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State Briefs

by the associated press • Jul 9, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Calvin College changing to university this week

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — A western Michigan Christian college is becoming a university.

Calvin College officials said the Grand Rapids school will officially become Calvin University on Wednesday. The date coincides with the birthday of 16th-century theologian John Calvin, the school’s namesake and key figure in the Protestant Reformation.

Calvin officials say the 3,700-student institution founded in 1876 aims to extend its global reach and influence, as well as its commitment to Reformed Christianity. Goals over the next decade include expanding academic and extracurricular offerings, collaborating among disciplines and outside entities, and updating its facilities.

Officials say the name change better reflects its growth and expansion.

5 Michigan counties get agricultural disaster designation

TRAVERSE CITY (AP) — Five Michigan counties have been declared federal disaster areas because of losses from heavy rains and high winds in the past year.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue approved Antrim, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau and Otsego counties for the designation.

It offers emergency loans to help with recovery needs such as replacing equipment or livestock, reorganizing a farming operation, or refinancing debts.

Also eligible to seek assistance are producers in counties that are contiguous to those named as disaster areas. They include Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Manistee, Missaukee, Montmorency, Oscoda, Roscommon and Wexford.

The application deadline is Feb. 25, 2020. The U.S. Farm Service Agency will review the applications based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

Michigan man struck and killed by vehicle on Wyoming highway

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A Michigan man was struck and killed by a vehicle while standing on a Wyoming highway at night.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol told KGAB-AM the crash happened at 11:50 p.m. Saturday on U.S. 85 south of Cheyenne near the Colorado border.

The patrol said the driver of a northbound vehicle reported she spotted two people on the road, one in the northbound lane and another in the emergency lane. She said she tried to swerve but was unable to avoid hitting the person in the middle of her lane.

The patrol identified the victim as 45-year-old Charles MacDonald of Livonia, Michigan.

Parents needed to prevent Grand Rapids fights, police say

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — Grand Rapids' deputy police chief said parental supervision could have prevented dozens of fights downtown involving hundreds of teens during the city's annual Fourth of July fireworks show.

Deputy Chief Eric Payne said Monday police officials believe many of the 200-300 teens involved in the Saturday fights "were just dropped off and left there."

The Grand Rapids Press said no injuries were reported, and three people ages 13-19 were arrested.

Also that night, one person was killed and three others injured in two shootings near the downtown.

In a Facebook post, the Grand Rapids Police Officers' Association claimed the weekend violence was a "direct result" of poor staffing and scrutiny by city officials. Payne disputed the claim, saying police have adequate staffing and have increased patrols.

1 dead, 3 hurt after fight at Detroit-area graduation party

TAYLOR (AP) — Officials said a 17-year-old boy has died and three other people were injured following a large fight and reported stabbing at a graduation party in suburban Detroit.

Police said officers responded late Saturday to the Knights of Columbus Hall in Taylor that was rented out for the private event. Police said Monday that four people including the teen who died were taken to the hospital. The others had what were described as non-life-threatening injuries.

Police said they've arrested two people. The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said the suspect is a 16-year-old boy. Names weren't immediately released.

Randy Baughman with the Knights of Columbus told WJBK-TV that a graduation party was wrapping up when the fight happened. He said "our heart goes out to the family who lost their child."

Immigration attorney running for House seat held by Amash

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — An immigration attorney who served in the U.S. Justice Department during President Barack Obama's administration is running for the U.S. House seat held by Justin Amash of Michigan.

Hillary Scholten announced Monday her bid to seek the Democratic nomination for Michigan's 3rd Congressional District. The 37-year-old from Grand Rapids says her goals include fixing the country's "broken" immigration system and curbing gun violence.

Two other Democrats have said they're seeking to represent the district that includes Grand Rapids, Battle Creek and surrounding areas.

Amash, who had been the only Republican in Congress to call for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, said last week he's leaving the GOP. He has filed for re-election in 2020 as a Republican in a race that drew primary challengers, but Amash plans to run as an independent.

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