Michigan News

Mother, Child Die In House Fire In Southwestern Michigan

Jan 28, 2020

FABIUS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Police say a mother and child have died in a house fire in southwestern Michigan.

Three more children were able to escape through a window at the home in Fabius Township in St. Joseph County.

The victims were found after the fire was extinguished Tuesday.

The surviving children had minor injuries. The victims were identified as 38-year-old Michelle Bixler and 16-year-old Cheyenne Ruth. The cause is being investigated.

Michigan Senate Votes To Require Study Of Highway Tolls

Jan 28, 2020
AP Photo/LM Otero/File

The Michigan Senate has voted to require that a study be done to assess the feasibility of tolls along the state's highways.

AP Photo/Eric Gay/File

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A lawyer says U.S. authorities declined to admit an Iranian graduate student after he landed at an airport to start classes at Michigan State University.

Alireza Esfidajani was stopped Sunday at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and interviewed by agents.

He returned to Iran on Monday.

Ghazal Nicole Mehrani says agents deemed Esfidajani inadmissible but didn't offer any details.

Customs and Border Protection says access to the U.S. isn't guaranteed, even if someone has a visa or a visa waiver.

Michigan Ballot Law Changes Struck Down By A 2nd Court

Jan 28, 2020
AP Photo/Alice Yin/FIle

Another Michigan court has vacated controversial changes to the state's ballot drive law, declaring that a geographic limitation on collecting petitions unconstitutionally takes power out of the hands of voters. The state appeals court, in a 2-1 decision Monday, affirmed a lower judge in striking down the 15% cap on signatures that can be used from any one of Michigan's 14 congressional districts. It also nullified new requirements that each petition indicate whether a circulator is paid or a volunteer and that each paid circulator file an affidavit with the state.

Whitmer Signs Law Allowing "Remote" Pharmacies In Michigan

Jan 28, 2020
AP Photo/Elise Amendola/File

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — People will be able to pick up prescriptions at certain Michigan pharmacies that aren't staffed by an on-site pharmacist under legislation signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The measure enacted last week allows for “remote" pharmacies, which proponents support as a way to expand access to pharmacy services and improve health outcomes in rural and underserved areas.

Pharmacists at “parent" pharmacies will be able to use an audio and video link to review prescriptions before they're dispensed by pharmacy technicians.

Michigan Will Create A Statewide Mental Health Hotline

Jan 28, 2020

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan will create a statewide mental health hotline under legislation signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The telephone referral system will be available 24 hours a day, seven days of week and refer people experiencing a mental health crisis to service providers.

A spending law approved in 2018 included $3 million to develop, operate and maintain a hotline pilot program.

The new law, which was enacted Monday and takes effect in three months, will expand that program statewide.

Trump To Visit Michigan Factory To Tout Trade Agreement

Jan 27, 2020
AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

President Donald Trump will visit a Michigan factory to tout a new North American trade agreement.

He will tour and give remarks at the Dana Inc. facility in the Detroit suburb of Warren on Thursday, a day after he holds a signing ceremony for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal in Washington.

The deal to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement passed on bipartisan votes in Congress, scoring the president a political victory amid his Senate impeachment trial.


ALLEGAN, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan priest accused of wrapping a teenager in bubble wrap has been sentenced to 60 days in jail.

The Rev. Brian  Stanley had pleaded guilty to attempted false imprisonment. Stanley was accused of wrapping a boy in bubble wrap and tape in 2013 in a janitor’s room at a church in Allegan County.

The alleged incident occurred in 2013 at St. Margaret Church in Otsego and lasted for more than an hour before the boy was released.

Third Woman Accuses Michigan Lawmaker Of Sexual Harassment

Jan 26, 2020
David Eggert/AP Photo/File

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A third woman has accused a Michigan state legislator of sexual harassment.

Melissa Osborn who works as a regulatory affairs specialist for a trade group.

She tells Crain's Detroit Business that state Sen. Peter Lucido commented on her appearance and clothes while scanning her body and touching her lower back area.

Osborn says it happened at the Michigan Credit Union League's annual government affairs conference in May.

Michigan Regulators Approve Smaller Utility Rate Increase

Jan 26, 2020

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — Michigan regulators have approved a rate increase for Indiana Michigan Power, though one significantly smaller than initially sought by the utility.

The Michigan Public Service Commission approved an agreement Thursday allowing the Fort Wayne-based company to boost its Michigan customers' rates by a total of $36.4 million annually.

That's about 38 percent lower than the proposed $58.5 million increase.

Regulators say a customer who uses 500 kilowatt hours of electricity a month will see an increase of $12.14, or about 15 percent.

Early Voting Is Underway In Michigan's Presidential Primary

Jan 25, 2020
AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File

Voting is underway in Michigan's presidential primary more than a year after the option was greatly expanded through the passage of a ballot measure.


Today it was announced that Michigan's Democratic Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, will deliver her party's response following President Trump's State of the Union address.

Group Launches Michigan Ballot Drive To Rein In Lobbying

Jan 23, 2020

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group has launched a ballot drive that would target lobbying in Michigan's Capitol by banning free food and drink for state elected officials, requiring former lawmakers to wait two years to become lobbyists and creating a new system to track lobbying activities.

The Coalition to Close Lansing Loopholes filed language for the proposed constitutional amendment with the state elections board on Thursday.

Study: Michigan In Bottom 5 For Equitable School Funding

Jan 23, 2020
Carlos Osorio/AP Photo/File

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A new study says Michigan is among 16 states where the lowest-poverty school districts receive less state and local funding than the highest-poverty districts do — a 5-percentage points disparity that ranks fifth-worst nationally.

The report from Education Trust-Midwest, a Royal Oak-based advocacy group, is the latest to urge the state to provide K-12 funding based on student need and significantly boost spending on low-income students, English language learners and those with disabilities.

Tesla Can Sell Vehicles In Michigan Under Legal Settlement

Jan 21, 2020
David Zalubowski/AP

Tesla will be able to sell and service its vehicles in the back yard of Detroit's three automakers under a lawsuit settlement, a person briefed on the matter says.