Politics & Government
6:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Republicans & Democrats vying for Michigan's open 8th congressional district seat

Rep. Mike Rogers announced earlier this year that he was leaving Congress for a career in radio.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Republican Congressman Mike Rogers’ decision to retire from his 8th congressional district seat is leaving a void that Michigan Democrats hope to fill.

The 8th congressional district stretches over parts of Oakland, Livingston, Ingham, Shiawassee and Clinton counties.   And since 2001, Mike Rogers has kept it safely in the Republican column.

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Politics & Government
5:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Long-term Democrat challenged in Michigan's 13th Congressional primary race

Democratic Congressman John Conyers Jr. talks with Michigan Radio's Lester Graham. Conyers is facing a challenge in the 13th District primary.

Primary elections in Michigan will be held on August 5. Voters in parts of Detroit and Wayne County will decide between two Democratic candidates in the 13th Congressional District. The incumbent is John Conyers Jr. The challenger is The Rev. Horace Sheffield III.

Before we start talking about 2014, let me take you back 50 years:

“In your heart, you know he’s right. Vote for Barry Goldwater.”

“Vote for President Johnson on November 3rd. The stakes are too high for you to stay home.”

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Weather
9:29 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

Thunderstorms knock down trees, black out 150,000 in Michigan

WHITE LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A series of severe thunderstorms has hit Michigan's Lower Peninsula, packing winds of up to 50 miles per hour that knocked down trees, ripped roofs off buildings and blacked out at least 150,000 homes and businesses.

The National Weather Service says a trained spotter reports 1.75-inch hail struck Oakland County's White Lake Township in suburban Detroit on Sunday afternoon. It reports 50 mph wind gusts in neighboring Macomb County.

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Law
12:38 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

Flint police are trying to whittle down a backlog of misdemeanor warrants

There are more than 23,000 misdemeanor warrants on the Flint police department's books. Some date back to the 1970's.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint police are launching a new effort this week to clear a backlog of misdemeanor warrants.

The department has more than 23,000 misdemeanor warrants on its books. Some of them date back to the 1970’s.

Flint Police Chief James Tolbert says these warrants for relatively minor offenses can lead to major problems for police.

“Because they’re wanted, they run for us. They engage in high-speed pursuits,” says Tolbert. 

Tolbert says “Operation Fresh Start” lets people resolve their outstanding warrants without being arrested. 

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Politics & Government
11:43 am
Sun July 27, 2014

Lansing city leaders are being asked to welcome undocumented child immigrants

A coalition of religious leaders and immigration activists are urging the Lansing City Council to approve a resolution welcoming undocumented child immigrants
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This week,  activists will ask Lansing city leaders to adopt a resolution welcoming thousands of undocumented children who’ve entered the U.S. this year.

Since the beginning of the year, more than 50,000 children from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have crossed the southern United States border illegally. Most remain in overcrowded detention centers as their immigration status is reviewed.     

During the past month, anti-immigration groups have held vocal protests against efforts to bring undocumented children to Michigan. 

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That's What They Say
8:05 am
Sun July 27, 2014

Distinguishing between marinade and marinate

We soap things with soap and we spice things with spice, so it seems like it should be possible to marinade things in a marinade.

That might not be the case after all.

This week on That's What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan take a closer look at marinade and marinate.

According to Curzan, people seem to be concerned about the difference, or the confusion, between marinade, the noun, and marinate, the verb.

"The word 'marinade' as a noun, goes back to 1725, when we borrowed it from French," says Curzan. "The verb 'marinate' had been borrowed in from Italian in 1645, so it was already available in the language.

"When 'marinate' came into the language, it was a transitive verb. In other words, it had to have an object, so you 'marinated' things in vinegar, oil, or whatever you were marinating them in."

Curzan says a metaphorical system exists where we talk about ideas as food. For example, an idea might be "hard to swallow," or "half-baked." Other examples include ideas that are "regurgitated."

Are there any food-related metaphors that you use to describe various situations? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Omar Saadeh - Michigan Radio Newsroom

Politics & Government
9:02 pm
Sat July 26, 2014

Proposal 1 asks Michigan voters to weigh in on a complex tax issue

The personal property tax in Michigan is a tax on the equipment and machines that businesses use.
Michigan Citizens for Strong and Safe Communities YouTube

First, let's get a little griping out of the way.

Just look what your Michigan Legislature is asking you to decipher when you step into the voting booth on August 5:

There are many problems with this language.

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Education
6:08 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

State reverses decision to throw out southwest Michigan elementary’s MEAP scores

Credit Alberto G. / Creative Commons

Scores from this year’s standardized test at one southwest Michigan elementary school will count after all. The state is reversing its decision to throw out the test scores after the district appealed.

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Health
4:01 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Reports show early uptick of contagious hand, foot and mouth virus

Credit Courtesy of Children First

Recent reports show an early uptick in hand, foot and mouth disease.

The Kent County Health Department is seeing an increase of cases of the highly contagious virus, which normally occurs in August.

The virus is most common in children and is spread similarly to the common cold. Symptoms include fever, sore throat and sores on the mouth, hands and feet.

Lisa LaPlante represents the Kent County Health Department. She says the uptick could be attributed to public pools and playgrounds.

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Politics & Government
3:59 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Groups ask for pardon of Flint man held by Iran

Amir Hekmati
Credit courtesy of FreeAmir.org

A Muslim advocacy group is asking the Iranian government to pardon a Michigan it convicted of spying for the U.S. government.

Amir Hekmati is a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Three years ago, he traveled to Iran to visit his extended family. Hekmati is from Flint.

But when he arrived he was arrested and convicted of "cooperating with hostile governments." He's been in prison ever since.

Now, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other other groups are asking the Iranian government to pardon Hekmati.

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It's Just Politics
1:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Lt. Gov. Calley’s future could be decided on the bottom of the August ballot

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

 There are some big stakes in the primary elections less than two weeks away, and fierce fights over congressional and legislative nominations are getting a lot of attention.

Not that it’s likely to boost what is usually anemic turnout in the primaries, and that’s despite the reality that most seats are so firmly partisan that the primary is actually the decisive election that really determines who goes to Lansing or Washington.

Like other politicos, we’ve paid a lot of attention to the face-off between the Republican establishment and the GOP’s Tea Party wing. And while that fight is playing out in some state House and Senate races, and some big Congressional races, it’s also playing out locally. Very locally.

We’re talking about the humble precinct delegate.

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Sports
12:05 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

U of M's Regents vetoed fireworks because 'The Big House isn't Comerica Park'

Fireworks.
Credit user Colin K / Flickr

The University of Michigan’s athletic director sent a proposal to the University’s Regents, requesting permission to set off fireworks during two football games this fall. When the Regents turned down the request, it suggested the balance of power might be shifting. 

At first blush, the question of post-game fireworks didn’t seem like a big deal either way. On Michigan fan blogs, reactions were mixed.

As for the University’s Regents, they have bigger things to worry about. Even the athletic department’s budget which has grown by 50%, to $150 million dollars might seem like a lot to us, but that’s a rounding error at the University’s hospital.

So when the Regents voted down the fireworks for two games this season, it got people’s attention.

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Opinion
11:32 am
Fri July 25, 2014

These veterans deserve some recognition, but the City of Detroit ignores them

Mike Sand didn’t technically serve in Vietnam. But he might as well have. He was stationed with a tactical fighter group in Thailand where he serviced the planes and cleaned the messes out of the cockpits of the men who fought and died in the skies.

Paul Palazzollo did serve on the ground, for perhaps the two most intense years of the war. He earned a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and two purple hearts. But he doesn’t talk much about what he did. Few of his buddies do either. 

They’d rather talk about their dream, which is a Memorial Park commemorating all veterans of all wars, a peaceful place to relax, have programs, and learn about our history. 

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Politics & Government
5:36 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Major changes proposed to Flint governance

Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley holds a copy of a blue ribbon committee's report calling for major changes to Flint city government.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city government may undergo some major changes, if the recommendations from a blue ribbon committee become reality.

Before the governor appointed an emergency manager to run the city of Flint in 2011, the city’s mayor ran much of the city’s day-to-day business.   The city council, ombudsman and civil service office also held significant control.

When Flint eventually emerges from state oversight, someone else could be calling the shots.

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Transportation
7:28 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Ride share company Uber launches in more Michigan cities, but Uber at your own risk

East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero sign up to take an Uber ride for the company's launch in the Lansing area today.
Credit Courtesy photo / Uber

A technology company that allows people to turn their personal cars into taxi cabs is launching in four Michigan cities. But state officials say drivers are probably breaking the law.

Uber links people who want a ride to drivers who are available for a fixed price through a smart-phone app. The service is already available in Ann Arbor and Detroit. Now it’s launched in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Flint.

But it’s still very unclear if Uber drivers are following local and state regulations.

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Environment & Science
5:46 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

State orders Enbridge to fix pipeline through Mackinac straits

Enbridge says it will comply with the state's request to better secure the pipeline that runs along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.
Credit James Marvin Phelps / Flickr

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and the state Department of Environmental Quality have sent a warning letter to Enbridge Energy. It says the company has to do a better job of securing an oil pipeline that runs through the Straits of Mackinac.

“We just want to make sure that this pipeline’s going to be safe," said Dan Wyant, director of the DEQ. He says a leak in the pipeline would have implications throughout the Great Lakes.

“A lot of concern about this pipeline. Sixty years it’s been safe, but we’re in a position, Attorney General Schuette, I as the chief environmental officer of this state, to ensure we don’t have a problem on this pipeline,” he said.

Enbridge quickly responded it would add more anchors to its pipeline. Four years ago, a break in an Enbridge pipe dumped about a million of gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River.

Weekly Political Roundup
5:00 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

ACA ruling and its impact on Michigan

Credit Jimmy Emerson / Flickr

This week two separate federal appeals court rulings came down on opposite sides of a key provision in the Affordable Care Act. This leaves thousands of low and middle income Michiganders who signed up for healthcare through Michigan’s exchange in a bit of limbo. 

Jennifer White, host of All Things Considered, is joined by Marianne Udow Phillips, Director, Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants. 

Phillips states that although these rulings were issued nothing is going to change immediately and that it is important to understand that the legal rulings will take time to play out. 

“It would have a huge impact and it would really push the whole system into chaos,” explains Phillips. “There are 240,000 in Michigan who have already gotten health insurance coverage through the health insurance exchange with a subsidy, and so were they to lose that subsidy, almost all of them would not be able to afford healthcare coverage.” 

Sikkema states that it is a very polarizing topic and coupled with an election year, politicians and candidates have honed in on the issue. “It already is a big political issue; it’s the primary political issue for Republicans who are running for office” says Sikkema, “but it’s really hard to look in your crystal ball and see what the future of the Affordable Care Act is going to be.”

Politics & Government
3:46 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

State board rejects petition to raise Michigan's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour

Credit sushi ina / flickr

A state elections board has rejected a petition to raise Michigan’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in a 3 to 1 vote.

The Board of State Canvassers says the campaign failed to collect enough valid signatures to move forward.

John Pirich is with the group opposing the minimum wage proposal. He praised the board for throwing out dozens of duplicate signatures.

“I’m 100% confident that what we’ve shown them in terms of duplication will be confirmed by any review of any of them.”

Groups that support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could challenge the decision in court. They say the elections board went out of its way to throw out petition signatures.

*This post has been updated.

Station news
2:08 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Discussion in Detroit to focus on kids & breaking the cycle of violence

Credit: Dennis Hill / flickr

Michigan Radio’s popular “Issues & Ale” discussion series will visit the Traffic Jam & Snug restaurant in midtown Detroit on Monday,  July 28th at 6:00 pm to discuss the issue of kids growing up in violence.  Many kids growing up in urban areas and poverty face high levels of crime and violence. What impact does crime have on their mental and psychological development and are there programs that really work in addressing the problem?

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Transportation
12:47 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Approaching construction on the highway? Experts say the "zipper merge" can help

Hurry up and wait near East Lansing.
user Jeff B Flickr

Everybody has their own philosophy when it comes to merging in construction zones.

Conventional wisdom on the roads seems to be that when faced with an approaching merge, you should just get over as soon as you can and just wait for your turn like a good little driver.

The people whizzing by in the open lane are looked down upon - morally corrupt drivers making a BAD decision refusing to get in line and wait for their turn. 

Watching the other drivers zoom ahead makes you feel like this:

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