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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Aug 3, 2018 at 8:00 AM

49 cases of dog flu in 6 counties confirmed since July 13

LANSING (AP) — Michigan officials are warning dog owners to keep their pets at home if they're sick to prevent the spread of canine influenza.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development said Thursday that 49 cases of dog flu have been confirmed in six Lower Peninsula counties since July 13, compared with nine cases during all of 2017. The six counties are Ottawa, Kent, Huron, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne.

The agency says dog flu is highly contagious. Symptoms include fever, lethargy, coughing, and nasal and/or eye discharge. Most cases of canine influenza are mild, and dogs usually recover within 2-3 weeks. However, more severe cases can occur.

Indianapolis man struck in Michigan construction zone dies

FORT GRATIOT TWP. (AP) — Authorities said a road worker has died from injuries he suffered when a vehicle struck him in an eastern Michigan construction zone.

The St. Clair County Sheriff's Office said it was notified Thursday that 44-year-old Julian Perez of Indianapolis died at a hospital two days after the collision on M-25 in Fort Gratiot Township.

A 28-year-old woman from Marlette was driving through the construction zone Tuesday when she struck Perez, police said. No one in her vehicle was injured.

An investigation is continuing.

Beaumont Hospital to pay $84M to resolve overpay charges

ROYAL OAK (AP) — A Detroit-area hospital will pay $84.5 million to settle U.S. Justice Department allegations over improper pay to eight doctors.

The Justice Department said Thursday the settlement resolves allegations that Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak overpaid the doctors and provided them with free or below-market office space and other incentives so they would refer more patients to Beaumont. The allegations occurred between 2004 and 2012.

Under the settlement, Beaumont paid $82.7 million to the U.S. and $1.8 million to the State of Michigan.

The allegations were first raised in four whistleblower lawsuits filed under provisions in the False Claims Act that allow whistleblowers to share a portion of any recovery. The Justice Department said the whistleblowers' share of the settlement hasn't been determined.

Substance on slide burns 2 children in eastern Michigan

LAPEER (AP) — Police said two children have suffered burns from an unknown substance left on a slide at a municipal park in eastern Michigan.

Lapeer Police said a 1½-year-old boy got the substance on his legs while going down the slide at Cramton Park in downtown Lapeer, and a 14-year-old girl who went to help him also got some on her legs. The incident happened at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Police said both children went to a local hospital, and the toddler was transferred to the burn unit at Hurley Medical Center in Flint.

WJRT-TV reported police found the substance on the slide and removed it after hospital officials alerted them. Samples have been sent to a laboratory for identification.

No other foreign substances were found on other playground equipment at the park.

Police face discipline for alcohol at drug task force office

FLINT (AP) — Five Michigan State Police officers are facing discipline for allegedly drinking alcohol while off-duty at an office used by a Flint-area drug task force.

The agency said in a statement Wednesday that an internal investigation determined several members of the Flint Area Narcotics Group drank alcohol at the office after work hours. State police require "the highest standards of professional conduct,” the agency said.

Names of the officers, including three command officers, weren't immediately released.

The commanding officers involved have been reassigned to administrative duties or are on administrative leave. The others face disciplinary proceedings.

The Flint Area Narcotics Group now has a new commander.

The multi-jurisdictional task force investigates drug and criminal activity in Genesee County. It's one of several anti-drug units around Michigan headed by the state police.

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