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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Nov 29, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Search for next Michigan State president to remain closed

EAST LANSING (AP) — Two Michigan State University board members leading the search for a new president say it will remain closed to the public.

Dianne Byrum and Melanie Foster announced in an email to the university community Wednesday that the board will make the decision and conduct interviews in private.

The Detroit Free Press reported Byrum and Foster say they've been advised by a consultant and a search firm that most highly qualified candidates are unwilling to be recruited in public and that MSU is competing for highly qualified candidates at a time when several other universities also are searching for new presidents confidentially.

Lou Anna Simon resigned as the university’s president in January amid fallout from the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. MSU then named former Gov. John Engler as interim president.

Inquiry closed for doctor who resigned amid Nassar probe

EAST LANSING (AP) — A Michigan State University doctor who resigned last year after learning the school was considering firing her because she didn't disclose that USA Gymnastics was investigating disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar has been cleared in a state licensing inquiry.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said Tuesday it couldn't substantiate a violation by Brooke Lemmen and closed its investigation into her.

Aaron Kemp, Lemmen's attorney, told the Lansing State Journal that his client is happy to be cleared in the investigation. He said it's "very good news."

Lemmen was among several current or former MSU doctors or trainers who had been under licensing investigation by LARA.

Nassar worked for MSU and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. He is imprisoned for molesting athletes and possessing child pornography.

UP businesses court young talent home for Thanksgiving

HOUGHTON (AP) — Come home for the turkey. Maybe return again for a job.

That was the message in Michigan's northwestern Upper Peninsula as employers courted young professionals who were home for Thanksgiving. The Daily Mining Gazette said 11 companies participated in Return North, an event held last Friday in Houghton County.

Xeratec, an information-technology company, identified several candidates. Software developer Brett Hillstrom said an event like Return North is how the company finds talent.

Kris Niva recently returned to the area from San Diego. He said "there's definitely some opportunities" in the Keweenaw region.

Matthew Ellison, co-founder of network-security company Arroyo Networks, said he was impressed with the diverse backgrounds of people at the event. He hopes it's a good sign for the economy.

Woman sentenced to prison in slaying of homeless man

LANSING (AP) — A woman who pleaded guilty but mentally ill to killing a man at a mid-Michigan homeless camp has been sentenced to 25-60 years in prison.

The Lansing State Journal reported Amber Kohls of Lansing was given her punishment Wednesday in the October 2017 slaying of 53-year-old John Darnell Jr.

Kohls, 26, apologized to Darnell's family for her actions. She earlier entered the plea to second-degree murder.

Police have said Kohls and her former husband, Brandon Addiss, 28, both stabbed Darnell and cut his throat. His body was found wrapped in a tent in Lansing's Sycamore Creek.

Addiss earlier was sentenced to 40-80 years in prison for second-degree murder.

A third person, Matthew Ryan Green, was sentenced in August to 18-60 months for accessory to murder for helping hide Darnell's body.

Murder charges dropped against 2 men in boyhood memory case

DETROIT (AP) — Prosecutors are dropping murder charges against two Detroit men who were granted a new trial based on the boyhood memory of a man who witnessed his mother's slaying in 1999.

Justly Johnson and Kendrick Scott have been in prison or jail for nearly 20 years. The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday it's dropping the case, four months after the Michigan Supreme Court said the men deserved another trial.

Lisa Kindred was shot in a van on Mother's Day 1999. Her son, Charmous Skinner Jr., was 8 years old and also in the vehicle. His recollection of the shooter is different than the evidence offered at trial.

Skinner was never interviewed by police.

Scott described his release as "awesome." He said it's a "tragedy" that the men were locked up for so long.

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