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State Briefs

• Feb 9, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Some in Michigan brace for weekend without power amid cold

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — A utility says some of the tens of thousands of homes and businesses without power in Michigan following days of freezing rain and other wintry weather are expected to be without electricity through the weekend.

Consumers Energy said that since early Wednesday about 231,000 customers have lost electric service due to ice storms. The utility said about 122,000 were still without power by Friday afternoon, with most expected to have power by late Sunday. Some hard-hit areas will be out until late Monday.

Strong winds Thursday night and Friday increased outages. Parts of the Upper Peninsula were hit by blizzard conditions.

The hardest-hit areas for Consumers Energy include West Michigan, where high temperatures were forecast to stay below freezing through the weekend. Many didn't have heat and emergency shelters are open.

Searchers look for teen who fell through Muskegon River ice

SYLVAN TWP. (AP) — Authorities are searching for a 15-year-old boy who fell through ice in the Muskegon River in Osceola County.

Police said two more teens who fell through the ice are safe, but a third teen didn't get to shore Thursday. A small boat and sonar equipment were being used in the search Friday.

Osceola County Sheriff Justin Halladay described the conditions as "very cold, windy and snowing."

The site is in Sylvan Township, 85 miles north of Grand Rapids.

John Dingell, the country’s longest-serving lawmaker, dies

DETROIT (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in American history and a master of legislative deal-making who was fiercely protective of Detroit's auto industry, has died. The Michigan Democrat was 92.

Dingell, who served in the U.S. House for 59 years before retiring in 2014, died Thursday at his home in Dearborn, said his wife, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.

"He was a lion of the United States Congress and a loving son, father, husband, grandfather and friend," her office said in a statement. "He will be remembered for his decades of public service to the people of Southeast Michigan, his razor-sharp wit and a lifetime of dedication to improving the lives of all who walk this earth."

Dubbed "Big John" for his imposing 6-foot-3 frame and sometimes intimidating manner, a reputation bolstered by the wild game heads decorating his Washington office, Dingell served with every president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama.

West Michigan man killed while walking on Indiana interstate

CROTHERSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Police said a Michigan man driving in Indiana got out of his disabled pickup truck and was struck and killed on I-65.

David Buchanan's Chevrolet Silverado left I-65 and got stuck in the median in Jackson County. State police said the 55-year-old Stanwood man walked into the northbound lanes Thursday night and was hit by a Jeep.

The 23-year-old driver of the Jeep wasn't injured. He's from Nashville, Tennessee.

A dog found in Buchanan's truck was given to Jackson County Animal Control.

US marshals searching for 73-year-old fugitive from Michigan

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Federal authorities are searching for a 73-year-old Michigan man who was last seen in Tennessee after fleeing before his sentencing on a sexual misconduct conviction.

The U.S. Marshals Service said in a news release Friday that the agency is hunting for Michael Francis Flaker. The service says Flaker, of Shelby, was seen Thursday in the area of Memphis, Tennessee.

Authorities say Flaker cut off his electronic monitor on Jan. 24, prior to being sentenced on eight counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Michigan. He was convicted in December 2018.

Marshals say Flaker is white and about 6 feet tall and 240 pounds. Agents say he has gray hair and may appear to be in poor health.

Anyone with information about Flaker is asked to call the Marshals Service.

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