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DOWNTOWN FEU-HOLLY

Fire damages hotel and other buildings in downtown Holly

HOLLY, Mich. (AP) — A hotel was among several businesses damaged when a fire swept through part of downtown in a northern Oakland County village. Dozens of firefighters from area departments battled the blaze that started around 4 p.m. Tuesday in Holly, about 53 miles northwest of Detroit. About half a dozen people, including five firefighters, required medical attention due to the heat from the flames and hot weather as temperatures topped 90 degrees on Tuesday. The fire appears to have started near a building that housed an antique and collectibles shop. Jon Ruthenbeck, a member of the Oakland County Incident Management Team, told the Detroit News that about half a dozen structures were damaged by flames or smoke.

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TIMES SQUARE CRASH TEST

Man not responsible for vandalizing vehicle in Times Square

NEW YORK (AP) — A man who used his car to hit pedestrians in Times Square has been cleared of liability due to mental illness. The verdict fell on Wednesday during the New York trial of Richard Rojas. The jury upheld an insanity defense claiming Rojas was so mentally ill he didn’t know what he was doing during the 2017 attack. He injured 20 people and killed a young tourist. The judge said the finding would label Rojas an indefinite “involuntary mental engagement” instead of a lengthy prison sentence. He ordered Rojas detained while he writes a review order and said there would be a hearing on the matter on Thursday.

PORCH TURNING

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17 years in prison for the man who killed a woman on the porch

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-area white man who said he feared for his life when he fatally shot a young black woman on his front porch in 2013 has been sentenced to the same 17-year prison sentence as he had originally received. Ted Wafer was back in court on Wednesday after the Michigan Supreme Court threw out his manslaughter conviction. Wafer was also convicted of murder in the death of Renisha McBride. The court said he could not be punished twice for homicide. Judge Dana Hathaway said the prison sentence would not change: 15 years for second-degree murder, plus two years for using a firearm in a felony. The judge says the sentence is still within the scoring guidelines. Wafer says he remains “terribly sorry” for killing McBride.

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BUNKER MYSTERY-MICHIGAN

DNR: The kids built a military-style bunker in the state play area

TYRONE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — State officials have determined that a 3-foot-deep military-style bunker surrounded by sandbags in a western Michigan playground was built by children . WOOD-TV reports that a Kent County man fell on the bunker Friday at the Rogue River State Game Area. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said after news reports a woman contacted authorities and told them she was built for fun by her 15-year-old son and his friends. The game area is north of Grand Rapids. The TV station reported that around 70 sandbags were piled around the bunker. A conservation officer was to meet the boys and ask them to fill the hole and restore the area.

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BEACH CLOSED – NEARBY DROWNING

Near-drownings cause state park swimming area to close

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — The swimming area at Grand Haven State Park in western Michigan has been closed following several near-drownings. Park officials banned swimming Tuesday in Lake Michigan off the beach. The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety said in a statement that a woman and her husband had difficulty swimming Tuesday night before heading ashore. Meanwhile, an off-duty police officer and bystanders rescued a 12-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy from the water. Officers also helped a man bring his wife back to shore after battling the current in the lake. Park officials said water conditions for swimming would be reassessed on Wednesday.

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INVASIVE CARP – NEW NAME

From “carp” to “copi”: an unpopular fish gets a makeover

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — If “invasive carp” doesn’t sound appetizing, how about a plate of copi? State of Illinois unveils market-tested rebranding campaign to make fish appealing to consumers. Four species imported from Asia decades ago now infest the Mississippi and other rivers in the heartland of the United States. They also threaten the Great Lakes. Officials say the fight to contain them would be spurred if more people ate them. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources hired a marketing company to come up with a new name. And “copi” is the winner. Chefs, distributors and others in the food industry say it is a tasty and healthy fish.

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SCORPION IMPORT PHRASE

Man Who Illegally Imported/Exported Live Scorpions Sentenced

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man who illegally imported and exported hundreds of live scorpions has been convicted in federal court of violating the Lacey Act. U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug for the District of Oregon said Darren Drake was sentenced Wednesday to two years of federal probation, 250 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine. Court documents indicate that in 2017 and 2018, Drake imported and exported scorpions to Germany without an import-export license from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. An intercepted package was falsely labeled as chocolates. Drake also illegally sent or received several hundred live scorpions from other US states, including Michigan and Texas. Drake pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act.

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MOTOCROSS-PORN FOR CHILDREN

Motocross instructor charged with federal child pornography charges

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Federal officials say a motocross instructor who toured states from New York to Georgia has been charged with producing child pornography. The Department of Justice said Ryan Meyung, 30, is charged with engaging six minors in sexually explicit behavior to produce sexual abuse images and transporting and possessing sexual abuse images on children. The agency says Meyung was arrested in Tennessee in December on state charges and remains in custody. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney to comment on the case. The Justice Department said Meyung visited states including Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

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KELLOGG SPLIT

Snap, crackle, pop: Kellogg will split into 3 companies

Kellogg Co., the maker of Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies and Eggo, will split into three companies focused on cereals, snacks and plant-based foods. Kellogg’s, which also owns plant-based food maker MorningStar Farms, said on Tuesday that the spin-off of the yet-to-be-named grain and plant-based food companies should be completed by end of next year. The cereal and plant-based businesses will remain based in Battle Creek, Michigan, where Kellogg was founded in 1906. The snacks business — which accounts for 80% of Kellogg’s sales — will be headquartered in Chicago. Kellogg shares rose nearly 2% to $70.15 on Tuesday.

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AP-US-BABY-FORMULA-SHORTAGE

US imports infant formula from Mexico to ease shortage

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it is providing logistical support to import the equivalent of about 16 million 8-ounce baby bottles from Mexico. It begins this weekend as part of efforts to ease nationwide supply shortages caused by the closure of America’s largest manufacturing plant. The Department of Health and Human Services is expediting the journey of trucks that will carry approximately 1 million pounds of Gerber Good Start Gentle infant formula from a Nestlé factory to U.S. retailers. This is almost double the amount imported into the United States to date. Cargo flights from Europe and Australia have already brought formula to the United States, and more will come this weekend.

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