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

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Detroit makes deal with retired cops, firefighters

DETROIT (AP) - The city of Detroit has reached a deal with retired police officers and firefighters that would preserve current pensions.

Under the agreement, retirees would see a reduction in annual cost of living payments that are attached to the pensions. The deal was announced Tuesday by mediators who have been negotiating privately with all parties in Detroit's bankruptcy.

The city had been proposing a 6 percent pension cut and no cost-of-living payments.

The deal still is subject to a vote by more 6,000 retirees and review by a bankruptcy judge. It also is tied to the city getting $816 million from foundations, philanthropists and the state of Michigan.

Lawmakers still haven't approved the state's $350 million share.


Armored van crashes on icy roadway, spilling cash

VIENNA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Authorities say an armored carrier company's van was carrying up to $1 million when it crashed on an icy Flint-area roadway and spilled a portion of its load.

Genesee County sheriff's Sgt. Pete Stocchi tells The Flint Journal the van was being driven in Vienna Township on Tuesday morning when the driver lost control and crashed. The van collided with another vehicle and spun around.

Some coins and cash spilled from the van onto the shoulder of the roadway and in a parking lot where the van came to rest. Crews from the company cleaned up the money.

The newspaper says a company employee in the back of the van and the other vehicle's driver were taken to a hospital, where they were listed in stable condition.


Man sentenced to life for killing 4 Michigan women

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) - A man convicted of killing four women whom he met through an online escort site opted to stay in jail when a Detroit-area judge sentenced him to life in prison.

The mandatory sentence of life with no chance of parole was given to James Brown on Tuesday in a courtroom packed with his victims' relatives.

Defense attorney Jeff Cojocar says Brown didn't "want to be around that environment" again.

Macomb County Judge James Biernat Jr. called Brown "a coward."

Brown was convicted of first-degree murder in February. The 26-year-old admits the four women died in pairs in his basement. But he told police he couldn't explain why they died. Authorities believe they were asphyxiated.

The women met Brown through, which carries personal ads for people looking for sex.


New lawyer comes aboard in Bashara case

DETROIT (AP) - A man charged with arranging the murder of his wife at their suburban Detroit home has a new lawyer.

Michael McCarthy will represent Robert Bashara (buh-SHER'-uh), along with attorney Lillian Diallo. A Wayne County judge approved the court-appointed assignments Tuesday.

A trial is set for October but the date could change.

Bashara is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jane Bashara in 2012. Her body was found in her Mercedes-Benz in Detroit, but police believe she was strangled at her home in Grosse Pointe Park.

A handyman, Joe Gentz, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, saying he killed Jane Bashara on orders from her husband.

Robert Bashara is in prison for trying to have Gentz killed in jail.


Deputies find dead homeowner, marijuana plants

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Piles of newspapers and uncollected mail outside a Rochester Hills home led authorities to discover a dead man and marijuana plants inside.

The Detroit News reports Tuesday that Oakland County sheriff's deputies looked through a window Monday night and saw the 63-year-old homeowner lying motionless in a bedroom.

An autopsy is planned, but authorities believe the man's death was natural. His name was not released.

About 15 marijuana plants were found growing in the home's basement. Deputies also found six guns in the house, located north of Detroit.


Michigan girl mauled by raccoon getting new ear

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) - A surgeon is creating a new ear for a Michigan girl whose face was mauled by a pet raccoon when she was a baby.

The procedure for Charlotte Ponce (PON'-say) got underway Tuesday morning at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. By the early afternoon, nurse navigator Jennifer Brabant said Charlotte was "doing great," but had a few hours to go.

Dr. Kongkrit Chaiyasate (SHY'-ah-set) is taking cartilage from Charlotte's ribs and carving it into the shape of an ear using a computer-generated template based on the 11-year-old's other ear.

Once that happens, he'll implant the ear structure under the skin of Charlotte's forearm. The skin will mold to the ear shape over a period of weeks.

Chaiyasate already has done work rebuilding Charlotte's nose and repairing her lip and cheek.


Community organizations adopt some Detroit parks

DETROIT (AP) - Mayor Mike Duggan says partnerships with churches, community groups and Detroit businesses will help the city keep more public parks open and maintained this year.

Duggan made the announcement Tuesday that the city has doubled the number of seasonal workers and is committed to maintaining 150 of Detroit's more than 300 parks.

He also says community partners will adopt another 65 parks. About 25 parks received regular maintenance last year.

Organizations adopting parks agree to mow and weed them every 10 to 14 days from May 1 until Oct. 31. They also agree to keep their parks free of trash.

The city will install a sign bearing the adopting group's name in each park. It also will help organizations that want play equipment, picnic tables or other park enhancements.

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

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