News

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More than 50% of Michigan voters say in recent polls that they support marijuana legalization.

Two groups hope to put legalization proposals on the November 2016 ballot.

There’s a big issue simmering beneath the surface that you will hear a lot more about after mid-October.

The government of Canada wants to bury low and intermediate level nuclear waste in a repository in Ontario, less than a mile from Lake Huron. The proposed repository is approximately across Lake Huron from the tip of Michigan’s Thumb.

Not surprisingly, this has environmental groups in both the United States and Canada up in arms.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

If you think your morning commute is taking longer in Grand Rapids and Detroit, a new report says you’re right.

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s annual Urban Mobility Scorecard shows it’s taking longer for many Michigan motorists to get around.

Shayan Sanyal / Flickr

The Michigan appeals court has ruled in favor of the state and dismissed a major class-action lawsuit by young prisoners who said guards failed to stop sexual assaults behind bars.

The court says Michigan's civil rights law doesn't apply to lawsuits by prisoners. It also dismissed the case on other technical grounds in a decision released Wednesday.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new study suggests, if you are depressed don’t pick up your smart phone.

Michigan State University's Prabu David, the dean of the college of Communication Arts and Sciences, was part of a team of researchers who studied common uses of smart phones, including as a way to alleviate feelings of sadness or depression.

Benjamin Foote

The band members of The Crane Wives quit their day jobs this year and are making the jump from being a West Michigan band, to trying to make their mark on the national music scene. Their new album, Coyote Stories, is being released August 29.

flickr user Thomas Hawk / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Almost six years ago, Michigan’s only women’s prison settled a huge lawsuit after officers raped multiple female inmates.

Changes have been made since then, but are they enough?

Kate Wells

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez spent an hour in Detroit today speaking with a small group of fast-food servers, home health care workers, gas station clerks and other minimum-wage earners. 

The workers are with "Detroit 15" – a local group that's part of the national push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Sitting next to Mayor Mike Duggan, Perez praised the workers, repeatedly comparing their cause to the civil rights movement. 

Tribe sues Michigan over land jurisdiction

Aug 25, 2015
Bkonrad / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians is suing the state of Michigan over reservation boundaries.

The tribe filed a federal complaint last week in an effort to reaffirm sovereign powers they say are guaranteed under an 1855 treaty.

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

When it comes to the issue of marijuana – to legalize or not to legalize – Michigan seems to be about where Colorado was not too long ago.

Colorado had over a decade to experiment with medical marijuana before legalizing its recreational use in November 2012, which Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus tells us gave the state ample opportunity to figure out how marijuana can fit into the political and business landscape.

“Medical marijuana was huge. The state then decided, hey, we need to regulate this thing,” he says.

Photozou

Michigan cities and counties could soon face skyrocketing telecommunications costs. That’s according to some industry experts and local government groups.

They say special rates from the state that go back decades are expiring. They also point to a new law allowing companies like AT&T to phase out traditional landline service.

Public Access to Court Electronic Records

The union representing more than 300 bus drivers and mechanics in Grand Rapids is suing the public transit system in federal court.

They allege system administrators violated members’ right to free speech by “threatening them with discipline and arrest if they distribute informational leaflets related to ongoing collective bargaining” negotiations at the main bus station downtown and another in nearby Kentwood.

Osrin/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

    

It has been a wild ride on Wall Street this week and it's only Tuesday.

On Monday, the Dow plummeted more than 1,000 points before closing the day down 3.6%.

Today, investors were in a buying mood and the Dow went up. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michiganders have until the end of the week to make suggestions for managing the state’s water resources for the next 30 years.

Jon Allan is the director of the Office of the Great Lakes in the Department of Environmental Quality.     Allan’s office is producing “Sustaining Michigan Water Heritage, A Strategy for the Next Generation,” a blueprint for protecting and improving Michigan’s water resources.

AAA

More cars and trucks with flat tires are pulling over to the sides of Michigan’s roads.

AAA Michigan spokeswoman Susan Hilts says its road service providers are fixing more flat tires this summer than usual.

 Years and years ago, I worked for a crusty old publisher who would not report the results of opinion polling in his newspaper. I thought he was a horribly backward troglodyte.

Today, I’m not so sure. In fact, I have come to think that most so-called election polling is somewhere between silly and stupid and harmful to the democratic process.

Michigan is toying with the idea of building open-water fish pens, like this one in Ontario.
Northern Ontario Aquaculture Association

 

OK, this is where I fess up and tell you that the answer to that headline is "only time will tell."

A scientific advisory panel is studying the possibility now (see their names here), and we expect to see their findings this October. After that report, there will be more "time telling" as state officials decide whether to allow it.

user Explorationofspace / Wikimedia Commons

Customer satisfaction with vehicle purchases slipped in the second quarter of the year, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Managing Director David VanAmberg says people are having to take their new cars to the dealer for repairs more often, and that will take a toll on satisfaction.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint may soon cut its water bills to comply with a court injunction.  Maybe.

The injunction requires the city to reduce its rates, stop disconnecting delinquent water customers and reimburse the city’s water fund for $15 million. 

The city announced Monday it plans to utilize a lower rate structure with its next water bills.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Many women recovering from breast cancer are skipping some treatment. 

A new University of Michigan study looks at why. 

user Bjoertvedt / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Can Democrats flip three Michigan districts in the 2016 election?

Nancy Kaffer tackled that question in her recent column for the Detroit Free Press.

In her column, Kaffer looked at the 1st, 7th, and 8th Congressional districts in Michigan. Voters in each of those districts elected Republicans in the last election, “by pretty narrow margins.”

user A7nubis / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Getting high in Michigan has certainly changed over the past few years.

Voters legalized marijuana for medical purposes in Michigan in 2008. Soon, it could be legal just for fun.

A number of groups seeking to legalize cannabis in Michigan are working to put ballot proposals on the 2016 ballot.

Texas Military Forces/Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Latinos have been a presence in Michigan for more than a century. But even after all those decades, the Latino population is still experiencing significant growing pains.

That's the conclusion of a major report from the Michigan State University Julian Samora Research Institute titled, "Latinos 2025: A Needs Assessment of Latino Communities in Southeast Michigan."

Senator Debbie Stabenow
USDAgov / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow will support an international deal to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. On Monday, Congresswomen Debbie Dingell and Brenda Lawrence announced they’ll do the same.

The agreement gives international inspectors a lot more access to monitor Iran’s nuclear activities. In exchange, countries would lift economic sanctions to help Iran’s economy.

Rep. Todd Courser, R-Lapeer, and Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell.
From Courser/Gamrat websites

State representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat engaged in misconduct and misused taxpayer resources. State House Speaker Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant, says those are preliminary findings of a House Business Office investigation into a sex-and-cover-up scandal involving the lawmakers.

 

Cotter’s office says the full report will be made public after outside legal counsel has a chance to review it.

 

But Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon says the public shouldn’t have to wait.

Courtesy of Detroit Greenways Coalition

The Next Idea 

In Detroit we have a real chance to do things with our land that no other major city in the world has ever done. From  growing food  and  producing solar power to planting trees and improving public health, Detroit’s 23 square miles  of vacant land  offers a future full of possibilities.

I try not to write about sex for one reason. Not because I am squeamish. It’s just that sex is so powerful that whenever it’s injected into public life, it too often overshadows everything else.

The nation was obsessed with Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky for a good two years in the nineties, years in which many other national priorities didn’t get enough attention.

Once again lawmakers are starting over as another road funding plan collapsed late last week in Lansing.

What really happened?

The latest effort to come up with more than a billion dollars for roads had pitted Republicans against Republicans. The GOP has a 63 to 46 advantage over Democrats in the state House, and a 27 to 11 margin in the state Senate. Those numbers led to the idea that GOP leaders could develop a Republican-only roads solution without having to deal with the Democrats.

Robbie Wroblewski / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The debate over county animal shelters using gas chambers to euthanize sick or unwanted animals is heating up in southwest Michigan.

In the beginning of 2015, only 4 of Michigan’s 83 counties still used the “inhalation method,” or “gas chamber” to kill unwanted animals at county animal control facilities.

Cass County, southwest of Kalamazoo, still uses a chamber. Branch County, south of Battle Creek, probably still would too, but its animal shelter burned down earlier this year.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

  

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. But the end of slavery in the United States wasn’t official until the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in December of 1865. The end of slavery also meant the end of the Underground Railroad. Detroit was one of the last stops before freedom for thousands of former slaves. 

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