News

Detroit’s regional board of water commissioners will vote on new rates next week.

The board will vote on a proposal that would increase Detroit retail customers’ combined water and sewer rates by 12.8%, while suburban wholesale customers would see rates jump a combined 6.4%.

ma.co. / Flickr

Legislation that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to work with LGBT couples or anyone else based on moral or religious grounds is headed to the floor of the state House.

A state House committee approved the bills as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on same-sex marriage. 

Beyond my ken / Wikimedia Commons

    

One of the greatest skyscrapers in Detroit is on the auction block.

The Fisher Building and its next-door neighbor, The Albert Kahn Building, have fallen into foreclosure as they struggle with fewer and fewer tenants.

Dan Austin is with the Detroit Free Press, and he runs HistoricDetroit.org.

You have a lot of buildings changing hands more in recent months or even the last couple of years than probably in the last decade. 

Hear more from Austin by clicking the audio link above.

Provided by Duane Kelley

We want to fill you in on what’s going on with Detroit’s retired firefighters.

These are the men and women who ran into burning buildings, day after day, some of them for decades.

And while they made it through the city’s bankruptcy with their pensions pretty much intact, they lost their health care.

Smart phone.
Johan Larsson / Flickr

The bill, if passed, would require cell phone carriers in Michigan to release location information to police in the event of an emergency.

In short, according to this House Fiscal Agency analysis, the bill does this:

The scientific community largely agrees climate change is taking place. Yet the public debate over climate change is often polarizing.

Andrew Hoffman wanted to explore just what causes people to accept or reject the scientific consensus on climate change. The result is his new book How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate.

Hoffman is the Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. He is also a Professor of Sustainable Enterprise.

Luca Nonato / Flickr

The Michigan film incentives have been a point of debate for years.

The incentives give film companies cash rebates based on the amount of money they spent in the state to make their movies.

At their peak, film incentives in Michigan would pay production companies 42% of their costs. That's when movie stars like Drew Barrymore, Clint Eastwood, and David Schwimmer started showing up regularly in the state.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan could face an electricity shortage in the next few years.

New federal regulations are forcing many coal-fired power plants to shut down in 2016.  That will leave utilities with less capacity to generate electricity. The loss will be most noticeable on hot summer days, when demand for electricity soars in Michigan. 

WISD hiring drivers after Ann Arbor school bus service cancellation

7 hours ago
School bus traversing the snow.
User Kristin Andrus / flickr.com

Washtenaw Intermediate School District is trying to hire more bus drivers and monitors. That's to avoid a repeat of Monday morning's cancellation of school bus service for Ann Arbor Public Schools. The buses resumed running Monday afternoon.

WISD has also "offered staff compensation incentives to attend work and to stay through the duration of our contracts," said Emma Jackson, WISD's spokesperson.

user crossn81
Flickr

Before the ice melts, let's take time to celebrate one of winter's great gifts: the sea caves at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

Eighteen miles west of Bayfield, Wisconsin is where you can find the island chain in Lake Superior. The islands and the ice have created a breathtaking natural art gallery.

If you think we’ve got troubles now, flash back eighty-two years ago today. Unemployment in Detroit was more than forty percent – and there was no social safety net.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to Congress.
PBS NewsHour / screenshot from YouTube

This week, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech, a new push toward financial stability for Detroit’s schools and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s decision to sit out Proposal 1.


Adoptions by LGBT parents are at the center of this controversy.
user stevendamrun / Flickr

A state House committee approved the legislation this morning.

The bills would allow agencies that take money from the state for placing children with families to turn away same-sex couples. There would have to be a sincere religious objection and a good-faith effort to refer the couples to another adoption service.

Detroit to get "pay by plate" parking

12 hours ago
wikihow

DETROIT (AP) – Detroit plans to roll out a parking system that uses technology tied to license plates in an effort to improve enforcement efficiency and increase options for payment.

Chief Operating Officer Gary Brown told The Detroit News that a $3 million contract will transform its metering system to “pay-by-plate,” rather than by space.

via Detroit Public Schools

The Detroit Public Schools’ emergency manager has laid out a plan he says should get the district on a “sustainable path” by the end of his 18-month term.

Darnell Earley’s restructuring plan has some short-term specifics, such as convening a summit of Detroit’s “education service providers” to discuss putting a moratorium on creating new schools before fall 2015; identifying further potential school and “substandard facility” closures; and establishing a task force to deal with the district’s high population of special education students.

Jack Amick / Flickr

People who attack sports referees would face tougher penalties under legislation in the state Senate.

Under the bills, a person would face up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000 for attacking a referee.

Inside the Michigan Senate
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are debating whether someone should face penalties if they fail to act when they know someone else is in danger.

A state Senate panel is holding hearings on the concept – but no bill has been introduced yet.

Prison bars.
Thomas Hawk / Flickr

If you are a 17-year-old and you break a law here in Michigan, you’re going to be tried as an adult.

Michigan is one of nine states that tries 17-year-olds as adults.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Everyone knows this has been a brutally cold winter in Michigan.

And not just for people.

Polar cold temps have resulted in Michigan lakes and rivers icing over to record degrees. That’s left little open water for ducks to feed.

Punya Mishra

A Michigan State University professor is using ambigrams to explore creative ways of thinking and playing. "Ambigram is a way of writing words so they can be read in many ways." 

Punya Mishra is a Professor of Educational Psychology and Educational Technology. His designs are being displayed at the MSU Museum. The exhibition is called “Deep-Play: Creativity in Math and Art through Visual Wordplay.”

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