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State Briefs

Associated Press • Mar 9, 2019 at 7:00 AM

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

Former NBA star Wallace becomes high school coach in NC

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Former NBA star Rasheed Wallace is now a high school basketball coach in North Carolina.

Jordan High School in Durham held a news conference Friday to announce the 6-foot-10 Wallace is taking over as boys' varsity head coach.

Wallace said during the news conference that he had opportunities to work in the NBA but added: "Knowledge should be free and it doesn't cost anything to pass that knowledge to these young men."

Wallace played for Dean Smith at North Carolina for two seasons before being the fourth overall draft pick in 1995. He played 16 NBA seasons, was a four-time All-Star and helped the Detroit Pistons win the 2004 championship.

Wallace also worked an assistant coach for the Pistons for a season.

More than dozen cats and a dog die in Michigan house fire

MONROE (AP) — Authorities say more than a dozen cats and a dog have died in a southeastern Michigan house fire.

The Monroe Fire Department responded about 2 a.m. Friday and Chief Rob Wight says the back of the home was engulfed in flames. The Monroe News reports a family of five, including three children, got out of the home safely but the animals were trapped inside.

WWJ-AM reports the family took in cats and cared for them. Wight says crews worked to keep the fire from spreading to nearby homes.

The cause is under investigation.

Michigan woman charged with defrauding couples in adoptions

NEW HAVEN (AP) — A Macomb County woman has been indicted on fraud charges for an alleged scheme to collect money from couples who wanted to adopt children.

Federal prosecutors say Tara Lee of New Haven isn't licensed to arrange adoptions but told people that she had a legitimate agency. The indictment accuses her of collecting more than $200,000 last year for adoption matches that were fraudulent.

The government says couples were paired with birth mothers who didn't exist or who didn't want to place their child for adoption. Timothy Slater, head of the FBI in Detroit, says Lee's "cruel behavior" has had a "devastating emotional impact" on victims. The FBI has set up a hotline at (313) 965-2227.

Lee has pleaded not guilty. A magistrate judge on Thursday ordered her to be held without bond.

A man afire dies after he runs from burning Detroit home

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit man is dead after he was observed on fire as he fled from his burning home on the city's west side.

Authorities say neighbors and people driving by saw the screaming man running from the home Friday. The observers doused the as yet unidentified man with water and tried to save his life. However, they weren't successful.

Officials say the fire in the man's home started in the basement, but didn't reveal how the fire started.

Investigators at the scene said a probe was underway to determine the cause of the fire.

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