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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Jan 15, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Services to be restored at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

EMPIRE (AP) — Officials say basic public services will be restored at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in the coming days, even as the partial government shutdown continues.

Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan's northwestern Lower Peninsula is among many national parks where volunteers have stepped forward to clean restrooms and remove trash since the shutdown began last month.

The National Park Service says it will use recreation fee revenue to resume handling those tasks, along with plowing trailhead parking lots. Outdoor areas of the lakeshore will remain accessible, although the visitor center in Empire and all other facilities will remain closed, the service says.

Michigan to issue February food aid benefits early

LANSING (AP) — Michigan will issue Food Assistance Program benefits for February early as directed by the federal Food and Nutrition Service.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Monday it plans to begin issuing February benefits on Saturday. Clients who don't receive their benefits then should receive the funds the following week. That means the 1.2 million Michigan residents who receive food assistance will have benefits to feed their families in February even if the partial federal government shutdown continues.

The state agency cautions that the early food assistance benefits are not additional benefits and there will be no food assistance payments in February. It strongly encourages families to budget the funds they receive in January so they can meet their food needs through the entire month of February.

Wife charged with murder in death of Army soldier-husband

ST. JOSEPH AP) — A soldier at home in Michigan during the holidays was ambushed and killed by another soldier on New Year's Eve in a plot that involved the victim's wife, authorities said Monday.

Kemia Hassel, 22, and Jeremy Cuellar, 24, are charged with murder in Berrien County in southwestern Michigan. They're active-duty soldiers at Fort Stewart in Georgia and were having an extramarital affair, prosecutor Mike Sepic said.

Sgt. Tyrone Hassel III, who was also stationed at Fort Stewart, was killed in St. Joseph Township after bringing food to his wife from a family gathering. The 23-year-old was a native of the Benton Harbor area and had a 1-year-old son with Kemia.

Cuellar is accused of ambushing and shooting Hassel. He's in custody in Liberty County, Georgia, and will be extradited to Michigan.

Hassel's father said he's stunned by the allegations and was deceived by his daughter-in-law.

A funeral for Hassel took place Saturday.

Enrollment at Michigan public universities declines, according to report

LANSING (AP) — Figures show enrollment at Michigan's public universities has declined for the seventh consecutive year.

The collective headcount at the 15 institutions totaled 286,854 in the fall of 2018, down 3,884 or nearly 1.4 percent from the fall of 2017, MLive.com reported. Enrollment peaked in the fall of 2011 at 301,919.

It's declined largely because of a shrinking number of college-age students in Michigan and nationwide.

The Michigan Association of State Universities’ 2018 enrollment report notes that freshman enrollment was a bright spot, with the schools having 41,452 first-time freshmen in last fall, which is up 1.5 percent from the fall of 2017.

Currently, about 60 percent of Michigan students enroll in college the fall after they graduate high school. About 34 percent of Michigan adults ages 25-34 have at least a bachelor's degree.

Man dies after stray bullet enters Inkster house

INKSTER (AP) — A 28-year-old Detroit-area man who was struck by a stray bullet while inside his home has died.

Anthony Alexander's parents said he was taken off life support Sunday night, a day after the shooting in Inkster.

Lt. Mike Shaw of the state police said there might have been a "rolling shootout" in the neighborhood Saturday. Shaw said Alexander was "just watching TV, minding his own business."

Shaw said investigators have received tips about the shooting.

Students getting clear bags after boy brings gun to school

FLINT (AP) — Students at a Michigan charter school are getting clear book bags after a 10-year-old boy allegedly took a loaded handgun to school.

Eagle's Nest Academy in Flint planned to distribute the bags Monday. Parents are encouraged to check their children's belongings.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton has said the boy is charged with two felonies, carrying a concealed weapon and felonious assault, and a misdemeanor charge of having a weapon in a weapons-free zone. Leyton said the gun was stolen, but it's unclear where he got it.

Police said the boy made fellow students at the school aware that he had the gun last Thursday morning, and one of them took it to administrators in the school's office. No one was injured.

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