News

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The first TV ad urging passage of a Michigan sales tax increase says the roads aren't just bad, they're dangerous.

A group backing a "yes" vote on a May ballot measure will start airing the 30-second ad Monday.
 

It features a mid-Michigan mother who says her family is on the road a lot for kids' basketball and soccer, and she worries about concrete falling from bridges.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A bill that would change how Michigan allocates its electoral college votes is back in the mix in Lansing.

Republican state representatives Cindy Gamrat, Todd Courser, Thomas Hooker, and Gary Glenn introduced the bill this week.

It proposes that each of the state’s 14 Congressional districts gets one electoral vote — with the two remaining votes going to the statewide winner.

Currently, nine of those 14 districts lean Republican.

Loveland Technologies / via Why Don't We Own This?

A “hurricane without water” and a “looming disaster” — those are just two of the phrases that have been used to describe the unprecedented foreclosure crisis facing Detroit this year.

But this time, it’s not about banks and mortgages. It’s about unpaid property taxes, and efforts to patch up a system everyone admits had been broken for years.


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Next week’s thaw is not expected to result in flooding in Michigan. 

Forecasters predict temperatures to rise into the 40s next week. 

“With the semi-warm temperatures and the cool nights, it doesn’t look like we’re going to see significant flooding across the state of Michigan,” says Michigan State Police spokesman Ron Leix. “Our flood risk is really low this year.”

Michigan Opera Theatre

The Michigan Opera Theatre is performing the opera “Frida” by American composer Robert Xavier Rodriguez. It's about the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

Here’s why that’s a smart idea for an arts organization:

1. Tapping into Frida Kahlo’s broad appeal

Lots of people love Frida Kahlo. Latinos love her. Women love her.  Artists love her. Gay people love her.

Bruce Bortin / Flickr

There’s bipartisan interest in the state Legislature in protecting Michiganders from having property unfairly seized by police.

State House Speaker Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant, wrote in the Detroit News this week that Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture laws need to be revisited. He says too many people never convicted of a crime are having their assets taken so that police departments can profit.

Two months ago, I said it was possible that the best day of Governor Rick Snyder’s second term might very well be his first day, and that it would go downhill from there.

Gov. Rick Snyder
Michigan Municipal League / Flickr

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will take questions from a statewide public radio audience at 9 a.m. on Monday, March 9 as part of the Michigan Public Radio Network’s “Michigan Calling” series.

The hour-long program will be hosted by Rick Pluta, MPRN’s managing editor and state Capitol bureau chief, and will originate from Michigan Radio’s studios in Ann Arbor.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Once again, tempers flared during a public meeting on Flint’s water problems.

The city’s water system has been plagued with problems for the past year.  

Thursday, Flint officials held another meeting on the city’s troubled tap water.

And once again, a shouting match erupted.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint Police Department is missing dozens of firearms.

The department says it can’t find 22 firearms. An inventory completed last month showed the missing shotguns and hand guns.

That’s on top of 17 firearms the police department says have been stolen from the department since 1996.  

MichigansChildren / YouTube

The state’s top education official says lawmakers should stop allowing new charter schools to open in Michigan. State Superintendent Mike Flanagan told state lawmakers today a moratorium on charter school creation would help stabilize traditional public schools – especially ones in high-poverty areas.

Holland BPW

One of the top Republicans in the state House has introduced bills that would make sweeping changes to Michigan’s energy policies. It comes ahead of Governor Rick Snyder’s address on the issue next week.

Peter Ito / flickr

Proposal 1 is the road funding proposal that will be up for a vote on May 5th. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has long expressed their support for a road funding solution, but they are staying neutral on the proposal.

Gary Peters / Facebook

When he was elected to the U.S. Senate, Gary Peters promised to approach his job in a spirit of bipartisan cooperation. He says that's exactly what's behind the first two bills he has introduced in the Senate.

Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr

The Supreme Court has announced they plan to hear arguments on two issues around same-sex marriage on April 28. Do same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, and are states required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states?

Rae Allen / Flickr Creative Commons

An anti-Islamic Christian group argued in front of the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit this week that the Wayne County Sheriff's Office had violated its First Amendment rights.

The group, called the Bible Believers, carried signs with inflammatory statements about Islam's prophet, Muhammed, and shouted anti-Muslim slogans at the 2012 Arab International Festival in Dearborn.  They also carried a large pig's head on a pole. 

Photo courtesy of Miller's office

Michigan Republican Congresswoman Candice Miller  announced this afternoon she will not seek reelection in 2016. U.S. Rep. Miller has held the 10th District seat since 2003.

"It has been the greatest privilege and sincere personal honor to serve the people of Michigan's 10th Congressional District as their voice in the US House of Representatives.  People of faith, people of family, people of community.  Hard working people, decent people, patriots who are constantly engaged in building our community, our state, a stronger nation," Rep. Miller said in a emailed statement.

The congresswoman also released a video statement on her Facebook page.

Before being elected to Congress in 2002, Rep. Miller served as Michigan's Secretary of State for eight years.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Financially struggling Michigan homeowners may face a new problem.

98,000 Michigan homeowners have Home Equity Lines of Credit that are scheduled to reset at a higher interest rate during the next four years.

Nationally, more than half the three million homeowners with these lines of credit are seriously underwater on their mortgage.

James Allenspach

An on-line threat has shaken a west Michigan college campus.

Officials at Kalamazoo College are asking the FBI for help in investigating a threatening note posted on an online campus message board this week.

Flickr/Martha Soukup

The Next Idea

Living in Michigan, we experience incivility on a daily basis, from simply driving down pot-hole filled roads to attending public meetings to logging into our social media accounts. This has to change, and not just so our Facebook feeds can feel more like a cocktail party -- though that’s not a bad place to start.

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