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Red Wings name Steve Yzerman general manager

DETROIT (AP) - The Captain is coming home. Hockey Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman will be named general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, two people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Friday. Ken Holland will become the team's senior vice president after being its general manager for two-plus decades, according to the two people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the move. Yzerman was a captain for a league-record 20 seasons in Detroit, where he is adored and known as The Captain. He stepped down as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning last year just two days before training camp, triggering talk he would come back to run the Red Wings. Yzerman's contract with the Lightning expired when they were eliminated in the first round of the NHL playoffs earlier this week by Columbus after tying a league record with 62 wins. He built Tampa Bay into a perennial contender in eight seasons as general manager, making three trips to the conference final and an advancing to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final where the Lightning lost to Chicago. Yzerman, a three-time Stanley Cup winner, went into management immediately after retiring and Holland was his mentor in the front office. He began his post-playing career as vice president of hockey operations under Holland in Detroit and was part of the organization as a Stanley Cup winner in 2008 before leaving to lead the Lightning. Yzerman spent his entire playing career trying with the Red Wings, and his No. 19 jersey is retired along with some of the game's greats such as Gordie Howe. He is regarded as one of the best leaders in NHL history. His 22-season career ended with his retirement in 2006 after leading the Red Wings to titles in 1997, 1998 and 2002. His career ended with 1,755 regular-season points, a total that led all...

Former Michigan trooper convicted in teen's Taser death

DETROIT (AP) - A former Michigan state trooper was convicted of involuntary manslaughter Wednesday in the death of a Detroit teenager who crashed an all-terrain vehicle and died when he was shot with a Taser. Mark Bessner, who had a history of misconduct allegations involving Taser use, fired the immobilizing device from the passenger seat of a patrol car while he and his partner chased 15-year-old Damon Grimes in August 2017. State police officials condemned his conduct and agreed that criminal charges were appropriate. Bessner, who quit the department after Grimes' death, said he believed the teen was reaching for a gun in his waistband. Grimes, however, didn't have a weapon. "There can be no question that Mark Bessner knew that (he) was going to cause some serious harm to Damon Grimes," assistant prosecutor Matthew Penney told jurors. Bessner was charged with second-degree murder, but the jury opted for the lesser charge after deliberating for one day. He was immediately taken into custody to await his sentence on May 2. The maximum penalty is 15 years in prison. Nearly 20 sheriff's deputies were in the courtroom to respond to any disruptions while the verdict was announced. Bessner's family loudly sobbed while awaiting an elevator. The Grimes family "is somewhat satisfied," said spokesman Oliver Gantt. "I know they had hoped for more. For the most part, I think they got a little bit of closure. I believe the family can rest with that." It was Bessner's second trial: A different jury last fall couldn't reach a unanimous verdict on a murder charge after listening to him emotionally explain how he "absolutely" believed Grimes had a gun. But Bessner didn't testify in his own defense during the latest trial. His attorney, Richard Convertino, urged jurors to put...

Prosecutor: 'No common sense' in Michigan cop's use of Taser

DETROIT (AP) - A prosecutor urged jurors on Tuesday to convict a former Michigan State Police trooper of second-degree murder in the death of a Detroit teen, saying there wasn't a "lick of common sense" in firing a Taser at a boy riding an all-terrain vehicle. Damon Grimes, 15, crashed the ATV and died on a Detroit street in 2017. Mark Bessner is on trial for a second time after the first trial last fall ended without a unanimous verdict. Assistant prosecutor Matthew Penney said Grimes was joy-riding in a residential neighborhood, a minor offense that didn't deserve such a tragic result. He said being shot with the Taser was like getting hit with an "electric baseball bat." "That's not a reasonable use of force," Penney said in his closing argument. "Not if you have a lick of common sense." Bessner's attorneys tried to get his former partner, Trooper Ethan Berger, to testify, but Berger invoked his constitutional right to remain silent. Berger was driving the patrol car when Bessner fired the Taser from the passenger seat. Bessner declined to testify in his own defense. It was a major shift in strategy: He had offered an emotional narrative at the first trial, telling jurors that he believed Grimes had a gun in his waistband . He said he was "shocked" to learn the boy didn't have a weapon. Defense lawyer Richard Convertino said Bessner was assigned to a high-crime area in Detroit where ATV riders were commonly caught with guns. Bessner's use of the Taser was "perfectly reasonable" if he felt his life was at risk, Convertino said. "It was a tense, rapidly evolving, uncertain - uncertain - environment," he told jurors. "Split second. Not a second. A split second." Outside court, Convertino said Bessner didn't testify because he didn't believe the prosecutor had...

Muskrat love: Detroit-area Catholics permitted to eat rodent

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit-area Roman Catholics have one more dining option during Lent than most other followers of the faith. The culinary appeal of that item, however, is up for debate. A long-standing permission allows local Catholics to eat muskrat - a furry, marsh-dwelling rodent native to the area - "on days of abstinence, including Fridays of Lent," according to the Archdiocese of Detroit. The custom dates to the region's missionary history in the 1700s and is especially prevalent in communities along the Detroit River. Missionary priests "realized that food was especially scarce in the region by the time Lent came around and did not want to burden Catholics unreasonably by denying them one of the few readily available sources of nutrition - however unappetizing it might be for most folks," said Edward Peters, an expert on canon law who is on the faculty at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. The Rev. Tim Laboe grew up in an area of Michigan where the practice has long been a tradition and recalls sitting down for muskrat dinners with his grandfather. "I don't know if I enjoy more eating the muskrat or watching people try it for the first time, because it doesn't look in any way appetizing," said Laboe, dean of studies at Sacred Heart. Laboe said some people describe it as tasting like duck, but he disagrees: "I think muskrat tastes like muskrat, and I don't think I can compare it to anything else." Muskrats eat mostly plants and vegetation. Including their tails, the critters are about 20 to 25 inches long (51 to 63.5 centimeters) and weigh between 2 and 5 pounds (0.91 and 2.27 kilograms). Laboe, who said he enjoys the taste of the furry rodent despite its appearance, recalled a line he attributed to the late Bishop Kenneth Povish, the one-time head...

The iconic Muppets may be coming to a street near you

NEW YORK (AP) - Big Bird, Elmo and stars of "Sesame Street" are leaving their quiet neighborhood and embarking on a road trip. The nonprofit Sesame Workshop said Tuesday a selection of Muppets will take part in a 10-city trip to celebrate the show's 50th anniversary campaign with free park festivals, live performances and kid-friendly activities. Steve Youngwood, the chief operating officer of Sesame Workshop, says the tour is both "a nod to the work we've done and a nod to the work we're going to do" but also "a celebration and reward to everyone who helped us get here." The Muppets will spend Friday-Sunday in each city, filming segments for the show with local kids and highlighting people and places important to the community. There also will be activities like a giant maze, a treasure dig, photo opportunities, sweepstakes and a cookies-and-milk snack station. The tour starts June 1 in New York and then has Saturday celebrations in Washington, D.C., on June 8; Pittsburgh on June 15; Detroit on June 22; Chicago on June 29; Dallas on July 6; Kansas City on July 13; Denver on July 20; Seattle on July 27 and Los Angeles on Aug. 3. "It brings together who we are - from the show to the local community organization to the fans - in a way that we had absolutely never done. It's amazing. You think 50 years and things we've never done before: This level of local engagement in a comprehensive way is something we've never done. And we're really, really excited." The 50th season of "Sesame Street" kicks off in November with a star-studded primetime special that will include new takes on classic segments and visits from "Sesame Street" icons. ___ Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

Yalie and world champion Chen finds time for Stars on Ice

NEW YORK (AP) - Somehow, in the midst of his freshman season at Yale, Nathan Chen has found time to escape the classroom and the study hall and the tests. All he's done since becoming an Ivy Leaguer is win the Grand Prix Final, a third straight U.S. figure skating championship, and repeat as world champion. Yale might have a strong hockey team, but Chen's hat trick can't be matched by any of the Bulldogs. Chen chuckles when asked about achieving so much while also carrying a hefty workload in school. "It is challenging," he says, "but I knew it would be." And now that the competitive season is over - Chen helped the United States to a first-place finish in a world team event last weekend - he can have some downtime, right? Well, he could. Instead, he's fitting in appearances with the Stars on Ice tour , which launches Thursday night in Fort Myers, Florida. He will, however, skip some stops on the 13-city tour to take class finals. He is, after all, a full-time student. "It will be a challenge because of exams and other things, but most of the shows are East Coast- based and I can travel to school and back to the show," he says. "Yeah, I am taking a gap for finals, but ultimately (the grind) is not too much of a concern. "It's really nice that we have so many top skaters in Stars on Ice, so I am not part of the cast this year based on my schedules. It would definitely impact the cast if they had to take me out of some (routines). It's a better idea to do my numbers separately. Besides, with all they have accomplished, they are a great cast." That includes 2014 Olympic champion ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, world bronze medalist Vincent Zhou, and world silver medalists Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue. Still, the fact Chen, who turns 20 next month,...

Jonathan Wolman, Detroit News editor, former AP exec, dies

Jonathan Wolman, who over more than 45 years in journalism served as editor and publisher of The Detroit News and previously worked as a reporter, Washington bureau chief and executive editor at The Associated Press, died Monday in Detroit. He was 68. His family told the News that Wolman died of complications from pancreatic cancer. Wolman had been editor and publisher of the News since 2007, running the newspaper during a financially challenging period that included staff layoffs, a cutback to only two days a week of home delivery, and a relocation from the massive headquarters building that it had occupied for nearly a century. However, Detroit - even as it careened into and then out of bankruptcy in 2013-14 - has survived as one of a shrinking number of U.S. cities with more than one major daily newspaper. The News has a joint operating agreement with its rival, the Detroit Free Press, in which the newspapers consolidate business operations while fielding separate editorial staffs. "Jon came to Detroit at a time of incredible uncertainty, not only for the News, but for the industry," said the News' managing editor, Gary Miles. "He was a steadying, calming influence who put a priority on the big picture: the accuracy and fairness of our news report." Miles recalled Wolman's "painstaking analysis" as the paper's management grappled with budget cuts and staff reductions. Even amid the austerity, Miles said, Wolman oversaw expansion of the paper's investigative and projects unit, and maintained a strong focus on national and world news at a time when many regional papers were cutting back. "He was incredibly kind," Miles said. "Some decisions clearly pained him. But he kept the long-term interests of the News, its staff and its readers, paramount." Peter Bhatia,...

Restaurant review: Quang's Vietnamese Bistro in Troy

You could easily overlook the nondescript Asian bodega just past the columned Baptist church on Third Street in Troy. Even if you stop, the sign above the retail space reads Kim's Convenience and Stationery (it's owned by Jinah Kim, of nearby Sunhee's Kitchen) and counter stools in the storefront window are piled discouragingly high with delivery boxes and supplies. You have to walk in, look beyond the intriguing Asian candies and squeeze down grocery aisles to the back, where first-time restaurant owner Quang Tran, assisted by two college-age nephews, is plunging ladles into giant metal stockpots and bustling around the open kitchen. If you're someone who lives for semi-secret, back-of-the-bodega gems, Quang's Vietnamese Bistro is for you. Go, and you'll be rewarded with the area's best pho. Tran - known to anyone who dines out in Troy as a long-term server at Peck's Arcade - cuts a familiar figure in trademark white rim glasses and closely shorn hair. But it could be news that his passion lies in piping hot pho noodle soup delivered ceremonially in a deep-sided bowl, broth shimmering, flavors wrung from bones and spices in a lengthy slow-simmered labor. He is, shall I say, particular about it. For now (I have to believe it's temporary), he eschews the idea of takeout, preferring to control the slow process and theater of table presentation, even if seating is limited to seven two-tops and eight stools at the bar. As a father of two, and someone well-versed in the all-consuming nature of the restaurant industry, he has put limits on service hours, allowing himself two consecutive days off and a break between lunch and dinner service, when he can get to the gym. You're reasonably contained in this secluded rear nook. While you never quite forget you're in an Asian market, there's a greater sense of peeking out...

Perspective | Mike Pence will speak at this evangelical school’s graduation in his home state. Here’s why many are upset.

The first text message arrived while the faculty meeting was still in session. "Pence speaking at commencement," it began. "Yeah, I know, horrible, but it's the most exciting faculty meeting ever." My phone didn't stop buzzing Thursday. None of the people texting me were happy about the selection of Vice President Mike Pence as the 2019 graduation speaker at Taylor University, an evangelical Christian college of about 2,000 students in rural Indiana. I've worked part time at Taylor for eight years, teaching as an adjunct in the English, honors and communications departments. My husband and I moved here so that he could help build the school's ESL (English as a Second Language) program for international students. As Christians and former missionaries, we believed in Taylor's mission of developing servant leaders who would minister Christ's redemptive love and truth to a world in need, and this intimate community has been a rich and nourishing place for us and our children. But the selection of Pence, a former Indiana governor, as the May 18 commencement speaker is deeply disappointing, for me, and for many of the faculty. It reflects a failure of the university's leadership to live up to its mission. Taylor is largely a Midwestern, white, evangelical community; one might not expect this decision to be a controversial one. Pence spoke at Notre Dame's graduation in 2017, when some graduates walked out, and he will speak at Liberty University's commencement the week before he is at Taylor. But a lot of people here are upset. As soon as the announcement was made, a professor from the biblical studies, Christian ministries and philosophy department called for a vote of dissent. After some discussion, during which some faculty expressed support for Pence's presence, comparing him to the biblical figure of Daniel, and...

Golden State clinches 1 seed in West, East field nearly done

A look at where things stand in the NBA playoff picture, with three days remaining in the regular season: EASTERN CONFERENCE Finally, a lot of clarity. On Sunday, two of the remaining three spots got grabbed. Three more seeds were locked in, as was the first official matchup for when the playoffs start this weekend. Orlando, in for the first time since 2012. Brooklyn, in for the first time since 2015. Detroit, not in yet. Charlotte, still with a chance. Miami, down to the slimmest chance imaginable. Milwaukee was already the No. 1 seed, Toronto was the No. 2 seed - and now, a whole lot more is known after a very long, very hectic Sunday. Philadelphia will be the No. 3 seed for the second straight year. Boston is the No. 4 seed and will open against No. 5 Indiana, in the first matchup that is locked into place. Detroit is in the driver's seat for the last spot. Charlotte improved its chances after beating the Pistons on Sunday. Miami also has life, though needs a whole lot of things to break its way and no longer controls its own destiny after an overtime loss in Toronto. The Heat need to win both of their remaining games and get a ton of help. Brooklyn clinched by winning in Indiana and sweeping a road-road back-to-back that started Saturday in Milwaukee. Orlando went into Boston and prevailed, winning its way in and clinching the Southeast Division title for good measure. Steve Clifford's first season as coach of the Magic is now, officially, a banner one. WESTERN CONFERENCE The road to the Western Conference title now goes through Oracle Arena. Golden State, the two-time defending NBA champions, wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the West playoffs by beating the Los Angeles Clippers in what might turn out to be a first-round pairing. The Clippers fell from sixth place...