Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

Jeremy Peters /

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Organizers of a ballot initiative that would raise Michigan's minimum wage to $12 an hour say they will sue if the Republican-led Legislature adopts the proposal but then weakens it later in the year.

One Fair Wage lawyer Mark Brewer said Tuesday at a Capitol news conference that the move would be unconstitutional. He says lawmakers can only adopt the measure — making it law — or reject it, in which case it would go on the November ballot. Legislators also could propose an alternative to appear on the ballot alongside the proposal.

DETROIT, MI (AP)--   Thousands of Detroit public schools students are being told to drink from district-supplied water coolers or bottled water on the first day of classes. 

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said last week that all fountains would be shut down at the start of the school year after elevated levels of lead or copper were found in some fixtures in 34 schools. Test results are pending for other schools.

ST. IGNACE, MI (AP)--   Tens of thousands of people participated in the traditional Labor Day walk across the Mackinac Bridge. 

Organizers made changes to the 61st annual event and allowed walkers to begin from either end of the bridge connecting Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas. Participants could turn around after 2½ miles or make a full 10-mile lap between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace.

Axel Anderson of Linden, Michigan, said he had made the bridge crossing at least 25 times and was looking forward to a "fun challenge" and doing the full double crossing.

DEARBORN, MI (AP)--   AAA Michigan says average gas prices statewide are down about 8 cents in the past week to about $2.85 per gallon. 

The Dearborn-based auto club says the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline is about 23 cents more than at the same point last year.

Michigan's lowest average price was about $2.75 per gallon in the Flint area. The highest was in the Ann Arbor area at about $2.93 a gallon.

The Detroit-area's average was about $2.90 per gallon, down about 3 cents.

KINGSLEY, MI (AP)--   Officials in northern Michigan are working to get rid of an invasive plant that poisons monarch butterflies. 

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports the black swallow-wort was recently spotted in downtown Kingsley. The vine has heart-shaped leaves and small, dark purple flowers. It typically grows along roadsides, pastures and gardens.

Emily Cook of the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network says the plant attracts monarch butterflies, which often lay their eggs on it. But caterpillars will be poisoned when they hatch and begin to eat the plant.

LOS ANGELES, CA (AP)--   Aretha Franklin was so hard-nosed in her business dealings that she demanded to be paid in cash before performing. Her heirs won't have it so simple. 

Though she lived to 76 and was terminally ill with pancreatic cancer, the Queen of Soul died without a will.

As her family members move on from Friday's funeral in Detroit, they're left with the potentially tall task of finding out how many millions she was worth, and divvying it up.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (AP)--   Officials say a kayak ride on Lake Superior that ended in the deaths of four Wisconsin family members would have been difficult even for experienced paddlers. 

Bob Krumenaker, superintendent of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, tells the Star Tribune of Minneapolis it was a sobering reminder of the vastness and danger of the great lake.

The accident left Eric Fryman, of Loyal, Wisconsin, and his three children dead. Only his wife, the children's mother, Cari Mews-Fryman, survived.

ST. IGNACE, MI (AP)--   The pilot who died in a weekend plane crash in Michigan has been identified as a Wisconsin man who was a Milwaukee-area prosecutor.

Ronald Dague was the only person aboard a plane that crashed in Lake Huron.

Authorities say the plane had departed an airport in St. Ignace on Friday night for a short flight to Mackinac Island. Plane debris has been found, but authorities still are looking for the pilot's remains.

ST. IGNACE, MI (AP)--   A small plane with one person aboard has apparently crashed in Lake Huron after failing to arrive at Mackinac Island.

The U.S. Coast Guard says the Piper Lance plane departed an airport in St. Ignace but didn't arrive at the island early Saturday. Lt. Dan Peters says a wing and other debris were found in Lake Huron.

The Mackinac County sheriff's office is leading the recovery.

Kalamazoo County Road Commission

SCHOOLCRAFT, MI (AP)--   There's rubber in a road in southwestern Michigan.

Nearly 14,000 scrap tires have been recycled on a pavement project on West W Avenue in Schoolcraft in Kalamazoo County. The county Road Commission says the goal is to create a cost-effective and environmentally friendly surface.

The pavement designs were created in labs at Michigan Technological University.