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Michelle Huan

Reem Nasr

Chrissy Yates

State of Opportunity

Megha Satyanarayana


Bre'Anna Tinsley


Honeycrisp apples are explosively popular.
University of Minnesota

In out little informal apple poll, Michiganders agreed: Honeycrisp apples are the tastiest apple to eat.

Unfortunately, your love for Honeycrisp apples could be the reason why they are so pricey.

According to the University of Minnesota website, Honeycrisp apples are now enjoyed by millions, in places like Europe, New Zealand and South Africa. 

Karen Stintz - Flickr Creative Commons - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Fifth-grade students at Muskegon Middle School will begin receiving drug- and gang-resistance training in November.

The Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T) program aims to deter students from participating in destructive behaviors before they start.

Adam Gerard / Flickr Creative Commons - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Three of the top five most-violent cities in America are in Michigan, according to new FBI statistics released Monday.

Flickr user Morgin (with modifications made by Michigan Radio) / Flickr via Creative Commons http://bit.ly/1iowB8m

When we asked you to nominate the best Michigan apples on social media, one thing was clear: it's probably not the Red Delicious

The Association of American Universities today announced the appointment of Mary Sue Coleman, former president of the University of Michigan, as its new president, effective June 1, 2016.

Coleman will succeed Hunter R. Rawlings III, who has served as president since June 2011. Rawlings informed the AAU board of directors in May that he would retire from AAU next May.

Cristian Bernal / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Students at Hastings High School have submitted a petition with 304 signatures asking to be allowed to display the Confederate battle flag on school grounds.

A small group of students initiated display of the flag, which they did not understand to be widely perceived as a symbol of racial hatred. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Oakland County Health Division has recorded its first human fatality from West Nile virus in Michigan for 2015. The 81-year-old woman died due to complications from the virus. This was the first death from the virus in Oakland County since 2003.

A Flint resident holds a jug of tainted Flint water.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint switched its drinking water source in April of 2014. The city went from Detroit water to water from the Flint River, and there have been problems ever since.

Most recently, residents have been enraged to hear about elevated lead levels in kids. At this point, Flint residents have been unsure about the safety of their water for over a year.

Here's a quick rundown of the problems some Flint residents have been complaining about.  

Many Michigan students finished up their first week of school today. While younger kids might see just another year of quizzes and tests, their parents are taking note of the effects of budget cuts and other administrative changes. We visited local schools to ask parents how things have changed this year.

School Bus
Nicolae Gerasim / Flickr

Michigan prisoners have raised more than $53,000 to help buy children school uniforms and supplies. The program, Dress for Success, is part of the Pathways to Potential project of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 The first human cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed for 2015. Three patients in Macomb, Monroe and Ottawa counties have been diagnosed with the disease. Kim Signs, an epidemiologist with the Department of Health and Human Services, says, "All were men in their 60s who were hospitalized with an illness consistent with West Nile neuroinvasive disease. And all were released and are recovering."

An additional two individuals have tested positive for West Nile virus through blood donation. 

Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

The Macomb Library for the Blind looks more like a combination of a post office and library than just a library. Plastic bins stamped with “US Postal Service” are stacked in the backroom where administrative assistant Kathy Nuss and librarian Anne Mandel run through lists of patron orders. The library ships audiobooks, braille books and descriptive DVDs (films where the action is narrated) to Macomb County residents that can’t make it into the library due to a visual or physical impairment. 

Traverse Area District Library

At the Woodmere branch of the Traverse Area District Library in Traverse City, storytelling doesn’t just mean picture books and reading aloud. It means singing, crafts and sometimes, tackling difficult topics: like sexual abuse.

In April, children’s librarian Catherine Lancaster planned a story time based on Jill Starishevsky’s children’s book “My Body Belongs to Me”, which tells the story of a child inappropriately touched by an uncle’s friend. The child tells on the adult and is met with praise for being brave.  

Ashley Rose / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

A non-profit agency based in Livingston County wants sexual assault victims to call them first, before the police.

LACASA Center offers medical care, including a rape kit that meets law enforcement standards, counseling, and legal support to victims in a safe and confidential setting. Victims are under no obligation to report their crime to police, but if they choose to do so, LACASA can guide them through a legal process that can be difficult and at times shaming for victims.

Paula Friedrich/Michigan Radio

Dozens of flyers in the front hallway of the newly renovated Pinckney Community Public Library advertise programs: puzzle hour, knitting group, kids yoga, adult Zumba, after-hours movie nights and, of course, book discussion groups. Director Hope Siasoco flits among all of them, calling patrons by name, pointing out the local artwork hanging on the wall and joking that the movie nights are the “cheapest date in town.”

Paula Friedrich/Michigan Radio

There’s a bright blue bus that rumbles through Ypsilanti streets. The words “Start Here. Go Anywhere.” are painted on the outside. On the inside there are shelves of books, two computers, a reading nook and a checkout station.

“We function as a moving block party,” said Mary Garboden, who runs the bookmobile as Ypsilanti District Library’s outreach librarian. At every stop kids run onto the bus, returning DVDs, checking out books or making use of the bus’ internet equipped computers.

Paula Friedrich/Michigan Radio

On a recent Thursday, the Cascade Branch of the Kent District Library in Cascade Township, just outside of Grand Rapids, was bustling – but not just with patrons checking out books.

Toddlers played in KDLville, a learning center that engages kids and their parents through writing, talking, playing, singing, and reading, which all promote literacy. The branch even offers events where patrons can learn how to hula hoop, watch movies on the big screen and get answers to their technology questions without going to the Apple Store.

Paula Friedrich/Michigan Radio

Although Walton Erickson Memorial Library in Morley is one of only six libraries left in the state that uses a physical card catalog instead of an automated one, that doesn't mean it's technology deficient.

The library has six computers, often occupied by patrons who come to file their taxes, book bus and plane tickets, or do homework.

Morley is a rural town an hour north of Grand Rapids, dotted with cornfields and farm stands full of fresh produce. The library serves an area of 9,800 people, including a sizeable Amish population.

Paula Friedrich/Michigan Radio

You check out rent the giant chess set that’s in the lobby of the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library. Production librarian Jody Harnish said since it takes about about a dozen human-sized bags to transport, they haven’t found a good way to coordinate it. But that’s about the only thing that’s off limits. There are electric guitars, models of the human brain, sewing machines, Frisbee golf sets and energy meters, all ready to be checked out, just like a book.  

Paula Friedrich/Michigan Radio

  Pre-Wikipedia there was the encyclopedia.

Pre-Google there was the reference desk.


In the age of the Internet, what’s the future of the local library?

Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

Pre-Wikipedia there was the encyclopedia.

Pre-Google there was the reference desk.

In the age of the Internet, what’s the future of the local library?

We drove across the state and visited several local libraries to see for ourselves. We found libraries that serve their communities in different ways.

Complaints by Ann Arbor residents have prompted Scio Township to look into an odor problem originating with the township's waste system. Sewage pumped from Scio Township's wastewater treatment system enters Ann Arbor's system near the corner of Arborview Boulevard and Miller Avenue. At times, especially on hot summer days, the sewage produces a powerful odor that residents say forces them to stay indoors.

(courtesy of HIVandHepatitis.com)

Doctors have been grossly underestimating liver damage in patients with hepatitis C, according to a new study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

The study, which involved 9,783 patients, showed that 2,788, or 29 percent, had signs of cirrhosis, but only 1,727 had the condition properly documented in their medical records. 

Grand River Edges Trail.
user deckheck / Rails to Trails Conservancy

The Grand River, from Jackson to Grand Haven, will become a water trail, under a new designation by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The project will make improvements along the river, adding trail markers and amenities for paddlers. The Michigan water trails project is intended to promote tourism, healthy lifestyles, and natural resources, according to Marc Miller, Regional Initiatives Deputy with the DNR.

Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

A few decades ago, if you wanted to know how far Port Huron is from Grand Rapids, you'd have had to look it up in a book. And that book would have probably come from the library. Today, Google will tell you the answer (180.9 miles) in less than a second.

So where does that leave libraries, with their stores of atlases, story books, encyclopedias and dictionaries?

That's what we're exploring when we hit the road on tomorrow to do some reporting for an upcoming online feature.

LadyDragonflyCC - >;< / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

People in Northwest Michigan are still cleaning up the damage from severe storms that caused damage at some of the state's most popular tourist spots.

Hail damaged fruit trees. Nearly 100-mile-an-hour winds damaged homes and other buildings. It caused almost $35 million in damage in Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties, according to early estimates.

Lake Improvement Association / Flickr

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that a 2011 algae bloom shut down Toledo's water system. It also incorrectly attributed to Dr. Sonia Joseph-Joshi a statement that this year's blooms are not expected to affect the system.

A growth of harmful algae on Lake Erie has grown larger than last year's bloom, according to the National and Oceanic Atmospheric Adminstration's Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Bulletin. 

User Motown31 / Creative Commons

 Lincoln Consolidated Schools will resolve its budget deficit in part by cutting about 50 teaching jobs, says Superintendent Ellen Bonter. About ten teachers have accepted buyout offers, and another 24 have been laid off by the Ypsilanti-area school district.

"We’re hoping that number could increase, hoping that we could return some of our laid off teachers to full employment," Bonter says.

A reduction of $4.7 to $5 million will come from the teacher's unit alone, with another million to 1.5 million from other areas of the budget. 

Joe Woods
Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

After five years, Washtenaw County’s street paper “Groundcover,” is facing more demand than the monthly publication can handle.

Groundcover pledges news “from the ground up,” and serves as an accessible source of income for homeless and for other people for whom mainstream employment is difficult to find. Vendors buy the paper for 25 cents and sell it for a dollar.

The confluence of Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River in 2010 (left), and in 2015 (right).
USEPA and Mark Brush / USEPA, Michigan Radio

Five years ago today, an oil pipeline near Marshall, Michigan split open, starting the biggest inland oil spill in U.S. history.

The heavy tar sands oil came from Enbridge Energy's pipeline 6B. The oil flowed into Talmadge Creek and then into the Kalamazoo River.