Associated Press

Michigan legislators say veterans affiliated with a private club or fraternal organization should be permitted to drink at whatever location they please. The Senate took a final vote Tuesday to discard a provision in the state's liquor code that says members of veteran organizations can only purchase alcohol from their local chapter's club. 

The bill waves away the constraints at private clubs such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. Supporters say out-of-towners deserve to fully enjoy libations with fellow veterans and that the current law is outdated.

The organizers of a marijuana rally in Ann Arbor hope this year's event will be the last before cannabis is legalized in Michigan. The Ann Arbor News reports that the 47th annual Hash Bash will be held next month at the University of Michigan. Festival lead organizer Mark Passerini says this year's event could be the last that focuses on state prohibition. 

A driver who hit an elderly couple walking their dogs in August in western Michigan, killing one of them and one of their dogs, has been sentenced to at least two years in prison. Kristina Ryl learned her punishment Monday after earlier reaching a plea agreement in the case. Charges included operating while intoxicated causing death and operating while intoxicated causing serious injury. 

Authorities say a firefighter was wounded after a gun that was in his pocket accidentally discharged while he was responding to a grass fire in southern Michigan. Crews from several departments responded Monday afternoon to the fire in woods and fields along Interstate 94 in Calhoun County's Emmett Township near Battle Creek, about 110 miles (177 kilometers) west of Detroit.

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Environmental Protection Agency /

Officials will soon begin cleaning up lead and petroleum contamination from a former oil refinery in western Michigan.

The Muskegon Chronicle reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality hope to make significant progress this year at the former Zephyr Oil Refinery site in Muskegon Township.

Michigan's largest labor union is endorsing Gretchen Whitmer for governor. The United Auto Workers, which represents 385,000 active members and retirees in the state, announced the endorsement Monday at its international headquarters in Detroit.

Whitmer, a former legislative leader, is among four main Democrats seeking the nomination in August's primary election. She previously won the backing of the Michigan Education Association, the state's second-biggest union.

The fiscal health of each public school in Michigan now can be viewed on a new website.

The Michigan Treasury department says the MI School Financials Dashboard is easy to use and provides visual financial data about local and intermediate school districts and public academies.

It also features data on revenues and expenditures, enrollment and per-pupil funding.

Schools are required to report such data to the Center for Educational Performance and Information.

Michigan is ramping up security for midterm elections, but experts aren't satisfied.

Michigan secretary of state spokesman Fred Woodhams says the state will hand-count ballots in all precincts chosen in the post-election audit for the first time during the May and November races.

Cybersecurity experts aren't fully reassured, however.

They say the state should instead promise to audit elections before certifying the results and codify these post-election procedures into state law.

Lake Michigan
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Michigan shipwreck hunters say they've found the remains of a schooner that sank in Lake Michigan in 1873.

The Michigan Shipwreck Research Association announced this week that the Lizzie Throop was found in 280 feet of water along western Michigan's coastline some 15 miles northwest of South Haven. reports the two-masted, 86-foot-long schooner set sail from Muskegon on Oct. 16, 1873, on a lumber run to Chicago, but sank during a squall.

Two crewmen died. Valerie van Heest is the shipwreck association's director.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is poised to sign legislation that will boost spending on roads and bridges. The $175 million increase is 7 percent above existing spending. The Republican governor will sign the bill Tuesday. The planned move comes as frustrated motorists continue to face deteriorating, pothole-ridden roads.