At a Glance ...

Another misdemeanor deal reached in Flint water investigation

FLINT (AP) — Michigan’s former drinking water regulator has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor in the Flint water investigation.

It’s a break for Liane Shekter Smith, who was facing felony charges, including involuntary manslaughter, in an investigation of Flint’s lead-tainted water and a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.

Smith pleaded no contest Monday to disturbance of a lawful meeting and agreed to testify against others, if necessary.

Special prosecutor Todd Flood praised her “candor and truthfulness.”

Defense attorney Brian Morley says the case likely will be dismissed in six to 12 months.

Seven people now have resolved their cases with misdemeanor pleas.

Flint’s water was contaminated with lead when the city switched sources in 2014 and didn’t treat water to reduce corrosion.

A former state health director and a state doctor are awaiting trial on involuntary manslaughter charges related to a Legionnaires’ outbreak that was blamed on the water.


State land bank announces blight elimination grants

LANSING (AP) — Blight elimination funding is available for land banks and governmental units in Michigan counties with fewer than 50,000 people.

The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority says the Michigan Rural Community Demolition grants are designed to help communities remove vacant and abandoned structures from neighborhoods to prepare the areas for developments that spark business investment and provide good jobs.

The maximum award per proposal is $50,000 and can be used toward dealing with vacant and abandoned, blighted commercial or residential structures.

Proposals will be evaluated based on their anticipated impact in promoting public safety, enhancing economic development, public and private investment in the project and alignment with the community vision or other place-making efforts.

Applications will be accepted until 2 p.m. on Feb. 15.


Lawyer: Coat chewing could have thrown off breath test

BERWICK, Pa. (AP) — An attorney for a Pennsylvania woman charged with drunken driving hinted his client's coat-chewing could've thrown off the results of her breath test.

The (Bloomsburg) Press Enterprise reports the argument came during a hearing Tuesday for 47-year-old Jana Moschgat.

An officer who pulled Moschgat over testified she was nibbling on her coat before he gave her the breath test and that he ordered her to stop.

Moschgat's lawyer, Travis Petty, asked the officer if he knew the chemical composition of the coat, noting that certain substances can alter the results of the test.

Moschgat's test showed her blood-alcohol level was 0.151 percent, nearly twice the legal limit for drivers in Pennsylvania. The officer says Moschgat also smelled of alcohol and failed a field sobriety test.

The judge ruled there was enough evidence to send the charges to trial.

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