The Associated Press

.a123systems.com/media-room-photos.htm

DETROIT (AP) - The U.S. operations of electric car battery maker A123 Systems filed for bankruptcy protection and its automotive assets are being acquired by Johnson Controls for $125 million.

The announcement Tuesday comes one day after A123 warned in a regulatory filing that it likely would miss some debt payments and could be headed for bankruptcy court.

A123, based in Waltham, Mass., got a $249 million U.S. government grant to help it build a battery factory in Michigan.

media.ford.com

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling more than 154,000 Fiesta subcompacts to fix a problem with the side air bags.
 
The company says that if the front passenger seat is empty, the side air bag won't inflate to protect rear-seat passengers in some crashes.
 
Ford says it doesn't know of any crashes or injuries linked to the problem.
 
The recall affects Fiestas from the 2011 through 2013 model years. They were built in Mexico from Nov. 3, 2009 to Sept. 21, 2012.

Dealers will reprogram the computer that controls the side air bag so it inflates even if no one is in the front passenger seat. The repair will be done for free

WASHINGTON (AP) — A New Mexico food company that produced the peanut butter linked to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning has expanded an ongoing recall of its products to include raw and roasted peanuts.

The federal Food and Drug Administration said Saturday that Sunland Inc. added raw and roasted shelled and in-shell peanuts sold in quantities from two ounces to 50 pounds to its recall. FDA inspectors have found salmonella in raw peanuts from the Sunland processing plant.

ROSEVILLE, Mich. (AP) - Authorities say someone's trying to scam residents of a Detroit suburb into believing that missing Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa could be buried on their property.

Roseville police are warning city residents about a letter that purports to be from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The letter says a recent dig at a Roseville home for Hoffa was a ruse to keep the media away from the real site.

The letter's author implies the true Hoffa dig site is at the recipient's home.

Several residents received a copy of the fake letter as a lure to get them outside while thieves go inside their homes.

Roseville police investigated a claim last month that Hoffa was buried in a backyard, but testing on soil samples showed no traces of human decomposition.

Former Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter jammed with his blues band after announcing his run for the presidency over the July 4th weekend in 2011.
Vincent Duffy / Michigan Radio

LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) - A former Detroit-area congressman says it was "shocking" to learn that he didn't have enough petition signatures to qualify for the 2012 election.

Thaddeus McCotter, a Republican from Livonia, is speaking publicly for the first time. He testified Thursday for the defense in the case against two high-ranking staffers who are charged with conspiracy and other crimes in submitting phony petitions to qualify McCotter for the August Republican primary.

A Livonia judge must determine if Paul Seewald and Don Yowchuang go to trial. McCotter has not been charged, although Judge Sean Kavanagh told him he had the right to remain silent.

McCotter quit Congress in July, weeks after being barred from the ballot.

He testified that he was repeatedly told by aides that he had enough signatures to run again.

media.gm.com

WASHINGTON (AP) - Auto industry officials say the government is preparing to warn car owners whose airbags have been replaced in the past three years that dangerous counterfeit bags may have been installed.

Industry officials said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has alerted them that thousands of car owners may be driving vehicles with counterfeit airbags. Some of the counterfeit bags fail to inflate properly. The officials requested that their names not be used because NHTSA had asked them not to speak publicly about the problem until after an announcement scheduled for Wednesday.

DETROIT (AP) - Three dozen Detroit Water and Sewerage workers will be suspended without pay for walking off the job in protest of the city's plans to downsize the department and eliminate most of the jobs over several years.

Water department director Sue F. McCormick says Monday in a release that 33 workers will get 5-day suspensions, while three union leaders each will be suspended for 10 days.

The suspensions follow 10 hours of disciplinary hearings Friday. They come with agreements that the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 207 workers may be fired for any future action that can be punished by suspension. The 36 workers walked off the job Sept. 31 at a wastewater treatment plant in southwest Detroit. Their union local announced the strike over on Thursday.

Persons with meningitis linked to epidural steroid injections, as of October 7, 2012.
CDC

Update Monday, October 8, 5:04 p.m.

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) now reports 22 confirmed cases of fungal meningitis in Michigan.

From the MDCH:

Mayor: Detroit police chief retires amid allegations of sex scandal involving subordinate.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing suspended Ralph Godbee following claims the city's police chief was involved in a sexual relationship with a subordinate.

Godbee was suspended last week after a lawyer for internal affairs officer Angelica Robinson revealed the two had been involved in a sexual relationship.

Godbee has not publicly commented on the claims.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering grants to help maintain or remove aging dams.

The $2.3 million program will provide funding and technical assistance to state agencies, local governments, nonprofits and other applicants.

DNR Director Keith Creagh says more than 90 percent of Michigan's dams will reach or exceed the lifespan for which they were designed by 2020. Most were built decades ago for power generation, transporting logs, recreation or other purposes.

Officials say there are at least eight confirmed cases of meningitis in Michigan, including two deaths.

The Michigan Department of Community Health said Saturday it won't be able to release any details about the deaths until after the weekend.

The meningitis outbreak has been linked to a steroid produced by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts. The steroid has been recalled, and officials have been scrambling to notify anyone who may have been injected with it.

Ruth Johnson has faced criticism over the citizenship question on Michigan ballots this year.
user jdurham / MorgueFile.com

DETROIT (AP) - A judge has told Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to remove citizenship check-off boxes from November ballot applications.

U.S. District Judge Paul Borman made the ruling Friday during a hearing in Detroit. A written decision is expected Tuesday.

Borman told Johnson the boxes that ask Michigan voters to confirm their U.S. citizenship slows the voting process, is confusing and is a burden on the right to vote.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan health officials are reporting six cases of fungal meningitis linked to injections of a recalled back-pain medication.

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor spokesman Kevin DiCola says six cases are being treated at that hospital.

In all, there are 47 cases in seven states with five deaths.

Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and Indiana had previously reported cases.

The Michigan Department of Community Health expects the number of cases to rise.

GM Renaissance Center in Detroit.
John F. Martin / Creative Commons

General Motors says it will close its hydrogen fuel-cell research operation near Rochester, N.Y., and move it to Michigan, along with most of the 220 salaried jobs currently in New York.

The company says most of the 220 salaried workers in Honeoye Falls, N.Y., will be offered the chance to move to GM's engine and transmission research unit in Pontiac.

Spokeswoman Kimberly Carpenter says the move will pull together all of its experts on ways to move vehicles. The company will save some money by not renewing a building lease in New York.

She says GM will continue to focus on electric vehicles and fuel cell development. GM has been testing fuel-cell vehicles that run on hydrogen with no harmful emissions.

Booking photo of stabbing suspect Elias Abuelazam
Arlington, Virginia Police Department

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - A man charged in a series of stabbings in a Michigan city in 2010 will face no additional trials unless his first murder conviction is overturned on appeal.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton says two murder cases and six attempted murder cases will be suspended against Elias Abuelazam. The action was disclosed Friday at a court in Flint.

Leyton says additional trials would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Abuelazam, a native of Israel, has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after a first murder trial last spring.

People convicted of first-degree murder in Michigan are automatically entitled to an appeal. Abuelazam's is in the early stages.

Abuelazam defense attorney Ed Zeineh called the prosecutor's decision appropriate.

An attempted murder case is pending in Ohio.

DETROIT (AP) — The new Detroit Crime Commission is getting a $1 million federal grant to help fight crime on the city's east side.

The money will be used to develop a "data-driven approach" to identify issues fueling crime. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says she's putting an assistant prosecutor in place to concentrate on Detroit's east side.

U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke, D-Mich., will present a symbolic check to the Detroit Crime Commission on Tuesday. The commission is a nonprofit group formed last year to act as a liaison between the public and law enforcement agencies.

It is staffed by retired law enforcers and led by Andrew Arena, the former head of the Detroit FBI.

DETROIT (AP) - Workers are back on the picket line a day after a judge ordered them to end a strike protesting job cuts at the Detroit regional water department.

WWJ-AM reports workers drew honks from passing motorists Tuesday morning outside a Detroit Water and Sewerage Department facility.

Union attorney George Washington on Monday called federal Judge Sean Cox's injunction "outrageous" and filed a motion to dissolve it.

The 950-member union went on strike Sunday to protest plans to lay off many of them and privatize some of the work. The workers belong to Local 207 of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees.

The proposed job cuts followed an April agreement between Mayor Dave Bing and Gov. Rick Snyder to head off a state takeover of the city's finances.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - More and more Michigan ex-cons are killing people after they leave prison, a problem that the state Department of Corrections and its employees union blame on each other.

The Detroit Free Press says 88 probationers or parolees committed 95 homicides in 2010 through Aug. 31, 2012. Ex-cons under state supervision killed 21 people in 2010, 38 in 2012 and 36 in the first eight months of 2012.

DETROIT (AP) - Employees of the Detroit-area water system that serves four in 10 Michigan residents have gone on strike to protest plans to eliminate most of their jobs through privatization or other measures.

The union for 950 employees of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department says its members went on strike about 10 a.m. Sunday, setting up a picket line at a wastewater treatment plant in southwest Detroit's Delray neighborhood.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has been ordered to court as critics try to stop the use of a citizen check-off box on the November 6th ballot.

Detroit federal Judge Paul Borman has set a hearing for Friday. A coalition of civil rights groups and labor unions is asking Borman to issue an injunction.

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