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AIR GUARD CENTER-CLOSURE THREAT

Panel rejects plan to close Georgia pilot training center

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A congressional subcommittee has rejected the Biden administration’s proposal to close a training center for military pilots in Georgia. Republican U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter said Monday the decision by the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee is a big step toward keeping open the Air National Guard’s Combat Readiness Training Center in Savannah. But Carter cautioned the fight isn’t over , with the fiscal 2023 budget still far from final approval by Congress. A bipartisan group of Georgia lawmakers have been fighting a White House proposal to eliminate funding for the center, which conducts air-to-air combat training missions for fighter pilots. The Air National Guard says three other U.S. training facilities can absorb the Georgia center’s functions.

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AP-US-INFLATION-INFRASTRUCTURE

Inflation taking bite out of new infrastructure projects

Inflation is taking a toll on infrastructure projects across the U.S. Rising prices for materials such as asphalt, steel and iron pipes are driving up the costs to build roads, bridges, rail lines and water mains. The prices for some infrastructure materials have risen even faster than general consumer prices. State and local officials say inflation is diminishing the value of a $1 trillion federal infrastructure law signed by President Joe Biden just seven months ago. Some officials say inflation has forced them to delay or scale back the scope of projects.

GYM-DOCTOR-SEXUAL ABUSE

Larry Nassar loses last appeal in sexual assault scandal

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DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has rejected a final appeal from sports doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to decades in prison for sexually assaulting gymnasts, including Olympic medalists. The court declined to take the case Friday. Nassar says he was treated unfairly in 2018 and deserved a new hearing, based on provocative comments by a judge who called him a “monster.” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said Nassar would “wither” in prison like the wicked witch in “The Wizard of Oz.” She told Nassar that she had signed his death warrant with a 40-year sentence. Nassar pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting gymnasts, dancers and other athletes with his hands under the guise of medical treatments for hip and leg injuries.

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SCHOOL SHOOTING-MICHIGAN

Students sue for review, changes after Oxford High shooting

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (AP) — A law firm says about 20 students at a Michigan high school where four students were killed in a mass shooting say their constitutional rights to safety and education have been violated. A federal lawsuit filed Friday calls for changes to ensure security at Oxford High School near Detroit. The suit names the Oxford Community School District, its former superintendent and several other officials. It seeks an independent review and policy changes, including increased transparency and communication from the district. The Associated Press sent an email seeking comment from the district. Ethan Crumbley has been charged with murder and terrorism in the Nov. 30 shootings that also left six other students and a teacher wounded.

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FATAL FIRE-CHARGES

Grand Rapids man convicted in fire deaths of wife, 3 sons

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Grand Rapids man blamed for a fire that killed his wife and three sons has been found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter. A Kent County jury deliberated about an hour and a half Friday before convicting 40-year-old Robert Scales. Prosecutors said he used a fire pit too close to his family’s home. Scales said the fire was out when he left for work, but investigators said they believe winds picked up and possibly sent a burning ember toward a mattress stacked next to the house. The Feb. 4, 2020, fire killed 35-year-old Wanedia Scales and the couple’s three sons, 15-year-old Xavier Woleab, 14-year-old Robert Scales Jr. and 10-year-old Elijah Scales.

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POLICE SHOOTING-ALLEGAN COUNTY

Michigan deputy fatally shoots motorist during traffic stop

WAYLAND, Mich. (AP) — State police say a sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a motorist during a “physical altercation” after the deputy pulled a car over in western Michigan’s Allegan County. The deputy was conducting a traffic stop Thursday night when the altercation occurred between the officer and the man in Salem Township, northwest of Wayland. Michigan State Police said the deputy fired his weapon at least once, killing the driver. State police identified the dead man as 22-year-old Joseph Maverick Nagle of Comstock Park. Allegan County Sheriff Frank Baker told WOOD-TV the deputy involved suffered injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening. Details of the shooting have not yet been released.

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MICHIGAN-CASINO

Whitmer rejects proposed off-reservation casino project

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has rejected a proposal for a $180 million off-reservation casino in western Michigan that a tribe has been working toward for over a decade. Whitmer’s rejection of the proposal Wednesday came after the U.S. Department of Interior rejected her request to postpone her deadline for deciding whether to allow the project to proceed. Whitmer wrote in a letter to the U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland that the department had put her in an “impossible position.” The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians had hoped to build the casino on an 87-acre lot near Muskegon that the tribe bought in 2008. Because the site isn’t on the tribe’s reservation, the casino needed federal and state approval.

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FLINT RIVER-OIL

State: Chemical company likely source of Flint River spill

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Authorities are focusing on a chemical company as the likely source of a spill that has left a dark oily sheen for miles on the Flint River. State regulators say Lockhart Chemical in Flint is cooperating and removing material from underground storage areas. There was no immediate comment from the company. Jill Greenberg of the state’s environment department says the leak started Wednesday and was ongoing Thursday. Greenberg says, “We’re still in emergency response mode.” The Genesee County health department told people to avoid contact with the river. Flint’s drinking water is not affected.

AP-US-VINCENT-CHIN-ASIAN-AMERICANS-VIOLENCE

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Detroit honors Vincent Chin, Asian American killed in 1982

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit is helping to honor Vincent Chin, a Chinese American man who was beaten to death 40 years ago by two white men who never served jail time. The commemoration comes as hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise in the U.S. The Vincent Chin 40th Remembrance & Rededication begins Thursday and focuses on civil rights efforts that started with his 1982 death. Chin was celebrating with friends at a strip club for his bachelor party when a fight erupted with the two white autoworkers. Federal authorities have said the autoworkers blamed Chin for layoffs at Detroit car factories due to Japanese imports.

MICHIGAN-BALLOT INITIATIVES

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Michigan initiatives miss deadline, will look to Legislature

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Organizers behind two high-profile proposed laws in Michigan skipped a deadline to potentially appear on November’s ballot and will instead look to get the initiatives approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Organizers behind Let MI Kids Learn and Secure MI Vote will look to use a provision in the Michigan constitution to get their proposed laws passed. Michiganders for Fair Lending’s proposal to cap payday loan rates was the lone one out of 10 ballot committees attempting to change state law to submit signatures by June 1. If the petition’s signatures are verified by the Bureau of Elections, the proposed law would first be sent to the Legislature before the possibility of it appearing before voters.

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