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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Apr 19, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Michigan jobless rate fell slightly last month

LANSING (AP) — Michigan's unemployment rate declined slightly to 4.7 percent in March.

Figures released Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget show Michigan's jobless rate last month fell from 4.8 percent in February. It was six-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate of 4.1 percent last month and slightly higher that the state's March 2017 rate of 4.6 percent.

The agency said total employment was essentially unchanged over the month, increasing by 3,000 while the number of unemployed in the state decreased by the same number.

Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives Director Jason Palmer said Michigan jobless rates have been very steady since September 2017 and payroll jobs have risen consistently since early fall.

Michigan State VP knocks Nassar victim, then apologizes

EAST LANSING (AP) — A Michigan State University official apologized Wednesday for adding to the "pain" of Larry Nassar's sexual assault victims after emails showed her sharply criticizing a young woman who accused the school's president of trying to suddenly arrange a lawsuit settlement.

Kaylee Lorincz made the claim last week during a public meeting of MSU's governing board. She said interim President John Engler offered $250,000 a few weeks ago without her lawyer present.

Over the weekend, Carol Viventi, an MSU vice president and lawyer, sent an email to university trustees calling Lorincz' account "false news."

"Kaylee's statements to the board contained many false and inaccurate statements, which we did not publicly contradict out of an abundance of concern for the survivors who are quick to claim 'revictimization' or 'shaming' of survivors whenever they are falsely accusing members of the MSU community," Viventi said.

She quoted another MSU lawyer as saying Lorincz and her mother wanted to meet Engler to "set up MSU."

Emails between Viventi and trustees were obtained by the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News. Viventi subsequently apologized.

Michigan woman charged in mother's overdose death

KALAMAZOO (AP) — A Kalamazoo County woman has been charged in her 87-year-old mother's overdose death.

Susan Kubicek of Portage was arraigned Tuesday for a second-degree murder charge in the May 5 death of her mother, Dorothy Allen.

Kubicek had been caring for her ailing mother months before she died, said Steve Salik, Kubicek's brother. Salik said their mother needed 24-hour care after having her thyroid removed and undergoing 35 radiation treatments, which affected her ability to eat.

He said his sister intentionally overdosed Allen on painkillers.

"I'm sorry that she's gotten herself into this predicament, (but) it was inevitable," Salik said. "She has some problems."

The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office confirmed Allen died of an intentional overdose. The department accused Kubicek of giving a caregiver the painkillers to administer to her mother.

Kubicek is scheduled for a preliminary hearing April 26. She's being held without bond.

Lawsuit gets OK; cop broke man's ribs at wrong house

ADRIAN (AP) — A lawsuit can proceed against a beefy sheriff's officer who tackled a smaller Lenawee County man, breaking his pelvis and ribs, while investigating a crime — at the wrong house.

A federal appeals court says a jury could "reasonably conclude" that Sgt. Jacob Pifer used excessive force against Ralph Pelton in 2015.

Pifer and another officer were investigating a report of domestic violence involving a gun. Pelton pulled his arm away from Pifer while confronting the officers on his front porch. That's when the 320-pound sergeant tackled Pelton and broke his bones.

Pelton wasn't armed.

It turned out that the officers were at the wrong address. They said they were relying on information from an informant in an emergency.

Man strips naked, dances after traffic accident near Detroit

WESTLAND (AP) — Police have arrested a motorist who stripped naked and danced in the street following a multi-vehicle crash west of Detroit.

Police told WDIV-TV that the man plowed his pickup truck into other vehicles Tuesday in Westland, exited the truck and took off his clothing.

Witness Ghazi Khalaf told the television station that the man remarked to police that he was "fine" after throwing off his clothing. Khalaf said the man tried to run away, but was caught and handcuffed by officers.

Police were not immediately sure what caused the pickup driver's erratic behavior.

One person was hospitalized from the crash that involved at least five vehicles. No serious injuries were reported.

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