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State’s high court taking up fight over private school aid

LANSING (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to take up a major lower court decision that allows Michigan tax dollars to flow to private schools.

A coalition of public school groups and the American Civil Liberties Union had urged the state’s high court to reverse an October opinion by the appeals court. The court said private schools can receive public money to help them comply with health, safety and welfare rules.

In Tuesday’s order, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman said the court needs to resolve the issue with a “final decision.”

Critics say the Michigan Constitution clearly states that no public money can aid a private school.

The Republican-controlled Legislature and then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, approved $2.5 million in 2016 for state requirements at private schools.


High court rejects early challenge to Trump steel tariffs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is rejecting an early challenge to President Donald Trump’s authority to impose tariffs on imported steel based on national security concerns.

The justices did not comment on Monday in leaving in place a decision by the Court of International Trade that ruled against steel importers and other users of imported steel who challenged the 25% tariff on steel that Trump imposed in 2018.

The importers argue that Trump does not have unbounded authority under the Constitution to regulate trade. They say that job belongs to Congress.

The legal challenge is at an early stage, before a federal appeals court has weighed in. The case could return to the Supreme Court later.


Washington state city to use goats to help prevent wildfires

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) — A community in Washington state plans to use goats to reduce the risk of wildfires.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports  that a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant will fund the rental of goats to clear flammable brush around Wenatchee.

A wildfire near the city 148 miles east of Seattle four years ago destroyed 28 homes and three businesses.

Chelan County Fire District 1 Chief Brian Brett says 300 goats will be used for up to 10 days in July to eat fast-burning grass from areas that are hard for people and machines to reach.

This is the first time the district has rented the animals from a goat herder in Ephrata, Washington.


Firefighter uses YouTube duck calls to rescue ducklings

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) — A flock of ducklings is safe in suburban Denver after a firefighter used a recording of duck calls to coax some of them from a storm drain.

A video from South Metro Fire Rescue shows how a firefighter was able to scoop out four of the birds in the water at the bottom of the drain. Four others, though, were hiding in an adjacent pipe.

The firefighter held up his cellphone to an opening in the pipe and played a YouTube video of duck calls. The ducklings walked toward the sound.

The ducklings were reunited with their mother, who was nearby.

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