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Bill would bar Michigan communities from using public money for internet infrastrucure

Proposed legislation in Lansing would prevent local governments from using federal, state or local funds to invest in internet infrastructure unless the municipality already has a deal with a private company to provide the internet service.

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car crash
W. Robert Howell via Wikimedia Commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0

Michigan legislators are debating auto insurance this week. One proposal would let people choose different levels of coverage – dropping the mandatory open-ended catastrophic medical coverage that's in place now.  Another plan would prohibit the use of zip codes and credit histories to set rates. Everyone – with the possible exception of the insurance companies – seems to agree rates are too high.

Morning Edition host Doug Tribou asks Michigan Radio's senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry if he sees any path to a deal. 

Saugatuck Dunes
Norm Hoekstra / Creative Commons

Some Michigan residents are saying no to a potential development along the Kalamazoo River in Saugatuck.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality held a public meeting last night to hear from residents about a proposed development project along dunes on Lake Michigan.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Next month, Flint voters will decide if they want to recall their mayor.  

The unusually large field of candidates may draw an unusually low number of voters to the polls.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city council members are assessing their options now that a federal judge has told them the time has come to decide the city’s long-term tap water source. 

Flint has been getting its drinking water from the Great Lakes Water Authority since the fall of 2015.   Flint’s mayor and state government officials agreed to a 30-year contract to keep the water flowing. But Flint council members have balked.

Their main concern is about rising future costs.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor delivered her State of the City address last night.

At times, it sounded like a campaign stump speech.

Mayor Karen Weaver focused on positive developments over the past year in a city usually associated with problems. During the mayor’s 40-plus minute speech, she talked about economic development, lower crime rates and improving city services. 

Weaver also stressed the need to continue to recover from the city’s drinking water crisis.

Tracy Samilton/Michigan Radio

Ann Arbor will significantly expand its deer cull this winter, requesting trained sharpshooters to kill up to 350 deer.  That's up from the goal of 100 last year (sharpshooters were able to kill 96).

Most of the cull will take place in Wards 1 and 2, north of the river, where as many as 600 deer are living, according to Tom Crawford, who is in charge of the city's deer management program.

He says it's year three of a four-year program, and the city has enough experience with the program now to determine what's needed.

The origin of the term "gerrymandering" comes from a political cartoon from March of 1812. This was drawn in reaction to the newly-drawn state senate election district of South Essex created by the Massachusetts legislature to favor
J. Albert Bowden II / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

If you’ve been to a fall festival or any kind of carnival in the state lately, chances are there was a booth there for Voters Not Politicians.

That group is gathering signatures to get a proposal on the ballot. It wants an independent commission to draw the congressional and legislative districts to avoid gerrymandering districts in favor of one party or the other.

rock and roll hall of fame
Chris "Paco" Camino / Flickr- HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL

Could 2017 be MC5's year? 

Detroit Music Magazine Publisher Paul Young and Executive Editor Khalid Bhatti think so. 

After two unsuccessful nominations to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 and 2016, they say nostalgia around the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit uprising might help their case, along with the band's famous supporters like Iggy Pop and The Stooges. 

GM Renaissance Center in Detroit.
John F. Martin / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Liz Wetzel never thought she'd work at General Motors, or any car company for that matter. 

She was an art student after all. 

But when her dad noticed there was a lack of female designers in the Pontiac studios where he worked, he suggested she pursue automotive design. 

detroit city skyline
Shawn Wilson / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Sonya Mays doesn't like saying the "g word" – gentrification, that is. 

But if we're talking about it, she says her company Develop Detroit might just have the solution. 

“We’re saying that we believe that there’s a way to be very intentional and thoughtful and to partner with particularly residents who have been in a community the longest. We’re saying there’s an approach here that can be taken that doesn’t directly lead to rapid displacement," Mays said. 

It's called equitable development, and she says cities like Harlem and Washington, D.C., have used it to combat gentrification with mostly positive results. 

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