State Briefs

Associated Press • Feb 23, 2019 at 6:00 AM

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

Official: Climate change a top priority under Whitmer

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — Michigan's top environmental regulator says dealing with climate change will be a top priority for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration.

Liesl Clark outlined plans for the newly redesigned Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy during a conference in Grand Rapids.

Clark will head the agency, which will replace the Department of Environmental Quality.

She told the Michigan Climate Action Network this week that department leaders are discussing how to bring together its various climate-related initiatives.

Whitmer also says Michigan will join the U.S. Climate Alliance. The bipartisan coalition of governors from about 20 states is committed to reducing heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions as outlined under the Paris Climate Agreement, despite President Donald Trump's order to pull the U.S. from the agreement.

Police, utilities warn of possible outages on Sunday

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan State Police and utilities are warning people high winds could cause power outages on Sunday.

The National Weather Service says a high wind watch is in effect from Saturday night through Sunday night in southern and eastern Michigan including the Thumb region. It says sustained west winds of 30-40 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph are possible. The high winds will begin in western Michigan and move eastward.

Consumers Energy says it's is mobilizing resources and making other preparations to respond to outages.

DTE Energy said Friday it has more than 1,000 employees and contractors, including line workers and tree trim professionals, on standby for restoration and has requested help from an additional 300 out-of-state line workers.

Letter returned to Michigan woman after 45 years

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — A Michigan woman who wrote a letter to her family in 1974 has been reunited with the tattered note after it was finally delivered to the home where her family lived years ago.

Mary Vaughan Brady of Grand Rapids received the letter Thursday.

When the worn and stained letter turned up in his mailbox, the man who now lives at the home, Evan Koons, turned to Facebook to find the rightful recipient. He quickly found Brady and personally delivered the letter.

"It's amazing that you found me," Brady said when he arrived at her home.

A note from the U.S. Postal Service was attached to the letter, apologizing for the damage. There was no explanation for the delayed delivery.

Brady said she was 19 when she penned the letter while backpacking in Europe. She'd just graduated from a local community college and was set to be married later that year, so she decided to embark on a trip with a friend.

"I'd never seen a mountain at that point," she said. "Never been on a plane ride, never stayed in a hotel, anything."

Brady said she didn't call her parents or siblings during the nine-week trip, but instead wrote them letters chronicling what she experienced.

Brady said the letter's discovery has helped her reflect on the trip, even though it was so long ago.

The Postal Service left a note with the overdue letter in a plastic bag.

"Dear Postal Customer, we sincerely regret the damage to your mail by the Postal Service," the note said. "We hope this incident did not inconvenience you."

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