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State Briefs

Associated Press • Jun 20, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Worker dies following accident at electric plant

GENESEE TWP. (AP) — Authorities say a worker has died following an accident at an electric plant in Michigan.

The Genesee Township Police Department said 25-year-old Travis Wilson of Richfield Township was working last week on a pipe with a metal cap that was connected to a water line at the Genesee Power Station in Genesee County's Genesee Township.

Police Chief John Mullaly said the 30-pound cap struck him in the head. He was pronounced dead Thursday at the scene about 50 miles northwest of Detroit.

The plant is owned by CMS Energy, the parent company of Consumers Energy, and burns biomass material such as construction debris. Consumers Energy spokesman Roger Morgenstern said grief counselors are being provided for Wilson's co-workers.

The death is under investigation.

West Michigan woman charged with murder, child abuse

PORTAGE (AP) — A West Michigan woman is facing charges she abused her infant twin sons, including one who died from his injuries.

Twenty-one-year-old Jennifer Mohler of Portage was arrested Tuesday on two counts of first-degree child abuse and one count of felony murder.

Her 5-month-old son died Feb. 13, nearly two weeks after emergency teams were called to her home because the infant was suffering seizures.

Police say an autopsy performed by the Kalamazoo County Medical Examiner's Office listed injuries of the head and neck as the cause of death, and it was ruled a homicide.

Investigators determined the infant had a twin brother who showed similar injuries. He was placed into protective care.

Mohler doesn't have a published telephone number and she could not be reached for comment.

Couple found dead in swamp died of hypothermia

HOUGHTON LAKE (AP) — Michigan State Police say autopsies show a couple found dead in a northern Michigan swamp died of hypothermia.

They announced the autopsy results Tuesday for 34-year-old Jeff Hurley of Prudenville and 19-year-old Alexandria Foust of Cadillac. They said toxicology reports show both had been under the influence of methamphetamine when they died.

The couple went missing in November 2017. A truck belonging to Hurley was found that month stuck in mud. The bodies were found in the Dead Stream Swamp area of Missaukee County in late March.

Black man's pickup painted with swastikas, slur

VIENNA TWP. (AP) — Authorities in Genesee County are investigating after a black man woke up to find swastikas and slashed tires on his pickup truck.

Someone also spray-painted "wite pride" on the side of Hubert Roberts' Chevy Silverado in Vienna Township. White was misspelled.

The 62-year-old Roberts said he discovered the damage Tuesday. He says he feels "very hurt." His truck has a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Sheriff Robert Pickell said he's assigned a detective to investigate the vandalism. Prosecutor David Leyton said he was "furious" when he learned about it. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is offering a $1,000 reward for information that helps police.

DNR to sell 41 parcels in Presque Isle County

LANSING (AP) — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is preparing to auction off some of its holdings in Presque Isle County.

The DNR says 41 parcels will be available in the northeastern Lower Peninsula county. They range in size from 1 acre to 32 acres.

Real Estate Services Manager Scott Goeman said they're considered better suited for private ownership because they are isolated from other DNR lands, are hard to manage or provide few outdoor recreation benefits to the public.

Property listings and information about submitting bids will be posted online when the auction begins July 10.

Sealed bids must be postmarked by midnight July 20 and will be opened Aug. 1.

Proceeds from the land sales help DNR provide future outdoor recreation opportunities around Michigan.

US pays $400K to settle lawsuit with border agent with PTSD

BAY CITY (AP) — The federal government has agreed to pay $400,000 to settle a lawsuit by a former U.S. Border Patrol agent who said his assignment in Texas triggered post-traumatic stress disorder from his war service.

Anthony Gazvoda wanted a transfer to the U.S.-Canada border in northern Michigan, his native state, but his request was rejected. He sued the government in 2015, arguing that an accommodation was reasonable.

Gazvoda's attorney, Jason Turkish, said a settlement was reached earlier this month, weeks before a trial in federal court in Bay City.

In 2011, Gazvoda found that the culture and environment in Laredo, Texas, reminded him of his time in Afghanistan and triggered PTSD.

In court filings, the government said there was no guarantee that a transfer would protect Gazvoda from PTSD.

Ford celebrates purchase of iconic Detroit train station

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is celebrating its purchase of Detroit's long vacant train depot that the company plans to redevelop for research and development of self-driving vehicles.

The company's executive chairman, Bill Ford, has used the Michigan Central depot as a backdrop while publicly laying out plans for the 105-year-old train station and surrounding neighborhood.

On Tuesday, the automaker held a public event outside the 500,000-square-foot building.

Bill Ford said Tuesday that the company is reimagining mobility and "making a big bet on" its future with the investments. He said the depot and 17-story office tower will be redeveloped over the next four years.

The last passenger train left the station in 1988. A businessman purchased the building in the mid-1990s, but it remained empty and became blighted.

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