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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Jun 16, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Chemical contaminants in West Michigan airport soil, groundwater

CASCADE TWP. (AP) — Tests have confirmed chemical contaminants in soil and groundwater at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport near Grand Rapids.

The airport released a report Friday that shows elevated levels of PFAS, which stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

Airport officials say the levels are below state limits for drinking. They also say the airport will test some nearby residential wells.

PFAS compounds are used in food packaging and many consumer products. They're also found in firefighting foam used by airports and the military.

Some nearby homeowners started paying for private water testing this spring after the state asked the airport to investigate its past use of firefighting foam.

A Michigan Department of Environmental Quality spokesman told The Grand Rapids Press that the state will review the report.

Mistrial declared in case of teen hunter's fatal shooting

HART (AP) — A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a 63-year-old hunter safety instructor charged in the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy squirrel hunting in West Michigan.

Oceana County Circuit Judge Robert Springstead halted the trial of Roger Hoeker on Thursday. The judge determined neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys knew of a sheriff's report about the Feb., 18, 2017, shooting.

Hoeker of Jenison initially was charged with involuntary manslaughter. A judge sent the case to Circuit Court on the lesser charge of reckless discharge of a firearm.

Police said William "Billy" Gort Jr. of Wyoming was shot in the head during a hunting trip with a friend and Hoeker, a mentor for a youth outreach program.

Hoeker's attorneys requested the mistrial. A second trial will be scheduled.

Citibank to pay Michigan $3 million, attorney general says

LANSING (AP) — Michigan's attorney general says the state is pocketing $3 million from Citibank as part of a $100 million settlement over alleged interest rate manipulation.

Bill Schuette said Friday that Citibank agreed to the settlement with 41 other state attorneys general.

The bank is accused of manipulating the U.S. Dollar London Interbank Offered Rate, a benchmark interest rate that affects multi-trillion-dollar financial instruments.

Schuette, a Republican running for Michigan governor, said Citibank is the third bank to settle.

Citibank spokeswoman Danielle Romero-Apsilos said the settlement is "another significant step for Citi in resolving its legacy interbank offered rate litigation" and that Citi's top priority is "keeping with the highest ethical standards."

Michigan man sentenced in Iowa drug case that killed woman

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A Michigan man accused of ordering drugs online and having them shipped to a friend in Dubuque — who then died of an overdose — has pleaded guilty.

Federal prosecutors for Iowa said Jay Rickert, 28, pleaded guilty Thursday in Cedar Rapids' federal court to willfully causing the distribution of a controlled substance.

As part of the plea, Rickert admitted he had ordered a hallucinogenic drug in February 2015 on the dark web from a supplier in Canada and had it shipped to a woman in Dubuque. Investigators said the woman used the drug, believing it was a hallucinogenic, but the supplier had shipped fentanyl, a powerful and often deadly synthetic opioid.

Rickert faces up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced at a later date.

City drops 50 misdemeanor cases after ordinances expire

LANSING (AP) — A newspaper reported prosecutors dropped 50 misdemeanor cases after the Lansing City Council accidentally let hundreds of city ordinances expire last year.

The Lansing State Journal reported officials discovered in February that the council neglected to renew at least 100 local laws. The council has since voted to renew the ordinances for 10 years.

The city attorney's office dismissed charges against 82 people and refereed 32 of those to Ingham County prosecutors for review.

Lansing's charter says council must vote every 10 years either to recodify city ordinances or to confirm its intention to let certain ordinances expire.

The city clerk is supposed to notify City Council six months before an ordinance is set to expire, but City Clerk Chris Swope confirmed he didn't due to an oversight.

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