Michigan settles adoption suit, to stop LGBT discrimination
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan attorney general’s office has settled a lawsuit by same-sex couples who say their rights have been violated by faith-based adoption agencies that don’t want to work with gays and lesbians.
Under the settlement announced Friday, the state says it will enforce non-discrimination provisions in its foster care and adoption agency contracts.
Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel initiated settlement talks upon taking office. She says discrimination in foster care and adoption services is “illegal, no matter the rationale.”
Groups such as Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services are paid by the state to place children from troubled families with new families.
The suit filed by two lesbian couples doesn’t directly challenge a 2015 Republican-backed law that says child-placement agencies aren’t required to provide services that conflict with their beliefs.
Musk promises to let Michigan students tour rocket factory
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Tech billionaire Elon Musk surprised students by showing up at a school assembly in Flint, Michigan, and promising to take some of them for a tour of his Space X rocket factory in California.
Musk and Flint Community Schools Superintendent Derrick Lopez also told the crowd of sixth- and seventh-graders Friday that they’d all be getting free laptops.
The Musk Foundation announced in December it was giving about $424,000 to help provide laptops as the city recovers from a crisis with lead-tainted water . The schools were also using a separate Musk grant of $480,000 to for water filtration.
The assembly was held at Doyle Ryder Elementary but included students from several Flint schools. Musk is the CEO of Tesla Motors and the head of SpaceX.
Ex-principal: Rights were violated when losing job over gift
CASCO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A former Michigan school principal says his rights were violated when he was forced out of his job for giving a gift that he said was based on an inside joke to a woman who was leaving for another job.
But the superintendent alleges the security guard who was given the wooden penis by John Stanton felt sexually harassed.
Stanton filed a federal lawsuit in January against Superintendent Leonard Woodside, 18 months after he says he was forced to resign at Anchor Bay High School in St. Clair County. Stanton says the security guard who got the gift was not upset as officials had claimed.
The woman filed an affidavit and said she “was not offended.”
The Detroit News reports that the item was confiscated from a student. Stanton says he returned it to the woman as a funny gift.
Man wanted in Michigan captured on Gulf Coast
GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A Michigan man wanted on multiple charges, including homicide, is in custody on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.
A joint operation between the U.S. Marshal’s Service and Gulfport Police Department resulted in the arrest Friday of 20-year-old Kyvon Deandre Wells.
Wells was found in Gulfport around 11 a.m. and is being held at the Harrison County jail pending extradition to Michigan.
Authorities in Lansing, Michigan, told news outlets that Wells is wanted for the slaying of 22-year-old Delayno Hudson and the shooting of two others on March 1. There he will face a charge of murder, two counts of assault with the intent to murder and one count of a felony firearms violation.
Jeremy Stilwell, an inspector at the Gulfport branch of the U.S. Marshals Service, says Wells had relatives in Gulfport.
Officials: 8 measles cases in Oakland County since March 13
OAK PARK, Mich. (AP) — Michigan health officials say three more cases of measles have been confirmed in the Detroit area, raising the number in Oakland County to eight since March 13.
The highly contagious disease has been linked to a person who was visiting from Israel .
Officials say people may have been exposed this month in Detroit and the suburbs of Oak Park, Southfield and Berkley, including at a synagogue, Jewish educational institutions and grocery stores. The initial travel-related case involved a person who had stayed in New York, where there’s a measles outbreak.
Michigan health officials last year urged people to get vaccinated after confirming several measles cases in the state .
Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County, repeated that call Friday, especially if families are travelling during spring break.
WHEATON COLLEGE-HAZING PLEA
5th ex-Wheaton football player pleads guilty in hazing case
WHEATON, Ill. (AP) — The last of five former members of a Christian college football team in suburban Chicago has pleaded guilty to charges in a 2016 hazing incident.
Benjamin Pettway of Lookout Mountain, Georgia, pleaded guilty Friday to misdemeanour disorderly conduct.
DuPage County Circuit Judge Brian Telander sentenced the 23-year-old ex-Wheaton College player to court supervision and ordered him to perform 50 hours of community service.
Three other former players — Samuel TeBos of Allendale, Michigan; Noah Spielman of Columbus, Ohio; and Kyler Kregel of Grand Rapids, Michigan — pleaded guilty to misdemeanour battery.
Another former player, James Cooksey of Jacksonville, Florida, pleaded guilty to misdemeanour attempted unlawful restraint.
The players were arrested in 2017 in connection with an incident in which a teammate accused them of duct-taping him and dumping him half-naked in a park.
This story has been corrected to show that Pettway’s first name is Benjamin, not Richard.
SLEEPING BEAR DUNES-SUMMER HOUSING
Sleeping Bear Dunes seeks housing for seasonal workers
(Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, http://www.record-eagle.com)
EMPIRE, Mich. (AP) — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan is facing a housing shortage for its temporary employees this summer.
The lakeshore’s deputy superintendent, Tom Ulrich, says the attraction along Lake Michigan’s eastern coastline is in need of housing for up to 25 seasonal workers. Those workers include park rangers, guides and maintenance workers.
Urlich tells the Traverse City Record-Eagle that the lakeshore usually has plenty of government-owned housing. He blames the shortage on frozen pipes, employee retirements and the 35-day government shutdown.
Urlich says a project to renovate housing for seven people stalled in December because of the shutdown, while another home was damaged after frozen pipes burst.
The lakeshore also had many employees retire this year. Urlich says most of the new hires are in need of places to stay.
Police: Worker dies after accident while working on vehicle
SAGOLA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Police say a worker has died following an accident that took place while working on a vehicle at a logging business in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
State police responded Thursday to a report of an industrial accident at Minerick Logging in Dickinson County’s Sagola Township and emergency crews tried to save the worker.
Police say the worker later died. The worker’s name wasn’t immediately released, pending notification of family. The accident was under investigation.
FLINT WATER-DEFAMATION LAWSUIT
Judge dismisses water researcher’s defamation lawsuit
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A judge has ruled that a Virginia Tech researcher who helped expose the Flint, Michigan, water crisis can’t silence critics with a federal defamation lawsuit.
The Roanoke Times reports that U.S. District Court Judge Michael Urbanski dismissed Marc Edwards’ $3 million lawsuit against three critics Wednesday. The engineering professor and a team of students helped expose lead contamination in the city’s water supply in 2015. The suit was sparked by a letter signed by more than 60 Flint residents that accuses Edwards of interfering with efforts to self-organize, abusing authority and insulting them.
Urbanski writes in a 115-page opinion that Edwards’ lawsuit failed to state a valid claim against his critics. He says the statements “plainly qualify as constitutionally protected opinion” and notes no reasonable reader would think it was factual.
The Associated Press