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Mike McDaniel, who is heading up Flint's Fast Start program, shows a city resident what neighborhoods will be targeted this year.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Weather permitting, Flint officials hope to start the next round of lead service line replacements by mid-April.

Tonight the Flint city council approved contracts to remove up to 6,000 pipes connecting Flint homes to city water mains. The pipes are a primary source of lead in the city’s tap water. 

Replacing the service lines became a priority in the wake of the city’s lead-tainted tap water crisis. But issues with funding, logistics and contractors slowed the process. The city replaced just under 1,000 service lines last year. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit calling for home delivery of bottled water in Flint.

The exact details of the settlement are for now being kept under wraps, per a federal judge’s order.

After the Flint city council voted to approve the deal last night, all Flint Mayor Karen Weaver would say is “I can’t say anything about the settlement.”

The governor’s office, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Flint residents who brought the case are also declining to comment.

A demolition on Detroit's east side.
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

A special report from Detroit’s auditor general says the city’s sweeping demolition program is still riddled with problems.

But the Detroit Land Bank Authority, the agency that runs program, calls that report “full of errors and misinformation.”

Courtesy frankieleon / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Rick Snyder says current efforts to curb opioid abuse and addiction in Michigan aren’t working as nearly 2,000 people a year in the state die from overdoses.

“Far too many lives have been either lost, damaged, injured in some fashion because of these drugs,” he said. “We need to do more in our state.”

Snyder says a big part of the problem is over-prescribing painkillers. He says prescriptions have spiraled in recent years.

Nick Savchenko / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A personal tragedy can open your eyes to things that had previously been out of sight and out of mind.

For Abby Dart, it was her husband’s suicide in 2004. That loss opened her eyes to the stigma we’ve built up around mental health problems. She believes that stigma killed her husband Steve.

Courtesy of Chris Lambert

The Next Idea

 

As goes a school, so goes the neighborhood.

 

That’s the idea behind a new project by the group Life Remodeled, said founder and CEO Chris Lambert. Life Remodeled is a non-profit organization that invests about $5 million in a Detroit neighborhood project every year. This year’s project: turn the former Durfee Elementary and Middle School into a “community innovation center.”

Sears, Kmart and other stores like them appear to be on a fast track to extinction.
Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

They used to be a shopper’s first choice.

These days, Sears and Kmart seem to be on a fast track to extinction.

Protestors in Detroit stand on Woodward Avenue with signs showing their disapproval of President Trump and the GOP's American Healthcare Act.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Protestors marched in downtown Detroit today for what was called a – seven years from the day the ACA was first signed into law.

 

 

Many of the protestors said they're afraid they and others will lose their health insurance coverage if Obamacare is repealed.

 

 

Henrietta Ivey, a home care physician in Detroit, spoke at the march on behalf one of her patients who is in rehab due to kidney issues. 

 

 

“If he didn’t have that Affordable Care Act, he would not be able to get the care and rehab that he’s having right now,”

"The Fist" of Joe Louis is one of two symbols of the iconic boxing champion that currently exist in Detroit.
Alexander Day / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The clock is ticking on Joe Louis Arena.

The Detroit Red Wings' final season at the Joe is down to just a handful of games. Next season finds them on the ice in the $600 million Little Caesars Arena.

After a handful of music and sporting events, that's it for Joe Louis Arena. It will be torn down for a new riverfront development.

Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley joined Stateside to talk about question she wants answered: After the arena is torn down, how will the city of Detroit honor such an iconic figure in the city's – and the country's – history? 

Jeff Reutter / Ohio State University

The Michigan Agri-Business Association, a trade group representing agricultural interests, is launching a campaign to educate farmers about best practices to keep chemical fertilizers and manure from flowing into streams and rivers that lead into Lake Erie.

The fertilizers and manure contain nutrients that encourage the growth of toxic cyanobacteria. 

Kris Draper played 17 seasons and won four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings.
Dinur / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It's been called "Brawl in Hockeytown." Some call it "Fight Night at the Joe."

On March 26, 1997, Darren McCarty of the Detroit Red Wings punched, then kept on punching, Claude Lemieux of the Colorado Avalanche.

The reason for that fight happened 301 days earlier in Game 6 of the 1996 Western Conference Finals when Lemieux hit Wings center Kris Draper from behind, sending Draper face-first into the bench and smashing his face (see video below). He suffered a broken orbital bone, a broken cheekbone, a broken nose, a broken jaw and a concussion. 

Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP)

A new exhibition opening this week at the University of Michigan aims to demonstrate the creative and intellectual ability of many of Michigan's incarcerated individuals. 

The 22nd Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners features 550 works of art by 450 artists, making it one of the largest exhibits of inmate artwork in the nation. Curators selected work from current and former inmates from all 31 prisons in the Michigan Department of Correction system. Visitors may purchase most of the art on display, with all proceeds going to the artist.

a police squad car
Flickr user Scott Davidson/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Legislation meant to improve law enforcement hiring practices made it through the state Senate Thursday.

Right now human resource units in police departments are reluctant to tell other departments anything about a former officer besides their name and when they worked for them out of fear of litigation if the officer doesn’t get the job.

Senator Jones says the legislation is meant to prevent bad officers from hopping from department to department. Jones said, “99.9 percent of all officers are the finest people in the world. But once in a while you get a bad apple.”

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its 2016 population estimates for U.S. counties and metro areas. Michigan was, again, notable for high decline in one place: Wayne County.

'Girls Court' launched by Kent County Circuit Court

11 hours ago
Ted / Flickr Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A Girls Court has been established in Michigan's 17th Circuit Court. The goal is to do a better job of helping girls who are most at risk to return successfully to their communities, according to Family Division Judge Patricia Gardner.

Gardner said the current model of juvenile justice is aimed at boys and doesn't work well for girls.

Jocelyn Benson stood in line for two hours waiting to vote last November, holding her five-month-old son Aiden all the while. “I had to put him down and change his diaper twice,” she told me, smiling. Benson lives and votes in Detroit, where there are often too few voting places and machines for large turnout elections.

Centers for Disease Control

A new University of Michigan study finds a large percentage of children with diabetes are not getting necessary vision exams.

Dr. Joshua Stein is with the Kellogg Eye Center at UM. He says the study found 65% of children with Type 1 Diabetes and only 42% of those with Type 2 Diabetes receive recommended eye exams during the next five or six years.

Stein says the finding is significant since vision damage is a serious complication of diabetes in people under 21.

Steve Burt / Flickr, http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Here’s one way to react to a warming planet: get smaller.

We know mammals literally shrank, during a massive global warming event 56 million years ago. Imagine an early horse ancestor the size of a cat.

Now back then, the earth was 46 degrees hotter on average than it is right now.

So researchers wanted to know: do mammals still experience shrinking - a.k.a. dwarfing - during other, less intense periods of warming?

ellenm1 / Flickr, http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

You know how in old Disney cartoons and movies, spring arrives and all the birds and woodland creatures just wake up all at once?

That’s kind of how nature works, too.

But new research suggests that what we typically think of as spring: flowers blooming, ice melting... is starting to change.

State capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of nurses marched from the Lansing Center to the state Capitol Wednesday. They want to urge the legislature to introduce a Safe Patient Care Act.

Nurses from around the state chanted, “What do we want? Safe staffing! When do we want it? Now!” on the steps of the Capitol.

Sarah Hodges is in nursing school and works as a nursing assistant. She says nurses love their patients and want to be able to give them the care they need.

What caused the Flint water crisis? Rick Sadler from Michigan State University argues the true cause of Flint's water disaster goes back decades.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Federal money to upgrade water systems is on a fast track toward Flint. The state House has agreed to spend $100 million dollars from the EPA and kick in another $20 million from the state.

This is unusually fast action. The federal government approved the money just last week.

“People have been thirsty for action inside the city of Flint,” said state Representative Sheldon Neeley (D-Flint). He says it’s true the city’s water now meets federal safe drinking water standards, but people don’t trust the water is safe.

Ksayer1 / Flickr

There are nearly 540,000 thousand drivers in Michigan who are over the age of 75, according to a the secretary of state's records.  A new bill introduced in the state Senate would make public parking free for them. 

If the bill becomes law, those drivers would have to provide proof of age to receive a state-issued sticker. That sticker would allow them to park for free at any municipal parking meter, lot or structure.

Photo courtesy of Birmingham Public Schools

The state has proposed an agreement to fix some ongoing problems at Detroit’s wastewater treatment plant.

The consent order from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality cites the Great Lakes Water Authority, which runs the plant, for a number of environmental violations over the past year.

The plant was supposed to stop operating five outdated sewage sludge incinerators in March, 2016. But the GLWA kept using them after a fire seriously damaged new, cleaner replacement equipment that same month.

people praying on yoga mat
Courtesy of Freedom House

It was a close call for Freedom House, the one-of-a-kind Detroit shelter that provides housing, legal aid and a host of other services to help asylum seekers.

Its doors were in danger of closing after its annual grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was slashed by more than half.

needle
Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A jury in Tennessee has found the owner of a Massachusetts lab that sold contaminated steroids not guilty of second degree murder.  

But the jury did find Barry Cadden guilty on multiple racketeering and mail fraud counts.  

Hundreds of people around the country were sickened when their doctors injected them with steroids produced by Cadden's compounding pharmacy.  The steroid medicine was tainted with a fungus. 

mug shot of michael lajoice
Oakland County Sheriff's Office

A former Oakland County credit union executive who embezzled millions of dollars will be sentenced in federal court Thursday.

Prosecutors say Michael LaJoice paid for a “luxurious home and expensive vehicles” by embezzling from Clarkston Brandon Credit Union, where he was the CFO. He allegedly skimmed more than $18 million over 12 years. LaJoice used the money to run a Latin dance studio in Fenton, among other things.

Dr. Larry Nassar
Michigan Attorney General's office

Dr. Larry Nassar has been found responsible for sexual assault, for the first time since this scandal erupted in the fall. 

pontiac silverdome
User Alex simple / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The city of Pontiac is suing the owners of the decaying Pontiac Silverdome in suburban Detroit for violations of building, safety and zoning codes.

The Oakland Press of Pontiac reports complaints were filed with the 50th District Court after a parking lot was used to store Volkswagen cars amid the automaker's U.S. emissions scandal.

needle
hitthatswitch / Creative Commons

A verdict has been reached in the trial of a Massachusetts pharmacy co-founder charged in a nationwide meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people and sickened 700 others in 2012.

Barry Cadden was charged with 25 counts of second-degree murder, conspiracy and other charges under the federal racketeering law. 

The jury determined that Cadden was not responsible for the deaths, but he was found guilty of the racketeering, conspiracy and mail fraud charges. His sentencing is scheduled for June 21.

A cyanobacteria bloom on Lake Erie in 2013.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Last night I drove almost a hundred miles into Ohio to preside over a discussion with huge implications for Michigan. The topic was the future of Lake Erie, the warmest and shallowest of the Great Lakes and a major source of drinking water for 11 million people.

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