Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. EDT
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Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. EDT

ROSIE THE RIVETER-UNION

Union members to honour women by painting ‘Rosie the Riveter’

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area union is marking Women’s History Month by having members paint their own version of a famous poster featuring “Rosie the Riveter,” the iconic World War II factory worker.

Local 223 of the Utility Workers Union of America is hosting the Friday night event at its Dearborn hall. Participants can choose ethnicities for the women they paint in their version of the famous “We Can Do It!” poster aimed at encouraging more women to join the wartime labour force.

Organizers say some women planning to participate have been in male-dominated careers like skilled trades. UWUA Local 223 represents about 4,000 workers at DTE Energy.

PATERNITY SCHEME

Prosecutor: Paternity scheme involved dead rats, cow tongue

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a man took extraordinary steps to avoid responsibility for a child, even paying $500 to another man to assume his identity and take a paternity test.

The Macomb County prosecutor filed charges against Ken May. He’s accused of paying another man to get a driver’s license in May’s name and take a DNA test.

Investigators say it worked — until the child’s mother watched surveillance video and told police that the man who took the test wasn’t May. May is also accused of putting dead rats and a cow’s tongue outside the mother’s door after she helped unravel the scheme.

Prosecutor Eric Smith calls the case “egregious.”

May is charged with tampering with evidence, intimidating a witness and other crimes. It’s not known if he has a lawyer yet who could respond to the allegations.

ISLE ROYALE WOLVES

Hungry wolves may get new home at Isle Royale National Park

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Authorities are preparing for another mission to relocate grey wolves to Isle Royale National Park from a second Lake Superior island, where the predators are in danger of starvation after gobbling up a caribou herd.

The National Park Service is winding up the first phase of a multi-year effort to rebuild wolf numbers at Isle Royale, which have plummeted in the past decade. Six newcomers now roam the park, along with the final two survivors of the previous population.

Two of the recent arrivals came from Michipicoten Island in Canadian territory, where wolves decimated its caribou in recent years and are subsisting on small mammals. Officials believe around six wolves remain there.

Two private organizations are helping fund this weekend’s effort to move some of them to Isle Royale.

DISGRACED JUDGE SLAIN

Jury finds man guilty of dismembering father, not murder

(Information from: The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, http://www.pbpost.com)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has been acquitted of killing his father but convicted of dismembering the body.

The Palm Beach Post reports that jurors found 50-year-old James “Jimmy” Scandirito II guilty Thursday of abuse of a corpse and not guilty of first-degree murder. Sentencing is scheduled for June 21.

Boca Raton police say Scandirito killed and dismembered his father, James “Skip” Scandirito, in March 2018. The younger Scandirito initially claimed his father hadn’t returned from a kayaking trip, but police found the body parts after following him to an abandoned golf club.

Prosecutors say he killed his father for inheritance money.

The son testified he found his father dead from an apparent drug overdose and hid the body because he was afraid.

Skip Scandirito resigned a judgeship in Macomb County, Michigan, in 2000 in the face of sexual misconduct charges.

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AP-US-PRIEST-ASSAULT

Michigan priest acquitted of sexual assault charges

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A 72-year-old Michigan priest has been acquitted of sexually assaulting two teens with his hands in the first of three trials.

There were gasps Thursday as the jury’s verdict was announced. The Rev. Robert DeLand testified in his own defence and denied the allegations during a two-day trial in Saginaw County.

A teen said he was shaking DeLand’s hand at a memorial service in 2017 when the priest reached toward his groin. Another witness said DeLand took him out of class in 2017 and took him to an empty room at Freeland High School. He says DeLand gave him $20 and slid a hand down his back to his buttocks.

DeLand told jurors, “I would not do that.”

DeLand pleaded no contest to charges last September but withdrew the plea .

WARMING GREAT LAKES

Report: Great Lakes feeling effects of rapid climate warming

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A scientific report says the Great Lakes region is warming faster than the rest of the U.S., which likely will bring more flooding and other extreme weather such as heat waves and drought.

The warming climate also could mean less overall snowfall even as lake-effect snowstorms get bigger, according to the report released Thursday by a team of researchers from universities primarily from the Midwest.

The report also predicts more severe algae blooms in the Great Lakes, which make it unsafe for swimming and increase the costs of treating the water.

Farming could be hit especially hard, with heavy rains delaying spring planting and dry spells requiring more irrigation during summer.

Beaches, dunes and shorelines will be more vulnerable to erosion.

The Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center commissioned the report.

REDRAWING AMERICA-MICHIGAN

Michigan 1 of 5 states where GOP kept control despite losing

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is among five states where Republicans retained control of the state House even though Democratic candidates won more votes overall last fall.

An Associated Press mathematical analysis also shows that while Democrats flipped two Michigan congressional seats in 2018, it could have been three if not for the structural advantage enjoyed by Republicans, who drew the state legislative and congressional maps following the 2010 census.

The AP examined all U.S. House races and about 4,900 state House and Assembly seats up for election last year using a statistical method of calculating partisan advantage that is designed to flag cases of potential gerrymandering.

Michigan state House districts showed the fourth-highest Republican advantage among all states.

GOP candidates received 46 per cent of the two-party vote compared to Democrats’ 54 per cent, yet the GOP won a 58-52 seat advantage in the state House over Democrats.

STARTUPS COMPETITION-QUICKEN LOANS

Detroit startups to compete for $1.2 million in funding

DETROIT (AP) — Entrepreneurs and startups are invited to compete for $1.2 million in funding to help grow their for-profit businesses through the 3rd Annual Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day .

Applications are due April 22 and 15 finalists will be chosen to pitch their businesses live June 14 at the Fillmore Detroit. A panel will select seven winners. Prizes will be presented as a grant, interest-free loan or an equity investment ranging from $50,000 to $300,000 for each winner.

Three grant recipients also will be voted on by the Fillmore audience.

Applicants must be based in Detroit or committed to relocating into the city. They also can’t have exceeded $2 million in annual revenue or raised more than $1 million in capital.

The eight winners of the 2017 Demo Day grew their annual revenue 41 per cent in 2018.

FARM DEATH

Man killed in auger accident at southern Michigan farm

WATERLOO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a farmer working on a manure spreader has died after being caught in an auger.

It’s the second recent death of a Michigan farmer caught in an auger.

The Jackson County sheriff’s office identified the victim as 63-year-old Rex Hannewald of Waterloo Township. The accident occurred Wednesday. The man’s injures were too severe for treatment.

A 42-year-old man died last week in Montcalm County while drilling holes to relieve flooding from melting snow. His clothes were snagged in an auger.

CHAVEZ STATUE-THEFT

Theft of nearly $86K in Chavez statue money brings probation

(Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A former director of the Michigan Hispanic/Latino Commission has been sentenced to five years of probation for stealing nearly $86,000 that was set aside for a Michigan statue to honour farm labour leader Cesar Chavez.

The Lansing State Journal reports 82-year-old Maria Louisa Mason of Williamston was given her punishment Wednesday and plans to sell a property near Higgins Lake in northern Michigan so she can pay restitution.

She says she’s “extremely sorry” and “very ashamed.”

Mason earlier pleaded guilty to embezzling money that included state tax dollars and private donations. The planned Lansing statue hasn’t been built.

The money allegedly was used to pay credit card bills, taxes and other personal expenses. The scheme spanned years and lasted until June 2015.

Mason retired in 2015 from state government work.

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The Associated Press

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