At a Glance ...

Prosecutors seek delay of lawmaker’s bribery trial

TRAVERSE CITY (AP) — Federal prosecutors are seeking to push back the trial of a northern Michigan lawmaker who is charged with scheming to trade votes for campaign money.
Prosecutors say in a court filing that the case against Traverse City-area Republican Rep. Larry Inman is unusual and needs more review. The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports they want to check medical records behind Inman's claim that he suffered "diminished capacity" from chronic opioid use.

Inman announced last month he was seeking treatment for long-term use of painkillers stemming from several surgeries.

Defense attorney Chris Cooke is against delaying Inman's Aug. 6 trial date, saying prosecutors have had enough time.

Inman is accused of urging a union to gather campaign contributions to ensure legislators would block repeal of a wage law.


Grant program seeks to expand broadband

LANSING (AP) — The state of Michigan wants to increase broadband in rural areas.

The Connecting Michigan Communities grant program is offering $20 million to internet service providers willing to expand access to unserved parts of the state. Providers can apply for
up to $5 million per grant and can apply for multiple projects.

Applications close Aug. 30. Awards tentatively are scheduled to be announced next April in time for the summer 2020 construction season. All projects must be completed by Sept. 30, 2023.

The state says priority will be given to applications demonstrating collaboration to achieve community investment and economic development goals in the areas impacted.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says “connecting all Michigan communities with broadband service is about leveling the playing field for every child and small business in the state.”


A Capitol offense? Cannabis found in Statehouse flower beds

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Almost three dozen cannabis plants have been found growing in the flower beds in front of the Vermont Statehouse, according to police.

A visitor to the Statehouse alerted police to what turned out to be 34 plants found by officers last week among the cultivated flowers that line the walkway in front of the building in Montpelier.

Workers for the branch of state government responsible for the gardens might have found more plants, said Capitol Police Chief Matthew Romei.

The chief said that he didn’t know whether the immature plants were marijuana or hemp and that he doesn’t intend to have the plants tested to see because he foresees no criminal case.

In Vermont, possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use is legal, but it remains illegal to grow it in public. Farmers can plant hemp as a cash crop.

“The only way we can make a criminal case is if someone comes down and claims it,” Romei said Friday.

Officials have made similar discoveries in the Statehouse flower gardens in previous years, Romei said, but it was the first instance in the two years he has been chief.

“This was a humorous thing to come back to off from vacation,” Romei said of the discovery.

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