State Round Up

Lansing: $2.2M spent so far on TV ads in governor race
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Candidates in the Michigan governor’s race and one outside group had shelled out $2.2 million by Memorial Day on TV ads, with Republican Rick Snyder the largest spender.

The nonpartisan Michigan Campaign Finance Network reported Tuesday that Snyder spent $1.3 million to air five ads. Attorney General Mike Cox spent nearly $528,000 running two ads targeting GOP rival Pete Hoekstra. Hoekstra, a Holland congressman, spent only $5,470.

A fourth Republican, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, spent nearly $50,000.

No TV ads have been run so far by Republican Tom George or the two Democrats in the race, House Speaker Andy Dillon and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.

Americans for Job Security, a free-market group, spent nearly a quarter of a million dollars airing an anti-Hoekstra ad.

Detroit: Activist from Mich. on flotilla bound for Gaza
DETROIT (AP) — An Arab-American woman from Michigan was on one of the humanitarian flotillas heading to Gaza that was attacked by Israeli forces.

Thirty-four-year-old Huwaida Arraf spoke with her sister Mariam Arraf in Macomb County’s Clinton Township early Tuesday afternoon. She said that she was detained in an Israeli prison and released.

Mariam Arraf said the family could not reach Huwaida and they felt a “sense of relief” when they finally heard from her.

Huwaida Arraf, who grew up in Roseville, told her 29-year-old sister that she was physically assaulted aboard the ship and in prison.

Mariam Arraf said her sister was dropped off somewhere in Jerusalem.

Huwaida Arraf was in Ramallah, West Bank, when she spoke to her sister and planned to travel to Greece on Wednesday.

Lansing: More apply for online for state food assistance
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — More people are applying for food assistance online in Michigan as demand for the help grows in a struggling economy.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Human Services say Tuesday that more than 100,000 people have applied for food assistance online since that option began in August.

About 1.8 million people in Michigan receive food assistance overall. That number has been growing by about 30,000 people per month.

State officials say the average person receiving food assistance gets the help for less than two years.

Michigan has had the nation’s highest unemployment rate for the past four years. The state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 14 percent in April.

Lansing: Bills aim to curb speed traps on Michigan roads

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Two state lawmakers are backing legislation they say is designed to stop local governments from setting speed limits artificially low to create speed traps.

The bills introduced by Republican Rep. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge and Democratic Rep. Bettie Cook Scott of Detroit were detailed Tuesday in the House Urban Policy Committee.

Changes will have to be made to the bills before they come up for a vote.

The bills aim to ensure that local governments use speed studies to update speed limits. Supporters of the legislation say some local governments have set up short stretches of road with artificially low speed limits in an effort to boost speeding ticket revenue.

Lansing: Constitutional convention bills under development
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A state lawmaker is introducing legislation he says will serve as preparation in case Michigan voters choose to have a constitutional convention.

Michigan voters will decide in November if a constitutional convention should be held to revise or replace the state’s 1963 constitution.

Republican Sen. Tom George of Kalamazoo County’s Texas Township says Tuesday he is introducing bills that create eligibility requirements and election dates for delegates if voters approve a convention. Delegates would be paid $1 a month and face other measures that George says are aimed at keeping a convention affordable and free from control by special interests.

George is one of five Republicans seeking to become Michigan’s next governor.

Bloomfield Hills: Police: Student, 9, brought loaded gun to school

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities are still trying to determine whether a 9-year-old boy who brought a fully loaded semiautomatic gun to his Bloomfield Hills elementary school, or his parents, will face charges.

Bloomfield Hills Schools Superintendent Steve Gaynor said in a letter sent to parents Tuesday that the Eastover third-grader earlier in the day showed the gun and a bullet to another student during recess.

The student who was shown the gun reported the incident. Bloomfield Township police were notified, the gun was confiscated, and the child and his parents were questioned. No one was injured.

Gaynor said police do not believe the student intended to use the weapon. The child has been suspended pending further investigation, and will not return to school this year.