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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Jun 2, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Group challenges Nestle's state-issued water permit

LANSING (AP) — A group has filed a challenge against a state permit allowing Nestle Waters North America to pump more water for its Ice Mountain brand.

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation submitted the petition Friday. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality last month approved Nestle's application to remove 400 gallons of water per minute from an Osceola Township aquifer. Nestle had been permitted to withdraw 250 gallons per minute.

The group says the DEQ's review failed to pick up on the environmental consequences of withdrawing additional water.

The case will likely go to an administrative law judge within state government.

A DEQ spokeswoman declined to comment. Nestle officials said the company has confidence in the scientific data in its permit application.

Governor fills vacancy at Michigan appeals court

LANSING (AP) — An assistant attorney general has been promoted to judge at the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Anica Letica's appointment was announced Friday by Gov. Rick Snyder. A vacancy was created by the resignation of Michael Talbot, who was chief judge at the appeals court.

Letica has worked at the attorney general's office since 2009, specializing in appeals. She previously worked at the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office.

If Letica wants to keep the job, she'll need to run for election in 2020.

Man dies while cleaning sewer drain at mid-Michigan church

MOUNT HALEY TWP. (AP) — Authorities said a man has died after he apparently passed out while cleaning a sewer drain at a church in mid-Michigan and got stuck in the drain.

The Midland County Sheriff's Department said the 66-year-old Freeland man went to Mount Haley Church of God on Wednesday to clean leaves from the drain. A church secretary checked on him about 15-20 minutes later and found him head-first in the drain, which is located in a hole on church property.

Police said it's believed that the man likely died due to a lack of fresh air.

His name wasn't immediately released and the death is being investigated as an accident.

Michigan Democratic hopeful for US House dropped from ballot

LANSING (AP) — The sole Democrat vying to represent northern Michigan's 1st Congressional District will have to campaign as a write-in due to a technical gaffe.

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers on Friday unanimously determined Matt Morgan's use of a post office box address on his nominating petition instead of his residential address disqualifies him from certification. The board's ruling is based on state law governing the nominating procedure.

Morgan, a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer and a political outsider, seeks to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman in a seat known as one of the country's most rural congressional districts.

Morgan's attorney, Mark Brewer, said using the post office box shouldn't disqualify Morgan.

Should enough voters back him as a write-in in the Aug. 7 primary, Morgan could still show up on the November ballot.

Ionia County seeks to swap Chinese desks for US-made ones

IONIA (AP) — A Michigan county official is demanding a local supplier replace the Chinese-made office furniture it delivered with American products that the contractor had promised at a higher price.

The (Greenville) Daily News reported Ionia-based Custom Office Systems recently delivered 11 desks to the Ionia County Courthouse in boxes clearly marked "Made in China."

County Commissioner David Hodges voted with the 6-1 majority on April 24 to go with Custom's $41,862 bid over a rival's $33,739 offer based on the U.S.-made promise. He said the commissioners aren't happy and are demanding the furniture be replaced with American-made products.

The company sent a letter of apology to the commissioners this week, but didn't offer to fix the problem. It blamed the mistake on an oversight with its U.S.-based supplier.

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