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State Briefs

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

Michigan measles cases up to 41; Washtenaw County makes list

LANSING (AP) — The number of measles cases in Michigan has reached 41, including the first reported in Washtenaw County.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated the numbers Monday with two additional cases. Thirty-nine cases have been confirmed in Oakland County.

Authorities are trying to determine possible exposure sites in Washtenaw County in southeastern Michigan. They're also urging people again to get vaccinated if they haven't received the vaccine in the past. Measles is highly contagious and is spread by personal contact and through the air.

The state considers the vaccine to be highly effective and safe. A single dose protects about 95 percent of children. After two doses, almost 100 percent are immune.

The number of measles cases in Michigan is the highest since 65 in 1991.

Michigan motorcyclist, 70, dies after collision with turkey

OAKLAND TWP. (AP) — Authorities said a 70-year-old motorcyclist has died after he collided with a turkey that was trying to cross a road in suburban Detroit.

The crash happened Saturday afternoon in Oakland County’s Oakland Township, about 22 miles northwest of Detroit.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office said several turkeys started to cross the road in front of the man and one of them took flight, colliding with him and causing him to lose control of the motorcycle. The man's left leg was severed below the knee when he struck a guardrail.

The Sheriff's Office said the Oxford Township man was stabilized by paramedics at the scene, but he died after being taken to a hospital.

The crash is under investigation.

Detroit investigator will check city hall's tie to nonprofit

DETROIT (AP) — The city of Detroit's inspector general is investigating whether Mayor Mike Duggan and officials provided improper help to a nonprofit group that tries to prevent premature births.

The Detroit Free Press last week reported that the group, Make Your Date, has received $358,000, a portion of Detroit's share of state money for maternal and child health programs. The newspaper said a city official also was told to raise money for the organization, although the effort was dropped.

The Office of Inspector General is an independent city office that investigates waste, fraud and abuse. Ellen Ha was appointed last year by the City Council.

Duggan's chief of staff, Alexis Wiley, said there's been no wrongdoing. She said the city welcomes an "independent review" by the inspector general.

Deal reached on lawsuit over Michigan ban on ballot selfies

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has agreed to settle a lawsuit over a ban on so-called ballot selfies.

Joel Crookston, a voter in the Kalamazoo area, sued in 2016 to try to stop Michigan's ban on taking photos of marked ballots or publicly exposing them.

Lawyers won't talk about the deal until details are filed in federal court May 8. But a court filing last week suggests there will be an easing of the ban. The state said it wanted to avoid "any confusion" in polling places and wait until after local elections are held May 7.

In 2012, Crookston took a picture of his ballot and posted it on social media. He wasn't challenged by election officials, but a lawyer warned him that it was illegal and could disqualify his ballot.

Michigan's prohibition on displaying completed ballots has been around since 1891.

Mother of child who drowned in Detroit basement gets jail

DETROIT (AP) — The mother of an 11-month-old girl who drowned in standing water and sewage after falling through a hole in an upstairs floor and into a basement of their Detroit home has been sentenced to a year in jail.

Court records say Dasiah Jordan, 27, was given her punishment Monday after earlier pleading guilty to second-degree child abuse and involuntary manslaughter. She was also ordered to serve four years of probation.

Ca'Mya Davis was unattended July 6 when she fell through the hole in her home's bedroom floor. Her death was ruled accidental.

Prosecutors say Jordan left her daughter with Tonya Peterson while she visited friends and that both women were aware of the hazard.

Peterson, 29, is scheduled to be sentenced today after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Trial court funding is 'broken,’ Michigan commission says

LANSING (AP) — A commission says the way Michigan trial courts are funded is "broken" and should be overhauled with a new model in which the state shares more of the cost.

The Trial Court Funding Commission, created under a 2017 law, released its interim report Monday. The recommendations are designed to address how judges depend on money from defendants convicted of crimes to cover court operating expenses.

Under one recommendation, the state would establish a fund for receipt of all trial court assessments and state general funds, and distribute the revenue to local courts based on caseloads. Court employees would become state employees, and the state would fund technology needs.

The Michigan Supreme Court is considering whether court costs ordered by judges are an illegal tax against offenders.

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