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SCREENSHOT / C-SPAN

In Senate hearing, DeVos shows ignorance of central debate over how to measure schools

President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the U.S Department of Education went before the Senate education committee yesterday for her confirmation hearing.

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Governor Rick Snyder gave his annual state of the state speech last night. If you missed it, don’t feel bad. There was virtually nothing to miss. I’ve seen five different governors deliver these annual speeches over the last 40 years.

None of them will live for the ages. Years ago, after one, a reporter for United Press International turned to me and said, “We have nothing to fear except fear itself, and another speech next year.”

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his seventh State of the State address to the Legislature last night. Michigan Radio senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry says this year's address was "curiously short on specifics and proposals" and lacked "any concrete proposal to make things better."

This Week in Michigan Politics, Lessenberry talks with Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about highlights from last night, including Snyder's desire to "create more and better jobs" and his plan to crowd source ways to control invasive carp in the Great Lakes. They also talk about which topics got little or no attention from the governor, including the Flint water crisis and the scandal over the state's automated unemployment claims system. 


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Lansing city council remains deadlocked over who should lead them this year.

Last night, the council tried and failed again to break a four-four split on the vote for council president. It was the third straight meeting they failed to do their first job of the new year.

City Clerk Chris Swope says the council can’t just flip a coin or pick a name out of a hat.

“They do have to agree. They have to come to some consensus,” Swope said after the meeting, “and that’s what the framers of the charter had in mind.”

Farid Fata is serving 45 years in prison for giving patients unnecessary cancer treaments.
user Thomas Anderson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

More than 700 people have filed claims for payment in the case of a Detroit-area doctor who put patients through needless cancer treatments.

Federal Judge Paul Borman got an update Tuesday from the government and a contractor hired to handle claims. No money has been paid yet.

Rick Snyder / michigan.gov

Governor Rick Snyder has set a goal of getting Michigan’s population above 10 million people before the next U.S. Census. It was part of the governor’s seventh State of the State address delivered at the state Capitol.      

It’s been 10 years since more than 10 million people called Michigan home. Thousands fled the state through two recessions, and the near-collapse of the auto industry.

Governor Rick Snyder
Rick Snyder for Michigan / Facebook Page

Governor Snyder focused much of the annual address on his achievements as governor, while also, insisting there is more work to be done.

Unlike last year, when the Flint water crisis took center stage, this year, Snyder did not address Flint until halfway thru his speech.

During the short time he did spend on Flint, he spoke about the work that has been done.

Screenshot / C-SPAN

School choice advocate Betsy DeVos answered a wide range of questions during a three-hour confirmation hearing in Washington D.C. Tuesday night. The billionaire from West Michigan could head the U.S. Department of Education soon.

You can watch the hearing here or below:

The Big 4 on the big screen at Cobo Center. Left to right: Mark Hackel, L. Brooks Patterson, Mike Duggan, and Warren Evans.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Metro Detroit’s “Big Four” had their annual public gathering at Detroit’s auto show today.

The four leaders are the Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb county executives, and Detroit’s mayor. It’s usually a mostly feel-good conversation about regional cooperation.

And indeed, they did talk about that and a range of other issues. But the leaders also couldn’t avoid the topic of the hour: Warren Mayor Jim Fouts.

Leaked audio tapes seem to show Fouts making incredibly degrading comments about African-Americans and disabled people, among others.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Attorney General Bill Schuette says the state should have to deliver water to every household in Flint that doesn’t have water filters properly installed.

That position puts him at odds with Governor Rick Snyder’s administration, which is trying to have a court order requiring the deliveries dismissed. 

Noah Hall is Schuette’s attorney in the case. He says the state caused the problem, so it has a responsibility to Flint residents.

GM Renaissance Center in Detroit.
John F. Martin / Creative Commons

Car companies are doing their public relations best to avert angry tweets by President-elect Donald Trump, who has been threatening steep tariffs on cars made in Mexico.

Today, General Motors announced it would invest $1 billion in U.S. plants and projects and create 7,000 U.S. jobs.  That appears to be a total of 1,500 "new and retained" jobs related to the billion-dollar investment: 450 jobs from in-sourcing truck axle work from Mexico, and 5,000 jobs primarily related to GM's decision in 2015 to in-source much of its IT operations to Warren, Michigan.

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