Associated Press


The U.S. Small Business Administration so far has approved more than $1.3 million in low-interest disaster loans for losses stemming from severe storms and flooding in June in central Michigan.
     It said Wednesday it has approved 46 loans so far and encourages anyone with losses who has not applied to do so as soon as possible. It says the filing deadline to submit applications for physical property damage from the June 22-27 storms is Oct. 2.

A federal appeals court has overturned the murder conviction of a woman who was accused of stabbing a bartender in the basement of a Battle Creek tavern in 1995.
     In a 3-0 decision Tuesday, the court says a "rational jury" should have found plenty of reasonable doubt, especially because blood found on the victim's clothing didn't belong to Hattie Mae Tanner.


Gov. Rick Snyder has created a state council to better coordinate Michigan's fight against the opioid epidemic.
     Lt. Gov. Brian Calley will lead the council that was established by Snyder's executive order Tuesday.
     The formation of the Council on Opioid and Prescription Drug Enforcement was recommended by a prescription drug and opioid abuse task force in 2015. It will address, develop and maintain relationships among local, state and federal agencies that enforce drug laws and regulations.

The nation’s most recent Medal of Honor recipient from West Michigan is humbled by appreciation in Illinois.

71-year-old James McCloughan of South Haven was the keynote speaker during the main program of the Veterans and Gold Star Family Day Event at the Illinois State Fair this past weekend.

McCloughan, who was accompanied on stage by Gov. Bruce Rauner and Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, called all of the veterans and current service members his heroes.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is speaking out against hate and violence following the white supremacist rally that spiraled into deadly confrontation in Charlottesville, Virginia.
     Snyder released a statement Monday saying, "Hate speech and violence are not welcome in Michigan - it's not representative of who Michiganders truly are or of the future we want to build for our children."

Michigan State University extension experts say they think this year's Michigan apple harvest is ahead of schedule.  The MSU extension says data collected from around the state suggest the apple harvest will be significantly early for certain varieties in some parts of the state. 

The data show that predicted peak harvest dates will fall anywhere from a few days to an entire week ahead of normal. For example, MacIntosh apples are ten to 11 days ahead of normal in parts of Michigan and a few days ahead of 2016.

The U.S. Forest Service is seeking volunteers to help fix up a historic structure at the former Chittenden Nursery in Wellston. It's a partnership between the Forest Service and HistoriCorps, a national organization dedicated to the preservation of historic structures on public lands. Volunteers hammer, chisel, saw, scrape, sand and paint historic buildings back to life. Officials say no previous construction experience is required, just a positive attitude and strong work ethic. 

Authorities say a 46-year-old man accidentally set himself on fire while trying to exterminate bees in an underground hive in southwestern Michigan. The Cass County sheriff's department says a neighbor was able to put out the fire by the time authorities arrived Wednesday at the injured man's home in the Dowagiac area, about 160 miles (257 kilometers) west of Detroit. 

The man was airlifted to a hospital in Kalamazoo for treatment. Details about his condition weren't immediately released.

The accident is under investigation.

Construction in a neighborhood in Grand Rapids has revealed blocks made of wood that were used to build roads in the late 1800s. The Grand Rapids Press reports crews removing asphalt on Fountain Street in Grand Rapids' Heritage Hill neighborhood this week unearthed the blocks that look like bricks. Rochelle Wieber-Omland, who lives in the area, took some photos before they were removed on Thursday.

Prosecutors want to keep a former state senator off the Detroit City Council general election ballot after he finished second in Tuesday's primary despite serving a 10-month sentence for shooting at his ex-wife's car.
     A plea agreement called for Virgil Smith to quit the Senate and not seek elective office while on probation for five years, but a judge threw out those terms, saying he could not force Smith from the office. Smith eventually resigned.