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State Briefs

• Nov 3, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Coast Guard, Great Lakes shippers arrange rescue training

CLEVELAND (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has struck a deal with a Great Lakes commercial shipping organization to conduct maritime rescue training programs.

The agreement sets terms for training sessions that will involve Coast Guard air stations in Traverse City and Detroit and vessels enrolled with the Lake Carriers Association. The group has 13 member companies operating 49 U.S.-flag ships that haul cargo such as iron ore, limestone and coal.

A memorandum of agreement was signed this week at the 9th Coast Guard District headquarters in Cleveland.

Ninth District commander Rear Adm. Joanna M. Nunan said the training will simulate real-life medical evacuations. She said it will make pilots better prepared and shorten the time needed for rescues.

Medical examiner says 37 sets of cremains found in storage unit

ATHENS (AP) — A southern Michigan medical examiner said authorities are trying to identify 37 boxes of cremains discovered in a storage unit after the death of a funeral director.

Calhoun County Medical Examiner Dr. Joyce DeJong told WOOD-TV that the family of Joy Spencer Spoor discovered the cremains after her Oct. 14 death. Spoor was an owner of Spencer Family Funeral Home in Athens.

DeJong said authorities have started the process of identifying the cremains and returning them to families. She said she doesn't know yet why the remains were being kept in the storage unit.

Magazine of gun found at college was stolen from police

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — Officials said a loaded magazine for a semi-automatic handgun that was found in a bathroom at Grand Rapids Community College had been stolen from a police vehicle.

The school said in a statement that the gun magazine filled with ammunition was taken from a Kentwood Police Department detective's vehicle about three weeks ago. WOOD-TV reported investigators are working to determine how it ended up on campus.

Grand Rapids Community College delayed the start of classes Wednesday after the magazine was found at Cook Hall at about 3 a.m. that day. The school's President Bill Pink said other campus buildings were searched and no other items of concern were found.

Tips are being sought from the public in the investigation.

Lawsuit: Teacher taped mouth of adult special-needs student

ANN ARBOR (AP) — A teacher, her former supervisor and a Michigan school district are named in a federal lawsuit alleging abuse that included taping shut the mouth of a 26-year-old student with cerebral palsy.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by the student's mother alleges a photo was taken of the March 2016 incident at Ann Arbor High Point, a school for special-needs students.

The photo was texted by the teacher to the student's mother with the caption: "Help. She won't be quiet!!!!"

Washtenaw Intermediate Schools said no complaints were made by the family until nearly a year later. Spokeswoman Emma Jackson told The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press that the teacher and her supervisor no longer work for the district.

The newspapers were unable to reach the teacher for comment.

Police say Michigan woman applies for job, then steals cash

ALPENA (AP) — Authorities said it didn't take long for them to catch a woman suspected of stealing cash from a northern Michigan restaurant, since she'd just filled out a job application at the eatery.

Michigan State Police were told a 47-year-old Alpena woman filled out the application at Mandarin Garden in Alpena County this week, and then took money out of the cash register. WHSB-FM reported she was confronted by employees and fled, but police said they quickly found her at home.

She was arrested and is expected to face charges including larceny.

The stolen money was recovered and returned to the restaurant.

Snyder OKs income tax break for police, firefighter retirees

LANSING (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law an income tax break for an estimated 800 retired Detroit police and firefighters who have been paying higher taxes under a law he backed that eliminated or reduced exemptions from the taxation of retirement income.

The new law enacted Thursday also will benefit hundreds of retirees from the Michigan State Police.

The measure allows the retirees who were not part of Social Security in their government employment to deduct more of their pension income from being taxed if they were born after 1952 and were retired as of Jan. 1, 2013.

The bill will reduce state revenue by about $2.6 million a year, according to the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency. It does not apply retroactively.

State Legislature favors calling residents 'Michiganders'

LANSING (AP) — Are you a Michigander or a Michiganian?

The state Legislature is weighing into the debate in favor of using the term Michigander.

The House this week approved a 13-bill package related to modernizing laws related to historical markers. A portion of one bill defines residents of the state as Michiganders and removes references to the term Michiganians.

The bills, which previously cleared the Senate, need only final Senate votes before heading to Gov. Rick Snyder. He uses the term Michiganders.

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