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has directed the state to expedite the ordering of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5-11 so that it will be quickly available if the federal government gives it the green light. Her directive Tuesday came the same day an advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration endorsed the kid-size doses. The FDA is expected to authorize the shots within days, followed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention next week. The governor called the pending authorization a “game-changer” that will protect kids as they attend school, participate in extracurricular activities, and see friends and family. The state, which has 825,000 5- to 11-year-olds, has pre-ordered 287,000 doses of the pediatric vaccine.


Bail ruling postponed for US journalist jailed in Myanmar

BANGKOK (AP) — A court in Myanmar has delayed its decision on granting bail for an American journalist jailed for the past five months because the judge broke his arm. Danny Fenster was detained at Yangon International Airport in May as he was about to board a flight to go to the Detroit area in the United States to see his family. He is the managing editor of Frontier Myanmar, an online magazine based in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city. He faces up to six years in prison on two charges, including sedition. His lawyer says the ruling on bail was postponed by a week because the judge has been temporarily replaced by a colleague.

News from © The Associated Press, 2021
The Associated Press

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