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State Briefs

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

Michigan House plans quick passage of auto insurance bill

LANSING (AP) — The Michigan House is moving to quickly pass its own overhaul of the state's auto insurance system a day after a plan was approved by the Senate.

In a surprise move, House Republicans were planning to consider the legislation Wednesday night. A committee has held hearings on the issue, but a bill has yet to be proposed.

The pending measure is expected to call for eliminating Michigan's one-of-a-kind requirement that people buy unlimited medical coverage from their car insurer for crash injuries. Instead, motorists could choose lower levels of coverage.

Michigan has the highest average premiums in the country.

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has threatened to veto fast-tracked legislation that won mostly party-line passage from the Senate, saying it would not guarantee rate cuts or address discriminatory rate-setting practices.

9-year-old boy charged in mom's shooting death

FAWN RIVER TWP. (AP) —  Court records show a 9-year-old boy has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of his mother with a rifle in their southern Michigan home.

The documents say the child is also facing a felony firearm charge. It isn't clear if he is charged as an adult or a juvenile.

The Associated Press is not identifying the victim because to do so would identify the child.

St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough told WWMT-TV that the woman's body was found early Monday morning in Fawn River Township.

Authorities have not released the circumstances of the killing or details of why the child is considered a suspect. St. Joseph County Sheriff Bradley Balk said the boy was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at a state-run juvenile facility.

Man sexually assaulted 4 women, girls he lived with, police say

BATTLE CREEK (AP) — Police said a 64-year-old Battle Creek man sexually assaulted four young women and girls whom he lived with in a van the past two years along with his wife and two other children.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reported Wednesday that Calhoun County prosecutors have authorized seven counts of criminal sexual conduct involving the victims, who are now 21, 18, 17 and 15.

Battle Creek Detective Sgt. Todd Elliott said the 17-year-old girl whom the man and his wife reported as a runaway April 25 told officers after being located that she had been molested and sexually assaulted since she was 12.

Police said the minor children have been placed in foster care. The two young women whom Elliot says are mentally disabled have been placed in adult foster care.

Searchers find body of teen who fell through ice in February

EVART (AP) — Authorities said they've found the body of a 15-year-old boy who fell through ice in February in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula.

The Osceola County Sheriff's Office said the body of Dylan Shaw was found Tuesday about 3.5 miles down the Muskegon River from where he went missing.

Shaw, who lived in Evart, fell into the river in nearby Sylvan Township with two more teens Feb. 7, but he was the only one who didn't get to shore. Earlier searches for the teen were unsuccessful amid poor weather conditions and high water.

Undersheriff John Keathley told WPBN-TV that the river was lower Tuesday, making conditions better for searching. Keathley said he hopes the discovery of Shaw's body "does bring closure to the family."

No plans to throw more water balloons at Trump fans, man says

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — A man who threw water balloons at supporters of President Donald Trump outside a Michigan rally has reconsidered doing it again if given the chance.

Robert Truax Jr., 20, said during his sentencing hearing Wednesday in a Grand Rapids courtroom that he doesn't plan a repeat performance.

The Grand Rapids Press reported a judge ordered Truax to 60 hours of work crew service and six months of probation, and said his crime would be removed from records if orders are followed.

After pleading guilty last month to creating a disturbance, Truax told WZZM-TV that he might throw more next time.

Truax threw two water balloons March 28 at Trump supporters outside a Grand Rapids arena. No one was injured. The Grand Rapids man previously said he was standing up for Trump's critics.

Michigan State leader expects to return next week after fall

EAST LANSING (AP) — Michigan State University officials say interim President Satish Udpa expects to return to work next week after falling on stage during commencement ceremonies.

School spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said in a message to The Associated Press on Wednesday that Udpa continues to recover at home after what officials have described as "a health incident" last Friday. The university hasn't released additional details about Udpa's health.

Udpa, university administrator and former engineering dean, was named acting president in January after the forced resignation of interim President John Engler. Engler was ousted after saying some victims enjoyed publicity from the sex abuse scandal involving imprisoned campus sports doctor Larry Nassar.

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