State Briefs

Associated Press • Sep 27, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Michigan, Flint ordered into talks on long-term water supply

DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge has ordered Michigan and Flint officials to meet again with a mediator to discuss the long-term future of the city's water supply.

Gov. Rick Snyder's administration is suing Flint to force the City Council to approve a 30-year deal with the Great Lakes Water Authority. Mayor Karen Weaver has signed off, but that's not enough.

Judge David Lawson ordered all sides back to court today.

Flint has been getting water from Great Lakes Water since the lead disaster of 2015. The state says a long-term deal will keep Flint's water fund solvent and alleviate the need to raise rates.

In response, the council says it needs time to conduct its own research. Attorney Peter Doerr said an order to force compliance with Michigan's demand would be "unprecedented."

14 Michigan communities awarded water system fix-up funds

LANSING (AP) — Fourteen Michigan communities are getting money to improve their water and sewer systems.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. said Tuesday that $23.2 million in grants are being distributed under a program established last year. It's intended to boost economic growth and help low- and moderate-income communities upgrade public infrastructure.

The recipients were chosen from among 48 applicants. They had to match at least 10 percent of the funding, which originates with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Projects must be completed by Dec. 31, 2019.

Communities receiving grants include Adrian, Bad Axe, Buckley, Coleman, Croswell, Deckerville, Grand Haven, Grayling, Harrison, Hillsdale, Lake Odessa, Lapeer, Roscommon and Vernon.

Airbnb guest accused of trying to sexually assault girl

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Michigan man who was a guest at an Airbnb in suburban Minneapolis is accused of trying to sexually assault the host's 7-year-old daughter.

Derrick Kinchen, 28, of Lansing was charged Tuesday with second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Police were called to the family's home in Minnetonka early Sunday. The girl's father said Kinchen had rented their spare bedroom through the Airbnb website. According to the complaint, Kinchen arrived home from a wedding around midnight, and about 15 minutes later the father walked into his bedroom and saw Kinchen lying naked on the bed next to his daughter.

The father yelled at Kinchen, who fled. Police found Kinchen hiding in a fishing boat, wearing only a suit coat.

Airbnb said it is supporting the host family and has banned Kinchen.

4 Saginaw Valley State students have reactions to chemical

KOCHVILLE TWP. (AP) — Saginaw Valley State University says four students have suffered skin reactions after coming in contact with a toxic disinfectant in a chemistry lab.

University spokesman Justin Engel said at first one student went to a hospital with symptoms after exposure to phenol, but three other students later began suffering similar symptoms with a skin irritation on their wrists and forearms. They also were transported to a hospital after being quarantined with five other students and a professor who did not experience adverse reactions.

Engel told WJRT-TV that everyone in the lab in the Herbert Dow Dean Science Building was wearing standard safety equipment, including gloves and goggles, when the chemical exposure occurred.

Michigan approves incentive for third Amazon warehouse

LANSING (AP) — Michigan is giving online retailer Amazon $4.5 million to ensure it opens another facility in the state.

The Michigan Strategic Fund approved the incentive Tuesday for the e-commerce powerhouse to open a fulfillment center in Macomb County's Shelby Township. Seattle-based Amazon plans to create 1,025 full-time jobs at the $40 million facility.

It is the third time in nine months that the state has authorized a grant to open an Amazon fulfillment center, which is a giant warehouse where items are stored, packaged and shipped. The other centers will also be based in the Detroit area — in Romulus and Livonia.

Economic development officials say Amazon chose the Shelby Township site over competing sites in other Midwestern states and Canada.

Firefighters rescue 3 young children from locked gun safe

STERLING HEIGHTS (AP) — Firefighters used heavy-duty cutting tools to free three young children who accidentally locked themselves inside a gun safe at a suburban Detroit home.

The Detroit Free Press reported the safe had recently been delivered and was in the garage of the home in Sterling Heights. Fire Chief Chris Martin said the children, who are ages 3 and 4, apparently crawled inside the safe Sunday afternoon and it locked.

The newspaper said instructions for the safe and the combination were inside the safe with them. It took about 12 minutes to get them out using a hydraulic spreader and saws.

The children were checked out at the scene and appeared to be OK. WXYZ-TV reported that the kids later toured the fire station, where they thanked their rescuers.

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