FROM WIRE REPORTS
— Children alone as home is burglarized
DETROIT — A Detroit mother has been charged with fourth-degree child abuse after her two young children were left alone in a home that later was burglarized.
The Wayne County prosecutor’s office said 31-year-old Deedra Pitts was arraigned Wednesday in 36th District Court.
The children were in a home on the city’s west side when someone tried to break in. A 10-year-old boy dialed 911 and fled to a neighbor’s house with his 10-month-old sister.
Fired man responsible for blaze, shooting
DETROIT — Authorities determined Wednesday that a fired maintenance worker fatally shot his ex-girlfriend before turning the gun on himself inside a Detroit medical center as it burned to the ground in a blaze police suspect he set.
The medical examiner’s office confirmed the fears of family members that Sharita Williams, a 35-year-old medical assistant in one of the offices, was killed by 55-yearold Myron Williams, who was fired from his job as the building’s maintenance worker last week.
Lawmakers split over education spending
LANSING — Majority Republicans writing Michigan’s education budget not only disagree over whether to punish schools and colleges that signed lengthy labor contracts seen as delaying the effect of the new right-to-work law.
Differences also are emerging between the GOP-led House and Senate over per-pupil funding, boosting enrollment of at-risk 4-year-olds in a preschool program and limiting university tuition increases.
Spending plans that moved forward along party lines Wednesday in the House Appropriations Committee and Senate budget subcommittees set the stage for negotiations once the bills win approval from both chambers.
Republicans — over Democrats’ objections that education funding is too low — are on board with Gov. Rick Snyder’s overall 2 percent increase in state aid to K-12 schools, universities and community colleges.
House OKS martial arts regulations
LANSING — Amateur mixed martial arts fighters would need blood tests before competing in Michigan under legislation that the state House passed four days after the death of a contestant at a bout in Port Huron.
The bills passed by a 106 to 3 vote Wednesday would regulate amateur mixed martial arts. Michigan now regulates only professional events.
Other regulations include requiring promoters to provide insurance for fighters. The measure now goes to the state Senate.
Insurance groups: Reinstate helmet law
LANSING — Members of Michigan’s insurance and medical industries as well as some rider groups are calling on lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder to reinstate the state’s mandatory motorcycle helmet law.
The group met at the Capitol Wednesday. They say modifying the law to allow people over the age of 21 to ride helmetless is costing the state lives.
A recent study by a University of Michigan researcher says 26 fewer people would have died last year if all riders wore helmets.
Heather Drake, of AAA Michigan, said “The data is clear. The experiment is over in Michigan. Helmets save lives.”