Daily Briefs

The State Board of Canvassers to meet over ballot issues
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Opponents will urge a state board to keep two questions off the fall ballot, including a referendum that could restrict future construction of new bridges.
Critics say both proposals, backed by Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel “Matty” Moroun, have flaws that make them ineligible for the Nov. 6 election. The Board of State Canvassers meets Monday to decide whether to place them on the ballot.
Moroun’s businesses have spent millions to collect signatures and get the questions on the ballot. The second would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raise taxes.
Moroun’s Detroit International Bridge Co. is trying to stop construction of a second competing bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. Gov. Rick Snyder has struck a deal with Canada to build the span.

Federal government settles lawsuit over care at Bay City clinic

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) — The federal government has agreed to pay $78,000 to a family to settle a lawsuit over a stillbirth in Bay City.
Sara Facundo claimed that Health Delivery Inc. failed to diagnose a serious problem with her pregnancy in the final trimester, resulting in the stillbirth of her son in December 2008. The government can be sued for malpractice at clinics that are federally funded.
The settlement was approved Monday by federal Judge Thomas Ludington in Bay City.
Before filing a lawsuit in 2011, the Facundo family had filed a claim for $3 million. The government did not respond, which led to the court action.

Inmates released due to jail overcrowding

On Wednesday Oakland County Circuit Court Chief  Judge Pro Tempore Shalina Kumar ordered sentence reductions for 228 inmates housed at the Oakland County Jail in an effort to alleviate the jail overcrowding state of emergency declared by Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard on Aug. 8.  Michigan law mandates that inmates receive sentence reductions if they would not present a high risk to the public safety.  The sentence reductions are required by law to alleviate an overcrowded condition in the county jail.
Those receiving sentence reductions today include both sentenced misdemeanants and felons. The inclusion of sentenced felons was necessary to alleviate the jail overcrowding emergency. Inmates sentenced on assaultive or drunk driving charges were not granted time cuts.
Kumar ordered a careful and deliberative review of all eligible inmates before deciding upon those who would be granted sentence reductions. In addition to excluding inmates with assaultive or drunk driving offenses, inmates were screened for pending warrants from other counties and parole violations in other jurisdictions. These activities were undertaken by a group of law enforcement and administration of justice officials appointed by Kumar.
This last jail overcrowding emergency in which sentence reductions were ordered by the court occurred on March 16 this year.

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