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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • May 1, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Hospital to close maternity ward after only 6 births in March

MANISTEE (AP) — A hospital in northern Michigan is closing its maternity ward at the end of May.

Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital says the number of births has been steadily declining to around 150 per year. There were only six in March, a record low.

Spokeswoman Julie Mueller told the Manistee News Advocate that the hospital needs about 350 births each year to break even on obstetric services. The departure of a doctor in May also was a factor in the decision to close the ward.

The Manistee hospital will still offer prenatal and postnatal care, but women will give birth at Munson's hospital in Cadillac, 50 miles east. There also are other options in the region.

Fifteen jobs will be lost. The Michigan Nurses Association said it's "gravely concerned" about the impact on the community.

US soldier from Michigan dies in noncombat incident in Syria

LINCOLN PARK (AP) — The military said a 28-year-old U.S. soldier from suburban Detroit has died of wounds sustained from a noncombat incident in Syria.

The Defense Department said Private First Class Michael A. Thomason of Lincoln Park died Monday in Kobani. Details of the incident weren't immediately released.

Amber Martinez told WJBK-TV that her brother joined the Army so he could "help people" and "protect people who can't protect themselves." She said her family was told Thomason died in a shooting. She said she last spoke with him a few days earlier and he was supposed to be on patrol at the time of his death.

Thomason was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

High school teacher charged after girl, 14, was recorded tanning

CLIO (AP) — A mid-Michigan high school gym teacher has been arrested after allegedly video-recording a naked 14-year-old girl at a tanning parlor.

Jacob Emmendorfer, 42, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of child sexually abusive activity, capturing or distributing an image of an unclothed person, and two counts of using a computer to commit a crime.

Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said Emmendorfer was arrested Monday at Tropi Tan Spa in Clio after the girl saw a cellphone dangling over a wall separating her tanning cubicle from another, got dressed and ran out to tell her mother. Sheriff deputies responded within minutes and found Emmendorfer in an adjacent tanning cubicle.

Emmendorfer remained incarcerated Tuesday at the Genesee County Jail. He's been suspended at Davison High School.

Former state House candidate gets probation for embezzlement

PONTIAC (AP) — A former Democratic candidate for the Michigan House has been sentenced to probation and community service for embezzling about $150,000 when she served as treasurer of another campaign.

Jennifer Suidan, 34, of Wolverine Lake was ordered Tuesday to serve five years' probation and make monthly payments to cover $98,000 she stole from the campaign of Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner and $51,000 she stole from a law firm hired to manage his campaign funds. She also must perform 100 hours of community service and write letters of apology.

She pleaded no contest to embezzlement in March. A no-contest plea isn't an admission of guilt but is treated as such at sentencing.

Suidan was a candidate for the state House 39th District and lost in November 2018 to a Republican.

Injuries in Michigan bus crash worse than initially thought

HARTLAND TWP. (AP) — Authorities said injuries from the weekend crash of a charter bus carrying Michigan middle school students returning from a Chicago-area music trip included a broken neck and broken ribs.

The Livingston County Sheriff's Office initially believed injuries were relatively minor from the Saturday night crash on an I-96 ramp in Howell Township, about 45 miles northwest of Detroit. The department said Monday, however, that some of the 17 people taken to hospitals had serious injuries.

The bus carrying more than 40 Hartland Middle School students, teachers and chaperones went off the roadway and tipped over. Other injuries included a collapsed lung and a broken hand.

The investigation into the cause continues this week with interviews of passengers. The Livingston County Prosecutor's Office will review the results.

Advocacy groups file civil rights complaint against police

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — Immigrant and civil liberties advocacy groups have filed complaints against Grand Rapids police with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights in cases involving people of Latino descent.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center announced the actions on Tuesday. They allege the police department discriminated against a mentally ill war veteran in November 2018 and a 15-year-old boy last month.

The groups said in a release the department "can't be trusted to police itself." They allege an officer violated the man's rights by contacting immigration officials even though he's a U.S. citizen. They add another officer did the same by drawing a gun on the teen, who jaywalked and pulled away when grabbed.

A spokeswoman for the city said its attorneys will review the complaints once they are received.

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