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State Briefs

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

Calvin College in Grand Rapids to become Calvin University

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — Calvin College is changing its name to Calvin University.

The private liberal arts school in Grand Rapids says the change will occur in 2020, a century after Calvin became a four-year college.

Calvin has 3,800 students and is affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church. The school said Tuesday that the name change is being made partly to appeal to international students who are more familiar with "university" than "college."

Tuition will cost about $35,000 during the next school year, although Calvin says 99 percent of students receive financial aid. Alumni include U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Michigan House passes post-Parkland school safety bills

LANSING (AP) — Michigan's House on Tuesday passed its first school safety initiative since the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting, advancing the state's most sweeping campus security protocols yet.

A bipartisan five-bill package to create a school safety commission under the state police cleared the chamber, three weeks after its introduction in April. The proposed commission would pioneer statewide safety standards for school buildings, grade them based on new metrics and provide funds for campuses that need upgrades.

In addition, the legislative bundle requires law enforcement officers to undergo active violence response training and mandates schools to file annual reports on violence threats to state police.

"It's important that when kids go to school, we're doing everything we can to keep them safe," said bill sponsor Rep. Jason Wentworth, a Clare Republican. "This truly is a nonpartisan issue that should get full support."

Some Democrats voted against the legislation because they saw any school safety initiative without gun control as inadequate.

State Superintendent Brian Whiston dies at 56

LANSING (AP) — State Superintendent Brian Whiston, who led the Michigan Department of Education since 2015, has died. He was 56.

The department said Whiston died Monday evening at his home, surrounded by family. He had gone on long-term disability leave Friday after being treated for cancer since last fall.

State education board co-presidents Casandra Ulbrich and Richard Zeile issued a statement Tuesday calling Whiston a "wonderful person who devoted his life to serving others." They say his vision to make Michigan a top 10 education state will endure.

Gov. Rick Snyder also credited Whiston's work, calling him an "outstanding partner" and citing initiatives on workforce development and partnerships to help struggling districts.

Whiston previously was superintendent in Dearborn, Michigan's third-largest district, and lobbied for Oakland County's intermediate district.

Man accidentally shoots, kills self at RV resort, police say

SIX LAKES (AP) — Police said a 60-year-old man has died after accidentally shooting himself in the chest while showing his wife a handgun he'd been cleaning in mid-Michigan.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene of the Monday shooting at Pleasure Point RV Resort in the Montcalm County community of Six Lakes. His name wasn't immediately released.

State police said the couple were residents of the Washtenaw County community of Whittaker and split their time between there and the RV resort.

The death is under investigation.

11 children sickened at Detroit-area home; baby hospitalized

WARREN (AP) — A suburban Detroit mayor said children were eating feces and cereal off the floor of a home where 11 were sickened.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said Tuesday that some of the children suffered from malnutrition and were grossly underweight.

Warren Fire Commissioner Skip McAdams said an aunt took three children to a hospital Monday after they suffered vomiting, disorientation and weakness. McAdams said eight other children under the supervision of a 10-year-old also were transported to hospitals.

Warren Police Chief William Dwyer said only one child, a baby, remain hospitalized Tuesday, in stable condition.

Dwyer said police have turned the case over to the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office for possible charges.

Fouts said the 11 children belong to two mothers.

Authorities have posted an "unsafe structure" sign at the home.

Armored truck robbed in school parking lot, police say

TROY (AP) — An elementary school in suburban Detroit was placed on lockdown Tuesday morning after an armored truck was robbed while stopped in a parking lot outside the building.

Police said two suspects approached the truck at Wattles Elementary School in Troy at about 10:45 a.m. WXYZ-TV reported that the truck was on a routine stop at the school.

Pepper spray was used on one of the armored truck company's employees before the suspects fled with the contents of the vehicle.

The school was locked down as a precaution.

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