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FLINT - The Michigan Supreme Court has declined to review a judge's decision to reinstate sexual assault charges against former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves.

The state's high court on Wednesday joined three Michigan Court of Appeals judges, who in August denied Cleaves' request. Earlier, Genesee County Judge Archie Hayman reinstated the case against Cleaves, who faces charges including unlawful imprisonment and second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

DETROIT - Hundreds of Iraqi nationals held for months under U.S. deportation orders will get a shot at freedom while they fight their removal.

Detroit federal Judge Mark Goldsmith on Tuesday ordered immigration judges to release the detainees unless they're a public safety risk. The order applies to people who have been held for at least six months.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint's mayor says city employees are focused first and foremost on replacing lead water pipes but are also working to provide status reports required under a legal settlement.

Karen Weaver issued a statement Thursday in response to plaintiffs asking a federal judge to intervene because they say Flint hasn't been sharing information, as it agreed to do.

Weaver says no one wants to get the lead out of Flint more than her.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan store owners are optimistic their after-Christmas sales will be as strong as pre-holiday sales have been this year. 

Meegan Holland, with the Michigan Retailers Association, says the growth of gift cards as presents has boosted post-holiday sales. 

"They often don't spend just what the gift card is worth," says Holland. "They are buying more than that."

Anecdotally, retailers say this has been a very good holiday shopping season. But we won't know how good until major retailers report their fourth quarter numbers next year. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A new Michigan law is aimed at encouraging the development of grocery stores in underserved urban areas.

  Legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Rick Snyder expands the definition of property eligible for certain state economic development incentives to include supermarkets, grocery stores, produce markets or delis in downtowns or commercial areas. At least 5 percent of the community revitalization incentives will have to go toward such businesses unless there are insufficient applications.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan store owners expect to be very busy this weekend.

Meegan Holland, with the Michigan Retailers Association, says with Christmas falling on Monday many holiday buyers will be shopping in stores and online.

“Going into this Super Saturday weekend, 45% of people still have some Christmas shopping to do,” says Holland, “It could be an epic weekend.”

A payment technology firm says that holiday spending is surging in the days before Christmas.

Judge's gavel
Pixabay.com

The Michigan Supreme Court says the state must return more than $550 million to school employees who had money deducted for retiree health care.

Michigan State Police

DETROIT (AP) - A former Michigan State Police trooper has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of a Detroit teenager who crashed an all-terrain vehicle after being shot with the officer's stun gun.

The Wayne County prosecutor planned to hold a news conference Wednesday. Court records show that besides second-degree murder, Mark Bessner is charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Toy car with Christmas tree tied to roof
Nancy Hoang / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

AAA projects that nearly 3.5 million people from Michigan are expected to travel over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

The auto club released its annual forecast this week, saying Michigan will see a 3.4 percent increase from last year's holiday period.

Authorities say it could take months before DNA from the remains of three children found in Montana can be compared to DNA in the 2010 disappearance of three Michigan brothers.

Michigan state police Detective Lt. Jeremy Brewer says a backlog of cases is awaiting DNA testing. Brewer says once available, the results will be compared to DNA collected in the case of Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The former superintendent of the Benton Harbor Area Schools has been convicted of embezzlement charges stemming from payouts he received for unused vacation days.

A Berrien County jury convicted Leonard Seawood on Friday on all five counts of embezzlement and obtaining money under false pretenses.

He was accused of embezzling more than $40,000 from the district by taking payouts for unused vacation days.

Shayan Sanyal / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A Detroit man who spent decades in prison for murder because of a single hair is seeking millions of dollars now that his conviction has been thrown out.

 

Ledura Watkins was released in June after prosecutors said hair evidence in the 1970s was flawed based on current FBI standards. He filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking $168 million, including $84 million for each of his nearly 42 years behind bars.

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) testifies at a hearing in 2009.
Rep. John Conyers office / Flickr

Representative John Conyers is leaving Congress.

Conyers, who has been battling sexual harassment allegations by former female staffers, said he is retiring. However, NPR’s Don Gonyea has confirmed with Conyers' attorney that he is leaving office effective today, making it a resignation.

Office of the Washtenaw County Prosecutor

Authorities say a special prosecutor will review cases linked to 110 previously untested rape-evidence kits in one Michigan county.

A woman texting on a cell phone.
Public Domain

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear the appeal of Timothy Carpenter, a man convicted of several armed robberies in Detroit and Northwest Ohio. The case started with the 2010 armed robbery of a RadioShack on Jefferson Avenue in Detroit, and a string of subsequent armed robberies. Because of how police used cell phone data to track suspects, Carpenter's appeal could have major implications for how courts interpret privacy rights in the online era.

Congressman John Conyers
www.conyers.house.gov

Michigan Rep. John Conyers says he is stepping aside as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee amid a congressional investigation into allegations he sexually harassed female staff members.

In a statement Sunday, the 88-year-old Conyers says he denies the allegations and would like to keep his leadership role on the panel. But he says he "cannot in good conscience" allow the charges to be an undue distraction to his House colleagues while the investigation is continuing.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Ohio has come out with an updated plan to sharply reduce what's making algae flourish in Lake Erie, but some environmental groups say the strategy lacks direction about what to do next.

  The plan is designed to lay out how Ohio intends to reach its goal of making a 40 percent reduction of phosphorus within the next eight years.

  Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario along with Ohio signed a deal two years ago agreeing to make steep cuts of the phosphorus that sparked large algae outbreaks in recent years.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Dwayne Haskins replaced injured star J.T. Barrett in the third quarter and led No. 8 Ohio State from behind to beat Michigan 31-20 Saturday for the Buckeyes' sixth straight win in the storied rivalry.

  The Buckeyes (10-2, 8-1 Big Ten) head to the Big Ten championship game next week to face No. 5 Wisconsin, with hopes of making the College Football Playoff.

  The Wolverines (8-4, 5-4) have lost 13 of 14 to Ohio State, including the last three with coach Jim Harbaugh.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Vaccine waiver rates for school-age children have increased slightly in Michigan.

The Detroit News reports that Department of Health and Human Services data shows 3.2% of kindergartners and seventh-graders received immunization waivers in 2016 compared to 3.1% the year before.

A Michigan State Police file photo.
Michigan State Police

If you're planning to hit the road this Thanksgiving, be ready for some extra traffic.

According to AAA Michigan, more than 1.6 million of the state's residents will travel 50 miles or more for a turkey dinner.

AAA says that's a 3.5% increase from last year. It's also the most travelers since 2007.

Along with more traffic, drivers can also expect to see a bigger police presence throughout the state.

Some victims look on during the plea hearing in which Dr. Larry Nassar pled guilty to 1st degree criminal sexual conduct.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, accused of molesting seven girls, has pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He faces at least 25 years in prison.

Congressman John Conyers
www.conyers.house.gov

Update 5:12 p.m.: The leaders of the House Ethics Committee say the panel has begun an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Michigan Rep. John Conyers. A statement from Reps. Susan Brooks and Ted Deutch says the committee is aware of public allegations that Conyers may have engaged in sexual harassment of members of his staff and used official resources for impermissible personal purposes.

Original post: 

Another United States legislator has been accused of sexual harassment.

Congressman Fred Upton
Republican Conference / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan has ruled out running for U.S. Senate next year.

Upton, of St. Joseph, has held southwestern Michigan's congressional seat for 30 years. He said Friday there was "a path" to running, but he has chosen "not to follow it."

He instead will seek re-election to the House, saying, "We need focus and fortitude in Washington now more than ever."

Third-term Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow is up for re-election in 2018.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley
Michigan House Republicans

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley handed over the leadership of his part-time Legislature ballot drive to conservative grassroots activists Friday, as he prepared for an expected 2018 campaign for governor.

Courtesy of the Siddiqui family

A Marine Corps drill instructor has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for abusing recruits, including Michigan native Raheel Siddiqui. Siddiqui fell to his death at book camp on Parris Island, South Carolina last year.

 The eight-man jury at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, determined Thursday that Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix was guilty of hazing and maltreatment of recruits at the Marine Corps' Parris Island, South Carolina, boot camp. The jury of five sergeants and three officers decided Felix punched, kicked and choked military hopefuls.

Anna Diggs Taylor
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki

DETROIT (AP) - Michigan's first black female federal judge, Anna Diggs Taylor, has died at age 84.

Taylor's death was announced Monday to staff at the Detroit federal courthouse. Court administrator David Weaver says she died over the weekend. No cause was disclosed.

Taylor was appointed to the federal bench in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter. She was chief judge in Michigan's Eastern District in 1997 and 1998. She retired in 2011.

General Motors

The Trump administration has quietly set aside plans to require new cars to be able to wirelessly talk to each other, auto industry officials said, jeopardizing one of the most promising technologies for preventing traffic deaths.

Medical Marijuana
Dank Depot / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Certain medical marijuana businesses will be able to remain open in Michigan while seeking a state license required under a new regulatory system.

The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory reversed course Wednesday after previously giving dispensaries until Dec. 15 to close to avoid potentially not receiving a license. The department and its Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation intend to issue emergency rules this month.

To avoid facing an impediment to licensure, an applicant must be operating in a municipality that has adopted an authorizing ordinance before Dec. 15.

Grand River Ave. street sign in Lansing, Michigan.
user Lovelac7 / wikimedia commons

A section of roadway in Lansing has been renamed after civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.

The Lansing State Journal reports that the city council approved the renaming Monday night of East Grand River beginning at Oakland to Washington and West Grand River beginning at Washington to Pine.

More from the Journal's Julie Garcia:
 

Actor Rose McGowan in 2008.
wikimedia commons

DETROIT - Rose McGowan is scheduled to make her first public remarks since accusing film producer Harvey Weinstein of rape.

McGowan is slated to deliver the opening remarks at The Women's Convention in Detroit on Friday, and will participate in another panel on sexual abuse in schools.

You can watch a live feed of the convention below:

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