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This Hour: Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment

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Expert in porch shooting case talks about hand cut

DETROIT (AP) - A former medical examiner says a laceration on the left hand of a young woman could have been caused by her pounding on the door at a Detroit-area home before the owner killed her.

Dr. Werner Spitz is testifying for the defense Thursday in the trial of 55-year-old Theodore Wafer. He is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Renisha McBride.

Wafer killed McBride on his porch before dawn last Nov. 2. Wafer is claiming self-defense, but prosecutors say he could have settled the situation by keeping the front door closed and calling police.

Wafer's attorneys haven't said if he will testify, but legal experts believe he must if he wants to show jurors that he reasonably acted out of fear.


Player faces murder charge for punching referee

LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) - A judge has ordered a man to stand trial for murder in the death of a soccer referee he's accused of punching over being ejected from a game in suburban Detroit.

Livonia District Judge Kathleen McCann ruled Thursday that there's enough evidence to try 36-year-old Baseel Saad on a second-degree murder charge.

Authorities say the auto mechanic from Dearborn struck 44-year-old John Bieniewicz (BEN'-uh-wits) on June 29 as the referee was preparing to red-card him in an adult recreational league game.

Two players from the opposing team testified Wednesday that Saad knocked Bieniewicz to the turf with one punch after the referee indicated he planned to eject Saad.

Defense lawyer Ali Hammoud says prosecutors have an "extremely weak" case on the murder charge.


Michigan students may opt out of animal dissection

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The State Board of Education is urging Michigan school districts to let students opt out of animal dissection for moral, ethical, religious or other reasons.

The policy was adopted by the board in May and applauded Thursday by the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The state board encourages K-12 districts to enact a policy letting students complete an alternate to dissection such as an interactive computer program. It's up to individual districts to decide whether to follow the state's guidance.

PETA says Michigan joined 21 states and Washington, D.C., with policies allowing students to opt against animal dissection. PETA says it has offered free training to familiarize Michigan science teachers with computer-based dissection programs.


Hearing reset for man suspected in soldier deaths

DETROIT (AP) - A court hearing has been delayed until Aug. 11 for a Detroit-area man suspected by the Irish government in the killing of two United Nations peacekeeping soldiers in Lebanon in 1980.

Mahmoud Bazzi spoke Thursday in Arabic and by video link from a jail where he's held.

A judge postponed Bazzi's initial immigration court appearance because he is not represented by lawyer.

The 71-year-old native of Lebanon was arrested two weeks ago at his Dearborn home. He's accused of immigration violations linked to his arrival in the U.S. in the early 1990s.

Bazzi isn't charged with killing Derek Smallhorne and Thomas Barrett, two Irish soldiers who were U.N. peacekeepers. He insists he wasn't involved, but the Irish government for years publicly expressed suspicions about Bazzi.


Port Huron woman is $66 million jackpot winner

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Lottery says a Port Huron woman is the winner of a $66 million Mega Millions jackpot that was drawn in mid-June.

Kelsey Zachow says in a statement that she "could barely breathe" when she learned she was the winner.

The 24-year-old is getting her jackpot as a one-time lump sum cash payment of nearly $38 million and will take home nearly $27 million after taxes.

The ticket for the June 13 drawing of the multistate lottery game was sold at Sonny Tarhini's Mount Clemens gas station and store. The lottery says Zachow bought five Mega Millions plays that day and her fifth set of numbers, an easy pick, was the winner.

Twenty Michigan ticket-buyers also won $500 in that lucky Friday the 13th drawing.


Police: No suspects in custody in girl's slaying

ARMADA, Mich. (AP) - Police say they don't have any suspects in custody in the investigation of the slaying of a 14-year-old girl whose body was found in a wooded area in southeastern Michigan.

State police Lt. Mike Shaw gave the update on the investigation into April Millsap's death in an interview with WWJ-AM on Thursday morning.

Shaw earlier said investigators had several warrants and searched a home Wednesday in St. Clair County's Wales Township. He says two men were taken into custody on drug charges during the search.

The home is about 13 miles east-northeast of the drainage ditch along a trail in Armada where joggers found April's body July 24.

Authorities released a sketch of a man who's a person of interest. Shaw says he may be a witness or a suspect.


Erosion causes partial closure of Michigan dunes

GRAND MARAIS, Mich. (AP) - A portion of upper Michigan's Grand Sable Dunes has been closed due to erosion.

The Mining Journal reports park officials announced Tuesday that the northeast section of the dunes was closed by the National Park Service. They said it is rapidly eroding into Sable Creek and Lake Superior.

The park superintendent said the 14-acre eroded area poses a threat to the safety of visitors. He said the park is continuing to evaluate the extent of the erosion.

Park staff said the trail to Sable Falls is still open.

The Grand Sable Dunes are located at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Grand Marais.


Michigan woman: Lion at zoo bit off part of finger

EAST TAWAS, Mich. (AP) - State police are investigating a woman's report that a lion bit off part of her finger at a small private zoo in northern Michigan.

Renae Ferguson tells WNEM-TV that the big cat "ripped" her finger as she tried to pet it Saturday at Sunrise Side Exotics and Nature Trail in East Tawas, about 130 miles north of Detroit.

Lt. Melvin Mathews tells The Associated Press that authorities are investigating.

Ferguson and her daughter Tina Dobson say they were visiting the zoo and an employee allowed them to go into the lion's cage.

The zoo's owners tell WNEM in an email that "the lady went into the security area and was told by the guide to get back."

AP left messages Thursday seeking comment from the zoo's owners.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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