Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

This week, the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New York ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to write new rules for the ballast water in ships.

Four environmental groups sued the EPA over its current ballast water rule.

Invasive species can get into the Great Lakes in ballast water. Salties are ships that cross the ocean, and lakers are ships that travel only within the Great Lakes. In the decision, the judges criticize the EPA for exempting lakers from certain regulations. 

I’m not in the least surprised that the United Autoworkers Union reached a new agreement with Fiat Chrysler late last night. Nobody, but nobody wanted a strike.

I did think it possible that the union might have workers put down tools and walk off the job for a few hours in an effort to remind the rank-and-file of their heritage.

But if there had been a serious strike, the only winner would have been Toyota.

Teen pregnancies down in Michigan, study says

8 hours ago
Hobo Mama / flickr creative commons

Teen births in Michigan have dropped 40% over the past two decades, according to a recent report by the Michigan League for Public Policy.  

In 1992, about 18,000 Michigan teens had babies compared to 8,000 20 years later. That puts Michigan's teen birth rate of 24 per 1,000 slightly below  the national average of 27 teen births per 1,000 in 2013. 

Nikolai Nolan / Creative Commons

The City of Southfield has purchased the closed Northland Center mall for $2.4 million.

Northland fell into receivership last year, after years of financial struggles.

The mall closed its doors for good in March, shortly after losing its last anchor store, Macy's.

Since then, Southfield Mayor Donald Fracassi said the city has been monitoring bids and offers to redevelop the property.

Jeremy Lim / flickr

The Legislature has sent bills to Governor Rick Snyder that make some big changes to Michigan’s civil forfeiture law, which allows police to seize and keep assets of people who are suspected of criminal activity even if they’re never charged or convicted.

The bills would make it easier for people to recover assets such as homes, cars, or bank accounts.

Troy Holden / flickr

The state House has overwhelmingly approved bills to overhaul Michigan’s medical marijuana system.

The legislation creates legal protections for dispensaries and for patients using non-smokable forms of cannabis.

Bill sponsors say patients should not face prosecution for using forms of marijuana that are safer than smoking.

Flower House will be open Oct. 16-18 before the house is deconstructed

A sad, old, derelict house in Hamtramck will literally blossom for three days this month when it becomes Flower House.

Brittany Bartkowiak / Michigan Radio

We spent our evening in Kalamazoo October 6, 2015 talking college affordability and access with our State of Opportunity team and a panel of special guests.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s drinking water controversy has led to the cancelation of a festival celebrating the Flint River.

Tests link the corrosive nature of the river water to high lead levels in Flint tap water.  Complaints about the quality of Flint’s drinking water have been escalating since the city switched from Detroit water to the Flint River last year.

Just think about this: What if some emergency forced the state to temporarily appoint an emergency manager in a more affluent, mostly white area?

Pretend this happens to Birmingham in Oakland County, say, or Holland.

To save money, the emergency manager stops using the longtime clean water source and switches to a local river. When residents complain that the water smells and is discolored, the emergency manager tells them it is just as good as they were getting before.

jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

This Week in Michigan Politics, Michigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockley discuss the latest on the Flint water problem, how Michigan State University doesn't want to release  the names of student-athletes who were suspects in criminal cases to ESPN, and Lessenberry reflects on the life of Grace Lee Boggs.

University of Michigan

The University of Michigan’s President made his first appearance at the Detroit Economic Club Tuesday.

Mark Schlissel addressed the promise of “big data,” the importance of increasing student diversity, and his efforts to tamp down the school’s sometimes “exuberant party culture.”

Schlissel said university data shows that much—though not all—of that party culture stems from Greek life on campus.

David Goehring / Creative Commons

A new state Senate bill would add the Fostering Futures Scholarship fund to Michigan’s voluntary contribution schedule.

The state-funded program helps foster youth in Michigan pay for tuition and other costs associated with college.

Under SB 543, taxpayers would be able to donate a portion of their return to the fund via a check-off a box on their tax form.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today people lined up in the rain to get water filters in Flint.

The state is handing out 20,000 Brita filters to people at risk for high lead in their tap water.   Over the weekend, the Genesee County Health Department and United Way gave away 4,000 PUR filters.

“Our goal is to make sure that every single resident in the city of Flint, who needs a water filter gets one,” says Sheryl Thompson, with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Jake Neher / Michigan Public Radio Network

Michigan would stop automatically charging 17-year-olds as adults under new bills in the state House.

The bipartisan legislation would prohibit placing people under 18 years old in adult prisons and jails. Any teenager could still be charged as an adult for violent crimes such as murder.

Sponsors say putting minors in adult jails and prisons keeps them from the rehabilitative services they need.

CedarBendDrive / Creative Commons

Michigan State University has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to put a hold on an order to release the names of student-athletes who were suspects in criminal cases.

MSU is supposed to comply with the lower court order by the end of the month. But the university asked for a delay while the case is appealed to the state Supreme Court.

A Flint resident holds a jug of tainted Flint water.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

One of the biggest questions of the Flint water crisis centers on corrosion control.

As we heard from Virginia Tech water specialist Marc Edwards, federal rules dictate that communities have measures in place to prevent water from leaching lead out of old pipes.

The very thing that happened when the city of Flint stopped taking treated water from Detroit and began drawing its water from the Flint River.

So were corrosion control measures in place or not?

We spoke with Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith and Steve Carmody to sort this question out.

Now that more than 10,000 of Detroit’s backlogged rape kits have finally been tested for DNA evidence, there’s good news and bad news.

The good (really good) news is that DNA evidence has already turned up some 2,600 hits in the FBI’s national criminal database, called CODIS (Combined DNA Index System).

Detroit mayor nominates water department leaders

Oct 6, 2015
Detroit Press Office

A new leadership team is planned for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Mayor Mike Duggan has nominated Gary Brown as director of the department and Palencia Mobley as deputy director and chief engineer.

The Board of Water Commissioners is expected to vote on the nominations Wednesday, according to the mayor's office. 

The 12th Street Riot began in the early hours of July 23, 1967 following a police raid on an unlicensed after-hours bar on the corner of 12th and Clairmount.
Public Domain

The civil unrest that began in Detroit on July 23, 1967, was one of the most challenging and difficult events in Michigan history.

The 50th anniversary of the summer of ’67 is fast approaching and the Detroit Historical Society and other partners have launched a community-wide effort called Detroit 1967: Looking Back to Move Forward.

flickr user FatMandy /

Last year, an inmate was placed in the Macomb County jail for failing to pay a traffic fine.

For 16 days, the inmate went through severe drug withdrawals, reportedly losing 50 pounds and suffering seizures and hallucinations before he died. The ordeal was caught by in-cell surveillance video.

Reports indicate that inmate deaths across the country are on the rise, with a particular concern focused on county jails.

Jeremy Sternberg/flickr /

It was August 1998 when FBI agent Greg Stejskal got a phone call about a meteorite stolen from the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History.

“Nobody really expected anybody to walk off with a 60-pound meteorite,” remembers Stejskal.

Eventually, the FBI and U of M police tracked down a guy named Steven Collins, who denied knowing how the meteorite was stolen.

In this interview with Stateside, retired agent Stejskal tells the story of the missing meteorite and how it was eventually found.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Experts will try to come up with a solution to Flint’s water problems tomorrow.

State and federal regulators, along with national experts, will take part in the meeting that will take place at Flint city hall Wednesday afternoon.

They will hear a presentation from Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards. Edwards is in New York City for a prior commitment, but he’s rearranged his schedule so he can make his presentation to the tech panel remotely. 

Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
flickr user fiatontheweb / creative commons

The United Auto Workers union is threatening to go on strike against Fiat Chrysler.

The company says in a statement Tuesday that it received a strike notice from the union and it continues to work toward reaching an agreement.

A letter to Fiat Chrysler that was posted on the UAW website says the union is terminating its contract with FCA at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

Back in the early 1950’s, a Chinese-American woman named Grace Lee came to Detroit to publish an obscure newsletter for an even more obscure Marxist group led by a revolutionary from Trinidad. She met a black auto worker named James Boggs.

She had a PhD in philosophy; he had barely a high school education. She invited him to dinner. He showed up an hour late. She made lamb chops; he said he hated them. She put on a Louie Armstrong record, and he told her Satchmo was an Uncle Tom.

But later that evening, he asked her to marry him.

Sarah Razak / Flickr -

Confused about corrosion control? We were too.

In Flint, lead levels in some children's blood have spiked dramatically. Scientists believe the Flint River is part of the problem. Flint switched from Detroit’s water system and started pulling water from the Flint River last year.

Alberto G. / Creative Commons

The public comment period is winding down for proposed new state science and social studies standards. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) will hold three public meetings on the standards this week.

MDE has already held several other meetings across the state on the standards.

Karen Stintz - Flickr Creative Commons -

Fifth-grade students at Muskegon Middle School will begin receiving drug- and gang-resistance training in November.

The Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T) program aims to deter students from participating in destructive behaviors before they start.

City of Detroit

As Lansing gears up to debate a radical reorganization of Detroit schools, Mayor Mike Duggan is pushing for a larger role in the city’s future education system.

Duggan outlined his vision for a complete education overhaul earlier this year.

It shares the same basic structure as Gov. Snyder’s proposal for Detroit schools, but differs on a few key points.

Both call for a bankruptcy-style restructuring — without the actual bankruptcy filing — that would split the Detroit Public Schools into “old” and “new” districts.

Republican candidate Ted Cruz brought his presidential campaign to Michigan and Kalamazoo today.

Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, was greeted enthusiastically.


“We need to bring the power out of Washington and back to ‘we the people!” That is what this campaign is about!” Cruz told the cheering crowd of several hundred people.