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VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN Military to help Michigan cope with COVID-19 patient surge LANSING, Mich.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MICHIGAN

Military to help Michigan cope with COVID-19 patient surge

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The federal government is sending 44 military medical staffers to Michigan to help beleaguered hospitals treat COVID-19 patients amid a fourth surge that is the worst in the country. It also will open beds at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Detroit for transfers. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sought the assistance. The two teams of 22 physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists will arrive next week and care for patients for 30 days at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn and Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids. As of Wednesday, more than 4,000 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases - near peak levels.

AP-US-OBIT-FISHBACK

Army officer who reported prisoner abuses dies at age 42

NEWBERRY, Mich. (AP) — A former Army officer and Detroit native who reported in 2005 that military prisoners in the Middle East were being beaten and abused by U.S. soldiers has died. A funeral home says Major Ian Fishback of Newberry, Michigan, died suddenly Friday. He was 42. No cause of death was listed. The New York Times reports Tuesday that Fishback’s family says he died in an adult foster care facility in Michigan. Fishback was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to the newspaper, he wrote about the abuses in a letter to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The allegations eventually led the U.S. Senate to approve anti-torture legislation in 2005.

DETROIT INTERSTATE

Whitmer seeks federal funds to convert I-375 to boulevard

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking the Biden administration for funding to replace Interstate 375, a 1-mile depressed freeway in Detroit that was built by demolishing Black neighborhoods 60 years ago. The state wants to convert the highway to a six-lane boulevard at street level. The $1 trillion U.S. infrastructure law enacted last week includes $1 billion to reconnect communities that were divided to make room for freeways. Black Bottom and Paradise Valley, two predominantly African American neighborhoods, were razed in the late 1950s and early 1960s to build I-375. Whitmer has invited Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to tour the area.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN-DOCTOR-SEXUAL-ASSAULT

Bo Schembechler statue on U-M campus defaced with red paint

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A statue on the University of Michigan campus of legendary football coach Glenn “Bo” Schembechler has been vandalized and a message supporting sexual assault victims of a former sports doctor scrawled on the steps beneath it. The Detroit Free Press reports that a crew is removing red paint splattered on the statue outside the Ann Arbor school’s football building. The university said Wednesday that the vandalism is being investigated. A report by a law firm hired by U-M found that officials including Schembechler failed to stop the late Dr. Robert Anderson, despite reports in the 1970s that he sexually assaulted student athletes.

OLD FAIRGROUNDS-DETROIT TRANSIT CENTER

Transit center approved for old fairgrounds site in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — An $18.6 million transit center will be constructed on the site of the former Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit. Detroit City Councilmembers on Tuesday approved by a 5-2 vote a plan that calls for buses and passengers to use what had been the fairground’s Dairy Cattle Building. The Coliseum building will be torn down. In past years, it hosted circuses, rodeos and other large events. Plans also include an outdoor park. Officials hope to start construction on the transit center next year. Most of the project’s cost would be covered by bond sales. The Michigan State Fair last was held at the site in 2009.

HOME EXPLOSION-FLINT

Girl, 4, woman, 55, killed in Michigan house explosion

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a 4-year-old girl and a 55-year-old woman were killed in an overnight explosion and fire that destroyed three homes in Michigan, damaged several more and sent debris falling onto a neighborhood. The cause of the explosion Monday night remains under investigation. Authorities said Tuesday that the woman died at a hospital, and that fire crews and a police cadaver dog found the child in the rubble of her home. Her father is in critical condition and another person suffered minor injuries. Earlier Tuesday, authorities said the adult victim was a 70-year-old man and the then-missing child was a 3-year-old girl but they corrected that information later in the day. 

MARIJUANA RECALL

Marijuana testing lab sues state over major product recall

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A marijuana testing lab has filed a lawsuit against Michigan regulators after a major product recall and allegations of unreliable results. Viridis Laboratories has operations in Lansing and Bay City. It says the recall last week was “unjustified” and caused an estimated $229 million disruption to the industry. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency declined to comment Tuesday. The state last week told dealers to destroy the product, have it retested or send it back. Consumers should also return it if they have still have some. The test dates by Viridis were Aug. 10 to Nov. 16. The state says consumers with weakened immune systems or lung disease are at the highest risk.

EMINEM-INTRUDER

Man who broke into Eminem's house violates probation

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — A 28-year-old man who twice was convicted of breaking into homes owned by rapper Eminem is in legal trouble again.  Matthew Hughes this week pleaded guilty to a probation violation for failing to show up for a September probation appointment. He has pleaded not guilty to a charge that he assaulted a mall security officer in the southeastern Michigan community of Taylor. Hughes recently was sentenced to probation after serving 524 days in jail for breaking into Eminem's Clinton Township home in April of last year. Previously he'd been sentenced to 90 days in jail for entering another property owned by Eminem. 

MICHIGAN REDISTRICTING

State AG: Redistricting panel shouldn't have met privately

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says the state's redistricting commission should not have held a private meeting to discuss memos related to racially polarized voting and the federal Voting Rights Act’s requirement that people be able to elect minority candidates. The panel called the controversial closed session with its lawyer Oct. 27, after Detroit residents criticized the members for drawing no majority-Black districts. Nessel, in a legal opinion Monday, said the commission presumably was conducting business that should've been done in an open meeting. The panel's spokesman says the commission respects her opinion and will discuss it transparently at the next meeting.

The Associated Press