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The Associated Press

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 the 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.

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.

Asian carp at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.
Kate Gardiner / Creative Commons

Federal officials say they'll continue efforts to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, despite uncertainty about what Donald Trump might propose.

The Obama administration has spent over $388 million since 2010 to shield the lakes from the invasive fish, which could disrupt food chains and compete with valuable native species.

Officials say they've budgeted $42 million this year for Asian carp projects. They include further study of ways to fortify defenses at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam complex on a carp-infested Illinois waterway leading to Lake Michigan.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

A large fire has damaged a bus terminal on Detroit's east side and could cause service disruptions in the city.

The fire at the Detroit Department of Transportation facility, which includes bus storage, was reported early Friday and burned for several hours. No injuries are reported.

There were reports of explosions during the fire and some bus bays collapsed. WWJ-AM reports about 10 buses were damaged.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Judge's gavel
Joe Gratz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Justice Department is suing a Detroit suburb, alleging it violates the Voting Rights Act by denying black residents an equal opportunity to elect city council representatives of their choice.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Detroit says no black candidate has ever served on the Eastpointe city council and that white voters have consistently opposed and defeated preferred candidates of black voters.

The legal action, which follows a federal review, seeks a court order forcing Eastpointe to change how the city council is elected.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich.  - A key senator is proposing to repeal Michigan's school-turnaround law and to overhaul a system that potentially could lead to the closure of academically failing schools.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Phil Pavlov said Tuesday he will introduce repeal legislation Wednesday, the first day of the two-year legislative term. His bill comes as Michigan prepares to soon release its latest school rankings list.

Michigan Hall of Justice
Phillip Hofmeister / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Supreme Court has named a new chief justice.

Justices unanimously chose Stephen Markman Friday as the new chief. He'll succeed Chief Justice Robert Young, who's held the job since 2011.

Markman was first appointed to the court in 1999 and re-elected in later years.

In a statement issued by the court, Markman says his primary responsibility is to make sure the system of justice is "made readily and fairly available to all."

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Macomb County has declared a state of emergency following a sewer line collapse that caused a football field-sized sinkhole.

County Executive Mark Hackel made the declaration Thursday to Gov. Rick Snyder. The action was needed before the county can seek state and federal funding to cover some costs associated with the sinkhole. 

The sinkhole was discovered Dec. 24 north of Detroit in Fraser after a family awoke to find their home sinking. Their house and two others have been condemned. Officials also evacuated 19 other homes.

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