1.16.17:  Man rescued after airboat flips, sinks in St. Clair River




HARSENS ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — A 34-year-old man has been rescued from the St. Clair River’s Middle Channel after his airboat flipped and sank.

Police say Daniel Watson was heard screaming for help about 4 p.m. Saturday near Harsens Island, northeast of Detroit.

Someone used a kayak to help Watson to a shallow part of the river where another person took him to shore in an inflatable boat.

Watson was treated for minor injuries and minor hypothermia. The airboat sank in about 30 feet of water.

St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon says an accident involving an airboat is not unheard of this time of year, but it’s “probably a little more unusual to have a kayak out there rescuing someone in the middle of January.”


1.16.17:   Soo Locks upgrade among top infrastructure projects



SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — A federal report lists upgrading the Soo Locks shipping complex among 40 proposed infrastructure projects nationwide that would give the economy a significant boost.

The locks network at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, enables vessels to move between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes.

The study says more than 60 percent of the ships in the U.S. and Canadian fleet are so large that they can fit through only one of the locks. If the Poe Lock were disabled, it could cause shortages of raw materials needed by steelmakers, utilities and other industries.

The report says building a second Poe-sized lock would pump up to $1.7 billion into the economy — about three times more than it would cost.

The project was authorized in 1986 but hasn’t been funded.


1.16.17:   Statewide average gas prices fall 10 cents



DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says gas prices statewide have fallen by about 10 cents per gallon in the past week.

The Dearborn-based auto club says late Sunday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was about $2.40 per gallon. That’s about 61 cents more than it was at the same point last year.

The lowest average price was about $2.30 per gallon in the Flint area, while the highest average was about $2.52 in the Marquette area.

The Detroit area’s average daily gas price decreased about 10 cents to about $2.41 per gallon.

AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state.


1.16.17:  Hundreds of Detroit bicyclists to honor Martin Luther King




DETROIT (AP) — Bicyclists in Detroit are marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day by pedaling to sites connected to a historic visit the slain civil rights leader made to the city.

More than 200 bicyclists have registered for the free 10-mile ride, which will take in such sites as Cobo Arena in downtown Detroit. That is where King gave an early version of his “I Have a Dream” speech in June 1963.

He also led more than 100,000 marchers down Woodward Avenue in what was called the “Great Walk to Freedom,” about two months before he delivered his famous speech in Washington, D.C.

The ride begins at 10 a.m. Monday at Wayne State University.

It is one of several events being held in the area and state to honor King.


1.13.17:  7 cities added to Bloomberg ‘innovation team’ grant list




NEW YORK (AP) — Seven cities in the U.S., Canada and Israel stand to get up to $1.5 million apiece from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s foundation to create “innovation teams.”

The cities will work on issues ranging from reducing poverty to recruiting public workers.

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the selections Thursday. They expand a program that already includes nearly 20 cities worldwide.

The new additions include Toronto, the first Canadian city in the program. The southern Israeli city of Be’er Sheva also is on the new list.

In the U.S., the newly selected cities include Baltimore and Detroit, as well as Anchorage, Alaska; Austin, Texas, and Durham, North Carolina.

Mayors will put together the innovation teams. They’ll be tasked with analyzing problems, crafting solutions and measuring results.


1.13.17:  Federal agencies budget $42M for Asian carp prevention




TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Federal officials say they’ll continue efforts to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, despite uncertainty about what Donald Trump might propose.

The Obama administration has spent over $388 million since 2010 to shield the lakes from the invasive fish, which could disrupt food chains and compete with valuable native species.

Officials say they’ve budgeted $42 million this year for Asian carp projects. They include further study of ways to fortify defenses at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam complex on a carp-infested Illinois waterway leading to Lake Michigan.

Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters of Michigan urged the Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday to finish the study this month, instead of in 2019 as planned.

Agencies also plan more work on potential carp detection and control technologies.


1.12.17:  Lawmakers work on tax cut measure



LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Republican-led Michigan Legislature has commenced a new two-year term. Republicans on Wednesday wasted no time proposing tax cuts and new leaders took the helm of the House.

The GOP has the same legislative majorities as before and will again control the agenda.

 Republicans want to eliminate the state’s income tax over time. Critics say the move would lead to massive cuts in government services.

1.12.17:  Deceased Michigan woman, 21, becomes hand transplant donor




NORTON SHORES, Mich. (AP) — A Norton Shores woman who died in September has become the first hand transplant donor for Michigan’s federally designated organ and tissue donation program.

The Detroit News reports that 21-year-old Shayna Sturtevant died after developing a brain abscess stemming from an ear infection. She was a registered eye, organ and tissue donor.

MLive reports that Sturtevant’s parents granted special permission necessary for the hand transplant to go forward. Sturtevant’s kidneys, lungs, pancreas and liver were also donated for transplants.

Officials from Gift of Life say the transplant was successful, but that the organization doesn’t release details about recipients.

According to United Network for Organ Sharing, 30 people have received hand transplants, including 18 single-hand transplants and 12 double-hand transplants, in the United States since 1999.


1.12.17:  St. Joseph residents, officials worry about eroding bluff



ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — Some St. Joseph residents are worried that the bluff below their property is eroding and could collapse, taking railroad tracks along with it.

The Herald-Palladium reports that residents along Old Lakeshore Drive expressed their concerns Monday to city commissioners, who said they shared their fears of a possible train derailment along the CSX Transportation line that carries Amtrak passengers and freight cars.

Houses along the road aren’t in danger because they’re on the opposite side of the street.

Mayor Mike Garey says that based on photographs, it appears that a collapse isn’t “a matter of if, but when.”

Anson Lovillette says that for 15 years, he has been sending letters and photographs to CSX officials, who have assured him they’re monitoring the situation.

The newspaper couldn’t immediately reach CSX officials for comment.


1.12.17:  Detroit’s school board has power for first time in 7 years




DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit school board with the power to direct Michigan’s largest school system has been seated for the first time in seven years.

The seven Detroit Public Schools Community board members were collectively sworn in by Michigan Court of Appeals and Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens before about 300 people who erupted in applause.

After the ceremony, the board approved temporary bylaws, set a meeting schedule and elected officers.

New board president Iris Taylor said the board has begun efforts to determine what its priorities should be.

The 46,000-student district was created by the state Legislature as part of a bailout of the Detroit Public Schools. In June, with the district on the brink of financial collapse, the Legislature passed a $617 million financial rescue package.

Several governor-appointed emergency managers began controlling the district in 2009.