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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Mar 8, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Record number of tips on school threats received in Michigan

LANSING (AP) — Attorney General Bill Schuette said tips about safety threats in Michigan schools set a record in February with 670 reports.

Schuette said there were 119 tips about planned school attacks last month, compared to 146 in all of 2017. Suicide threats were the most-reported tip at 127.

It's the first update on OK2SAY since the Parkland, Florida, school shooting on Feb. 14.

The previous record for tips was 560 last October.

Students can make confidential tips to the state through phone, text message, email or a website. Schuette said Wednesday that "students are engaged ... more than ever" in a program that has saved lives.

Tips are screened by staff at the Michigan State Police and shared with local police, schools and others, if necessary.

3 dead after 3-vehicle crash on interstate in near Lansing

DELTA TWP. (AP) — Authorities said three people have died after their minivan was struck by another vehicle when the driver stopped to help a motorist Tuesday night.

The crash happened along westbound I-496 in Eaton County's Delta Township, near Lansing.

The victims were all from Lansing: 59-year-old Kelly McNamara, 66-year-old Linda Foote and 57-year-old Kevin Trusty.

The sheriff's department said nine people were taken to hospitals after the three-vehicle crash. One was in critical condition.

Investigators believe the minivan was hit when the driver was moving the van to help jump-start another vehicle. The driver was treated at a hospital and released.

Police said weather probably wasn't a factor, but some people were not wearing seat belts.

State suspends funeral home's license after violations found

PETOSKEY (AP) — The state has shut down a northern Michigan funeral home after an inspection found unsanitary conditions in an embalming room, human cremated remains stored alongside those of animals and other violations.

Michigan's Licensing and Regulatory Affairs office said Wednesday that the mortuary science establishment license of the Charles G. Parks Funeral Home in Petoskey has been suspended. The suspension becomes effective Friday.

The individual mortuary science license of owner Charles Guy Parks Jr. also was suspended.

The state said embalmed bodies were found in an unrefrigerated garage and that at least $4,935 for prepaid funeral goods or services was not put into escrow.

Parks told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he had no comment on the license suspensions or the state investigation.

Snyder is studying 'best practices' to stop school shootings

LANSING (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder said his administration is studying "best practices" across the U.S. to combat gun violence in the wake of shootings at a Florida high school and at Central Michigan University.

The Republican governor hopes to make a proposal "relatively soon."

He reiterates his support for "red flag" legislation that would let law enforcement or family members go to court to seek the removal of guns from dangerous people, "as long as it's done with due process."

Snyder appears less open, however, to increasing Michigan's minimum age to buy guns. It's now age 18.

Numerous gun-related proposals are percolating in the Republican-led Legislature, such as arming trained teachers and potentially boosting funding for school security.

Michigan House OKs bills to parole 'medically frail' inmates

LANSING (AP) — Legislation advancing in Michigan's Legislature would let "medically frail" inmates be paroled.

The main bill approved 94-14 by the Republican-controlled House on Wednesday could initially affect 40-60 prisoners. The number could grow as the prison population ages.

Inmates convicted of first-degree murder or first-degree criminal sexual conduct wouldn't be eligible.

The state could save $200,000 annually if the 40-60 inmates were paroled, housed in nursing homes and had their health care covered by the joint federal-state Medicaid program. The Senate will consider the bill next.

Legislation to allow the parole of medically frail prisoners cleared the House in 2016 but died in the Senate. That measure could have affected roughly 120 inmates because first-degree murderers and rapists would have been eligible.

Christian group sues after losing status at Detroit campus

DETROIT (AP) — A student group that follows Christianity is suing Wayne State University after it lost its status as a campus organization.

InterVarsity says it's a victim of discrimination after serving Wayne State students for decades. The lawsuit in Detroit federal court says the university took action last fall after learning that the group's leaders are required to embrace Christianity.

In a statement to the Detroit Free Press, Wayne State says it must protect the "constitutional and religious rights of everyone." The Detroit university says recognition as a student group is not a right.

InterVarsity says it welcomes all students regardless of beliefs, but its leaders must meet certain standards. The group still meets at Wayne State but now must pay $100 to use a room.

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