Parents of Michigan boy charged in Oxford school shooting
PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — The parents of a teen accused of killing four students at a Michigan high school have been charged with involuntary manslaughter. A prosecutor described chilling moments that day when a teacher found a drawing of a gun, a person bleeding and the words “blood everywhere” at the boy’s desk. Prosecutor Karen McDonald says Jennifer and James Crumbley committed “egregious” acts, from buying the gun for Ethan Crumbley to use and failing to intervene when they were confronted with his drawing. Authorities say they were searching for the parents, but their lawyer says they’re returning to the area to face arraignment.
UAW votes for direct election of leaders in wake of scandal
DETROIT (AP) — Members of the United Auto Workers union have overwhelmingly approved picking their leaders by direct ballot elections. In doing so they have rejected a system that many blamed for corruption in the union’s top ranks. The so-called “one member, one vote” measure got nearly 64% of 140,586 valid ballots that were received by Monday’s mail-in deadline. About 36% favored the current system of leadership picked by delegates to a convention. That’s according to results released Thursday. The results are not official until approved by the Labor Department and a federal judge. The election of the union’s 13-member International Executive Board is likely to take place next summer or fall.
Michigan Senate approves $3.3B water infrastructure bill
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Senate has unanimously approved $3.3 billion in water infrastructure spending to replace lead pipes and repair dams statewide while also sending money to a Detroit-area system that has struggled with flooding. The influx of aid will next be considered by the House, likely in the new year. It includes about $2.4 billion in federal funding. Sen. Jon Bumstead, sponsor of the bill, says it would fund “transformational improvements” to aging water infrastructure. Michigan has an estimated 460,000 lead pipes. State regulations, made tougher following Flint’s water crisis, generally require that every line be replaced by around 2040.
EPA head: ‘Journey to Justice’ tour ‘really personal for me’
RESERVE, La. (AP) — EPA Administrator Michael Regan says a recently completed “Journey to Justice” tour from Mississippi to Texas enabled him to put “faces and names with this term that we call environmental justice.” The five-day tour in mid-November highlighted low-income, mostly minority communities adversely affected by industrial pollution. A former environmental regulator in his native North Carolina, Regan has made environmental justice a top priority since taking over as EPA chief in March. The trip included visits to historically marginalized communities such as St. John and St. James parishes in Louisiana, along with cities such as New Orleans, Jackson, Mississippi, and Houston.
3rd military medical team sent to Michigan amid COVID surge
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A third 22-member medical team from the U.S. military is being deployed to Michigan, where hospitals are grappling with record-high numbers of COVID-19 patients amid the state’s fourth surge of infections. The nurses, doctors and respiratory therapists will assist Covenant Healthcare in Saginaw starting Dec. 12. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer calls it “much-needed relief.” Two other 22-member teams began treating patients in Grand Rapids and Dearborn this week. More than 4,500 people, most of them unvaccinated, were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases as of Wednesday. The 4,269 adults with confirmed infection surpassed the previous pandemic high that was reported two days earlier.
‘The fire that’s here’: US is still battling delta variant
While all eyes are on the new and little-understood omicron variant, the delta form of the coronavirus isn’t finished wreaking havoc in the U.S., sending record numbers of patients to the hospital in some states, especially in the Midwest and New England. The U.S. recorded its first known omicron infection on Wednesday, in a fully vaccinated person who had returned to California from South Africa, where the variant was first identified just over a week ago. For now, the extra-contagious delta variant accounts for practically all cases in the U.S. and continues to inflict misery at a time when many hospitals are struggling with shortages of nurses and a backlog of patients. And now the fear is that omicron will foist more patients, and perhaps sicker ones, onto hospitals.
Michigan House passes $368.5M in public safety funding
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan House has passed a $368.5 million public safety and police funding plan. The vote Thursday came with an increase in funding for school resource officers after the Oxford High School shooting this week when four students were killed and several students and a teacher were wounded. The plan also includes funding for recruiting and retaining public safety officers, and providing educational scholarships and support for different efforts like increased body camera usage. The plan passed with bipartisan support 97-3 and will now head to the state Senate for approval.
Striking Kellogg’s workers to get 3% raises in new contract
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Kellogg’s has reached a tentative agreement with its 1,400 cereal plant workers that will deliver 3% raises and end a nearly two-month-long strike if it is approved. The Battle Creek, Michigan-based company said Thursday the five-year deal with the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union also includes cost of living adjustments in the later years of the contract and it maintains the workers’ current health benefits. The deal covers workers at four plants in Battle Creek; Omaha, Nebraska; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee where all of Kellogg’s well-known brands of cereal, including Frosted Flakes and Rice Krispies. The workers who have been on strike since Oct. 5 will vote Sunday on the new contract.
RIVER CRASH-PORT HURON
Woman dead, 3 kids critical after car enters Michigan river
PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — Police say a 26-year-old woman died and her three children were hospitalized in critical condition after her car crashed into a river in Port Huron. Police said Wednesday that officers and firefighters were called to the scene Tuesday afternoon after a vehicle reportedly drove through a parking lot and into the Black River, with a male passenger seen jumping from the vehicle before it entered the water. Divers removed the woman motorist and three young children, but officials said the woman, identified as 26-year-old Corey Michelle Pratto, died at a hospital. The Detroit News reports that her three children, ages 6, 5, and 3, were in critical condition.