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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Jan 9, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Ann Arbor defeats plan to target deer hunt protesters

ANN ARBOR (AP) — The Ann Arbor City Council has turned down a request to take action against protesters who are opposed to a special deer hunt.

The Ann Arbor News said protesters have appeared at sites where sharpshooters have been hired to kill up to 150 deer this month. The goal is to reduce the city's high deer population.

Councilwoman Jane Lumm wants the city attorney to issue tickets or file lawsuits to discourage the protests. But her proposal was defeated Monday, 6-5.

Councilman Jeff Hayner said he won't interfere with the rights of people who want to protest. He said they "feel unheard."

Members of Friends of Ann Arbor Wildlife say they have quietly held signs after being warned not to interfere. But resident Stephen Kunselman, who supports the deer hunt, said people were honking horns at his property.

Mourners fill mosque at funeral for family killed in I-75 crash

DEARBORN (AP) — Hundreds of people filled a Detroit-area mosque Tuesday to honor five family members killed in a wrong-way crash in Kentucky.

Mourners offered prayers and other inspiring words while a slide show displayed photos of the Abbas family.

Issam and Rima Abbas and their three children were killed early Sunday when their SUV was smashed by a pickup truck operated by a suspected drunken driver on I-75 in Lexington, Kentucky. The family was returning to Northville, Michigan, from Florida. The pickup driver also died.

A two-hour funeral was held at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn. Five caskets were taken to the main prayer hall and then carried outside.

Men holding the caskets cried out in Arabic: "There is no god but God."

Whitmer seeks to ensure equal pay for female state employees

LANSING (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a directive aimed at ensuring that female state employees are paid the same as men doing equivalent work.

The order issued Tuesday prohibits state departments and agencies from inquiring about a job applicant's current or previous salaries until making a conditional offer of employment, including proposed compensation. The state also cannot retrieve the same information by searching public records or databases.

Whitmer, a Democrat who took office last week, said asking job applicants about their salary history can perpetuate the gender wage gap. She said her directive "is about doing what's right."

Her order does not prevent an applicant from volunteering information about compensation, but the applicant's refusal to do so must not be considered in an employment decision.

U of Michigan to pay $300K to settle employee lawsuit

ANN ARBOR (AP) — The University of Michigan has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit by a former employee who claims she was wrongly terminated.

MLive.com reported Tuesday that the school, through its attorney, signed a settlement Dec. 3. It was released following a public records request by the news organization.

Amy J. Wang alleged that she was asked by her boss to lie to federal immigration officials about the duties of another employee, whom she says shouldn't have been working in a permanent managerial job. The other employee was a non-U.S. resident.

Spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said the university "categorically denies" the allegation that Wang was asked to lie. He said the university discovered the visa issues on its own.

The university didn't admit liability in the settlement with Wang.

Driver gets 10-year sentence in crash that killed 9-year-old

PETOSKEY (AP) — A northern Michigan woman has been sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for fatally striking a 9-year-old boy with her vehicle.

Emmet County Judge Charles Johnson exceeded the sentencing guidelines, which aren't mandatory.

Samuel Myers was walking his bike with his mother in August 2018 when they were hit by a Chevrolet Trailblazer. Samuel's mother, Sharon Myers, was injured in the crash.

Holly Hibbler of Petoskey was sentenced Tuesday, weeks after pleading no contest to reckless driving causing death. The Petoskey courtroom was filled with family and friends of the victim.

Hibbler, 37, will be eligible for parole after 10 years.

Michigan Land Bank announces blight elimination grants

LANSING (AP) — Blight elimination funding is available for land banks and governmental units in Michigan counties with fewer than 50,000 people.

The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority says the Michigan Rural Community Demolition grants are designed to help communities remove vacant and abandoned structures from neighborhoods to prepare the areas for developments that spark business investment and provide good jobs.

The maximum award per proposal is $50,000 and can be used toward dealing with vacant and abandoned, blighted commercial or residential structures.

Proposals will be evaluated based on their anticipated impact in promoting public safety, enhancing economic development, public and private investment in the project, and alignment with the community vision or other place-making efforts.

Applications will be accepted until Feb. 15.

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