UAW leaders send Ford contract to ratification vote

DETROIT (AP) — A United Auto Workers leadership group has voted to send a proposed contract with Ford to members for a ratification vote.

The union says the contract includes the promise of investing more than $6 billion in new products, which will create or save more than 8,500 jobs.

The Romeo engine plant in Michigan will close, but the agreement indicates that all jobs there will be shifted to a nearby transmission shop.

The National UAW-Ford Council agreed Friday to send the matter to workers for a vote. Voting will start Monday and run until Nov. 15, the union said. The council includes leaders of UAW-Ford locals around the country.

UAW Vice President Rory Gamble said the agreement includes significant job-security gains and holds the line on health care costs.

Former congressman from Michigan’s east side dies

BAYT CITY (AP) — Longtime Michigan Congressman Bob Traxler has died. He was 88.

Traxler was a Democrat from Bay City who was elected to the U.S. House in a special election in 1974.  He was regularly re-elected until retiring in 1993.

The Trahan Funeral Chapel said Traxler died Wednesday.

While in Congress, Traxler served on the House Appropriations Committee, which decides where federal money is spent. His career in public service included years as a prosecutor and a state lawmaker. He was nicknamed “Bingo Bob” for legislation to allow Michigan charities to raise money through bingo and other games.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, who currently represents Bay City, said he admired Traxler and sought his advice after being elected to Congress in 2012.

Man who struck sheriff’s deputy in road convicted of murder

PONTIAC (AP) — A man accused of running over a sheriff’s deputy in southeastern Michigan has been convicted of murder.

Oakland County Deputy Eric Overall was hit outside his vehicle on Thanksgiving 2017 while deploying “stop sticks” to deflate a vehicle’s tires.

Christopher Berak, 24, was accused of leading Lapeer County deputies on a chase and deliberately hitting the 50-year-old Overall at a Brandon Township intersection. Berak was convicted Friday of first-degree murder and murder of a police officer.

Overall’s son, Ken, said it was the “outcome we were hoping for.” But defense attorney Steve Rabaut said Berak had no intention of striking the deputy and was reacting to the stop sticks in the road.

Berak faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

Michigan takes applications for adult-use marijuana licenses

LANSING (AP) — Michigan is now accepting applications from businesses wanting to get into the marijuana industry in the wake of voters’ legalization of the drug for adult recreational use.

The Marijuana Regulatory Agency began receiving license applications Friday.

Businesses that already have medical marijuana licenses may get recreational licenses as soon as the end of this month since they were previously vetted.

Applicants must pay a $6,000 nonrefundable fee. Those who secure a license will be assessed additional fees ranging between $1,000 and $40,000 annually depending on the license type.

Licenses are available to grow, process, transport and sell marijuana. There also are licenses to run cafes and other marijuana consumption establishments and to organize marijuana-related events.

Local governments can completely prohibit or limit the number of marijuana establishments within their boundaries.

Governor orders closer ties with Michigan native tribes

MOUNT PLEASANT (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is ordering Michigan agencies to step up collaboration with Native American tribes in the state.

Whitmer signed an executive directive Thursday affirming commitment to the sovereignty and right of self-governance of Michigan’s federally recognized tribes.

The document outlines a process for communication between tribes and state departments and agencies on matters of mutual concern. It also makes a first-time requirement of training on tribal-state relations for all state employees who work on matters with direct implications for tribes.

Whitmer issued the directive during a meeting with Michigan’s tribal leaders in Mount Pleasant.

The governor previously appointed Wenona Singel of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians as her advisor on tribal-state affairs, the first tribal citizen in Michigan history to hold that position.

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