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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Mar 12, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Deadlines approach to remove shanties from Michigan waters

LANSING (AP) — Even though the weather's still plenty cold, the time is fast approaching to remove ice fishing shanties from Michigan waters in preparation for the spring thaw.

The Department of Natural Resources says shanties must be removed before the ice is unable to safely support them. Once temperatures rise, ice quickly can become unsafe for anglers to retrieve their property.

The deadline is Friday at midnight for removal from waters in the northern Lower Peninsula and Michigan-Wisconsin boundary waters. For all Upper Peninsula counties, shanties must be removed by midnight March 31.

Shanties can be used after the mandatory removal dates, but they must be hauled off the ice each day.

Owners whose structures fall through the ice can be jailed for up to 30 days and fined.

Whitmer appointees are confirmed after 60-day window passes

LANSING (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Cabinet is now officially in place after Michigan lawmakers let her appointees stand confirmed.

The Senate had a 60-day window in which to reject the Democrat's choices to lead various state departments and offices. The deadline passed Sunday for 11 appointees. The window for another appointee expires Monday.

A Republican-led Senate committee held advice-and-consent hearings on Whitmer's picks.

Michigan OKs medical marijuana use to treat cerebral palsy

LANSING (AP) — The state of Michigan has added cerebral palsy to a list of conditions for which people can register to use medical marijuana.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs announced its decision Monday. It followed a unanimous recommendation from a review panel.

The department also rejected adding chronic aggressive behavior to the list, after panel members unanimously recommended denial.

Other medical conditions on Michigan's list include cancer, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease and chronic pain.

Roughly 293,000 patients are registered with the state to grow their own marijuana or obtain it from 41,000 registered caregivers who can supply a limited number of people. Michigan voters last year legalized marijuana for recreational use, too.

Detroit man arraigned on animal fighting, cruelty charges

DETROIT (AP) — A 29-year-old Detroit man has been arraigned on animal fighting, cruelty to animals, gun possession and other charges after authorities found about 30 dogs and equipment used for dog fighting.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said Julian Akyan appeared Monday in 36th District Court.

Detroit police and the Michigan Humane Society recovered the animals Friday during an investigation at an east-side home and three other locations. Authorities said the dogs had injuries consistent with dog fighting.

On Monday, a judge ordered that Akyan is to have no contact with animals as part of his bond.

A probable-cause conference is scheduled for March 21. Akyan's preliminary examination is scheduled for March 28.

Report: Michigan State Police facial image database grows

LANSING (AP) — A newspaper reports the Michigan State Police's Statewide Network of Agency Photos has grown to nearly 50 million facial images.

The Detroit Free Press said the Secretary of State's Office has been giving state police its digital photos since 1998 and state police started using facial recognition technology in 2001. Those include ones taken for driver's licenses or ID cards.

The newspaper reported the database also can include social media images if police obtained them as part of a criminal investigation.

State police spokeswoman Shanon Banner said in an email that all of the agency's facial examiners are trained by the FBI, and any matches between suspect photos and database photos "only provide 'investigative leads' back to the investigating agencies." She said the photos "are never considered to be positive identification."

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