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

March 21, 2019

Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up today in Michigan. 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. 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.



TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. _ A scientific report says the Great Lakes region is warming faster than the rest of the U.S., which likely will bring more flooding and other extreme weather events such as heat waves and drought. The warming climate also could mean less overall snowfall even as lake-effect snowstorms get bigger. The report by researchers from universities primarily from the Midwest says agriculture could be hit especially hard, with later spring planting and summer dry spells. By John Flesher. SENT: 360 words. Will be updated. Photos planned.


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. _ A South Dakota man accused of killing his girlfriend and dumping her dismembered body into a river in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is due in court. Stephen Falkenberg is scheduled for an initial appearance in Yankton County court Thursday in the death of Tamara LaFramboise. SENT: 150 words. Will be updated.


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. _ Democrats won more votes, regained control of the U.S. House and flipped hundreds of seats in state legislatures during the 2018 elections. Yet an Associated Press analysis shows that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been for Republicans. The analysis shows Republicans won about 16 more U.S. House seats than would have been expected based on their average share of the vote. The mathematical test is similar to one being cited in a case going before the US Supreme Court next week. By David A. Lieb. SENT: 1,340 words, photo.


—REDRAWING AMERICA-MICHIGAN, from LANSING, Mich. _ Michigan is among five states where Republicans retained control of the state House even though Democratic candidates won more votes statewide last fall, according to an Associated Press analysis. The House districts showed the fourth-highest GOP advantage among all states, trailing Wisconsin, South Dakota and Florida. By David Eggert. UPCOMING: 450 words.

—REDRAWING AMERICA-IMBALANCE OF POWER-CASES: Gerrymandering is on trial. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments next Tuesday on whether officials in Maryland and North Carolina went too far in drawing legislative districts for their own political advantage. A ruling could set a precedent for other states to follow. All told, gerrymandering cases are pending in a dozen states. By David A. Lieb. SENT: 1,500 words.



Ford Motor Co. said its chief financial officer, Bob Shanks, will retire in December, capping a 42-year career at the automaker. The Dearborn, Michigan-based company on Thursday said that Tim Stone will succeed Shanks as chief financial officer. Stone will come to Ford in April and takes over as CFO on June 1. Stone, 52, joins Ford after serving as the CFO of Snap Inc. and a 20-year stint at Amazon.com Inc. SENT: 230 words, photo.


—MICHIGAN FLOODING: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking the U.S. Small Business Administration to conduct flood damage assessments in Newaygo County in western Michigan.

—BURIED BODY PARTS: A 21-year-old man will spend 50 to 70 years in prison for the shooting death and mutilation of his childhood friend in a field north of Detroit.

—VEHICLES BURGLARIZED-GOVERNOR’S HOME: Michigan State Police are reviewing security protocol for the official residence of Michigan’s governor after the thefts from two vehicles parked outside.

—MEDICAID FRAUD-INVESTIGATION: The Michigan attorney general’s office this month closed its main investigation into a Michigan autism therapy provider was accused of running a Medicaid fraud scheme.

—MENOMINEE COUNTY JUDGESHIP: The first law enacted by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will keep intact a Menominee County judgeship that was going to be eliminated when the current judge retires.

—CHAVEZ STATUE-THEFT: A former director of the Michigan Hispanic/Latino Commission has been sentenced to five years of probation for stealing nearly $86,000 that was set aside for a Michigan statue to honor farm labor leader Cesar Chavez.

—WOMAN KILLED-MISSING CHILD: A woman traveling with the man accused of killing the mother of his child in Milwaukee is charged with aiding a felon.



DES MOINES, Iowa _ No. 2 Michigan State opens what it hopes will be a deep NCAA run when it faces No. 15 Bradley at the start of tournament play on Thursday. By Luke Meredith. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 3 p.m. ET.


DES MOINES, Iowa _ For the second year in a row, the Montana Grizzlies and the Michigan Wolverines square off in the first round of NCAA Tournament play Thursday evening. By Eric Olson. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 9:30 p.m. ET.


Reigning national champion Villanova will be in action along with Michigan, the runner-up from last year, while Belmont and Murray State open the NCAA Tournament as trendy upset picks as things get going with a full slate of games. Also in action is perennial power Kansas, along with Ja Morant and Murray State. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 980 words, photos.


ANN ARBOR, Mich. _ NCAA Tournament games can be won and lost at the 3-point line, and some teams put technology to use to help players improve their shooting. A system from the data-service provider Noah Basketball can measure the arc on shots. It can also let players know if their shots are too far to the left or right _ or too short or long. By Noah Trister. SENT: 930 words, photos.


TULSA, Okla. _ Texas Tech faces Northern Kentucky and Buffalo battles Arizona State in West Region action on Friday. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos.


COLUMBIA, S.C. _ Zion Williamson and top-seeded Duke look to start another run to the NCAA championship when it kicks off tournament play against 16th-seeded North Dakota State in the East Region Friday. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 600 words.


PHOENIX _ Andre Drummond leads the Detroit Pistons against rookie big man Deandre Ayton and the Suns on Thursday night. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 10 p.m. ET.


ST. LOUIS _ The Detroit Red Wings are in St. Louis on Thursday to take on the Blues. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 8 p.m. ET.


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.