Emily Fox

Host/Producer/Reporter

Emily is the producer and fill-in host for Morning Edition. She is also a reporter and producer for Stateside.

Before working for Michigan Radio, Emily hosted and produced an award winning weekly talk show on Michigan State University's student radio station, IMPACT 89FM. Some of the feature stories she has contributed over the years at WKAR-FM, WJR-AM and Michigan Radio have been recognized by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and the Society for Professional Journalists.

Emily holds a B.A. in music education and an M.A. in telecommunication from MSU. For her Master's thesis project, she produced an audio documentary about migrant workers in Michigan that aired on Michigan Radio.

Emily Fox / Michigan Radio

For this week's Seeking Change Christina Shockley talked to Michigan Radio producer Emily Fox about a hip hop church in Grand Rapids she reported on.

The EDGE urban fellowship was started by Troy Evans, a former gang member.

He's using religion, music and dance to get young people to steer clear of gang activity.
 

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Hurricane Sandy to affect Great Lakes

"Severe weather bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard could lead to waves as high as 33 feet on parts of Lake Michigan and dangerous conditions on other Great Lakes. Dangerous conditions are expected along piers and breakwalls in areas including southwestern Michigan. Snow linked to the Hurricane Sandy could fall in parts of Michigan," the AP reports.

Giants sweep Tigers in World Series

"The San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 last night in 10 innings. The Giants swept the Tigers to win their second World Series title in 3 years," the AP reports.

Snyder on campaign trail against most ballot proposals

"Governor Rick Snyder will visit 12 Michigan cities this week to spread his message about the November ballot. He says Proposals Two-through-Six could undermine the state’s economic recovery," Jake Neher reports.

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Ballot proposals could negatively affect state credit rating

"The state’s top budget official says Michigan would have a higher credit rating if not for the six proposals on the November ballot. Budget Director John Nixon says credit agencies are otherwise happy with Michigan’s budget situation. But Nixon says they’re uneasy about the possible consequences of the ballot proposals. He says Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch all decided not to upgrade the state’s credit rating this month. Supporters of some of the proposals say Nixon’s claim is bogus and only meant to scare voters. Budget officials say they might ask the rating agencies to reconsider after the election," Jake Neher reports.

Allen Park gets an emergency financial manager

"The City of Allen Park is the latest to get a state appointed emergency financial manager. Allen Park went from having $5.5-million in the general fund in 2009 to around a half-million dollars just two years later. A failed movie studio the city bought is mostly to blame. Voters declined to pass a millage to pay for the debt in May," Lindsey Smith reports.

U.S. Post Office investigating missing absentee ballots in SE Michigan

"The Post Office is now investigating the hundreds of undelivered absentee ballots in southeast Michigan. A spokesman for the United States Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General says it’s directed its special agents in Michigan to contact city clerks in Auburn Hills and Roseville to ask about the undelivered absentee ballots. The clerks say they mailed thousands of absentee ballots earlier this month…but an unusually small percentage of the ballots have been returned. And the clerks have received calls from many voters who say they haven’t received the ballots," Steve Carmody reports.

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Snyder says Prop 2 is not a referendum on right-to-work laws

"Governor Rick Snyder says if voters reject Proposal 2, that would not be an invitation to pass a right-to-work law in Michigan. Proposal 2 would guarantee collective bargaining rights in the state constitution, and call into question many of the state’s labor laws. Governor Snyder is urging a “no” vote on the proposal, but he has also asked the Legislature to stay away from right-to-work because it’s so controversial. Right-to-work laws forbid compulsory union membership as a condition of employment," Rick Pluta reports.

Political signs can now be displayed in bars

"Michigan bars and restaurants that serve alcohol can now add political signs to their décor. Since 1954 the Michigan Liquor Control Commission has had a rule that businesses with state liquor licenses could not post signs endorsing political candidates. Last week an Ann Arbor bar along with the ACLU filed suit challenging the ban," Steve Carmody reports.

Voting rights group will be on call on Election Day

"The Michigan Center for Election Law says it will be on call on Election Day. Volunteers will staff a hotline that voters can call if they experience problems casting a ballot. The phone number will be on yard signs outside most precincts. A member of the group says during the primary, some people called the hotline because clerks told them they couldn't vote without I.D. State law allows people to vote without I.D. if they fill out an affidavit," Tracy Samilton reports.

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This week Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry talked about Proposal 6, how a new report indicates that the Michigan Merit Curriculum that was implemented in high schools in 2006 has not shown good results, and how two campaign staffers of former US Representative Thadeus McCotter will stand trial. They're charged with conspiring to get then-Congressman McCotter on the 2012 ballot with bogus petitions.

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Sports concussion bills signed

"Youth sports coaches in Michigan will have to immediately take a player out of a game if they suspect a concussion. Governor Rick Snyder signed bills Tuesday that also require the state to provide coaches, players, and parents with training and information on how to protect student athletes from head injuries," Jake Neher reports.

Meningitis update

"Authorities are reporting six deaths and 69 infections in Michigan as part of a national outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated steroids. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the figures Tuesday. Nationwide, it reports 308 cases and 23 deaths," the AP reports.


Detroit arts scene gets financial boost

"Detroit's arts scene is getting its biggest financial gift in recent memory. The Knight Foundation is investing $20 million in the city's cultural institutions. Half of it goes to big names like the Michigan Opera Theater and the Detroit Institute of Arts. That money will beef up their anemic endowments as they weather the recession. But any local artist or musician can compete for grants totaling $3 million a year," Kate Wells reports.

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Michigan curriculum has disappointing results

"An effort to improve Michigan’s high school academic standards appears to be having a disappointing result. The Michigan Merit Curriculum was implemented in Michigan high schools in 2006. Researchers from Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and the state of Michigan found that test scores improved only slightly for students  entering high school with strong academic skills.   But for those with weak skills, test scores fell and graduation rates declined," Steve Carmody reports.

Snyder says Prop 6 would cause court battle if passed

"Governor Rick Snyder is worried Proposal 6 on the November ballot would spark a lengthy court battle if it’s passed. The initiative would require a state-wide vote before any new international crossing could be built in the state. Governor Rick Snyder says his plan for a new international bridge in Detroit is not meant to put the existing Ambassador Bridge out of business. Current bridge owners say a new bridge is not necessary, and would be expensive for Michigan taxpayers. Canada has agreed to front the costs of the new bridge, and a number of studies have concluded there will be no new costs to state taxpayers," Jake Neher reports.

McCotter aids in court for campaign scandal

"Two men who worked for a Detroit-area congressman are returning to court to learn if they'll stand trial in a campaign scandal. Paul Seewald and Don Yowchuang are charged with conspiring to get then-Congressman Thaddeus McCotter on the 2012 ballot with bogus petitions. The judge says he'll make a decision on the matter today," the AP reports.

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This week on Seeking Change, Christina Shockley talks with Angelique Day about the foster care system.

Day grew up in foster care. She now focuses her work on researching and helping children in foster care in the state.

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Snyder holds town hall meeting on Prop 6 today

"Governor Snyder will hold a town hall meeting with members of the Canada-United States Business Association in Detroit today. He’ll be stressing the need for a new Detroit-Windsor bridge—and for voters to reject Proposal 6. Proposal 6 would require voter approval for any new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles,” Sarah Cwiek reports.

Voters in West Michigan can learn more about Prop 3 this week

"People living in West Michigan will have two opportunities early this week to learn about and discuss the so-called 25 by 25 ballot proposal. If voters pass Proposal 3, utility companies in Michigan would have to get 25-percent of their energy from renewable sources like wind and solar. There’s a panel discussion tonight with people for and against Proposal 3. It’s at the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon. Tomorrow morning in Grand Rapids the President of the Union of Concerned Scientists will travel from Massachusetts to join west Michigan business leaders in favor of Proposal 3," Lindsey Smith reports.

Some Michigan lawmakers looking to increase retirement age for public school employees

"Michigan lawmakers are looking at a plan that would increase the minimum retirement age for public school employees. The current retirement age is 60. But some people want to index the retirement age according to life expectancy, which would be determined every year. Mark Guastella is with the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel. He says the system paid more than $700 million in benefits last year to people who outlived their life expectancy," Rina Miller reports.

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ACLU files challenge to state ruling banning election signs in bars and restaurants

"The American Civil Liberties Union filed a legal challenge to a state rule banning election campaign signs at bars and restaurants Thursday. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission rule forbids businesses with liquor licenses from displaying signs endorsing a political candidate or party," Jake Neher reports.

Rapid transit system to be built in Grand Rapids

"Michigan’s first bus rapid transit system will be built in the Grand Rapids area. Federal transportation officials signed the agreement Thursday. Bus rapid transit operates similar to light rail, but at a fraction of the cost. Buses will arrive at stops every ten minutes. They’ll have designated lanes and be able to shift traffic lights so they don’t have to slow down," Lindsey Smith reports.

Expansion of oil pipeline comes under fire in northern Michigan

"A planned expansion of an oil pipeline that passes through the Mackinac Straits is coming under fire. The National Wildlife Federation released a report opposing Enbridge Energy’s plans to increase the amount of oil passing through the straits. Beth Wallace is with the Federation. She fears the nearly 60 year old pipeline could rupture like another Enbridge pipeline near Marshall did in 2010. An Enbridge spokesman says the Calgary-based oil company is reviewing the Federation report," Steve Carmody reports.

cncphotos / flickr

This week Morning Edition host Christina Shockley talked with Michigan Radio's political analyst about the legislation to overhaul Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, results of a poll that looks at where Michiganders stand when it comes to the six ballot proposals voters will see in the next three weeks and the bankruptcy of U.S. operation of electric car battery maker, A123 Systems.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield overhaul passes Senate

"Legislation to overhaul Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan easily passed the state Senate Wednesday. The bills would turn the state’s largest health insurer into a customer-owned non-profit. Only four Senators voted against the package," Jake Neher reports.

Michigan's unemployment rates drops for the first time in 6 months

"Michigan’s jobless rate declined very slightly in September to nine-point-three percent. It’s the first drop in the state’s unemployment rate in six months. The rate is also a full percentage point below where it was at this time last year. The rate of unemployment and under-employment in Michigan is 17 percent. That number takes into account people who have quit looking for work, and part-timers who’d like full-time jobs," Rick Pluta reports.

Lawsuit claims flaws in Michigan's parole system

"A lawsuit filed this week alleges the state Department of Corrections has been too lax in supervising roughly 18 thousand paroled felons in Michigan. The lawsuit was first reported by The Detroit Free Press. It was filed by the family of an elderly Royal Oak woman who was murdered in her home. Two fugitives on parole have been charged with the killing," Rick Pluta reports.

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Senate Fiscal Agency says Prop 6 will cost taxpayers

"A ballot proposal meant to stall a new international bridge in Detroit could cost Michigan taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. That’s according to a report from the Senate Fiscal Agency. Proposal 6 would require a public vote on any new international bridge or tunnel. The report says it would cost the state nearly $10.5 million  to hold a special election on a new crossing. On top of that, researchers say tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure funding could also be in jeopardy," Jake Neher reports.

ACLU suing Morgan Stanley for racist lending in Detroit


"The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Morgan Stanley on behalf of five Detroit homeowners. The group says Morgan Stanley violated federal anti-discrimination laws by encouraging a now-defunct sub-prime mortgage lender to make risky loans in predominantly black neighborhoods. The lawsuit was filed in a New York federal court, and seeks class-action status," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Response to meningitis outbreak might take time

"Congressman John Dingell says it will take time to figure out the right response to a meningitis outbreak caused by tainted steroids. But he's urging Congress to take action and ensure the same thing never happens again.   Dingell says right now, the Food and Drug Administration lacks the authority to regulate the company that made the contaminated medicine -- which has killed 15 people so far," Chris Zollars reports.

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Schools might get a break on standardized tests

"The Michigan Department of Education is considering a proposal to give schools a break on standardized test accountability. The proposal would amend the department's accountability system to allow students who fail a Michigan Educational Assessment Program exam to be considered proficient on the test if they show significant improvement. The Detroit Free Press reports the change would mean some schools could get a better rating from the state," the Associated Press reports.

More money spent on TV ads for  ballot proposals than candidates

"Interest groups are spending unprecedented amounts of money on TV ads supporting or opposing initiatives to amend the state constitution. That’s according to a report from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. Since August, groups have poured about $30 million into TV ads. That’s far more than what’s being spent on individual candidates, including those running for president or US Senate," Jake Neher reports.

Asian carp search begins this week

"Federal and state officials will hunt for Asian carp near Chicago starting Tuesday, after finding more DNA evidence of the fish close to Lake Michigan. Crews will go out this week on the North Shore Channel and an area of the Chicago River," Rebecca Williams reports.

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No more Senate candidate debates

"It appears there will be no debate between Senator Debbie Stabenow and former Congressman Pete Hoekstra. Stabenow called off talks to schedule the debates, saying her opponent won't negotiate in good faith. Hoestra says Stabenow is afraid to debate him. Senate candidates usually hold at least two debates. One debate has traditionally been held at the Detroit Economic Club. Hoekstra says the sticking point was holding debates in a medium that lots of voters could see. Hoekstra says he wanted debates on major TV networks," Tracy Samilton reports.

Meningitis cases continue to rise in Michigan

"There’s been a big jump in the number of people in Michigan affected by that national fungal meningitis outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control says 39 people in Michigan have contracted fungal meningitis from tainted steroid injections. Just Wednesday there were only 28 confirmed cases in Michigan. Three Michigan women have died since receiving the injections which were intended to treat back pain," Steve Carmody reports.

Medical Marijuana discussed in Michigan Supreme Court

"The Michigan Supreme Court will decide whether the state’s medical marijuana law allows dispensaries and growing cooperatives. The court heard arguments in two medical marijuana cases today Thursday. Prosecutors say patients have to either grow their own, or get it from a licensed caregiver. Prosecutors say patients have to either grow their own, or get it from a licensed caregiver. The operators of a marijuana dispensary are challenging the county’s decision to shut down their operation. A man who ran a growing cooperative is also trying to fend off a charge that he exceeded the 12-plant limit in the law. The court is expected to rule in coming months. In the meantime, the Legislature is also looking at adding some definition to the medical marijuana law that was approved by voters in 2008," Rick Pluta reports.

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No citizenship box on ballot

"Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says there will be no citizenship box for voters to check on ballot applications this November. Johnson says the election is getting close, so she won’t challenge a federal judge’s ruling that the citizenship question is unconstitutional. But she says there could be further legal action after the election. Johnson says she also intends to press the federal government for naturalization records to help clear voter rolls of non-citizens. She ordered the check box even after Governor Rick Snyder vetoed a bill to require it. No one could be denied a ballot for refusing to check the box, but Johnson says it's useful to remind people that only U.S. citizens can vote," Rick Pluta reports.

DHS says foster care is getting better in Michigan

"Child welfare officials say Michigan’s foster care system is getting better. Steve Yager is the director of Children’s Services for the state Department of Human Services. He told a legislative committee the state is doing a much better job of recruiting and keeping foster parents. Yager also says child welfare workers have more manageable caseloads. The state has been working to overhaul its child welfare system since 2008, after the group Children’s Rights sued the state over problems in the system," Steve Carmody reports.

Michigan foreclosure rate at a five year low

"Michigan’s home foreclosure rate could soon reach a milestone. A few years ago the state's foreclosure rate was near the top of the 50 state list. But Daren Bloomquist with Realty Trac says the latest data shows Michigan is poised to drop out of the top 10 possibly by the end of the year. He says Michigan’s home foreclosure rate is near a five year low," Steve Carmody reports.

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Election complaint filed against Snyder

"A ballot campaign has filed an elections complaint against Governor Rick Snyder. It says he’s using his official website and other state resources illegally to campaign against Proposal 5. Matt Davis is an attorney for the Proposal 5 campaign. That’s the one to require super-majority votes for the Legislature to raise taxes. Davis says Governor Snyder has posted videos to his official webpage, used staff time, and other public resources to campaign against the ballot question. The complaint was filed with the Michigan Secretary of State. A violation is punishable by a fine of a thousand dollars or a year in jail. Governor Snyder – who is a licensed attorney – says he’s on solid legal ground -- and will continue to campaign for the emergency manager law and against the five proposed amendments to the state constitution on the November ballot," Rick Pluta reports.

More Asian carp DNA found

"More DNA from Asian carp has been found in Chicago-area waters, and officials say an intensive search for the unwelcome fish will take place next week. A committee of federal and state agencies said Tuesday the search was triggered by the discovery of genetic material from Asian carp during three consecutive rounds of water sampling between June and September. Officials say the presence of Asian carp DNA doesn't necessarily signal the presence of live fish," the AP reports.

Meningitis outbreak claims third life in Michigan

"The Centers for Disease Control reports a third fatality in Michigan tied to a nationwide meningitis outbreak. The CDC now says 25 patients in Michigan are linked to the outbreak tied  to tainted steroid injections. The injections were intended to relieve spinal pain.   But a fungus contaminated the compound used in the injections. Nationwide the meningitis outbreak has sickened 119 people. Eleven people have died including three people in Michigan. The Centers for Disease Control believes as many as 13,000 people may have been exposed to the tainted steroid," Steve Carmody reports.

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Paul Ryan in Michigan as presidential race narrows

"For the first time this fall, the Romney-Ryan ticket is spending time in Michigan. Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan rallied voters in Rochester Monday. He told hundreds of supporters at Oakland University that President Obama has failed when it comes to economic and foreign policy, especially by proposing cuts to defense spending. Ryan’s visit comes as Republicans are narrowing the President’s lead in Michigan. After last week’s debate, Mr. Obama’s advantage fell from 10 points to just 3, according to a new poll from the Detroit Free Press," Kate Wells reports.

Political ads in Michigan lopsided

"A new study shows TV ad spending in the presidential and Senate campaigns in Michigan has been lopsided so far. The Michigan Campaign Finance Network says incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow’s campaign has spent over a million dollars in the last three weeks. Her opponent, former Congressman Pete Hoekstra, has not run any TV ads since the August primary. But the Hoekstra’s campaign announced a big TV ad buy Monday. The study also shows groups supporting presidential hopeful Mitt Romney have spent about $13 million in the state. The Obama campaign and its supporters have not run many ads, but Mr. Obama still holds a lead in most Michigan polls," Jake Neher reports.

Kalamazoo study investigates if police racially profile

"Kalamazoo’s public safety department is conducting a study to see if its officers unfairly target racial and ethnic minorities. The study is not being court ordered, the city isn’t being sued, and there hasn’t been any big incident that sparked the study. Similar studies have been undertaken at police departments in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Washtenaw County. The results will be available in the spring. Federal grants will pay for the bulk of the study’s cost," Lindsey Smith reports.

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As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series, Morning Edition Host Christina Shockley talked with Terran Frye. He’s a veteran of the Marine Corp and had two deployments in Iraq. He’s now the veteran liaison for an organization called Stiggy’s Dogs, based in Howell Township. It trains psychiatric service dogs to help military vets who suffer from PTSD or Traumatic Brain Injury.

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Romney campaign in Michigan this week

"Mitt Romney's campaign is showing Michigan some love this week. Romney's running mate Paul Ryan holds a rally at Oakland University tonight. That follows Saturday's appearance by Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in suburban Detroit. And this Friday, Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, will stop in Grand Rapids," Tracy Samilton reports.

Voter registration deadline is tomorrow

The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election is tomorrow. According to Michigan Secretary of State's website.

"Voters may register by mail, at their county, city or township clerk's office, or by visiting any Secretary of State office. The mail-in form is available at www.Michigan.gov/elections. First-time voters who register by mail must vote in person in their first election, unless they hand-deliver the application to their local clerk, are 60 years old or older, are disabled or are eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. To check their registration status, residents may visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at www.Michigan.gov/vote. On the website, residents can view a sample ballot, find their polling location, learn about absentee voting, get information on Michigan's voter ID laws and view contact information for their local clerk."

Twenty cases of meningitis in Michigan

"At least 20 cases of meningitis have been confirmed in Michigan, including two deaths. The meningitis outbreak has been linked to a steroid produced by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts. The steroid has been recalled," the AP reports.

Michigan Secretary of State in court today over citizenship checkbox

"Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson will be in federal court today to defend a citizenship checkbox she ordered onto November ballot applications. Election officials would ask voters to confirm their U.S. citizenship, but would not deny them a ballot if they decline to answer. A number of county clerks say it’ll cause confusion and could scare off eligible voters. Johnson says the citizenship question will help cut down on voter fraud and the number of non-citizens who receive ballots," Jake Neher reports.

Ambassador bridge owners say new bridge not economically feasible

"Opponents of a new bridge between the U.S. and Canada say Michigan would lose about $325 million in taxes if the project goes ahead. The owners of the Ambassador bridge commissioned a study they say shows there's no need for a new bridge. Canada would pay for construction of the bridge and recoup its investment from future tolls," Rina Miller reports.

Pilot program to keep kids at home, not in foster care

"The state of Michigan is going to try a new approach to keep at-risk children out of the state’s foster care system. A federal waiver will allow the state to use grant dollars to start a pilot program that will try to keep children under five years old with their families rather than place them in foster homes. Steve Yager is the director of the Department of Human Services’ Children Services Administration. He says they want to avoid putting very young children through the ‘trauma’ of  being placed in foster homes. The pilot program will start next year in Kalamazoo, Muskegon and Macomb counties. There are currently 13,000 children in Michigan’s foster care system," Steve Carmody reports.

The local food movement is not a new thing for Michigan State University's Dairy Store.

It has been selling local dairy products such as cheese and ice cream since 1913. The milk is bought from Michigan Milk Producers, less than 30 miles away.

It's then taken to MSU where it is processed and distributed. A lot of the ice cream flavors have MSU or Big Ten themes.

Stateside's Emily Fox, visited the store and chatted with customers, workers and manager, John Engstrom.

You can listen to the audio postcard above.

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Some data shows motorcycle helmet repeal has not increased deaths

"The group that led the charge to repeal Michigan’s motorcycle helmet requirement says the state has not suffered a rash of biker deaths in the past six months. That’s how long it’s been since the law was changed. American Bikers Aiming Toward Education points to state data between January and the end of August. But state officials say that’s not the whole story. They say early data also show a 14-percent jump in disabling injuries. The state Office of Highway Safety Planning says the data are preliminary and it’s too early to reach real conclusions on the effects of the changes in the law," Jake Neher reports.

Detroit Tiger first player to win Triple Crown in 45 years

"Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera became the first player in 45 years to win baseball's Triple Crown last night, joining an elite list that includes Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig. He's the 10th Triple Crown winner in baseball history. In Major League Baseball, a player earns the Triple Crown when he leads a league in three categories---  batting average, home runs, and runs batted in," the AP reports.

EPA tells Enbridge more clean up is needed on Kalamazoo River

"Enbridge Energy has more clean-up work to do along the Kalamazoo River. The federal Environmental Protection Agency has ordered the oil company to tackle some new areas of pollution in the river. Enbridge has already done a lot of clean up work after one of  their pipelines ruptured and spilled massive amounts of oil into the Kalamazoo River near Marshall in July, 2010.  But the EPA says oil is coming to the surface is some new areas," Tracy Samilton reports.

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Every Wednesday Morning Edition host Christina Shockley and Michigan Radio's political analyst talk about what's been happening when it comes to politics in the state.

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Snyder likely to veto handgun bill

"Governor Snyder has indicated he will likely veto a bill that would change the state's gun sales law. The bill would eliminate a state background check requirement for sales made over the Internet or at gun shows. Those account for close to half of all gun sales," Sarah Hulett reports.

House speaker Bolger criticized for his company's tax history

"State House Speaker Jase Bolger is facing harsh criticism about his business record from a liberal advocacy group. Progress Michigan released documents alleging Bolger’s company, Summit Credit Service, failed to pay more than $100,000 in taxes and fees between 1997 and 2000. The papers include liens from the Michigan Treasury Department, the state Unemployment Agency, and the IRS," Jake Neher reports.

Striking Detroit workers suspended and face firing

Thirty-four striking Detroit employees of the water and sewage department who went on strike this week have been suspended and face firing. It's illegal in Michigan for municipal workers to strike. Sarah Cwiek reports that, "City officials plan to largely privatize the water department over five years, and cut up to 80-percent of its staff."

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"Four strike" felons now face at least 25 years

"Felons convicted of four or more violent offenses will face at least 25 years in prison under a law signed by Governor Rick Snyder. There are 47 offenses covered by the new “four strikes” law. They include kidnapping and rape, as well as armed robbery, home invasion, and weapons violations," Rick Pluta reports. 

Concussion bill headed to Snyder's desk

"Youth sports coaches may soon have to take players out of games if they suspect a concussion. The state Legislature easily passed two bills designed to cut down on serious head injuries in kids' sports. The measures would also require the state to provide more information and training for coaches, players, and parents," Jake Neher reports.

Detroit workers on strike for second day

"Striking employees at Detroit’s wastewater plant walked the picket line for a second day yesterday. That’s despite a federal judge’s order to return to work. Most members of AFSCME Local 207 walked off the job Sunday. Union members say they’re fed up with what they call a continued effort to dismantle the department and their union. City officials plan to largely privatize the water department over five years, and cut up to 80-percent of its staff," Sarah Cwiek reports.

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As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series, Morning Edition host Christina Shockley talked with the founder of En Garde Detroit. It's a program teaches the sport of fencing to kids ages 8-16.

Founder Bobby Smith said getting kids involved in non-traditional sports can help them break the cycle of poverty and gain access to college. 

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Welfare benefits lost if children miss more than 10 days of school

"A new policy goes into effect Monday that takes away welfare benefits from families with children who miss more than 10 days of school without an excuse. The policy requires families that apply or re-apply for cash assistance to prove their children don’t have too many unexcused absences," Rick Pluta reports.

Liquor license bill passes state House

"The state house has approved a bill that would let Michigan businesses get a liquor license more quickly. The review process often takes months and in some cases, years. The proposed law would allow a conditional liquor license while a review is under way," Rina Miller reports.

Law would allow STD treatment of partners without exam

"A bill in the state House would let doctors prescribe medication to the partner of a patient who's been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease -- without examining the partner. The law would apply to chlamydia and gonorrhea. More than 50,000 cases of chlamydia and more than 13,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported in Michigan in 2011. Both are highly infectious and can cause serious damage to a woman's reproductive system," Rina Miller reports.

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Schuette cautious about Blue Cross-Blue Shield overhaul

"Hearings continue at the state Capitol on the future of Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Michigan. Attorney General Bill Schuette showed up to urge a cautious approach to overhauling the state’s largest health insurer. The attorney general would give up a considerable amount of oversight under the plan proposed by Governor Rick Snyder. It would convert Blue Cross from a tax-exempt charity to a member-owned not-for-profit company. Bill Schuette says he wants Blue Cross and its assets audited to make sure this is a fair deal for Michiganders. Schuette says he’s not out to stop the changes. Governor Snyder and Blue Cross executives want the switch done by the end of the year. They say the changes are needed because the new federal health care law will change the mission of the Blues," Rick Pluta reports.

More on the EM saga

The debate over emergency managers and emergency financial managers has been heating up. The Michigan Supreme Court last month ruled a union-backed referendum to repeal the law could go on the ballot. "The leader of the Michigan Senate says he and fellow Republican colleagues are armed with a proposal to replace the state law that lets emergency managers take over local governments in case voters strike it down in November. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville told The Associated Press yesterday that a draft is under legal review. The behind-the-scenes effort aims to keep a form of the contentious law on the books. Richardville says it acknowledges some concerns by critics, who say it takes too much power from local leaders struggling with budget deficits," the AP reports.

Trying to uncover death of former Teamsters boss

The Department of Environment Equality work to uncover the death of a former Teamsters boss.  "Soil samples will be taken from beneath a Detroit-area driveway in the search for the body of former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. The Department of Environmental Equality plans to start its work this morning in Roseville. Authorities are investigating a man's claim that he saw a body buried under the driveway 35 years ago," the AP reports.

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Snyder against handgun bill

"Governor Rick Snyder says he won’t support new legislation to make it easier to buy handguns. The package of bills would no longer force people to license handguns before purchasing or carrying them. It would also get rid of a registry keeping track of handgun owners with criminal backgrounds. The Governor says he’s concerned it would make it too easy for the wrong people to buy handguns. His office says he’s working with bill sponsors to work through those concerns, but he doesn’t support the legislation in its current form. Critics of the proposal say there should be background checks on people who buy firearms gun shows, over the internet, or from private individuals. They say those account for nearly half of all guns purchased in the state. Representative Paul Opsommer is sponsoring the legislation. He told the Capitol news service Gongwer this week 44 other states have similar bills on the books, and haven’t seen any major problems as a result," Jake Neher reports.

Democrats say GOP have been violating Michigan Constitution

"Democrats are taking their challenge to how state House Republicans rule the chamber to the Michigan Supreme Court. They say the GOP majority has been violating the Michigan Constitution by refusing to count the votes on a procedural motion that determines when laws take effect. The motion requires two-thirds super-majorities. But many laws have been allowed to become effective right away on voice votes that are not counted or recorded. Lower courts have said the judicial branch should not tell the Legislature how to conduct its business. Republicans say the lawsuit is just pre-election politics," Rick Pluta reports.

State House hear proposals on transit in southeast Michigan

"A State House panel will hear pitches for better regional transit coordination in southeast Michigan Thursday. A proposed regional transit authority for the region has support from Governor Snyder, many business leaders, and transit advocates. But the proposal has languished in the state legislature. Federal transportation officials have indicated they’re willing to put lots of money into Metro Detroit’s transit system. But they’ve been clear that won’t happen without a governing authority to run it," Sarah Cwiek reports.

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