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Smoke from the devastating California wildfires has reached Michigan, but it won’t be around for long.

Authorities have more than doubled their estimates of buildings destroyed in Southern California's huge wildfire. Officials said Monday that an estimated 370 structures burned and that only 15% of their damage estimate has been completed.

The size of the fire has also increased to more than 143 square miles (370 square kilometers) and was 20% contained Monday morning.

Michigan voters have approved a wide-ranging constitutional amendment that will allow people to register and vote on the day on an election, request absentee ballots without having to give a reason and cast straight-ticket ballots.

The ballot measure approved Tuesday will also automatically register people to vote when they obtain or renew a driver’s license or conduct some other type of business with the secretary of state’s office, unless they opt out.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The big winners in this weekend’s big lottery jackpot drawings may be Michigan retailers.

About one and a half billion dollars is up for grabs in the Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

U.S. border officials are reminding Michiganders it is still illegal to transport marijuana across the border, despite recreational cannabis being legal now in Canada.

Wednesday morning, Canada became the second and largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace.  Uruguay was the first country to legalize recreational marijuana. 

Sales started just after midnight local time in Newfoundland, Canada's easternmost province.

Francis Anwana
Diane Newman

U.S. immigration officials have postponed the deportation of a deaf immigrant from Nigeria in the U.S. illegally.

The Detroit Free Press reports Friday that 48-year-old Francis Anwana and his attorneys met with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, who plan to review his case over the next month.

John Dingell
Wikimedia Commons

Former U.S. Rep. John Dingell is in a Detroit-area hospital after a heart attack.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell says her  92-year-old husband had a heart attack early Monday and is "alert and in good spirits, cracking jokes as usual."

She added, "We'll know more later."

John Dingell, a Democrat, was in office for nearly 60 years and still remains the longest-serving member of the House or Senate in U.S. history. He didn't run for re-election in 2014, the same year that his wife was elected to his 12th District seat in southeastern Michigan.

In a statement Sunday in the wake of tweets by President Trump, Ford said production of its Focus Active hatchback won’t be coming back to the U.S.

On August 31, Ford announced it was canceling plans to ship the Focus Active to the U.S. from China – citing new tariffs on Chinese imports.

Then on Sunday, Trump tweeted, “This is just the beginning. This car can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!”

black and white close up of hand filling out form
Kathryn Decker / Flickr

Governor Rick Snyder announced Friday the state will stop asking job applicants and people seeking certain occupational licenses to check a box if they have been convicted of a felony.

He also will sign an executive order directing state departments and agencies to remove the felony question box from applications for state employment.

He said the types of state licenses affected include those for plumbers, electricians, barbers and cosmetologists.

sign that says vote here
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

A federal appeals court restored a law Wednesday that bans Michigan voters from checking a single box to vote for all of a party's candidates.

That means in the November general election they’ll have to select each individual candidate.

close up of plant with purple flowers
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Officials in northern Michigan are working to remove an invasive plant that poisons monarch butterflies.

The black swallow-wort is a vine with heart-shaped leaves and small, dark purple flowers.

The Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Participants in the traditional Labor Day walk across the Mackinac Bridge should expect some changes - and prepare for traffic tie-ups.

The 5-mile-long bridge will be closed to vehicles Monday from 6:30 a.m. until noon.

underground train tunnel
Peter Gilbert / Flickr

Border patrol agents arrested a Canadian man accused of bringing people across the border through a railroad tunnel between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

Prosecutors say five people paid Juan Antonio Garcia-Jimenez $1,500 each to smuggle them in to the U.S.

power lines
MaxPixel

A wave of thunderstorms with strong winds caused widespread power outages and scattered damage across western and northern Michigan.

The National Weather Service reports Tuesday night's storms had wind gusts reaching 50 mph and dumped up to 3 inches of rain in the Grand Rapids area.

cityofgrayling.org

The northern Michigan city of Grayling is receiving a $250,000 state grant to help build a "food hub" that will put commercial kitchens, vendor spaces, a restaurant and a farmers' market under one roof.

The Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development recently approved the funding, which will help pay for engineering and development plans as well as bidding and construction documents for the Northern Market.

JIM D / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

In 2015, the Grand Traverse Land Conservancy began a quiet campaign to protect natural lands from development in northern Michigan. Since the launch, $53 million has been raised, and 19 areas spanning five counties have been identified as in need of urgent protection.

The Land Conservancy has named it “The Campaign for Generations,” and opened the campaign to the public on August 11 to raise more money for the campaign.

Eastern Michigan University
krossbow / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

A new program at Eastern Michigan University allows prospective students willing to commit to paying for their first two years of tuition to get their final two years paid for by the university.

A person holding a northern pike
Flicker user megankhines / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Health officials are warning people not to eat fish from parts of a southeastern Michigan river because of chemical contamination.

The emergency "Do Not Eat" advisory issued Saturday applies to all fish from the Huron River from Oakland County's Milford to the Livingston and Washtenaw county border. That includes lakes connected by the river, including Kent Lake.

dog in field
An Ragaire / Creative Commons

If your dog is sick, keep it at home. Michigan officials have issued that warning to try to prevent the spread of canine influenza.

The Department of Agriculture & Rural Development said Thursday that 49 cases of dog flu have been confirmed in six counties across the Lower Peninsula in the past few weeks.

That's compared with just nine cases in all of 2017.

Symptoms include fever, lethargy, coughing, and nasal and/or eye discharge.

Most cases of canine influenza are mild and last a few weeks, but some are more severe.

Urban Meyer
MGoBlog on Flickr / Flickr

Ohio State has placed head football coach Urban Meyer on paid administrative leave.

At issue is whether Meyer knew about allegations of domestic abuse by one of his assistant coaches, but failed to report them.

The university is investigating claims by the ex-wife of that assistant coach.

Courtney Smith says that she told Urban Meyer's wife about her husband's abusive behavior in 2015.

Zach Smith was a receivers coach for the Buckeyes until he was fired last month.

tornado siren
Flickr user diversey

Officials say hacking apparently is to blame for the recent sounding of emergency warning sirens in Genesee County.

The county's 911 executive board director Mark Emmendorfer says the tones of the sirens Tuesday in the Flint area suggest hacking. Officials previously blamed an apparent malfunction. 

It's the third time in about a month that the sirens used during for tornado warnings and civil defense emergencies went off when there was no emergency.

michigan hall of justice building
Wikimedia Commons

An initiative to change how Michigan draws its political boundaries is headed for the November ballot.

In a 4-3 ruling late Tuesday night, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit challenging a redistricting ballot proposal.

Running faucet
Melissa Benmark / Michigan Radio

Michigan officials say state agencies will be providing additional help for two communities near Kalamazoo dealing with chemical contamination of the public water system.

The governor's office said Sunday that a state of emergency has been declared for Kalamazoo County over the health concerns in Parchment and Cooper Township, where water test results announced Thursday revealed high levels of substances known as PFAS.

Gretchen Whitmer, Abdul El-Sayed, and Shri Thanedar
Facebook/Michigan Radio

Democrats running for Michigan governor held their second and final televised debate Wednesday just weeks before the August 7 primary.

Abdul El-Sayed and Gretchen Whitmer focused on the influence of corporate money in politics and had sharp exchanges.

park sign
Wikimedia Commons

Michigan officials want Congress to approve legislation that would boost funding for fish and wildlife conservation.

Pending bills would allocate $1.3 billion a year to a federal program similar to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

The trust fund uses royalties from mineral development on state land to improve outdoor recreation.

More than 300 wildlife species in Michigan need protection to prevent them from becoming endangered.

crucifix
pxhere

State police say they discovered $63,000 hidden above ceiling tiles in the home of a Michigan priest who is accused of embezzling millions.

The search was conducted Tuesday at the Rev. Jonathan Wehrle's luxury home in Williamston.

Police say money was in $2,000 bundles secured with cash bands that said, "For Deposit Only-St. Martha Parish."

Wehrle is charged with six counts of embezzling $100,000 or more from St. Martha Church in Okemos.

drone in woods
pixabay

The Macomb County sheriff's office has launched a new unmanned aerial vehicle unit with four drones.

Officials say the drones are able to search for missing persons and be used in rescues, hostage situations, traffic crashes and crime scene investigations.

They are equipped with high-resolution cameras that can capture both aerial photos and video.

One unit has a thermal imaging camera, which can be used to search for someone in a wooded area or water.

The Michigan Supreme Court opens its 2012 session this week.
Subterranean / Flickr

The Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a challenge to a proposed November ballot initiative to change who draws congressional and legislative districts every decade.

http://en.kremlin.ru

Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters is accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of “playing games” with the United States.

Peters says he wanted President Trump to “call out” Putin for interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election during their summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland today.

J. Stephen Conn/FLICKR

Officials say court documents were damaged during last month's severe flooding in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The Daily Mining Gazette reports a vault flooded containing circuit, family, and probate court records on the Houghton County Courthouse's basement level. The county is insured for the loss and the records are being dealt with by a document restoration company.

The newspaper says an estimate listed more than 3.6 million documents.

Downtown Detroit Partnership

A popular sand beach in the heart of downtown Detroit is getting a little sprucing up.

The Downtown Detroit Partnership says a $125,000 grant from the Southwest Airlines Foundation will be used to improve the beach at Campus Martius Park.

Beach furniture, toys and games, lighting and landscaping will be enhanced. Beer and wine tastings will be among new events at the beach, which opened in 2014.

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