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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Mar 31, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Police ID suburban Detroit crash victims as Muskegon women

REDFORD TWP. (AP) — Police have identified three women who died in a rollover crash in suburban Detroit this week as being Muskegon residents.

Redford Township police said the crash killed 50-year-old Mia Dorris; her daughter, 30-year-old Jatia McGough; and 22-year-old Raeniquah Watson.

Witnesses told investigators their car was seen traveling at a high rate of speed prior to the crash at about 2 a.m. Thursday. Police said the car went airborne and rolled over several times before striking a light pole.

Two of the women were ejected from the vehicle.

PR firm tracked Nassar victims' social media for university

EAST LANSING (AP) — The public relations firm hired by Michigan State University amid the scandal surrounding disgraced ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar says it monitored social media accounts, including those of Nassar's victims, but its contract was to provide crisis communications.

The statement issued late Thursday by Weber Shandwick responded to a Lansing State Journal story Wednesday saying the New York-based firm billed the university roughly $500,000 for work in January tracking media coverage and social media activity.

Weber Shandwick said its work mainly "involved crisis counsel" from late December to early March. The firm adds it wasn't hired to track accounts, but it shared media coverage and social media with university officials. That included posts by women who say they were sexually assaulted by Nassar.

The firm said Nassar's victims are "the most important voices in the conversation."

Nassar is serving a decades-long prison sentence for molesting patients and possessing child pornography.

SBA approves disaster declaration for 4 Michigan counties

LANSING (AP) — The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved a disaster declaration for four Michigan counties affected by severe flooding in February.

Gov. Rick Snyder announced Friday the declaration covers Arenac, Berrien, Ingham and Kalamazoo counties, and the adjacent counties of Allegan, Barry, Bay, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Clinton, Eaton, Gladwin, Iosco, Jackson, Livingston, Ogemaw, Shiawassee, St. Joseph and Van Buren.

Residents and businesses that sustained uninsured, flood-related losses of 40 percent or more are eligible to apply for low-interest loans. The money could be used to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and business assets that were damaged or destroyed.

Additional information is available at www.sba.gov.

Detroit-area teacher/crossing guard struck by minivan dies

MOUNT CLEMENS (AP) — A suburban Detroit teacher struck by a minivan while working as a crossing guard has died of her injuries.

The Macomb County Sheriff's Office said 57-year-old Angeles White of Lenox Township died Friday morning, one week after the crash outside Prevail Academy charter school in Mount Clemens.

School spokeswoman Leah Nixon said White was helping with morning arrivals at the time of the crash. No children were injured.

Police said the minivan driver stopped at the scene, was questioned by deputies and released. The driver hasn't been publicly identified.

The case is expected to be presented to prosecutors for possible charges once the investigation is completed.

State Treasury office warns tax preparers of data thefts

LANSING (AP) — State Treasury officials are urging tax professionals to be alert to data theft schemes and scams in the final weeks before the April 17 filing deadline.

Michigan Deputy Treasurer Glenn White said data safeguards should be reviewed and immediately enhanced. Data security plans also should be created.

Attacks by cybercriminals on tax practitioner offices occur most often from January through April.

The Internal Revenue Service reports that 75 firms have reported taxpayer data thefts in January and February. That's a nearly 60 percent increase over the same period last year. One refund scheme has affected thousands of taxpayers and numerous tax practitioners this filing season.

Some signs of data theft include slower than normal network computers and rejected e-filed returns due to already filed Social Security numbers.

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