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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • May 30, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Missing man found dead in Lake Michigan

ST. JOSEPH (AP) — Authorities said the body of a southwestern Michigan man reported missing earlier this month has been found by a boater in Lake Michigan.

The boater called 911 after spotting the body near Tiscornia Park in St. Joseph on Monday.

Police in Berrien County's Benton Township said the body was identified as that of 48-year-old Michael William. The Benton Township man was reported missing May 10 by his family.

The cause of death wasn't immediately known and an autopsy was planned. The death is under investigation.

Tow truck driver killed, 5 hurt after SUV hits empty school bus

PITTSFIELD TWP. (AP) — Police said a tow truck driver was killed when an SUV slammed into the rear of an empty school bus as he tended to the broken down vehicle in southeast Michigan.

State police said that two adults and three children in the SUV are in critical condition after the collision Tuesday morning along I-94 in Pittsfield Township, about 30 miles southwest of Detroit.

Police said the tow truck driver, 42-year-old Nader Chehadi, was behind the school bus, which had stopped at the side of the road due to engine trouble, when the crash happened. No students were on the bus.

Police are investigating the cause of the crash.

2-year-old child accidentally run over, dies

CLAM UNION TWP. (AP) — Authorities said a 2-year-old child has died after being accidentally run over by a vehicle driven by a family member in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula.

The child was struck Monday in Missaukee County's Clam Union Township. The Sheriff's Department said the child was pronounced dead at the scene near Falmouth Dam.

The child's name wasn't immediately released.

The death was under investigation Tuesday.

Detroit-area man sentenced for setting wife on fire

PONTIAC (AP) — A suburban Detroit man has been sentenced to 11-50 years in prison for dousing his wife with gasoline and setting her on fire.

The Oakland Press of Pontiac reported that David John Garnett, 55, learned his punishment Tuesday after entering a no-contest plea to a charge of assault with intent to murder and arson. Such a plea isn't an admission of guilt but is treated as one for sentencing.

The Feb. 5 attack left his wife, Rebecca Garnett, severely burned.

The defendant also was ordered to pay $3,230 restitution to his wife for lost wages due to her injuries.

Rebecca Garnett didn't attend the sentencing. Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Robert VanWert said she has checked herself into a mental treatment facility as a result of the assault.

Gun-toting Santa suing Michigan over loss of state job

DETROIT (AP) — A man who says his career suffered after he posted a photo of himself wearing a Santa Claus costume and holding a semi-automatic rifle has cleared a key hurdle in a lawsuit against the state of Michigan.

Calvin Congden's lawsuit can proceed on his First Amendment claim and other arguments. Federal Judge Mark Goldsmith released a decision Tuesday.

Congden, an Army veteran, worked for Michigan's Child Protective Services division. He said he lost favor with managers after posting his Santa photo on Facebook.

Congden said a manager told co-workers that he "looked crazy" and warned them to be careful. The state said Congden eventually resigned under a settlement with his union.

Congden said the state illegally retaliated against him because of his Facebook post and complaints to others.

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