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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Apr 28, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Two dead in northern Michigan small plane crash

SOUTH BOARDMAN (AP) — Authorities said two people have died after a single-engine airplane they were on crashed in northern Michigan.

Kalkaska County Undersheriff Harry Shipp confirmed the fatalities after the crash Friday afternoon.

Sheriff Pat Whiteford said the plane crashed on private property without hitting any houses or other structures. It occurred near U.S. 131, about 20 miles southeast of Traverse City.

The cause of the crash wasn't immediately known.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a statement saying it was investigating the crash with the National Transportation Safety Board.

Body of missing man washes ashore in Berrien County

BENTON TWP. (AP) — A body that has washed ashore in southwestern Michigan has been identified as that of a man who went missing from a marina earlier this month.

The Benton Township Police Department said the body found along the Lake Michigan shoreline Friday morning was that of Ralph Ford of White Pigeon. He was last seen April 10 on his dock at a marina.

Police said the body was found at Berrien County's Rocky Gap Park. Police said there's no evidence of foul play.

Catholic priest ordered to trial on 3 additional charges

SAGINAW (AP) — A Catholic priest in the Saginaw area has been ordered to trial on sexual abuse charges involving two teenagers.

The Rev. Robert DeLand was bound over Friday on charges of criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct and distributing an imitation controlled substance.

The Saginaw News reported a 17-year-old youth testified the 71-year-old DeLand last year slid a hand down his back to his buttocks during a conversation at his high school and later offered him a fake drug that police provided. An 18-year-old testified DeLand tried to grab his crotch during an event at a church.

DeLand earlier this week was ordered to trial on charges of criminal sexual conduct involving the 17-year-old and attempted criminal sexual conduct and gross indecency involving a 22-year-old male.

Company plans reinforcement of damaged Great Lakes oil pipes

MACKINAW CITY (AP) — The company that operates twin oil pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac says it's considering ways to reinforce them in spots believed to have been struck by a tugboat anchor this month.

Enbridge Inc. said Friday a remotely operated vehicle and human divers have inspected the Line 5 pipes at the bottom of the waterway that connects Lakes Huron and Michigan. One had two dents. The other had a single dent and a scratch in its enamel outer coating.

Spokesman Ryan Duffy said neither had metal loss or other structural damage that could have produced a leak. He said Enbridge is looking at a number of methods for strengthening the affected places, including some type of "sleeve" covering.

The suspected April 1 anchor strike also severed two underwater electric cables.

Michigan residents share concerns about tainted groundwater

PIERSON (AP) — Several hundred people packed a central Michigan hall to listen and share concerns about industrial chemical contaminants in groundwater at a landfill.

Thursday's meeting was hosted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in Montcalm County's Pierson Village Hall. Officials shared plans for investigating "possible offsite contamination" from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances known as PFAS, the Grand Rapids Press reported.

Rockford-based footwear company Wolverine World Wide disposed of PFAS-laden tannery waste for years at the Central Sanitary Landfill. A landfill official said they will be testing private wells and leaving bottled water for nearby residents.

Recent testing at the landfill found PFAS well above advisory levels. Residents questioned why they weren't tested sooner.

Studies suggest PFAS affects fetal development, disrupts hormonal functions, damages fertility and immune systems, and boosts cancer risk.

Michigan man listed as tallest twin dies at age 48

TROY (AP) — A Michigan man recognized as one of the world's tallest twins has died at age 48.

Michael Lanier of Troy was 7 feet 7 inches tall. An obituary posted online by Malburg Funeral Home says he died at a hospital Wednesday. WDIV-TV reported that he had cancer complicated by abnormal growth hormone.

The Guinness Book of World Records has listed Lanier and brother Jim as the tallest twins.

Michael Lanier played in 19 basketball games at UCLA in the early 1990s. He returned to Michigan and worked as a designer at General Motors.

In 2015, Lanier told WDIV "it's always a circus" when new people see him. He said dating was frustrating because he didn't know whether women were interested in him or just curious about his height.

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