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Sleeping Bear Dunes
Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

On Tuesday, the White House released the president's full budget proposal, which details proposed cuts to many programs, including drastic cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, Medicaid, and welfare programs. 

Eric Norris / Flickr

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) has partnered with the DivDat Kiosk Network to make water bill payments more convenient. 

More than 15 percent of Detroit homes have their water shut off due to late or unpaid bills. 

DWSD conducted a soft-lauch in March to assess people's attitudes toward the kiosks.  

(courtesy of KQED)

We have an education crisis in this state; in case you haven’t noticed, Michigan is having trouble recruiting enough teachers, especially good teachers, especially in our larger cities.

That’s not surprising.

Teaching elementary and high school students is difficult and draining, if done right. You are chained to the academic calendar –no fall vacations or long weekends. Teaching involves a lot of work on nights and weekends.

cash money
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Certain employees retired from government work would get a tax break under legislation up for likely approval in the Michigan Senate.

The bill scheduled for a vote Wednesday would aid retirees born after 1945 who receive retirement or pension benefits from employment with a government agency that was not covered by Social Security. The sponsor, Republican Sen. Ken Horn of Frankenmuth, says his measure would help police officers.

satellite map of Michigan, the Great Lakes
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

The Trump Administration released its proposed federal budget. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative would get zero dollars if the plan is approved as is. Over the past seven years, it received $2.2 billion in funding to preserve the Great Lakes.

Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss how that cut could affect Michigan residents.

MORGUEFILE

A portion of the state Senate budget is getting pushback from the Michigan Crime Victims Services Commission.

The Senate voted to move crime victim services out of the Department of Health and Human Services – and into the Attorney General’s Office.

The budget still has a few steps to go through before it’s finalized. So the commission drafted and unanimously passed a resolution urging lawmakers to reject an effort to move the state’s crime victim services, funding and programs into the Attorney General’s Office.

An elderly woman
Chris Goldberg / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Some Democrats at the state Capitol says it’s time to take a new look at services for the elderly in Michigan, especially nursing home care. They say the need will become more critical as more Michigan residents get older and require assisted living.

State Representative John Hoadley,D-Kalamazoo, says a study on the issue is a good first step.

Inside the Michigan Senate
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

A showdown is brewing in Lansing over the fate of teacher retirements. 

Teachers can currently choose between a full 401(k) type plan or a hybrid 401(k) and pension plan.

Many Democrats, like Senator David Knezek oppose the legislation.

“We have example after example after example of why this doesn’t work,” he said. “Why it doesn’t make fiscal sense in the short term. Why it doesn’t make fiscal sense in the long-term. But we are I think leaving out of that conversation is the real impact that it has on people’s lives.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Fiat Chrysler is headed to court.    

The federal government is suing the automaker for allegedly cheating on diesel emissions tests.

The complaint filed in federal court in Detroit alleges that nearly 104,000 Ram pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokees have software that makes them perform differently during normal driving than during lab tests conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump has now been in office for more than 120 days.

To assess how Trump’s presidency has gone so far, Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio’s senior political analyst, hosted Issues & Ale-President Trump: A Michigan Report Card.

pictures of rock garden
Courtesy of @GHHSBucs / Twitter

When a teen is depressed and wrestling with thoughts of suicide, the stigma associated with mental illness can be a huge barrier to reaching out for help.

That's why the culture and climate at school is so crucial. Schools need teachers and administrators who know the warning signs of a mental health crisis and what to do next to support their students. 

At Grand Haven Public Schools, six students have died by suicide since 2011. Those tragic losses have spurred the district to revamp the way they talk about mental health. 

Bev Sykes / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Throughout the presidential campaign, and certainly through the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency, Americans have been wrestling with anger, disappointment and frustration with friends and family who supported "the other" candidate.

Friendships have soured. Family get-togethers are often strained and sometimes openly hostile when political disagreements erupt.

It’s a growing divide that needs to be bridged. But how?

People getting on the MoGo bikes before a community ride out in Detroit
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of people took part in a community “ride out” celebrating the launch of a new bike-sharing program in Detroit today.

MoGo Detroit Bike Share has 430 bikes in 43 locations in 10 neighborhoods throughout the city. Most of the stations are near downtown and midtown. 

A view of sand dunes and Lake Michigan
Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

The broad takeaway from President Trump's budget proposal, released earlier today, is this:

Military spending and high-earners win, while social safety net programs and the Great Lakes lose.

Stateside spoke with Dustin Walsh of Crain’s Detroit Business about the proposed budget and how it would affect Michigan. Walsh said, like most budget proposals, this one represents something closer to a “wish list” than an actual policy proposal.

A copper mine in the Upper Peninsula.
Richie Diesterheft / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law changes to the regulation of Michigan copper mines.

Legislation enacted Tuesday establishes separate regulations for small native copper mines that developers are eyeing in the western Upper Peninsula. The law also does not allow for local governments to regulate mining activities.

The sponsor, Republican Sen. Tom Casperson of Escanaba, says it's not economically feasible to have smaller mines regulated the same as bigger ones and doing so could hurt job growth.

chalkboard
Sharon Drummond / Flickr

After a public meeting and online survey yielded many negative opinions, Saline Area Schools will not move forward with a plan to partner with Planned Parenthood to teach sex education.

The proposed sex education curriculum would have included lessons on contraceptive methods and LGBTQ issues. A major change was including a "peer-to-peer" teaching technique, where lessons and discussions are led by students trained by Planned Parenthood.

Training in a Black Hawk helicopter at Camp Grayling.
USDOD

The Michigan National Guard plans to test residential drinking wells near its main training facility after a plume of toxic chemicals was discovered in groundwater.

MLive  reports that a meeting about the testing was held Friday for residents living near Camp Grayling. The National Guard says about 100 homes with private wells just west and south of the Grayling Army Airfield are at risk of contamination from toxic fluorocarbons.

NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory / Creative Commons

Sea lampreys have devastated Michigan waters for decades. But now, scientists hope that sterilizing some males will help control the population.

Marc Gaden is with the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

"The goal is to overwhelm the lampreys, to have the sterilized males out-compete the fertile males, and reduce spawning in that system to the bare minimum," Gaden said.

According to scientists, the invasive species has the ability to wipe out native life.

Steven Depolo / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Michigan State officials say they have concluded a Title IX investigation into an alleged sexual assault and haven't taken any action to remove three football players from the university.

The Detroit Free Press reports Michigan State spokesman Jason Cody would not discuss the specifics or outcome of the investigation into the alleged January assault. The names of the suspended players haven't been released.

Flickr user Frank Juarez / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Detroit Public School Community District confirmed Dr. Nikolai Vitti as its new superintendent Monday.

The Financial Review Commission, which oversees the school's finances,  voted yesterday to approve a five-year contract with Vitti, who previously had been superintendent of the Duval County Public Schools in Florida. 

In a statement, president of DPSCD’s Board of Education Dr. Iris Taylor said the board is thrilled to work with Vitti.

people in voting booths
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Legislation up for a vote in the Michigan Senate would double the fee for losing candidates to file recount petitions if they are down by more than 5 percentage points.

The bill is a response to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's recount last fall despite her winning 1 percent of the vote.

The Republican-sponsored measure to be approved Tuesday would increase recount fees from $125 per precinct to $250 if losing candidates are behind by more than 5 points.

Wind turbine.
Tim Wang / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A new survey finds a majority of Americans (54%) lean toward regulations as the best way to increase our use of renewable energy versus relying on economic markets alone.

Cary Funk is the associate director of research at the Pew Research Center. She says a majority of Americans say that increasing the use of renewable energy sources should be a top priority for the country’s energy policies.

“But there’s a closer divide on whether or not government regulations are necessary or whether the private marketplace can ensure that businesses and consumers increase more reliance on renewables even without regulations,” she says.

Power plant
Courtesy of Duke Energy

The state House has passed a bill (HB 4205) that would restrict the ability of state agencies to write regulations that are tougher than federal rules. Environmental groups are lining up against the bill.

Under the measure, agencies would not be able to create rules that are more stringent than federal ones - unless directed to by state law, or if the director of a state agency proves a "clear and convincing need" to exceed the federal standard.

Twenty years ago, when I was covering Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s assisted suicide crusade, I came to know a retired Detroit policeman named Ray Good, whose wife Janet was a Kevorkian ally.

Good was present at his own moment in history, when he was the first police lieutenant on the scene at 12th Street and Clairmount in the wee hours of Sunday, July 23, 1967.

MORGUEFILE

A portion of the state Senate budget is getting pushback from the Michigan Crime Victims Services Commission.

The Senate voted to move crime victim services out of the Department of Health and Human Services – and into the Attorney General’s Office.

The budget still has a few steps to go through before it’s finalized. So the commission drafted and unanimously passed a resolution urging lawmakers to reject an effort to move the state’s crime victim services, funding and programs into the Attorney General’s Office.

Consultant john Young stands in front of his Power Point presentation.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city council members want more information about a deal to keep the city on water from Detroit.

Monday night, council member took turns grilling Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) CEO Sue McCormick and a consultant hired by the state who's recommending Flint agree to sign a 30-year deal to get its tap water from Detroit. The contract is part of a plan that includes tens of millions of dollars in new investment to repair Flint's broken water system. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State Republicans and Democrats are sparring over a proposal to keep some key Affordable Care Act provisions in place in Michigan, even if Congress succeeds in repealing Obamacare.

Cass Collective Facebook photos

The Next Idea

So, you've got a small business. You've been selling your product at farmer's markets or art fairs, or maybe online.

But it's a great big step from that to having your own brick-and-mortar store. One way to help bridge that gap is happening in Midtown Detroit: the Cass Collective.

It's a new collaborative retail space where businesses rotate in and out so a budding entrepreneur can put a cautious toe in the water without a big commitment. The Cass Collective is a joint project of Midtown Detroit Inc. and TechTown Detroit.

Midwest Energy has been laying fiber optic cables over its existing electric network.
MIDWEST ENERGY & COMMUNICATIONS

There has been much talk of upgrading Michigan’s aging infrastructure in recent months. In Lansing, that conversation has focused on roads, bridges, and water pipes.

But what about internet access?

High-speed internet is a modern necessity. Regions without reliable high-speed internet are at an economic disadvantage.

And just as rural parts of the country were the last to get electricity in the 20th century, nowadays rural communities across Michigan lag behind urban areas in access to the internet.

Two auto workers on an assembly line
AUTOMOTIVEAUTO.INFO

Michigan is not the only place where car manufacturers have left to find cheaper labor and materials elsewhere. By the end of this year, not a single new car will be made in Australia.

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