Mark, Rebecca, and Lester in 2017
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio’s Mark Brush “took care of everyone.” Now we say thank you and goodbye.

Michigan Radio lost a member of our family last week. Mark Brush was our director of digital media. He passed away at age 49 from brain cancer.

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Shredded dollar
TaxCredits.net / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Attorney General Bill Schuette is being asked to decide whether a state-sponsored tax-exempt college savings plan can also be used for private K-12 school expenses. The new federal tax law allows it. But the Michigan Constitution says the state cannot provide direct or indirect financial support for private or religious schools.

Gov. Rick Snyder has asked for an official opinion on whether holders of Michigan Education Savings Program accounts can use them for private school tuition.

A judge cannot impose a certain sentence simply because a defendant exercised his right to a trial. The Michigan Court of Appeals made this ruling today, for the second time. To the same judge.

In 2016, the court told Judge Qiana Lillard of Wayne County that her practice of sentencing defendants who go to trial at the top of their sentence range violated their rights. But that wasn’t a precedent setting opinion. Now the court has made itself clear and set the precedent.

Teacher at a chalkboard
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

If a bill headed to the state Senate becomes law, ballots could not disclose when charter schools stand to be recipients of proposed countywide school funding millages.

In February, Governor Rick Snyder signed a change in Michigan law allowing charter schools to share regional enhancement millage revenue – taxpayer money – with traditional public schools.

Lansing Board of Water and Light

The Lansing Board of Water and Light meets Tuesday to vote on issuing bonds for a new natural gas plant, but opponents plan to make a last-ditch effort to change the minds of board members.

The city-owned utility held public meetings before choosing a natural gas plant to replace two coal-burning plants. "But that was several years ago," says Rebecca Payne with the Lansing Environmental Action Team. "Things on the energy market are changing overnight."

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

We travel the state every once in a while for our Artisans of Michigan series, and this time we went to Flint.

C.H. Schultz & Sons has been repairing upholstery in cars nearly as long as cars have been around. Back in 1917, more than 100 years ago, Clyde H. Schultz was working at Buick and in the garage behind his house. A family business was born. Deborah Schultz-Pawloski is the third generation.

And all that car history is inspiration for her.

Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

A group of lawmakers wants more federal money to address drinking water contamination around the state.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee and U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters included money for PFAS contamination in their latest budget bill.

The family of toxic chemicals, known as PFAS, have been linked to certain forms of cancer as well as other health issues.

Jason Henry / The California Sunday Magazine

Some start-up tech companies are skipping the cutthroat atmosphere of Silicon Valley and instead opting for the Midwest.

Matthew Shaer wrote an article about that trend for The California Sunday Magazine. He joined Stateside to discuss what attracts tech companies to the Midwest, what differentiates Midwestern tech culture from that of Silicon Valley, and how the tech boom is reshaping the Midwestern economy.

Michigan State Capitol Building
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This week in Michigan politics, some Republican legislators led by Senator Mike Shirkey pushed to impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Republicans also campaigned hard against a ballot initiative that would fight political gerrymandering and seeks to establish an independent commission to draw district lines.

MSU Belmont Tower
EMMA WINOWIECKI / Michigan Radio

This week, an article in The Atlantic blasted Michigan State University for its handling of nearly every aspect of the Larry Nassar scandal. Nassar is the former MSU physician who sexually abused girls and young women despite complaints that date back to 1997. The article focused on how MSU is “botching its reputation rehab.”

One of the experts interviewed for the article is Jeff Hunt. He is a partner and co-founder of PulsePoint Group and the author of the book, Brand Under Fire: A New Playbook for Crisis Management in the Digital Age.

NCAA Tournament Bracket
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

I can’t recall March Madness starting with more mayhem.

In the first round alone, the lower-seeded team pulled the upset in eight of 32 games – fully a quarter. And it only got crazier in the second round, when six of 16 lower-seeded teams beat the favorite – which is fully … more than a quarter, I think.