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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Apr 7, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Ex-MSU president to get office in newly renovated building

EAST LANSING (AP) — Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon will have an office in a newly renovated campus building after resigning amid the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal.

Simon, who remains a tenured professor, is slated to relocate to Wills House once its nearly $1 million renovation is complete, the Lansing State Journal reported.

Her husband, Roy Simon, who serves as senior adviser to the executive vice president for administrative services, will also have an office inside the historic house on the East Lansing campus, according to university spokeswoman Emily Guerrant.

Simon's post-presidency benefits kicked in with her resignation Jan. 24, the same day Nassar, the university's former sports doctor, was imprisoned for sexually abusing young athletes over more than two decades.

The employment contract outlines that Simon could earn her full $750,000 presidential salary during a one-year research leave and the following year as a faculty member. Subsequent years, she can earn 75 percent of that amount, or $562,500, annually. It also requires the university to provide Simon with a suitable office and secretarial services if she returns to the faculty, reported the Detroit News.

Marine vessel may have caused leaks into Straits of Mackinac

MACKINAW CITY (AP) — A marine vessel may have caused a leak of coolant fluid from submerged electric cables into the waterway that connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, the U.S. Coast Guard said Friday.

About 600 gallons of a synthetic mineral oil used for insulation escaped into the Straits of Mackinac earlier this week after two power cables owned by American Transmission Co. were damaged.

None of the spilled material has been spotted on the surface or along ice-encrusted shorelines. The Coast Guard said it probably was diluted in the 5-mile-wide waterway, which has strong, swirling currents and depths of up to 200 feet.

Federal and state authorities said the leak posed little risk to human health or wildlife, although nearby towns were advised to monitor their drinking water intake systems.

The Coast Guard's announcement that it was investigating "vessel activity" was the first official word about a possible cause. Spokeswoman Ensign Pamela Manns declined to elaborate, saying only that "there's some evidence" suggesting a vessel might be responsible.

New state law loosens veteran clubs' liquor restrictions

LANSING (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation to allow veterans affiliated with a private club or fraternal organization to drink alcohol at more places than just their own group's club.

Snyder's office on Thursday announced the signing of the measure. Michigan legislators earlier voted to discard a provision in the state's liquor code that said members of veteran organizations can only purchase alcohol from their local chapter's club.

The new law does away the constraints at private clubs such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. Supporters of the change said out-of-towners deserve to fully enjoy libations with fellow veterans and that the current law is outdated.

Michigan approves ban on antidepressant tianeptine sodium

LANSING (AP) — Michigan's governor has signed what's been described by state police as the nation's first statewide ban on the antidepressant tianeptine sodium.

The office of Gov. Rick Snyder announced Thursday that he signed the measure to classify the drug as a Schedule II controlled substance, placing it in the same highly restrictive category that cocaine and opiates fall under.

State police flagged the drug to a state lawmaker after a spate of gruesome overdoses in the Midland and Saginaw area in 2017.

Tianeptine sodium is an atypical antidepressant that is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It is marketed as a supplement or research chemical through unregulated vendors, but it is often abused in high doses to simulate opioid-like highs.

Police say person of interest arrested in shooting of boy, 7

DETROIT (AP) — An arrest has been made in the shooting of a 7-year-old Detroit boy struck in the neck by one of at least 13 bullets fired toward someone else's home.

Police Chief James Craig on Friday called the man a "person of interest," but didn't say if the man fired the shots from an assault-type rifle late Thursday night on the city's east side.

The boy was playing in an upstairs bedroom when he was shot. He was rushed to a hospital by his mother and is expected to recover.

Craig called the shooting "a senseless, cowardly act" and told reporters that it stemmed from a relationship that had ended. He declined to give further details.

The rifle was not recovered.

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