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The Associated Press

Brian Turner / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The University of Michigan has agreed to pay $165,000 to settle a lawsuit over a graduate student's dismissal from an engineering program in 2011.

The school struck a deal with Jennifer Dibbern before a June trial and after a judge dismissed many claims.

Dibbern  had accused the university of retaliating against her for union activity and efforts to change the campus anti-harassment policy.

The university denied any retaliation and said Dibbern wasn't making progress toward a degree after four years, among other problems.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz needed to resign her job. 

Revelations that the DNC under Wasserman-Schultz’ leadership tried to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign led to her announcement Sunday to step down.

Dingell says Wasserman-Schultz is a friend, but the Florida congresswoman had to go.

Gorchow told us that we need to be more skeptical of polls.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - A federal judge has blocked Michigan's new ban on straight-party voting, a law that was passed by Republicans but criticized by Democrats as a way to discourage turnout among minorities.

Judge Gershwin Drain signed an injunction Thursday, a week after hearing arguments. He says the law would place a "disproportionate burden" on the rights of blacks to vote in the fall election.

Lawyers say more than 70 percent of ballots in Detroit and Flint have been cast as straight-party - votes that go for all candidates of one party with just a single mark.

"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.

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.

Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey addresses the media after today's shooting.
screen grab / WOOD-TV

Update 9:56 a.m.

Authorities say the man who killed two courthouse bailiffs in Berrien County before being killed by other officers was probably trying to escape.

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

The Michigan appeals court says a woman has no parental rights to a child born during a long same-sex relationship but before gay marriage became legal in 2015. 

The court overturned decisions by a Washtenaw County judge, who had granted parenting time to Michelle Lake.

Lake and Kerri Putnam ended a 13-year relationship in 2014. During that time, Putnam gave birth to a boy, who's now 8.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Detroit school children, Flint residents and residents across Michigan will be affected when the next state budget takes effect in three months.

  Gov. Rick Snyder signed the $54.9 billion spending plan this week. It touches many corners of Michigan life - from spending on public schools and road repairs to increased dental coverage for low-income children and more troopers patrolling highways.

  Per-pupil grants for K-12 schools will increase by between $60 and $120. The gap between wealthier and poorer districts will shrink.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The state has fully relinquished oversight of Benton Harbor, six years after the city was placed under emergency management to address a budget deficit.

Friday's decision followed a recommendation from a state-appointed receivership transition advisory board.

The southwestern Michigan city will manage operations and finances without oversight. City council ordinances no longer need approval of the board that was appointed in 2014 once emergency management ended.

Both Gov. Rick Snyder and former Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed emergency managers in Benton Harbor.

Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI)
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder says its “premature” to speculate on how Great Britain’s exit from the European Union might affect Michigan’s economy.

Britain entered uncharted waters after the country voted to leave the European Union.  The decision shatters the stability of the continental unity forged after World War II in hopes of making future conflicts impossible.

Charles Picket Jr.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office

A prosecutor says a man accused of plowing his pickup truck into a group of Kalamazoo-area bicyclists, killing five, was under the influence of drugs.

The disclosure was made Wednesday as new charges were filed against Charles Pickett Jr., who already faces second-degree murder charges in the June 7 crash in Kalamazoo County.

Authorities say the bicyclists were riding in a group on a rural road in Cooper Township when Pickett struck them.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters says now’s the time “to act on guns”.

Peters and his fellow Democrats get their long-sought votes on gun control after the massacre in Orlando, Florida, but election-year politics ensure no changes in the nation's laws.

Democrats are expected to vote tonight to block two Republican amendments, saying they don't do enough. Republicans are expected to block two Democratic amendments, saying they threaten the rights of gun owners.

The guidelines have been controversial, but the board president expects them to pass this month
ANTIOCHLA.EDU / ANTIOCH UNIVERSITY

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Some lawyers and gay rights supporters say lingering statutes criminalizing sodomy and laws prohibiting same-sex marriage could be used to harass gay couples in Michigan, despite court rulings that render those laws moot.

  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that laws banning sodomy are unconstitutional. But a Ferndale attorney, Rudy Serra, says if a conservative prosecutor and judge paired up in Michigan they could financially devastate a gay couple.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Experts in flood management will get a firsthand look at flood-prevention efforts in Grand Rapids during a nearly weeklong gathering.

  The National Association of Floodplain Managers Conference starts Sunday and runs through June 24.

  More than 1,200 visitors are expected to attend. They're being offered a chance to check out the Grand River and its floodwalls, see projects taking place to improve the floodwalls and learn about efforts to restore rapids to the Grand River and improve recreation.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A Kalamazoo lawmaker says the recent crash that killed five bicyclists may renew the push to make roads safer for people not driving cars.

  Two state senators have introduced legislation after a pickup truck crashed into a group of bikers June 7 in the Kalamazoo area that could mean tougher penalties for those who fatally hit a bicyclist. It would extend existing penalties for those who hit construction workers.

  Kalamazoo Democratic state Rep. Jon Hoadley says the tragedy underscores the need to make roads safer.

ANTIOCHLA.EDU / ANTIOCH UNIVERSITY

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit-area federal officials say they have met with LGBT community leaders in response to last weekend's mass shooting at a Florida nightclub.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade and FBI Special Agent in Charge David Gelios hosted Thursday's gathering. Attendees included representatives of Equality Michigan, the Ruth Ellis Center, Affirmations and LGBT Detroit.

Gelios said in a statement Friday it's "essential to reassure" Michigan residents of "the FBI's commitment to protecting the civil rights of all persons."

Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - To rescue Detroit's school district from potential insolvency, Michigan is turning to a familiar playbook.

  It will shift more than a quarter of the state's $250 million annual payment from tobacco companies to Detroit schools. The move is the latest in a line of tapping the legal settlement when the governor and lawmakers are in a pinch.

  With the latest Detroit bailout, all but $26 million, or about 10 percent, of the yearly tobacco cash is automatically spoken for.

American Dog tick
Jerry Kirkhart / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan health officials say they've confirmed the first case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever contracted in the state since 2009.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that the case involved a child in Cass County in the southwestern corner of the state.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by bacteria and can be fatal if not treated promptly and correctly, even in previously healthy people.

Symptoms typically include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting and muscle pain. A rash may develop a few days later.

Enbridge Energy's Line 5 oil and liquid natural gas pipelines runs under Lake Michigan at the Straits of Mackinac.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Congress has ordered stronger safety measures for pipelines carrying oil and other fuels in the Great Lakes region.

The requirement is contained in a bill that cleared the Senate on Monday and the House last week. It now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The measure re-authorizes a federal program that regulates 2.6 million miles of pipelines nationwide.

Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan says it designates the Great Lakes as an "unusually sensitive area," where pipelines must meet tougher standards for safe operations.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Lance Armstrong plans to be in Kalamazoo for a "Finishing the Ride" event in honor of the five cyclists killed when they were hit by a pickup truck.

Armstrong told the Detroit Free Press  the collision on June 7 in Kalamazoo County's Cooper Township, 160 miles from Chicago, is the worst he's seen and he's not sure he's emotionally ready for the ride. Armstrong says a fear of being struck by a vehicle is shared by all cyclists.

Armstrong plans to join Kalamazoo-area cyclists in a 28.5-mile ride Tuesday from Kalamazoo to Plainwell and back.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Late-night drama over rescuing Detroit's school district capped lawmakers' closing days in Lansing before they broke for a summer recess.

  The $617 million bailout ultimately passed - barely. The Detroit restructuring, along with completing the state budget, were priorities.

  But legislators also finalized, advanced or left until later other legislation.

  About $165 million more is being directed to Flint's water crisis.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A state commission has ordered Jackson-based Consumers Energy to pay a nearly $516,000 fine over billing rules violations.

The Michigan Public Service Commission announced the fine Thursday. It came about five months after the commission began an investigation into the utility's billing practices in Michigan.

The commission found that Consumers Energy failed to complete meter reads for more than 2,500 customers and determined that the company wasn't properly communicating how much time customers had to pay bills.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A plan to create a pilot roadside drug-testing program in five of the state's counties will soon be on its way to Gov. Rick Snyder.

  The Legislature approved bills Thursday that would allow law enforcement officers who are trained to recognize impairment due to drugs or alcohol to test drivers' saliva.

  The state police would choose five counties to start the yearlong pilot program.

  A bill analysis says the results of the roadside saliva test could be allowed as evidence in criminal prosecutions or administrative hearings in some cases.

A bike painted white in memory of a cyclist
Matthew Peoples / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Michigan prosecutor has charged 50-year-old Charles Edward Pickett Jr. with five counts of second degree murder after a pickup truck crashed into a group of bicyclists and killed five people.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeffrey Getting also charged him Thursday with four counts of reckless driving resulting in serious injury to four others near Kalamazoo.

The bicyclists were part of a group that called themselves "The Chain Gang," who ranged in age from 40 to 74.

Children walking together
Public domain

Legislation requiring child-placing agencies to make reasonable efforts to keep siblings together in the foster care and adoption systems is going to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.

The bills say if siblings could not be placed together due to safety or other concerns, agencies should prioritize sibling visitation and interaction.

The state already places siblings together when feasible under provisions of federal court oversight of Michigan's child welfare system.

Authorities say they were searching for the driver of a blue pickup truck in the minutes before he plowed into a group of adults bicycling near a western Michigan Park.

  Kalamazoo Prosecutor Jeffrey Getting said at a news conference Tuesday night that five of the nine bicyclists struck were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash in Cooper Township.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Aggregate funding for Michigan's public universities in the next state budget will still be less than it was before a major cut five years ago, despite Gov. Rick Snyder's initial proposal to bring them back to levels in place when he took office in 2011.

  Spending will rise roughly $40 million to $1.4 billion, a 2.9 percent increase, under a spending plan up for final legislative votes this week. The Republican governor and lawmakers had hoped for a $60 million, or 4.4 percent, boost.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Emails obtained by a newspaper show the University of Michigan has repeatedly requested delays in turning over thousands of documents sought by federal investigators looking into sexual assault complaints on campus.

  The documents obtained by the Detroit Free Press  through a Freedom of Information Act request also indicated the university has sought to limit the scope of the ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Education by asking investigators to review fewer incidents than requested.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - People addicted to opioids in the remote Upper Peninsula city of Escanaba have a rare group of people to turn to for treatment: the police.

  Escanaba Lt. Robert LaMarche, the soon-to-be director of the Escanaba police, says they won't arrest people seeking addiction treatment if drug possession is their only crime.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - President Barack Obama has shaved years off a Detroit-area man's sentence for a drug crime.

Kareem Martin has been in prison since 2007. His 23-year sentence now will expire in 2018. Obama commuted the sentence Friday along with the sentences of 41 others.

In 2006, Martin pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver cocaine. Federal Judge Lawrence Zatkoff noted a "long history of criminal conduct" and said a "significant sentence" was appropriate.

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