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Lawyer sues GM on behalf of 658 plaintiffs

DETROIT (AP) - A Texas lawyer has sued General Motors on behalf of 658 people injured or killed in crashes allegedly caused by faulty ignition switches.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan names 29 people who were killed and 629 who were hurt. All the crashes occurred after GM left bankruptcy protection in July 2009. That makes them exempt from GM's efforts to shield itself from claims due to crashes that happened before the bankruptcy, attorney Robert Hilliard said.

Hilliard said he wants to file another 248 cases from before the bankruptcy, including 21 deaths.

The lawsuit alleges GM knew about defective switches that can cause engines to stall since 2001, yet it didn't recall any cars until this year. GM would not comment on the lawsuit.


625-lb Michigan bomb threat suspect bedridden

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A 44-year-old Michigan man charged with making a bomb threat says he can't appear in court because of his weight.

The Grand Rapids Press reports ( ) that Jeffery Allan Klein says a variety of obesity-related ailments have left him bedridden. He says he weighs 625 pounds and suffers from diabetes, back pain and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Klein was charged with making a false bomb threat at a Cedar Springs mobile home. Police say he confessed to making the threat because he was angry at park management for fining him.

The court issued a warrant for Klein's arrest after he missed numerous court hearings. His attorney says it would cost between $2,000 and $3,000 to move him from the special bed in which he is confined.


Effort aims to block child migrants from Vassar

VASSAR, Mich. (AP) - An opponent of a social services organization's proposal to house child immigrants from Central America in a small Michigan community wants voters there to have a say.

The Saginaw News reports ( ) Tamyra Murray, an organizer for Michiganders for Immigration Control and Enforcement, is seeking a referendum petition in Vassar for voters to decide on changes in city ordinances such as those that might be needed for the plans.

Murray presented a letter to the Vassar Planning Commission on Monday, informing the city she'll file petition language.

Grosse Pointe Park-based Wolverine Human Services has proposed housing 60 children at the 145-bed Pioneer Work and Learn Center in Vassar, about 70 miles northwest of Detroit. Many of more than 57,000 young people have fled violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.


Scholarship fund set up in name of slain student

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A scholarship fund set up in the name of slain University of Michigan medical student Paul DeWolf now is accepting donations.

The Ann Arbor News reports ( ) that the Paul DeWolf, M.D. Memorial Scholarship Fund will help at least one student attend the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor.

The 25-year-old was killed last July in his off-campus medical fraternity house. Three men were charged in the death and one of them has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

DeWolf, who would have graduated this past May, was a native of Schoolcraft in southwestern Michigan and a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He was attending medical school on an Air Force scholarship and held the rank of second lieutenant.


Canada, Michigan name border bridge authority

DETROIT (AP) - Michigan and Canada have appointed members of an authority to oversee construction of a $2 billion public bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

Michigan's designees are Michael Hayes, Birgit Klohs and Matt Rizik. Hayes leads the Midland Center for the Arts. Klohs heads The Right Place, a western Michigan economic development organization. Rizik is with Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity for Dan Gilbert's investments and real estate.

Canada's members are Kristine Burr and Genevieve Gagnon. A third Canadian member will be chosen by the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority.

Burr is assistant deputy minister of policy for Transport Canada. Gagnon heads trucking company XTL Transport.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Canada's Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt announced the authority's members Wednesday in Windsor, Ontario. The bridge is expected to open in 2020.


Minor league pitcher charged with sexual assault

DETROIT (AP) - A pitcher in the Detroit Tigers organization has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman at a Detroit hotel.

Evan Reed plays for the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens but was with the Tigers when the alleged assault occurred.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Wednesday that Reed is charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Reed is accused of an act of penetration through force or coercion at the MotorCity Casino Hotel on March 30. Worthy says the 45-year-old woman felt odd after consuming alcohol earlier at a bar in suburban Detroit.

Defense lawyer Ben Gonek (GAWN'-ick) says his client will be exonerated. Reed is not scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

He was 0-1 with a 4.88 ERA for the Tigers before being sent to Toledo in June.

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