Volunteers lend hand after tornado
DEXTER — The American Red Cross said hundreds of volunteers have turned out to help people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by a tornado in Washtenaw County.
Spokeswoman Jenni Hawes said the village of Dexter is quickly getting cleaned up. The Red Cross moved its services Saturday to Creekside Intermediate School, which is more centrally located.
A tornado damaged more than 100 homes Thursday and destroyed at least 13, west of Ann Arbor.
The Red Cross no longer will offer an overnight shelter. No one had spent the last two nights at a school.
The Red Cross still is offering food, water and counseling.
Hawes said the shock from the tornado was wearing off and people were realizing just "how bad it could have been." There were no serious injuries.
Section of trail closed for bridges
BALDWIN — A three-mile section of the Little Manistee Trail and Route in Lake County is being closed temporarily for replacement of two recreational bridges.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said an engineering assessment determined the East and West Twin Creek Bridges need to be replaced because aging parts make the structure dangerous.
The bridges are on the northeast portion of the trail system.
Construction of the new spans is expected to begin in mid-April and be finished by June 30.
A reroute using county roads will be opened during construction.
Court throws out fine for jury trial
ATLANTA — The Michigan appeals court has thrown out an unusual punishment for a northern Michigan man who was ordered to pay $1,100 for having a 3 ½-hour jury trial.
The appeals court last week said the jury fee was "plain error" committed by Montmorency County Judge Michael Mack during the 2010 trial of Shawn Wass. The three-judge panel said the defendant can't be ordered to pay for the cost of a jury.
Wass was convicted of unlawfully driving away a vehicle and failing to stop at a property accident. He was accused of driving off in someone else's car after driving his girlfriend's vehicle into Crooked Lake, about 75 miles south of the Mackinac Bridge.
Some 1,700 take Ford buyout
DETROIT — About 1,700 Ford Motor Co. factory workers have decided to take early retirement offers and will leave the company by June 1.
The automaker said it will bring back about 250 laid-off employees and hire some replacements at lower wages.
Ford offered the buyouts to all 41,000 factory workers last fall in an effort to cut its skilled trades and production workforces. It offered skilled trades workers like electricians and plumbers $100,000 to retire. Production workers were offered $50,000. The company has about 9,000 skilled tradesmen, which it says is too many.
Spokeswoman Marcey Evans said Ford won't replace all of the retiring workers. New factory hires will be paid around $16 per hour, a little more than half the wage of a longtime union worker.