Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan is paying criminal defense bills for two state employees charged amid Flint's crisis with lead-tainted water.

  The state Department of Environmental Quality is paying fees for Stephen Busch and Mike Prysby, who are charged with evidence tampering, misconduct in office and safe drinking water violations.

  The Detroit Free Press reports Michigan must provide or pay for defense for state employees sued in connection with their jobs, but not those facing criminal charges.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

TOLEDO – Ohio's plan to take a big bite out of what's feeding the toxic cyanobacteria in western Lake Erie leans heavily on programs put in place over the last few years.

The strategy obtained by The Associated Press calls for additional water monitoring and more oversight of existing programs, but no new money toward targeting the blooms threatening drinking water.

The plan being rolled out Wednesday is the state's blueprint for reaching a 40% reduction in the phosphorus runoff that fuels the cyanobacteria in the lake's western end.

LANSING – Coercing a woman to have an abortion would be a misdemeanor in Michigan, under a bill sent to Gov. Rick Snyder.

The Senate approved the legislation, 26-11, Wednesday with all Democrats and one Republican voting against it. The bill would make coercion a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000; $10,000 if the accused is the father of the embryo or fetus.

FLICKR USER PLEIN https://flic.kr/p/du7adQ

Republican Senator John Proos of St. Joseph is proposing legislation that would require individuals with solar panels to sell their energy back to the utility companies at a wholesale rate and buy it back at a retail rate. This is also known as net metering.

HTTP://WWW.WAYNECOUNTY.COM/PROSECUTOR/

DETROIT – Charges have been filed in two shootings that killed a child and injured another in Detroit.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy defended her decision to charge relatives of victims who shot themselves after finding unsecured guns at home. She says adults who "adopt, bear or look after children" must be held responsible.

Five-year-old Mariah Davis shot herself in the neck after finding a gun under a pillow on May 11. Her grandparents were charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter and other crimes.

John Thomas

In the summer of 2013, we spoke with law professor and music journalist John Thomas about the Kalamazoo Gals on Stateside.

Thomas had uncovered the story of women who built some 9,000 guitars at the Gibson Guitar headquarters in Kalamazoo during World War II.

This discovery clashed with Gibson’s official assertion that they built no instruments during the war.

He tells the story in his book, Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women & Gibson’s “Banner” Guitars of WWII.

In the three years since we last spoke, the story has taken some interesting turns. Today Thomas and Kalamazoo Gal Irene Stearns joined us again on Stateside to talk about it.

The Henry Ford

The Beatles have come to The Henry Ford Museum.

The "break-up letter," the legal document that dissolved the band members’ official ties to one another.Credit The Henry FordEdit | Remove

The Magical History Tour, a 10,000-square-foot exhibit that explores the full history of the iconic rock band is coming to Dearborn. The exhibit takes fans through the band's early days in Liverpool through its break-up in the 1970s and the solo careers that followed. 

While there are millions of fans of the band in the Great Lakes State, the number of significant connections to Michigan is relatively minimal (Paul McCartney has a Detroit Red Wings sticker on his guitar!). So why was Michigan chosen as the first stop on this tour? 

"We didn't chose Michigan, Michigan chose us," said Will Peterson from the Minnesota-based Exhibits Development Group (EDG), which is putting on the event.

The exhibit is broken down into four galleries. The first explores the life of the Beatles prior to the union of the band. It looks at what they were into and inspired by as they grew up in England.

The next is a gallery detailing life on the road, from the Beatles' perspective. It includes photographs of the 1964 tour of the Americas, which have not been on display before.

The third gallery joins the Beatles in the studio, putting some of the band's original recording equipment on display.

And finally, the fourth gallery is about the breakup, and the band members' careers and lives after the Beatles.

"It's a nice bit of closure to realize that though the band, as an entity, ended, the spirit and the life and certainly the influence of the Beatles, didn't," Peterson said.

The Magical Mystery Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition will be at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn from now through Sept. 18. Details are at TheHenryFord.org.

Michigan restaurant-goers may soon be able to dine with their dogs.

A Senate committee approved a bill that would give restaurant owners the option to allow dogs on their patios.

Margaret O'Brien sponsored the bill.

She says states like New York, California and Florida have similar laws already and have had few to no issues with dogs being at restaurants.

O'Brien says the restaurant owners have final say in dogs being allowed.

 

surgical instrument tray
wikimedia / creative commons

Last fall, operating room nurses at Ann Arbor's Veterans Administration hospital began noticing little specks of particulate matter in surgical instrument trays.

The specks meant that surgery had to be rescheduled or canceled, if a speck-free replacement tray was unavailable. 

Initially attributed solely to a water main break, months later, some surgeries are still being canceled due to particulate matter on the trays, despite the hospital taking a number of steps.

Eric Young is acting director of the Ann Arbor VA. 

TomCasperson.com

LANSING – A Michigan senator has introduced legislation that could stop transgender students from using bathrooms that don't match their "biological sex."

Sen. Tom Casperson, a Republican, unveiled a bill Wednesday that would offer accommodations to transgender students with parental consent. But the accommodation can't include a bathroom, locker room or shower used by students "of the opposite biological sex."

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof says the legislation is not a priority for the Senate. It's been assigned to a committee.

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