The latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. EST


Father of kidnapped missionaries grateful they are free

HART, Mich. (AP) – The father of four Christian missionaries from Michigan who escaped kidnappers in Haiti expresses his gratitude and says they are in good shape. Two other family members were also kidnapped but were released a few weeks ago. They are associated with Hart Dunkard Brethren Church in Hart, about 190 miles northwest of Detroit. Church elder Ron Marks read a statement from Ray Noecker, whose wife Cheryl and five of their children were kidnapped in October. They were in Haiti on behalf of the Christian Aid Ministries based in Ohio. Seventeen people were abducted on October 16, shortly after visiting an orphanage. Five were eventually released, leaving the 12 who escaped.


Former gymnastics trainer wins Nassar conviction appeal

LANSING, Michigan (AP) – A Michigan appeals court overturned the conviction of a former Michigan State University gymnastics trainer, who was sentenced to jail for lying to investigators about sexual abuse of former sports doctor Larry Nassar. Appeals court judges did not determine that Kathie Klages had told investigators the truth, but rather that her interviews were not “important” to the Michigan attorney general’s investigation into Michigan’s handling. State University of Nassar abuse. Klages maintained his innocence throughout. Klages’ attorney, Mary Chartier, says they are “delighted” that she “has finally been vindicated.”


Michigan officials expect omicron variant to sweep state

LANSING, Michigan (AP) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says people who have not been vaccinated for COVID-19 are occupying too many beds in overcrowded Michigan hospitals as state braces for rapid spread of the variant omicron. Whitmer told a press conference in Grand Rapids on Tuesday that the omicron variant is already the dominant strain in the United States and is expected to spread quickly in Michigan. Much remains unknown about the variant, including whether it causes more or less severe disease than the previous strains. Health officials say early studies suggest those vaccinated will need a booster to have the best chance of preventing omicron infection, but that even without the extra dose, the vaccination should still offer strong protection against it. serious illness and death.


Federal watchdog: Trump’s USDA overpaid corn growers by $ 3 billion

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A federal watchdog says the Trump administration overpaid corn farmers about $ 3 billion in federal aid in 2019 and southern farmers were paid more for the same crops as elsewhere in the country. The Government Accountability Office said in a report released Monday that the US Department of Agriculture’s methodology for calculating damage for 2019 was flawed. The USDA chief economist said the analysis was based on a widely accepted business model and methodologies, and USDA economists offered options to policymakers who chose which methods to use for decide how to pay farmers.


Michigan police chase ends in accident, death of woman, 58

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) – Police say a man fleeing officers in a stolen pickup truck crashed into the car of a 58-year-old woman in suburban Detroit, fatally injuring her. Macomb County Police said an undercover Macomb Auto Theft Squad agent spotted the stolen truck Monday afternoon in Mount Clemens. Macomb County Sheriff’s Sgt. David Crabtree says the suspect left at high speed. The chase ended when the suspect slammed into a woman’s car truck and both vehicles overturned. The 58-year-old motorist was later pronounced dead in a hospital. The 41-year-old suspect was arrested after fleeing the scene.


Michigan governor signs $ 1.5 billion in trade incentives

LANSING, Michigan (AP) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation to make Michigan more attractive to business. The legislation creates the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund, which will be funded from state revenues, with $ 1 billion to be used for business assistance. Funds totaling $ 409 million will also be allocated to support restaurants, gyms and other industries heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation, which includes four bills, was passed by the GOP-led Legislature with bipartisan support. Whitmer applauded the legislation, which she called “a collaboration between legislative leaders, my administration, and community and business leaders” in a press release Monday.


Teacher accused of making false threats against school

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. (AP) – A teacher in suburban Detroit has been accused of making a false threat against her school. It is the latest in a series of suspected threats in the region, mostly from students, as four teenagers were killed in November in another neighborhood. Investigators say Johnna Rhone, 59, wrote at least three threatening notes last week at Jefferson Middle School in St. Clair Shores. One of the notes read, “Start the break early. He is going to do it. Don’t stay in the hall after lunch. Boom! Do you get it? ”Rhône’s lawyer denied the allegations. Rhône is a creative arts teacher at the school. Bond was set at $ 75,000.


Kellogg strike is coming to an end; workers will come back on Monday

NEW YORK (AP) – A strike in Kellogg that has been going on since early October has ended after workers voted to ratify a new employment contract at the company’s four US grain plants. The contract covers approximately 1,400 workers represented by the union at factories in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Kellogg said Tuesday that the new contract called for immediate and general pay increases and improved benefits for all. It also provides an accelerated and defined path to the highest wages, a major sticking point for workers. The International Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union said the contract was a victory for the workers.


Redistribution panel ordered to show meeting details, memos

DETROIT (AP) – The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered the state’s new redistribution commission to release a recording of a closed meeting in October along with certain documents sought by news outlets. Decision 4-3 was a test of whether a commission creating maps for the Legislative Assembly and Congress had broken a law requiring it to conduct its business in public. A Democratic judge joined three Republicans to form the majority on the Supreme Court. The commission argued that attorney-client privilege should guarantee it some confidentiality at the October 27 meeting. But the Supreme Court noted that there was no ongoing litigation at the time.


Ex-agent in Whitmer kidnapping investigation strikes deal in assault case

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) – A senior investigator in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s alleged kidnapping plot has made a clear plea to assaulting his wife. Richard Trask insists he has no recollection of the incident but takes responsibility for it. Trask was accused of assaulting his wife at their home in the Kalamazoo region in July. She had lacerations to the head and other signs of injuries. But Heather Foulke believes Trask may have been drugged earlier at a hotel night. Trask has been granted credit for two days in jail and will not serve any additional jail time. He lost his job at the FBI.