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It’s always hard to save money. We know that’s true for many people, and it’s true for Lansing, as well.

And, politics makes it even harder.

A recent report by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council says Michigan is not ready for another recession. The report says lawmakers are short-changing the state’s savings-account, officially known as the Budget Stabilization Fund, but commonly referred to as the “rainy day” fund.

Detroit brought in new voting equipment for 2017 elections after rampant problems with 2016 vote.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Wayne County Board of Canvassers will meet on Tuesday to review Detroit’s election tallies.

The board must certify the results that day to meet a state deadline.

Detroit elections officials say they’re confident the November 7 election results will be made official, despite some reported irregularities with absentee ballots, and lingering doubts over the city clerk's botched handling of the 2016 general election.

How many usernames and passwords do you have these days?

You've got email, bank accounts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Paypal, Amazon, Snapchat, Nextdoor, Ebay and probably at least two dozen other accounts that aren't listed here.

Remembering all the information we need to access our devices and accounts is nothing short of a challenge.

On top of that, we've got a spelling issue to contend with.


injured piggy bank
Ken Teegardin / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state's savings account wouldn't last long if there was another economic downturn. That's according to new analysis from the Citizens Research Council.

The independent government watchdog says Michigan's "rainy day" fund is slowly recovering after it was drained during the Great Recession, but the state is still unprepared for a new downturn.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss what needs to happen to get Michigan's piggy bank back in shape.

Detroit city clerk Janice Winfrey
Michigan Municipal League / Flickr

A Wayne County judge has thrown out a lawsuit against Detroit city clerk Janice Winfrey, saying there’s “no evidence” her office mishandled absentee ballots or violated state law in last week’s general election.

The lawsuit was brought by election challengers who said Winfrey’s office used copies of absentee vote envelopes, rather than original envelopes with ballots, to verify voter information for about 1200 absentee votes dropped off at the clerk’s office on Election Day.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Our Canadian friends at Enbridge Energy may have a Trump problem with their Line 5. You’ve heard about Line 5 by now. It’s the pipeline – laid in the mid '50s – before the Mighty Mac connected the Upper and Lower peninsulas.

Just a few months ago, tiny patches of coating were said to be worn off the pipeline. Now the company is telling the state and anyone else who cares – and in the Great Lakes State a lot of people care – there’s more missing.

Nathan Bishop

Detroit ranked tenth on a list of worst metropolitan areas in the U.S. for asthma attacks in African-American children due to oil and gas exposure. That’s according to a new study, “Fumes Across the Fence-Line,” released by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Clean Air Task Force, and the National Medical Association.

 

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

It’s pretty hard to live in Chelsea, Michigan and not know Jeff Daniels. He’s an accomplished actor both on stage and on screen, he’s a musician who frequently tours, and he founded the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea.

Daniels joined Stateside to explain what’s been keeping him so busy.

Courtesy of Tim Herd

Recently the Annie E. Casey Foundation released a report that found Michigan’s African-American kids are struggling in school.

There’s a nationwide disparity between the education kids of color and white kids receive. If kids of color end up at a predominantly white college, it’s not clear they will get the resources and support they need.

Downtown Grand Rapids
Grguy2011 / Public Domain

A new civics program is designed to help people new to Grand Rapids adjust to the city.

The Our City Academy program focuses on how to navigate the city and how to find important city and county facilities.

MICHAEL COYER / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A few weeks ago, we talked with a specialist in underserved farmers at Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Food Systems. Shakara Tyler mentioned a class action lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that alleged discrimination against black farmers.

That case is called the Pigford lawsuit. It claimed USDA loan officers and agents denied loans, lost applications, delayed applications, and otherwise discriminated against African-American farmers. After all was said and done, the settlement with the USDA was the largest federal settlement for civil rights violations in the nation.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A Wayne State University professor testified today that the state health department director worried a study of a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak would upset the public.

At least a dozen people died during the outbreak from 2014 to 2015 in Genesee County.  

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

When we talked with Babacar Lo of the Wicker Shop, the weather was still warm and Lo was in his backyard in Detroit, working. Under a tent and surrounded by potted plants, he was repairing rattan and wicker furniture, a skill he first encountered in his home country of Senegal.

“I did a little bit of weaving, making rattan and bamboo furniture in Africa just in my spare time,” Lo said.

the Solanus Center

70,000 people are expected to pack Ford Field Saturday.

Not for a football game, but for a Mass to celebrate the life of a Catholic priest who is one step away from sainthood.

Fr. Solanus Casey died 60 years ago, but he continues to be an inspiration to many.  During his lifetime, he developed a reputation of a simple man who inspired faith and healed the sick.    

inside of lead service line
Terese Olson / University of Michigan

Ever since the Flint water crisis, Michigan cities and citizens have started paying attention to lead in drinking water pipes and faucets and the potential dangers they pose.

You might have lead pipes, or fixtures that contain lead, in your home without even knowing. Many cities are only replacing the public side of lead service lines. So determining what's coming into, and what's inside your home is up to you.

There are lead service lines in older communities across Michigan. Because of their age and population size, it’s fair to say the bulk of Michigan’s lead service lines are in cities in Southeast Michigan.

I spent a lot of time trying to determine which Detroit suburbs have lead service lines and how many. I wanted to see how far out into the suburbs lead was found in underground water pipes.

It was relatively easy (albeit an expensive FOIA bill near $2000 for these "public documents") to track down which communities were testing lead lines. But figuring out how many lead pipes were in each community is nearly impossible.

Congressman Fred Upton
Republican Conference / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan has ruled out running for U.S. Senate next year.

Upton, of St. Joseph, has held southwestern Michigan's congressional seat for 30 years. He said Friday there was "a path" to running, but he has chosen "not to follow it."

He instead will seek re-election to the House, saying, "We need focus and fortitude in Washington now more than ever."

Third-term Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow is up for re-election in 2018.

Don Haffner is a witty and smart guy in his late 60s who grew up in Downriver Detroit’s working class town of Allen Park. Growing up, he didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life, except not to become one more cog on the assembly line.

So he went to tiny Albion College, until one day in 1972 when he was about to graduate and got a letter asking him if he might want to consider serving in South Korea in the Peace Corps. He did, and it changed his life. South Korea is prosperous now, and the United States hasn’t sent Peace Corps volunteers there in 35 years.

But that wasn’t the case in the early 70s, less than a generation after the entire country was devastated by the Korean War. The experience was, indeed, life-changing. Don, who I’ve known slightly for years, was sent to a town then called Mukho only about 40 miles from the infamous 38th parallel, where he taught English in middle school.

User Xanteen / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Americans have become obsessed with concussions, and with good reason. But for medical professionals, it’s a double-edged sword: people are interested, but they also have more misinformation.

For example, concussions last only a week or two, while smaller, more frequent hits can result in chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE – but the two are often lumped together.

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

Remember nine years ago, when the auto industry was teetering on the brink of disaster? The housing bubble had burst, credit evaporated, and nobody was buying cars. Years of poor decision-making made the American automakers particularly vulnerable, so their execs headed to Washington to seek a bailout.

Part of that process was to appear before congressional panels so representatives and senators could ask appropriate questions like: "Why should we trust you?"

Our current attorney general, Jeff Sessions, was a senator from Alabama at that time, and he was among those who grilled the execs. I remember Sessions being particularly aggressive. I didn't feel bad for the execs (after all, they were responsible).

Model Ts driving on a road
KMS Photography

What do your mornings sound like? Which sounds shape the start your day?

Our new series, Mornings In Michigan features the sounds of morning rituals from people and places across our state.

To open our series, we visited a beloved Michigan institution. Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford is made up of 83 historic buildings brought to the museum in Dearborn and restored to reflect 300 years of American history.

State Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren.
bieda.senatedems.com

A teen was recently attacked in Muskegon County. Officials say it’s because he’s gay. Now prosecutors and lawmakers are calling on the legislature to expand the state’s hate crimes law.

A 17-year old boy was stripped of his clothes and assaulted. The evidence was clear to Muskegon County prosecutor D.J. Hilson – The teen was attacked because he was gay. But when he looked at the statute, he couldn’t charge the case as hate crime, which comes with increased penalties.

Hilson says it’s time for the Legislature to protect all citizens.

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence
Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence's website

Michigan Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence’s Chief of Staff, Dwayne Marshall resigned today following multiple sexual harassment allegations.

Congresswoman Lawrence says her office will “move forward with an investigation focused on the current and future climate of our workplace.”

Documents: US Steel sought to keep chemical spill secret

Nov 16, 2017
Ken Lund / Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Environmentalists are questioning why the public wasn't notified about an October chemical spill into a Lake Michigan tributary that U.S. Steel asked Indiana regulators to keep confidential.

Documents released by the University of Chicago's Abrams Environmental Law Clinic show that U.S. Steel's plant in Portage, Indiana, released 56.7 pounds (25.7 kilograms) of chromium on Oct. 25 after a wastewater treatment system malfunction. That's nearly double what the plant is permitted to release of the potentially cancer-causing chemical over 24 hours.

A dive team works on Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

It’s been a steady drip-drip-drip of revelations from Enbridge Energy about its Line 5 — the oil and gas pipelines running beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

The latest revelation is that there are more spots where the protective coating has worn off — lots more spots, even though a year ago we were told there weren’t any coating gaps.

The latest admission from the Canadian energy company drew a quick response from a plainly exasperated Governor Snyder, who called Enbridge’s “lack of transparency” to be “deeply troubling.”

But what are we hearing from Michigan's business leaders?

Libraries Without Borders-US

The Next Idea

Pretend it’s Saturday. 

You and the kids are running errands, including a several-hour stop at the laundromat. They are bored, you are bored.... What if you could use that washer time for something like education? What if your laundromat had the services of a library? 

Well, over the summer, this started happening in Detroit. 

Courtesy of City Rescue Mission of Lansing

Think about this: providing enough meat to make more than half a million meals for people in need. That's over 100,000 pounds of meat, and much of it is venison.

That's the remarkable result of of Tom Cullimore's work through his effort called HOPE: Help Other People Eat. 

Stateside Staff / Michigan Radio

When a child who has grown up speaking Spanish comes to school, that student is going to be sitting in English-only classrooms, being mainstreamed into the English language and culture.

How does this English-all-the-time approach affect those students?

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A major obstacle to Flint’s recovery from its drinking water crisis has been removed.

The city of Flint has been hobbled in its efforts to remain on its aging water system by its inability to repay more than $20 million borrowed from the Drinking Water Revolving Fund (DWRF).  

notices
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Because of the Flint water crisis, several Michigan cities are making long term plans to replace old lead water pipes that connect homes to the water main.

That is good for public health, but well-meaning municipal water operators can actually make lead exposure worse if they’re not careful.

There’s a mix of lead and copper pipes buried near the corner of Trinity and Florence in a neighborhood on Detroit’s northwest side. When I visited a month ago the block was lined with nice, two story brick homes and orange construction barrels. It smelled like diesel.

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