Daily Briefs

Snyder approves higher speed limit, but vetoes school billboard and morel mushroom bills

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed a bill that would have allowed billboards to be built on school property, saying it could have cost Michigan $100 million in federal highway funding.

The governor said Thursday in a letter to lawmakers that federal law requires Michigan to effectively manage billboards or face a 10 percent reduction in funding. He worries the legislation — about which he had other unspecified concerns — would have gone too far in limiting the state's ability to manage outdoor advertising.

Snyder also vetoed a bill that would have removed training and certification requirements for wild mushroom pickers who sell morel mushrooms to food establishments. He says there have been increased poisonings, and it's important that mushrooms meet the same safety standards as other products.

Snyder has signed legislation to let Michigan motorists drive faster on at least 1,500 miles of rural highways as long as safety studies say the higher speed limits are OK.

The bill enacted Thursday authorizes a 75 mph speed limit on 600 miles of freeways and a 65 mph limit on 900 miles of other roads.

The limits will be raised within a year if a study shows it is safe and the new limits are no more than what 15 percent of traffic is exceeding.

Proponents say speed limits are too low in rural areas.


Patrick Miles to resign as U.S. attorney for Western Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. attorney assigned to Michigan's Western District plans to step down from his post later this month.

Patrick Miles Jr. has announced his resignation at the end of President Barack Obama's administration. It will be effective at noon on Jan. 20.

The 49-year-old Miles spent 21 years in private law practice as a business attorney in Grand Rapids.

He has been U.S. attorney for western Michigan since 2012. The office covers 49 counties, including Michigan's entire Upper Peninsula.

During his tenure, the office obtained 31 federal racketeering, firearm, drug distribution and other convictions against members of the Holland Latin Kings gang.


Former Michigan teacher sentenced to prison in sex case

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A former Michigan teacher who admitted to having a sexual relationship with one of her students has been sentenced to prison.

Jamee Hiatt of Grass Lake told a Jackson County Circuit Court judge on Thursday that her actions “were inexcusable” and she “became out of control.”

Judge Thomas Wilson ordered her to spend 3 to 20 years in prison, followed by a lifetime of monitoring as a sex offender.