News@noon: Chasing history; sex stings; Ringo returns
Today is Thursday, June 16, 2016, and the former state drinking water regulator who was fired for her role in Flint’s disastrous water switch has decided to invoke her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality fired Liane Shekter Smith in February after an internal review concluded her office was responsible for allowing Flint’s water to go untreated without chemicals that can control toxic lead from leaching from pipes for nearly 18 months.
At the same time, Flint will be getting some more support in the form of enough 14-pound packages of “nutrient-targeted food packages,” filled with foods that are dense in calcium, iron and Vitamin C to reach 17,000 families in Flint.
Here's what else is making news right now:
Tracking Egypt Air
- Egypt’s investigation committee says the cockpit voice recorder of the doomed EgyptAir plane has been found and pulled out of the Mediterranean Sea.
- While his victims texted heartbreaking last words to loved ones from the blood-drenched bathrooms, Omar Mateen apparently went on Facebook to measure the shockwaves his attack on a gay nightclub was generating. He searched for the terms “Pulse Orlando” and “Shooting,” according to a letter released by a Senate committee.
- Federal authorities reported Wednesday that they’ve convened a grand jury to help investigate Sunday night’s mass shooting in Orlando. That allows federal agents to gather documents and other records while prosecutors consider criminal charges.
- The ripple effect of the shooting is continuing. A Democratic senator who mourned the loss of 20 children in his home state of Connecticut waged a roughly 15-hour filibuster into the early hours of the morning, asserting as he yielded the floor that Republican leaders had committed to hold votes on expanded gun background checks and a ban on gun sales to suspected terrorists.
- Some religious leaders aren’t ministering to those seeking something spiritual, choosing to offer politics instead.
- It's also put the Muslim view of LGBT individuals in the spotlight.
- Democratic state Rep. Jeremy Moss of Southfield, one of two openly gay members of the Michigan Legislature, channeled his frustration over last weekend’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Florida into a tweet heard ’round the world.
- A 36-year-old teacher at Woodhaven High School is on paid administrative leave as the school district and police investigate an allegation of inappropriate conduct involving two 17-year-old boys, authorities confirmed Thursday.
- A sheriff said charges are unlikely against a Nebraska couple after an alligator killed their 2-year-old son by snatching him out of shallow water at a Walt Disney World beach, but the entertainment giant is reviewing whether to add gator warning signs.
Chasing history at Le Mans
Edsel Ford II sat at the original wooden desk of his great-grandfather, Henry Ford, and delivered a simple message to Joey Hand and Ryan Briscoe, two of the drivers who will pilot the Ford GT in its historic return to Le Mans this weekend. It’s the same message his father, Hank the Deuce, once told Bruce McLaren, Chris Amon and other drivers before they competed at the 24-hour race a half-century ago: “You better win.”
- Veterinary records prove Diggy, the famous smiling dog of Waterford Township, is an American bulldog and not an illegal pit bull, according to the Detroit Dog Rescue that helped placed him in his adoptive home.
- The Diggy controversy ignited after he was adopted by Waterford musician Dan Tillery, who posed for a smiling picture with his new pup. The photograph was posted to the rescue group’s Facebook page, where it quickly went viral, gathering 28,000 reactions, more than 1,000 comments and 6,700 shares as of early Thursday.
Grilling up some love
- Father's Day is Sunday, so why not try these recipes to impress dad.
Sex stings that sting
Never before has catching alleged sexual predators been so much fun. Zach Sweers, 23, seems positively gleeful as he makes videos about his exploits. He frequently smiles as he poses as an underage girl online, sets up a tryst, records the meeting and posts it on the internet. He mugs for the camera, makes fun of the men’s appearances and, during the encounters, tells inside jokes to viewers. His efforts led to the arrests of seven men. But not everyone is pleased with Sweers’ amateur sleuthing.
Catching up with Ringo Starr
- Ringo Starr, the former Beatles drummer, is now 75 but still flourishing in his solo career. His All-Starr Band play Detroit’s Fox Theatre on June 23, so we took some time to catch up with him.
Living the legacy
- They embody the spirit of Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks: 42 students graduating from high schools across Michigan have been named recipients of a one-time $2,000 scholarship from the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation. Those students are being honored today at a luncheon at the St. John’s Banquet and Conference Center in Southfield.
Detroit News at noon is a daily roundup of the most talked-about stories on detroitnews.com. For more anytime, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@detroitnews), Snapchat (Search for "Detroitnews") and LinkedIn.
-There's just a couple days left to win free tickets to the latest Dish & Design event on June 22. This time around, we're getting a taste of Italy. Tickets include food, wine and rustic design. Don't want to risk it? You can buy tickets here for $10 each.
-Metro Detroit is filled with talented gardeners. Now we want to see photos of your beautiful gardens in the 2016 Homestyle Garden Photo Contest. Send in your photos here and you could win a $100 gift certificate to English Gardens.