Associated Press

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A federal appeals court is keeping gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region on the endangered species list.

A panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday upheld a district judge's 2014 ruling that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had acted prematurely by removing federal protections from wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Wolves had nearly disappeared from the region when they were designated as endangered in the 1970s. They now total about 3,800.

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The Michigan Court of Appeals will not hear an appeal of second-degree murder charges against a man involved in a fatal bicycle crash last year.

Chief Clerk Jerome Zimmer wrote July 28 that Charles Pickett Jr.'s leave to appeal was denied "for failure to persuade the Court of the need for immediate appellate review."

Pickett is charged with five counts of murder, five counts of driving while intoxicated and four counts of reckless driving related to the June 2016 crash.

gavel and law book
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Two people arrested after a loaded handgun was found inside a purse during a security screening at a county courthouse in southwestern Michigan have been sentenced to time behind bars.

The Herald- Palladium of St. Joseph reports 40-year-old Arnelda Jackson was ordered Monday to spend two years in prison followed by another 19 months to five years.

He earlier pleaded guilty to charges including being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Two men sentenced to life without parole for crimes committed as teens are savoring their freedom. They are among dozens in the U.S. resentenced and released after the Supreme Court banned mandatory no-parole sentences for juvenile offenders. Earl Rice Jr. was jailed at 17 for a purse-snatching that took a woman's life. 

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will release a previously delayed report on measures that could be taken at an Illinois waterway chokepoint to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes. The corps says the report involving the Brandon Road Lock and Dam will be made public Aug. 7. Project manager Andrew Leichty says it will evaluate "structural and non-structural options and technologies." 

Flint water pipes
FlintWaterStudy.org | Min Tang, Kelsey Pieper

Nearly 1,800 additional homes in Flint have had service lines replaced in the latest phase of an effort to help fix the city's lead-tainted water crisis. Mayor Karen Weaver's office says about 2,700 homes have had aging water lines replaced since March 2016 under the FAST Start initiative.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is planning to remove a dam and create a channel along 2 miles of Michigan's Kalamazoo River in an attempt to clean the river and make its fish safe to eat. About 50 people attended a meeting in Otsego last week to hear the agency's plans and to provide feedback. The EPA says the project could cost more than $46.5 million, including $12.5 million to remove the Otsego City Dam. 

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A phone line that a western Michigan police department has used since 2010 has recorded conversations even though it was marked "non-recorded."
 
     Documents filed in the U.S. District Court's Western District of Michigan on Thursday say the City of Grand Rapids is claiming the phone line's recording was accidental and that no one at the city knew it was happening up until December 2016.
 

Federal agents have seized 277 pounds of marijuana concealed in rail cars containing new Ford and Lincoln vehicles recently imported from Mexico. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Thursday the marijuana was found a day earlier by employees at the Ford Rail Distribution Facility in the Detroit suburb of Woodhaven. Federal, state and local officials then searched 200 vehicles. No arrests have been made. 

Five young people have been rescued from southern Lake Michigan after being unable to get back to shore while swimming in rough water along Indiana. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says Indiana Conservation Officers and the Ogden Dunes Police Department responded Thursday evening along Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Park in northwestern Indiana where the teens were swimming. 

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