At a Glance . . .

 ACLU sues Muskegon County for inmates over jail conditions

MUSKEGON (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is suing Muskegon County on behalf of eight female inmates who say they’ve experienced poor jail conditions.

The lawsuit, filed recently in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, comes as the county works to complete a new jail that’s set to open next summer. 

The women, including one currently held in the old jail, say they faced dangerous conditions and were subjected to male guards watching them shower and use the toilet, The Muskegon Chronicle reported.

Based on tours of the new jail site, one of the features of the $40 million facility is increased privacy in the shower and toilet areas for inmates. The construction of a new juvenile transition center and finance fees will add another $5 million to the full project.

Miriam Aukerman, staff attorney with the ACLU of Michigan, said “cross gender viewing” is among the issues. The lawsuit wants an end to that practice and seeks damages for each of the plaintiffs as well as improved jail conditions, including better plumbing.

“A new jail alone isn’t going to stop male guards from viewing female inmates naked,” she said. “This is really a critical opportunity to make sure things are done right going forward. ... We think that this is a very important time to be raising (these issues).”

Two men get life in prison in shooting

ANN ARBOR (AP) — Two men have received life prison sentences in the killing of a 28-year-old man scheduled to testify in a Detroit freeway shooting case.
 
The Ann Arbor News reports  32-year-old Willie Wimberly was sentenced last week in Washtenaw County to life without parole for first-degree murder and life in prison for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. 

He was convicted in the January 2013 killing of Brandon Charles of Ypsilanti Township.

His cousin, 25-year-old Lawrence Mathews, received a life sentence for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Both men received shorter sentences for gun-related crimes. 

Wimberly also received 10 to 22 ½ years for witness intimidation.

Charles was one of two people wounded following a traffic confrontation. 

He was scheduled to take the stand in the preliminary examination of Wimberly and another man charged in the shooting.
 

Immigrants illegally in state a diverse group

DETROIT (AP) — Experts say Michigan’s population of immigrants living in the country illegally is smaller but more diverse than elsewhere.
 
That means changes to U.S. immigration policy President Barack announced recently will affect more than just those who come from Latin American countries.

That’s the dominant community in many other states.

The largest group of those in Michigan illegally comes from Mexico. But many also hail from India, Iraq and China.

Obama is expected to announce plans to shield as many as five million immigrants from deportation. 

The broadest action stemming from his executive authority could extend protections to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, as long as those parents have been in the country for five years.
Republicans plan to fight the actions.

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