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State, unions reach tentataive deals to boost worker pay

LANSING (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration and seven unions have tentatively agreed to two-year deals that will boost state employees’ pay by six percent.

State spokesman Kurt Weiss says the wage and benefit agreements were reached within recent days.

He declined to release details until contracts are ratified, but the Michigan Corrections Organization said its members will get a three percent raise in the 2020-21 fiscal year and a three percent increase in the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Typically, pay hikes are uniform across various contracts covering 34,000 of 49,000 workers. The Michigan Corrections Organization says there will be no increases in co-pays or deductibles.


‘White Boy Rick’ set for early release from Florida prison

DETROIT (AP) — A one-time FBI informant-turned-Detroit drug lord will be released from a Florida prison earlier than expected.

The Detroit News reports that Richard “White Boy Rick” Wershe Jr., 50, is scheduled to be freed Aug. 17, 2020. His original April 2021 release date has been moved up for good behavior.

Wershe spent three decades behind bars in Michigan on drug charges. He was paroled in 2017 and sent to Florida to serve time for a 2006 conviction involving a car-theft ring while he was imprisoned.

Wershe was already an FBI informant at age 14 and helped convict several Detroit drug kingpins. But he was arrested in 1987 with 9,000 grams of cocaine and $30,000 cash.

His story is told in the 2018 movie “White Boy Rick.”


Marines correct ID of second man who raised flag at Iwo Jima

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Marine Corps has corrected the identity of another of the men who were photographed raising the American flag at Iwo Jima during World War II.

The Marines said in a statement Thursday that after questions were raised by private historians who studied photos and films, it determined that Cpl. Harold P. Keller was among the six men who raised the flag. The Marines say Pfc. Rene Gagnon had helped in the effort but for decades was mistakenly identified by the Marines as one of the flag-raisers.

Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal shot the photograph atop Mount Suribachi during an intense battle between American and Japanese forces in 1945.

In 2016, the Marines corrected the identity of another man in the photo after historians raised questions.

NBC News says Keller died in 1979.


Iconic Las Vegas wedding chapel is no longer up for sale

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The owner of a Las Vegas chapel where celebrity couples like Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner have gotten married is staying wedded to her business.

Charlotte Richards told KVVU-TV on Wednesday that she is taking A Little White Wedding Chapel off the market.

The iconic property had been listed for $12 million in April.

Richards says she received one offer but declined it.

The chapel has become a Sin City icon over the years hosting quickie wedding ceremonies including for pop singer Britney Spears in 2004.

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