The latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST


MICHIGAN PIPELINE

Enbridge seeks federal jurisdiction in pipeline dispute

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – Enbridge Energy is seeking federal court action in Michigan to shut down an oil pipeline that runs under a canal connecting two of the Great Lakes. Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a complaint in 2019, arguing that Enbridge’s Line 5 should not operate in Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac because it risks a spill. Nessel filed a second complaint in 2020 to enforce a shutdown order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer. A federal judge agreed with Enbridge last month that the litigation over the Whitmer order rests in federal court. On Wednesday, Enbridge also decided to transfer Nessel’s earlier trial to federal court. Nessel vowed to fight the effort.

MALE FIRE OFFICER

White officer fired for pointing gun at reinstated black man

DeWITT, Mich. (AP) – A white Michigan police officer has been reinstated, months after being fired for an incident in which he tracked and pointed a gun at a 19-year-old black man delivering newspapers. An arbitrator reinstated Chad Vorce this month at DeWitt Police Department, near Lansing, with no back pay but with his seniority restored. He is required to undergo sensitivity training. The Lansing State Journal reports that Vorce is an 18-year veteran of the department. He appealed after being sacked in May for violating ministry policies and regulations.

MICHIGAN VIRUS OUTBREAK

Michigan’s COVID hospitalizations drop; still dramatic situation

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – The record number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Michigan has fallen, the first drop in 49 days as health officials continue to urge vaccinations while describing a dire situation in the inside hospitals. The state has recorded 330 more deaths, including 100 in the last 48-hour period. The seven-day average of daily deaths, 120, was up substantially from 67 two weeks earlier. The Henry Ford Health System, which has five hospitals in the Detroit and Jackson area, reported about 500 coronavirus patients on Wednesday, a 34% increase from last month. The state’s health department is urging residents to get vaccinated and those who are fully vaccinated to receive a booster if they are eligible.

DOG FOUND

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.

BC-US — MICHIGAN-LEAD IN WATER

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.

BC-US-TEMPS-SEVERE-MIDWEST

1 dead as unusual midwest storm brings hurricane-force winds

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Authorities say one person has died as a powerful storm system swept through the Great Plains and Midwest amid unusually warm temperatures for the season, causing hurricane-force wind gusts and tornadoes reported in Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. This is a weather outbreak that experts have described as extremely unusual for December. The Iowa State Patrol said a semi-trailer was struck by high winds and overturned on its side in eastern Iowa on Wednesday night, killing the driver. More than 20 tornadoes were reported Wednesday in the Plains States, scattered throughout eastern Nebraska and Iowa. More than 400,000 homes and businesses were without power Thursday morning in Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Kansas.

ELK DEATHS-ICE

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.

REDISTRICTION OF MICHIGAN

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.

XGR-SCHOOL SHOOTING-MICHIGAN-FINANCING

$ 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.

A STOPPED SCHOOL BUS DRIVER

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.