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This Hour: Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment

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Snyder: Vote recognizes efforts to help Detroit

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says a vote by Detroit workers and retirees to approve pension cuts in the city's bankruptcy is recognition that the state has pulled together in support of the city.

In a statement Tuesday morning, Snyder said: "We have farther to go down this road. But the vote tallies show how far we've come in the past year." He says the city's future is "increasingly brighter" amid difficult decisions and sacrifices that are being made.

The city late Monday reported that pension cuts were approved in a landslide. The tally from 60 days of voting gives the city a boost as Judge Steven Rhodes determines whether Detroit's overall strategy to eliminate or reduce $18 billion in long-term debt is fair and feasible to all creditors.


Some want Lansing to welcome child immigrants

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Some religious leaders and activists in Lansing want the city to be declared a welcoming place for child immigrants from Central America.

Maximo Anguiano, an activist with Action of Greater Lansing, said in a statement that the children are "frightened, far from home and seeking asylum."

A press conference is planned for Wednesday.

The Rev. Fred Thelen, pastor of Cristo Rey Catholic Church in Lansing, is co-president of Action of Greater Lansing. He's among those involved in the push and says Lansing should be "leaders and champions for humanity and declare Lansing a welcoming city."

The effort comes amid protests and counter-protests surrounding plans by Grosse Pointe Park-based Wolverine Human Services to enter into a contract allowing its facility in Vassar to house children who fled violence in Central America.


2nd day of jury selection in porch shooting trial

DETROIT (AP) - More than two dozen people have been dismissed as a judge and lawyers try to pick a jury in the trial of a Detroit-area man who fatally shot a woman on his porch.

Judge Dana Hathaway is asking potential jurors their views on guns, self-defense and race. The process started Monday and will resume Tuesday in Wayne County court.

Theodore Wafer of Dearborn Heights is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride, who was shot in the face around 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 2. Wafer says he heard pounding at the front door and fired his shotgun in self-defense.

McBride was drunk but not armed. She had been in a car crash about 3 ½ hours earlier. It's unclear why she ended up at Wafer's home.


Police: Bulldozer kills Michigan farm worker

PINE RIVER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Michigan police are investigating the death of a man run over by an unmanned bulldozer.

Michigan State Police says 46-year-old William Courter of Alma died Monday at a Gratiot County farm from injuries sustained from the incident. Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the scene.

Police say there wasn't an operator seated on the bulldozer when it hit Courter. Farm employees were finishing maintenance work on a barn at the time.

Courter's mother-in-law tells the Morning Sun of Mount Pleasant that his death is a "catastrophe" for his family and 11 other families connected to the farm.


Official: Police in village under investigation

OAKLEY, Mich. (AP) - An official says the state wants to know whether a small Michigan village police department with a large force of reserve officers is violating any rules.

David L. Harvey, executive director of the Michigan Commission of Law Enforcement Standards, tells The Saginaw News the state wants to know whether the Saginaw County village of Oakley is violating rules governing officer licensing.

Harvey says the commission has started a joint investigation of the village, which has a population of 300 and a reserve officer force estimated at 100.

Chief Rob Reznick says the department and reserve force have done nothing wrong. He says they'll cooperate.

Reservists donate thousands of dollars to help the village with expenses. Most are from out of town, but as reservists they're allowed to carry weapons.


$5M grant to help boost middle school education

HOUGHTON, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Technological University says a $5 million grant will help in an effort to improve middle school science education that is expected to be tested in several school districts.

The Houghton school on Monday announced the three-year grant from the Midland-based Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.

The foundation has funded the Michigan Science Teaching and Assessment Reform program, or Mi-STAR, to develop a model for changing middle-school education in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. It will include coming up with a new STEM curriculum.

Several other universities are among those involved. A pilot project is expected to take place in several school districts, including Midland, Grand Rapids and Eaton Rapids as well as the Public Schools of Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw and Houghton-Portage Township Schools.


DNR hosts forest open houses in northern Michigan

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - State forestry officials are hosting open houses this week to provide information and receive public comments on plans for logging and other management activities in the northwestern Lower Peninsula.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has scheduled the programs for Tuesday at its Traverse City field office and Wednesday at its Kalkaska field office. Both begin at 3 p.m.

The plans deal with treatments of state forest land in Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau and Manistee counties. Because the forests are inventoried two years in advance, the plans involve proposals for logging and planting that would take place in 2016.

DNR personnel evaluate one-tenth of the state forest each year, gathering information for management plans. Among factors considered are tree health, wildlife and fisheries habitat, recreational use and wildfire potential.


Visitors flock to Ann Arbor for plant's lone bloom

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A plant that has called the University of Michigan home for the past 80 years is about halfway through its one-time-only flowering process.

Matthaei (MATH'-eye) Botanical Gardens horticulture manager Mike Palmer says the American agave (uh-GAW'-vay) has about 10 to 14 more days of blooming.

Conservatory workers have been pollinating the agave by hand since its natural pollinators - the Mexican long-nosed bat and different types of moths - aren't around.

Once the flowering process is complete, the 28-foot-plant will die.

Native to Mexico and the American Southwest, the agave has been a hit in Ann Arbor since it started growing rapidly taller in April, an indicator it was preparing to bloom.

Visitor Carol Marantette of Grosse Pointe says she is excited to see a "once-in-a-lifetime" occurrence.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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