State briefing

Michigan couple found dead in lake

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — Two people missing for a week after meeting online have been found dead in a car in Lake Erie in southeastern Michigan.

A Monroe County sheriff’s detective believes the driver might have been confused after leaving a bar and mistakenly drove the car into the lake off Toledo Beach marina.

The victims have been identified as 50-year-old Jill Parrinello-Davey of Manchester and 48-year-old Darrin Gabbard of Allen Park. Det. Sgt. Rob Moody tells the Monroe News that investigators consider it an accident.

The Chevy Malibu was discovered Friday by divers. Moody says the couple connected online and were likely meeting each other for the first time on Aug. 16.

Niles mansion, built in 1882, reopens

NILES, Mich. (AP) — A historic mansion owned by a small city in southwestern Michigan has reopened after a $275,000 renovation that restored the balcony and porch and made other improvements.

The project at Chapin Mansion in Niles lasted five months. The cost was covered by government grants and donations from the public.

The 1882 house was built by businessman Henry Chapin and his wife, Ruby. It’s the home of the Niles History Center after the couple’s grandchildren gave it to the city.

Director Christina Arsenau tells the South Bend Tribune she often heard complaints about the lack of accessibility. She says it made sense to install a ramp while shoring up a sinking porch and making other renovations.

Arsenau says the mansion typifies American Aesthetic design, popular for about a decade during the Victorian era.

Funeral held for 9-year-old girl

DETROIT (AP) — A private funeral Mass has been held for a 9-year-old Detroit girl who was killed by three dogs while she rode her bike.

The Detroit News reports that purple and pink flowers decorated the entrance at St. Cunegunda Church. Those were Emma Hernandez’s favorite colors. Church bells could be heard throughout the neighborhood Saturday.

A woman in the neighborhood, Alicia Castillo, called it a “beautiful scene.”

Emma was attacked Monday while riding her bike in an alley near her home. The owner of the dogs, Pierre Cleveland, has been charged with second-degree murder and other crimes for failing to control the dogs. One dog was fatally shot during the attack.

Defense attorney Emmett Greenwood says Cleveland tried to get the pit bulls or pit bull mixes off Emma.

Brewer pays unpaid school lunch bills

WHITEHALL, Mich. (AP) — Small beer companies are helping students eat lunch.

Fetch Brewing has paid $5,500 to erase unpaid lunch bills in Whitehall and Montague schools, near Muskegon in western Michigan. Co-owner Jen Hain says she and her husband were inspired by the generosity of Mitten Brewing , which paid debts in the Suttons Bay and Fennville districts.

Hain tells WOOD-TV it’s a “significant amount” for Fetch Brewing in Whitehall. But she says communities in the White Lake area have supported their business.

Hain hopes some parents who didn’t owe much still will make a payment that could help other struggling families in Whitehall and Montague as the new school year begins.