Whitmer rejects proposed off-reservation casino project
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has rejected a proposal for a $180 million off-reservation casino in western Michigan that a tribe has been working toward over a decade. Whitmer’s rejection of the proposal Wednesday came after the US Department of the Interior rejected her request for her to postpone her deadline for deciding whether to allow the project to proceed. Whitmer wrote in a letter to the US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland that the department had put her in an “impossible position.” The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians had hoped to build the casino on an 87-acre lot near Muskegon that the tribe bought in 2008. Because the site isn’t on the tribe’s reservation, the casino needed federal and state approval.
State: Chemical company likely source of Flint River spill
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Authorities are focusing on a chemical company as the likely source of a spill that has left a dark oily sheen for thousands on the Flint River. State regulators say Lockhart Chemical in Flint is cooperating and removing material from underground storage areas. There was no immediate comment from the company. Jill Greenberg of the state’s environment department says the leak started Wednesday and was ongoing Thursday. Greenberg says, “We’re still in emergency response mode.” The Genesee County health department told people to avoid contact with the river. Flint’s drinking water is not affected.
Detroit honors Vincent Chin, Asian American killed in 1982
DETROIT (AP) — Detroit is helping to honor Vincent Chin, a Chinese American man who was beaten to death 40 years ago by two white men who never served jail time. The commemoration comes as hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise in the US The Vincent Chin 40th Remembrance & Rededication begins Thursday and focuses on civil rights efforts that started with his 1982 death. Chin was celebrating with friends at a strip club for his bachelor party when a fight erupted with the two white autoworkers. Federal authorities have said the autoworkers blamed Chin for layoffs at Detroit car factories due to Japanese imports.
Michigan initiatives miss deadline, will look to Legislature
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Organizers behind two high-profile proposed laws in Michigan skipped a deadline to potentially appear on November’s ballot and will instead look to get the initiatives approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Organizers behind Let MI Kids Learn and Secure MI Vote will look to use a provision in the Michigan constitution to get their proposed laws passed. Michiganders for Fair Lending’s proposal to cap payday loan rates was the lone one out of 10 ballot committees attempting to change state law to submit signatures by June 1. If the petition’s signatures are verified by the Bureau of Elections, the proposed law would first be sent to the Legislature before the possibility of it appearing before voters.
Production at bedeviled baby formula factory halted by storm
Severe weather has forced Abbott Nutrition to pause production at a Michigan baby formula factory that had just restarted. The company said late Wednesday that production for its EleCare specialty formula has stopped, but it has enough supply to meet needs until more formula can be made. Abbott says it needs to assess damage and re-sanitize the factory after severe thunderstorms and heavy rains swept through southwestern Michigan Monday evening. The company didn’t indicate how much damage the factory sustained. Abbott had restarted the Sturgis, Michigan, factory on June 4 after it had been closed since February due to contamination.
HEAT WAVE-MISSING MAN
Missing man found after walking 19 miles in oppressive heat
NOVI, Mich. (AP) — Police say a 65-year-old man with a history of dementia walked about 19 miles in awful heat before he was found in suburban Detroit. Temperatures climbed into the mid-90s Wednesday. The Pontiac man was found in November around 6 am Thursday. He was reported missing when he didn’t appear for lunch Wednesday. The Oakland County sheriff’s office says the man appeared to be in good health, despite the awful heat and the long walk.
New Jersey sues Ford over mining that tainted tribal land
RINGWOOD, NJ (AP) — New Jersey officials are suing Ford Motor Co. because they say the automaker contaminated the ancestral homeland of a Native American tribe by dumping paint sludge and other pollutants into a former mine. The state filed the suit Thursday and seeks unspecified damages to restore the land and to compensate state and local communities. Much of the land is the ancestral home of the Ramapough Lenape Nation. Its members believe cancer deaths and other illnesses are attributable to the contamination. Ford issued a statement saying it takes its environmental responsibility seriously and has worked with local, state and federal officials on the matter.
If Roe falls, some DAs won’t enforce anti-abortion laws
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Progressive prosecutors around the US are declaring they won’t enforce some of the most restrictive and punitive anti-abortion laws that GOP-led states have waited years to implement. The promises come as the Supreme Court appears on track to overturn the constitutional right to abortion. It’s a sure move to rank Republican lawmakers and governors as about half of states are expected to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade — the 1973 decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion — is weakened or overturned. Yet enforcement of these laws will fall largely onto the shoulders of district attorneys, with a growing number promising they won’t pursue the criminal charges that have been tucked inside the harshest of abortion restrictions.
Campus sex assault rules fall short, prompting overhaul call
MISSION, Kan. (AP) — As many victims of campus sexual assault see it, guidelines put in place to protect them at colleges have a long way to go to fulfill the promise of Title IX. A polarizing Trump-era policy means that students who report abuse face a live hearing in which they could be cross-examined by a person of their accuser’s choosing. President Joe Biden is expected to announce new rules as soon as this month. Meanwhile, many students have opted out entirely, never reporting the abuse. Or they’ve chosen to go an informal route, in which the accused might be asked not to take classes with the accuser, or to switch schools.
Michigan cop charged with murder in Lyoya’s death is fired
DETROIT (AP) — Officials say a Michigan police officer charged with murder after shooting Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head has been fired. Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington said Wednesday that Christopher Schurr waived his right to a hearing and was dismissed, effective last Friday. Schurr was a Grand Rapids officer for seven years. Police Chief Eric Winstrom recommended Schurr’s dismissal after a second-degree murder charge was filed Thursday. Lyoya, a Black man, was killed at the end of a traffic stop on April 4. He ran and physically resisted Schurr after failing to produce a driver’s license. Schurr, who is white, has claimed Lyoya had control of his Taser when he shot him. Defense lawyers say the officer feared for his safety from him.