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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Jun 5, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Sheriff is auctioning '69 muscle car abandoned in storage

SUTTONS BAY (AP) — A sheriff's office in northern Michigan is auctioning some rare muscle: a 1969 Plymouth GTX convertible.

Leelanau County Undersheriff Steve Morgan said the car probably was stored for decades. The odometer shows less than 21,000 miles. The two-door GTX is known as a muscle car for its powerful engine.

The car was abandoned in a storage building that has changed hands a few times, northwest of Traverse City. Morgan said investigators searched the vehicle's identification number but couldn't find an owner.

The car will be sold as-is to the highest bidder. The online auction at MITN Surplus Auction starts today and runs through June 18.

The GTX is missing a battery. The condition of the car's engine is not known, but the red-and-black exterior looks good.

Detroit suburb agrees to settle black voting rights case

EASTPOINTE (AP) — A suburban Detroit city council has approved a settlement in a federal lawsuit over the rights of black voters in which voters now will rank candidates on the ballot in order of their preference.

The city of Eastpointe says its council unanimously approved a consent decree Tuesday evening in which it will become the first Michigan city to implement so-called "ranked choice" voting with a goal on implementing it with this November's city election. The mayor will continue to be elected citywide, rather than by ranked choice.

The U.S. Justice Department sued Eastpointe in 2017, saying it should elect council members by district rather than citywide.

Blacks made up 30 percent of the population in the last census, but only one council member is black.

Woman apparently kills daughter, self at Michigan apartment

BRIGHTON (AP) — A woman apparently killed her 5-year-old daughter before killing herself at an apartment in southeastern Michigan.

Police went to the Brighton apartment at around midday Monday after the child's father said 38-year-old Melissa Partee didn't show up for a custody exchange over the weekend. Deputy Chief Craig Flood said officers went into the apartment and found a "very tragic scene." The girl may have been sedated before she was killed, based on evidence found at the scene.

Police said Partee had mental health problems.

Michigan utilities seek to boost electric vehicle charging

DETROIT (AP) — Utilities are launching programs aimed at boosting the availability and use of electric vehicle charging stations in Michigan.

DTE Energy Co. on Tuesday announced its Charging Forward program, which includes incentives and customer education efforts.

Detroit-based DTE will provide a rebate of up to $500 to a residential customer who purchases or leases an electric vehicle, installs a qualified charger and enrolls in a special rate. DTE's business customers can also receive incentives of $2,500 per port and $20,000 per charger.

Last week, Jackson-based Consumers Energy announced the launch of its PowerMIDrive program. The multi-year effort seeks to make it easier for owners of electric vehicles to charge their vehicles. The program includes rebates for residential electric vehicle owners of $400 to $500 for installing eligible charges.

Kalamazoo votes to allow needle exchanges with city approval

KALAMAZOO (AP) — The city of Kalamazoo is moving forward on efforts to allow the distribution of clean needles to help curb the spread of disease among intravenous drug users.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reported the Kalamazoo City Commission voted Monday on an amendment to reverse a ban on such programs, which offer clean needles and liquid that can be used to inject drugs. Prior approval must be sought before an organization begins operating an exchange program.

Nancy King, founding member of Southwest Michigan Families Against Narcotics, says needle exchanges can help keep people alive. Her daughter died of a drug overdose in 2012.

Northside Association for Community Development Executive Director Mattie Jordan-Woods says she fears a needle distribution program could impact some parts of the city harder than others.

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