Associated Press

Three former Michigan State football players charged with sexual assault have waived a key hearing and will advance to trial. Michigan judges typically decide whether there is enough evidence to hold a trial. But Josh King, Donnie Corley Jr. and Demetric Vance waived that hearing Thursday in East Lansing.

en.wikipedia.org

Michigan State Police say a trooper has died from his injuries after crashing his motorcycle in the western part of the state.

The agency says 28-year-old Trooper Timothy O'Neill of the Rockford Post died following the crash about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday.

It says the three-year veteran was on patrol when the crash occurred near Rockford, about 12 miles (19 kilometers) north of Grand Rapids.

It says no one else was injured, and the crash remains under investigation.

City of Flint / cityofflint.com

A Michigan official blamed in the death of a Flint-area man who had Legionnaires' disease faces a key hearing to determine whether he will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter.

Nick Lyon is head of the Department of Health and Human Services.

He's accused of failing to alert the public in a timely manner about a Legionnaires' outbreak in the Flint area in 2014-15.

Some experts have blamed the outbreak on Flint's failure to treat its water to reduce corrosion.

ArtPrize / artprize.org

An international art competition in western Michigan is kicking off its ninth year.

ArtPrize Nine starts Wednesday in Grand Rapids and runs through Oct. 8.

In all, $500,000 in cash prizes will be awarded - including $200,000 for the public favorite and $200,000 for a winner picked by an expert jury.

The voting structure has been updated this year.

The first round narrows entries down to 20 chosen by the public and 20 by the jury.

File photo of Gov. Rick Snyder speaking in Grand Rapids in 2016.
Hilary Farrell / WGVU

Bills sent to Gov. Rick Snyder would let candidates solicit unlimited contributions for independent committees supporting their candidacies.

The Republican-led Legislature approved the legislation on party lines Tuesday.

Supporters say Michigan needs clarity after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized unfettered political spending by independent committees.

But opponents note the bills go further - imposing no limits on candidates' ability to direct wealthy individuals and groups to closely affiliated super PACs and to bypass normal donation caps.

Pixabay | CC BY 2.0 / pixabay.com

One of nine Michigan insurers planning to sell health insurance on the federal marketplace in 2018 no longer will do so.

Health Alliance Plan said Friday the move affects about 9,100 people. It says it's leaving because of uncertainties related to premium stabilization programs, enforcement of the requirement to have insurance and not knowing if the Trump administration will continue funding cost-sharing subsidies.

The insurer says it's prepared to re-enter the government market "if and when the individual market stabilizes."

flickr.com

An expert who two years ago warned about dangerous lead levels in Flint, Michigan's drinking water has declared a qualified end to the crisis.

Virginia Tech researcher Marc Edwards said Friday that, after several rounds of testing, lead levels are back to normal - for a city with old lead pipes. He recommends the continued use of filters and warns of a "crisis of confidence" among residents who blame government for the water problems.

Edwards' team has collected samples from 138 Flint homes, with the fifth and likely final round last month.

Lake Michigan
3bylunch via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia.org

Members of Congress are pushing federal agencies to update maps that provide information about potential environmental risks to the Great Lakes. T

he "Environmental Sensitivity Index" maps are maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Some haven't been revised in more than 20 years. The maps are detailed guides highlighting vulnerable locations, structures and natural resources near the lakeshores. They're used during emergencies to protect wildlife habitat, species and structures most likely to be affected by an oil spill or other disaster.

Michigan capitol building
Michigan Senate / www.senate.michigan.gov

Political candidates could solicit unlimited contributions for independent committees supporting them under Republican-sponsored bills advancing in Michigan's Legislature. Supporters of the legislation approved 23-12 Thursday by a divided Senate say it would codify into Michigan law unfettered political spending by independent committees that's legal under the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and other rulings. 

A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate is likely to leave the race to instead run for a suburban Detroit House district opening up due to a congressman's retirement. Lena Epstein told The Associated Press in a statement Thursday she is "leaning toward" seeking the 11th Congressional District held by Republican Dave Trott.

A formal announcement is expected in the next few days.

Trott announced this week he will not for re-election.

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