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The Associated Press

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A former Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after a Detroit-area jury said it was having trouble reaching a unanimous verdict in his sexual abuse trial.

The Michigan Attorney General's office says Patrick Casey pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated assault. He was accused of engaging in sex acts with a younger man who was struggling with his Catholic faith and homosexuality and had sought Casey's counsel in 2013.

The maximum penalty is a year in jail.  

A male Kirtland's Warbler in a jack pine forest in Michigan, USA.
Joel Trick / USFWS

The Kirtland's warbler is being removed from the federal endangered species list after a successful battle to save it from extinction.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday that the yellow-bellied songbird has recovered but will continue to rely on habitat preservation measures for long-term survival.

car crash
W. Robert Howell / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A lawsuit contends that some changes made to Michigan's auto insurance law are unconstitutional.

The complaint filed Thursday in Ingham County Circuit Court challenges two provisions of bills that Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed in May and June.

The U.S. Capitol
user kulshrax / creative commons

A Democratic congresswoman from Michigan whose call for President Donald Trump's impeachment helped push House leadership toward launching formal proceedings is being challenged for her seat.

Nikki Snyder, a member of the state Board of Education, announced Tuesday she plans to run as a Republican in 2020 against Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly).

three mexican gray wolf pups
Courtesy of the Binder Park Zoo

Tests confirm two Mexican gray wolf pups at southern Michigan zoo have died of a rare mosquito-borne virus as health officials work to curb the spread of the virus in people and animals.

Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek says results received this week confirm the pups that died in early September were killed by Eastern equine encephalitis, which is also known as Triple-E. The two wolves were part of a litter born June 14 to a breeding pair of wolves at the zoo. The one wolf pup who survived appears healthy and is being monitored along with her parents. 

alligator in a pond
Steven / Adobe Stock

An alligator rescued from a southeastern Michigan school pond is doing well in its new digs at a zoo.

Staff from the Indian Creek Zoo in Lambertville on Friday captured the American alligator - originally believed to be a caiman - from a pond on the Bedford junior high/high school campus in Temperance. It was discovered the day before in the pond used for academic study.

UAW-GM Center for Human Resources
Bill VanderMolen/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

DETROIT (AP) - Federal prosecutors in Detroit have filed charges against an 11th person in an investigation of corruption in the United Auto Workers.

Jeff Pietrzyk is charged with conspiracy. He's accused of accepting at least $70,000 in 2013-14 from a chiropractor who was paid millions of dollars to make watches for General Motors workers. Investigators also say Pietrzyk was a middleman who passed cash to someone identified as Union Official 1.

woman blowing out smoke from e-cigarette
pavel_shishkin / Adobe Stock

The number of cases of suspected respiratory illnesses connected to vaping continues to climb in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says there are now a dozen confirmed or probable cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping. The department is investigating another 14 possible cases.

Detroit skyline with GM building
Pixabay.com

Update: Sunday, September 15, 11:59 a.m.

The United Auto Workers union says its contract negotiations with General Motors have broken down and its roughly 49,000 members will go on strike just before midnight on Sunday. The union's contract with GM expired Saturday night and union officials said the two sides were far apart on economic issues.

GM issued the following statement on Sunday morning:

“We presented a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways and it is disappointing that the UAW leadership has chosen to strike at midnight tonight. We have negotiated in good faith and with a sense of urgency. Our goal remains to build a strong future for our employees and our business.” 

woman blowing out smoke from e-cigarette
pavel_shishkin / Adobe Stock

President Donald Trump says his administration will propose banning thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes amid an outbreak of breathing problems tied to vaping.

State and federal health authorities are investigating hundreds of breathing illnesses reported in people who have used e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.

black rhino by an african watering hole
lnichetti / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration says it will issue a permit to a Michigan trophy hunter to import the skin, skull and horns from a rare black rhinoceros he shot last year in Africa.

Larry Nassar
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The Education Department is fining Michigan State University $4.5 million for failing to respond to sexual assault complaints against Larry Nassar

Lake Huron waves crashing
n_his_image / Adobe Stock

Rising water levels in the Great Lakes are bringing pieces of shipwrecks ashore along Michigan's Lake Huron shoreline.

The Herbert C. Jackson prepares to enter the MacArthur Lock while the Tuscarora approaches the Poe Lock pier.
Michelle Hill / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A shipping lock that enables cargo vessels to move between Lake Huron and Lake Superior has closed temporarily for repairs.

Beverly McCready of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the Poe Lock in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, was closed around 8 a.m. EDT Monday and is expected to reopen at 6:30 p.m.

Marysville Mi City Hall sign
City of Marysville

Updated Monday, August 26, 2019, 2:38 p.m.:

A city council candidate in Michigan who said she wants to keep her community white "as much as possible" has withdrawn from the race.

The Times Herald in Port Huron reports that Jean Cramer on Monday submitted a letter to Mayor Dan Damman withdrawing from the race in Marysville. City Manager Randy Fernandez says Cramer's name will remain on the Nov. 5 city election ballot.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters are pushing an expansion of a program designed to protect the Great Lakes.

The current Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is set to expire in 2021.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s senior U.S. senator is concerned about what President Trump will do at this weekend’s G7 Summit.

The Group of Seven, or G7, includes the United States, Germany, Japan, Britain, France, Canada and Italy. 

President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's most industrialized nations will open their annual G7 summit in France by discussing the global economy.

Economists say global economic growth has slowed, amid fears that a recession may be on the horizon. But President Trump insists the U.S. economy is strong.

Rep.Rashida Tlaib speaking in front of a group of people
Malak Silmi / Michigan Radio

Updated 9:28 a.m., August 16, 2019:

In a statement, Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) announced she would no longer be traveling to Palestine and Israel. 

a police car focused on the illuminated light bar
pixabay

Officials could end up reviewing a 2009 fatal shooting of a black man by police because the officer involved in the shooting is now accused of displaying a Ku Klux Klan document in his house.

The Muskegon Police Department placed Officer Charles Anderson on paid administrative and opened an internal investigation after a potential home buyer, who is black, reported seeing the Klan document framed at Anderson's home. Robert Mathis said he also saw Confederate flags at the house, which is for sale.

man wearing a "police ice" vest
ICE.gov

The body of a 41-year-old Iraqi-born man who died in Baghdad after being deported from the U.S. in June will be returned to Michigan for burial. He will be buried alongside his mother.

A diver inspects Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac for a possible dent.
Enbridge inspection video shared with the state of Michigan

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it's preparing to decide whether to let Canadian oil transport company Enbridge install supports for its underwater oil pipeline in Michigan's Straits of Mackinac.

blue recycling bin on sidewalk
Anna Schlutt / Michigan Radio

A state agency is supporting infrastructure upgrades and a public awareness campaign to boost recycling in Michigan.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy announced more than $1.3 million in grants Monday to help Emmet County improve recycling technology and Kalkaska-based American Waste buy fiber equipment to produce higher-quality mixed paper recycling products.

Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

The Great Lakes Water Authority is allocating more than $1.2 million to help customers cover their current and overdue water bills. About $794,000 is being given to Detroit residents and about $427,700 to Flint residents.

Jonathan Wheatley, public finance manager at the Great Lakes Water Authority, says they've assisted residents with funds from their Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP) over the past two years. This year, the funding is from the 2018 bill assistance funds for Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties. 

Priests accused of sex abuse turned to under-the-radar group

Jul 29, 2019
priest collar
pxhere / Public Domain

The visiting priests arrived discreetly, day and night.

Stripped of their collars and cassocks, they went unnoticed in this tiny Midwestern town as they were escorted into a dingy warehouse across from an elementary school playground. Neighbors had no idea some of the dressed-down clergymen dining at local restaurants might have been accused sexual predators.

school photo of Shannon Blick
AAPS

A white elementary school principal is suing a Michigan school district for $5 million, alleging racial discrimination and a conspiracy to favor black administrators.

Work being done on Orchard Lake Rd where a power pole fell.
DTE Energy

Crews are working to restore power after heavy storms over two days knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of Michigan homes and businesses.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Democratic presidential hopeful Jay Inslee is wading into a Great Lakes regional controversy by coming out against a proposed oil pipeline tunnel.

The Washington state governor opposes a plan favored by Enbridge to route the company's Line 5 pipeline through a tunnel that would be built beneath the Straits of Mackinac, the channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan says he is leaving the Republican Party because he has become disenchanted with partisan politics.

DDT from the former Velsicol Chemical plant site in St. Louis seeped into the soil, and into the nearby Pine River
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to test a new method to remove soil contaminants in floodplains downstream from a former chemical plant in central Michigan.

If effective, the process could save millions of dollars in ongoing cleanup efforts at the Velsicol Chemical plant site in St. Louis, Michigan, which has become one of the country's costliest Superfund sites.

The Morning Sun reports the agency has directed $30,000 in grant money to study the possible use of activated charcoal as a way to remove concentrations of the chemical DDT in floodplain soil.

Michigan State Spartans
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University says three former men's basketball players have been cleared of wrongdoing in connection with allegations they sexually assaulted a female student in 2015.

Spokeswoman Emily Guerrant told the Lansing State Journal that a report from a school-launched Title IX investigation did not find violations of university policy.

ESPN first reported on the findings and says it obtained a copy of the report.

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