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BC-MI--Michigan News Digest 1:30 pm, MI

December 24, 2018

Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in Michigan at 1:30 p.m. Questions about today’s coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Detroit bureau at 800-642-4125 or 313-259-0650 or apmichigan@ap.org. Corey Williams is on the desk. AP-Michigan News Editor Roger Schneider can be reached at 313-259-0650 or rschneider@ap.org. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date. All times are Eastern.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

TOP STORIES:

YE--STORY OF THE YEAR

The depths of Larry Nassar’s depravity began to emerge some 15 months before the calendar flipped to 2018 — when reports of his sexual abuse first appeared in newspaper stories that would eventually lead to a trial and, ultimately, to the doctor’s imprisonment. But it was January 2018, the month when more than 150 female athletes testified at Nassar’s sentencing hearing for convictions on child-porn and sex-abuse charges, that marked a turning point in a crisis that has inflicted untold damage. The testimony brought the true nature and number of Nassar’s crimes to the fore, triggering spasms of anger, soul-searching and attempts at reform, while also giving women in sports — and society in general — a more powerful voice when it comes to exposing abuse that had been swept out of the public’s conscience for decades. Nassar’s crimes and the chaos they provoked — the massive turnover at Michigan State, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, to say nothing of the trauma wrought on the victims themselves — was the Story of the Year in balloting by AP members and editors. The Nassar saga earned more than double the number of votes as the second- and third-place finishers: the Eagles first Super Bowl championship and the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a law that prohibited sports gambling outside of Nevada. By Eddie Pells. SENT: 910 words, photos.

SOMEWHAT TRUMP

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. _ Jill Mott doesn’t like the tweets. The hard line on the border is too hard. And when asked whether she will vote for President Donald Trump a second time, she lets out a long, deep sigh. “That is the question,” said Mott, a Republican from suburban Detroit. In her moment of hesitancy, Mott is the portrait of a small, but significant slice of voters poised to wield considerable influence in the 2020 presidential campaign. They are the 18 percent of voters who described themselves as only “somewhat” approving of the president. It’s a group whose backing for Trump is most tenuous and whose reservations about his personality and his policies reveal warning signs for Republicans, perhaps even more so as he dug in on his demand for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, leading to a budget impasse with Congress that has shut down the government around Christmas. By Steve Peoples, Hannah Fingerhut and Corey Williams. SENT: 1,240 words, photos. RESENT FOR NEW CYCLE.

AROUND THE STATE:

CHARTER SCHOOLS-BLACKS DIVIDED

Amid fierce debate over whether charter schools are good for black students, the heirs to the Walmart company fortune have been working to make inroads with advocates and influential leaders in the black community. The Walton family, as one of the leading supporters of America’s charter school movement, is spreading its financial support to prominent and like-minded black leaders, from grassroots groups focused on education to mainstream national organizations such as the United Negro College Fund and Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, according to an Associated Press analysis of tax filings and non-profit grants data. “Those closest to the challenge often have the best solution,” Marc Sternberg, who leads the Walton Family Foundation’s education efforts, said in a prepared statement. Charter schools, which are publicly funded and privately operated, are often located in urban areas with large back populations, intended as alternatives to struggling city schools. Black enrollment in charters has doubled over the course of a decade, to more than 760,000 students as of 2015-16, according to the latest federal data, but the rise also has been marked by concerns about racial segregation, inconsistent student outcomes, and the hollowing-out of neighborhood public schools. By Sally Ho. SENT: 980 words; photos and graphic.

CRAFTS-AMERICAN YARN

It began when Debbie McDermott allowed her daughter Jamie to raise two sheep for a 4-H project. Eventually, her 165-year-old farm was transformed into a successful, family-run, custom fiber processing mill. McDermott’s Stonehedge Fiber Mill, which opened in 1999 in East Jordan, Michigan, now produces more than 700 pounds of yarn monthly for customers in 38 states and Canada. It produces an additional 15,000 pounds monthly for its personal lines of yarn, including Shepherd’s Wool, which is milled and dyed in-house before it’s shipped and sold in about 300 shops. Most garments worn in the United States in the first half of the 20th century were American-made, but the decline of the American textile industry began after World War II, according to knitting and wool industries expert Clara Parkes. She’s a member of the American Sheep Industry — an industry trade group — and author of several books on knitting. In recent years, however, there’s been a slow-growing demand for wool yarn that’s completely produced in the United States, from sheep to skein, Parkes said. By Shireen Korkzan. SENT: 660 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

_ REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLANS: A southeastern Michigan group is taking public comment on a proposed change to two regional transportation plans. The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments is looking at a special amendment to the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan and the Fiscal Year 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Plan.

_ OPERATION GOOD CHEER: Thousands of foster children in Michigan will be getting gifts this Christmas with the help of Operation Good Cheer’s 2,000 volunteers.

SPORTS:

FBN--LOSING LIONS

ALLEN PARK, Mich. _ The Detroit Lions are doing a lot of losing late in Matt Patricia’s first season. By Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.

HKN--PRIMING THE PUMP

When Rasmus Dahlin put pen to paper on his first NHL contract, the reverberations carried to Gothenburg and Lidkoping in his native Sweden. The No. 1 overall pick signing with the Buffalo Sabres earned Sweden more than $250,000 to put back into development. Last year alone, the NHL paid more than $35 million in transfer fees as teams signed European players. There are agreements in place with all the major hockey-producing countries except Russia and Switzerland that allow the free flow of players to the best league in the world. When the world junior championship begins Wednesday in Canada, it will be a showcase of that emerging talent spurred along in Europe and North America by this money. The NHL also sends junior leagues in Canada and the United States over $12 million annually and provides financial support for USA Hockey. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 840 words, photos.

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If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to apmichigan@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

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