Politics & Government http://michiganradio.org en Flint, state officials discuss return to local control http://michiganradio.org/post/flint-state-officials-discuss-return-local-control <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Flint is making progress toward possibly beginning the process of emerging from state oversight next spring. But there’s still a lot to do.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Flint’s been under an emergency manager since 2011. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p>State officials met with Flint’s emergency manager, mayor, and city council members this week to discuss a possible plan to transition the city back to local control.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:56:05 +0000 Steve Carmody 18811 at http://michiganradio.org Flint, state officials discuss return to local control Married Michigan same-sex couples seek recognition http://michiganradio.org/post/married-michigan-same-sex-couples-seek-recognition <p>DETROIT (AP) - A lawyer has urged a judge to order Michigan to recognize same-sex marriages performed in March, saying the unions are valid even if a higher court reinstates the state's gay marriage ban.</p><p>More than 300 couples were married before an appeals court suspended a decision that had overturned the ban. The American Civil Liberties Union insists those marriages are legitimate. But Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, unlike the federal government, won't recognize them while the legality of gay marriage remains contested in court.</p><p>ACLU attorney Julian Mortenson says a marriage performed when gay marriage was legal can't be broken by the state. He urged federal Judge Mark Goldsmith to issue an injunction Thursday.</p><p>Michigan wants Goldsmith to wait. A Cincinnati-based appeals court recently heard arguments in cases from four states.</p><p> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:07:46 +0000 The Associated Press 18812 at http://michiganradio.org Married Michigan same-sex couples seek recognition Stateside for Monday, August 20, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-monday-august-20-2014 <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Today on Stateside:</span></p><p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We are about two and a half months away from the November general election, but we have yet to see any debates between candidates for Governor and U.S.. Senate. Why?</p><p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We took a look a Michigan’s role in the Civil War through the eyes of a local re-enactor.</p><p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Food holds a special meaning for many cultures and ethnicities. And in the Jewish culture, good food is celebrated. But more and more Jewish women are struggling with dieting and eating disorders.</p><p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; There's been a lot of talk about the current bankruptcy filing. But will Detroit actually be capable of paying its bills post-bankruptcy?</p><p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The Pinkerton security firm, founded in 1850 by Allan Pinkerton, is moving its headquarters to Ann Arbor, Michigan.</p><p><em>*Listen to the full show above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:51:21 +0000 Stateside Staff 18797 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Monday, August 20, 2014 Will we see candidate debates this fall? http://michiganradio.org/post/will-we-see-candidate-debates-fall <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We're about two and a half months away from the November general election and two big statewide races – the race for Governor and U.S. Senate.</span></p><p>We're seeing plenty of advertisements in the campaigns, but no debates between the candidates.</p><p>Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio’s political commentator, said the reason for this is that front runners of the elections don’t want to give their opponents a shot to upstage them.</p><p>Lessenberry said Governor Snyder doesn’t want a debate for this very reason, as it would give his opponent, Democrat Mark Schauer, a chance to win the public over.</p><p>However the same is not said for the Senate candidates. Republican Terri Lynn Land is falling behind Democrat Gary Peters in polls. Normally Land would want the debate and Peters would not, but in this case, it's the opposite.</p><p>Lessenberry said he expects at least one debate in the governor's race, but it is unclear whether there will be one for the Senate race.</p><p><em>*Listen to the full interview with Jack Lessenberry above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:43:30 +0000 Stateside Staff 18798 at http://michiganradio.org Will we see candidate debates this fall? The week in Michigan politics http://michiganradio.org/post/week-michigan-politics-60 <p></p><p>This <em>Week in Michigan Politics, </em>Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss possible teacher pay cuts and school closings for Detroit Public Schools, if there will be broadcasted debates with candidates for governor and the U.S. Senate, and what to expect at the Republican and Democratic conventions this weekend.</p><p></p><p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:36:07 +0000 Emily Fox & Jack Lessenberry 18791 at http://michiganradio.org The week in Michigan politics Audit finds problems with prisoner education programs in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/audit-finds-problems-prisoner-education-programs-michigan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A new audit shows problems in Michigan’s prisoner education program. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The state auditor general’s office says the Michigan Department of Corrections <a href="">failed to identify prisoners who qualify for federal assistance to take classes</a>. It also shows the department failed to make sure the programs were effective.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Russ&nbsp;</span>Marlan<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;is a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Corrections. He says the department agrees with the report’s findings and is working to fix those problems.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Having a third party come in and look at your operations and give you recommendations about how to improve I think is a good thing. And so, we’re going to take these recommendations and move forward and hopefully improve our prison education and vocational education,” says Marlan.</span></p><p>Marlan&nbsp;says the department has already taken steps to improve the programs over the last three years.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 01:19:32 +0000 Jake Neher 18786 at http://michiganradio.org Audit finds problems with prisoner education programs in Michigan Stateside for Tuesday, August 19, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-tuesday-august-19-2014 <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Today on Stateside:</span></p><p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Green Infrastructures could be the answer to preparing for severe weather like the massive rainfall in Metro Detroit last week.</p><p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; An&nbsp;MSU study shows that adolescents who have a healthy fear of crime are less likely to become a victim.</p><p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Our insatiable need for energy could be colliding with our desire to preserve Michigan's natural beauty. Case in point: some 97-hundred acres of Hartwick Pines State Park near Grayling could be included in a DNR auction October 29th for a lease of mineral rights.</p><p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; A story from Failure Lab Detroit.</p><p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Controversy has hit the small town of Barry Township over its police force. Specifically, the nearly three dozen unpaid, reserve police reserve officers. The non-certified officers carrying guns, ride in patrol cars and, according to some, use too much force.</p><p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Michigan's Grape and Wine Industry Council recognized eight Michigan wines as "best in class" at their recent awards ceremony.</p><p><em>*Listen to the full show above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:29:10 +0000 Stateside Staff 18782 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Tuesday, August 19, 2014 Land under Hartwick Pines State Park could be leased for oil and gas exploration http://michiganradio.org/post/land-under-hartwick-pines-state-park-could-be-leased-oil-and-gas-exploration <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Our need for energy could be colliding with our desire to preserve Michigan’s natural beauty.</span></p><p>Case in point: around 9,700 acres of Hartwick Pines State Park near Grayling could be included in an&nbsp;MDNR auction October 29 for a lease of mineral rights.</p><p>Ron French reported on this<a href="http://bridgemi.com/2014/08/oil-lease-proposed-under-400-year-old-virgin-pines/"> story</a> for Bridge Magazine. He said it’s not unusual for the state to lease ground underneath state parks.</p><p>Twice a year the Michigan Department of Natural Resources holds an auction where they lease oil and gas rights to anyone who wants to explore. Companies or individuals can nominate any state property for exploration for oil and gas. One Michigan oil company nominated Hartwick Pines.</p><p>Hartwick Pines State Park holds a 49 acre parcel that is the largest, and possibly the last, virgin forest of white pines in the Lower Peninsula.</p><p>“These are pine that are up to 400 years old, they’re up to 12 feet in circumference, they are up to 165 feet tall, this is what Michigan looked like before logging,” French said.</p><p>French points out that a lease is not a right to drill on the property.</p><p>“What are the chances of something going on near Hartwick Pines? They are small, but they are greater than they would be if this lease hadn’t occurred,” French said.</p><p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:03:51 +0000 Stateside Staff 18780 at http://michiganradio.org Land under Hartwick Pines State Park could be leased for oil and gas exploration Duggan announces $200,000 donation for water assistance fund; shutoffs resume next week http://michiganradio.org/post/duggan-announces-200000-donation-water-assistance-fund-shutoffs-resume-next-week <p>Detroit officials are trying to boost aid programs for people who struggle to pay their water bills--before the city starts shutting off residential customers again.</p><p>The United Way and the philanthropic arms of Ford and General Motors announced a <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140818/NEWS01/308180175/Detroit-water-shutoffs-assistance">combined $200,000 in donations to the Detroit Water Fund </a>Monday.</p><p>That fund is designed to help eligible Detroiters pay up to 25% of their delinquent water bill.</p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 23:45:25 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18770 at http://michiganradio.org Duggan announces $200,000 donation for water assistance fund; shutoffs resume next week Stateside for Monday, August 18, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-monday-august-18-2014 <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Today on Stateside:</span></p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The next few weeks are expected to see volatile prices in gas in Michigan, according to one analyst. Why?</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Drive from Detroit to Sault Ste. Marie on &nbsp;I-75 and you might be surprised by what you'll see. Some of the most underrated attractions can be found, and a big smiley face ranked as #1.</p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 20:32:57 +0000 Stateside Staff 18766 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Monday, August 18, 2014 Michigan leaders tour flood damaged homes, say they'll call for federal help http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-leaders-tour-flood-damaged-homes-say-theyll-call-federal-help <p>Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder toured flood-damaged homes in metropolitan Detroit.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">More from the Associated Press:</span></p><blockquote><p>[Gov. Snyder met] a woman who's living in a tent in the front yard of her water-damaged home.</p><p>Forty-six-year-old Coreena Dragoi says she moved into a tent after water and mold made her house uninhabitable.</p><p>Warren Mayor Jim Fouts accompanied Snyder and U.S. Rep. Sander Levin on the visit Monday to the northern Detroit suburb.</p><p>Fouts says it's vital to get government aid for his community, where about 18,000 homes sustained some type of flood damage in last week's record-setting rainstorm.</p></blockquote><p>Gov. Snyder asked the state insurance commissioner to look into the damage.</p><p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 20:08:22 +0000 Mark Brush 18767 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan leaders tour flood damaged homes, say they'll call for federal help Tea Party leader: We want one of ours for House leader http://michiganradio.org/post/tea-party-leader-we-want-one-ours-house-leader <p>It looks likely there will be more Tea Party Republicans in the Legislature next year. And one of the likely new tea partiers in the state House says they may want one of their own to be the new Republican leader.</p><p>Todd Courser won the GOP primary in a very Republican-leaning seat. That means he’s probably likely headed to Lansing next year. And he says Tea Partiers in the Legislature will be looking for something different in the new House leadership team.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“What I would like to see is a vocal conservative voice that is willing to stand, really, and make sure that we’re moving legislation forward that actually meets the criteria of being conservative, and fits the platform of the party,” says Courser.</span></p><p>Courser was on the Michigan Public Television show <a href="http://wkar.org/post/record-august-15-2014-4408"><em>Off The Record</em></a>.</p><p>He says larger budgets, the Medicaid expansion, and the Common Core curriculum standards don’t fit that definition. He says the freshman Tea Party class in the state House might put forward one of its members as a candidate for House Republican leader for the coming session of the Legislature. &nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 17:07:10 +0000 Rick Pluta 18764 at http://michiganradio.org Tea Party leader: We want one of ours for House leader State officials try to head off possible propane shortage this winter http://michiganradio.org/post/state-officials-try-head-possible-propane-shortage-winter <p>It’s warm today, but state officials are urging Michiganders who use propane to heat their homes and businesses to act now and fill their tanks.</p><p></p><p>In January, Governor Snyder declared an energy emergency. Propane supplies had dropped after farmers were forced to use a large amount of propane to dry soggy crops during the previous fall.</p><p>The polar vortex forced temperatures down and people turned up their thermostats to heat their homes.</p><p>High demand &amp; low supply =a shortage of propane.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 08:38:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 18748 at http://michiganradio.org State officials try to head off possible propane shortage this winter Debates in Michigan governor, US Senate races in doubt http://michiganradio.org/post/debates-michigan-governor-us-senate-races-doubt <p>LANSING – Michigan voters have viewed at least $20 million worth of political ads in competitive gubernatorial and U.S. Senate campaigns.</p><p></p> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 15:00:00 +0000 The Associated Press 18753 at http://michiganradio.org Debates in Michigan governor, US Senate races in doubt Michigan congressman worries about future U.S. military action in Iraq http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-congressman-worries-about-future-us-military-action-iraq <p>Michigan Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, says President Obama should be more open about his plans for U.S. military involvement in Iraq.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The U.S. has been dropping bombs on Islamic militants in northern Iraq for a week.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The group, commonly known as ISIS, has been expanding its hold on the region and destabilizing the Iraqi government and forcing Christians to flee.</span></p> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 20:48:39 +0000 Steve Carmody & The Associated Press 18743 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan congressman worries about future U.S. military action in Iraq Everything is political, even natural disasters http://michiganradio.org/post/everything-political-even-natural-disasters <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span>Natural disasters, like the rain and floods that <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-declares-state-emergency-southeast-michigan-requests-federal-help">pounded metro Detroit this week</a>, present a unique challenge for chief executives like Governor Rick Snyder. Natural disasters are certainly not like the slow work of trying to mend an economy, for example.</p><p>With natural disasters, all of an administration’s emergency planning is stress tested in real-time with real-life consequences<strong>. </strong>Years ago<strong>, </strong>Governor John Engler said a big natural disaster is any governor’s worst nightmare.</p><p></p><p>And, like most things with government, there are political consequences to natural disasters. How, for example, the public measures the way a chief executive handles the situation.</p><p>Here in Michigan, with the November election just two and a half months away, this was an important week for Governor Snyder. Which is why, when the magnitude of what was happening in metro Detroit became clear, the governor cut short a trip to the Upper Peninsula - a trip that included a fundraising event in Marquette - and returned downstate to reassure people that he was aware and in charge.</p><p>His administration certainly did not want a repeat of last winter, when Snyder was excoriated for not, at first, being visible during a powerful ice storm that knocked out electricity to big swaths of the state. We should note as well, however, that the governor’s Democratic challenger, Mark Schauer, was also not particularly visible during that ice storm.</p><p>So, this week, Governor Snyder flew south by helicopter, surveyed the damage and talked to the media. It was this latter part of his trip - speaking on WJR’s The Frank Beckman Show - that the Governor tried for a little empathy. “I’ve been through a lot of things like that… We just recently had holes in our roof from storm damage to our lake house, in terms of, yeah, we have a vacation place, and I had a limb come down from holes in the roof, had water running through the place. Those experiences are not pleasant ones, and we had to take some trees down,” the Governor said, trying to go for the common touch, the ‘I feel your pain’ explanation.</p><p> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 18:13:45 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 18742 at http://michiganradio.org Everything is political, even natural disasters Stateside for Thursday, August 14, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-thursday-august-14-2014 <p>Today on Stateside:</p><ul><li>The monster thunderstorm in Metro Detroit focused our attention back on infrastructure, and the flood might have prompted a state Senate workgroup to take another crack at road funding.</li><li>Native American culture has been struggling to survive for more than a century. For a Potawatomi tribe in the Upper Peninsula, tribal culture almost vanished around the 1940s. Michigan Radio’s Emily Fox reported from the Hannahville reservation about efforts to bring tribal culture back.</li><li>We revisited the history of one of America’s most iconic institutions: the drive-in theater, born in the Depression.</li><li><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A new foundation called Walk The Beat says music can bring communities together. They are hosting events this weekend in Grand Haven, Spring Lake and </span>Ferrysburg<span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></li><li>A United Kingdom survey reports that when it comes to denying climate changes, &nbsp;the United States leads the world. Why is the U.S. the world leader in climate denial? Two university professors told us their answer.</li></ul><p><em>*Listen to the full show above.</em></p><p></p><p> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 22:49:34 +0000 Stateside Staff 18731 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Thursday, August 14, 2014 Taking another crack at Michigan's infrastructure issues and funding http://michiganradio.org/post/taking-another-crack-michigans-infrastructure-issues-and-funding <p>Monday’s monster thunderstorm in Metro Detroit was the second-heaviest single day of rainfall since Michigan started keeping records.</p><p>The rainstorm didn't just close freeways and roads and flood basements, it focused attention back on the often-overlooked problems with our transportation infrastructure.</p><p>Jeff Cranson is director of communications for the Michigan Department of Transportation.</p><p>“It is a good thing now that people realized that we’ve got a number of depressed freeways in Detroit,” says Cranson.</p><p> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 22:36:30 +0000 Stateside Staff 18734 at http://michiganradio.org Taking another crack at Michigan's infrastructure issues and funding Snyder declares state of emergency in southeast Michigan, requests federal help http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-declares-state-emergency-southeast-michigan-requests-federal-help <p>Governor Snyder <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140813/NEWS05/308130062/">declared parts of southeast Michigan a “disaster area” Wednesday</a> after this week’s widespread flooding.</p><p>The Governor issued an official declaration of disaster for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. In a statement accompanying it he called the flood damage in southeast Michigan “a disaster in every sense of the word.”</p> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18725 at http://michiganradio.org Snyder declares state of emergency in southeast Michigan, requests federal help Stateside for Wednesday, August 13, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-wednesday-august-13-2014 <p></p><p>Today on Stateside:</p><ul><li>When you think about big cities, Detroit for example, you probably don't first think of trees or green infrastructure. Today we heard lessons from Milwaukee in building a strong urban forest.</li><li>It’s that time: the season for political campaigning and ceaseless robocalls. We talked to Aaron Foss whose company is busy finding ways to fight off political robocalls.</li><li>A Detroit-bred author joined us and talked about his crime story <em>Motor City Burning</em> set in the 1967 Detroit riot.</li><li>Cherries! Sweet corn! Lavender? Yes. Lavender! It's blooming up North. We got a smell as we were joined by the owner of the largest commercial lavender farm in Michigan.</li><li>Michigan Radio’s Kyle Norris brought us the story of how a Michigan teen discovered his passion for sculpting. Check out his work at the <a href="http://michiganradiopictureproject.org/">Michigan Radio Picture Project</a>.</li></ul><p><em>*Listen to the full show above.</em></p><p> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 21:37:27 +0000 Stateside Staff 18715 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Wednesday, August 13, 2014