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Senator Debbie Stabenow
USDAgov / Flickr

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, and U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-MI, have introduced legislation that addresses the threat of Asian carp entering the Great Lakes.

Paige Pfleger / Michigan Radio

What's the future of Detroit's neighborhoods?

That was a question discussed by a panel at the 2015 Detroit Policy Conference

The panel included former city councilman Ken Cockrel, TechTown Detroit's Bonnie Fahoome, Victoria Kovari from the city's Department of Neighborhoods, and Tahirih Ziegler from the Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corp

user: Dwight Burdette / Wikimedia Commons

The traffic on US-23 between Brighton and Ann Arbor can be rough during rush hours, which is why the Michigan Department of Transportation is considering adopting 'dynamic shoulders' -- the road's shoulders would open as a way to alleviate traffic. 

"They have been used in other states, in Europe," explained Kari Arend, spokesperson for MDOT. "So this would be the first time such a system would be implemented in Michigan"

Rodney Campbell / User: Flickr

Michigan Radio's M I Curious project is a news experiment where we investigate questions submitted by the public about our state and its people.

In December, longtime Ann Arbor resident Ellen Rusten asked this question:

"It seems to me that there are fewer chickadees in Ann Arbor than there were 40 years ago. Is that true and, if so, why?"

Steve Carmody

Hell is for sale, and a Detroit-based artists group called Damned wants to buy it.

"When Hell came up for sale on Friday the 13th, it seemed an interesting switch to focus maybe on creating a natural, larger, world class performance art center," said Anthony DVS, the head producer of Damned who prefers to go by his pseudonym.

Vanessa Miller / Detroit Bus Company

The Detroit Bus Company launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for their Youth Transit Alliance.

The Alliance, which began in 2013, helps get kids from the Southwest Detroit neighborhood of Springwells to after-school programs, then safely back home afterwards, for free. 

User: West Midlands Police / Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced it will start testing body cameras on agents in the field. The first phase of the feasibility study took place in the border agency's training academies from October through December 2014.

CBP says its goal is greater transparency and accountability. 

A new report released by the Graham Sustainability Institute looks at Michigan's options for regulating hydraulic fracturing of natural gas in Michigan.

The report says current regulations are written for smaller wells drilled to a depth of 800 to 2,000 feet, using about 50,000 gallons of water each. But high-volume fracking, using wells drilled as deep as 10,000 feet, could take off in Michigan if economic conditions become favorable for it. There are currently only 13 high-volume wells in Michigan, compared to 12,000 conventional shallow wells.

City of Detroit

In what officials call an effort towards greater transparency, the city of Detroit launched a website that offers access to many government documents that were once difficult to find. 

"People have questions on how the government works, and it's frustrating when it's difficult to get answers to those questions," said Garlin Gilchrist II. 

Wisconsin Historical Society

Almost 900 square miles of Lake Michigan near Wisconsin have been added to an inventory of sites up for consideration as National Marine Sanctuaries.

The area contains 34 known shipwrecks and 122 reported vessel losses.

Fifteen of the shipwrecks are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The wrecks are interesting for themselves -- and also for their cargo.

NASA

A Michigan native is vying for a one-way ticket to a very unusual destination. 

Laura Smith-Velazquez is one of 100 finalists from across the globe trying to be a part of a mission to begin colonizing Mars. 

Andrew Krietz of MLive reports:

Paul Sullivan / Flickr Creative Commons

The Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division (CVED) of the Michigan State Police has launched a new state initiative to involve the trucking industry in its fight against human trafficking.

Captain Michael Krumm, commander of the CVED, said a lot of human trafficking activity takes place in truck stops and rest areas. So "as the eyes and ears of the nation's highways," the trucking industry is in a good position to help.

user FatMandy / flickr

A judge says Wayne County must take steps to improve the condition of its current jail.

An opinion from Circuit Court Judge Timothy Kenny says problems with the old jail have gotten worse while the county focused its efforts on building a new jail. Kenny says the completion of the new jail is not "imminent."

flickr

A $20 million vision to turn Detroit's Chandler Park into an ecological laboratory is underway. 

"The goal is to create the first urban conservation park in Michigan," said Maggie DeSantis, president of the East Side Community Network, which is facilitating a collaborative effort of several community organizations to revitalize the 200-acre park on Detroit's east side.

User: Limbic / Flickr

Thousands of Michiganders will have something to smile about if Governor Rick Snyder's budget proposal, which takes steps to improve access to dental care, passes through the Legislature.

Snyder wants to expand the state's Healthy Kids Dental program to the three most populous counties in the state - Oakland, Wayne and Kent - for children up to age 8.

Pediatric dentist Martin Makowski, president of the Michigan Dental Association, said children who can't see a dentist regularly stand to lose a lot more than just teeth.

The Woodward Spine

Neighbors of the Detroit Zoo are complaining about the noise -- and it's not the lions, the tigers, or the bears that they have a problem with.

It's the noise produced by the summer crowds the zoo brings in, various night-time events like concerts, and loudspeakers playing prehistoric dinosaur noises.

A child at Mott Children's hospital is one of five Michigan newborns saved because of state-required heart screenings. 

Newborn Payton Morris was minutes away from being discharged from the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital when her parents learned that she had failed a new state mandated heart test. 

user anonymonous / Flickr

  The most recent count of Washtenaw County's homeless population through the Point in Time Count showed a 24 percent decrease in the number of people on the streets and in shelters since 2013. 

Below is a graph of the change in the homeless population of Washtenaw over the last three Point in Time Counts. 

beaumontpete / Flickr Creative Commons

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission has proposed allowing self-serve machines that dispense up to 96 ounces of beer, wine or mixed spirit drink in a single order.

The machine "could be on a wall. It could be in a booth or built into a table," said Andrew Deloney, chair of the Commission.

Customers must place a new order for each additional 96 ounces, said Deloney, and for each order, "the server still has the same obligation to make sure that people are of legal drinking age and that they are not visibly intoxicated."

morguefile

An organization of Michigan biotech companies is pushing to fix for a law they say unfairly burdens medical device companies with a requirement to hire a pharmacist.

The Pharmacy Control and Drug Practice law, Public Act 280 went into effect Sept. 30, 2014.

Tim Gee

An organization of Michigan biotech companies is looking for a permanent fix for a law they say unfairly burdens medical device companies.  

The Pharmacy Control and Drug Practice law went into effect in September. It was originally intended to improve the safety of drug products sold by compounding pharmacies. 

hmm360/morguefile

Every year, thousands of the state's best and brightest collect diplomas from Michigan colleges and universities and then leave for Chicago, New York and other cities. However, two lawmakers think tax credits could help keep the brain drain at bay.

Historically, missions executed by NASA (and others) were on a grand scale – massive spacecraft built with massive budgets and a massive labor force, but in the past decade, an education and industrial focus has emerged on sending nano-satellites, known as CubeSats, into orbit (so named for their cubical shape).

Jewelry For A Cause

Jewelry buyers from around the country can help get illegal weapons off the streets of Detroit.

A company called Jewelry For A Cause has recently launched the Detroit Caliber Collection. The 13-item collection joins similar collections for Newark, San Francisco and Hartford.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

The Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren is pushing hard to publish a set of recommendations for improving Detroit schools by the end of March.

The group is gathering feedback from community and key leaders over a 90-day period to find solutions for a district hit hard by a dwindling population, and a fractured school landscape.

U.S Embassy Manila, Phillipines / flickr

More than 21,000 4 year olds have been enrolled in free preschool in Michigan over the past two years, according to Ron French at Bridge Magazine. It's the result of the biggest pre-school expansion in the nation

In 2012, a Bridge investigation found that about 30,000 pre-school aged kids that qualified for free preschool were not attending due to lack of funding, logistical issues or lack of transportation services. 

Paul Engstrom / Skillman Foundation

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is asking Detroit area businesses to offer at least 5,000 summer jobs in 2015 to Detroit teens and young adults.

He addressed more than 100 business leaders yesterday at the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.  

"For every dollar a business puts in to employ a young person, the mayor will match," said Kristen McDonald of the Skillman Foundation, one of the sponsors of the newly re-launched Grow Detroit's Young Talent program.

Paige Pfleger / Michigan Radio

People will be hitting the streets Wednesday to count the number of homeless individuals in Washtenaw County. 

The count is a part of the Point in Time census that is conducted every other year and documents the sheltered and unsheltered homeless people in the area. 

This year's count is especially important, because the county only has one year to end veteran homelessness to meet it's goal as a part of the national Zero:2016 Campaign. 

Alex Ragone / Flickr Creative Commons

Starting a week from today, if you need emergency help in Oakland County, you'll be able to text 911 – as well as call it.

"The sheriff's office in Oakland County just wants to use the latest technology available to identify callers in need," said Mel Maier, chief of  emergency management operations for the Sheriff's Office.

Director Clover Adams and Deputy Commissioner Xia Qianbao of the Ocean & Fisheries Bureau from the Jiangsu Province signing a Memorandum of Understanding.
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Officials from Michigan and China plan to work together on developing advancements in fisheries and aquaculture.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development last week in Lansing hosted a delegation from the province of Jiangsu.

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