no avatar

State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Oct 11, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Congress OKs construction of new Great Lakes shipping lock

SAULT STE. MARIE (AP) — Congress has taken a key step toward building a long-sought shipping lock on the waterway linking Lakes Huron and Superior.

Funding authorization for the Soo Locks project was included in a water resources bill that cleared the Senate on Wednesday. It now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.

The complex at Sault Ste. Marie has just one lock suitable for 1,000-foot freighters that haul iron ore and other cargo from Lake Superior along the St. Marys River to the other Great Lakes.

The bill allows construction of a second large lock, which the shipping industry and elected officials say is needed in case the older lock is disabled.

Congress still needs to appropriate funds in separate legislation over numerous years to pay for the $1 billion project.

No charges in attack at nursing home; suspect has dementia

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — No charges will be filed in the death of a man who was attacked at a Grand Rapids nursing home by his roommate.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said a man who threw the punch in January has dementia and can't be held responsible for the death of 81-year-old Dan McBrian.

McBrian died in July from complications of a broken jaw. The medical examiner called it a homicide.

Becker said the 61-year-old man who punched McBrian also shows early stages of Alzheimer's disease. He said it "would not serve any purpose" to file charges.

McBrian's daughter, Brenda Hayes, said her father was in a wheelchair when he was attacked. She said the punch knocked false teeth out of his mouth.

CMU drops fraternity after death, misconduct allegations

MOUNT PLEASANT (AP) — Central Michigan University says it has kicked a fraternity out of school after many allegations of sexual misconduct and hazing and the death of a member.

Vice President Steven Johnson said the allegations against Phi Sigma Phi show a "significant threat to the safety" of students. He said the university has been frustrated by witnesses who have been uncooperative or unwilling to discuss certain matters.

In a statement Tuesday, Johnson said Phi Sigma Phi is "officially removed from CMU forever."

The fraternity's national president said CMU is turning its back on students and alumni. Travis Steinke said the university wouldn't participate in a fair investigation.

A 21-year-old student from suburban Detroit was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in April. Johnson said the house was being used by Phi Sigma Phi for a party.

University of Michigan says faculty views can't affect students

ANN ARBOR (AP) — University of Michigan officials say they are working to ensure that faculty members' political views won't affect their responsibilities to students after two instructors decided not to recommend students for a study program in Israel.

The Ann Arbor school announced Tuesday that it has created a faculty panel to examine issues stemming from the incidents. A letter obtained by news outlets says the university also disciplined one instructor, professor John Cheney-Lippold, by denying him a raise this year and freezing his sabbatical eligibility for two years.

The school says it opposes academic boycotts of Israeli academic institutions. Some individuals and organizations have called for such boycotts over Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

It's not clear whether the other instructor, a teaching assistant, will be disciplined.

A senior Israeli cabinet minister admonished university President Mark Schlissel in a letter this week over incidents the politician described as "vitriolic hatred against" Israel.

Officials seek cause of rash at Michigan women's prison

YPSILANTI (AP) — Officials say they're not sure what's causing an itchy rash affecting more than 100 inmates at Michigan's only prison for women.

The Ann Arbor News reported an estimated 115 inmates at the Huron Valley prison near Ypsilanti are believed to have the rash. The prison has about 2,100 inmates and the number affected is up from about 50 when the Detroit Free Press initially reported about the rash in March.

Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Gautz said the rash isn't believed to be contagious and the department is taking steps to try to stop it.

The rash has been described by inmates as bright-red pimple-like bumps with occasional pockets of pus.

The prison has been subject to complaints and lawsuits by prisoners and guards about conditions at the facility.

Recommended for You

    Grand Haven Tribune Videos