Associated Press

miOttawa.org

Ottawa County officials say they’re planning a parkland project preserving dunes. Ottawa County is planning a multimillion-dollar project involving the purchase and development of new parkland along the Grand River in western Michigan.

The project in Ferrysburg includes preserving a section of Lake Michigan dunes and linking more than 2,000 acres of nearby parks and preservation areas.

MSU.edu

Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon has declined a $150,000 raise as school officials face criticism for their handling of an ex-campus doctor who sexually assaulted many young gymnasts.

Simon rejected the raise Friday at a Board of Regents meeting attended by victims of Larry Nassar.

He pleaded guilty last month to molesting girls at his campus office and elsewhere.

Simon and the board agreed to put the money in a scholarship fund and create a $10 million fund for mental health services for sexual assault survivors.

Michigan State Police are investigating whether the remains of three children found in Montana could be linked to the 2010 disappearance of three Michigan brothers.

The bones and teeth of three children were found in September in a shed in Missoula, Montana.

An anthropologist estimated the children's ages to be 2-4 years old, 5-8 years old and 6-10 years old.

Tanner, Alexander and Andrew Skelton were 5, 7 and 9 when they were last seen at their father's Morenci, Michigan, home in November 2010.

aaamich.com

AAA projects that nearly 3.5 million people from Michigan are expected to travel over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

The auto club released its annual forecast this week, saying Michigan will see a 3.4 percent increase from last year's holiday period.

It's the highest total volume since AAA began tracking such data in 2001. Mirroring national estimates, AAA says most will travel by personal vehicle.

A federal judge is blocking the state of Michigan from suspending driver's licenses of people who say they can't afford to pay traffic fines.

U.S. District Judge Linda Parker on Thursday issued a preliminary injunction, writing that there's "a strong likelihood" that those who sued will show that the law violates the right to due process.

Secretary of state spokesman Fred Woodhams says in an email the office is reviewing the judge's opinion and believes Michigan's traffic safety laws "are equally applied to all drivers."

Courthouse
Tim Evanson via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

Michigan law will no longer shield police from prosecution for prostitution-related offenses committed while on duty.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation this week to remove the immunity, effective in 90 days. Michigan was believed to be the last state in the country to give police immunity for having sex with prostitutes during undercover investigations.

A sponsor of the legislation has said she does not believe officers are taking advantage of the law, but it should still come off the books.

USPS

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern Michigan will be honored with a postage stamp being released next year.

The illustration features a sweeping view of a sandy beach, lapping Lake Michigan waves and towering dunes for which the park is famous.

The U.S. Postal Service says the Priority Mail Express stamp will cost $24.70.

ABC's "Good Morning America" named Sleeping Bear Dunes the nation's most beautiful spot in 2011.

Wikimedia Commons

Conservative gubernatorial candidate Patrick Colbeck has enlisted former General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz to help raise money for his campaign.

Colbeck announced Thursday that Lutz will be finance chairman, a month after Lutz endorsed his candidacy.

Lutz was GM's product guru and had a long career at all three Detroit automakers.

Michigan Department of Transportation
michigan.gov

The Michigan Department of Transportation is allowing residents to track snowplows and watch them at work via webcam.

The department piloted the snowplow tracking program the last few years. It's now operational statewide.

The department's website features a map of the state with the option to view where the department's snowplows are active on the roads.

Officials say chronic wasting disease has been confirmed in a deer from a farm where deer are raised in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development says the disease was confirmed this week in a female deer at the Mecosta County farm. State veterinarian James Averill says in a statement that the deer farmer whose herd is affected "has gone above and beyond any state requirements to protect ... deer from disease."

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