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State officials to appeal straight-party voting ban

LANSING (AP) — Michigan officials say they will appeal a federal judge’s ruling against eliminating straight-party voting.

The Detroit News reports Secretary of State Ruth Johnson this week filed a notice to appeal.

That came two weeks after U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain said preventing voters from checking a single box to vote for all of a party’s candidates discriminate against
blacks, who tend to use the straight-party option at a higher rate.

State officials have said there are no constitutional violations in the straight-ticket voting ban.

Gov. Rick Snyder and other Republicans say a ban would inspire voters to do their homework instead of simply choosing a party.

Nearly half of all Michigan ballots were straight-party during the 2016 election. It’s also common in Republican-friendly counties won by President Donald Trump.


Girls use hot coffee, fight back to thwart abduction

MILLINGTON (AP) — Police say girls threw hot coffee and fought to stop a man who was trying to abduct them.

The girls, who range in age from 11 to 14, were leaving a convenience store in Millington in Tuscola County on Monday night when they told police a man grabbed the youngest around the head and said she was coming with him.

The three other girls threw hot coffee on him and kicked and hit him until he let the girl go. Then police say he grabbed another girl by her hair and the others renewed their attack until he released their friend.

The youngest girl told WEYI-TV she’s not traumatized but still “a little bit scared.”

A 22-year-old man faces charges.


NRA, others sue city over gun storage law

EDMONDS, Wash. (AP) — The National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation and two residents in the Seattle suburb of Edmonds are suing the city over its new gun storage law.

The lawsuit accuses the city, Mayor Dave Earling and Police Chief Al Compaan of violating state law, which prevents cities from regulating guns.

The Daily Herald reports the Edmonds law, which passed on a 5-1 vote in July, requires gun owners to safely store firearms or face fines of up to $10,000 for civil infractions.

The groups filed a similar lawsuit last month against Seattle.


Minnesota deputies rescue women stranded on unicorn raft

STARK, Minn. (AP) — It was not a fairy tale, but a rescue on a Minnesota lake did involve a rainbow unicorn.

A sheriff’s deputy and a reserve deputy from the Chisago County Sheriff's Office recently spotted a group of five women on a large, inflatable rainbow unicorn floating on Fish Lake.

KMSP-TV reports the deputies pulled their squad car over and asked the women for a photo, but noticed the raft was stuck in weeds.

One deputy threw a rope to the women while the other recorded a video . The sheriff's office tweeted: “With a handful of laughs and some mad rescue roping skills, they were pulled back to the dock!”

Deputy Scotty Finnegan threw the rope. He says the women would have had trouble getting out of the mucky lake unassisted.

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