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State Briefs

by the associated press • Jun 14, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Lake Michigan waves, pushed by high winds, impact shoreline

CHICAGO (AP) — High winds across Lake Michigan have kicked up waves that have affected shoreline activity in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.

The Chicago Park District was forced to close the city's the Lakefront Trail on Thursday after a lakeshore flood advisory and a beach hazards statement were issued by the National Weather Service. The advisory warned of waves of 5-8 feet from Lake County in Illinois to Lake County, Indiana.

The weather service said strong northwesterly winds and water levels are contributing to flooding. This year's Lake Michigan water levels are the highest since 1986.

A pier in South Haven, Michigan, was nearly underwater because of the combination of high water and strong winds. The Michigan Department of Transportation reported streets in and around Benton Harbor were closed by flooding.

Charges dropped for 8 people in the Flint water scandal

DETROIT (AP) — Fifteen people were charged in an investigation of how Flint's water became contaminated with lead in 2014-15 and a related outbreak of Legionnaires' disease.

Seven people pleaded no contest earlier to misdemeanors in deals that will leave them without a criminal record. Charges were dropped against the other eight Thursday when prosecutors announced they were restarting the investigation.

The eight and the charges they faced:

— Nick Lyon, former director of the state health department. Involuntary manslaughter, misconduct in office.

— Dr. Eden Wells, former Michigan chief medical executive. Involuntary manslaughter, obstructing justice, lying, misconduct in office.

— Nancy Peeler and Robert Scott of the state health department. Misconduct in office, conspiracy.

— Patrick Cook of the Department of Environmental Quality. Misconduct in office, conspiracy.

— Gerald Ambrose, former Flint emergency manager. Conspiracy, misconduct in office, false pretenses.

— Darnell Earley, former Flint emergency manager. Involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy, misconduct in office.

— Howard Croft, former director of Flint public works. Involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy.

2 charged after 178 cats removed from suburban Detroit home

WEST BLOOMFIELD TWP. (AP) — Authorities sayid a couple has been charged after animal control officers removed 178 cats from deplorable conditions in a suburban Detroit home.

Oakland County authorities said Jonathan and Jennifer Klein were arraigned Monday on one felony count each of abandonment or cruelty to animals. They have been released on bond.

If convicted, they could face four years in prison, a $5,000 fine and community service.

The Oakland County Animal Shelter & Pet Adoption Center said the animals were found when an animal control officer went to the home in West Bloomfield Township in April to perform a welfare check on cats at the home. At least 60 had to be euthanized because of medical problems.

Brandy Brown appointed Michigan climate, energy adviser

LANSING (AP) — Brandy Brown has been named climate and energy adviser for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

Department Director Liesl Clark announced the appointment Thursday. Clark said Brown will lead an office that will coordinate the state's response to climate change across departments and agencies. It will make recommendations on taking steps to limit climate change and dealing with the effects of global warming that are already happening.

Brown previously worked for CLEAResult in East Lansing, where she formulated strategic objectives for electrification products such as electric vehicles, photovoltaic systems, battery storage and other emerging technologies. She also developed CLEAResult's five-year strategic plan for advanced mobility, as well as residential- and commercial-utility-scale electric vehicle programs with a focus on low- to middle-income customers.

Plan seeks to curb drunken behavior on 3 Michigan rivers

WELLSTON (AP) — Federal officials say an education plan will be put into place to help curb drunken behavior instead of a ban on alcoholic beverages along sections of three rivers in the Huron-Manistee National Forest in northern Michigan.

The plan announced Wednesday includes public service announcements, informational signs and outreach aimed at improving people's behavior.

Officials in February had announced an alcohol ban, saying it would protect natural resources and public safety on the Au Sable, Manistee and Pine rivers. They agreed to put off the ban after public backlash. Violations would have been punishable by a fine and imprisonment.

The U.S. Forest Service says many people favored the ban. Critics, however, said the ban would hurt tourism.

The alcohol ban remains an option later if the education plan doesn't work.

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