LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan State University's interim president says he's stepping down in a week in response to a request from the school's governing board.

John Engler sent an 11-page letter Wednesday to Dianne Byrum, chairwoman of Michigan State's Board of Trustees. It makes no mention of recent criticism of his remarks about victims of former sports doctor Larry Nassar. Instead, he lists what he considers to be his accomplishments in his one year of service and says the university is a "dramatically better, stronger institution."

UPDATE: Three stores in Michigan are slated for closure: the Shopko Hometown location in Wetmore, and two stores in downstate Standish and Dowagiac.


GREEN BAY, WI--   Shopko has announced it’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The company issued a press release Wednesday morning saying it is seeking financial restructuring because of excessive debt and competitive pressures. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Leaders of the state Legislature and Governor Gretchen Whitmer will hold their first “quadrants meeting” Wednesday. 

Whitmer announced when she won the November election she would like to hold regular meetings of the Speaker of the House, House Democratic Leader, Senate Majority Leader and Senate Democratic Leader. All members agreed.

The idea is to talk about issues and find ways to come to an agreement before bills hit Whitmer’s desk.

Senator Jim Ananich is the leader of the Senate Democrats.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   There’s a new attorney in charge of the criminal cases surrounding the Flint water crisis. 

Fadwa Hammoud was just appointed as Michigan’s new Solicitor General. Within hours of that announcement, the Attorney General’s office said Hammoud would also be taking on the role of lead attorney in the Flint water crisis criminal cases.

The investigation into the administration of former Governor Rick Snyder was started by former Attorney General Bill Schuette. He had appointed Todd Flood as a “special prosecutor.” He’ll stay on and report to Hammoud.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republican lawmakers in the state House and Senate say lowering the cost of auto insurance across the state is a top priority for the 100th Legislature. 

How to change Michigan’s auto no fault insurance law is an issue lawmakers have been trying to crack for years.

In the House, Republican Representative Jason Wentworth will chair a special committee devoted to the issue. He said this will give lawmakers a broad, collaborative way of tackling the problem.

ANN ARBOR, MI (MPRN)--   The state of Michigan may soon allow dozens of closed medical marijuana dispensaries without a license to reopen.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) announced late Tuesday that it will ask the state Medical Marihuana Licensing Board (MMLB) to adopt a resolution to allow dozens of dispensaries to reopen.

More than half the state's medical marijuana dispensaries were forced to close earlier this month because of licensing issues.

MELSTRAND, MI--   Authorities have released the name of a man involved in a snowmobile accident in Alger County over the weekend. 

The Sheriff’s Office says Todd Cantile, 55, of Rockford, Michigan was operating on Trail #8 near Melstrand Sunday night. The snowmobile left the trail and struck a tree.

Cantile was taken to Munising Memorial Hospital, then transferred to UPHS-Marquette. He remains in critical condition.

The Sheriff’s Office reminds the public that 911 texts are an option if emergency services are needed in areas where cell phone calls won’t go through.

ESCANABA, MI--   An Escanaba man has been arrested for torturing a puppy. 

The Delta County Sheriff’s Office says on December 20 a puppy was brought to the Delta Animal Shelter with multiple injuries. Officials who examined the animal—whom they called Buddy—determined he had been abused.

Because of the extent of the injuries Buddy had to be euthanized.

Following an investigation a warrant was issued for a 27-year-old Escanaba man. He was arrested and lodged at the Delta County Correctional Facility for torturing an animal.

Bond is set at $100,000.

PEMBINE, WI--   The names of the victim and suspect in a Pembine, Wisconsin murder case have been released.

The Marinette County Sheriff’s Office says Gary Rogge, 55, called Central Dispatch Sunday night. He said he’d shot his wife earlier and she was deceased. 

Police found Shelley Erickson-Rogge, 63, dead of a gunshot wound at a home on Petite Lane.

Gary Rogge remains lodged in the Marinette County jail, awaiting formal charges.