At a Glance

Kilpatrick motion to vacate sentence denied

DETROIT (AP) — Disgraced ex-Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has failed again in an effort to reduce the time he’s spending in federal prison.

U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds, Eastern District of Michigan, this week denied a motion to vacate the 28-year sentence she handed Kilpatrick in 2013 for extortion, bribery, conspiracy and other crimes during his years in office.

Kilpatrick, 48, said in his motion that the court made errors during his trial that included incorrect jury instructions.

Edmunds wrote that the motion did not show Kilpatrick’s “actual innocence” and that the evidence “weighed heavily” in supporting the guilty verdicts.

A federal appeals court and the U.S. Supreme Court have said they will not review Kilpatrick’s case.

Kilpatrick resigned in 2008 following a text-messaging sex scandal involving his chief of staff.

Whitmer signs first bill — to preserve U.P. judgeship

LANSING (AP) — The first law enacted by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will keep intact a Menominee County judgeship that was going to be eliminated when the current judge retires March 31.

Whitmer signed the bill Thursday in a private ceremony attended by Upper Peninsula lawmakers and state Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Clement.

Whitmer says preserving the 95A District Court judgeship upon the retirement of Judge Jeffrey Barstow will help the community establish a drug treatment court to combat the opioid epidemic and ensure county residents can access the judicial system.

A 2012 law eliminated various judgeships across Michigan through attrition.

Court spurns Georgia inmate, despite  juror’s racial slurs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is rejecting a new appeal from a Georgia death row inmate, despite evidence that a juror in his capital case used racial slurs.

The high court had previously blocked the execution of Georgia inmate Keith Leroy Tharpe. But the justices this week refused to take up his case after a lower court ruled against him.

Tharpe, 59, is trying to get his death sentence thrown out because of comments the juror made to defense investigators several years after Tharpe’s trial. The juror signed an affidavit, though he later testified that he voted for Tharpe’s death sentence because of the evidence against him. The juror has since died.

Lower courts have ruled Tharpe can’t use the juror’s statement.

Tharpe was convicted of killing his sister in law.

Fire ball above LA  not an alien invasion, just a photo shoot

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Police Department would like residents to know that aliens are not invading.

The LAPD says a fire ball that dashed through the sky over downtown Wednesday evening was part of a movie production.

The department tweeted a video of the fiery streak with the reassuring message that it wasn't a meteor or an alien invasion — “just a film shoot.”

“This is Tinseltown after all,” the tweet said.


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