Land offers ideas for alternative to health law
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Republican U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land has relentlessly attacked Democrat Gary Peters for supporting the federal health care law.
Now she's outlined principles for an alternative to the 4-year-old law. It's the first policy posting on the ex-Michigan secretary of state's website since her campaign launched last summer.
Land said Monday that her ideas include giving patients more control over their money and decisions through pre-tax health savings accounts. She also proposes letting people buy insurance across state lines and retaining the law's protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
Land says hospitals and doctors also should provide prices to patients before treatment.
Republicans say the health law is their ticket to victory in November, but they've been unable to unify around a credible alternative.
TRANSITION BOARD-BENTON HARBOR
Snyder appoints Benton Harbor transitional board
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder says that Benton Harbor's financial emergency has been resolved and he has appointed a transitional board to work with local leaders.
Snyder said Monday that he is accepting Emergency Manager Tony Saunders' recommendation from Thursday to create an advisory board to "ensure continued financial stability and growth." The southwestern Michigan city has a healthy fund balance and made all annual pension payments for the first time in a decade, Saunders says.
Board members include a Michigan Treasury Department audit manager, Berrien County's treasurer and two former Whirlpool Corporation managers.
Saunders has been the emergency manager since February 2013, when the city had a $2.7 million deficit. Emergency managers also oversee the finances of Detroit, Allen Park, Flint, Hamtramck and several school districts.
RAPE KIT BACKLOG-DETROIT
Actress Hargitay supports Detroit rape kit project
DETROIT (AP) - Actress Mariska Hargitay (muh-RIHSH'-kuh HAR'-gih-tay) and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy have announced state legislation aimed at stopping serial rapists by better identifying and arresting suspects in sexual assault cases.
The star from NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" on Monday said her Joyful Heart Foundation stands with Worthy in her efforts to have thousands of backlogged rape kits tested.
The foundation works with authorities on eliminating the testing backlog.
Worthy's office says the Sexual Assault Kit Evidence Submission Act legislation is expected to be introduced this month in Lansing. It seeks more timely analysis and testing of evidence contained in rape kits and allows for input from victims.
In 2009, more than 11,000 sexual assault kits were found in a Detroit police storage facility.
ELDERLY COUPLE SLAIN
Man convicted of killing elderly Michigan couple
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A jury has convicted a man of first-degree murder for killing an elderly couple in their Grand Rapids-area home before stealing their car.
The Kent County Circuit Court jury reached the verdict Monday, a few hours after resuming deliberations. There was no physical evidence against Javonte Higgins, but prosecutors presented many days of circumstantial evidence.
Eighty-one-year-old David Bouwman and 80-year-old Vivian Bouwman were shot in their Kentwood home in January 2013. Defense attorney Valerie Foster acknowledged to jurors that Higgins stole the couple's car but said someone else must have pulled the trigger.
Son-in-law Tom Kelly says the 23-year-old Higgins is the "lowest form of humanity."
A mandatory no-parole sentence is next for Higgins. Foster says an appeal is planned.
Ex-Ottawa jail guard gets 5 years for inmate sex
GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) - A former Ottawa County corrections officer who acknowledged having sexual contact with two women he was guarding has received a 5- to 15-year prison sentence.
Thirty-nine-year-old Jonathan Kermeen pleaded guilty Feb. 4 to second-degree criminal sexual conduct on the eve of his trial. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a second charge.
He was sentenced Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven.
Authorities say Kermeen admitted the three contacts involving sexual touching with two inmates last fall at the jail in West Olive. He was fired shortly after the actions came to light.
GREAT LAKES-GRASS CARP
Study: Grass carp pose dangers for Great Lakes
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A newly released scientific paper raises fresh concerns about the potential for grass carp to invade the Great Lakes and do significant damage.
The fight to prevent Asian carp from reaching the lakes has focused mostly on bighead and silver carp, which could unravel food chains because they gobble huge amounts of plankton.
Grass carp also come from Asia. They're used in many states to control aquatic weeds. But scientists say they wouldn't be good for the Great Lakes because they would eat plants needed for fish habitat.
The paper by researchers at the University of Notre Dame and other institutions says evidence shows grass carp could survive in all five Great Lakes. They say it appears some of the prolific fish are evading efforts to keep them from reproducing.
Lions say Ford's wife to take over team
DETROIT (AP) - The wife of William Clay Ford will take over his controlling interest in the Detroit Lions after the longtime owner's death.
The Lions announced Monday that Ford's interest in the team passes to Martha Ford, pursuant to "long-established succession plans."
William Clay Ford died Sunday. The 88-year-old Ford was the last surviving grandchild of automotive pioneer Henry Ford.
William Clay Ford married the former Martha Parke Firestone, an heiress to the Akron, Ohio, rubber fortune. Her grandfather, Harvey Firestone, was a close friend of Henry Ford.
The team says William Clay Ford Jr. remains in his role as vice chairman of the Lions.
SAGINAW PLAYER MISSING
Police looking into leads on missing hockey player
SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) - State police are looking for a 20-year-old minor league hockey player reportedly last seen a week ago in Saginaw.
Lt. Brian Cole said Monday that Terry Trafford is considered a "voluntary missing person."
Cole says a detective is trying to confirm where Trafford last was seen and to whom he may have spoken.
Trafford was playing center for the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League. The team says he last was seen March 4 at the Dow Event Center, the Spirit home arena.
Team president Craig Goslin says the team is "very concerned for the young man" and hopes he's found soon.
Trafford is a Toronto native and has been with the Spirit for several seasons.
Detroit gallery looking to sell Banksy artwork
DETROIT (AP) - An art gallery wants to sell a work created at an abandoned Detroit auto plant by the elusive British graffiti artist Banksy.
555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios co-founder Carl Goines told The Associated Press on Monday that proceeds from the sale would go to expand the Detroit gallery's programming. The sale first was reported by the Motor City Muckraker news website.
Goines says he's hoping the Banksy work will bring in between $200,000 and $1.2 million, which he says is the range of recent sales.
An 8-foot, 1,500-pound section of cinderblock wall featuring the stenciled artwork was removed from the Packard Plant site in 2010.
It features a figure of a child holding a bucket of red paint and brush alongside the message: "I remember when all this was trees."
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