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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • May 25, 2018 at 9:00 AM

New Census: Michigan population grows, Detroit sees decline

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit appears to continue its decades-long population loss while most Michigan communities gain residents, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday.

Census figures show that Michigan grew by 0.3 percent to more than 9,960,000 residents from 2016 to 2017.

Detroit saw a drop of nearly 2,380 residents over the same time period. The city's population has declined 6 percent since 2010.

Detroit's continued slide comes as Grand Rapids, Lansing and Ann Arbor see population gains. Grand Rapids' population increased the most statewide, growing by more than 2,500 to around 198,800.

Keego Harbor in Oakland County is Michigan's fastest-growing city. The community grew to nearly 4,000 residents last year, up by 12 percent, according to census estimates.

Emergency rule prohibits most anchoring in Michigan waterways

LANSING (AP) — Michigan's governor on Thursday approved an emergency ban on most vessels dropping anchor in a Great Lakes waterway where oil, electric and other infrastructure cables rest, following an anchor strike that caused a potentially toxic leak.

The move prevents environmental damage to the state and the Straits of Mackinac, Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement. The Straits of Mackinac connects Lakes Michigan and Huron.

The eastern boundary of the no-anchor zone is defined by the Mackinac Bridge. The western boundary is defined by a line beginning at the western edge of McGulpin Point in the Lower Peninsula to the western edge of an unnamed island immediately southwest of Point La Barbe in the Upper Peninsula.

The rule will remain in place for six months and can be renewed for another six months. The state and the U.S. Coast Guard are discussing permanent anchoring measures that would complement Michigan's temporary ban.

The rule allows exceptions for emergency situations, vessels operating under tribal authorities and written requests that have to be approved.

Michigan budget deal: More for roads, school safety, savings

LANSING (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder's administration and key lawmakers struck a budget deal Thursday that includes using a surplus to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more on road work and school-safety initiatives while also padding the state's savings account.

The framework covers spending levels for areas of the budget. Now legislators on House-Senate conference committees will iron out details so the Republican-led Legislature can vote as soon as the first week of June.

Under the terms of the deal, the state will spend $400 million more than anticipated on infrastructure in the next fiscal year, primarily on roads and bridges, said state budget office spokesman Kurt Weiss. Negotiators also agreed to Snyder's proposed base K-12 funding increase of $120 to $240 per student, the largest increase for lower-funded districts in 17 years.

In the wake of the school shootings in Florida and Texas, the state will spend $58 million on school safety — issuing grants to help some schools upgrade their security, hiring more counselors and expanding a statewide confidential tip line.

An additional $115 million will be added to the state's "rainy day" savings fund, bringing it over $1 billion.

Police say wrong stationery trips up bank robbers

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — Police say they solved a Grand Rapids bank robbery because of the unusual stationery.

A note demanding $50 and $20 bills was written on a piece of paper from a probation office. Investigators said they traced the paper to Michael Sterling Jr. because a date matched his visit to the office.

The Grand Rapids Press reported that a brother, Dominke Sterling, was ordered to stand trial Wednesday. Police said they learned through Google that his phone was behind the Huntington Bank on the day of the robbery last fall.

Police said $2,200 was stolen.

Michael Sterling is in custody awaiting extradition from Pennsylvania.

Dispute over election, tribe catches Supreme Court's eye

ST. IGNACE (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court is interested in the case of a former police chief in the Upper Peninsula who's been barred from running for public office because of a corruption conviction.

Fred Paquin wanted to run for St. Ignace City Council in 2013 and 2015, but was told that a conviction disqualified him under the Michigan Constitution. He pleaded guilty in 2010 to misusing federal money given to the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians when he was the tribe's police chief.

Paquin says he shouldn't be barred from running for city council because the tribe is sovereign.

The state Supreme Court says it will hear arguments in the months ahead. The appeals court last fall ruled against Paquin.

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