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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Mar 14, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Body of man found in bag in mid-Michigan identified

SEVILLE TWP. (AP) — Authorities said Tuesday that a body found in a large plastic bag in mid-Michigan was that of a northern Michigan man.

A hospital and the Michigan State Police latent print division helped identify 67-year-old Robert Jack Counterman Jr. His last-known address was in the Gaylord area, but Gratiot County Sheriff's Lt. Charles McCullom said he may have been staying somewhere in Mid-Michigan recently.

McCollum said rabbit hunters found the man Sunday in a ditch in Gratiot County’s Seville Township.

Sheriff Doug Wright said the death is being investigated as a homicide. Counterman's cause of death hasn't been released.

Superintendent, 2 others out at Flint school district

FLINT (AP) — The Flint school board has removed the superintendent and two other senior officials.

The board's president announced Tuesday that Superintendent Bilal Tawwab, Assistant Superintendent Shawn Merriweather and the district's lawyer have been placed on leave.

No reasons were disclosed, although Tawwab had said he didn't want to keep his job beyond the next school year.

Flint school board President Diana Wright said she and her colleagues want to immediately find the next leader. The board was expected to discuss the hiring of an interim superintendent today.

The Flint district has roughly 4,500 students, and enrollment has been falling steadily. Northwestern High School will close in June. In 1968, Flint schools had 47,000 students.

Boyne to assume outright ownership of 6 ski resorts

BOYNE CITY (AP) — Michigan-based Boyne Resorts has reached an agreement to assume outright ownership of six ski resorts it's operating under long-term lease agreements, a development that could boost investment in the properties from Maine to Washington State, the company said.

The agreement covers Brighton Resort near Salt Lake City; Cypress Mountain in British Columbia; Loon Mountain in New Hampshire; Sugarloaf and Sunday River in Maine; and The Summit at Snoqualmie near Seattle. Also included is the Gatlinburg Sky Lift in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

The deal with Oz Real Estate will allow the new owner to invest in the seven properties, said Steve Kircher, Boyne's president and CEO.

Boyne Resorts has long wanted to own the properties, which it has operated on behalf of two different property owners, Kircher said in a statement Monday.

Sheriff apologizes for accidentally leaving gun at school

SHEPHERD (AP) — A county sheriff apologized Tuesday for accidentally leaving his backup gun in a Michigan school gym locker room.

Isabella County Sheriff Michael Main said his mistake is inexcusable.

"In the 20 years of law enforcement service I have never left a weapon anywhere," he said in a statement. "I have no excuse for my lack of responsibility with this matter. I have worked diligently my entire career to protect people, especially our youth. However, I have failed to do just that, and I'm devastated with my lack of accountability in this matter."

Main said he used the locker room at Shepherd Middle School to change from street clothes into his uniform for an event over the weekend. Main said he believed the gun — his backup weapon — was in his bag when he left.

A student later found the gun and told an adult, according to Main.

It wasn't clear if Main, an elected official, would face disciplinary action. The police department and Isabella County Prosecutor's Office are looking into the incident.

Jury rules for teacher who alleged assault by student

JACKSON (AP) — A jury has ruled in favor of a Michigan teacher who said her district retaliated after she reported to police being assaulted by a student rather than let school officials handle it.

The Jackson Citizen Patriot reported Tuesday that Pennie Davis was awarded $388,000 from Jackson Public Schools.

The district, which declined comment, has 30 days to appeal.

Davis alleged the district violated a whistleblower law when it transferred her to another school and gave her a poor rating. Those came after the October 2015 incident in which Davis said she argued with a disruptive student, who hit or pushed her hand as she tried to retrieve artwork.

She contends officials removed the student from her class but not the building, as she later sought in a personal protection order.

She has returned to the high school. The student is no longer there.

Lawsuit says priest charged with sex crimes groped teen

SAGINAW (AP) — A teenager says a Michigan priest charged with sex crimes fondled him, provided cash and requested that they "party together" with drugs.

The allegations are in a lawsuit filed Monday against the Rev. Robert DeLand. They match some allegations made by authorities when the 71-year-old priest was charged last month with criminal sexual conduct in Saginaw County.

The lawsuit says the boy met DeLand last May at a funeral. DeLand later invited him to perform community service at St. Agnes Church in Freeland.

By the end of the year, DeLand was calling or texting the teen at least 17 times a day, according to the lawsuit. The boy says he fled the priest's apartment in February following unwelcome touching.

The priest has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges.

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