voters elect Duggan mayor of broke city
DETROIT -- A former medical center chief has defeated a county sheriff to become the next mayor of financially troubled Detroit.
Unofficial returns showed Mike Duggan leading Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon 55 percent to 45 percent with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Napoleon conceded defeat late Tuesday in a race where he was outspent by Duggan by about 3-to-1 heading into Tuesday's election.
Both candidates had campaigned that a state-appointed emergency manager should leave the city and allow the new mayor to fix Detroit's finances when he takes office in January.
But the reality is that Duggan will have little power under emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who filed in July to take Detroit into bankruptcy.
3 Michigan cities vote to ease marijuana laws
LANSING -- Voters in three Michigan cities have given a big thumbs up to proposals offering some legal protection to users of small amounts of marijuana.
Proposals on the ballot Tuesday in Ferndale, Jackson and Lansing call on police to ignore possession of an ounce or less of marijuana on private property. People must be at least 21 years old.
Unofficial returns show Ferndale's proposal getting 69 percent support, Jackson's getting 61 percent and Lansing's getting 63 percent.
Marijuana users in the communities still face risks because state law bars marijuana use and possession unless it's medical marijuana.
In 2012, Grand Rapids voters chose to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a civil violation instead of a misdemeanor crime.
mayor wins 3rd term after guilty plea
TRAVERSE CITY -- Traverse City Mayor Michael Estes won re-election a day after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving while impaired.
He defeated Rick Buckhalter in Tuesday's election to earn a third two-year term. He won the mayor's post in 2007 and 2011.
The 63-year-old was pulled over Oct. 23 after a candidates' forum. Police spotted his pickup truck weaving across turn and bike lanes on a downtown street. A breath test recorded a blood-alcohol content of 0.12 percent, exceeding the 0.08 percent legal limit for driving.
Estes pleaded guilty on Monday and faces a possible punishment of up to 93 days in jail.
He has asked for the public's forgiveness.
voters approve human rights referendum
ROYAL OAK -- Voters in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak approved a human rights ordinance that makes it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and a number of other factors.
The referendum appeared on the ballot for Tuesday's election.
In addition to sexual orientation, it amends the city code to prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, gender, age, height, weight, condition of pregnancy, marital status, physical or mental limitation, source of income, gender identity and HIV status.
The City Commission approved the human rights ordinance on a 6-1 vote March 4. But the commission a month later voted unanimously to place the measure on the ballot after a petition drive blocked it from going into effect.
voters make charter gender-neutral
NOVI -- Residents in a Detroit suburb have voted by a 2-to-1 margin to update the city charter to make language in the document gender-neutral.
Novi's charter, last revised in 1977, has described the clerk's duties for the city of 55,000 using the phrase "he shall" at least eight times. The language in the document was there even though Novi's city clerks have been women.
Several other Michigan communities have made similar changes.
voters OK charter change to aid parks
GRAND RAPIDS -- Voters in Grand Rapids have given wide approval to an increase in property taxes to help give city parks a $4 million boost.
The city clerk's office says the proposal passed 60 percent to 40 percent Tuesday.
The 7-year, 0.98-mill levy will be used for park repairs and improvements as well as operation of city swimming pools.
Officials say the tax would cost the average Grand Rapids homeowner about $45 per year.
A mill is $1 per $1,000 of a property's assessed value, and Michigan assesses property at half its estimated market value.