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State Briefs

Associated Press • Jun 18, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Here’s what’s making news around Michigan today:

Domino's teams up with Nuro to test autonomous delivery

ANN ARBOR (AP) — Domino's plans to test pizza delivery using fully autonomous vehicles in Houston.

The world's biggest pizza company is teaming up with Nuro, a Silicon Valley startup that makes unmanned delivery vehicles.

Nuro is also partners with Kroger Co. It has been delivering groceries autonomously in Arizona and Houston since late last year.

Domino's says the test will begin in September or October at one location in Houston. It will eventually include more stores. Customers can place an order online, track the vehicle's location and retrieve their pizza from the vehicle using a special code.

Michigan-based Domino's first began testing autonomous delivery two years ago in a partnership with Ford Motor Co. But in that case, a safety driver at the wheel.

Rival Pizza Hut is also testing driverless delivery with Toyota Motor Co.

Whitmer forms task force to support girls, women in sports

LANSING (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has created a task force to support and promote opportunities for girls and women in sports.

The group formed Monday by an executive order must make initial findings and recommendations before March 2021. The 15-member task force will be chaired by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who formerly led a nonprofit dedicated to advancing equality through sports.

Whitmer says girls and women deserve the same opportunities as male athletes. She says even with the enactment of Title IX nearly 50 years ago, sports opportunities for girls and women remain limited, and more work remains to even the playing field. Whitmer says just one Division 1 collegiate athletic program in Michigan is led by a woman.

Benson says Michigan has a chance to become a "national model."

Mich. governor urges Congress to open banks to marijuana industry

LANSING (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is among 18 governors to sign a letter urging Congress to open the U.S. banking system to the legal marijuana industry.

In the letter written Friday and released Monday, the governors say the cash-only environment is a threat to public safety and a burden for governments that tax and regulate marijuana businesses.

Whitmer, a Democrat, says in a written statement that states are seeking a "real solution to a real problem."

Most banks will not do business with the industry because the federal government still considers marijuana illegal.

Michigan voters legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes last fall, a decade after approving medical marijuana.

Michigan's Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel was among 33 attorneys general to sign a similar letter to Congress last month.

Number of motor vehicle fatalities down slightly in 2018

An estimated 36,760 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year, about a 1% decrease from the year before, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Early Estimates of Motor Vehicle Fatalities in 2018.

To be included in the NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, a crash must involve a motor vehicle traveling on a road and must result in the death of at least one person (occupant of a vehicle or a nonoccupant) within 30 days of the crash. The reporting system includes data from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The data used in the analysis comes from the NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, FastFARS, and Monthly Fatality Counts; and from the Federal Highway Administration's vehicle miles traveled estimates.

The final report will be available later this year.

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