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

March 16, 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. Ken Kusmer is on the desk. 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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 STORY:

R KELLY-I BELIEVE I CAN FLY

DETROIT _ When the recordings of the basic track arrived in Detroit from Chicago, Paul Riser Sr. knew it was time to get to work. But the orchestral arranger also knew he had something special to work with. “It hit me the same way like everyone else in the world: The lyrics are so simple, the melody is so clear, the chord pattern is wonderful,” said Riser, a Motown Records alum who wrote the orchestra parts and directed the strings and woodwind musicians for “I Believe I Can Fly.” ″That song came from his heart: That’s the other side of R. Kelly.“The dilemma of separating the sides of Kelly, who faces 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse , now confronts Riser and millions of others who listen to or perform the singer’s music. It’s perhaps most acute when it comes to the Grammy-winning ballad that’s made its way into movies such as “Space Jam,” and been performed in countless reality shows, church services, as well as school concerts and graduation ceremonies. Children are even singing it bilingually. By Jeff Karoub. SENT: 975 words, photos.

AROUND THE STATE:

PARAMEDIC SHORTAGE-MICHIGAN

HOWELL, Mich. _ Ambulance services in Michigan are working to improve recruitment efforts and generate interest in the emergency medical services industry, which is facing a staff shortage largely due to high employee turnover and low pay rates. Counties, universities and private companies are working together to reach out to high school and college students about the industry and offer training programs to get people interested, the Livingston Daily Press & Argus reported. SENT: 430 words.

EXCHANGE-WHISKERS CLUB

KALAMAZOO, Mich. _ “Smooching” his wife is more difficult with the long beard and fluffy mustache, but for Spanky Doom the world of competitive bearding makes the fuzz worth it. Doom, 37, is one of a growing number of people in Kalamazoo who meet Sundays for beers and some grub at the Old Dog Tavern in downtown Kalamazoo. In addition to the communal love for Kalamazoo beer, the men in the group also share another thing in common — award-winning facial hair. By Kayla Miller, MLive.com. SENT IN ADVANCE: 760 words.

EXCHANGE-SALMON STORY

HASLETT, Mich. _ Close to 10 million chinook and coho salmon swim in Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Superior. There were none when Howard Tanner started as the chief of the Michigan Department of Conservation’s Fish Division in 1964. His boss, Ralph MacMullan, spent much of their first meeting lambasting the fish department for its previous lack of action and dysfunction. Heaps of dead fish were washing up on beaches, the lakes were overly commercially fished and there was little recreational fishing to speak of. He gave Tanner a mandate: “Do something.” By RJ Wolcott, Lansing State Journal. SENT IN ADVANCE: 1,020 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ CRUISER STRUCK-TROOPER HURT: Michigan State Police say a trooper was hospitalized with minor injuries after another vehicle struck his cruiser on Interstate 94 near Battle Creek.

_ BEETS-ODOR: The Michigan appeals court says time has run out for people to sue a sugar beet processor over odors.

_ CONTAMINATED WATER-MICHIGAN: Samples are expected to be taken from about 49 residential drinking water wells in western Michigan to test for chemical contaminants.

_ VEHICLES BURGLARIZED-GOVERNOR’S HOME: An arrest has been made after property was stolen from two vehicles parked at the official residence of Michigan’s governor.

_ EBERTFEST-ARETHA FRANKLIN: The Aretha Franklin concert film “Amazing Grace” will open this year’s Roger Ebert film festival in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.

_ SEVERE WEATHER-MICHIGAN: Authorities say four tornadoes touched down in mid-Michigan during a fast-moving storm that swept across the state.

SPORTS:

BKC--T25-B10-WISCONSIN-MICHIGAN STATE

CHICAGO _ No. 6 Michigan State plays No. 19 Wisconsin for a spot in the Big Ten Tournament final. The top-seeded Spartans beat the Badgers 67-59 on Feb. 12 in their only meeting this season. By Jay Cohen. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 1 p.m.

BKC--T25-B10-MINNESOTA-MICHIGAN

CHICAGO _ Zavier Simpson and No. 10 Michigan face Jordan Murphy and surprising Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. The Wolverines beat the Gophers twice during the regular season. By Andrew Seligman. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts approximately 3:30 p.m.

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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.