Daily Briefs

Ferndale mayor, a Democrat, takes reins of Oakland County


PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A Democrat is running Michigan’s second-largest county after the death of Republican L. Brooks Patterson , who was Oakland County executive for more than 25 years.

David Coulter was the mayor of Ferndale until Monday. Oakland County commissioners hired him to serve through the 2020 election.

Coulter says he wasn’t hired to “fix things” in the county, which is known for its strong finances and affluent communities. He says he’s an interim leader who will be talking to employees and other key officials to ensure a smooth transition.

Patterson died on Aug. 3. His chief deputy, Gerald Poisson, served as executive for two weeks.

Poisson and two other key officials retired after Coulter was hired.

 

Prosecutor: No criminal charges will be filed for 2018 fire
 

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan prosecutors say no criminal charges will be filed in connection with a motel fire that killed five children and an adult from the same family.

Investigators determined the likely cause of the July 2018 fire at Benton Harbor’s Cosmo Extended Stay Inn was careless use of a hot plate by a hotel guest.

Berrien County Prosecutor Michael J. Sepic said Monday that it’s not alleged “nor does the evidence suggest” that someone intentionally caused the blaze.

Benton Harbor authorities say the child victims ranged from 2 to 10 years old. The adult was 26.

The family had been trying to exit the burning motel at the time of their deaths. Autopsies determined all six died of smoke inhalation.

 

Participants sought for Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force
 

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Monday announced the formation of a Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force and requested students to apply to serve as members. The task force will make recommendations for improving voter engagement among college students.

Any Michigan student attending a two- or four-year higher education institution is encouraged to apply to the nonpartisan task force. Participants will advise on the unique challenges encountered by voters ages 18 to 24 and recommend a series of programmatic, administrative or policy changes to address those barriers.

The task force will meet three times this fall between September and November in locations throughout the state, with final recommendations submitted to Benson in November.

About 20 to 25 students will be selected from colleges, community colleges and universities around the state. Applicants must fill out an online application Applications are due by 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, and can be completed at Michigan.gov/SOSStudentTaskForce.

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