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Whitmer cuts off legal aid in Flint water probe

FLINT (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is cutting off legal help for state employees who are interviewed by investigators in the Flint water scandal.

The Flint Journal reports that current and former employees won't get their bills paid unless they’re charged with a crime for state-related work.

Whitmer spokeswoman Tiffany Brown says the change is based on guidance from Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Prosecutors in June dropped all pending charges against eight people in an investigation of how Flint's water became contaminated with lead and subsequently contributed to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud, who took over in January, said the previous team had mishandled or ignored evidence.
The investigation still is alive, although no new cases have been filed.

Seven people pleaded no contest to misdemeanors when the investigation was led by special prosecutor Todd Flood.


Courser sentenced to 12 months of probation, can avoid jail

LAPEER (AP) — A former Michigan lawmaker has been sentenced to 12 months of probation stemming from charges that were filed over a plot to hide his extramarital affair with another legislator.

Todd Courser was sentenced this week in Lapeer. He must pay $1,125 in fines, court costs and fees.

Courser, 47, can avoid spending 45 days in jail by doing 90 hours of community service and successfully completing probation.

He pleaded no contest last month to a misdemeanor.

An aide for Courser and former Rep. Cindy Gamrat testified during a probable cause hearing that Courser asked him to send a bogus, sexually explicit email to thousands of their fellow Republicans as a trick so his affair with Gamrat wouldn't be believed.

Courser resigned from the state House in 2015 rather than be expelled.


Woman says she buried body in backyard — and has no regrets

NORWAY, Maine (AP) — A woman says she buried her friend in the backyard of a home in Norway, Maine, where officials discovered the body this week.

Vernelle Jackson says she fulfilled the dying wish of her friend — and has no regrets.

The 83-year-old Jackson says her friend died 18 months ago.

She said it took her two days to bury her because she suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Jackson said her friend moved in with her when she fell ill.

Jackson said state police told her she needed a permit to bury her friend in her backyard.

She said she’s not sure if she is in any legal trouble.

Maine Public Safety Department spokesman Steve McCausland said an autopsy was scheduled.

The medical examiner has yet to identify the woman.

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