User: Limbic / Flickr

Thousands of Michiganders will have something to smile about if Governor Rick Snyder's budget proposal, which takes steps to improve access to dental care, passes through the Legislature.

Snyder wants to expand the state's Healthy Kids Dental program to the three most populous counties in the state - Oakland, Wayne and Kent - for children up to age 8.

Pediatric dentist Martin Makowski, president of the Michigan Dental Association, said children who can't see a dentist regularly stand to lose a lot more than just teeth.

I’m so old I can remember when the California presidential primary, which takes place at the beginning of June, often played a major role in choosing both parties’ nominees.

These days, the contests start nearly two years before the election, and tend to be decided by the end of March, but there’s no reason that might not be different next year.

Jackson company to pay $65K after Grand River oil spill

Feb 13, 2015
user brianhef / flickr

A Jackson company will pay about $65,000 in fines and cleanup costs following an oil spill in the Grand River last May.

It took two days for about 800 gallons of motor oil and hydraulic fluid to be cleaned from the river in Jackson. Industrial Steel Treating Co. was later determined to be responsible for the spill.

D.H. Parks/Flickr / wikipedia.org

Automakers and their suppliers are growing increasingly worried about a standoff between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

The union represents longshoremen at West Coast ports, where tons of retail, agricultural, and auto sector materials are shipped in and out every week.

Prensa 420 / Flickr

A group of state lawmakers will try again to make major changes to Michigan’s medical marijuana system.

Bill sponsors say the state’s voter-approved medical marijuana law is too vague.

How much does your vote count? Thanks to gerrymandering, it depends on where you live.
Theresa Thompson / Flickr

Michigan Republicans would vote for their presidential nominee on March 15 of next year, under a bill that’s cleared the state Senate. But there’s still a lot to settle as far as the GOP nominating process.

Paige Pfleger / Michigan Radio

A month after showing the Bolt as a concept at the North American International Auto Show, General Motors has announced it will produce the electric car at its Orion Township plant.

Budget tiles
Simon Cunningham / Flickr

Each Thursday, we talk to Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants. Today, we take a look at Governor Snyder's budget priorities and the lingering question of how Michigan will fund its road improvements.

The ArduCopter from DIY Drones can take pictures in the sky.
DIY Drones

Got a drone you want to test? 

Now you’ve got a place in Michigan to do just that, whether the drone is for military, commercial or academic use.  

Michigan House Republicans

Governor Snyder delivered his proposed budget for the next fiscal year yesterday and Lt. Governor Brian Calley was at his side. Calley presented the transportation portion of the administration's budget.

After the announcement, some critics noted there's not much of a backup plan if voters turn down a ballot proposal in May to increase road funding.

Calley says the backup plan is the status quo.

The Woodward Spine

Neighbors of the Detroit Zoo are complaining about the noise -- and it's not the lions, the tigers, or the bears that they have a problem with.

It's the noise produced by the summer crowds the zoo brings in, various night-time events like concerts, and loudspeakers playing prehistoric dinosaur noises.

a portrait of the band with instruments
Courtesy of Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys

Michigan natives Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys are spreading the love of music this Valentine's Day. Their latest album Ionia will be released on Saturday.

The album was recorded in the then-home of Lindsay Lou and her husband, who is the mandolin player for the band. Since then the band has moved to Nashville.

Lou says the move was motivated by stories they heard from friends about the music community there. While Michigan has many gifted young people that inspire creativity and collaboration, Lou says they're often spread throughout the state. She says Nashville provides more of a central community of musicians to feed off of each other's artistic energy.

author reading from her book in studio
Michigan Radio

One title, one state and thousands of readers getting caught up in literary discussion. That's the Great Michigan Read, a biennial program of the Michigan Humanities Council.

The 2015-16 winning book is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

It was a 2014 National Book Award Finalist along with being named one of the Top Ten Books of the Year by the Washington Post, Time Magazine and Amazon. Michigan Radio program director Tamar Charney reviewed it earlier this year.

Update 2/12/2015:

 The Michigan Senate adopted legislation early today to establish a March 15th, 2016, Republican presidential primary.* It could position the state to join a Midwest super-primary sometimes dubbed the “Big Ten” primary.

A child at Mott Children's hospital is one of five Michigan newborns saved because of state-required heart screenings. 

Newborn Payton Morris was minutes away from being discharged from the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital when her parents learned that she had failed a new state mandated heart test. 

Flickr/Brian Flickinger

The Next Idea

Technological innovation alone doesn’t improve education. We often assume that the latest gadgets and software will change everything — that they will make things easier and better and solve larger problems. The truth is that technology is just one aspect in a larger web of cultural issues, and new breakthroughs by themselves will not have a broad effect on overall learning.

Why we must grieve

Feb 12, 2015

All this week on Stateside, in our series Living with Death, we're talking to people about how the process of death and dying has changed. Today we talk about why we must grieve when someone we love has died.

Imagine if your friends referred to you as “the death lady.” That’s what Kim Parr’s friends like to call her and honestly, she has mixed feelings about the nickname.

Many years ago, I used to write about the federal budget when it was released in Washington. Ronald Reagan was president then, and Democrats controlled the House of Representatives. The moment the massive document was released, Speaker Tip O’Neill would proclaim it dead on arrival.  And then the negotiating began.

Last week, during comments at the Bipartisan Policy Center, Republican Senator Thomas Tillis of North Carolina suggested that it was government gone overboard to regulate food service workers' hand washing. 

jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

Flint switched from Detroit’s water system last year and is now using the Flint River until it can hook up to Lake Huron.

But there have been major problems. Residents complain about the water tasting and smelling bad. The Department of Environmental Quality cited Flint in December for violating the Safe Water Drinking Act. 

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