Daily Briefs

 Ex-cop charged with abusing kids while on duty in the 1990s

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Authorities are asking people to step forward if they believe they were assaulted as children by a Flint police sergeant who is charged with sexual misconduct while on duty in the 1990s.

Lawrence Woods, now 66 and retired, appeared in court Friday on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was returned to jail without bond.
“There were incidents inside the police department and out on the street in police vehicles and on city property,” Sgt. Karl Petrich said.
Searches at four homes where Woods has lived or stayed revealed hundreds of images of child pornography taken by him, Petrich said.
Two women claim Woods sexually assaulted them when they were minors, but police are looking for more potential victims, Petrich said.
“We understand the allegations are very serious,” defense attorney Frank Manley told The Flint Journal. “Obviously, we are in the initial portion of our investigation, but we expect to have a successful outcome.”
A hearing to determine if there’s probable cause to send Woods to trial is set for Oct. 2. If convicted, the mandatory minimum sentence would be 25 years in prison.
 

Land, Peters spar over her plan to slash gasoline tax 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Top Michigan Republicans have unsuccessfully sought state gasoline tax increases to improve Michigan's roads.
 
But their standard-bearer for U.S. Senate is calling for a big cut in the federal gas tax.

Terri Lynn Land says her proposal to gradually reduce the 18-cents-a-gallon tax to 4 cents would “put Michigan first” by empowering the state with more say over how to maintain its transportation infrastructure. Yet Land’s plan is being doubted in part because of state lawmakers’ failure to raise more money for road and bridge upkeep.

U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, Land’s Democratic opponent, calls it “irresponsible” and a “far right-wing idea” that might leave Michigan with $1 billion less.
 

Former principal wins appeal in age bias case 

TECUMSEH, Mich. (AP) — A former high school principal in Lenawee County has another opportunity to pursue an age-discrimination lawsuit against Tecumseh Public Schools.
 
An appeals court last week overturned a decision that had dismissed Robert Scheick’s lawsuit. The new ruling means he’ll likely press his case at trial in Detroit federal court unless there’s a settlement.
After six years, Scheick’s contract wasn’t renewed in 2010. He was 56 at the time. The superintendent said there were complaints about Scheick’s performance and a plan to save money by having one person serve as superintendent and high school principal.
 
But Scheick says he was told that the Tecumseh school board wanted someone younger. The appeals court says Scheick met his burden to present that evidence at trial.

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