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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Jan 26, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Judge: Man accused of killing parents at college wasn't sane

MOUNT PLEASANT (AP) — An Illinois man charged with killing his parents in his Central Michigan University dorm room was committed to a psychiatric facility Friday after a judge found he was mentally ill at the time of the shootings.

The decision means there won't be a trial for James Davis Jr., 20, who had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and could be held indefinitely.

"It's important that the public understand that this does not mean that Mr. Davis is free to return to society," Isabella County Prosecutor David Barberi said Friday. "Today's plea brings an end to a very tragic event that temporarily marred the safety and comfort that we all know and value in our community and at Central Michigan University."

Davis was accused of shooting his parents, James Davis Sr. and Diva Davis, when they tried to bring him home to Plainfield, Illinois, last March during spring break. He showed erratic behavior the previous night, telling police that someone was trying to kill him.

Davis was captured 16 hours after the shootings. A train conductor called 911 when he saw him wearing only underwear. He spent five days in a hospital getting treatment for hypothermia.

Davis' mental health will be periodically evaluated by the Isabella County Probate Court.

Northern Michigan island residents warned to prepare for deep freeze

SAULT STE. MARIE (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard is warning residents of islands in the river connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron in northern Michigan that they could be cut off from ferry service during next week's deep freeze.

Those who live on Sugar and Neebish islands in the St. Marys River as well as Drummond Island in Lake Huron are being urged to stock up on supplies including food and heating fuel in case ice blocks ferry service.

Ice-breaking operations are working to keep ferry routes open.

Forecasts for a drop in temperatures came as snow hit the Upper Peninsula, closing M-28 in Alger and Marquette counties, as well as parts of the Lower Peninsula. Dozens of schools were closed Friday in West Michigan and light snow left Detroit-area roads slippery.

Benton Harbor residents to get free water filters

BENTON HARBOR (AP) — Residents in a southwestern Michigan city who are concerned about lead-tainted drinking water will soon have access to free water filters.

The Herald-Palladium reports that the Berrien County Health Department will have filters and replacement cartridges available for Benton Harbor residents starting Feb. 4. Free water testing kits can also be picked up at City Hall.

The filters are important because boiling water doesn't remove lead, said Nicki Britten, a health officer with the county health department.

Experts say children are the most vulnerable, and that high lead levels can cause health problems and developmental delays. Tests show lead hasn't been negatively affecting local children, Britten said.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued an advisory in October 2018 that some Benton Harbor homes had tested for higher-than-acceptable levels of lead in the drinking water.

Boy, 3, dies after freeway shooting in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — A 3-year-old boy has died after a freeway shooting in Detroit.

State police said on Twitter that the boy died Friday morning at a hospital.

A bullet pierced the side of the vehicle he was in shortly before 7:30 p.m. Thursday on the Southfield Freeway near Joy Road. A woman driving the vehicle is an acquaintance of the boy's mother and was not wounded. Police initially described her as the boy's mother.

First Lt. Michael Shaw has said it's unclear whether their vehicle was targeted and that the shooting does not appear to be related to road rage.

Authorities temporarily closed the freeway to search for evidence. A suspect has not been identified.

Michigan reviews nonprofit's work on lead paint hazards

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan officials are re-examining work done by a Detroit nonprofit over the past 11 years to clear nearly 600 homes of lead paint hazards after a child tested positive for high blood lead levels in one of the homes.

The Detroit News reported the state issued a stop work order to CLEARCorps/Detroit in December 2018 after investigators found lead hazards in the child's Detroit home.

Lynn Sutfin, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said investigators found lead hazards in five other homes so far. The nonprofit has had a state contract through the Lead Safe Homes Program to clear lead hazards in the Detroit area since 2007.

CLEARCorps Executive Director Mary Sue Schottenfels said they take the state's concerns "with the utmost seriousness."

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