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News Highlights from the Last 7 days: Aug. 17th

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The Ingham County Health Department gave free monkeypox vaccinations to 70 people during the Lansing Pride festival in Old Town Saturday. Ingham County has four confirmed cases and the state has recorded 97 cases since late June, as of Monday. The international outbreak, which causes painful sores, has mostly impacted men who have sex with men. Lansing Pride said the festival — its first — was a success, drawing a crowd of 3,500 despite rain and cool temperatures. Nearly 100 vendors were on hand and 150 people volunteered to run the event in Old Town.  

 

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Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has agreed to allow Delta Township employees to hold a union vote. Workers at the 5805 W. Saginaw Highway location filed a petition July 7 with the National Labor Relations Board.

  

Former Dr. Shannon Wiggins has lost an appeal to sue her former attorney for malpractice. The Michigan Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a decision by an Ingham County Circuit Court judge to dismiss her case because she had not filed within the six-year time frame. Wiggins argued that attorney G. Sal Gani had a conflict of interest after representing her former husband in a domestic violence case.  

 

The dean of the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University resigned Friday. Sanjay Gupta’s resignation after an alleged failure to follow the university’s sexual violence and harassment reporting guidelines, the Lansing State Journal reported. Gupta served in the position since June 2015. He denies any wrongdoing.  

 

Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich is asking county commissioners to approve $10,000 bonuses for his officers. That’s to offset lower salaries than surrounding communities, Reich told the Lansing State Journal Friday and commissioners in a request. The Ways and Means Committee tabled the proposal, but it wants to open negotiations with officers to increase pay. They also want to find ways to attract and retain new officers as others leave.

Former Eaton Rapids softball coach William Steven Kunkel Jr. will spend the next year in jail for numerous criminal sexual conduct and related charges. In addition, Kunkel will serve five years’ probation, with a GPS monitor, complete sex offender counseling and is prohibited from being around anyone under age 17, the Lansing State Journal reported. Kunkel pleaded guilty to having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old female player on his team.

 

Bath Township is warning residents to be on the lookout for a mail thief. On Monday, the township police posted a warning on social media that an individual was driving a dark color Chevy Equinox. The post said police have received numerous calls that the vehicle was snatching mail from boxes with the flags up, likely seeking checks. Police asked residents to call 911 if they saw an Equinox with any odd behavior, But they cautioned not to call the emergency line for every Equinox in the township. 

 

A Dimondale man will spend 366 days in federal prison for his role in a healthcare scheme that defrauded MSU health insurance over $1 million. As part of a deal struck with federal prosecutors in the Western District of Michigan, Daniel Brown will also have to pay $1,267,418 in restitution. Law enforcement and U.S. Attorney Mark Totten alleged Brown participated in a $200 million health care kickback fraud with a Mississippi pharmaceutical company. Brown got doctors to prescribe unnecessary pain creams, then the company would charge health insurance $2,000 to $3,000 for each prescription. Brown would then receive a kickback for the sales. 

 

Three Lansing Police officers are riding bicycles for 360 miles to honor Michigan officers killed in the line of duty. Lt. Sean Mills, Detective Sgt. Brent Sorg and Officer Brian Rendon started the bike journey at Stephensville on Monday and will ride to Petoskey. It’s part of the Thin Blue Shoreline ride. The participants will pedal 360 miles over four days.  

 

Lansing has begun accepting grant applications for approximately $1.9 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. The grants were part of a special budget adopted by the City Council to distribute the federal dollars. Grant applications, which are due Sept. 30, should be sent to desiree.kirkland@lansingmi.gov. An application form is online at https://www.lansingmi.gov/892/Grants. An original budget proposal from Mayor Andy Schor explicitly set aside cash for specific nonprofits, but the  Council was uncomfortable with “picking winners and losers” without any transparency as to how an agency qualified. The Ways and Means Committee struck a deal to create a competitive grant process.

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