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Politics & Government
10:58 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Detroit bankruptcy judge revives talks on regional water agency

A Detroit Water and Sewerage manhole cover.
Credit user rob zand / Flickr

DETROIT (AP) - A judge has ordered the city of Detroit and the suburbs to further explore the creation of a regional water department.

Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes granted Wayne County's request Thursday to have the parties sit down with a mediator.

Detroit's water department provides water to Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has expressed interest in spinning off the department as a regional agency.

But some suburban leaders are concerned about future financial burdens on their residents.

The judge says the bankruptcy case is a "unique opportunity" to keep negotiating. Otherwise, Rhodes says the opportunity "will be lost forever."

Environment & Science
10:32 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Whitefish shortage causing Passover meal problems

Whitefish filets.
Credit user Cheryl Q / Flickr

TRAVERSE CITY – Many fish markets in the Great Lakes region are running short of whitefish, and it's coming at a bad time: the Passover holiday.

Whitefish is a key ingredient in gefilte fish, a traditional Jewish dish that originates in eastern Europe. Recipes vary, but it often consists of ground fish, vegetables such as onion and carrots, and bread crumbs formed into loaves or balls.

The shortfall results partly from the bitterly cold winter that caused vast sections of the Great Lakes to freeze over. The ice cover kept some commercial fishing crews stuck in port. A drop in the whitefish population is also to blame.

Kevin Dean of Superior Fish Co. near Detroit says his latest shipment amounted to just 75 pounds, although he requested 500 pounds.

Law
6:53 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

Body found in Indiana lake, Officials believe it may be missing Kalamazoo doctor

Police believe this picture of Teleka Patrick was taken either last summer or fall after she arrived in Kalamazoo
Credit Kalamazoo County Sheriff Dept.

PORTER, Ind. (AP) - Authorities say the body of a woman has been found in a northwestern Indiana lake near where they conducted a January search for a missing Michigan doctor.

Indiana State Police say a fisherman on Lake Charles in the town of Porter reported something suspicious Sunday morning. They say divers helped recover a female body dressed in dark clothing.

Police say an autopsy will be conducted this week to positively identify the body.

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Politics & Government
11:13 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Flint Council commenters can have their say – for 3 minutes

FLINT – The clock is ticking on people who have something to say at Flint City Council meetings.

Anyone with a beef or praise will have three minutes near the end of meetings – not before council members consider issues on the agenda.

Emergency Manager Darnell Earley says it gives people an opportunity to talk without being burdened by long-winded speakers. But council member Eric Mays says he has no objection to listening to people who need more than three minutes.

Arts & Culture
8:48 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Women to get "potty parity" at DeVos Hall

GRAND RAPIDS — The latest shouts of "bravo!" have nothing to do with the stage at a Grand Rapids performance hall.

The group that oversees DeVos Performance Hall will spend $69,000 to add five bathroom stalls for women. It's a response to complaints about long lines for women at intermission.

Broadway Grand Rapids complained that long waits were disrupting performances.

Offbeat
8:28 am
Sat April 5, 2014

It's Hash Bash Saturday in Ann Arbor today

ANN ARBOR – Thousands of people are expected to attend an annual pro-marijuana rally that's been held on the University of Michigan campus for more than 40 years.

The 43rd Hash Bash is to be held Saturday in Ann Arbor.

This year marks the return of longtime organizer Adam Brook, who was released from prison in October after serving a two-year sentence for a weapons violation. He told The Ann Arbor News for a story this week that the experience only served to reinvigorate him as a pot activist.

Law
8:26 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Michigan's medical schools need more cadavers; law would make donation easier

LANSING – Any accredited Michigan medical school could receive dead body donations under legislation being considered in the state House.

Residents now can donate their bodies to one of three older medical schools, which allocate some donations to other schools and hospitals. But Michigan's new medical schools want to receive bodies independently to promote donations in their areas and streamline the process.

The number of medical schools in Michigan doubled from three to six in recent years, largely in response to a shortage of doctors in many areas of the state.

Economy
12:26 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

University of Michigan says licensees must follow safety pact

Photo from the the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan says it will require companies that make licensed products at factories in Bangladesh to meet worker safety standards.

President Mary Sue Coleman announced this week that licensees must either sign and abide by the worker safety initiative or demonstrate that they have an equivalent safety plan.

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is a five-year agreement between apparel manufacturers and trade unions. It was developed in response to a 2013 factory collapse that killed more than 1,000 people in Bangladesh.

The Michigan Daily reports Coleman's announcement came a day after a protest in the Fleming Administration Building.

According to a news release from Michigan, the Ann Arbor school becomes the 10th university to add the accord to its licensing requirements.

Environment & Science
2:34 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Network aims to boost Michigan-produced food

A farm in southeast Michigan.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

LANSING – A new network aims to connect farmers, food processors, and food service directors as part of an effort to increase the amount of Michigan-produced food served in institutions.

The Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and the nonprofit Ecology Center environmental group on Thursday announced the launch of the Michigan Farm to Institution Network.

Organizers want schools, child care centers, hospitals, colleges and universities to get 20 percent of their food products from Michigan growers, producers and processors by 2020. The Center for Regional Food Systems says food service directors have expressed interest in the idea.

The Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center is working with Michigan hospitals on the effort. A campaign called "Cultivate Michigan" aims to help institutions reach the goal.

Politics & Government
3:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court ruling on campaign donations may affect Michigan politics

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down limits in federal law on the overall campaign contributions the biggest individual donors may make to candidates, political parties and political action committees.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A campaign spending watchdog is worried about the potential effect on Michigan’s politics by a U.S. Supreme Court decision today. 

The Supreme Court has struck down limits in federal law on the overall campaign contributions the biggest individual donors may make to candidates, political parties and political action committees.

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Politics & Government
3:27 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

Gov. Snyder signs bills so Michigan cities don't lose revenue

The bipartisan legislation Gov. Rick Snyder signed Friday incorporates a recent deal worked out among his administration, municipalities and business leaders to fully reimburse cities for their lost personal property tax revenue with other state revenue.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation designed to ensure local government budgets aren't hurt if manufacturers and small businesses get planned tax cuts.

A phase-out of taxes on industrial machinery starts in 2016 and is underway for small businesses with equipment. The tax cuts will be halted if a statewide vote fails in August.

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Environment & Science
3:14 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

Developer gets OK for road across Michigan dunes

The view of the McClendon property from the mouth of the Kalamazoo River.
Credit Lindsey Smith/Michigan Radio

SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Construction is expected to begin in the coming months on an access road across part of the Lake Michigan shoreline for 18 home sites.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that Singapore Dunes LLC says it has received permission from the state Department of Environmental Quality to build the two-lane blacktop in Allegan County's Saugatuck Township.

 

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Auto
1:24 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

Ford CEO's pay up 11% to $23.2 million in 2013

Ford CEO Alan Mulally earned $2 million in salary, the same as 2012. But he earned more in bonuses, at $5.9 million, and in stock and option awards, which totaled $14.7 million.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Ford CEO Alan Mulally's compensation rose 11 percent to $23.2 million in 2013, as the company reported record profits in North America.

Mulally earned $2 million in salary, the same as 2012. But he earned more in bonuses, at $5.9 million, and in stock and option awards, which totaled $14.7 million.

The company's board said Mulally exceeded profit and cash flow targets. The company also earned a record pretax profit of $8.8 billion in North America.

Law
11:21 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Michigan Supreme Court to hear dispute over court costs

Judges statewide have used their discretion to order local court costs, citing Michigan law. The attorney general's office is defending the practice, saying the Legislature could have restricted the meaning of the law but didn't.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court soon will hear arguments in a dispute over whether convicts can be ordered to pay the operating costs of local courts.

Fred Cunningham is asking the Supreme Court to throw out a $1,000 bill that was part of his sentence for a drug crime in Allegan County, southwest of Grand Rapids.

Judges statewide have used their discretion to order local court costs, citing Michigan law. The attorney general's office is defending the practice, saying the Legislature could have restricted the meaning of the law but didn't.

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Sports
8:25 am
Sat March 29, 2014

MSU and U of M reach the Elite Eight

UNDATED (AP) - The NCAA men's regional finals are set following Friday night's action. Second seed Michigan will take on No. 8 Kentucky in the Midwest final at Indianapolis, and fourth seed Michigan St. will battle No. 7 Connecticut in the East at New York's Madison Square Garden.

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Auto
6:12 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

GM adding 824,000 vehicles to ignition recall

The Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac G5, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky are all involved in the recall.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - General Motors is adding 824,000 small cars to its ongoing recall tied to defective ignition switches.

The company will add vehicles from the 2008-2011 model years to a recall that initially covered cars only through the 2007 model year.

The Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac G5, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky are all involved in the recall.

GM says around 5,000 of the faulty switches were used for repairs on 2008-2011 model year cars. GM says it's expanding the recall to make sure it finds all the switches.

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Breaking
7:05 am
Fri March 28, 2014

US Rep. Mike Rogers won't seek re-election

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee announced his plans on Friday morning during an interview on Detroit radio station WJR-AM.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

DETROIT – Seven-term Republican Congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan says he won't seek re-election.

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee announced his plans on Friday morning during an interview on Detroit radio station WJR-AM. He says he'll serve out the end of his term and plans to start a national radio program.

Last year, Rogers had said he would not run for the U.S. Senate in Michigan this year, saying the best way for him to make a difference in Washington is staying in the House.

Environment & Science
4:16 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Study planned on adapting to changing water levels

NOAA

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan is planning a wide-ranging study of how people in the Great Lakes region can adapt to changing water levels.

Don Scavia of the university's Graham Sustainability Institute announced the study Thursday in Ann Arbor at the conclusion of a seminar on the topic for scientists, policymakers and advocates.

It will be modeled after a broad analysis that university experts conducted last year on the natural gas extraction process known as "fracking."

Great Lakes levels fluctuate with the seasons and over longer periods. They've risen substantially in the past year after a sustained low period, but it's uncertain how long the comeback will continue.

Scavia says that shoreline property owners, communities and businesses need to accept that lake levels will not remain stable and make necessary adjustments.

Politics & Government
11:53 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Democrats ask for recognition of recent gay marriages in Michigan

The Rev. Bill Freeman signs marriage licenses and performs cermonies at Harbor Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Muskegon.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Michigan's congressional Democrats are asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for federal recognition of the more than 300 same-sex marriages performed in the state this past weekend. The letter is signed by Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, and Reps. John Dingell, Sander Levin, Gary Peters and Dan Kildee.

A judge ruled last Friday that Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, but the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals put a hold on further same-sex weddings while it deliberates the Michigan marriage case.

Yesterday, Gov. Snyder said the marriages performed over the weekend in Michigan are legal, but they cannot be officially recognized by the state because of current law. Here's what he said:

In January, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the government would honor same-sex marriages in Utah in a case very similar to Michigan's. The Justice Department so far has said it's monitoring the situation in Michigan.

Politics & Government
12:15 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Bills deleting 'retarded' from laws go to Snyder

State Capitol building, Lansing, Michigan
Ifmuth Flickr

LANSING – The terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" will be removed from state laws under legislation being sent to Gov. Rick Snyder.

The bills incorporate a recent recommendation from a mental health commission appointed by Snyder. The bipartisan legislation strikes references to outdated language from various statutes and replaces them with terms such as "developmentally disabled" or "intellectually disabled."

The legislation unanimously passed the House and Senate this month and was approved by the Senate for delivery to Snyder Tuesday.

Democratic bill sponsor Sen. Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor says it's "a fundamental first step" toward "ensuring everyone in our state is treated with the dignity and the respect they deserve."

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