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State Briefs

Associated Press • Jun 19, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Michigan officials pledge $50M for shipping locks upgrade

LANSING (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder and top Michigan lawmakers are promising President Donald Trump the state will help pay to upgrade the Soo Locks if the federal government takes the lead.

Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley told Trump in a letter released Monday that Michigan is committing $50 million for a second lock to accommodate 1,000-foot freighters that haul iron ore and other bulk cargo between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes.

Just one lock in the system can handle vessels that big. Officials say if it were disabled, the U.S. steel and manufacturing industries would be crippled.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says a second 1,000-foot lock would cost $900 million. Congress authorized the project in 1986 but hasn't funded it.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and House Speaker Tom Leonard also signed the letter to Trump pledging a state contribution.

State child abuse investigator charged with assaulting teen

ST. JOHNS (AP) — A state child abuse and neglect investigator has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenager.

Daniel William Hulings, 34, of Bath Township is free on bond after being arraigned June 7 on seven counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in Clinton County District Court.

Jennifer Kuiper-Weise, an attorney for Hulings, said her client has pleaded not guilty "and we believe he will be exonerated."

Court records show the victim said she had sexual contact with Hulings on numerous occasions over a period of more than a year beginning when she was 16.

A Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesman said Hulings has been suspended without pay.

AAA: Michigan gas prices rise 2 cents to $3.03 per gallon

DEARBORN (AP) — AAA Michigan says average gas prices statewide have risen about two cents in the past week to about $3.03 per gallon.

The Dearborn-based auto club said early Monday that the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline is about 70 cents more than at the same point last year.

Michigan's lowest average price was about $2.91 in the Marquette area. The highest was about $3.08 in the Ann Arbor area. AAA says it's the seventh week in a row that the Ann Arbor area has had the highest average.

The Detroit-area's average was about $3.03, up about 1 cent per gallon.

AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state.

Police: Woman arrested after 3 children left in hot minivan

CLINTON TWP. (AP) — A 37-year-old Michigan woman has been arrested after three girls — ages 6, 3 and 2 — were left in a locked minivan on what would become the hottest day so far this year.

The woman was shopping in Clinton Township when police were called about 9 a.m. Sunday. The van's front windows were opened slightly.

The National Weather Service says the temperature was about 77 degrees at the time. It reached 96 degrees Sunday in the Detroit area.

Clinton Township police Capt. Richard Maierle said the 6-year-old girl was "sweating profusely" when officers coaxed her into unlocking a door.

Security video showed the woman was in the store about 25 minutes. She is mother to two of the children and aunt to the third.

She was released Sunday after posting bond.

Police: 4 cut or stabbed during a fight at party in Michigan

KENTWOOD (AP) — Authorities say four people were cut or stabbed during a fight at a party at a home in West Michigan.

The Kentwood Police Department says officers responded about 12:45 a.m. Monday to reports of a fight outside the home in Kentwood where a person was hit with a bottle. They responded again about 3:30 a.m. to reports several people had been stabbed.

Police said four people were injured with a knife. They say in a statement two were treated for minor injuries and released. Police say one underwent surgery for a serious, but non-life threatening stab wound to his arm and another was in critical but stable condition following surgery.

Police say they took two men into custody and described them as "persons of interest." The stabbing is under investigation.

2 Nassar victims praise Calley in new gubernatorial race ad

LANSING (AP) — Two victims of former sports doctor Larry Nassar are praising Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Calley in a TV ad launched by his gubernatorial campaign.

Calley last week signed legislation inspired by the Nassar scandal. He also has joined calls for John Engler to no longer serve as interim president of Michigan State University due to emails Engler sent criticizing victims' lawyers and saying the first woman to go public with her accusations against Nassar — Rachael Denhollander — probably received a "kickback" from her attorney.

The 30-second ad was announced Monday and will air on broadcast and cable stations, including in Detroit and Grand Rapids.

The ad shows Denhollander and Kaylee Lorincz commending Calley's leadership.

The office of Calley's rival in the GOP primary, Attorney General Bill Schuette, prosecuted Nassar.

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