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Anyone who knows Ismael Ahmed knows he is one of the most remarkable people in the Detroit area. He co-founded ACCESS, the nation’s largest Arab-American private human services organization, while he was still a student at the University of Michigan Dearborn.

That was 43 years ago. Today, ACCESS, which he ran for many years, offers more than 90 programs and reports nearly a million client visits a year.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Members of Michigan’s congressional delegation see today’s criminal charges as just a step in the right direction.

On a conference call with reporters, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, welcomed the filing of criminal charges against two state regulators and a Flint city employee in the Flint water crisis.

“But it would be incomplete if that justice did not also include those who did this to Flint … meaning the state government,” says Kildee.

Richard Steih / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Selling morel mushrooms in Michigan could soon get easier.

Right now, people who gather and sell morels to restaurants and other local businesses must first be certified as mushroom identification experts.

Until last year, the state didn't offer a way to get that certification. Now there's a class and test mushroom hunters can take to become certified experts. It costs $175. 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announces charges in his team's investigation into the Flint water crisis on April 20, 2016.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

An official in the state Attorney General's office says warrants were issued this morning in 67th District Court against Flint Utilities Administrator Mike Glasgow, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality District Engineer Mike Prysby, and former Supervisor of the MDEQ’s Lansing District Office Stephen Busch.

The charges stem from their involvement in the Flint water crisis.

Attorney General Schuette launched the investigation three months ago.

In addition to the charges against the three individuals, Schuette said more people will be charged.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Attorney General is making what his office is calling a “significant” announcement in his Flint water investigation Wednesday

It's expected criminal charges will be announced.

Attorney General Bill Schuette launched the investigation three months ago into whether any state laws were broken in the Flint water crisis.

A series of decisions designed to save money by switching Flint’s drinking water source resulted in the city’s pipes being damaged. The pipes continue to leach lead into the city of 100 thousand’s drinking water. 

Courser announces run for Lapeer County prosecutor

Apr 19, 2016
Courser web site

The Lapeer County Clerk's Office confirmed today that former representative Todd Courser is one of three candidates who've filed to run in the Republican primary. One of his opponents is incumbent Prosecutor Timothy Turkelson. 

Courser resigned his House seat in September as his colleagues were about to vote on expelling him. 

Courser and fellow lawmaker Cindy Gamrat were involved in a sex and cover-up scandal that rocked the state Capitol for weeks. 

Courser tried to regain his House seat in a special election and lost.

Bernie Sanders speaking in Traverse City, Michigan.
Todd Church / Flickr

He may have won Michigan's Democratic primary in March, but now Sanders’ campaign wants to make sure the delegates he won, actually stick with him.

“We need to ensure delegates committing to Bernie are 100% committed Bernie supporters who will not change their vote during the second or third rounds of voting at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July,” an email sent Tuesday from the Michigan for Bernie campaign states.

“We need you to join the Michigan Democratic Party so you can be a member before the April 21st deadline.”

Once built, the Gordie Howe International Bridge could double the number of trucks rolling through the Detroit neighborhood of Delray
wikimedia user Notorious4life / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Once it's built, the Gordie Howe International Bridge from Windsor to Detroit will be one of Michigan's most important tools for international trade.

 

It's projected that truck traffic will double from the current 10,000 to some 20,000 trucks each day rumbling through the southwest Detroit neighborhood of Delray.

 

So what's good for Michigan trade – not to mention America's and Canada's trade – is going to be felt deeply by the folks living there.

flickr user Jamin Gray / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The rumor mill is certainly thriving in the 21st century.

But roll the clock back a few hundred years, and we see that not much has changed. Even without the help of Facebook or Twitter, rumors spread quickly in early America.

 

These rumors may have been groundless, but they managed to take root and affected many important issues of the day.

Governor Snyder sits with Flint resident Cheryl Canty in her home on Monday
Facebook

Gov. Rick Snyder visited a Flint home on Monday and drank filtered water from the family's tap.

He then announced that he'll be drinking filtered tap water from Flint for the next 30 days to show the public that it's safe. 

 

Cheryl Canty, the Flint resident who opened up her home to Snyder, tells us she was surprised to find out that the governor would be paying her a visit. 

Screen shot from Michigan Senate Stream

With so many people in Michigan trying to solve the puzzle of the struggling school system, State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, has another idea: Repeal Common Core. 

Colbeck's senate bill, currently in the education subcommittee, would remove the Common Core standards. It would also reaffirm a parents' right to have their child opt out of standardized testing.

The bill would have Michigan use the 2008-2009 Massachusetts school standards. Massachusetts is considered one of the leading school systems in the country. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge may have dealt a serious blow to people suing over the Flint water crisis.

U.S. District judge John Corbett O’Meara dismissed the class-action suit after finding the claims made by Flint residents couldn’t be resolved in federal court. 

At issue are claims made by the plaintiffs in the case that their constitutional rights and state law were violated by being required to pay for water that turned out to be tainted with lead. They believed that would fall under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

As part of an effort to boost enrollment and academic achievement, Detroit Public Schools plans to open a Montessori program and a dual-language Arabic technical school as part of an effort to boost enrollment and academic achievement. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is “not impressed” by Governor Snyder’s pledge to drink only Flint water for the next 30 days. 

The governor made the pledge to drink filtered Flint water yesterday.

“I’m going to start drinking that tonight and do that for the next 30 days … when I’m at work and at home,” Snyder told reporters on Monday. The governor says he wants to be a “role model” to show filtered Flint tap water is safe to drink.

Michigan Radio has been recognized with four regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in the Large Market Radio category. The Murrow Awards are presented by The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) to honor outstanding achievements in electronic journalism. The station won awards in the Continuing Coverage, Documentary, Investigative Reporting, and Sports Reporting categories. All four winners will now be eligible to win a national Edward R. Murrow Award.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University researchers are predicting a good year ahead for the state’s tourism industry.

MSU’s Sarah Nicholls predicts a 3% increase in tourist traffic, and a 5% increase in spending.

Nicholls says Michigan tourism has rebounded well from the Great Recession, with year-over-year tourism spending up between 2-3% each year over a 4-5 year period.  

“Back in 2009, hotel occupancy across the state was around 48%. We’re now back up to 60%,” says Nicholls.

A DDOT bus in Detroit.
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Detroit is tweaking bus service again as the city plugs away at revamping its notoriously bad transit system.

The latest changes kick in this coming weekend.

They include schedule modifications, some additional trips and other adjustments across eight bus routes, to “increase reliability” and “alleviate crowding.”

DNR Fisheries Biologist Tim Cwalinski holds a sturgeon with Michigan State University students on the Black River.
MSU

Lake sturgeon are a threatened species in Michigan. And there’s one spot in the state where the fish are in particular danger.

One group gets together every year to watch over them, and they want your help.

Most people never see this rare fish -- which is too bad, because they’re quite a sight. Lake sturgeon can live to be 100 years old and can weigh hundreds of pounds.

They spawn in several rivers in Michigan in the spring – but parts of the Black River in the northern-lower-peninsula are shallow, so you can see these fish as they swim upstream.

Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

State officials talked about the Pall-Gelman dioxane plume at a town hall meeting in Ann Arbor last night. The meeting was hosted by State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor.

I have to confess I rolled my eyes when I heard yesterday that Governor Rick Snyder went to a Flint resident’s home and drank their filtered tap water in front of two reporters.

Publicity pictures were taken, and the governor, who left with several gallons of the stuff, pledged to drink Flint water for the next 30 days.

Several nasty thoughts entered my head. One was to wonder if this was one of the houses that didn’t have lead pipes.

A taxpayer-financed prison from the tough-on-crime era is back in the news. The Northlake Correctional Facility in Baldwin, Michigan has been a conundrum for taxpayers since it was opened in 1999 (amid more than a little controversy).

cursive handwriting
theilr / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

You may have seen the internet meme floating around social media. It says, “Someday us old folks will use cursive writing as a secret code.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder is pledging to drink filtered Flint tap water for the next 30 days. 

People in Flint don’t trust that special filters are enough to clean lead from their tap water. In many homes, the level of lead in unfiltered tap water is well above the federal action level of 15 parts per billion. 

In Flint today, the governor encouraged city residents to trust the filters. Snyder says he filled up several gallon jugs today at a home with a lead service line that has tested above the federal action level for lead in the past.

Gov. Rick Snyder
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Democrats in the Legislature say they’ll try to stop the state from spending taxpayer dollars on Governor Rick Snyder’s criminal defense team.

State Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, says the state is responsible for defending the governor against civil lawsuits. But he says the governor should pick up the costs of his own criminal 

“You know, I would suggest the governor do what other elected officials have done and create his own legal defense fund, which the law allows for, and do it that way, and not use our taxpayer dollars for criminal defense lawyers.”

Rolf Peterson

This year’s winter study on the wolves and moose of Isle Royale is out today.

It says it appears there are only two wolves left – down from three last year, and a high of 50 in the 1980s.

Rolf Peterson is a research professor at Michigan Tech University. He says these last two wolves are closely related.

“They’re father and daughter and they’re also half-siblings, because they share the same mother," he says.

The Red Wings will host Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday.
Mark Goebel / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It’s playoff time for a pair of Michigan sports teams as the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Pistons have kicked off their respective post seasons.

The Wings emerged from the weekend trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning two games to one, with the all-important Game 4 at the Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday.

The Pistons are in what many are calling a “David vs. Goliath” matchup with the top-seeded Cavaliers, and dropped the first game of the series 106-101 in Cleveland.

Both teams have challenges in front of them. But can they advance?

The Michigan Union on the U of M's campus.
Andrew Horne / Wikimedia Commons

Nearly 500 University of Michigan faculty members have come together in solidarity with members of the community affected by anti-Islam chalkings on the school’s campus late last month.

The letter, sent to UM President Mark Schlissel, UM Provost Martha Pollack, and Andrew Martin, dean of the College of Literature, Sciences, and the Arts, and published in The Michigan Daily, emphasized the “urgency of the situation” to develop a more inclusive campus and 

Jeff DeGraff of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business
Twitter @JeffDeGraff

The Next Idea

“I would love to see a renaissance in innovation here in the state of Michigan”
 

Those are the words of Jeff DeGraff, a professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. DeGraff knows very well that one of the biggest challenges in business is taking a great idea and bringing it to the marketplace and making it grow.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder does not appear to like a state Senate plan to close two prisons and lease a private prison.  

A Senate subcommittee approved the plan last week as a way to save $15 million.  

Snyder asks,“If you’re closing prisons, why lease another?”

“I view this as part of the normal budget process…..that wasn’t part of our budget recommendation,” Snyder told reporters.

Senators are proposing closing prisons to save money as Michigan’s prison population declines.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials are looking at a potential new source of data on lead exposure in Flint: baby teeth.

Assessing the effects of Flint’s lead tainted tap water in children is tricky. Blood lead tests only tell part of the story. 

State Health Department director Nick Lyon says studying baby teeth could help.

“The concept would be as children’s teeth fall out there is a potential that you could use information from that going forward as part of a lead registry,” Lyon said.

Lyon says the idea of studying baby teeth is still in its early stages.

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