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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Mar 30, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Public warned not to eat fish from southern Mich. pond, creek

LANSING (AP) — Michigan health officials have issued an emergency "Do Not Eat" advisory for all fish in a southern Michigan pond and creek due to high levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said bluegill fillets tested from the Beaver Dam Pond were found to have high levels of the chemical. The warning extends to the pond and Helmer Creek, both in Calhoun County, but not to the nearby Kalamazoo River.

The department said Friday that touching the fish or water and swimming in the pond or the creek is not considered a health concern, but foam that forms on the pond or creek may be. It said people should wash after touching foam.

New charge pursued against former Michigan State dean

LANSING (AP) — State prosecutors say they'll pursue a second felony charge against a former medical school dean who had oversight of Larry Nassar at Michigan State University.

William Strampel is accused of sexually harassing female students when he was dean of the osteopathic medical school. He's been ordered to trial on a charge of misconduct in office. The state Attorney General's Office wants to add a charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The charge is related to an allegation that Strampel grabbed a woman's buttocks at a social event. Defense attorney John Dakmak said he'll fight it.

Strampel's trial is scheduled for May 28.

Strampel had oversight of Nassar, an MSU doctor who was convicted of child pornography crimes and sexual assault. Critics say Strampel failed to ensure that Nassar was following patient restrictions that were ordered in 2014.

Suspected drunken driver steals university bus in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — A Wayne State University shuttle bus sporting "Warrior Strong" along its sides was stolen in Detroit by a suspected drunken driver who was stopped an hour later and about 45 miles away.

The forest green bus was swiped at about 6:15 a.m. Friday while the driver was inside a Detroit gas station. The school's sports teams are called the "Warriors."

State police pulled the bus over at about 7:15 a.m. on I-94 near Ann Arbor. State police Lt. Darren Green told MLive.com that the thief said "the keys were in it," so he "took it."

The 59-year-old Detroit man was arrested for vehicle theft and suspected drunken driving. Green said he already was named in 16 misdemeanor warrants and had 21 driving suspensions.

The bus is owned by a private company.

Woman who says husband was beaten on lake trip loses appeal

MUSKEGON (AP) — A woman who claimed her husband was beaten by co-workers on a sailboat before his body was found in a West Michigan lake has lost a key decision at the state appeals court.

Experts who examined Robert Muhammad's body said he died from an accidental drowning in Muskegon Lake in 2014. But Yreva Muhammad filed a lawsuit on behalf of her husband's estate, alleging that his Grand Rapids co-workers assaulted him.

Kent County Judge Joseph Rossi dismissed the case, declared the lawsuit frivolous and even ordered Muhammad's estate to pay $900,000 in attorney fees. The appeals court says there wasn't a "scintilla of evidence" supporting the assault theory before the lawsuit was filed.

But the court says the judge needs to hold a hearing on the issue of legal fees.

Homicide investigation underway after human remains found

EATON RAPIDS TWP. (AP) — Authorities say a homicide investigation is taking place following the discovery of the remains of a female in a wooded area of mid-Michigan.

The Eaton County Sheriff's Office said the remains were discovered Wednesday evening in Eaton Rapids Township. The department said the remains were in an advanced state of decomposition.

The Sheriff’s Office issued an update Friday, saying the discovery was being investigated as a homicide and detectives were working to determine the person's identity. Cause or date of death also weren't immediately known.

Sheriff's detectives and evidence technicians assisted by the Michigan State Police Crime Lab and Michigan State University Anthropology Department recovered the remains and turned them over to medical examiners.

Magistrate who set low bond in drug case: I'm 'not perfect'

DETROIT (AP) — A magistrate who set a low bond for a Mexican man accused of smuggling drugs in Detroit said she didn't know he was accused of being part of a large drug operation.

Jose Antonio Lopez has disappeared after posting $200. Police said they caught him with 10 pounds of heroin and 4 pounds of cocaine. He didn't appear at a recent court hearing and may have fled to Mexico after the March 2 arraignment.

Magistrate Vesta Svenson told The Associated Press that she's "not perfect" and may have overlooked the "large amount of drugs." She said, "I don't have any memory of this."

No prosecutor attended the weekend arraignment.

Svenson is a former judge who works five or six weekends a year. Wayne County Chief Judge Tim Kenny said Svenson will be dropped from the rotation.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said "it's an outrage" that Lopez's bond was so low.

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