Southwest Michigan Today: Monday July 8, 2019

Jul 8, 2019

Credit Andy Robins / WMUK

Another Democrat joins the race for Congress in the district currently represented by Justin Amash. A former Michigan State University student challenges a finding he committed sexual assault. The Growlers and Bombers both win one-run games. 

An immigration attorney is the latest Democrat to enter the race in the Congressional district that includes Grand Rapids and Battle Creek. Hillary Scholten recently worked as a staff attorney for the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, and previously served in the Justice Department during the Obama administration. Scholten announced Monday that she is launching a campaign in the 3rd Congressional District, currently represented by Justin Amash. The five-term representative announced last week that he is leaving the Republican Party and plans to run for re-election as an independent. Two other Democrats have already announced they are running for their party’s nomination in the district. Four Republicans had announced plans to challenge Amash in next year’s primary before he left the party.

(MPRN) A former Michigan State University student is challenging the school’s determination that he committed sexual assault. The man says he was denied due process because he did not have the opportunity to directly question his accuser and was unfairly subjected to a two-year suspension. The man is also asking a federal judge to grant his challenge class action status. That means dozens or more similar cases at MSU could be covered by the decision. The development was first reported by The Detroit Free Press. If class action is approved, the legal team could ask that the case also be extended to include the entire US judicial sixth circuit.

(MPRN) The Michigan Supreme Court says there’s a conflict between state laws involving criminal sexual misconduct. In a recent order denying an appeal, the Court commented that the state Legislature might want to clear up the confusion. Michigan’s age of consent is 16. But a separate statute involving criminal sexual conduct defines a “child” as a person under 18-years-old. The court says this conflict in ages could have unintended consequences. Like criminalizing sexual behavior involving an otherwise consenting 16 and 17-year-old.

(WCMU) Michigan state police have begun recording hate crimes against transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. Attorney General Dana Nessel applauded state police last week for adding gender identity to the category of hate crimes. That list already includes race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and ethnicity. Nationally, hate crimes against transgender and gender nonconforming persons have been on the rise. According to data from the FBI, which has tracked such crimes since 2013, hate crimes related to gender-identity have doubled since 2014.

(WKAR) A species of tick that is the size of a sesame seed is causing big problems in Michigan. Michigan State University Entomology Professor Ned Walker says the deer tick can cause Lyme disease if it attaches to you for 24 hours or more. Walker recommends applying a repellant to the lower legs, including the clothing before going outside, he says there are also repellants and anti-tick agents that can be put on dogs, and collars. Walker also suggests checking for ticks after a walk in the woods this summer or fall.

In baseball, Kalamazoo has won five straight after a 6-5 victory at Rockford Sunday. The Growlers broke a 5-5 tie with a run in the top of the ninth inning. Kalamazoo will wrap up the two game series with the Rivets Monday night.

Battle Creek took the lead with three runs in the eighth inning, and held on for a 5-4 win at Lakeshore Sunday. The Bombers and Chinooks will finish their two game series Monday night.