State Briefs

Associated Press • Jan 14, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Here’s what’s making news across Michigan today:

Shutdown scuttles meeting on groundwater contamination

LANSING (AP) — A public meeting on groundwater contamination in West Michigan has been postponed because of the partial federal government shutdown.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality had scheduled the gathering for Jan. 23 at Rockford High School.

The agencies are investigating toxic chemical pollution in Kent County from the former Wolverine Worldwide tannery and a waste dump.

Among the contaminants are heavy metals and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS. People living in the affected area have been offered bottled drinking water while a long-term solution is developed.

Officials say the public meeting will be rescheduled after EPA staffers return to work when the shutdown ends.

DEQ spokesman Scott Dean says the shutdown isn't affecting day-to-day work at the tannery site.

Vigil held for Michigan family of 5 killed in Kentucky crash

NORTHVILLE (AP) — Relatives of a Michigan family of five killed in a highway crash in Kentucky remembered their lives during an emotional candlelight vigil.

Friday's memorial was held at Ford Field Park in Northville, Michigan, and ended with an Islamic prayer with text from the Quran.

The Abbas family was returning home from Florida last Sunday when a suspected drunken driver traveling the wrong way struck their vehicle head-on on Interstate 75 in Lexington, Kentucky.

The crash killed 42-year-old Issam Abbas, 38-year-old Rima Abbas, 14-year-old Ali Abbas, 13-year-old Isabella Abbas, and 7-year-old Giselle Abbas.

The other driver also died.

Rimi Abbas' sister, Rana Abbas Taylor, told mourners through tears that, "I can't even begin to share with you how painful this has been on our entire family."

Man critically injured after stray bullet enters house

INKSTER (AP) — State police say a Detroit-area man is in critical condition after being hit in the head by a stray bullet fired from more than a half-block away.

The 28-year-old man was in an upstairs bedroom in Inkster when he was hit Saturday night. He was at home with his mother and sister.

Family members and neighbors say they heard at least four shots before two vehicles drove away. Anyone with information is urged to call police at 734-287-5000.

Water line breaks as Detroit auto show gets ready to open

DETROIT (AP) — A boil-water advisory has been issued for downtown Detroit after a water main break.

The area includes hotels and Cobo Center, where the annual auto show is opening this week for news media from around the world. Drinking fountains at the convention hall were turned off Sunday.

Ford Motor spokesman Mark Truby says, "The show goes on."

No one should lose water service, but pressure could be low. In addition, people should boil water before drinking it or use bottled water. Gary Brown of the Detroit water department says the repair won't take long, but the boil-water advisory could last until Thursday.

Brown says the water line belongs to the Great Lakes Water Authority, a regional water agency. The break occurred in a parking lot near King High School.

Michigan police arrest 2 in soldier's New Year's Eve slaying

ST. JOSEPH TOWNSHIP (AP) — Police in southern Michigan have arrested two suspects in the New Year's Eve slaying of a soldier who was fatally shot while on leave.

The St. Joseph Township Police Department said Saturday that the suspects were arrested in 23-year-old Army Sgt. Tyrone Hassel III's killing after authorities received a tip.

Police said no additional information, including the suspects' names, will be released until they are arraigned.

Berrien County Prosecutor Mike Sepic will release more information Monday.

Hassel was shot Dec. 31 while visiting his family for the holidays. He died at a hospital from multiple gunshot wounds.

Hassel's obituary says he enlisted in the Army in 2015 and was recently promoted to sergeant. He and his wife, Spc. Kemia Martin, have one son.

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