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Southwest Michigan Today: Friday January 25, 2019

Michigan Senate Chamber - file photo by Cheyna Roth, Michigan Public Radio Network
Cheyna Roth
Michigan Public Radio Network

Some law enforcement officials object to proposed changes to Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture law. The first permit has been issued for a tunnel to house a pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac. Sentencing is scheduled for two state officials in the Flint water crisis. 

(MPRN) Some lawmakers in Lansing want to finish what they started last year when it comes to police taking property. A state Senate committee approved Senate Bill 2 Thursday, which changes the state’s civil asset forfeiture law. The bill would still allow law enforcement to take property possibly involved in a crime, but they wouldn’t be allowed to permanently keep it until there’s a criminal conviction or the person gives up their ownership. This applies if the value of the property or money is less than 50-thousand dollars. But some law enforcement members are not on board with proposed changes to the state civil asset forfeiture law. Robert Stevenson, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police said criminals will find a way around the 50-thousand-dollar limit. Stevenson says there are already safeguards in the law.

(MLive) Kent County's sheriff says her jail won't hold released prisoners for federal immigration officers unless they have an arrest warrant. MLive says the new policy was approved two weeks ago. It followed widespread criticism when Kent County held a former Latino Marine and U-S citizen wanted by ICE, who was later released. Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young says the jail ignored another so-called "ICE detainer" recently because the agency didn't have a warrant.

(Interlochen Public Radio) The tunnel that would house the Line 5 oil and gas pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac has its first permit. The Department of Environmental Quality issued a permit for the project on Tuesday. It would allow Enbridge Energy to take soil and rock samples from the Straits to determine how to construct the tunnel. Enbridge is still waiting on a similar permit from the Army Corps of Engineers before they can begin collecting samples.

(WKAR) Thursday was the one year anniversary of Larry Nassar’s sentencing. The former Michigan State University doctor sexually abused hundreds of young women. He will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. Reclaim MSU a group of survivors and advocates held a memorial outside of the university's administrative offices to mark the occasion. Now that interim Michigan State President John Engler has resigned many advocates have shifted their focus to the Attorney General’s ongoing investigation into the university. And, demanding an open presidential search.

(Detroit News) Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is working to settle a lawsuit against the state over its law allowing faith based adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same sex couples. The Detroit News reports that a federal judge has issued a 30 day stay in the case after a court filing Wednesday. The American Civil Liberties Union has challenged the state law on behalf of two couples that sought to adopt children out of the foster care system.

(Michigan Radio) A February sentencing date has been set for two figures in the Flint water crisis criminal probe. Stephen Busch and Mike Prysby entered no contest pleas to misdemeanor counts last month. Nearly half of the 15 defendants in the case have cut plea deals with prosecutors.