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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Mar 22, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Michigan unemployment rate rises to 4.8 percent in February

LANSING (AP) — Figures released Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget show Michigan's jobless rate last month rose from 4.7 percent in January to 4.8 percent in February.

It was seven-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate of 4.1 percent in February and unchanged from the state's February 2017 rate of 4.8 percent.

The agency said total employment was essentially unchanged over the month, while the number of unemployed increased by 1,000.

The February jobless rate increase was Michigan's first since a minor uptick recorded in September 2017.

Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives Director Jason Palmer said the number of jobs statewide increased by 16,000 over the first two months of the year.

Snyder officially backs Calley in Michigan governor's race

SOUTHFIELD (AP) — Term-limited Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday officially endorsed his long-time lieutenant, Republican Brian Calley, in the governor's race — an expected move, but one that will enable the governor to play a more active role raising money for Calley and publicly touting their economic record.

Calley has been lieutenant governor since 2011. He hosted Snyder at a campaign event at a construction company in vote-rich Oakland County in suburban Detroit, where they fared well in the 2010 and 2014 elections.

Calley is among four main GOP gubernatorial candidates, including early front-runner state Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Snyder said he is proud of his governorship and his partnership with Calley, and the election is "an opportunity to pass that baton on to leadership that can take it to an even higher level, to build on the foundation that ... has been built and do even better.”

Michigan voters historically have not promoted lieutenant governors to the governorship. The last time a sitting lieutenant governor ran for governor and won was 1960.


Also seeking the Republican nomination are conservative state Sen. Patrick Colbeck and Dr. Jim Hines, a self-funded candidate. Democratic candidates include former legislative leader Gretchen Whitmer, self-funding businessman Shri Thanedar, ex-Detroit health director Abdul El-Sayed and retired business executive Bill Cobbs.

Detroit-area girl, 3, wounded after AK-47 accidentally fires

WARREN (AP) — A 3-year-old girl was wounded when an AK-47 assault rifle accidentally discharged as her grandmother was trying to unload the weapon inside a Detroit-area home.

Warren police said the girl was shot Wednesday morning after the grandmother found the rifle in the home.

The slug traveled from the second floor and grazed the girl's leg, WJBK-TV reported. The girl was on the first floor.

Police said it also narrowly missed an 18-year-old who was in the basement.

The 3-year-old girl was reported to be in stable condition at a hospital.

It was not immediately known who owns the rifle. Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said there "probably will be some charges forthcoming."

Michigan House wants schools to grant credit for internships

LANSING (AP) — The Michigan House has approved legislation requiring state high schools to give credit for qualifying internships.

The proposal cleared the chamber Wednesday to amend Michigan's school code regarding academic internships or similar work experiences that last at least four hours a week. The student must attend the internship for the same amount of time a typical course would entail.

The Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Education Association back the measure. Supporters say it affords students in rural areas the opportunity to hone nontraditional job skills as part of their education.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

Woman forever cleared in slaying of Battle Creek bartender

BATTLE CREEK (AP) — Freedom has been assured for a woman who spent 17 years in prison for the fatal stabbing of a Battle Creek bartender.

The U.S. Supreme Court this week rejected an appeal from the state of Michigan in the case of Hattie Mae Tanner. It means that an appeals court decision throwing out Tanner's murder conviction and life sentence will stand.

A bartender, Sharon Watson, was killed in the basement after closing Barney's Bar in March 1995. Police believed it was part of a robbery.

A federal appeals court last year said a "rational jury" in Calhoun County should have found plenty of reasonable doubt at Tanner's trial. The court noted that blood found on the victim's clothing didn't belong to Tanner.

Ohio attorney Ben Flowers said it was "an honor" to represent Tanner.

Michigan brothers in same jail, charged in separate slayings

MOUNT CLEMENS (AP) — Two Michigan brothers are in the same Detroit-area jail — one charged in the slaying of his wife and the other his pregnant girlfriend.

The Macomb Daily and WJBK-TV reported Joshua Boshell was arraigned Tuesday in a Macomb County court on first-degree murder charges in the weekend shooting death of his wife, Kristi Boshell.

Separately, Jeremiah Boshell is in the county jail awaiting trial on murder charges in the August 2016 shooting of Lisa Fabbri. Original charges included assault on a pregnant individual intentionally causing miscarriage.

Police in Shelby Township, where Joshua and Kristi Boshell lived, say the circumstances of the unrelated cases are strange. Deputy Chief Mark Coil called it an "unfortunate set of circumstances."

Joshua Boshell requested a court-appointed attorney. Jeremiah Boshell's attorney, Ken Vernier, declined to comment.

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