Prosecutor who charged Michigan cop praised by his critics
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan prosecutor who charged a police officer with murder in the shooting of Patrick Lyoya is being praised by some of his early critics. Black activists in April wanted Chris Becker to give the investigation to the Michigan attorney general, saying the Kent County prosecutor was too close to police. Becker didn’t give up the investigation. He charged Grand Rapids Officer Christopher Schurr with second-degree murder. Cle Jackson of the Greater Grand Rapids NAACP says he’s “absolutely shocked” by the decision. Jackson says he’s thankful. In some states, attorneys general have stepped in to handle police shootings instead of a local prosecutor. Meanwhile, Schurr appeared in court Friday and was released from jail on $100,000 bond. A not-guilty plea was entered.
GIRL SLAIN-STRAY BULLET
Man charged after stray bullet kills Detroit girl, 11
DETROIT (AP) — A 21-year-old man has been charged in the slaying of an 11-year-old girl who was struck by a stray bullet that went through the bedroom wall of her eastside Detroit home. The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says Friday that William Dickerson was arraigned on second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, discharging a weapon at a building causing death and other charges. Saniyah Pugh was pronounced dead after being shot in the back about 10 p.m. Saturday. Police said the slug that struck Saniyah was one of multiple shots fired from a gun by two people in a nearby backyard. A 17-year-old male also has been arrested in the shooting.
ART MUSEUM EXPANSION-WOMEN
Groundbreaking event planned for Muskegon museum expansion
MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A groundbreaking ceremony will be held for The Muskegon Museum of Art’s $11.2 million expansion project. The museum in western Michigan says the event is scheduled Saturday. The expansion is expected to be completed in 2024 and will include galleries, classrooms, a rooftop terrace and a public plaza. The expansion also will feature space for the works of women artists. Collectors Steven Alan Bennett and Elaine Melotti Schmidt have donated $1.5 million toward the expansion and more than 150 works of art created by women to the museum. The Van Kampen Boyer Molinari Foundation and city of Muskegon also donated $1 million each to the expansion. The museum opened in 1912 and has more than 5,000 pieces in its collection.
ELECTION 2022-MICHIGAN GOVERNOR
James Craig to run as write-in for Michigan GOP primary
DETROIT (AP) — Former Detroit police Chief James Craig says he’ll run as a write-in candidate in the Republican primary for governor. Fraudulent signatures on petitions tripped him up, leaving him short of the minimum to get on the Aug. 2 ballot. Craig says he’s “not going to roll over.” Craig was considered a GOP front-runner with wide name recognition in southeastern Michigan. But that was before he and four other Republicans were scratched from the ballot because of phony signatures turned in by paid circulators. Wealthy business consultant Perry Johnson is asking a federal judge to revive his campaign, though his lawsuit is a long shot.
Michigan GOP hopeful charged in Jan. 6 riot, roiling primary
DETROIT (AP) — A Republican candidate for Michigan governor has been charged with misdemeanors for his role in the 2021 post-election riot at the U.S. Capitol, further complicating an already messy GOP primary. Ryan Kelley is an ardent defender of former President Donald Trump who led protests against pandemic restrictions imposed by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The 40-year-old was arrested and charged Thursday and was released without posting bail following a brief hearing in federal court in Grand Rapids. The GOP field for governor initially had 10 candidates seeking to challenge Whitmer in the battleground state this fall. Five of them, including two front-runners, were dropped from the primary ballot because of forged signatures submitted by paid petition circulators.
Coast Guard: Oil spill closes shipping on St. Mary’s River
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ontario. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard says an oil spill temporarily closed shipping traffic on the St. Mary’s River between Ontario and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The Coast Guard said Thursday that the 5,300-gallon spill came from Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The Coast Guard asked all traffic to stay away from the affected area. MLive.com reports the river reopened to shipping traffic later Thursday. The 75-mile river connects lakes Superior and Huron and serves as part of the border between Michigan and Ontario. Algoma spokeswoman Brenda Stenta said in a statement that “the source of the spill has been safely contained.”
A look at high-profile killings by US police
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan police officer has been charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head as the Black man was on the ground. Grand Rapids Officer Christopher Schurr was charged Thursday, more than two months after the 26-year-old Lyoya was killed on April 4 following a chaotic traffic stop. A bystander recorded the shooting on cellphone video. Schurr, who is white, told Lyoya that he stopped his car because the license plate didn’t match the vehicle. Roughly a minute into the stop, Lyoya began to run after he was asked to produce a driver’s license. Officers are rarely charged with crimes in civilian deaths, and it’s even rarer for them to be convicted. Still, some recent high-profile cases have ended with guilty verdicts.
Whitmer asks Biden to declare major disaster in Gaylord
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has asked President Joe Biden to declare a major disaster in Otsego County, where an EF-3 tornado struck Gaylord on May 20. The storm with 140 mph winds killed two people and injured 44 others. It destroyed homes and businesses, causing millions of dollars in property damage. Whitmer said in a news release Wednesday that her administration is doing everything in its power “to secure all available assistance for the people of Gaylord as quickly as possible.” A disaster declaration would makes a wide range of federal assistance available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Simone Biles, other women seek $1B-plus from FBI over Nassar
DETROIT (AP) — Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and dozens of other women who say they were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar are seeking more than $1 billion from the FBI for failing to stop the sports doctor. There’s no dispute that FBI agents in 2015 knew that Nassar was accused of assaulting gymnasts. But the agents failed to act, leaving Nassar free to continue to target young women and girls for more than a year. Individual lawsuits could follow the tort claims filed Wednesday. Claimants include Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, all Olympic gold medalists. An email seeking comment was sent to the FBI. In remarks to Congress last year, FBI Director Christopher Wray acknowledged major mistakes.
Gas prices force sheriff to put brakes on his deputies
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — High gas prices are putting the brakes on sheriff’s deputies in a mid-Michigan county. The Isabella County sheriff said some calls will be handled over the phone instead of sending a deputy. Michael Main says those would include calls that aren’t life-threatening or don’t require evidence collection. Main says his office is “feeling the pain at the pump.” The average Michigan gas price is more than $5 per gallon, according to AAA Michigan.