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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Jun 26, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Coast Guard says Great Lakes waters still dangerously cold

TRAVERSE CITY (AP) — It's summer, but don't be fooled — the Great Lakes are still dangerously cold.

The U.S. Coast Guard says water temperatures below 77 degrees can quickly cause hypothermia for someone who falls from a boat. All five of the lakes are well below that mark.

A sudden plunge into cold water can trigger a gasp reflex leading to inhalation of water and drowning.

In addition to wearing life jackets, the Coast Guard says mariners should dress according to the temperature of the water, not the air. They also should file a float plan or at least inform others about where they're going and when they expect to return.

Life sentence for man in slaying of Western Michigan student

KALAMAZOO (AP) — A man convicted of murder in the robbery and death of a Western Michigan University student has been sentenced to life in prison.

Jordan Waire's no-parole sentence was automatic Monday, weeks after his conviction in Kalamazoo County.

A co-defendant, Joeviair Kennedy, was acquitted of murder. He was on Western Michigan's basketball team when he was arrested.

Nineteen-year-old Jacob Jones was killed in an off-campus apartment in December 2016. Witnesses said Waire and Kennedy burst into Jones' apartment demanding money and marijuana.

But Waire's attorney, Michael Oakes, insists that Waire was the victim of courtroom lies.

Waire declined to speak to the judge before his sentence. He and Kennedy were teammates at Muskegon High School.

Jones' mother, Tara Workman, told a judge that her son's death has been "utterly devastating."

Blueberry farm agrees to $200,000 deal with migrant workers

FENNVILLE (AP) — Lawyers for 330 migrant workers and a West Michigan blueberry farm have agreed to settle a lawsuit over pay.

A federal judge is holding a hearing Wednesday. Each worker is likely to get at least $300. Payments could be higher if people can't be found and money is leftover.

Blue Star Farms in Allegan County was accused of failing to keep accurate records and failing to fully pay workers during the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons. The farm denied the allegations but agreed to settle the lawsuit.

The money would be paid over a few years because the farm can't immediately afford to foot the bill. The total settlement is valued at $200,000. Lawyers for the workers would get up to $66,000.

2 dead, 1 hurt in small plane crash in Detroit, police say

DETROIT (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a small plane crash in a Detroit neighborhood that killed the pilot and one of his two passengers.

Air safety investigator Andrew Todd Fox said Monday that no conclusive cause has been determined for the crash.

Fox said the single-engine Cessna fueled up Sunday afternoon in West Memphis, Arkansas. The plane was cleared to land Sunday night at a small municipal airport on Detroit's east side when the pilot reported one landing gear was not extended.

Fox said the pilot was circling back to the airport when he told the control tower he was either "low on fuel or out of fuel." The plane struck trees and a power line as it crashed and caught fire.

Video shows a 17-year-old boy stumbling from the burning wreckage. Fox said the teen was in critical condition at a hospital.

The names of the victims were not immediately released.

Pilot escapes injury after hot-air balloon crash

HOWELL (AP) — Fishermen rescued a hot-air balloon pilot who escaped injury after his balloon struck power lines and fell into a southeastern Michigan lake.

The man was rescued Sunday on Thompson Lake around the Livingston County community of Howell, which hosts the annual Michigan Challenge Balloonfest. The solo pilot was taken to rescue crews on the shore.

Dave Park, who was fishing on the lake, said the balloon and basket caught fire after hitting the wires. Video shows the descent, explosion and downward drift toward the lake.

Event officials haven't released the pilot's name, though The Associated Press left a message Monday for the man also believed to be the balloon's owner. A message was left with the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating.

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