law

Water faucet
Public domain image / Wikimedia.org

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a $52.8 million supplemental budget bill that includes money to respond to an emerging chemical contaminant found across Michigan.

The law enacted Wednesday allocates $23.2 million to address groundwater contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, at 28 sites in 14 communities. It's recently drawn scrutiny north of Grand Rapids, where footwear company Wolverine World Wild dumped waste sludge decades ago.

Courthouse
Tim Evanson via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

Michigan law will no longer shield police from prosecution for prostitution-related offenses committed while on duty.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation this week to remove the immunity, effective in 90 days. Michigan was believed to be the last state in the country to give police immunity for having sex with prostitutes during undercover investigations.

A sponsor of the legislation has said she does not believe officers are taking advantage of the law, but it should still come off the books.

A woman who reached a plea deal after being accused of making threats outside a western Michigan mosque has been sentenced to three years of probation. Thirty-four-year-old Kari Moss of Ada learned her punishment Tuesday. She earlier pleaded no contest to making a false bomb threat. A stiffer charge of making a false threat of terrorism was dismissed under the agreement. 

A judge has ordered a 62-year-old hunter safety instructor to stand trial on a lesser charge in the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy who was squirrel hunting in western Michigan. Roger Hoeker of Jenison was charged with involuntary manslaughter, but 78th District Court Judge H. Kevin Drake this week sent the case to circuit court on a charge of reckless discharge of a firearm. 

A woman who entered a plea agreement in the death of an 85-year-old woman who was found in cold weather outside an assisted living center in western Michigan has received a delayed jail sentence. A Kent County Circuit Court judge on Tuesday sentenced Denise Filcek to six months in jail, but agreed to delay the jail term for an appeal.

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Political candidates could ask for a recount only if they have a reasonable chance of winning under legislation advancing in Michigan. The House approved the bill 98-10 Wednesday.

It's a response to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's recount request last year, even though she won just 1 percent of the vote.

Deal ends legal challenge over tourism room tax

Oct 13, 2017
gavel and law book
SalFalko via Flickr | CC BY 3.0 / flickr.com

A tourism bureau in northern Michigan will stop collecting a room tax from two inns after a lawsuit challenged whether the levy was legal. The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation says a judge dismissed the case after Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau said it would stop assessing the fee against Sylvan Inn and Lakeshore Inn in Glen Arbor. 

The lawsuit could have had broad consequences for tourism promotion programs around Michigan. More than 50 tourism agencies collect a room tax. But the judge didn't rule on whether it violated the First Amendment.

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

Michigan municipalities would be prohibited from levying local taxes on food and beverages under a bill advancing to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk for his expected signature. No local government in Michigan is now considering such a tax. But lawmakers say it is possible, pointing to Philadelphia and Chicago as places with soda taxes. Similar taxes have been approved in San Francisco and Oakland, California. 

2 reach plea deals in death of woman outside nursing home

Oct 12, 2017

Two women charged in the death of an 85-year-old woman who was found in cold weather outside an assisted living center in western Michigan have reached plea deals in the case. Denise Filcek on Wednesday entered a plea to a charge of intentionally placing false information on a chart involving medical records. Authorities say she was responsible for making bed checks. She told the judge, however, she didn't check on everyone. 

The Michigan Supreme Court is set to hear a high-profile case about a man who fatally shot a woman who banged on his door following a late-night car crash in suburban Detroit. Ted Wafer was convicted of second-degree murder after shooting 19-year-old Renisha McBride on his Dearborn Heights porch in 2013. The issue for the Supreme Court on Thursday is jury instructions.

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