The Associated Press

John Kivela's office website

ST. JOHNS, Mich. (AP) - A northern Michigan lawmaker has pleaded guilty to drunken driving stemming from an incident in which authorities say he was speeding, swerving and driving with an open bottle of whiskey.

Democratic Rep. John Kivela made the plea to a first-offense charge Friday in a Clinton County court. Prosecutors dropped a more serious charge of operating while intoxicated with a high-blood-alcohol content.

taliesin / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Body cameras for Grand Rapids police officers have started coming in.

WOOD-TV and The Grand Rapids Press report that 20 officers wore the cameras Thursday night after the city received its first shipment of the equipment.

The department has ordered 298 cameras. A pilot program was held earlier this year.

A number of other Michigan departments and police agencies across the country are considering adding the cameras as a level of transparency during potential clashes with crime suspects or other members of the public.

Side sonar scan of the sunken barge believed to be the "Argo."
Tom Kowalczk, CLUE

TOLEDO, Ohio - The U.S. Coast Guard says crews have completed an effort to eliminate environmental threats from a sunken barge that apparently sat undiscovered in Lake Erie for nearly 80 years.

Salvage crews recently pumped hazardous, oil-based substances from the barge, though six of the eight tanks onboard were empty. The Coast Guard said Thursday that the mixture of cargo and water removed from the site near the U.S.-Canadian border totaled over 33,000 gallons.

The Michigan Sugar Company shared this aerial photo of sugarbeet piles in Bay City in October of 2015.
Michigan Sugar Company / Facebook

BAY CITY, Mich. - Michigan's sugar beet growers say they have harvested a record crop this year.

The Michigan Sugar Co., a Bay City-based grower-owned cooperative, said Tuesday the total 2015 production was roughly 5 million tons, representing a record-setting yield of 31.6 tons an acre.

Michigan Sugar CEO Mark Flegenheimer credits production increases to technological advances. In a news release, he praised the farmers' ability to overcome severe weather that hit the rural Thumb and Saginaw Valley regions during the growing season.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

An environmental group says oil pipelines running beneath the Mackinac Straits could be shut down without disrupting oil and propane supplies in Michigan.

Environmentalists say there is enough capacity on other pipelines skirting the Great Lakes to reroute the crude oil currently flowing through Line 5. 

The report says at least 90% of Line 5's oil goes to Canadian refineries, so it's not essential for the Marathon refinery in Detroit.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

INDIANAPOLIS - L.J. Scott kept lunging forward, stretching the ball over the goal line for a touchdown with 27 seconds and No. 5 Michigan State all but locked up a spot in the College Football Playoff, edging No. 4 Iowa 16-13 Saturday in the Big Ten championship game.

Connor Cook led the Spartans (12-1) on a 22-play drive that set up Scott's 1-yard run. A half-dozen Iowa defenders tried to stop Scott, but he wouldn't be denied.

Iowa (12-1) lost for the first time this season - and just barely.

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

DETROIT - Ford workers have voted in favor of a new four-year contract.

The United Auto Workers union said late Friday that the contract passed with a 51.4% vote.  The agreement covers 53,000 U.S. hourly workers at 22 plants.

The contract raises wages for all workers and promises $9 billion in investments at Ford's U.S. plants over four years.

It also promises ratification bonuses of up to $10,250 per worker.

UAW
UAW

DEARBORN, Michigan - Leaders of the United Auto Workers are making a push for the union's proposed contract with Ford, which is heading for defeat in votes at Ford's plants.

The union's chief Ford negotiator, Jimmy Settles, said Wednesday that with 75 percent of workers voting, the contract is failing by a 52-48 percent margin. Voting ends Friday.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Automotive and technology firms including Ford, General Motors and Microsoft have pledged about $4.5 million to a Detroit organization's workforce development and educational programs.

  Focus: HOPE announced Sunday that Microsoft Corp. is offering $2 million in software and cash, Magna International is giving $1 million and robotics equipment, and Lear Corp. and GM Foundation both pledged $500,000. Ford Motor Co. donated $360,000.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is hoping for peace between the city's casinos and thousands of workers.

  Contract talks are expected to resume Monday. Taxes from casinos account for about 16 percent of Detroit's revenue or roughly $170 million a year. Duggan tells the Detroit Free Press that he hopes labor and management "find a middle ground and work it out."

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A jury says doctors at a northern Michigan clinic weren't negligent in using tainted steroids that were part of a national meningitis outbreak.

  More than 100 patients sued doctors and the clinic, Neuromuscular & Rehabilitation Associates in Traverse City. The Traverse City Record-Eagle says a jury ruled in favor of the doctors and the clinic Thursday after a civil trial.

Michigan Attorney General's office

NEW YORK (AP) - Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is embarking on a $10 million-plus ad campaign to take on opponents of President Barack Obama's plan to reduce power plant carbon emissions.

  Bloomberg's Independence USA political action committee announced plans Friday to run TV spots aimed at the attorneys general of Florida, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin.

DETROIT (AP) - Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers union have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract.

  The UAW said the agreement was reached Friday morning. The contract covers 53,000 workers at 22 U.S. plants.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The struggling Detroit Lions have shaken up the front office.

Lions president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew were fired on Thursday.

Team owner Martha Firestone Ford announced the moves and did not take questions from reporters.

USFWS

Ohio voters resoundingly rejected a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana on Tuesday.  But that’s not deterring a similar campaign in Michigan.

Failure of the proposed constitutional amendment follows an expensive campaign, a legal fight over its ballot wording, and an investigation into the proposal's petition signatures.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint voters have chosen a new mayor.

Karen Weaver was surrounded by jubilant supporters last night as she rolled to victory in Flint’s mayor’s race.

Weaver, a political newcomer, defeated six-year incumbent Dayne Walling by a convincing margin. 

“We voted for change so some things have to be different,” says Weaver, “but at this point I want to start with putting together a team so we can look and see what we need to do.”

During the campaign, Weaver repeatedly hammered Walling on his handling of the city’s drinking water crisis.

Poker chips and cards
dupo-x-y / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Union workers at Detroit's three casinos have voted to authorize a strike if contract negotiations break down.

United Auto Workers spokesman Brian Rothenberg tells the Detroit Free Press that several thousand union members at Greektown Casino, MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino voted on Monday to authorize a strike in advance of contract discussions.

A demolition in Flint.
Genesee County Land Bank

Genesee County has set aside $1 million to demolish blighted tax-foreclosed properties in the out-county area.

The city of Flint, which is the county seat, has seen much of the focus of the area's anti-blight efforts in recent years.

In 2013, Gov. Rick Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette, and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy held a news conference to announce $4 million to help reduce a backlog in processing thousands of rape kits. Schuette holds a rape kit box.
Rick Pluta / MPRN

Wayne County plans to use $1 million to help investigate rape kits found six years ago in a Detroit police property storage facility.

County Executive Warren Evans announced Tuesday that the money will be allocated to Prosecutor Kym Worthy's 2015-16 budget.

The move has to be approved by county commissioners. The money would come from a delinquent tax fund.

Evans also says space will be provided in the county's Guardian Building in downtown Detroit for investigators and members of the Sexual Assault Kit Task Force.

michigan.gov

EAST TAWAS, Mich. (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard is proposing to shut down a Lake Huron navigational aid in East Tawas.

  The light is mounted in the Tawas Point Lighthouse. The Coast Guard says it will replace the classical Fresnel lens with a modern optic light signal that will be placed on the Tawas Point tower, which also supports a fog signal.

  The lens will be removed.

EVIL SALTINE/CREATIVE COMMONS

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - It's time to fall back - and check or change some batteries.

  Residents of Michigan and most people in the United States get an extra hour of sleep this weekend, thanks to the annual shift back to standard time.

Tom Kowalczk

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - A dive team is searching for the source of what appears to be an oil-based substance leaking from a barge that sank in Lake Erie during the 1930s.

  The recently discovered barge is one of nearly 90 shipwrecks on a federal registry created two years ago to identify the most serious pollution threats to U.S. waters.

  Most of those wrecks are along the Atlantic seaboard and were sunk by German submarines during World War II.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Union local presidents will learn more about a tentative deal between General Motors and the United Auto Workers Wednesday.

But not much is public about the deal yet. 

Just hours after the tentative deal was announced, the first next generation Camaro rolled off the assembly line in Lansing.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Contract talks are continuing between General Motors and the United Auto Workers union as a midnight deadline approaches.

  GM spokeswoman Katie McBride said Sunday afternoon that talks were on a fast pace and the company still hoped to get an agreement by midnight.

More than 2,000 "Rosie the Riveters" helped recapture the Guinness World Record at the Willow Run Bomber Plant Saturday.
Photo courtesy of Renee Tellez.

YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP – A group that's preserving a portion of a Detroit-area assembly plant where Rosie the Riveter once worked as a museum may have regained its "largest gathering of people dressed as Rosie the Riveter" record.

WDIV-TV reports that 2,097 "Rosies" were captured Saturday in an official photo at the Willow Run plant in Ypsilanti Township.

They dressed like the image used to recruit female industrial workers during World War II with blue coveralls as well as red bandannas with white polka dots.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - The United Auto Workers union says its workers at General Motors will strike if it can't agree on a new contract with the company by 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

  Both sides are still negotiating. The union made a similar threat in recent discussions with Fiat Chrysler before agreeing to a new four-year contract.

CHUCK SZMURLO / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Opponents of a proposed nuclear waste dump along Lake Huron are optimistic a new Canadian government will reject the plan.

The stunning victory of Justin Trudeau will have reverberations beyond Canada's borders after the Liberal Party leader emphatically put an end to a decade of rule by the most conservative leadership in the country's history.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Jalen Watts-Jackson grabbed a flubbed punt and lumbered 38 yards into the end zone for a touchdown on the final play of the game, giving No. 7 Michigan State a shocking 27-23 win over No. 12 Michigan in one of college football's most unlikely endings.

  With the Wolverines ahead 23-21 and 10 seconds left, Michigan punter Blake O'Neill bobbled a low snap, and spun around to try and make the kick. But he was hit, the ball popped free and Watts-Jackson caught it, broke a few tackles in the final yards and made it into the end zone.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile workers on an assembly line.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

DETROIT - Local United Auto Workers leaders have approved a new proposed contract with Fiat Chrysler.

Friday's vote came just over a week after UAW members voted down a previous agreement. The UAW and FCA hammered out a new contract, averting a threatened strike.

The new agreement promises to gradually eliminate a tiered pay system and bring all U.S. factory workers to the same pay level over eight years. The previous agreement promised to raise the wages of newer, lower-tiered employees to $25 per hour, which was still lower than the pay for longtime workers.

Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
flickr user fiatontheweb / creative commons

The United Auto Workers union is threatening to go on strike against Fiat Chrysler.

The company says in a statement Tuesday that it received a strike notice from the union and it continues to work toward reaching an agreement.

A letter to Fiat Chrysler that was posted on the UAW website says the union is terminating its contract with FCA at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

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