Bytemarks / flickr

Michigan’s unemployment rate has edged up slightly as more people join the workforce to compete for jobs. The monthly jobless rate rose by one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.6%. Total employment in Michigan grew by 11,000 people last month. But a lot of people also joined or re-joined the workforce in hopes of finding a job.

Ari Adler is the spokesman for Governor Rick Snyder said that’s good news.

Sandison told us that parents should focus on what their child with autism can do rather than what they can't.
Courtesy of Ron Sandison


October is National Bullying Prevention Month. One of the most likely to be on the receiving end of bullying is the child who is on the autism spectrum.

Ron Sandison knows what that’s like.

“Imagine if I said, well, I can’t really pull the trigger of the gun, but here let me find someone who will. I would be criminally charged," Burke said.
Courtesy of Brad Burke

Physicians in Ontario are facing a dilemma: What can you do when asked to perform an action that is legal, but violates your moral code or religious beliefs?

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the federal law that prohibited medically-assisted suicide.

In response to that decision, Parliament passed legislation that cleared the way for doctor-assisted suicide.

In Ontario, the service is now covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, and any drugs required to help a patient die will be available at no cost.

When asked how Midtown Detroit has changed in recent years, Foulkes was to the point: "Less artsy, more money."
Megan M. Canty

The "FOR SALE" sign is out on a building on Cass Avenue in Midtown Detroit. And that sign represents the end of an era.

The building houses the Big Book Store, which is one of the very last independent bookstores left in Metro Detroit.

After 80 years, the store's owner, John King, has decided to close it down. There's just not enough business to justify keeping doors open.

And that means big changes are looming for the store's manager: Bill Foulkes has worked at the Big Book Store since the 1970s.

Courtesy of Chelsea Liddy

Kicking open the door to "the boy's club,” and bringing opportunities to women who want to make their mark on the comic book and gaming world: that's the mission of ComiqueCon.

It’s a comic book convention specifically for women who create comics. And it's happening Oct. 22 in Dearborn at the Arab American National Museum.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

On Monday night, Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics team hit the road again for the second Issues & Ale election preview event of the season.

Senators Jim Ananich and Jim Stamas speak to the press after the committee released its recommendations.
screengrab / YouTube MLive

Lawmakers have ideas for how to ensure there is not a repeat of the Flint water crisis.

A report released Wednesday by State Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, makes 36 recommendations.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city leaders have reached a tentative deal to end their trash dispute.

Two companies have been picking up Flint garbage for weeks, as the mayor and city council disagreed on which company should have the multi-million-dollar contract.

But last week, the mayor’s choice, Rizzo Environmental Services, was linked to a federal corruption investigation in southeast Michigan. While not named in the indictment handed down against a Clinton Township trustee, newspaper reports claim an official with Rizzo bribed the township official to get its garbage contract.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

After a long, grueling campaign season, Election Day is only 20 days away. This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Doug Tribou look at ballot battles in southeast Michigan, including an unusual situation in Macomb County, where a Clinton Township Trustee who's running for supervisor is facing bribery charges.

They also discuss L. Brooks Patterson's bid for a seventh term as Oakland County Executive and a mass transit millage proposal in metro Detroit.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Democrats and Republicans are spending heavily on TV ad buys to sway voters in a handful of state house elections.

Democrats need to win 9 seats currently held by Republicans next month to take control of the state house.    

For the last several weeks or months I’ve been spending a lot of time talking about politicians, usually people who want you to think they have accomplished more than they have, and are now promising to do more than they can possibly do.

As long as you vote for them, that is. Well, two people died in the last few days who spent their lives doing more than most people realized, and who weren’t very well known.

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

The Legislature is going to work on toughening standards for lead in drinking water, although finishing the job may have to wait until next year.

State Senator Jim Ananich (D-Flint) has sponsored a bill to reduce the allowable levels of lead in drinking water. His bill would take the standard from the current 15 parts per billion (ppb) to 10 parts, and then to five pbb. He says the eventual goal is zero exposure to lead.

He says Michigan should adopt the toughest lead rules in the country following the Flint water crisis.                                     

Ajamu Baraka at Wayne State University.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

It’s time to reject the “politics of fear,” and embrace third-party alternatives in American politics.

That was the message Ajamu Baraka had for an audience at Detroit’s Wayne State University on Tuesday.

Baraka, a longtime political activist who founded the U.S. Human Rights Network, is the Green Party candidate for vice president. He and running mate Jill Stein will appear on the ballot in 45 states, including Michigan.

Baraka says he and Stein represent an opportunity to “break the two-party monopoly” on government.


LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A lawyer says Michigan's top public health official is a target in the criminal investigation of Flint's water crisis.

  Nick Lyon, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services, received a letter in early September from investigators indicating he is a focus, his attorney Larry Willey said Tuesday.

  Eight current or former state employees and one Flint worker have been charged in Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's probe.

Chloroform was detected in the groundwater at about 5 parts per billion in some tests in Waterworks Park in Ann Arbor.
user UnagiUnagi / Google Maps

State officials have a new water contamination investigation on their hands: what is the source of newly-discovered contaminants found in the groundwater near Slauson Middle School in Ann Arbor?

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality discovered the chemicals trichloroethane and chloroform there after conducting tests for a different chemical - 1,4 dioxane. 

The 1,4 dioxane is a known contaminant from the chemical company Pall-Gelman. The plume of 1,4 dioxane is slowly moving underneath Ann Arbor towards the Huron River.


Most people would not voluntarily stand in a line-up, but one in two American adults is currently in a law enforcement face recognition system. That's according to a report released today by the Center for Privacy & Technology at Georgetown University's law school.

The report says the Michigan State Police can perform face recognition searches on all Michigan drivers license and state ID photos - not just mug shots. 

Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell
Kalamazoo Public Library

Kalamazoo has struggled with balancing its budget, and finding enough money to invest in new programs.

Mayor Bobby Hopewell wants to accept a private donation of $70 million to help balance the city’s budget, and partner with those donors to set up a foundation where other philanthropists can donate even more money.

Then, the city would be able to lean on those donated funds to pay for city services in the future.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine in Detroit.
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

Senator Tim Kaine was in Detroit today. The running mate of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke at the non-profit Focus: HOPE.

Kaine’s speech was mostly focused on Clinton’s plans for the economy and working to end poverty.

Part of Clinton and Kaine’s plan, he says, is to increase skilled and technical jobs. Kaine says it is especially important in places like Detroit.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan will spend nearly $100 million to support non-public school students, according to a report by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. The report says the state will spend over $40 million more this year on non-public school students than it did just four years ago.

Click here to read the full report. 

Craig Thiel, a senior research associate with the Citizens Research Council, says the money is largely going to the "shared time" program.

Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program Facebook page

Dr. Perry Baird was a Texas-born and Harvard-trained physician. In the '20s and '30s, his medical career was on the rise. And he became more and more interested in what caused “manic depression,” as it was known at the time.

Today, we know it as bipolar disorder.

After becoming Lansing's first African-American teacher, Dr. Olivia Letts later became the school district's first African-American principal.
Rick Pluta / Michigan Radio

This week, the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame welcomes its latest group of honorees.

One of the five contemporary honorees who will be inducted on Wednesday night is Dr. Olivia Letts. She was the first African-American teacher hired by the Lansing School District. She started that job in 1951 and from there, Letts spent her life as an advocate for education, community service and civil rights.

Courtesy of Lena Epstein

She's Jewish. A woman. A millennial. And she supports Donald Trump for president. That's how Lena Epstein introduced herself in her recent opinion piece for the Washington Examiner.

Epstein is the third-generation owner and general manager of Vesco Oil Corporation in Southfield. She was one of Trump’s earliest supporters and is now co-chair for the Trump campaign in Michigan.

Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine speaking earlier this year.
U.S. Department of Education

Michigan got yet another presidential campaign visit today. Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine was in Detroit.

Kaine spoke at Focus: HOPE.

Focus:HOPE is a nonprofit that works to fight racial injustice and poverty. Kaine talked about running mate Hillary Clinton’s plan to end poverty.

Watch his speech here:

Flint river
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A state lawmaker from Flint says it’s time to toughen the rules on lead in drinking water. State Sen. Jim Ananich, D-Flint, has sponsored a bill to reduce the allowable levels of lead in drinking water.

He wants stricter rules to gradually reduce allowable lead levels with a goal of zero exposure to lead.


“We saw what happened” in Flint, Ananich said. “It’s a terrible, terrible tragedy what happened here in Flint, in my hometown, so we obviously should be leading, I think, in making sure it never happens again.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal class action lawsuit to force fixes to Flint’s problem-plagued school district.

Flint’s public schools struggled even before the city’s lead-tainted tap water threatened to negatively affect the development of its students.

jim harbaugh at podium
Courtesy MGoBlog / Creative Commons --

Michigan has seen particularly warm weather the past few days, and one person taking notice is the University of Michigan's head football coach Jim Harbaugh. 

On his weekly radio show, Harbaugh talked about recruiting prospective candidates and why he loves living in Michigan. He also joked that global warming could help the football team's recruitment efforts, according to MLive's Nick Baumgardner:

A radar image of bird migration.

2016 has been on a record-breaking warm streak, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

So what does this unseasonably warm fall mean for birds that need to start packing up and heading south?

Andrew Farnsworth is a research associate with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and he runs BirdCast – it’s a tool the lab created to forecast what’s happening with bird migration each week. 

Last weekend I was invited to a birthday party with a 1980s theme in which guests were supposed to dress accordingly. Well, I don’t have any mustard-colored sports coats of the sort President Reagan sometimes wore.

So, as the guest of honor was a Democrat, I wore political buttons honoring that party’s three great losers of that decade – Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, and Michael Dukakis.

$340 billion dollars: a new study estimates that’s how much it costs Americans every year for daily low-level exposure to chemicals that mess with our hormonal systems. The figure includes health care costs and lost earnings. 

Dr. Leonardo Trasande is an associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine and population health at NYU School of Medicine.

teenage driver

In the past decade, fatal car crashes for teen drivers ages 18 to 20 haven't declined as much as those for younger teens, ages 15 to 17.

That's according to a study commissioned by Ford Safe Driving for Life, a program to teach teens to be safer drivers.

Jim Graham is Manager of the program.  He says the problem appears to be that more teens are waiting until they are 18 or older to get their license.