At a Glance ...

Judge: Reports on Michigan child welfare ‘depressing’

DETROIT (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration has inherited a troubled child-welfare system that has failed to protect foster kids from abuse and operates with a faulty computer network that might need to be scrapped after just five years.

Federal Judge Nancy Edmunds says those latest reports from experts are “pretty depressing to say the least.”

She held another hearing Wednesday to get an update on how Michigan cares for children who are removed from homes because of abuse or neglect.
The case began 13 years ago — when Jennifer Granholm was governor.

The child-welfare system has made progress in certain areas but remains under court oversight.

Robert Gordon, the new director of the Department of Health and Human Services, says the latest reports “are not acceptable.”

He hopes 2019 “can be a turning point.”

State House approves medical parole bills

LANSING (AP) — Bills advancing in Michigan's Legislature would make 20 to 30 more prisoners eligible to be paroled for medical reasons.

The House passed the legislation overwhelmingly Tuesday and sent it to the Senate.

The number of affected inmates could grow as the prison population ages.

The measures would replace the current medical parole process with one for the "medically frail."

Inmates convicted of first-degree murder would not be eligible, nor would anyone convicted of a crime punishable by life without parole.

The state could save up to $948,000 annually if the 20 to 30 prisoners were paroled, housed in nursing homes and their care was covered by the federal-state Medicaid program.

Similar bills cleared the House in 2016 and 2018 but died in the Senate.

TSA: Don’t leave loaded guns in carry-on bags

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The Transportation Security Administration is reminding flyers to not leave guns in their carry-ons after seeing a sudden uptick in firearms found in luggage in eastern Washington state.

The Spokesman-Review reported this week that the TSA has caught eight people with loaded handguns in carry-on bags in the past three weeks at the Spokane International Airport.

The federal agency says one man in late February had two guns — one in each of his carry-ons.

The airport says its police cited each traveler in the recent cases, but they were not arrested.

Firearms in carry-on bags are punishable by fines ranging from $2,000 to $13,333 per violation.

Jail time is also possible.

The TSA recorded 18 instances of guns left in carry-ons at the Spokane airport in all of 2018.


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