3.30.15:  Snyder orders flags lowered for 3 Marines killed in crash


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered that flags be lowered to honor three Michigan Marines who were killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash off the coast of Florida during a training mission.

U.S. and Michigan flags at the state Capitol and all state buildings are being lowered to half-staff on Monday.

Staff Sergeants Marcus Bawol of Warren, Trevor Blaylock of Lake Orion and Andrew Seif of Holland were among seven Marines and four Army soldiers killed March 10 when the helicopter crashed in a nighttime training exercise in dense fog.

Snyder said Friday the crash is a reminder that servicemen and women “make tremendous sacrifices and put themselves in harm’s way every day to keep us safe and protect our freedoms.”

Blaylock’s funeral was Saturday and Bawol’s funeral was Thursday.

3.30.15:  Indiana state lawmakers to address religious objections law


NDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Both Democratic and Republican leaders in the Indiana General Assembly plan news conferences to address a new state law that’s been criticized over concerns it could foster discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Republican Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long and Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma plan a Monday morning event, saying they’ll “discuss their plans for clarifying” the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

A half-hour later Monday morning Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane and House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath plan a news conference “to respond to calls for legislative action” regarding the law.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed the measure last week and defended it during a television appearance Sunday. The act prohibits state laws that “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs.

Gov. Pence is defending his state’s new religious rights law from criticism that it could foster discrimination against gays.

Pence appeared on ABC’s “This Week” to discuss the Religious Freedom Restoration Act he signed last week prohibiting state laws that “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs.

The Republican did not answer directly when asked whether it would be legal for a business to refuse to serve gay customers. Pence said the law is “about empowering people to confront government overreach” and is modeled on a 1993 federal law.

Pence said if lawmakers send him a bill to clarify the law’s intent, he’ll look at it, but insisted that the law won’t be changed.

3.30.15:  Police in Michigan use easy way to check vehicle insurance


(AP) — Police in Michigan are using an easy way to check whether a motor vehicle is properly insured.

As of last year, police can get information on whether a vehicle is insured by running a license plate number through an in-car computer.

The update led to troopers issuing more tickets with greater ease.

Insurance companies regularly submit reports to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office. While that practice had been in place for some time, officials say the information wasn’t previously immediately available through the Law Enforcement Information Network, or LEIN.

Driving without insurance is a misdemeanor and not having proof of insurance is a civil infraction.

3.30.15:   AAA Michigan: Gas prices fall 7 cents in past week to $2.41


DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Triple A Michigan reports statewide gas prices have decreased by about 7 cents a gallon within the past week.

The auto club says the average price per gallon of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was about $2.41 on Sunday. That’s about $1.21 less than it was a year ago.

Dearborn-based AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel costs at 2,800 Michigan gas stations. It says the cheapest price was about $2.33 a gallon in the Saginaw, Bay City and Midland areas, while the highest price was about $2.46 a gallon in the Jackson area.


3.30.15:  Some lanes closed until July on Port Huron border bridge


PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — Traffic will be squeezed until summer on the Blue Water Bridge, which links Port Huron and Ontario.

Westbound lanes closed Sunday morning for a construction project that’s expected to end in early July. Cars and trucks going in both directions will have one lane each as they share one side of the bridge.

Canada’s Federal Bridge Corporation tells the Port Huron Times Herald that Sunday is a good day to start because traffic usually is light. Wide loads will be limited to less than 11 feet, and bicyclists won’t be able to ride across during construction.

More than 14,000 cars and trucks cross the bridge each day.

On the U.S. side, the bridge is near the Interstate 94-I-69 interchange.

3.30.15:  Michigan Legislature revisits major bills from last session


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan House and Senate have reintroduced many bills that died last session or were vetoed by Governor Rick Snyder for various reasons.

Measures signed by Snyder as lawmakers head into a two-week break include laws that set the 2016 presidential primary election date for March 8th and give Michigan State Police rather than counties authority to approve concealed weapons licenses.

A measure allowing concealed carry for retired federal law enforcement officers in “gun-free” zones awaits Snyder’s signature.

Bills that have been reintroduced but remain in legislative limbo include measures that would legalize medical marijuana products that are alternatives to smoking pot, form a new statewide evaluation system for public school teachers and administrators, and fashion an “early-warning” system so the state can intervene in financially distressed school districts.

3.30.15:  National parks call on Americans to ‘Find Your Park’


WASHINGTON (AP) — After nearly 100 years, the National Park Service holds some of the most beautiful and historic places in the country. But there’s also an $11 billion backlog of unfunded maintenance and a visitor base that’s aging and mostly white.

Now the park service is preparing for its centennial in 2016 by launching a major campaign Thursday to raise support and introduce a new, more diverse generation of millennials and children to the national parks.

Michelle Obama and Laura Bush will co-chair the campaign, calling on Americans to “Find Your Park” to enjoy their public lands. Behind the scenes, officials are also working to expand their fundraising and congressional support to improve the nation’s parks.

The push to “Find Your Park” is the third major campaign in the national parks’ history.

3.30.15:  JetBlue computer outage causes delays for passengers


NEW YORK (AP) — JetBlue says a computer outage that has caused delays for its passengers has been resolved.

JetBlue Airways says that it has fixed a systemwide computer problem that has caused delays because the airline had to manually check in passengers.

NBC News reports that the airline had to issue handwritten boarding passes to passengers at many airports.

JetBlue did not immediately respond to inquiries on how long it would take to work through delays and get operations back to normal.


3.30.15:   Lubitz family not questioned yet


MONTABAUR, Germany (AP) — A French prosecutor says the family of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz has not been questioned yet about last week’s plane crash in the French Alps “out of decency and respect for their pain.”

Authorities are trying to understand what made Lubitz lock his fellow pilot out of the cockpit and ignore his pleas to open the door before slamming the plane into a mountain on what should have been a routine flight from Barcelona, Spain to Duesseldorf, Germany.

Lubitz and 149 others were killed.

3.30.15:  Michigan State, Duke, Wisconsin, and Kentucky are in Final 4


 (AP) — Duke and Michigan State have advanced to the NCAA Final Four and will face each other next Saturday before Kentucky takes on Wisconsin.

Coach Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans capped an improbable run to the Final Four with an overtime win.

Senior guard Travis Trice scored 17 points and the seventh-seeded Spartans clamped down on defense to pull out a 76-70 victory over fourth-seeded Louisville in a thrilling NCAA Tournament East Regional final Sunday.

The Spartans (28-11), who were nearly counted out of the tournament conversation in February, won for the 12th time in 15 games.

Freshman Justise Winslow drained a pair of 3-pointers down the stretch and finished with 16 points as top seed Duke beat Gonzaga 66-52 to win the South Region.


On Saturday…..Andrew Harrison hit two free throws with six seconds left as the top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats survived a 68-66 win over fifth seed Notre Dame to advance to the NCAA men’s Final Four. The Irish had one last chance to tie or win it, but Jerian Grant missed a jumper from the corner as time expired. Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points and five rebounds to lead the unbeaten Wildcats to their 38th win and a berth in the national semifinals for the fourth time in five years.

No. 1 seed Wisconsin is in the national semifinals for the second straight year following an 85-78 triumph over No. 2 Arizona in Los Angeles. Frank Kaminsky poured in 29 points and Sam Dekker added 27 to set a career high for the second straight game. The Badgers denied the Wildcats a Final Four berth for the second straight year