At a Glance ...

State, contractor to pay $1.25M to settle prisoner lawsuit

LANSING (AP) — A judge has approved a $1.25 million settlement in a lawsuit over the care of a mentally ill Michigan prison inmate.

Lawyers for Darlene Martin’s family said she was denied food and water at times and forced to sit in her own excrement while in segregation for 10 days in 2014. Water to her cell was cut off.

Martin, 70, died in 2017, more than a year after she was released from the Huron Valley women’s prison where she served a sentence for retail fraud.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the state of Michigan will pay $550,000 and Corizon Health will pay $700,000. Corizon, a private company, provides health care to prison inmates. A federal judge approved the settlement earlier this month.

An email seeking comment was sent to Corizon, which is based in Brentwood, Tennessee. The state Corrections Department referred requests for comment to the attorney general’s office, which represented the agency in the litigation.

Corizon tried to have the case dismissed, but U.S. District Judge David Lawson ruled against the company in September 2018.
The Martin family’s lawyers will get $475,000 in fees and expenses from the $1.25 million.

Judge says Dantonio’s deposition can wait until after season

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio can wait until after the football season to give a deposition in a former employee’s lawsuit.

The judge did not limit the scope of the deposition, although Thomas Kienbaum, a lawyer for Dantonio, said the judge did offer to provide possible supervision for the depositions of Dantonio, former athletic director Mark Hollis and former school President Lou Anna Simon. Kienbaum said the deposition for Hollis is scheduled for Oct. 22.

Curtis Blackwell, a former Michigan State football employee, filed a lawsuit claiming his employment agreement was violated when he was disciplined while the school addressed sexual assault allegations against three players in 2017. Dantonio was named as a defendant in the suit, which was filed last year.

Big avocado earns Hawaii family world record honor

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — A Hawaii family has won a place with the Guinness World Records for the world's heaviest avocado.

The Pokini family from the island of Maui received the Guinness certificate last week for the avocado weighing 5.6 pounds, The Maui News reported Thursday.

The average avocado weighs about 6 ounces, according to Guinness officials.

The Pokini family's avocado tree is more than 10 years old and 20 feet tall. Mark Pokini planted it when his son was born, using a seed from his parents' 50-year-old tree on Oahu island, he said.

The family in 2018 entered another avocado, but it did not meet all the elements of the Guinness verification process
The prize avocado was put to good use when the family "made a whole bunch of guacamole" to share with relatives and friends, she said.