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Stateside
5:11 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

11 Michigan counties failed to report crimes commited by concealed weapon permit holders

Credit Augustas Didzgalvis / Wikimedia Commons

Michigan law requires each county to file an annual report spelling out crimes committed by concealed handgun holders.

These reports were ordered by lawmakers at the same time they were overhauling Michigan's concealed handgun law to make it easier to obtain permits.

The reports were supposed to make it easier to take away the permits of any concealed gun holder who broke the law.

However, some counties are not filing the mandated reports.

John Barnes dug into this story for MLive. He found that last year, 11 counties broke this law.

Barnes says the main reason given for not filing the reports is that the law was an "unfunded mandate."

From 2011 to 2013, there has been an estimated 50% increase in people who have concealed gun permits. One in 16 adults have the permit, but that does not meant that they are all carrying a gun.

Barnes said there is not a penalty for counties who do not comply.

“What you see are some extreme examples of people who commit heinous crimes, who continue to carry gun permits, even though they are in prison,” Barnes said.

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
5:10 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Wolf hunt, LGBT rights, and IBM ruling all await Michigan lawmakers tomorrow

Does this wolf look any different to you? It's an Eastern Wolf; a separate species from the Gray Wolf. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials say they're working to set the record straight on where these wolves historically ranged in the U.S.
Christian Jansky wikimedia commons

  Lawmakers in the state House are back for a special summer session day tomorrow. It’s just one day and it’s the last session day before the Legislature returns from its summer break in September.

MLive’s Lansing reporter Jonathon Oosting joined Stateside today to talk about what will be covered in the session.

First: Wolf hunting.

Oosting said the Senate initiated legislation would enact the third wolf hunting law in as many years. Two of those have already been suspended by anti-wolf-hunting groups. This third law would render those two moot. If the House approves this legislation tomorrow, wolf hunting will continue to be allowed in Michigan regardless of what voters say in November.

Second: Building protection for LGBT rights.

Oosting said legislation still needs to be introduced. Lawmakers have been debating the issue behind the scenes for months. There is a possibility legislation would appear tomorrow, but we're more likely to see it in September. Republicans seem to be willing to have the discussion, but are still sympathetic to arguments regarding religious freedom.

Third: IBM ruling

It is a Supreme Court ruling dealing with tax liability in the state. Oosting said the Supreme Court found that the state left a few loopholes in place when it eliminated the Michigan business tax. As a result, IBM is owed what could be $1 billion by next year.

*Listen to the full interview with Jonathon Oosting above. 

Stateside
5:09 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Challenge accepted: Cross Lake Michigan on a paddle board

Credit user: The.Rohit / Flickr

If you've spent any time in Michigan, chances are strong that you've enjoyed the beauty of the Lake Michigan.

We've talked to scuba divers, snorkelers, even surfers who love Lake Michigan. Well, how about this: crossing Lake Michigan on stand-up paddleboards.

That's what Andrew Pritchard and four of his friends are planning to do.

Pritchard said the idea started about a year ago. He and his friends decided it would be a fun challenge a great way to raise money. They hope to raise $10,000 for the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

The trip would be 58 miles, starting in Algoma, Wisconsin and paddling straight east to Frankfort, Michigan 24 hours later.

They will have a support boat with them, equipment with communication and emergency gear. They will keep food and refreshments on their boards so that they won’t have to step foot on the boat.

Go to here to find out how to support Andrew and the guys in their stand-up paddleboard trek across Lake Michigan.

*Listen to the full interview with Andrew Pritchard above. 

Stateside
5:08 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

How fur trapping has changed over time in Michigan

Fur pelts.
Credit Ari Moore / Flickr

You could say Michigan was built on fur pelts.

Native tribes were trapping animals for fur long before the French founded Detroit in order to control the rich fur trade in the Old Northwest.

We wondered what trapping is like in Michigan today.

Roy Dahlgren is the man to ask.

He's the District 3 President of the Upper Peninsula Trappers Association.

Dahlgren said trapping was at its peak before Michigan was a state, and that Mackinac Island was built to protect the fur trade.

Dahlgren said fur trapping has become a hobby where you can make a little money on the side. There are still some who rely on it as a good source of income.

In addition to supporting today's trappers, Dalhgren’s organization also works to get children involved in trapping.

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Health
3:05 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Affordable Care Act funding supports construction projects at 7 Michigan health care centers

Outside the Community Health and Social Services Center in Detroit.
Credit CHASS / Facebook

Part of the Affordable Care Act calls for big investments in community health care centers to increase access to primary health care services. The health care law calls for a total investment of $11 billion over a five-year period “for the operation, expansion, and construction of health centers” throughout the country.

Today, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced that $35.7 million in Affordable Care Act funding will go to 147 health centers in 44 states.

The funding will support 21 new construction projects and 126 renovation projects.

Seven of those health centers are in Michigan. These seven centers will split close to $1.7 million to support construction and facility improvements.

Here’s the list of health centers receiving funding:

Read more
Offbeat
1:00 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Take it from this "Trustafarian," these judgy maps are meant to make us laugh

This map of metro Detroit is all wrong.
judgmentalmaps.com

Want to know where the "Millionaires who like country music" and the "Intensely Boring" live in southeast Michigan? You can find them on this handy "judgmental map."

The wholly inaccurate, satirical map takes a jab at just about everybody in the region. 

It's the latest in a series of "judgmental maps" of major metropolitan regions across the U.S.

Read more
The Environment Report
12:59 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Debate ongoing over fish farming in the Great Lakes

Harietta Hills Trout Farms co-owner Dan Vogler is in favor of fish farming in the Great Lakes.
Credit Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The Environment Report for Tuesday, August 26, 2014- Fish Farms in the Great Lakes?

Michigan took a big step forward this summer in the business of fish farming. The state issued a permit to expand the Grayling Fish Hatchery more than tenfold.The hatchery raises trout for restaurants and grocery stores.

The expansion comes as interest in fish farming is growing nationwide and there is now talk of going offshore into the open waters of the Great Lakes.

The Grayling Fish Hatchery could soon be the largest aquaculture operation in Michigan by far.

Dan Vogler is one of the owners of Harrietta Hills Trout Farm based near Cadillac. He hopes the expansion is a sign of a growing fish-producing industry in Michigan.

Read more
Stateside
12:01 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Michigan might take radioactive sludge after other states refused

Credit Eusko Jaurlaritza / Flickr

Michigan officials might allow up to 36 tons of low-level radioactive waste from Pennsylvania into a landfill in Belleville after other states have refused to accept it.

The technical term for this sludge is "technologically enhanced, naturally occurring radioactive materials," or TENORM. The waste comes from oil and gas drilling.

Keith Matheny’s article in the Detroit Free Press prompted action by Governor Snyder, who announced he will convene a panel to look at the situation.

Matheny said in another article that EQ, a USEcology company, announced yesterday that they have decided to voluntarily stop taking oil and gas related waste while this panel makes its decision.

State Representative Dian Slavens, D-Canton, plans to introduce a House bill to ban importing radioactive waste into Michigan. And State Senator Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said he will do the same in the Senate.

*Listen to the full interview with Keith Matheny above.

Opinion
11:50 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Michigan voters don't know much about the candidates for state board of education

Okay, now, here’s a test: How many members of the state board of education can you name?  Don’t feel bad.

I can’t name them all either.

What’s more, many people don’t even realize we elect these folks, and the trustees who run our three major universities. This might not be a bad idea if the campaigns involved honest debates over education policy.

But that almost never happens.

Instead, we rely on the political parties to select nominees who will devote themselves to mastering the issues and helping run our educational institutions with integrity.

Read more
Culture
11:13 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Jimmy Carter to speak at Islamic Society of North America conference in Detroit

Jimmy Carter at a book signing in 2010.
Credit Geoff Holtzman / Talk Radio News Service/Flickr

The former president, who will turn 90 on October 1, will be the keynote speaker at the annual conference for the nation's largest Muslim group.

The Islamic Society of North America's 51st annual conference will be held at the Cobo Center from August 29 through September 1. The theme of the conference will be on "elevating Muslim-American culture."

More from the Toledo Blade:

President Carter will talk on the subject of his latest book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, at a luncheon Aug. 30.

That night, at a session called “Generations Rise: Elevating Muslim-American Culture” -- the same title as the entire conference theme — the outgoing president of ISNA, Imam Mohamed Magid, and four other Muslim speakers will offer ideas for Muslim-American advancement over the next five years. A “secret special guest” is also on the bill.

The Blade reports Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will speak at the opening of the conference, which will also feature "Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, the national leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim member of Congress."

Here's one of the Society's promotional videos for the conference:

Auto
10:56 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Car customer satisfaction slips for almost all, more for non-U.S. brands

Chevrolet and Buick were the only two brands to see an increase in customer satisfaction in the 2014 American Customer Satisfaction Index.
Credit GM

Customer satisfaction with new cars declined for the second year in a row. 

This year, satisfaction with new car purchases declined a little more than one percent, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. 

Founder Claus Fornell says car companies are churning out cars pretty fast these days to meet the high demand.  That may be increasing quality problems - and  recalls.

"It's a nuisance or worse, for consumers," says Fornell, "and therefore, it's not surprising that customer satisfaction is lower for those people who have had a recall."

But Fornell says satisfaction with cars is still quite high compared to most industries. That's because there's been a dramatic improvement in car quality.

"Compared to let's say 20-25 years ago, all these products are very good.   It is not low satisfaction compared to other industries, but it is going in the wrong direction."

Read more
Families & Community
10:10 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Dearborn Muslims rally against ISIS, pray for family of James Foley

Several clerics spoke to the crowd on the steps of Dearborn's City Hall.
Credit Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Muslim clerics held a vigil in Dearborn last night to show their opposition to ISIS, and to pray for the family of James Foley, an American reporter killed recently by the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.

The small crowd held candles and signs saying “Muslims against ISIS.”

Sara Albusaid immigrated to Dearborn from Iraq.

She says her husband and son are still in southern Iraq, where they're being inundated with people fleeing the violence in other parts of the country.

"I mean, it's not just my country. I'm very worried about all the world. It makes me cry a lot, because I see you know, innocent people [have] died. I have to raise my voice" said Albusaid.

Albusaid says she’s frustrated with U.S. forces for leaving Iraq and creating the political vacuum that has allowed ISIS to spread.

"I feel very angry because, you know, when they go inside Iraq they said we are the big help for Iraqi people, and then after that, they don't care," she said. "Or there is something they wanted from Iraq, and they take it and they leave."

More than one cleric told the crowd they have to publicly stand up against any group that commits violence in the name of Islam.

Investigative
7:00 am
Tue August 26, 2014

What’s news, what’s fake news, and do all voters know the difference?

This online site has the appearance of being a news website or a news blog, but the Republican group responsible for it says voters know the difference between fake news and a political attack piece.

A Republican group is attacking Democratic congressional candidates, using online sites that resemble news websites. One of those 20 websites is called the “South Michigan Update.”

Read more
Law
7:59 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Judge dismisses longstanding court orders against Detroit police

Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A federal judge has dismissed two federal consent decrees against the Detroit Police Department, freeing it from strict federal oversight.

The department has been monitored for compliance with the decrees since 2003, after a US Justice Department investigation found a “pattern and practice of unconstitutional policing.”

The problems included unlawfully detaining witnesses, “deplorable” holding cell conditions, and chronic use of excessive force.

Read more
Stateside
6:08 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Construction labor shortage may slow new home building for years in Michigan

Credit User: Cathy / Flickr

Michigan has a serious labor shortage in home construction which will slow the pace of new home building for at least the next six years.

Usually some 28,000 new homes are built each year in Michigan. This past year, there were just 13,000. Bob Filka, CEO of the Homebuilders Association of Michigan, says this is in part because of a workforce shortage.

That shortage of labor include framers, carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. According to Filka, Michigan lost approximately 60,000 workers in the industry during the downturn. They left the state, retired, or changed careers, and many of them are not coming back to the job in the sector.

Read more
Stateside
6:03 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

45 years of translation: The complete poetry of Cesar Vallejo

Cover of The Complete Poetry: Cesar Vallejo
Credit University of California Press

Forty-five years.

That’s how long it took Clayton Eshleman to translate the complete poetry of renowned Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo.

Eshleman is professor emeritus in the English department at Eastern Michigan University. He is a poet and a translator. His decades of work have become a book titled "The Complete Poetry: Cesar Vallejo."

Vallejo was born in the Peruvian Andes more than a century ago and died in 1938 at age 46. Eshleman says the terribly hard life Vallejo led still holds some key lessons today.

“A poet must learn how to become imprisoned in global life as a whole, and in each moment in particular,” says Eshleman.

Reflecting on his own undertaking over the decades, Eshleman says he was surprised that he had the stamina to do this, and he had no idea his "Vallejo journey" would involve a frustrating nine months in Lima, Peru, and a decade of rewording old translations.

“When you take on one of these big projects, you learn things about yourself, and about your commitment to the art, and what poetry can be,” says Eshleman.

*Listen to our conversation with Clayton Eshleman above.

Stateside
5:59 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Surprises, the predicted, and some serious jabs: a convention roundup

The statewide Republican ticket lines up following Saturday’s GOP convention in Novi.
Credit Rick Pluta / MPRN

It was a busy political weekend as Michigan Democrats and Republicans held their respective conventions. 

Two reporters joined Stateside to talk about what happened at the conventions. Chris Gautz is a Lansing reporter for Crain's Detroit Business. Chad Livengood is a Lansing reporter for The Detroit News.

Here are a few highlights of the interview:

  • Tea Party organizer Wes Nakagiri did not succeed in his bid to boot Lt. Gov. Brian Calley off the ticket.
  • Nomination of Michigan Supreme Court justice candidate William Murphy at the Democratic convention
  • Nomination of Maria Carl of Macomb County on the State Board of Education seat at the GOP convention
  • Some of the bumper stickers available at the Michigan GOP convention

*Listen to the full interview with Chris Gautz and Chad Livengood above.

Law
4:01 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Tax credit on school supplies proposed in Michigan Senate

Credit user: Jimmie / Flickr

A new bill in the state Legislature aims to make school supplies more affordable.

The legislation would give taxpayers a credit of up to $1,000 for qualified purchases of school supplies.

Materials that qualify for the credit would be things like books, computer programs, and science equipment.

State Sen. Jim Ananich, D-Flint, introduced the bill.

He says it's worth the investment.

Read more
Auto
3:35 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Tiny company has big hopes for more propane-fueled cars

Filling up with liquid natural gas, aka, propane, aka, autogas
Credit David Villa

Propane production in the U.S. is booming - and so is business for a small Michigan company that retrofits vehicles to run on the fuel.

Albert Venezio is Chairman of Icom North America.  Icom N.A. has 25 employees and is based in New Hudson, Michigan.

Albert Venezio, the company's North American Chairman, says propane, otherwise known as autogas, is cheaper and cleaner than diesel or gasoline, and it's ideal for fleets, delivery vans, and school buses. 

One big customer is Metro Cars at Detroit Metro Airport.  The company has converted all its vehicles to run on the Icom system.  The system allows cars to switch between propane or gasoline as needed.

"We can reduce their  fuel costs at least a dollar a gallon, sometimes as much as $2 a gallon, and we reduce emissions probably in the 30-50% ratio, and they use a domestic fuel," says Venezio.

Propane is found wherever natural gas is found.  The natural gas fracking boom has caused a plentiful supply of propane.

Venezio says the U.S. may have enough propane deposits to fuel 5 million vehicles annually.   Right now, about 200,000 vehicles in the U.S. can run on propane. 

The numbers of propane vehicles are much higher in Europe, where taxes make diesel and gasoline fuels very expensive.

Vehicles running on propane get about 10% lower fuel economy - but the fuel produces about a third  lower CO2 emissions - and zero particulate matter. 

Read more
Stateside
12:59 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Damage from emerald ash borer may be costliest ever

An emerald ash borer
Credit User: USDAgov / flickr

The emerald ash borer is said to be the most destructive, most costly bug that has ever attacked trees in North America.

It is responsible for wiping out untold millions of ash trees from New Jersey all the way to Colorado.

And it all started in a southeast Michigan town: Canton.

Dan Herms is a professor of entomology at Ohio State University. Herms says the emerald ash borer almost certainly arrived via infested wood used in international commerce, like solid wood packing built from infested ash trees in Asia.

Herms added the emerald ash borer is especially devastating because it feeds on the vascular tissue of the tree, which is the tissue that moves water and nutrients between roots and the leaves.

According to an article which Herms co-authored, emerald ash borers are the most costly biological invasion by an exotic forest insect to date.

“In Ohio only, research estimated that the insect will ultimately cost $4 to $7 billion, including the death and replacement of ash trees in the urban environment,” says Herms.

* Listen to the interview with Dan Herms above.

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