The latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. EST


Texan dog missing in Michigan for months has finally been found

TOWNSHIP OF SODUS, Mich. (AP) – A dog that went missing in Michigan last summer while visiting Texas has been returned to its grateful owners. Jennifer Hysell and her husband drove 15 hours from Dallas to reunite with their beloved pit bull Parker on Tuesday. Parker fled in July while Hysell was in Bangor, Michigan for his father’s funeral. Hysell searched but eventually had to return to Texas. In late November, Parker was spotted behind a store in South Haven. Finally, on December 11, the dog was lured into a kennel and caught. Parker’s owner Jennifer Hysell calls him “Parker the Marker” because the dog left a positive mark on people.


Tests show lead in Benton Harbor tap water is finally dropping

ST. LOUIS (AP) – New test results show that the amount of lead in drinking water in Benton Harbor, Mich., Has decreased. The latest round of water sampling marks the first time in three years that lead levels in most black cities have not exceeded Michigan standards. But state officials say residents should still use bottled water for basic chores like drinking and cooking. The Environmental Protection Agency is still studying the effectiveness of home lead filters in Benton Harbor. State officials say preliminary results indicate they are working as expected. The state provides free bottled water to residents of Benton Harbor, but collecting it can be time consuming, and tasks like cooking can quickly use up personal supplies.


Dozen elk fall through ice and die in Otsego County

GRAYLING, Mich. (AP) – A dozen elk fell through the ice and died, despite a desperate rescue effort by hunting guides in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula. The director of the Ministry of Natural Resources describes this as “a very tragic and unfortunate event”. The elk died Tuesday at Crapo Lake, a private lake in Otsego County, about 20 miles northeast of Grayling. It was a group of bulls, females and calves. A hunting party saw the moose descend a slope and onto the ice. Two hunting guides in a rowboat tried to force their way through the ice with a chainsaw but did not make much progress. Authorities recovered 11 carcasses on Wednesday. The meat will be donated to local charities.


Press groups plead for better access to the redistribution panel

DETROIT (AP) – The Michigan Supreme Court has heard arguments in a challenge over whether a new state commission creating maps for the legislature and Congress can keep certain matters secret. News organizations are suing for access to a recording of a closed meeting and memos to the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. The commission refused, citing solicitor-client privilege. Voters in 2018 created the commission, taking the mapping work out of the hands of politicians. The commissioners will meet on December 28 to vote on the final cards. More than 130 hearings have been opened to the public.


$ 100,000 grant to support mental health services in Oxford

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – An Oakland County nonprofit that provides mental health crisis services to receive $ 100,000 in state funding following the mass shooting at Oxford High School . Aid to Common Ground was included in an $ 841 million additional spending bill that received legislative approval Tuesday night and will be signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The grant is intended to support mental health services for students, educators, parents and first responders in the Oxford High School community. Common Ground provides 24-hour service to more than 80,000 people each year, according to Senator Ruth Johnson.


Strong winds blow heat, possibility of tornadoes in the Midwest

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A powerful storm system triggered high winds, heavy rain and the risk of tornadoes on Wednesday, with temperatures likely to set records in some places just days before the official start of winter. Much of Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and parts of Missouri were able to see records, but the heat came with dangerous winds and threats of severe storms. The National Weather Service issued a severe wind warning in an area stretching from New Mexico to upper Michigan, including Wisconsin and Illinois. Gusts of over 80 mph were recorded in the Texas Panhandle and western Kansas, which reported dust storms that crippled traffic on Interstate 70. A National Weather Service site in Lamar, Colorado reported reported a gust of 107 mph.


Detroit suburban school bus driver arrested after bus crash

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) – Authorities say a suburban Detroit school bus driver arrested on suspicion of impaired driving after her bus carrying dozens of students crashed in Sterling Heights. Police said the Utica Community Schools driver was arrested after the minor accident on Tuesday afternoon, which did not injure any of the 30 to 40 students at Henry Ford II High School on board. Sterling Heights Police said responding officers determined only the bus was involved in the crash. Police said the driver was arrested after officers detected a strong smell of intoxicants on the woman’s breath. A preliminary breath test indicated the woman’s blood alcohol limit was 0.10, or above the legal limit of 0.80 for driving in Michigan.


Michigan school district draws up new safety plan after shooting

OXFORD, Mich. (AP) – Administrators at a Michigan school district where four students were gunned down have announced that a zero tolerance policy for threats is being passed, along with other initiatives to improve Security. The Oxford Community Schools Education Council was informed of the changes at its meeting on Tuesday – two weeks after the November 30 shooting at Oxford High School which also injured six students and a teacher. An official told the board that “anything remotely violent goes immediately to the administration and law enforcement.” Students will also be removed from school until a mental health assessment is completed. 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley has been charged as an adult with murder and other crimes.


Michigan lawmakers agree to $ 1.5 billion in trade incentives and relief

LANSING, Michigan (AP) – Michigan lawmakers passed a $ 1.5 billion bill with state incentives to achieve major business expansions, including an electric vehicle battery plant General Motors wants build in the Lansing area. Once Governor Gretchen Whitmer signs off on the funding and related invoices, the money will go to the new Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund. Legislative budget committees are expected to approve transfers from the account to site preparation and “critical industry” funds before Michigan can distribute grants, loans and other aid to businesses. Lawmakers approved the bills Tuesday night before adjourning for the year.


Michigan Legislature Approves $ 841 Million In COVID And Other Aids

LANSING, Michigan (AP) – Michigan lawmakers have approved additional spending of $ 841 million, mostly for pandemic relief, including coronavirus testing in schools and emergency aid to help low income tenants. The additional funding was passed by the Legislature late Tuesday and will be signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. It includes non-discretionary aid that Congress enacted nine months and a year ago: $ 150 million for schools to detect and test for the virus; $ 168 million in relief for airports; and $ 140 million in emergency rent assistance. The bill has $ 36 million in public funding to address the water crisis in Benton Harbor.

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