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The Associated Press

oak wilt
Greg Blick / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0 cropped

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will discuss efforts to combat oak wilt disease in trees on Belle Isle in Detroit.

Public informational meetings are scheduled Thursday at the Nature Zoo and Great Lakes Dossin Museum on the island park in the Detroit River.

The state says oak wilt is a fungus that can spread from tree to tree through underground root connections, or grafts. Spores also can be spread by beetles attracted to the fungus' smell.

Ford Motor Company's headquarters in Dearborn.
Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company plans to build a $200 million aerodynamic testing facility in suburban Detroit.

The Dearborn-based automaker announced Wednesday that the wind tunnel complex will be on 13 acres next to Ford's current Driveability Test Facility in Allen Park.

In an announcement, the company highlighted consumers' desire for improved fuel economy:

Mike Ilitch (center) with Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander (right) and Alex Avila (left) in 2011.
Dave Hogg / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

DETROIT - Mike Ilitch will lie in repose for a public visitation Wednesday at Fox Theatre in Detroit.

Ilitch, the billionaire businessman who founded the Little Caesars pizza empire and bought the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers, died Friday. He was 87.

Ilitch Holdings Inc. announced information Sunday night on how the public could pay respects. Events this week include the visitation from noon to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, and a public memorial display at Comerica Park beginning at 1 p.m. on Monday.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Authorities in Traverse City are reminding residents that their new congressman is a public figure but his staff uses space in a private building.

Large groups apparently have been eager to see U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman or his staff in northern Michigan, which could be discouraging others who want access to other businesses.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle  says Bergman's landlord asked sheriff's deputies to address the problem. Lt. Chris Barsheff says 50 to 100 people can't show up and "create issues."

kate wells / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Critics and supporters of Planned Parenthood have squared off outside a Detroit clinic during a protest over federal funding for the group.

It was one of many rallies around Michigan on Saturday.

The Detroit event attracted more than 300 people. The crowds on both sides of Cass Avenue were dominated by Planned Parenthood supporters who chanted and held signs in favor of abortion rights and access to health care. President Donald Trump was also a target.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A former chairman of the Michigan Republican party is leading the GOP again.

Ron Weiser was unanimously elected Saturday as chairman. Ronna Romney McDaniel stepped down to become head of the national party.

Meanwhile, Brandon Dillon was given another term as chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party. Both parties are holding conventions this weekend.

Weiser told 3,000 party members in Lansing that "united we win; divided we lose." McDaniel gave a farewell speech, saying President Donald Trump's victory gives Michigan "the respect it deserves."

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Capitol's aging infrastructure is starting to wear down.

  Out of sight behind the walls and beneath the floors, significant repairs and upgrades are needed to much of the Capitol's plumbing, electrical, mechanical and fire suppression systems.

Michigan State University says the marching band director was suspended for a week last year for violating sexual misconduct policy.

Spokesman Jason Cody says he can't discuss specific allegations against John Madden. He says the suspension was in late May and early June. The campus newspaper, The State News, reported Thursday that a band member complained after getting text messages from Madden in 2015 and 2016.

MSU football players.
User: Michigan State Spartans / facebook

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Three Michigan State University football players are suspended from team activities and removed from on-campus housing as part of a sexual assault investigation.

The school says in a release Thursday that a staff member associated with the football program also has been suspended.

Police are expected to forward reports in the case to prosecutors for possible criminal charges.

arethafranklin.net

NEW YORK (AP) - At 74, the Queen of Soul has decided to take it a little easier.

Aretha Franklin is planning to retire this year, she told Detroit TV station WDIV Local 4, the city's NBC affiliate.  The singer says she has one more album planned, with several tracks produced by Stevie Wonder, and will otherwise limit herself to "some select things" as she devotes more time to her grandchildren. 

The Flint Water Treatment Plant.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. - A consultant says the cost of upgrading Flint's water treatment plant is estimated at $108 million, up slightly from an earlier estimate.

The Flint Journal says the recent report by engineering and construction company, CDM Smith, includes $37 million for the construction of two, 21-million gallon water storage tanks and more than $34 million for pump and transfer station upgrades.

A December draft report put the cost at $105 million.

On the campus of Mott Community College
user HarrisinMI / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Update 12:31 p.m.

Mott Community College announced they are now closing their campus for the entire day today. College officials originally said they would just close until 1 p.m.

The latest update came from the college's Facebook page:

Original post: 9:38 a.m.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - A judge has ordered no prison for a southeastern Michigan woman linked to nearly $224,000 in illegal disability benefits from the federal government.

Prosecutors recommended a year in custody for Phyllis Adkins, but federal Judge Stephen Murphy III put her on probation for three years Friday. Despite many six-figure frauds, people caught stealing from the Social Security system rarely get a prison sentence in eastern Michigan.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

A federal agency has approved construction of a $4.2 billion natural gas pipeline extending from West Virginia to Michigan, turning aside objections from some landowners and environmentalists.

Energy Transfer Partners LP's Rover Pipeline will carry up to 3.25 billion cubic feet of gas daily from the Marcellus and Utica shale production areas of West Virginia, western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.

The 713-mile-long line will reach across northern Ohio and veer into southeastern Michigan, where it will connect with the existing Vector Pipeline in Livingston County.

Microsoft is currently in the Town Center in Southfield. The company hopes that the move will benefit Detroit.
Google

Software maker Microsoft plans to move its Michigan Microsoft Technology Center to downtown Detroit in early 2018.

The Redmond, Washington-based company and Detroit-based real estate business Bedrock announced Friday that Microsoft will use more than 40,000 square feet in Bedrock's One Campus Martius building.

The technology center is one of more than 40 worldwide and is used to bring together resources for customers. Microsoft currently has office space in the Detroit suburb of Southfield.

Protesters and police inside Detroit Metro Airport.
Courtesy of Carey Swanson

A federal judge in Detroit has struck down a portion of President Trump’s temporary ban on some immigrants, but it only applies to some of those affected by the ban.

Judge Victoria Roberts’ permanent injunction only applies to “lawful permanent residents”—greencard holders—from the seven countries named in Mr. Trump’s executive order.

(Read the injunction here.)

DTE

Michigan regulators have authorized DTE Energy to increase electricity rates by 4%.

The Public Service Commission approved a $184 million annual rate hike Tuesday, effective Feb. 7. It's less than what the Detroit-based utility self-implemented in August, so customers will initially get a refund covering the last six months.

DTE had sought a $344 million annual rate increase and had self-implemented a $245 million increase.

The final rate is 4% above what was set in DTE's last electric case in December 2015.

City of Allen Park

The state of Michigan says the Detroit suburb of Allen Park has been released from receivership following improvements in its financial situation.

The state announced Tuesday that, effective immediately, city leadership will regain control and manage all internal operations and finances without state oversight. Treasurer Nick Khouri says in a statement the city has "an opportunity to succeed independently."

Allen Park Mayor William Matakas says he looks forward to working with state and local officials "to ensure we continue down a path of financial success."

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latina to serve the Supreme Court.
oyez.org

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Susanne Baer from Germany's highest court will speak at the University of Michigan on diversity, higher education and the role of history in their work.

Sotomayor is the first Latina to serve on the Supreme Court, and Baer is the first openly gay woman to serve on the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany.

Sotomayor and Baer will speak at morning and evening events as part of the university's commemoration of its bicentennial.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A federal appeals court has found nothing heavenly about a Michigan's man claim to have a religious right to grow pot.

The court on Thursday upheld an 18-month prison sentence for Brendan Barnes. In 2014, Lansing authorities responding to a gas leak found 321 plants at his house. Police found more marijuana at another house in Marshall.

Barnes claimed he was growing marijuana under a religious exemption from the Oklevueha Native American Church. He said he paid $25 for a membership card and $200 to possess sacraments.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A state official who's conducting a wide-ranging review of Michigan's embattled unemployment benefits office is apologizing for the fiasco that led at least 20,000 people to be falsely accused of fraud.

Talent Investment Agency Director Wanda Stokes adds that lawmakers should consider reducing the country's highest financial penalties for unemployment fraud.

She told The Associated Press that people affected are angry and she is, too. She says their plight "shouldn't have happened."

USGS

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Scientists say grass carp have invaded three of the Great Lakes and pose a significant environmental risk. But they say there's still time to prevent them from becoming established.

Grass carp are among four Asian carp species threatening to reach the lakes, where they could upend ecological systems and compete with native fish for food.

A U.S.-Canadian assessment released Friday says grass carp have been found in Lakes Erie, Michigan and Ontario. At least some are reproducing, although most are believed to be sterile.

Courtesy: 1michigan.org

A computer outage has left customers with no ability to conduct transactions online or in person at Michigan Secretary of State offices.

State spokesman Fred Woodhams said officials got word of the issue shortly before offices opened at 9 a.m. Friday. He apologized for the inconvenience and said the state currently does not have an estimate of when service will be restored.

People use the website and branch offices to renew their vehicle registration, driver's license and to conduct other business.

Fraser home falling into a sinkhole.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Macomb County officials say sediment has cut the flow of sewage through a collapsed sewer line that caused a massive sinkhole north of Detroit.

Approximately 500,000 Macomb County residents in 11 communities along the 15 Mile Road sewer line are being asked to reduce the amount of water going down their drains to help prevent the release of sewage into the Clinton River.

Michigan State University is using a roughly $2 million federal grant to help southwestern Haiti restore agricultural production after Hurricane Matthew's devastating blow last fall.

The East Lansing school announced Tuesday the U.S. Agency for International Development grant focuses on producing beans for household food and income. Beans are a staple in the Haitian diet, so researchers are working to get high-yielding bean varieties into the hands of at least 6,000 regional farmers.

The relief effort is called "Mwen Gen Pwa," which is Haitian Creole for "I have beans."

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

From Detroit to Kalamazoo, thousands of people have turned out at rallies for women's rights, social causes and peace.   The marches were in response to the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

An estimated 7,000 men, women, and children were at the State Capitol Saturday for the Women’s March on Lansing. It was a sister rally to the Women’s March in Washington D.C.

Farid Fata is serving 45 years in prison for giving patients unnecessary cancer treaments.
user Thomas Anderson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

More than 700 people have filed claims for payment in the case of a Detroit-area doctor who put patients through needless cancer treatments.

Federal Judge Paul Borman got an update Tuesday from the government and a contractor hired to handle claims. No money has been paid yet.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

One Democratic Michigan congressman says he’s willing to keep an “open-mind” about Republican plans to replace Obamacare.

Large crowds gathered across the nation on Sunday, including in Warren, to oppose the push to repeal the Affordable Care Act.   

Flint Congressman Dan Kildee is concerned a quick repeal of the Affordable Care Act will leave 20 million people, including hundreds of thousands in Michigan, without health insurance.

Kildee wants to see how Republicans will keep some popular provisions of the health care law in place.

U.S Army Corps of Engineers

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - A federal report lists upgrading the Soo Locks shipping complex among 40 proposed infrastructure projects nationwide that would give the economy a significant boost.

  The locks network at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, enables vessels to move between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - The state of Michigan says it has money to replace faucets in as many as 4,000 Flint homes.

  The state says brass faucets and other brass components can contribute to lead in drinking water. The state plans to target Flint homes that still are showing high lead levels, despite improvements in water quality elsewhere in the city.

  Homes that qualify will have one kitchen faucet and one bathroom faucet replaced. Some plumbing will also be replaced. Health department Director Nick Lyon says it's a "vital step" in helping residents.

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