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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Aug 11, 2018 at 8:00 AM

2 Michigan swine flu cases among 1st detected in US in 2018

FOWLERVILLE (AP) — Health officials say two children are among this year's first detected U.S. cases of a particular influenza virus after being exposed to a sick pig at a fair.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Friday the influenza A (H1N2) variant has been identified as the strain that sickened the attendees of last month's Fowlerville Family Fair. It's similar to the main flu viruses circulating in swine.

The children are recovering and weren't hospitalized. Officials are investigating others who became ill.

Two additional cases have been confirmed in California.

The viruses are common in pigs, though they don't usually infect humans. No human-to-human transmission has been identified.

They are among 17 cases of the strain submitted to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control since reporting began in 2005.

Detroit-area financial adviser accused of embezzling $3.7M

DETROIT (AP) — Authorities have accused a Detroit-area financial adviser with embezzling roughly $3.7 million from his clients.

The charge was filed as a criminal "information" instead of an indictment, which means that prosecutors and John Maccoll have negotiated a guilty plea. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit said Maccoll turned himself in Friday and appeared with his attorney for an arraignment.

Maccoll has been charged with wire fraud in connection with theft from his clients at UBS Financial Services in Birmingham. Officials said about a dozen people lost money between 2010 and March of this year as part of the scheme.

The Associated Press left a message late Friday afternoon for defense attorney Rafael Villarruel.

Trial date set; fight ends over statements in mass shootings

KALAMAZOO (AP) — A January 2019 trial date has been set in the case of an Uber driver charged with killing six people in Michigan after a prosecutor said he won't appeal a decision that keeps a lid on parts of a police interview.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting said it's time to bring the "matter to trial without further delay." The shootings occurred in February 2016.

The state appeals court recently threw out some statements made by Jason Dalton. Getting said he won't appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Dalton is charged with killing six people and wounding two others while driving for Uber. He's not accused of shooting customers. Dalton told police that a "devil figure" on Uber's app was controlling him.

Jury selection will start Jan. 3.

Contaminated groundwater plume from landfill moves, shrinks

ALMENA TWP. (AP) — Officials say a contaminated groundwater plume from a landfill in southwestern Michigan that caused area residents to get new water sources has crossed into a neighboring county.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reported that recent tests have detected contaminants in residential wells in Van Buren County's Almena Township from the landfill in Kalamazoo County's Oshtemo Township. Daniel DeWitt, environmental legal counsel to KLA Group, which is working to complete landfill cleanup, said the plume is shrinking as it moves.

The landfill opened in 1955 and was operated as a private dump, then as the Oshtemo Township landfill and finally as a landfill for Kalamazoo County. It was closed in 1979 after contaminants were found in nearby residential wells and it was designated a federal Superfund site in 1982.

Detroit-area leader apologizes for 'join the Klan' remark

PONTIAC (AP) — A prominent suburban Detroit leader has apologized for saying he'd rather join the Ku Klux Klan than a group of CEOs who are striving to improve Detroit.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said in a statement he chooses "sharp words" and purposely engages in hyperbole to get his points across. He noted that the words he chose "offended a lot of people."

Patterson in a letter recently accused CEOs group of snatching business from Oakland County to benefit Detroit. Asked Thursday by a reporter if he'd consider joining the CEOs group, Patterson, who is white, said he'd "rather join the Klan," a white supremacist group.

After the apology, the Detroit branch of the NAACP said the region doesn't need divisiveness between the suburbs and Detroit, which is majority black.

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