Michigan State Police say the office and home of state Sen. Bert Johnson are being searched as part of a joint investigation involving the FBI.

State police spokeswoman Shanon Banner says in an email search warrants were served Monday morning at Johnson's Lansing office and his Highland Park home.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment Monday from Johnson.

The Democrat represents the state's Second District, which includes Highland Park, Hamtramck, northeast Detroit, Harper Woods and the five Grosse Pointe communities.

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State regulators have dropped a 1979 rule that generally required a half-mile distance between liquor retailers.

The Detroit News says the change by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission occurred Thursday.

A trade association that represents stores has filed a lawsuit, saying the commission was required to hold a public hearing.

Auday Arabo, president of the Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers, compared the commission's actions to that of a dictator.

AAA Michigan says gas prices statewide have fallen by about 7 cents per gallon in the past week.

The Dearborn-based auto club says late Sunday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was about $2.29 per gallon. That's about 32 cents more than it was at the same point last year. 

AAA says the lowest average price was about $2.23 per gallon in the Flint area. The highest average was about $2.33 in the Ann Arbor area. The Detroit-area's average is about $2.30 per gallon, roughly 4 cents less than last week's average.

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A Michigan-based furniture retailer has launched its annual competition to distribute grants to Midwestern nonprofit groups that raise the most money during the campaign.

The Art Van Charity Challenge is taking applications through Tuesday.

A total of $180,000 in grants will be announced on April 26, including a grand prize of $100,000.

Nonprofits focused on children, health care and human services are eligible to apply.

The fundraising part of the competition runs from April 4-25.

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President Dwight Eisenhower's granddaughter will visit Michigan next month to mark what would have been the 99th birthday of first lady Betty Ford.

The Gerald Ford Presidential Foundation says Mary Jean Eisenhower will be the featured speaker during the group's annual America's First Ladies: An Enduring Legacy luncheon on April 11 in Grand Rapids.

President Gerald Ford and Betty Ford's daughter, Susan Ford Bales, will participate in the event.

Grand Rapids police are looking for clues after a body pulled from the Grand River was identified as a missing person. Before being discovered in the water Friday, Jamel Marcus Parker, 31 last was seen running from the 1500 block of Broadway Avenue around three in the morning on Sunday, February 12. It is not known if persons were chasing Parker at the time or if he was in imminent danger. 

Police filed a report the following Monday regarding a shoe located by the Grand River near Ann St., however, it is not confirmed if the shoe belonged to Parker.

Upper Peninsula forest provides wood for Final Four courts

Mar 27, 2017

Wood harvested from forestland in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is being used to make the court floorings for college basketball's Final Four matchups. Connor Sports manufactured the flooring at its plant in the village of Amasa in Iron County. 

The company harvested the timber from 35 acres (14.1 hectares) of sugar maples in the Two Hearted River Forest Reserve owned by The Nature Conservancy. Connor says it used sustainable forestry practices for the harvest, basing its selection of trees for removal on improving the forest's health as well as economic benefit.

Movie Talk

Mar 24, 2017
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DRs Kulturarvsprojekt via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 /

This week's Movie Talk with Ron Van Timmeren from Celebration Cinema! previews sci-fi thriller Life along with two comedies, CHIPS and Wilson. We also discuss the success of Disney's remake of Beauty and the Beast.

The Mackinac Bridge is closed to traffic because of falling ice.
     The Mackinac Bridge Authority closed the bridge Friday afternoon because ice is falling from the towers and cables.
     It advises motorists to reduce their speed to 20 mph as they approach the bridge and to be prepared to stop. Bridge personnel are stationed at both ends to provide instructions.
     The authority says that when conditions improve, the bridge will reopen to traffic.
     This is the third time this year the bridge has closed over falling ice.

Governor Rick Snyder’s proposed administrative rule change to lead and copper regulations in the state is getting some pushback from Republican leaders.

Governor Snyder wants to lower the limit of lead and copper allowed in Michigan drinking water from 15 parts per billion to 10.

Senate and House leaders have expressed concerns with the rule changes. They think it might have a negative impact on local governments and that changing standards won’t actually help the state.