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Michigan Radio and AEG Live will present a live performance of the popular public radio show Snap Judgment in Royal Oak on Friday, December 9, at 7:00 p.m.

The bottom line, Phil Power told me recently, is that our future is all about the schools.

Power isn’t exactly a wild and crazy left-wing radical. He ran for the U.S. Senate once as a moderate Democrat nearly 40 years ago, but lost the primary to a fellow named Carl Levin.


Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Toxic blooms of cyanobacteria have been forming on Lake Erie for several years now.

A kind of cyanobacteria called Microcystis produces a toxin that can hurt pets and make the water unsafe to drink. Back in 2014, Toledo had to shut down its drinking water supply because of the toxin.

The states around the lake – and Ontario - are working to cut back on phosphorus. It’s a nutrient that runs off from farms and wastewater treatment plants and makes those toxic blooms grow like crazy.

The Great Lakes Commission just launched a new pilot program with Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Ontario. It’ll be a trading program for phosphorus, and they’re calling it the Erie P Market.

Proposed salmon cuts upset some fishermen

Jul 19, 2016
Headed out to go salmon fishing on Lake Michigan near Grand Haven.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

A proposal to reduce the number of Pacific salmon stocked into Lake Michigan has upset some sport fishermen. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently took a poll of its advisory group.

It found about 40% of those surveyed were against the plan.

Millions of king salmon have been planted in Lake Michigan since the 1960s, as many as seven million fish a year at the peak. That has created a booming sport fishery.

But there is not much food for salmon in the lake these days, so fewer fish are being stocked.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Some Flint residents may be eligible for more healthcare benefits than they thought.

According to the "Care for Flint" campaign, the expansion of Medicaid has changed the income requirements for some services. 

"Care for Flint" is a collaboration of non-profits, churches, and grassroots organizations trying to find solutions to the ongoing water crisis.

Jamie Gaskin is the CEO of United Way of Genesee County and he says helping people understand their healthcare options is the goal of the campaign.

This train wreck was big news at the time
Jodi Westrick/Michigan Radio

People from the Adrian area and local historians know the story of the “wreck on the Wabash.” But outside of those circles, the train crash that took place in 1901 isn’t especially well-known.

There are many tragic elements to this story and for a thorough sense of what took place, you can read historian Laurie Perkins’ book, “Wreck on the Wabash” (written under the name Laurie C. Dickens).

  Michigan delegates to the Republican National Convention are focused on picking a presidential nominee.  

But some of them are also thinking about the Michigan governor’s race in 2018.

The house band at the House of Blues played oldies Sunday night while Michigan delegates mixed and mingled.  

The event was one of many during the lead-up to the four-day Republican National Convention in Cleveland. It was hosted by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.

"This country needs to learn how to pay its bills, protect its borders [and] invite in legal immigrants." Judi Schwalbach said.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Republican leaders insist their party is united, despite Monday’s unrest on the floor of the Republican National Convention.

Anti-Donald Trump forces had collected enough signatures to force a roll call vote on the party’s official rules. But supporters of the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, circulated a form enabling delegates to remove their names.

GOP officials say delegates from Maine, Minnesota and the District of Columbia pulled their names from petitions calling for a state-by-state roll call vote on the rules. That short-circuited the anti-Trump move.

Allen Academy is unimstakably a former Catholic church.
Allen Academy / via Facebook

How do you decide if a so-called “failing” school should shut down, and is there a right way to do it?

Three Detroit charter schools shut their doors forever at the end of this school year.

One of them, Allen Academy, was one of the city’s very first charters. And its closure leaves a wake of upheaval.

"The kids are going to be better off"

The ornate, red-brick complex on Detroit’s west side is unmistakably an old Catholic church.

The Saint Theresa of Avila parish closed in the 1980s. Since 1999, it’s been Allen Academy.

flickr user Joe Gratz / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Two Grosse Ile High School students face up to four years in prison for allegedly torturing and killing a guinea pig, possibly as some kind of pre-game ritual before a varsity lacrosse game.

“The alleged facts in this case illustrate much more than a youthful prank or a pre-game antic. We must take these cases seriously,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement today.

Mason County competition stimulates local business

Jul 18, 2016
The Momentum Business Plan Competition galvanized entreprenuer Andy Thomas's brewery, Starving Artist Brewing.
Flickr user Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

For the last two years, Mason County has the Momentum Business Plan Competition, which awards $50,000 to entrepreneurs during the startup phase of their businesses. The project aims to boost entrepreneurship and small businesses within the county. Prize money is provided by local sponsors and organizations.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s drinking water crisis took center stage at the Republican National Convention today, if only for a moment.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is the only Michigander scheduled to speak from the podium during the convention’s four-day run at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Gov. Chris Christie, R-NJ, spoke to the Michigan RNC delegation at their hotel in Cuyahoga Falls.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s delegates to the Republican National Convention cheered a former rival to Donald Trump when he called for all Republicans to back the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was an hour late getting to the Michigan delegation meeting at a hotel in Cuyahoga Falls, but his message to the delegates was in tune with the sentiment with most in the room.

Several weeks ago, I was rushing to a meeting at Wayne State University, distracted and speeding on the freeway. Suddenly, I saw the flashing lights and was soon pulled over by a black policeman, who took my license and registration and went back to his car.

I expected a ticket and points on my record, and I indeed deserved them. But he eventually came back, gave me a warning, and said I had better slow down and be careful.
 

I was astonished and grateful. But today I am scared.

There’s a new chief for the embattled state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) but the effort to restore confidence to the agency that was a huge part of the Flint water crisis is off to a rocky start.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

  In Cleveland later this morning, a coalition of Muslim groups plan to hold a news conference to "Challenge the GOP’s  'Politics of Fear'."

Concern about growing islamophobia has led to a push to get more Muslim Michiganders to the polls in November. 

Last month, services at mosques in Michigan were crowded with people observing Ramadan.

On the final Friday of Ramadan, as worshippers gathered at a mosque in Canton, they were greeted by volunteers trying to get them registered to vote.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Republican delegates get down to work Monday, after spending the weekend partying in Cleveland.

Cleveland has been rocking all weekend with Republican Party parties.

Michigan delegates spent part of Sunday at the House of Blues, a party hosted by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. But Calley says they’re ready to get started.

“We’re really excited about the energy in the room,” says Calley. “The delegation is ready for this convention to get inspired about this election season so we can win in November.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A Michigan Republican delegate who's trying to stop Donald Trump from getting the nomination at the GOP Convention insists the fight isn’t over.

Wendy Day looks at the “Dump Trump” movement in football terms.

And it’s a game now deep in the fourth quarter.   But it’s a game where the Trump faction has scored all the points.

They have the votes and the convention rules committee blocked an effort to let delegates change their vote.

Still Day isn’t throwing in the towel just yet.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It’s about to get easier for coaches and parents to decide whether an athlete has had a potentially serious blow to the head.

Two Michigan State University professors have invented an impact-sensing headband to help people on the sidelines make quick decisions if a player takes a hit.

On the outside, the device looks like any other stretchy athletic headband, but this headband has pockets for wireless sensors that record the location and severity of an impact.

Michigan State Police troopers head to Cleveland

Jul 17, 2016
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Cleveland is preparing for an estimated 50,000 visitors for the Republican National Convention. In an effort to help with security, traffic, and crowd control, the Michigan State Police Department is sending 100 troopers to the city for the week. Cleveland sent a request to MSP through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. The compact is the nation’s state to state mutual aid system.

Anita Peppers/Morguefile

One dirty truth about child rearing is the high price of diapers, which can cost families from $70 to $80 per month per child. Congress is considering legislation that would fund pilot programs in states such as Michigan to help low-income families afford this necessity.

There are currently no federal programs that meet the need, according to Alison Weir, chief of policy and research for the National Diaper Bank Network.

Road to self-driving cars depends on people

Jul 16, 2016

The talk of the auto industry this year isn’t about Detroit’s record profits. Rather, it’s about racing to field vehicles that drive themselves.

But it’s not as easy as it sounds.

The road to self-driving cars isn’t just about technology.

flickr user FatMandy / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

State police are requesting a warrant as a result of their investigation into the death of Janika Edmond, a 25-year-old inmate who apparently hung herself last year at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility.

State police presented their findings to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s office Thursday, said MSP spokeswoman Shanon Banner.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s selection of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate is getting approving nods from Michigan delegates in Cleveland.

Trump announced his decision over his favorite medium: Twitter.

Detroit Firefighters
City of Detroit Fire Department / Facebook.com

Most Detroit firefighters should get a pay bump as soon as next month,

Under a tentative deal struck by Mayor Mike Duggan and the fire union, firefighters who cross-train as medical first responders will get the 4% raise.

The city says that 26 of the fire department’s 46 companies are currently doing medical runs, and that’s helped bring average EMS response times down to around 8 minutes. That's in line with the national average.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Racial tensions are growing as the perceptions and evidence of racial inequality are growing.

Many of Detroit's residents see billionaires buying up downtown buildings where new retailers open shop, selling items most of Detroit's impoverished citizens cannot afford. There's a marked divide between that prosperity in downtown and the poverty in the neighborhoods.

That divide is stark in the Cass Corridor. New residents, often white, are moving in. Rents are rising. New restaurants and boutique shops are popping up. The old residents, often black, are being pushed out.

flickr user Joe Gratz / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Court of Appeals says convicted felons must be sentenced in person, and not via a video hookup between the jail and the courthouse.

Video links are commonly used for early procedures like arraignments, because it’s less expensive and more secure than moving defendants between the jail and the courthouse. 

Using video links for sentencing is still rare. But in this case out of Hillsdale County, defendant Trenity Heller was sentenced via video from jail while everyone else – including his lawyer – was at the courthouse.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Thompson family has been constructing stained glass and leaded glass windows in Michigan since 1929.

“You know, we’re not interested in making sun catchers or little things that we sell at craft fairs. That’s just not our business. Our business is stuff that’s much longer lasting than that,” explained Dirk Thompson.

The family's stained glass windows have been installed in churches, colleges, businesses, and high-end homes. Thompson Art Glass also does a lot of restoration work.

Remember the Onion, that crazy satirical newspaper people couldn’t get enough of in the 1990s? It’s still around, but these days, I think real life has gotten better than art at being utterly absurd. Certainly that was the case in Michigan yesterday.

I mean, can you imagine a better Onion headline than “Governor whose aides poisoned children appoints oil industry lobbyist to head environmental agency?”

Downtown Cleveland will play host to the 2016 Republican National Convention, which begins Monday.
Erik Drost / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Headed to Cleveland next week for the Republican National Convention? We've gathered up some tips on where to go from a now proud native of the "City of Losers Winners!"

Michigan Radio's news director, Vincent Duffy, wants you to know there's a lot more to his hometown than just LeBron James and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Among Duffy's go-to spots:

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