News

donkey and elephant standing on american flag
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump face off in their first presidential debate tonight.

One Michigan group hopes to hear the candidates discuss “family economic” issues.

It’s like November in September as absentee ballots in Michigan are in the mail and, for some, voting has already begun.

If history is any guide, about a quarter of Michigan voters will vote using an absentee ballot, even though some will probably lie to do it because not everyone can legally cast an absentee ballot in Michigan.

Lamarr Monson is fighting for a new trial in a 1996 murder case
MDOC

A Detroit man imprisoned for a brutal killing in 1996 is fighting for a new trial this week.

Lamarr Monson was convicted of murdering a 12-year-old girl, Christina Brown, who may have been his girlfriend and allegedly sold drugs with him. He confessed, but later said police coerced him.

In 2013, Gov. Rick Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette, and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy held a news conference to announce $4 million to help reduce a backlog in processing thousands of rape kits. Schuette holds a rape kit box.
Rick Pluta / MPRN

Since Detroit discovered some 11,000 untested rape kits in 2009, cities around the country have tackled backlogs of their own. 

As everyone knows, the first presidential debate since the primaries is tonight, the first head-to-head clash between the two least popular presidential nominees ever.


man at microphone with three men behind him
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan attorney general's office says a member of its team investigating Flint's crisis with lead-tainted water has resigned after being arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

A few weeks ago, a tweet went viral, because it explained something about adjectives that many people didn’t realize they already knew.

 

Think about how you would describe someone’s eyes.

 

Would you describe them as “blue beautiful big eyes"? Probably not. That sounds weird, right?


pixabay.com

A former USA Gymnastics team physician accused of sexually abusing two gymnasts faces 16 more abuse complaints at the university where he was a faculty member.  The Indianapolis Star obtained Michigan State University police reports filed this month for abuse allegations since 1996. The newspaper cites interviews with four women claiming Dr.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of Michigan small business owners and entrepreneurs met in Flint this week in hopes of pitching their products to major national companies.

The conference was part of the Pure Michigan Business Connect program.  

Among the attendees was Cindi Marsiglio, the president of U.S. Manufacturing for Walmart. She heard pitches from many of the attendees.

“They have unique products,” says Marsiglio, “and states like Michigan are right on the cusp of growth.”

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation helped organize the conference. 

A Tesla electronic car at a charging station
Austin Kirk / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

This Week in Review, Jack and I look at a lawsuit in which Michigan and 20 other states seek to block a new federal rule that expands overtime eligibility for white-collar workers.

We also discuss a bill that would require more transparency from state lawmakers, and electronic car maker Tesla's lawsuit against the state of Michigan.


USER CLEAR_IMAGE@SBCGLOBAL.NET / FLICKR

DETROIT (AP) - Wayne State University officials have approved an agreement transferring management of on-campus housing to a private company in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars for construction, renovation and debt payoff.

  The Detroit university's governing board agreed to the deal Friday with Corvias Campus Living. Officials say the 40-year agreement is worth $1.4 billion.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is leading a trade mission to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

  Calley leaves Saturday and will return a week later. It's his sixth trade trip since taking office in 2011 and the first for the Snyder administration to the U.K. and Ireland.

  Calley says the goal is to strengthen trade relationships and to attract investments, primarily with aerospace and auto companies.

  Leaders from nine Michigan companies will join the trip to meet with prospective customers, distributors and partners.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A year after Flint's tap water was exposed as a source of dangerous levels of lead, residents are still grappling with the man-made public health crisis.

  A year ago Saturday, doctors discovered high amounts of the toxin in children and warned against using the Flint River water. Local health officials declared an emergency and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder confirmed there were "serious issues."

  In addition criminal investigations, the crisis has sparked congressional hearings, lawsuits and scrutiny of lead testing across the country.

The Tesla Model S, first introduced in June 2012
Tesla Motors

Tesla’s legal challenge to Michigan’s dealer franchise laws exposes the hypocrisy of the state’s theoretically enlightened take on the transforming auto industry. Enlightenment has its limits.

Here’s the epicenter of the U.S. auto industry, the repository of enormous engineering talent, falling all over itself to lead the autonomous-vehicle bandwagon to master mobility to beat Silicon Valley at its own game.

Citizens at a public event last year expressed some concern about making Battle Creek a military target. But more were interested in the potential jobs the missile complex may deliver.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

All of the Michigan congressional delegation -- with the exception of Congressman Justin Amash -- signed a letter urging the Missile Defense Agency to locate interceptor missiles at Fort Custer near Battle Creek.

Amash said he didn’t sign the letter because it emphasized economic reasons rather than military ones. He basically said those decisions should be based on military necessity. Fort Custer is one of three final sites being considered. The other two are Camp Ravenna in Ohio and Fort Drum in New York.

These interceptor missiles are called the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system- GMD for short. They’re designed to intercept incoming nuclear missiles. However, the problem is that the GMD system is flawed. The L.A. Times reported during tests the interceptors failed to destroy their targets six out of eleven times. That’s a dismal record when the job is to intercept nuclear missiles from North Korea, or Russia, or another hostile country. Despite the failure rate, the manufacturer got a $2 billion bonus.

Courtesy of Zarinah El-Amin Naeem

 

This coming Sunday brings the fourth annual Headwrap Expo & Fashion Show in Dearborn.

It will feature head wraps from a wide array of cultural and spiritual perspectives.

Courtesy of Shirley Burke

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opens this weekend in Washington. One of the items on display is a violin that, until now, was in Michigan with Shirley Burke.

Garbage truck in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint city council is asking a judge for an injunction to stop the city’s mayor from cancelling a contract with the city’s trash hauler.

Temesgen Hussein of East Lansing with his begena harp.
Ben Foote / Michigan Radio

As part of our Songs from Studio East series we're exploring music that combines both contemporary and traditional music from around the globe.

Today we meet Temesgen Hussein of East Lansing. He was born and raised in Ethiopia. And he’s one of just a few outside that country who plays the begena.

It’s used mainly in religious festivities almost exclusively, but Temesgen is breaking with tradition and introducing the begena to contemporary music.

Capitol Building, Washington D.C.
Bobby Mikul / Flickr creative commons

Congress has to ensure the federal government is funded past September 30 by its October recess. But Flint's ongoing water crisis is standing in the way of Republicans and Democrats coming to an agreement. 

NPR's Ailsa Chang reports that Democrats in Congress want money to help Flint, Michigan to be included in a government aid bill for Louisiana and other states dealing with flood relief. 

How’s this idea: In an effort to please an old-fashioned, shrinking industry, we outlaw efforts to sell a new product in an innovative way?

Instead, we’ll make anyone who wants this product drive to Chicago or Cleveland to buy it.

That ought to help Michigan become economically competitive again.


Textbooks
Danny Nicholson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Now that the teachers and students are back in school, I can’t resist turning my attention to school sports, one of my favorite subjects.

I am a proud 1982 graduate of the Ann Arbor Public Schools. I can still remember the name of every teacher I ever had. Almost all were very good, and I had more truly exceptional teachers than anyone has a right to expect. I’m still in touch with many of them.

child's drawing on chalkboard
iRon leSs / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Legislation on child restraint in classrooms passed through a House committee Thursday. The legislation would prevent teachers from restraining or isolating a student except as a last resort in an emergency situation.

This was the third hearing by the committee to go over the bills surrounding student restraint and seclusion. The committee passed the bills with substitutes to the original legislation.

Recently arrived refugees in Michigan learn english and job training in the same course
flickr user Steven Depolo / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

This isn’t the easiest time to come to Michigan as a refugee.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson says he’ll sue to stop Syrian refugees from resettling in his county.

Donald Trump’s son is getting slammed for comparing refugees to skittles, saying if even just a “few” can hurt, you shouldn’t take a “handful.”

But for the refugees who’ve just arrived in Michigan, their biggest struggle is finding work, learning English, and rebuilding their lives in a strange country.

Researchers at Virginia Tech received samples of Flint water (both clear and discolored) from residents. Dr. Edwards and his team there were among the first to call attention to lead contamination in Flint's water.
Flint Water Study / Facebook

Governor Rick Snyder is boosting the position of Michigan chief medical executive to his official inner circle. The governor says he wants to streamline how critical public health information reaches him. That was one of the problems identified by a task force that looked into how the Flint water crisis occurred.

In the-not-too-distant past, chief medical executive in the Snyder administration was a part-time job. Now, the governor is elevating it to a cabinet-level position reporting directly to him.

The former Hudson's site, prime real estate along Woodward in the heart of downtown Detroit, has been a city-owned underground parking garage since the Hudson's building was demolished in 1998.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A state Senate committee gave its unanimous approval this week to a package of state tax incentives that could allow developers to capture state sales and income taxes to help pay for large development projects in Michigan.

This "brownfield legislation" is something that developers like Dan Gilbert are pushing hard for as the package goes to the full Senate for consideration. Brownfield sites are often abandoned industrial sites that would require a significant clean-up and a major financial investment. 

How would this legislation work? And since it appears to be a case of "picking winners and losers," is this something Gov. Rick Snyder will support? 

On EMU's campus.
user F Delventhal / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Two incidents of racist graffiti found on Eastern Michigan University’s campus in Ypsilanti have sparked protests and dialogue between students and faculty.

The first racial slur was found spray painted on a wall outside King Hall this past Tuesday:

Antonio Cosme feels the city is trying to make an example of him, and fellow artist William Lucka
Courtesy of Raiz Up

 


When does graffiti cross the line from artistic political statement to crime?

That’s the question raised in the criminal charges leveled against Antonio Cosme. In November 2014, he allegedly spray painted “Free The Water,” with the image of a fist, on the side of a water tower in Highland Park.

A year and a half passed, and Cosme was charged with malicious destruction of property and trespassing. His pre-trial date is this Friday. He is currently raising money to support the court fees.

Steve Jurvetson / Flickr

Tesla, the electric car company based in California, is suing Michigan over its law that prohibits direct-to-consumer sales of cars. 

In 2014, the Michigan state legislature essentially Tesla-proofed an existing law at the urging of auto dealers. 

The law makes it clear that car companies can sell their products only through licensed dealers. Tesla sells its cars directly to consumers out of stores it owns. 

Tesla says the Michigan law violates its constitutional right to due process and equal protection, as well as restricting interstate commerce. 

MDOC Spokesperson Chris Gautz told us that while it was “a very serious situation,” the events of September 10 at Kinross Correctional Facility don’t meet the definition of a “riot.”
flickr user Thomas Hawk / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

On September 10, there was an uprising at Kinross Correctional Facility in the Upper Peninsula.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, it’s the most serious incident inside a Michigan prison anyone can recall since the 1981 riot at what was then called Southern Michigan Prison in Jackson.

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