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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Mar 6, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Tensions high, arrests made at white nationalist's visit

EAST LANSING (AP) — Protesters clashed with police and supporters of white nationalist Richard Spencer during his visit to Michigan State University on Monday.

Police said at least a dozen people were arrested.

MSU allowed Spencer to appear, but the venue was an auditorium at a remote end of campus.

Students are on spring break. But hundreds of protesters turned out, shouting profanities at Spencer supporters and police.

Officers formed lines outside the auditorium to try to keep the peace and protect people who had tickets as they entered the event. The officers wore helmets and clutched batons.

Spencer popularized the term "alt-right" to refer to a fringe movement that's a mix of white nationalist and anti-Semitic beliefs.

Katie Kuhn of Lansing led some anti-Spencer chants. She said there's too much "hate and fear."

Great Lakes advocates to ask Congress for water protections

TRAVERSE CITY (AP) — A coalition of Great Lakes advocates is urging Congress to provide funds for cleaning up the region's waters and strengthening its water infrastructure.

Groups representing businesses, industry, environmentalists, cities, states and tribes will make their annual lobbying visit to Washington, D.C., this week. They'll visit lawmakers who represent the region's eight states to urge support for a list of funding priorities.

Among them is full funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which usually gets about $300 million a year. President Donald Trump's proposed budget would provide only $10 million for the next fiscal year.

The coalition also will push for more upgrades of drinking water and sewage treatment systems, farm conservation programs that prevent fertilizer runoff, and infrastructure to protect against invasive species and enhance Great Lakes navigation.

Former Oakland U professor gets 3-4 years in prison

PONTIAC (AP) — A former Oakland University business professor accused of providing drugs to students at his home in suburban Detroit has been sentenced to at least three years in prison.

Oakland County Circuit Judge Cheryl Matthews sentenced 49-year-old Joseph Schiele on Monday to two years for possession of a firearm while maintaining a drug house and to 1-2 years for maintaining a drug house and for possession of the tranquilizer Ketamine. The latter two sentences will be served at the same time after he serves the time on the firearm charge.

The (Royal Oak) Daily Tribune reported that, after prison, Schiele will be deported to his native Canada.

Four young people were at Schiele's home in Oakland Township on Feb. 15, 2017, when it was searched by Oakland County authorities.

Michael Talbot retiring from appeals court; judge since '78

LANSING (AP) — The chief judge at the Michigan Court of Appeals is retiring after 40 years on the bench.

Michael Talbot got his start in 1978 as a Detroit-area judge appointed by Gov. William Milliken. After 20 years, he was promoted to the appeals court by Gov. John Engler and won a series of elections.

Talbot said Monday he's stepping down on April 25. 

Gov. Rick Snyder will get an opportunity to pick a successor.

While serving on the appeals court, Talbot also was credited with cleaning up Detroit's 36th District Court in 2013 and 2014. The court had many problems, from budget overruns to some employees who had little direction.

Talbot lately has been overseeing compensation cases filed by people who were wrongly convicted of crimes.

Safety awareness campaign to focus on roofing industry falls

LANSING (AP) — A worker safety awareness campaign hopes to reduce deaths from falls in Michigan's roofing industry.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration's "Stop Falls. Save Lives" effort is continuing into its second year.

The agency says the campaign seeks to educate employers and workers about fall hazards. It says falls are preventable with continued training, appropriate equipment and diligent safety awareness in the workplace or job site.

Officials say eight people in Michigan died last year from falls related to roofing activities, compared to four such fatalities in 2016.

MIOSHA field staff is expected to closely observe residential and commercial roofing activities in the coming year. On-the-spot inspections will be initiated if any serious hazards are observed.

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