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Courtesy of Snow Makers Incorporated

There’s a touch of Pure Michigan in PyeongChang: The fake snow.

If you’ve been watching the Winter Olympics in South Korea, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve seen the product of a Michigan company. The snow on the ski slopes is manufactured snow — fake snow — made by Snow Makers Incorporated based in Midland.

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Joe Linstroth / Michigan Radio

Lawyers for wrongfully convicted ex-prisoners are crying foul over the dismissal of their client's claims on the grounds of a missed deadline that they dispute.

The exonerated former inmates are seeking damages under the recent Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act. The 2016 law is intended to compensate people for the years they were wrongly imprisoned.

Gabi Silver represents one of the ex-prisoners, Konrad Montgomery, who spent more than three years in prison for a crime he did not commit. 

401(K) 2012 / Flickr

Retirement accounts, specifically 401(k) plans, were never intended to be a substitute for a pension. But, the reality is, most people, if they have a retirement account at all, it’s a 401(k). Last year, the Wall Street Journal ran a piece in which the creators of the 401(k) worry about what they started. The 401(k) was designed to supplement income from Social Security and a pension.

The State of the Takata Airbags

Michigan and 23 other states have settled their lawsuit against airbag maker Takata. 

But the states aren't going to try to collect the money. 

Takata is going bankrupt, so it has limited money for fines, paying automakers for recalls, and compensating victims. 

The states won't go after the $650 million settlement to protect the funds that are available for victims. Twenty-two people have been killed and hundreds of people have been injured with the defective Takata airbags in their vehicles deployed with too much force, spraying them with metal fragments.

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Michigan Radio is partnering with Bridge Magazine's Truth Squad project this year, as we have for each election year during the past eight years, to fact check political claims.

This time, we're looking at gubernatorial candidates.

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler will donate his salary while serving as Michigan State University's interim president amid fallout over now-imprisoned sports doctor Larry Nassar, who sexually assaulted female athletes.

The university's Board of Trustees said Wednesday that Engler's annual salary will be $510,399. His contract was finalized this week, but he agreed his salary would go back to the school in East Lansing.

His predecessor, Lou Anna Simon, resigned in January amid criticism of the university's handling of issues related to Nassar.

Panelists from left to right: Joe Linstroth, Jeff DeGraff, Eric Thomas, Lauren Bigelow, and Nate Lutz.
April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

For more than three years, The Next Idea has been talking to people who took their creative ideas and turned them into something tangible — a business, an invention, social change. 

Those out of the box ideas are essential to keep moving Michigan’s economy forward. But creative ideas often get stuck in their own regional bubbles.

USFWSmidwest / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world, is awe-inspiring on many levels. But it’s also challenged. Though it seems pristine, a couple centuries of exploitation have taken their toll.

A new book Sustaining Lake Superior: An Extraordinary Lake in a Changing Worldpublished by Yale University Press, traces the history of the lake and some of the indignities it's suffered at the hands of humans.

Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

 

In late November of 2014, Michigan Radio’s Stateside began a series called The Next Idea. With support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and a team that included the University of Michigan’s “Dean of Innovation” Jeff DeGraff and Executive Producer Joe Linstroth, the project’s mission was to focus on innovation, creativity and ideas meant to move Michigan forward.

 

In essays and interviews, we met Michigan inventors and entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, scientists, farmers, business people, experts, and just regular citizens who decided to think outside the box to make their state and their communities better.

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An employee at three southeast Michigan health care facilities may have unwittingly exposed more than 600 people to tuberculosis.

Those health care facilities are Saint Joseph-Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston hospitals, and the South Lyon Senior Care and Rehab Center.

It’s believed the infected worker may have exposed patients and staff at all three places between May of last year and January of this year.

Tuberculosis is a potentially serious bacterial disease that usually attacks the lungs.

A park sign in water
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Several cities in West Michigan are experiencing flooding after heavy rainfall and warm temperatures swept across the state this week.

Newaygo is one such city. Some residents were evacuated from their homes nearly 40 miles north of Grand Rapids.

Riverfront Park in Newaygo has water from the Muskegon River covering park benches and picnic tables.

Georgia Andres is the Chief of Police in Newaygo. She says the city is at "level C" flooding, which means that homes and businesses in the low lying areas have been evacuated.

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