At a Glance

Michigan asks higher court to intervene in license dispute

DETROIT (AP) — The state of Michigan is trying to stop a court order that prevents officials from suspending the driver’s licenses of people who can’t afford traffic fines.

Lawyers representing the secretary of state have filed an emergency request with a federal appeals court.

They hope the court will respond by Thursday.

The state says a Dec. 14 injunction by Flint federal Judge Linda Parker is a “deep, unwarranted intrusion” on Michigan’s police powers.

The judge said there’s a strong likelihood that the due process rights of poor people are being violated when their licenses are suspended for failure to pay fines.

But the state says drivers have plenty of notice. The state also says there’s no guidance from the judge about how courts are supposed to determine an inability to pay.

Woman stunned to  find electric bill listed as $284 billion

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania woman says she went online to check her electric bill and was stunned at the amount — more than $284 billion.

The Erie Times-News reports that Mary Horomanski said her eyes “just about popped out” of her head when she saw the amount. She suspected that her family had put up their Christmas lights wrong.

The silver lining was that she didn’t have to pay the full amount until November 2018 — only a $28,156 minimum payment was due for December.

Horomanski’s son contacted Penelac, her electric provider, who confirmed the error. Parent company First Energy said a decimal point was accidentally moved. Her new amount was quickly corrected to $284.46.

Lobsterman’s gift: Free lobsters for the needy

THOMASTON, Maine (AP) — A lobsterman in Maine has carried on his tradition of giving away lobsters to those in need on Christmas.

Noah Ames set up his pickup truck in a parking lot in Thomaston on Sunday with a sign that read “Free lobsters today for families truly in need.”

Ames started the tradition four years ago to demonstrate to his children that Christmas is about more than present wish lists, the Portland Press-Herald reported.

He said some people who pick up lobsters come with tears in their eyes.

“I want to give back to people who are struggling,”Ames said. “It’s kind of gotten bigger than me. It’s a good thing — and the kids are really into it now.”

In one hour Sunday, he gave out 400 pounds of lobster.

He provided 100 pounds that he hauled in on his boat No Worries while the rest was donated by other companies.

For the first few years, he refused all offers of money.

But last year, he accepted donations for a local family with a young girl who has cancer — a tradition he continued this year as the girl continues to fight the disease.

Walter Davis, of Thomaston, says he has stopped by each year. He says this was
a particularly rough year with six relatives dying within a few months of each other.

“We’ve had a lot of things on our minds,” he said, “And Christmas dinner wasn’t one of them.”