Daily Briefs

Man charged in deputy’s death to get competency exam


CLARKSTON, Mich. (AP) — A man charged with murder after authorities say he ran over a sheriff’s deputy in southeastern Michigan will get a competency examination.

A judge on Monday ordered the examination for 22-year-old Christopher Berak, who is charged with first-degree homicide and murder of a peace officer. He returns to court Feb. 12.

Berak’s lawyer Stephen Rabaut told the court “it warrants a competency evaluation.”

Authorities say 50-year-old Oakland County Deputy Eric Overall was outside his squad car early Nov. 23 preparing to deploy “stop sticks” designed to deflate vehicles’ tires at a Brandon Township intersection when he was hit by Berak’s vehicle. It rolled over and Berak was arrested.

Earlier, Berak told officers at the Lapeer County jail he was “God” and came to break out one of his “sons.”

 

Prosecutors dig up  50-year-old case in waste disposal suit


BELMONT, Mich. (AP) — Court records show that a shoe manufacturer reached an agreement with a Michigan township nearly 50 years ago that allowed the company to continue dumping tannery sludge in the area as long as the waste didn’t contaminate water.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that attorneys representing local homeowners summarized the 1966 court settlement with Plainfield Township in a lawsuit recently filed against Wolverine World Wide.

The lawsuit alleges that the company’s old landfill in Belmont contaminated water with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl.

The toxic substances are in a class of chemicals that has been tied to cancer, thyroid problems and other diseases. The chemicals can be found in firefighting foams, cleaning products, household cookware and carpets, and some food packaging.

Wolverine declined to comment on the ongoing or past litigation.

 

Michigan offers reminder about sexual harassment complaints
 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is reminding state residents that they may file sexual harassment complaints with the department.

The department’s Director Agustin Arbulu says in a statement that there’s a “national time of reckoning with regard to sexual harassment and sexual misconduct” that’s taking place. Under Michigan law, sexual harassment constitutes illegal discrimination.

There have been a wave of allegations against titans of entertainment, media, politics and sports since the explosive reports of sexual misconduct by Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein.

Arbulu notes, however, that sexual harassment can happen to anyone — not just those in the “high-powered worlds of politics, news and entertainment.”

Information about how to file a complaint is posted on the department’s website.

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