Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. EDT


Wildfire prompts northern Michigan hunting camp evacuation

ONAWAY, Mich. (AP) — Crews continue fighting a wildfire in a heavily forested area of northern Michigan that prompted the evacuation of 13 people from a hunting and fishing camp. Officials said the fire was reported mid-day Friday and spread by Saturday morning to about 2,300 acres in Montmorency and Cheboygan counties. They believe the fire was likely sparked by a lightning strike during a Wednesday thunderstorm. State officials say one firefighter suffered a minor injury. Those evacuated were from the Black River Ranch near the town of Onaway but no residential areas were immediately threatened. The area was under red flag warnings for wildfire danger this week because of dry vegetation and high winds.  


Primaries spotlight coming battles over state supreme courts

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Upcoming primary elections for state supreme court seats in North Carolina and Arkansas are putting the spotlight on how such races across the U.S. have grown in importance in recent years and led to high-dollar, partisan battles for control. The Brennan Center for Justice says roughly $97 million was spent on state supreme court elections during the 2019-2020 election cycle. Voters in 32 states will cast ballots this year for state supreme court, races that have become increasingly politicized over issues such as partisan gerrymandering, abortion and gun rights. Other states with heated court races in the coming months include Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.


Ex-coach wins appeal over defamation claims against ESPN

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan court has reinstated a lawsuit against ESPN by a former college gymnastics coach at Central Michigan University. Jerry Reighard claims he was defamed on Twitter by an ESPN reporter linking him to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar and a controversial coach. The appeals court found a lack of “minimal due diligence” by investigative reporter Dan Murphy when he referred to Reighard on Twitter in 2019. A judge ruled in favor of ESPN, saying the tweets were substantially true. But the appeals court says a jury should sort out what happened. ESPN says it will appeal.


Instructor had 14 seconds to land plane in Traverse City

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Preliminary fact-finding by Federal Aviation Administration investigators indicates a flight instructor had 14 seconds to safely land a plane after its engine died during its final approach. The crash landing sent the Northwestern Michigan College training plane into a backstop at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center’s athletic fields Tuesday. College spokeswoman Diana Fairbanks says air traffic controllers cleared the flight for landing at Cherry Capital Airport. She says the instructor radioed controllers again after the plane’s engine started slowing down, and he took control of the single-engine Cessna from a student pilot.


Michigan DNR: Bird flu confirmed in 3 baby red foxes

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Avian influenza has been confirmed in three baby red foxes in separate southeastern Michigan counties. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources said Thursday that the kits in Lapeer, Macomb and St. Clair counties were confirmed Wednesday to have died from the HPAI virus. They are the first confirmation by the state of the virus in wild mammals. The fox kits were collected from dens between April 1-14. Michigan DNR wildlife veterinarian Megan Moriarty says the viruses “may occasionally transmit from birds to mammals, as occurred in these cases.” Avian influenza has been detected in backyard flocks and commercial poultry facilities, and in wild birds in more than 30 states.


Republican candidates, minus Craig, meet for 1st debate

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republicans running for Michigan governor have met in their first debate. They staunchly opposed abortion before the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling is potentially overturned and disagreed on exceptions and whether former President Donald Trump won the state’s 2020 election. Trump, who lost to Joe Biden by 154,000 votes and has pushed bogus claims of mass fraud, has not yet endorsed a candidate in August’s GOP primary. Four of eight candidates on the debate stage Thursday night falsely said Trump carried Michigan. Two said he did not. Two others did not say either way.


Former national security adviser Robert McFarlane dies at 84

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former White House national security adviser Robert C. McFarlane, a top aide to President Ronald Reagan who pleaded guilty to charges for his role in an illegal arms-for-hostages deal known as the Iran-Contra affair, has died. He was 84. McFarlane, who lived in Washington, died Thursday from complications of a previous lung condition at a hospital in Michigan, where he was visiting family, according to a family statement. 


Western Michigan soldier who died in WWII laid to rest

ZEELAND, Mich. (AP) — A soldier who died when a B-25 bomber went down in Papua New Guinea during World War II has been laid to rest in his western Michigan hometown nearly eight decades after his death. WOOD-TV reports dozens of relatives and local residents attended Thursday’s funeral for U.S. Army Air Force Cpl. LaVerne “Dirk” Van Dyke at the Zeeland Cemetery. The Zeeland resident and six fellow crew members were presumed dead after their B-25 went down in 1943 over Papua New Guinea. Their remains were found in 1998 in the southwest Pacific nation but Van Dyke’s remains were not positively identified for another 20 years.


Michigan profs push ‘pee for peonies’ urine diversion plan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Two University of Michigan researchers are putting the “pee” in peony. Rather, they’re putting pee on peonies. Environmental engineering professors Nancy Love and Krista Wigginton are regular visitors to the Ann Arbor school’s Nichols Arboretum, where they’ve been applying urine-based fertilizer to the heirloom peony beds ahead of the flowers’ annual spring bloom. It’s all part of an effort to educate the public about their research showing that applying fertilizer derived from nutrient-rich urine could have environmental and economic benefits. Love is co-author of a study published in the Environmental Science & Technology journal that found urine diversion and recycling led to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and energy. 


Landfill to be searched for body of Detroit-area teenager

LENOX TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say they’ll search a suburban Detroit landfill for the body of a teenager who was killed earlier this year and likely placed in a Dumpster. Zion Foster, a 17-year-old from Eastpointe, was last seen on Jan. 4. Investigators believe Zion is dead and that her body was put in a Dumpster, whose contents eventually were dumped at a landfill in Lenox Township. The landfill search won’t start until May 31. Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel says police owe it to Zion’s family to find the body and determine what happened to her. Zion’s cousin is in prison for lying to police during the investigation. He is a suspect in her disappearance.

The Associated Press

Categorized as Life

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