Stan Larkin, the first Michigan patient to receive an artificial heart.
University of Michigan

According to the American Heart Association, 5.7 million Americans are currently living with heart failure. These failures can advance to the point where medications, stents, pacemakers, and lifestyle changes are no longer effective options. If that happens, patients may wind up on a list for a new heart transplant.

However, with more than 3,000 people on that list, the wait may simply be too long. How do you stay alive while waiting for a transplant?

For some patients, the answer is an artificial heart.

Michigan Legislature
Matthileo / Flickr

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Zoe Clark discuss calls for bi-partisanship in Lansing now that a new legislative session is underway. Do politicians really mean it though? Or are these calls for compromise just politics as usual?


A classroom of students hard at work at MHacks.
Ari Sandberg

As a self-proclaimed geek with a passion for engineering, I have known my fair share of programmers. Whenever one of them tells me with a devilish gleam in their eye that they've been dabbling with hacking, I jump to the conclusion (often correctly) that they're up to no good.

So when I heard a “Hack-a-thon” was descending on the University of Michigan campus over Martin Luther King weekend, I immediately had a vision of my old robotics teammates: disheveled, manically excited, awake only by the grace of Mountain Dew, trying to break into the secrets of the free world. 

Thetoad / Flickr

State Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Twp.,  plans to introduce a bill next week requiring high school graduates to pass the same citizenship test immigrants take. Students would need to score 60% or higher on the test to receive their diplomas. Lucido says that he hopes the exam will encourage participation and increase voter turnout for elections. If passed, the law would be in effect for the 2016-17 school year.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

State wildlife officials are concerned a large bat die-off in Keweenaw County this month might be a sign of things to come.

The small brown bats died from white-nose syndrome. The distinctive white nose is created by a fungal growth that typically kills most of the bats hibernating in an infected cave.

We saw this week in Lansing the first big partisan kerfuffle of the new session of the Michigan Legislature; a fiercely partisan dispute with very little at stake.

The battle was over the prized position of Minority Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

Now, we really shouldn’t diminish the position. It matters.  This is the Democrats’ point person when it comes to negotiating budget deals with the Republican majority and arguing for priorities and projects that will benefit the districts of the 47 Democrats serving in the state House.

 We live in an era of what seems to be one of increasing nastiness and pettiness, especially perhaps in politics.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A consultant’s report says Flint police should stop responding to non-emergency 911 calls. The consultants say that would give police more time to investigate violent crimes in Flint. 

That’s just part of a report delivered by a Washington, D.C. consulting group to the Flint city council, mayor, emergency manager, as well as the city’s police and fire chiefs last night. 

Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr

A group of Republican state lawmakers will try again to protect religious practices against state and local government interference.

The Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) failed to pass before the legislative session ended last year.

State Sen. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, introduced the bill again this week.

“It’s simply all about protecting and preserving the rights that the Constitution provides for all citizens – not just select groups of citizens,” he said.

Brian Turner / Flickr Creative Commons

A Muslim woman is challenging the policy of a suburban Detroit police department that she says required her to remove her head scarf for a mug shot.

Malak  Kazan's lawsuit against Dearborn Heights was filed this week in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Her attorney, Emir Makled, said the policy violates his client's civil rights and her right to religious expression.

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