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Who is Toronto van attack suspect Alek Minassian?

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 7:22am

Alek Minassian is a 25-year-old Toronto-area man who is accused of using a van Monday to mow down pedestrians along a busy street near his hometown.

Canadian officials said Minassian was driving 50 mph down the sidewalk on Yonge Street before police caught up to him blocks away. Overall, 10 people were killed and 15 more were injured.

Minassian lives just a few short miles from the crime scene in Richmond Hill, Ontario. He goes to school nearby and was traveling a normal route Monday afternoon. His family is Armenian and he was raised Christian. Police said there is no sense that Minassian was radicalized in any way. What they do say is he is socially awkward.

Officials know he was researching and chatting online about the Isla Vista massacre. Elliot Rodger killed six and injured 14 in a drive-by shooting and vehicle ramming attack near the UC Santa Barbara campus in Isla Vista, California in 2014.

Minassian took advantage of the busy Toronto sidewalks Monday and intentionally drove the van over a curb and into the pedestrians, authorities said. Video of his arrest shows him begging police officers to kill him. Minassian asked officers to shoot him, pretending to pull out a gun, police said. Toronto officers didn't shoot him, and he is in custody. Minassian did not have a gun.

He is expected to appear in court Tuesday morning.

Minassian's Facebook account

CNN reported Law Enforcement Analyst Josh Campbell said investigators had identified a Facebook account they believe belongs to Minassian.

According to reports, a message posted on the account earlier Monday read: "All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!" Investigators said Rodger was motivated to carry out his attack by a personal grievance. He allegedly was active in online groups such as 4Chan where conversations surrounded men's rights and the claim that women were inferior.

Canadian PM: 'Tragic, senseless attack'

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences to the families of the victims on Monday. Trudeau called it a "tragic and senseless attack" thanked first responders who he said "faced danger without hesitation, and their efforts no doubt saved lives and prevented further injuries."

"We should all feel safe walking in our cities and communities," Trudeau said. "We are monitoring this situation closely, and will continue working with our law enforcement partners around the country to ensure the safety and security of all Canadians."

Stay with ClickOnDetroit for updates.

Exel Taylor due in court for charges in 3-year-old Detroit girl's shooting

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 7:19am

The man charged with shooting a 3-year-old girl in the head in Detroit earlier this month is due in court Tuesday for a preliminary exam.

Exel Taylor, 24, is accused of firing gunshots at about 2:46 p.m. on April 7 outside the gas station in the 15900 block of Livernois.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said Taylor was arguing with a 28-year-old man inside the gas station. The argument continued outside where it became physical.

Taylor then went to his car, pulled out a gun and began firing at the man. One of those bullets struck 3-year-old London Muldrow in the head as she was sitting in her mother's vehicle. The bullet went through the windshield and hit her head. She remains hospitalized.

Taylor ran to a nearby Valero and called a friend to pick him up. The two were arrested blocks away from the shooting scene. Taylor's weapon was then recovered.

He faces the following charges:

Assault with intent to commit murder Carrying a concealed weapon-motor vehicle Carrying a weapon with unlawful intent Four counts of felony firearm

Stay with ClickOnDetroit for updates.

Toronto van attack suspect's motive remains unclear; he's expected in court today

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 7:04am

The deadly van attack in Toronto is not being considered a national security issue by Canadian officials.

Officials do believe this was an intentional attack by the driver on pedestrians. That still leaves the door open for terrorism but officials are not convinced about a motive.

Officials said 10 people were killed and 15 were injured in the attack Monday afternoon. A mile-long stretch of Yonge Street remains covered in police barricades and crime scene tape as police continue to investigate. It is considered an active crime scene.

Canadian officials said the suspected driver is Alek Minassian, 25. He is accused of driving 50 mph down the sidewalk on Yonge Street before police caught up to him blocks away.

As he was taken into custody, Minassian asked officers to shoot him, pretending to pull out a gun, police said. Toronto officers didn't shoot him, and he is in custody. Minassian did not have a gun.

Toronto busy on first spring-like day

The weather in Toronto is just starting to break away from winter and enter warmer temperatures. Monday was a pleasant spring day with even unseasonably warm temperatures. Pedestrians packed the city's streets, and Yonge Street was especially busy at the time of the attack.

Minassian took advantage of the busy sidewalks and intentionally drove the van over a curb and into the pedestrians, authorities said. Video of his arrest shows him begging police officers to kill him.

Minassian is expected to be in court at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

More about suspect

Minassian lives just a few short miles from the crime scene. He goes to school nearby. His family is Armenian.

Police said there is no sense that Minassian was radicalized in any way. What they do say is he is socially awkward.

Officials know he was researching and chatting online about the Isla Vista massacre. Elliot Rodger killed six and injured 14 in a drive-by shooting and vehicle ramming attack near the UC Santa Barbara campus in Isla Vista, California in 2014.

Stay with ClickOnDetroit for updates.

Mara MacDonald reports from Toronto.

More than a dozen dogs, birds, ponies living in 'squalor' rescued from Washtenaw County home

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 6:35am

More than a dozen Shih Tzu dogs were found with cages full of chickens all living in a bedroom covered in urine and feces at a home in Ypsilanti Township.

That's according to the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) who said investigators rescued the pets Wednesday after receiving a tip call from a Good Samaritan.

Overall there were 17 Shih Tzu dogs aged 6 months to 7 years with a pair of lovebirds, a parakeet and a Rouen duck. A pony and a miniature horse also were found at the property.

The Humane Society said the caller explained there were "puppies living in complete squalor, covered head to toe in feces."

"Big thanks to the person who reported this situation to us. The owner is fully cooperating. We're relieved he recognized the need for assistance and so glad we're able to get the animals the help they need," said Melinda Szabelski, HSHV's Cruelty & Rescue Supervisor.

Most of the animals were matted, covered in their own feces and suffered from various medical conditions, and are now being treated at HSHV. The pony is still under medical evaluation, and the miniature horse has been given a permanent home at SASHA Farm animal sanctuary, according to the HSHV.

To donate to help with their treatment or other HSHV animal rescue services, go to hshv.org/shihtzurescue.

HSHV investigates suspected animal cruelty in Washtenaw County--a service solely funded by donations. Suspected reports of animal cruelty may be called into HSHV's tip line at 734-661-3512, or online at hshv.org/report.

Ramp from NB 275 to WB 96 in Farmington Hills closed for crash investigation

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 3:05am

The ramp from northbound 275 to westbound 96 in Novi is closed for a crash investigation.

Michigan State Police tell Local 4 they expect the ramp to be closed for a few hours.

Stay with ClickOnDetroit for updates.

NHTSA expands safety investigations for Ford, Nissan, VW vehicles

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 2:54am

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Monday it has widened its three investigations for air bag and brake problems that could affect more than 2.3 million vehicles from top car providers.

Ford, Volkswagen and Nissan are at the center of the safety probes, and more consumers have complained about the ongoing issues with the vehicles.

The issues stem from last year, but more models were named in January.

Those issues include the following:

The 2006-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ, and the 2006-2011 Mercury Milan. The investigators are looking into 735 complaints to the NHTSA and Ford that the brake pedal travels more toward the floor than expected, which could increase stopping distance. The NHTSA has reports of 30 crashes resulting in three injuries, and tests at the agency's Ohio laboratory discovered stuck valves and corrosion in the brake hydraulic control unit. Eight Volkswagen models: CC, Passat, Eos, Golf, GTI, Tiguan, Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen vehicles from the 2010-2014 model years. This affects 1.2 million vehicles, and 852 complaints were reported to the NHTSA. VW has also received nearly 3,000 warranty claims. This recall was sent out to address the failure of air bag wiring in the steering wheel. Nissan Murano SUVs from the 2009 model year. This also has to do with a brake problem. The NHTSA said tests for the hydraulic brake control will take place, and similar control units and brake fluid are used in other Nissan vehicles. However, Nissan maintains the brake system remains all in one piece and that full braking is available even if the pedals travel a longer distance. This affects more than 108,000 vehicles.

Nissan would not say what other models, if any, could be affected. However, it has notified affected Murano owners that dealers will flush brake fluid and test anti-lock brake actuators and replace them, if necessary, for free of charge.

TRAFFIC ALERT: I-696 closed in both directions between Woodward & Greenfield

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 1:16am

All east and westbound lanes of I-696 are closed between Woodward and Greenfield.

The closures began shortly before 1 a.m. Tuesday.

It's unclear what led to the closure.

Preschool teacher's assistant accused of taping 5-year-old boy's mouth shut in Dearborn Heights

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 11:22pm

An elementary school teacher's assistant is off the job after parents accused her of taping a 5-year-old boy's mouth shut.

Hoda Dannaoui wants to keep the smile on her son's face. Bike rides are a distraction from what the 5-year-old boy endured in preschool.

"I'm missing my friends," Abdul Dannaoui said.

Abdul hasn't seen his classmates since March, when his parents found out a teacher at the Crestwood School District in Dearborn Heights crossed the line.

"She put Scotch tape on my mouth," Abdul said. "I don't know why."

His mother is determined to get an answer.

"What happened inside the class, they won't tell me," she said.

Abdul is still confused by his teacher's actions.

"I don't know why they did it," he said.

"No one should to this to any kid," Hoda Dannaoui said. "My child has asthma."

She said she trusted the preschool to educate her son and keep him safe, but she said that trust was betrayed.

"My child wasn't safe," Dannaoui said. "This was a lie."

The superintendent acknowledges the incident happened, saying, "A substitute teacher assistant placed a piece of Scotch tape over the mouth for a very brief period of time."

The district's statement also says the teacher and other students witnessed the act. The teacher was immediately removed from employment, the district said.

Abdul's parents want a second assistant fired.

"It's not one teacher," Dannaoui said. "It was two teachers doing this."

The family's attorney said the school's principal is a close friend of the second teacher, and they asked police to investigate further.

"She's protecting her own," attorney Nabih Ayad said. "She's protecting her friend, and that's unfair, and the cost of the children's expense."

Ayad said the next step is to file a civil suit. Dannaoui contends that the taping of the mouth happened numerous times in the classroom, and that both teacher assistants applied the tape.

District officials said they don't condone the action of the assistant and that there's no proof it happened more than once.

Toronto van attack: 10 killed, 15 injured, suspected driver in custody9 dead, 16 hurt after van plows into pedestrians in TorontoToronto van strike: 9 killed, 16 injured, driver in custody

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 11:14pm

Residents in Toronto are feeling heartbreak, disbelief and fury after a man in a Ryder rental van plowed down the sidewalk of one of the busiest streets in the city.

Officials said 10 people were killed and 15 were injured in the attack. A mile-long stretch of Yonge Street is covered in police barricades and crime scene tape as police continue to investigate.

Canadian officials said the suspected driver is Alek Minassian, 25. He is accused of driving 50 mph down the sidewalk on Yonge Street before police caught up to him blocks away.

As he was taken into custody, Minassian asked officers to shoot him, pretending to pull out a gun, police said. Toronto officers didn't shoot him, and he is in custody.

The wreckage left by the attack spans more than a mile.

Residents were left dazed and wondering why someone would purposefully drive on the sidewalk to hurt pedestrians.

Conagra Brands recalls Salisbury steak products due to possible contamination

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 9:55pm

Conagra Brands is recalling 135,159 pounds of Salisbury steak products -- poultry, pork and beef -- that might be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically bone, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Monday.

The Salisbury steak and brown gravy products were produced on March 10, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:

The products subject to recall bear the USDA mark of inspection with establishment number "P-115" on the side panel of the consumer package. These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide.

The problem was discovered after the firm received several consumer complaints and three reports of minor oral injury associated with consumption of this product.

Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS is concerned that some Salisbury steak products might be frozen and in consumers' freezers. Consumers who have purchased the products are urged not to consume them. They should be thrown away or returned.

Customers with questions about the recall can call Conagra Brands Consumer Affairs at 800-289-6014.

Suspicious man tries to get into Kenwood Elementary School in Clawson, teacher says

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 8:07pm

Police said a teacher reported a suspicious man trying to get into Kenwood Elementary School on Monday in Clawson.

Clawson officers were called to the school at 1:17 p.m. Monday after a teacher said she saw a man walk past her window at the southwest corner of the school and try to get inside.

She said the man pulled on one of the west doors before trying to open the south doors, but he couldn't get inside. When the teacher told the man through the glass that he had to get in through the front door, he walked away.

The teacher said she got concerned when she was told the man never went to the front door.

The man is described as white, in his 40s and weighing about 180 pounds. He had shoulder-length, brown hair that was parted in the middle and a scraggly beard. He was wearing a greenish-blue, long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up, dark jeans and dark shoes.

Officers searched the area but couldn't find the man. They stayed near the school during dismissal, but the man wasn't seen, officials said.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

29-year-old man pleads guilty in 3 separate racist vandalism cases at Eastern Michigan University

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 7:50pm

A man pleaded guilty Monday in connection with three separate racist vandalism incidents at Eastern Michigan University.

Eddie Curlin, 29, is charged with three counts of malicious destruction of property in connection with incidents at EMU in the fall of 2016 and the spring of 2017.

The charges stem from incidents that took place in September 2016 at King Hall, in which a hate message was found spray-painted on an exterior wall, an October 2016 incident in which a racist message was discovered spray-painted on an exterior wall of Ford Hall, and a third incident that took place last spring, in which a racist message was found in a men's restroom stall in Sherzer Hall.

Curlin entered guilty pleas in Washtenaw County Circuit Court. He also entered no contest pleas to four charges of identity theft related to the investigation.

He's being held at the Michigan Department of Corrections, serving a one- to five-year sentence for an unrelated charge of receiving and concealing stolen property.

Residents frustrated by string of car thefts reported in neighborhood on Detroit's west side

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 6:59pm

Residents of a neighborhood on Detroit's west side want police to take action after multiple car thefts.

Residents said the thefts happened in a span of 72 hours.

"Her car was parked in the front and they took it around and took it back this way," Sharonda Guider said. "We're, like, 'How? Like, when?'"

Guider said she has been asking the questions since last week. She said tire marks are what's left of her sister's car.

Guider said everything happened on Thursday.

"She has a 1-year-old daughter," Guider said. "She doesn't have a way to get to work now. No transportation. It's hard. She's 21."

Her sister was driving a 2007 Black Pontiac G6. Police said they are investigating this incident, but Local 4 has learned there were more car thefts in the area just last week.

"(There have) been other cars in the area that (have) been taken," Guider said. "We had a neighbor down the street whose car was taken. Someone from a couple blocks over, their car has been taken."

Police said the neighbor's car was recovered, but they are still looking for her sister's car.

"So, basically, we are trying to reach out and let people know, be aware," Guider said. "Cars are coming up missing in this area, and someone's got to do something."

MDEQ investigates possible in-home air contamination in Livingston County

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 6:58pm

There are new concerns in Green Oak Township that a known carcinogen might have contaminated the air.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is investigating underground plumes in Brighton and Green Oak Township.

Geologists are worried that after the groundwater was contaminated, the chemical trichloroethylene might be affecting air quality.

Carol Miller has lived in her home in Green Oak Township for more than 60 years, and she blames her family's ongoing health issues on contamination.

"Everybody that's lived here has died of cancer and neurological (problems)," Miller said.

Miller's family used to grow their own vegetables in the backyard, which is next to the plant that contaminated their groundwater.

"It's devastating," Miller said. "I, in my heart, believe it's a factor in the loss of my family."

MDEQ officials said the old Haig manufacturing plant released a plume of toxins into the groundwater.

"The plume goes under US-23, under Green Oak Village Mall," Green Oak Township Supervisor Mark St. Charles said.

Drinking water has never been affected, but as a precaution, in 2004, the township switched residents to the Brighton municipal water supply, officials said.

There are now new concerns that the carcinogen trichloroethylene might be affecting the air inside people's homes.

Within a few weeks, the MDEQ will begin collecting soil gas vapor samples.

"There might not be a plume there," MDEQ Project Manager Emily Peabody said. "We don't know yet. It's literally just begun."

The old Haig plant is still operating, but every owner since the contamination was discovered has been barred from developing in the southeast corner. Miller is worried she'll never be able to leave.

"I can't ethically sell my house to anybody knowing that there's problems," Miller said.

The investigation in Green Oak Township is preliminary. MDEQ officials don't know if the air has been contaminated, but they are investigating after a similar plume in Brighton contaminated the air in at least five homes.

The separate investigation has also expanded to include more homes.

Off-duty Detroit police officer charged in assault in alleged Greektown gun-pulling incident

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 6:41pm

A Detroit police officer is facing assault, domestic violence and gun charges after an incident in Greektown.

Prosecutors said Officer Willie Fortner, 25, was off-duty when he got into a fight with his girlfriend at Nikki's Nightlife. When the fight spilled outside, officials said Fortner pulled out a gun.

For the first time since his arrest, Fortner appeared in front of a judge, via video.

Detroit police Chief James Craig said Fortner was arrested Saturday morning outside Nikki's for allegedly physically assaulting his 22-year old girlfriend.

Police said two men saw the assault and tried to protect the woman, and that's when Fortner allegedly went to his trunk, grabbed his handgun and pointed the gun at the two men.

"No shots were fired," Craig said. "We have video that supports it."

Craig said this type of behavior will not be tolerated.

"One of these incidents is actually one too many, and we know that it certainly places a stain on the badge," Craig said. "We have zero tolerance for officers engaging in criminal misconduct. We take prompt action each and every time, not some of the time."

Fortner is now facing two counts of felony assault, one count of misdemeanor domestic violence and two felony firearms violations.

He's due back in court April 30.

Chuck Rizzo Jr. sentenced in Macomb County corruption scandal

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 5:27pm

Chuck Rizzo Jr., who authorities said was the central figure in the Macomb County corruption scandal, was sentenced to prison Monday for bribing elected officials to secure contracts, federal officials said.

Judge Robert Cleland sentenced Rizzo to 66 months -- 5 1/2 years -- in federal prison. That's less time than the 75 months the government wanted, but the defense wanted far less.

Rizzo spent the last two months in the St. Clair County Jail, so when he showed up in court Monday, he looked far different than he did previously. He wore an orange jump suit with canvas blue shoes while shuffling along in wrist and ankle chains.

His family and friends gathered inside the Port Huron courthouse to hear Rizzo and his attorneys plead their case for the amount of jail time he should serve for pleading guilty to bribery and wire fraud charges.

Federal officials said Rizzo became uncooperative after helping to build several bribery cases and even took $26,000 from another defendant without telling the FBI he'd be done so.

The defense claimed Rizzo never intended to stop cooperating, calling it a great misunderstanding after Rizzo's attorney died last year. Rizzo rose and spoke to the judge in a highly emotional admission of guilty.

"I have let many people down and disappointed business associates, employees and officials," Rizzo said. "For all of that, I am genuinely sorry. I want to admit it and accept responsibility. There is no excuse for crimes I committed. I'm ready to accept my punishment and ready to put this chapter of my life behind me. I was too focused on getting ahead. I miss my family more than I could ever tell you. It is the only reminder of why I must do better, and I will. I will never let it happen again."

Rizzo's defense team asked if he could serve his prison time in Pensacola, Florida. The judge said he would make that recommendation.

Tow truck driver charged with using woman's bank card after crash in Romulus

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 5:08pm

An employee of a tow company was charged Thursday in connection with the use of a bank card belonging to a woman ejected in a crash in Romulus last year.

Joel Leys, 31, of Belleville, is charged with two counts of illegal use of credit card.

The crash happened May 13, 2017, at northbound I-275 and W. Huron River Drive. The driver, a young woman from Erie, Penn., was ejected and died a week later.

The victim's family members told Michigan State Police troopers about the draining of the deceased's checking account and sent a list of the unauthorized transactions.

The purchases were tracked and authorities said one was from a pizza shop near the tow yard that was called to remove the victim's vehicle from the crash scene.

The pizza shop gave authorities an address and a phone number. Both allegedly matched an employee of the tow company.

The same employee allegedly used the bank card to pay for car insurance and tickets to Michigan International Speedway.

Authorities say Leys removed the victim's bank card from her purse, which was inside the vehicle the date of the crash.

A warrant request was submitted to the Wayne County Prosecutor on Aug. 20, 2017. The felony warrant was authorized nearly eight months later.

$2,500 reward offered in apparent drug-related double homicide in InksterPolice investigate double homicide in Inkster

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 4:35pm

Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,500 reward for information in an apparent drug-related double homicide in Inkster.

Deon Booker, 43, and Ebony Roberson, 38, were found dead Thursday in Inkster.

Police said the double homicide happened around 2:15 p.m. in the 3000 block of Fox Street near Middlebelt Road and Michigan Avenue.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

Stay with ClickOnDetroit for updates.

Shipwreck found in Lake Erie could be nearly 200 years old

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 4:20pm

Shipwreck hunters are planning to excavate around a Lake Erie wreck this summer that they think could be the remains of a schooner that went down nearly two centuries ago.

Its size, design and location point toward it being a sailing ship called the Lake Serpent, which sunk in 1829, the National Museum of the Great Lakes said Monday.

That would make it one of the oldest wrecks ever discovered on Lake Erie. The shallowest of the Great Lakes where violent storms whip up in a hurry is home to hundreds of wreckage sites. Many have been found in recent years by a small, dedicated band of hunters.

To determine whether the latest discovery to be announced is indeed the Lake Serpent, divers will first need to get a closer look at wreckage and move away the sediment covering part of the ship.

"Because it's so small, that makes it very, very old," said Tom Kowalczk, who spotted the wreckage on his sonar screen in the summer of 2015. "That puts it way back to an early time frame and really limits the possibilities."

Members of the Cleveland Underwater Explorers and the museum have been digging through historical records and newspaper clippings to come up with the names of vessels it might be.

They've narrowed the list to three, with the Lake Serpent being the most likely answer, said Carrie Snowden, the museum's archaeology director.

"That's our working theory," she said.

The schooner was built in 1821 in Cleveland at a time when the city had less than 1,000 residents. Its job was to carry cargo -- produce, flour, whiskey, limestone -- to ports along the lakes.

It went down eight years later with a load of stone and a small crew near Kelleys Island off the Ohio shoreline.

The body of one crew member was spotted in the lake days later while the bodies of the captain and his brother washed up on the shore of Lorain County in the fall of 1829, according to a newspaper report.

The ship had an unusual carving of a serpent's head in the bow.

The museum is raising money so that divers this summer can remove the sediment that surrounds the bow to see if they can find the serpent's head. They also plan to take measurements, examine how the ship was constructed and look for any artifacts that could identify the ship as the Lake Serpent.

"If it isn't that," said Snowden. "We just have to keep digging some more."

Flint water activist LeeAnne Walters, 6 others win environmental prize

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 3:57pm

A woman who played a key role in exposing the lead-tainted water disaster in Flint, Michigan, is among seven people from around the world to be awarded a Goldman Environmental Prize for grassroots environmental activism.

LeeAnne Walters was repeatedly rebuffed by Gov. Rick Snyder's administration, even as she confronted regulators with bottles of brown water that came from her kitchen tap. Finally, with critical help from a Virginia Tech research team and a local doctor, it was revealed in 2015 that Flint's water system was contaminated with lead due to a lack of treatment.

Walters, a mother of four, "worked tirelessly behind the scenes to bring justice to not only her immediate family but all residents of Flint," the Goldman Environmental Foundation said Monday in announcing this year's winners.

The prize was created in 1989 by the late San Francisco philanthropists Richard and Rhoda Goldman. Winners are selected from nominations made by environmental organizations and others. The prize carries a $200,000 award.

In Flint, thousands of home water lines are being replaced due to the lead crisis. The city's water quality has improved since it stopped using the Flint River as its source after 18 months, although there are many concerns about lead that was ingested, especially by children.

The other winners are:

-- Francia Marquez of Colombia, who rallied other women to vigorously oppose gold mining in the Cauca region.

-- Claire Nouvian of France, who successfully campaigned against deep-sea fish trawling.

-- Makoma Lekalakala and Liz McDaid of South Africa, who fought to stop a nuclear plant deal between their country and Russia.

-- Manny Calonzo of the Philippines, who led an effort to ban lead paint.

-- Khanh Nguy Thi of Vietnam, who used scientific research to discourage dependency on coal-fired power.

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