family en New bill would let adoption agencies pick parents on religious, moral grounds <p></p><p>Michigan adoption agencies would be able to refuse to place kids with families who violate the agency's religious or moral convictions.&nbsp;</p><p>That's under a new bill proposed in the state legislature.</p><p>Private agencies can already use faith-based principles when it comes to adoption, like not placing kids with homosexual parents.</p><p>But this bill would make it illegal to deny agencies funding or licenses because of their convictions.</p> Wed, 28 Nov 2012 16:49:56 +0000 Kate Wells 10101 at New bill would let adoption agencies pick parents on religious, moral grounds 9-year-old Leah Rice is "Live from the kitchen!" <p>Today, the State of Opportunity team turned their microphone over to 9-year-old Leah Rice.</p><p>She reflects on her family, highlights of her summer and her thoughts on going back to school.</p><p>(She was placed in an advanced class, to which she says "uh, Boo-yah!".)</p><p><a href="">You can hear Leah's story here</a>.</p> Wed, 05 Sep 2012 15:18:33 +0000 Mark Brush 8952 at 9-year-old Leah Rice is "Live from the kitchen!" State of Opportunity: When funding dries up for programs that help kids <p>This week, Michigan Radio's <a href="">State of Opportunity</a> reporter <a href="" rel="author">Dustin Dwyer</a> explores a pilot project in Michigan that helped kids and reduced state caseloads.</p><p>So why, he asks, is it ending?</p> Wed, 22 Aug 2012 17:03:33 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 8767 at State of Opportunity: When funding dries up for programs that help kids Helping divorce clients work cooperatively <p>Every Monday, Christina Shockley talks with someone in the state that is trying to make a difference in the lives of others. As part of Michigan Radio&#39;s Seeking Change series, today features Monika Holzer Sacks. She is a family law lawyer. She works mostly in divorce cases and says her goal is to help couples avoid going to court and instead have them work together cooperatively.</p> Mon, 06 Aug 2012 14:14:50 +0000 Christina Shockley 8553 at Helping divorce clients work cooperatively Do you unplug on vacation? <p>Michigan State University researchers found that vacationers are increasingly staying connected to the office and social media with cell phones, laptops and tablets while away.</p><p>From <a href="">MSU News</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The study showed that people using smart phones have tripled. The study also revealed that wireless use was higher on vacation (40 percent) than at home (25 percent). Also telling, were figures that show that people used the Web more to plan vacations (80 percent) than for work (70 percent).</p></blockquote><p>Yesterday, we posted this question to the <a href="">Michigan Radio Facebook </a>community:</p><p><em><strong>&ldquo;When you go on vacation, do you stay connected to work?&rdquo;</strong></em></p><p>Responses show the wide range of readers&#39; feelings towards technology-filled vacations.</p><p> Wed, 13 Jun 2012 18:23:21 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 7872 at Do you unplug on vacation? Changing Expectations: Considering every variable is difficult, if not impossible <p>Michigan Radio is partnering with Changing Gears to share stories about how people are planning ahead and how their expectations have changed in light of the recession. You can read those stories <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p><p>Angela Dugan writes:</p><blockquote><p>I am doing better than my parents, mostly because I am not a stay at home mother like my mother was. I also make more money than my husband.</p><p>We are working on starting a family, and I am struggling with the decision to stay at home or continue to work. It is both a question of what&rsquo;s feasible economically, and what is best for our children.</p><p>My biggest concern is being able to afford a lifestyle that we are happy with if I choose to stop working once we have children. I make more money than my husband, so it would be a big change unless he ends up being the one that stays home. We are currently renting a home we could not sell, but at a huge loss, and our new home needs a lot of repair work.</p><p>To some extent, I feel that even though I&rsquo;m doing the best I can to invest wisely and save as much as I can, a lot of variables are simply out of my immediate control.</p></blockquote><p><em>You can help us cover this topic by sharing your story. How are you planning for what comes next? Tell us by <a href="" target="_blank">following this link</a>.</em></p><p><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; outline-width: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue',Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;">This story was informed by the Public Insight Network. If you want to learn how to be a part of our network, click&nbsp;<a href="" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(17, 73, 153); font-weight: bold; " target="_blank">here</a>.</em> Thu, 19 Apr 2012 15:59:59 +0000 7105 at Changing Expectations: Considering every variable is difficult, if not impossible Working moms multitask, and stress, more than dads A new <a href="documents%5C2011%5Cdec%5Cmultitaskingmom_study.pdf">study</a> in the December issue of the <em>American Sociological Review</em> comes up with some findings that lots of women may feel they already know too much about: Working mothers spend significantly more time multitasking at home than working dads. And those mothers aren't happy about it.<p>Researchers from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and Michigan State University looked at 368 working mothers and 241 fathers who worked outside the home. Fri, 02 Dec 2011 20:42:48 +0000 Patti Neighmond 5232 at Working moms multitask, and stress, more than dads 13,000 Michigan families to lose cash assistance <p>About 13-thousand Michigan families will stop getting money from the state on October 1st. That&rsquo;s when the families will reach their five-year federal lifetime limit for cash assistance. The <a href=",1607,7-124-5453_5526---,00.html">cash assistance program</a> is designed to support low-income families with pregnant women or children until they find jobs.</p><p>Sheryl Thompson is with the <a href="">Department of Human Services</a>. She says people with no income who have children will no longer be able to extend the limit for cash assistance.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;This was never meant to be a long-term solution,&quot; she said. &quot;It was always supposed to be a short-term solution as a safety net.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Thompson says Michigan will save about 77-million-dollars this year. Other services including job placement and food assistance are available for people who qualify.</p><p><em>- Amelia Carpenter - Michigan Radio Newsroom</em> Wed, 10 Aug 2011 20:36:35 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 3690 at 13,000 Michigan families to lose cash assistance It takes a village... and $226,920 to raise a child <p>Every year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture releases its estimate of how much it costs to raise a child from birth to seventeen years of age.</p><p>Here&#39;s what they found for their latest <a href="">Expenditures on Children by Families</a> report:</p><blockquote><p>A middle-income family with a child born in 2010 can expect to spend about $226,920 ($286,860 if projected inflation costs are factored in) for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise that child over the next 17 years.</p></blockquote><p>It represents a 2% increase from 2009, and the report also notes that, naturally, the more money you make, the more you spend on your child:</p><ul><li>A family earning less than $57,600 per year can expect to spend a total of $163,440 (in 2010 dollars) on a child from birth through high school.</li><li>Similarly, parents with an income between $57,600 and $99,730 can expect to spend $226,920;</li><li>and a family earning more than $99,730 can expect to spend $377,040.</li></ul><p>Housing accounts for 31% of the cost for raising a child for a family with a middle income.</p><p>The USDA first released this report in 1960 when a middle-income family could have expected to spend $25,230 to raise a child (or $185,856 in 2010 dollars). Fri, 10 Jun 2011 18:15:14 +0000 Mark Brush 2843 at Three cities preparing to build armies of snowmen this weekend <p>Zeeland, St. Clair, and Saline are competing this weekend to take home the "Snowman Building Champion of the Free World" trophy.</p><p>Art Trapp is <a href="">Saline’s</a> Downtown Development Director.</p><blockquote><p>“In our community we don’t see a lot of activity downtown during the winter and we thought this was one way to get people off their couch.”</p></blockquote><p>The other point of the competition is to see which community can build the most 4-foot-tall snowmen with 50 volunteers in 2 hours.</p> Fri, 28 Jan 2011 21:56:53 +0000 Lindsey Smith 1078 at Three cities preparing to build armies of snowmen this weekend Granholm: Dinner with Snyder's family 'very nice' <p><a href="">Governor Granholm</a> and her family had dinner last night with Governor-elect <a href="">Rick Snyder</a> and his family. Both the current and incoming Governors have three children each and, according to Governor Granholm, the families talked about what it is like to be part of a family that's in the spotlight.&nbsp; Granholm said:</p><blockquote><p>We had a very pleasant dinner... their [Snyder's] kids are similar ages to our kids... it was really a very personal conversation about what it's like living in the Governor's family... and how you react to people approaching you as a result of that... what it's like to have security detail... what it's like to have a place on Mackinac Island... that kind of stuff,&nbsp; it was very nice.</p></blockquote><p>Governor-elect Snyder takes the oath of office on January 1st, 2011.&nbsp; Granholm says she won't talk about what she will do once her term is up until early next year. Tue, 21 Dec 2010 16:00:59 +0000 Zoe Clark 663 at Granholm: Dinner with Snyder's family 'very nice'