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Michelle Huan

Reem Nasr

Chrissy Yates

State of Opportunity

Megha Satyanarayana


Bre'Anna Tinsley


user jdurham / morguefile

State representative Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth Township) has sponsored a bill to reverse a law in effect since 2006 requiring all public schools in Michigan to start after Labor Day. That law was passed to support the tourism industry by extending the vacation season, but Heise says it has made little difference to tourism revenues while burdening schools with a very inconvenient schedule.

The law would provide an option for schools to start before Labor Day as long as the preceding Friday was still a vacation day. "That way, everybody's guaranteed a four day weekend," Heise says.

Ashlie Forchione

Michigan State University graduate students marched on campus to protest a contract they say does not provide an adequate lifestyle for vital university staff.

About 250 students participated in the march, sponsored by the Graduate Employees Union. They are demanding a set of accommodations in their next contract that includes tuition waivers, affordable health care, an inclusive work environment, and a living salary.

Union President Sylvia Marques says MSU's pay for graduate students is on the low end for Big Ten universities, and that combined with high health care premiums, it is difficult for the students to make ends meet. 


A policy to ban guns in Ann Arbor schools is heading to the courtroom.

The policy stems from an incident last month when an Ann Arbor resident openly carried a gun to a high school choir concert.

Kevin Rosseel / morguefile

A private prison near Baldwin, Michigan could re-open, adding 150 jobs to the economy, under a bill sponsored by state Rep. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo. The prison operated from 1998 through 2005 as a private youth facility, and was open again briefly later housing inmates from California. It closed again in 2011. 

jimmiehomeschoolmom / flickr

Legislation set for introduction next week would require home-schoolers to report to their school districts and check in with child welfare experts twice a year. 

Courtesy Quicken Loans

As part of its five-year investment in Detroit, JPMorgan Chase conducted a study of the current state of the city's job force.

It released the report today, which details where there will be job openings, and what training will be needed to get those jobs. 

Chauncy Lennon is the head of workforce initiatives for JPMorgan Chase. 

"By providing people more opportunity, opportunities to get GEDs, opportunities to get other kinds of certificates and credentials, we'll be helping those folks really be in position to be candidates for these jobs."

Steven Vance / Creative Commons

Right now, skateboarding is banned in downtown Grand Rapids. But advocates say skateboards, longboards, roller skates, and roller blades are just like any other kind of non-motorized transportation. They say they should be allowed on downtown streets just like bicycles.

The Grand Rapids City Commission is considering the proposed change. It will hold a public hearing at city hall Tuesday night.

Catherine Shaffer

 The University of Michigan student group Fashion for Freedom staged a mock fashion show on campus Friday to protest the sexualization of women's bodies in advertising, which the group believes promotes sexual violence and human trafficking.

The group then marched on downtown Ann Arbor retailers, applauding those with respectful advertising and protesting stores with ad campaigns it believes objectify women, including American Apparel.


Several Michigan universities are offering free tax help for low-income families.

Ron Draayer is with Davenport University and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. He says the program is part of a greater effort to help people get their tax refunds.

A Blood Moon visible during a total lunar eclipse.

Early tomorrow morning, a total lunar eclipse, or "blood moon," will grace the skies of much of Michigan. The eclipse itself will span several hours, though total lunar coverage, in which the moon takes on a reddish hue, will last only about five minutes. 

Lunar eclipses occur when the earth slides between the sun and moon, obstructing the light that normally illuminates our moon.  For those viewing from Michigan, the eclipse will start at 5:00 am, with peak lunar coverage occurring at around 7:00 am. 

RegBarc / Wikimedia Commons

The American Lung Association is not happy with state health insurance plans.

Jim Harrington with the Lung Association says in Michigan, many plans aren't covering the drugs or therapy needed to help people quit. 

University of Michigan Supermileage Team

Imagine how much money you'd save on gas if your car got 1,000 miles per gallon. 

That's the goal of the University of Michigan's Supermileage Team. They're competing in the Shell Eco Marathon in Detroit next week.

Bwmoll3 / Wikimedia commons

Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters signed onto letters Monday to try to stop federal cuts that would hurt the state.

Both senators signed onto letters sent out Monday. One urges a senate subcommittee to support health clinics for primary medical care.

Arborlight hopes to replace harsh indoor lights like the ones pictured above with natural lighting that simulates sunlight.
Ari Sandberg / Michigan Radio

For many of us lacking the fortune of an office with a window, harsh indoor lighting has become an accepted staple of workplace life. This reality might be changing in the not-so-distant future.

Ann Arbor-based technology company Arborlight has been awarded a $1.7 million venture capital investment to further commercialize its "daylight simulator."

Vince Cavalieri / US Fish and Wildlife Service

It may not feel like Spring, but the piping plovers are returning. 

A growing number of the endangered birds soon will return from their winter nests to their Michigan homes.


A cluster of three chicken pox cases in Birmingham, Michigan, prompted the school district to exclude unvaccinated children until April 14 to prevent the virus from spreading.

The directive, issued by the Oakland County Health Division, affects about a dozen families, according to Birmingham schools superintendent Daniel Nerad.

Dan Moyle / Flickr Creative Commons

States like Michigan that allow employers to enforce non-compete clauses may be inadvertently hurting their economies, according to a recent study.

Employers sometimes require new employees to sign a non-compete agreement promising they won't go work for another company in the same industry for one or two years after leaving their job.

Kalamazoo College will no longer require students to provide their ACT or SAT scores when they apply. 

Instead, admissions officials will look more closely at the classes applicants took in high school, and their GPA. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Northern Michigan’s congressman says he plans to run again in 2016.

Dan Benishek represents Michigan’s first congressional district, and plans to run for a fourth term.

"I’m happy to serve the people of northern Michigan if they’ll have me. And I’ve decided that I’m gonna try to stay a little longer,” Benishek said.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing city council is getting a 20% pay raise, despite protests from some council members. 

Five of the eight council members voted to reject the pay raise. But they fell short of the super-majority needed to block the raise. 

Picture of the aurora as seen from Peach Mountain Observatory near Dexter, MI
Logan Sisca / Michigan Exploration Laboratory

Recently, Michiganders as far south as Ann Arbor were treated to an amazing Northern Lights show.  Though neither person nor atmospheric ion can stay excited forever, clear skies allowed astronomy enthusiasts to beautifully preserve the event through photos.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Ohio lawmakers are close to a compromise on legislation aimed to reduce farm runoff into Lake Erie and other Ohio waterways.

The goal is to stop the spread of the toxic algae that contaminated Toledo's drinking water supply last summer.

"I think this bill will make sure the nutrients won't get in the water system, and we'll have less algae blooms over time," said Ohio State Senator Bob Peterson who co-sponsored the bill.

user Laura4Smith / Flickr

Five years after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, enrollment by Michigan residents has surpassed projections.

According to Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of the University of Michigan's Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation (CHRT), nearly 1 million Michigan residents signed up for health care in the last enrollment period. Almost 600,000 of those enrollees took advantage of Healthy Michigan, the state's Medicaid expansion program. 

Paige Pfleger / Michigan Radio

A bus company in Detroit sees a future for the city where every kid can get a ride to their after-school programs, and then back to their door for free. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint fired its long-time water provider, the city of Detroit, last spring, and began treating its own water from the Flint River.

There were problems right away, including complaints by residents about the taste, smell and appearance of the water.


In 1945, Grand Rapids was the first city in the U.S. to add fluoride to its water.

But a candidate for mayor doesn't see that as a bragging point today.

John George says "more than a thousand" studies show risks from fluoridated water, including links to higher levels of ADHD, hypothyroidism, and lower IQs in kids.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

State Representative Jeff Irwin wants to end daylight saving time for all of Michigan. 

The practice, he says, was adopted during WWI to cut back on energy usage. However, today, daylight saving time actually correlates with an increase in energy usage. 

Freaktography / flickr.com

Though the proposal is formally known by the House Fiscal Agency as the "Transportation Funding Package," the 10 bills included in the May 5 proposal extend beyond road funding to include alterations in state education funding and sales tax policies.  

If Proposal 1 passes, the following bills will be enacted into law:

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

The Ann Arbor school board is requesting that the state legislature repeal a controversial gun law.

The law allows someone with a concealed pistol license to openly carry a gun into a school. Carrying a concealed weapon into a school is still illegal.

The board took the action after a man with a concealed pistol license attended a high school performance last week, bearing an openly displayed, holstered weapon.

Colleen / Flickr Creative Commons

The state Board of Education is expected to pick a new superintendent soon. The board narrowed the list of finalists to three today.

Bill DiSessa, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Education, says the finalists will be interviewed next Wednesday, and the Board will make the final choice after that meeting.