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President Trump's latest budget proposal calls for eliminating funding for protecting the Great Lakes which includes cleaning up polluted areas,  preventing and controlling invasive species, and restoring habitats to protect native species.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget shifts spending from domestic areas to security areas. One of the programs that would be cut under the proposal is the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

That money has been used to do the following: clean up polluted areas called Great Lakes Areas of Concern, prevent and control invasive species, reduce nutrient runoff that contributes to harmful blooms of algae (which led to Toledo's water system shut down), and restore habitat to protect native species.

Artwork from the 45th Ann Arbor Film Festival by Brooke Keesling, the creator of "Boobie Girl" which was the Academy Award winning film that was called pornographic by Michigan legislators.
Courtesy of Christen Lien

This year marks the ten-year anniversary of a legal case that challenged free speech.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival was accused of showing pornography at its event. The Michigan Legislature withdrew funds to be awarded by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). In response, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, with aid from the ACLU and the National Coalition Against Censorship, sued in federal court.

nico7martin / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

I was sad to hear about Chuck Berry’s death last weekend.

When I worked in St. Louis two decades ago, getting an interview with Berry was a challenge for every reporter in town. He hadn’t given an interview in more than two years when I decided to give it a shot. The owner of a venue where Berry played every couple of months suggested I come to the 40th anniversary of Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode. The idea was the club owner would help me get an interview before the show.

crowd of people
GencoSidlePhotos / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

After losing Michigan in a presidential election for the first time since 1988, the Democratic Party is signaling a renewed focus on the state.

Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez will be in Detroit and Flint this weekend on the first leg of a national “Democratic Turnaround Tour.” Other stops on the tour include New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia.

Perez told Stateside that the Democratic Party needs to make a greater effort to connect with voters.

Home along 15 mile road in Fraser being torn down because of the sinkhole.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

The first home condemned because of a sinkhole in Macomb County was torn down today.

 

Dozens of homes in Fraser were evacuated after the sinkhole formed on Christmas Eve. Most families returned to their homes within a week, but three houses couldn’t be saved. 

 

 

Fraser Mayor Joe Nichols is pleased with the progress of the construction along 15 Mile Road, despite the somber situation. 

 

 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Since it’s National Cocktail Day, Cheers! is mixing up a cocktail.

“I don’t know who comes up with these days, but I’m kind of glad to have an occasion to celebrate,” Tammy Coxen with Tammy’s Tastings said.

The Cheers! staff is up for a celebratory cocktail just about any day, but it would seem to be necessary today since it's a national holiday.

Jethro Taylor / Flickr, http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

For rural residents worried about visits from black bears this spring and summer, a wildlife expert has some advice: Take down your bird feeders, at least for now.

Katie Keen of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says bears are particularly attracted to bird seed and suet because they have higher fat content than natural food sources such as roots of early spring plants and insect larvae.

Once a bear finds a bird feeder, it will keep coming back until the seed is gone or the feeder is removed.

User apoxapox / Flickr

Cases of hepatitis A are increasing in Detroit, as well as Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced today that there has been a significant uptick in the number of lab-confirmed hepatitis A cases.

In a press release, the department said that 107 cases were confirmed from August 1, 2016 to March 1, 2017. That's eight times higher than the previous year.

Rian Saunders / Flickr, http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

As you probably know, the Republican Party is in control of all three branches of Michigan government – executive, legislative and judicial. Republicans also control both houses of Congress and the Presidency.

Democrats are, naturally, not happy about this.

The first part of this story, you probably know.

The Michigan men’s basketball stunk so badly two months ago, just about everyone figured they’d never get to the NCAA tournament in March. They had some talent, but other coaches considered them one-dimensional: all offense and no defense. Worse, they said Michigan was soft and lazy – two things no coach wants to hear about his team.

Joe Gratz / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A man who embezzled nearly $19 million from a suburban Detroit credit union has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Federal Judge Gershwin Drain followed the recommendation of prosecutors Thursday. He repeatedly said the amount of money stolen by Michael LaJoice was extraordinary.

LaJoice was chief financial officer at Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union. He stole from the credit union over a dozen years, buying a luxurious home, fancy cars and commercial properties, and traveling by private jet.

John Auchter / Achtoon.com

ARTIST'S POV: When I was a kid I remember seeing a "man on the street" segment on TV interviewing people about the value of seat belts. 

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

Mar 23, 2017
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?

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