Associated Press

USA Gymnastics

A former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor accused of molesting seven girls has pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct and faces at least 25 years in prison.

Dr. Larry Nassar entered the plea Wednesday in a Michigan courtroom. Some of his accusers attended the packed hearing.

Nassar was charged with molesting the girls under the guise of treatment at his home and a campus clinic. All but one was a gymnast.

A plea deal calls for a minimum prison sentence of 25 years. But the judge could go higher and set the minimum at 40 years.

marijuana leaf
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia | Public Domain / wikimedia.org

A Michigan judge has thrown out a case against two former corrections officers who were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana-infused butter.

Michael Frederick and Todd VanDoorne lost their jobs in Kent County after being charged in 2014 following a search of their homes. Both were registered under the state's medical marijuana law to use the butter to control pain.

Police allege they didn't comply with the law.

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The Flint City Council has narrowly approved a 30-year agreement to get drinking water from a regional agency after court-ordered negotiations. The deal was approved Tuesday by a 5-4 vote after hours of debate and comments from dozens of residents. The pact means the Great Lakes Water Authority will continue to serve Flint. 

With winter weather on its way, state officials urge snowmobilers to buy permits that will enable them to use Michigan's vast trail network. Michigan has more than 6,000 miles of designated trails. Snowmobilers also can use thousands more miles of public roads and lands. 

The state's snowmobile program is funded entirely with revenue from trail permits and registration fees. Snowmobiles must be registered with the secretary of state unless they are used only on private property.

The annual Mackinac Bridge Walk will remain a Labor Day tradition. The Mackinac Bridge Authority says the date won't change. But officials still haven't determined details about how the 5-mile walk will take place.

With terrorists increasingly using cars and trucks as weapons, the bridge was closed to most vehicles during this year's walk. Only about 25,000 people took part. Many were turned away because they couldn't get in position before the walk ended.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will work together to monitor a toxic plume of pollution in southeast Michigan.

While the EPA has suspended the process of designating the area as a Superfund site, the agencies will ensure public health is protected as the dioxane plume spreads through the Ann Arbor area's groundwater.

Gelman Sciences is responsible for the plume that's been slowly spreading through the area's groundwater for decades. It poses long-term threats to the city's water supply from the Huron River.

A man tripped up by his own DNA on a cigarette butt has lost an appeal of a breaking-and-entering conviction in western Michigan.

Steven Merchant Jr. was accused of breaking into storage units in Grand Rapids. The missing property included a watch that was given to a woman for her retirement.

The big break for police was a cigarette butt found at the scene. Tests showed DNA on the cigarette belonged to Merchant. Investigators later recovered the watch from a relative's shed.

An all-volunteer group of activists has defied the odds by collecting hundreds of thousands of voter signatures for a 2018 initiative to overhaul redistricting in Michigan - without having to pay a dime for a signature.

It's a rarity in state politics outside of anti-abortion ballot drives, which have had a large base of support within churches. Voters Not Politicians, a ballot committee opposed to the partisan gerrymandering of congressional and legislative districts, is poised to turn in roughly 400,000 signatures by year's end.

A western Michigan county is hoping to start a shift in its waste management by investing almost $230,000 in a planning effort for a new sustainable business park.

Kent County wants to build the park on more than 200 acres of land that were initially set aside to expand the South Kent Landfill.

A preliminary estimate shows that about 75 percent of the nearly 500,000 tons of material entering the landfill could be reused, repurposed or recycled. Officials hope the sustainable business park could attract companies that focus on reclaiming or converting waste material.

police crime scene tape
Tony Webster via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / Wikimedia.org

Michigan's second-largest city so far has 14 homicides this year, the most since 18 were committed in 2013. Grand Rapids police Lt. Kristen Rogers tsays that it doesn't mean the city is less safe. She says, "You have to look at the individual cases." 

A tow truck driver, Gerald Love, was fatally shot Monday night. His family says he was responding to a call about keys locked in a car. His funeral is scheduled for next Saturday. Seven of the 14 homicides this year are unsolved.

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