GM walkout brings factories and warehouses to a standstill

Sep 17, 2019

  More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers went on strike Monday against General Motors, bringing more than 50 factories and parts warehouses to a standstill in the union's first walkout against the No. 1 U.S. automaker in over a decade.

Workers left factories and formed picket lines shortly after midnight in the dispute over a new four-year contract. The union's top negotiator said in a letter to the company that the strike could have been averted had the company made its latest offer sooner.

  Authorities say a southern Michigan sheriff's deputy who fatally struck an 11-year-old boy with his patrol vehicle will not be criminally charged.

Calhoun County Sheriff Matt Saxton tells the Battle Creek Enquirer Monday that a prosecutor reviewed an investigation report and declined to seek charges in the May 28 crash in Battle Creek, about 120 miles (190 kilometers) west of Detroit.

Police car lights
Wikimedia | Matty Ring | CC BY 2.0 /

  Authorities say a man sexually assaulted a child inside a secluded part of a Michigan middle school while the building was open for a meeting.

The Ann Arbor News reports 44-year-old Johnathan James Green of Ann Arbor was arrested last week on charges including first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 13 and accosting a child for immoral purposes. He's jailed, pending future hearings.

Associated Press

  Four Flint-area teens have withdrawn guilty pleas in the death of a 32-year-old man killed in 2017 by a rock thrown from an interstate overpass.

WJRT-TV reports that 18-year-old Mark Sekelsky, 16-year-old Trevor Gray, 17-year-old Mikadyn Payne and 17-year-old Alexzander Miller withdrew their pleas Friday to manslaughter charges.

More third-graders are expected to be held back under law

Sep 16, 2019

  Third-graders who started school in recent weeks may be forced to repeat the grade next year if they struggle with reading, the result of a 2016 Michigan law whose most controversial provision kicks in beginning next spring.

The number of third-graders who are held back is expected to rise.

Nearly 700, or 0.67%, of the state's 100,000-plus third-graders were retained in the last academic year. Researchers at Michigan State University estimate that between 2,000 and 5,000 students, or 2% to 5%, may be required to repeat third grade under the terms of the law.

Police shoot man who allegedly pointed gun at officers

Sep 16, 2019

  Authorities say police shot and wounded a man who allegedly pointed a gun at officers in suburban Detroit who were responding to a report of an argument.

The shooting happened about 3:30 a.m. Monday in Sterling Heights. Police say they were called to investigate a group of people arguing in the street and they say that the man came out of a home with the weapon. Sterling Heights police say officers fired, hitting the man multiple times.

AAA: Michigan gas prices fall 9 cents to $2.57 per gallon

Sep 16, 2019

  AAA Michigan says average gas prices statewide have fallen 9 cents from a week ago to about $2.57 per gallon.

The Dearborn-based auto club said Monday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded is about 37 cents less than a year ago.

The state's highest averages were in the Ann Arbor and Detroit areas at around $2.68. The lowest prices were in the Traverse City area at $2.35 per gallon.

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

Whitmer on vetoing Republican budget bills: 'We'll see'

Sep 13, 2019

  Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was noncommittal about signing final spending bills that began advancing in the Republican-led Legislature on Thursday, a day after talks broke down between her and GOP leaders.

"We'll see," she said, hours before House-Senate conference committees approved six budget measures, including a $15.2 billion school aid budget. More of the Republican-controlled panels are scheduled to vote next week despite there being no overall deal with the first-year governor.

Muskegon Police Department

  A white Michigan police officer whose house had an apparent Ku Klux Klan document on display and for sale has been fired.

Muskegon City Manager Frank Peterson says Charles Anderson was fired after a disciplinary hearing Thursday. Peterson says a redacted version of the inquiry report would be released to the public sometime next week.

Ex-Michigan pastor enters plea deal in child porn case

Sep 13, 2019
Jack Woodburn

  A former Michigan pastor who authorities say coerced underage girls to engage in sex acts online has pleaded guilty to producing child pornography.

The Times Herald of Port Huron reports 64-year-old Jack Woodburn entered the plea deal with prosecutors this week in U.S. District Court. He faces 15-30 years in prison when sentenced Jan. 8.