SAGINAW PLAYER MISSING
Man's body found in missing hockey player's SUV
SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) - The Saginaw Spirit minor league hockey team confirms that police found the body of 20-year-old player Terry Trafford, who disappeared eight days earlier after receiving discipline from the club.
The team says on its website that Michigan State Police informed officials of the discovery Tuesday afternoon.
The team says it has "reached out to Terry's parents and will look to provide them with support over the coming days."
State police Lt. Brian Cole told The Saginaw News and WJRT-TV on Tuesday that a trooper found a man's body in an SUV that matched the description of Trafford's vehicle.
Cole says a trooper spotted the vehicle in a Wal-Mart store parking lot in Saginaw County's Saginaw Township.
Police didn't indicate a cause of death.
General Manager Craig Goslin says the team disciplined Trafford for breaking team rules.
Bill letting Vietnam vets get diplomas nearly done
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Legislation nearing the desk of Gov. Rick Snyder would let high schools award diplomas to Vietnam War-era veterans who enlisted or were drafted before graduating.
State law already lets schools grant diplomas to veterans who served honorably during World War II or the Korean War. The Michigan House on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill making Vietnam veterans eligible.
The Senate is expected to give final approval to the legislation on Wednesday before it goes to the governor.
Supporters say the move would be an expression of gratitude to Vietnam veterans for their service. The bill's sponsor is Republican Sen. Judy Emmons of Sheridan.
WELFARE RECIPIENTS-COMMUNITY SERVICE
Bill lets service be a requirement for welfare
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Legislation nearing Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's desk would let community service be a requirement to receive welfare benefits.
The state Human Services Department already includes community service among the work participation programs it can require for cash assistance recipients. A bill approved 91-19 Tuesday by Republican-led House would codify the practice into law.
The Republican-controlled Senate previously approved the bill and is expected to send it to Snyder on Wednesday.
Other ways welfare recipients can qualify for aid with the goal of becoming self-sufficient are paid employment, on-the-job training, job searches, educational activities and unpaid work assignments.
The legislation is sponsored by Republican Sen. Joe Hune of Livingston County's Hamburg Township.
Senate Bill 276: http://1.usa.gov/1cRMBy6
LAND LINE REGULATION
House approves simpler land line elimination rules
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan phone companies could more easily discontinue land line services under a Senate bill that has passed the House.
The bill would streamline regulations for ending land line service after 2016 and require the state to maintain a public database of providers of land line services. It passed 71-39 on Tuesday and now goes back to the Senate.
Republicans control both chambers.
Supporters say it will help Michigan discard outdated technology. AT&T Michigan President Jim Murray says the legislation would help AT&T "invest in new, more efficient communications services."
Opponents include AARP Michigan, which says land lines are cheaper and more dependable than wireless or internet phones. Republican Rep. Ed McBroom of Vulcan says cellphone coverage "is not really all that reliable" in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and many rural areas.
AP Source: Justice Department probing GM recall
DETROIT (AP) - A person briefed on the matter says the Justice Department is investigating whether General Motors broke any laws with its slow response to a deadly problem with ignition switches on certain small cars.
The probe is being handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the investigation is not public.
A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately return calls. GM would not comment.
GM already is facing investigations by Senate and House committees and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Last month GM announced the recall of 1.6 million older compact cars worldwide to replace ignition switches that can shut off the motor unexpectedly. GM says the problem is linked to 13 deaths.
Wife to testify against man in 1987 double-killing
GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) - A prosecutor says a woman will testify that her then-boyfriend came to her crying and then confessed to killing his sister and brother-in-law 27 years ago.
Ottawa County Assistant Prosecutor Lee Fisher told jurors in Grand Haven on Tuesday that the woman now married to Ryan Wyngarden will testify against him at his trial on murder charges in the deaths of a Grand Rapids-area couple.
The 52-year-old Wyngarden is accused of shooting 22-year-old Gail Brink and 28-year-old Rick Brink at their Park Township home. Authorities say one motive was that Wyngarden didn't want his sister to reveal they had a sex as teenagers.
Defense lawyer David Hall says Wyngarden stands by his alibi that he was doing laundry and babysitting for a friend at the time of the 1987 killings.
Senate approves larger loan repayments for doctors
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers are working to draw more medical providers to low-resource areas by raising caps for a loan repayment program for health professionals in those areas. Legislation that would also expand eligibility to dentists has unanimously passed the Senate.
The program's loan repayment limit would increase to $40,000 per year from $25,000 per year under one of the two Republican bills that passed Tuesday. A lifetime maximum loan repayment would be set at $200,000 for an individual.
Republican Sen. John Moolenaar of Midland sponsored one of the bills and says they'd "encourage physicians to practice in underserved areas" by bringing the program "more in line with modern costs."
The legislation would let the Department of Community Health prioritize enrolling doctors with specialties such as family medicine and obstetrics.
Up to 9 inches of snow forecast for Michigan
MONROE, Mich. (AP) - The National Weather Service says southeastern Michigan will come near breaking a 133-year-old snowfall record as a fresh winter storm pushes across the region, bringing up to 9 inches of snow.
The weather service predicts the heaviest snowfall for the state's southeastern corner just north of Toledo, Ohio, with 6-9 inches blanketing the Monroe area by the time the snow stops about 2 p.m. EDT Wednesday.
It predicts 5-8 inches in Detroit and 4-7 inches farther north.
Cooler temperatures will follow the storm, with readings in the upper 20s later Wednesday. Detroit's high hit 55 degrees Tuesday.
The weather service says the storm will move the Detroit area close to the seasonal snow total of 93.6 inches set in 1880-1881. So far, Detroit Metropolitan Airport has had 84.1 inches.
More Michigan residents sign up for health plans
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - About 145,000 Michigan residents have selected private insurance plans under the federal health care law.
Updated figures released Tuesday by the Health and Human Services Department show about 314,000 people in the state have completed an application and are eligible to enroll in a marketplace plan.
April 1 is the deadline to enroll before fines can be imposed.
President Barack Obama's administration says 4.2 million people have signed up nationally.
About 112,000 Michigan residents had signed up between Oct. 1 and the end of January.
The new numbers show 55 percent of those enrolled are women. The age group with the largest enrollment is 55 to 64 with 32 percent.
About 87 percent enrolled with a plan and are eligible to receive financial assistance.
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