steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, public transit officials from Michigan and across the country will be in Washington D.C. to lobby for more public transportation funding.

There is concern the Trump administration is not including public transit in some of its funding proposals.

“We hope that a new infrastructure package will be kind to transit,” says Edgar Bening, the general manager of the Flint Metropolitan Transit Authority. “We have many needs.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Former Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Earley served as Flint’s emergency manager from September 2013 through January 2015.

It was during that time the city’s drinking water source was switched to the Flint River with disastrous results.

Prosecutors charged Earley with Misconduct in Office, Neglect of Duty and False Pretenses.  He’s also facing an involuntary manslaughter charge.

The judge overseeing Earley’s preliminary exam will decide if there’s enough evidence to send the case to trial.

When was the last time you asked for a rain check? 

Maybe a store gave you a rain check for a product you wanted that was out of stock. Or maybe you invited a friend out to lunch, but they were busy and asked for a rain check.

If you've ever asked for a rain check, you're actually using a phrase that we can trace back to baseball and, surprisingly, chess.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This past week, Lansing’s Catholic bishop introduced a special panel that will examine issues of race in the diocese.  

University of Michigan near Rackham and Michigan League
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A judge has ordered the University of Michigan to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request by the Detroit Free Press.

The Free Press wants to know how the University calculates the more than two million dollars in compensation for its chief investment officer, Erik Lundberg.

Mark Rochester, senior news director of investigations, says other universities in Michigan disclosed the information, so the U of M's refusal is a head scratcher.

Former Governor John Engler

Michigan State University interim president John Engler accused state lawmakers of interfering with negotiations to settle out of court with victims of former sports doctor Larry Nassar. Engler's comments came in response to a set of bills adopted by the senate this week that give victims more time to file lawsuits. The former governor also said the bills could subject universities to more lawsuits and drive up tuition.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about Engler's reaction to the legislation.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

The Blue Oval has seen the future, and it looks a whole lot like its past.

Ford Motor claims a rich heritage building the nation’s best-selling pickup and the best-selling three-row SUV. Its Mustang is an American icon. And its performance pedigree is enjoying a renaissance under product planners who understand emotion still matters in the business.

EMU budget cut protest
Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Faculty at Eastern Michigan University are protesting budget cuts that they say unfairly target support staff. 

Faculty union president Judith Kullberg says some departments now have no secretary.  She says EMU should instead cut administrators, or a proposed 20 million dollar athletic training center.

“For this administration, athletics is a sacred cow,” says Kullberg.

EMU spokesman Geoff Larcum says declining enrollment and stagnant state funding make cuts necessary.

He says they've been transparent about the situation.

Ford Media Center

What kind of conveniences do you want in your future car? We're talking more than Bluetooth connection, or climate control, or even an autonomous car. How about a water dispenser that you don’t have to fill?

How would that work?

We’re glad you asked, because one of the inventors of a prototype, patent pending, of the On-the-Go H2O joined Stateside today. His name is Doug Martin and he’s a Powertrain Controls Engineer for Ford.

Larissa Boyce testifies in Ingham County courtroom at Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing.
Emma Winowiecki

This week the Michigan Senate passed a package of bills that would, among other things, limit claims of immunity from civil suits for government entities, including public universities; extend the statute of limitations for when a victim can file a sexual assault complaint; and strengthen mandatory reporting laws.


A new report from Moody's credit rating agency says that Michigan is one of the most vulnerable states if the U.S. withdraws from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The report says that Michigan, Texas, Vermont, and North Dakota have the most exposure to risk from NAFTA withdrawal.

drinking fountain
jasongillman / pixabay

The Department of Environmental Quality is making a final call for public comments on revisions to the state’s lead in drinking water regulations. The deadline to submit comments on the proposed changes has been extended to Wednesday, March 21 at 5 p.m.

Charlotte Finnegan, an MI Curious question asker

It’s pothole season in Michigan, that time of year when drivers really notice the state’s crumbling roads, too often paying the cost in vehicle repairs. Meanwhile, crews are busy patching potholes, but many streets and roads need a lot more than a patch.

Dan Gilmartin is the CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League, which represents cities and villages in the state, got a chance to talk to a U.S. Senate committee about the state of the roads in Michigan.

Daniel X. O'Neil / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

It seems more and more that the phrase “fake news” is being used against any reputable news report that doesn’t conform with someone’s distorted notion of what is true.

But, that does not mean “fake news” is not a real and threatening problem. These past few months, we’ve learned of Russian outlets that used social media to spread memes that United States citizens at opposite ends of the political spectrum gleefully reposted because it fit the narrative of their echo-chamber beliefs.

Michael Patterson / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Michigan legislature is considering retroactively extending the statute of limitations of sexual assault of minors. It's part of a package of bills designed to make it easier for sexual assault victims to bring complaints forward.

This comes as a response to the Larry Nassar case. He's the former doctor who sexually assaulted young athletes at Michigan State University and other places.

Michigan men's basketball coach John Beilein seated courtside
Flickr user Adam Glanzman / Flickr

The Michigan Wolverines are still dancing in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

In the opening round, UM beat Montana 61-47 Thursday night in Wichita, Kansas. The Wolverines are the third seed in the West region. They'll face sixth-seeded University of Houston on Saturday night.


Albert Einstein was born on this day in 1879. He died, after a lifetime of discoveries that transformed the world, in 1955.  National Public Radio wasn’t around in his lifetime, but I have to believe he would have loved it. After all, he spent his later years searching vainly for a “Grand Unified Theory” that explains everything.

Michigan Radio, with support from its national partner, does indeed try to explain everything, or at least everything we can, to our listeners.  

Twenty years ago, John Engler was by far, the biggest figure in Lansing, and perhaps the most powerful governor Michigan has ever had. He understood the legislature better than anyone, largely because he had been in it for twenty years before becoming governor.

He was both respected and feared, and lawmakers in both parties thought twice before taking him on. Times have changed, however, and yesterday Engler, now interim president of Michigan State University, found himself testifying before a skeptical senate subcommittee.

A map of new transit services proposed in the "Connect Southeast Michigan" plan.
Wayne County

Wayne and Washtenaw County leaders are making a last-ditch effort to get a millage for improved mass transit across southeast Michigan on the November ballot.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Democrats running for state Attorney General represent two wings of the party.

Dana Nessel is a self-described progressive. Pat Miles is more centrist, but he’s shifted some of his positions on issues as he’s talked to Democrats across the state.

We asked each of the candidates about asset forfeiture.

Civil asset forfeiture allows law enforcement to seize property when police think it was bought with illegally gotten money such as drug money.

But, even if those people are not convicted or even charged with a crime, they have to fight in court to get their assets back.

Michigan State University interim President John Engler scolded lawmakers today over bills that would make it easier for sexual abuse victims to file lawsuits.

He says the debate is affecting settlement negotiations with victims of former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Engler appeared before a Senate universities budget subcommittee. He told the committee chair the bills could also drive up tuition. 

“Your legislation would certainly probably do that," he said. "I don’t know if it would force bankruptcy or not. I hope not.”

Running faucet
Melissa Benmark / Michigan Radio

Two townships have joined the state’s lawsuit against a west Michigan shoe manufacturer.

Plainfield and Algoma townships are both being affected by ongoing groundwater contamination caused by chemicals Wolverine Worldwide once used at its tannery in Rockford.

Cameron Van Wyngarden, the Plainfield Township manager, says joining the lawsuit wasn’t his first choice.

A DDOT bus in Detroit.
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

As the old saying goes: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

That applied today as Wayne County Executive Warren Evans went to the Regional Transit Authority board to offer a revised regional transit plan.

stvcr / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg



Michigan's dairy cows are doing their job like rock stars. 


They're pumping out milk — so much milk, in fact, that Michigan is among the top milk-producing states in the country. 

Life-size sculptural reconstruction of Australopithecus sediba, an extinct human relative that roamed southern Africa 2 million years ago.
Sculpture Elisabeth Daynès /Photo: S. Entressangle / Museum of Natural History

The University of Michigan now owns what is considered to be the only lifelike reconstruction of an extinct human relative that roamed southern Africa 2 million years ago.

The university’s Museum of Natural History commissioned a full-body, fleshed reconstruction of the Australopithecus sediba from the Daynès Studio in Paris.

The Daynès Studio has also produced several models for the Field Museum in Chicago, most notably the popular Australopithecus afarensis specimen commonly known as “Lucy."

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands,” a woman wearing a foppish hat with a large feather sang to a group of distracted toddlers and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette this morning in Livonia.

Schuette was there to be a guest reader during the library’s story time. The Republican candidate for governor also shook hands with a few parents and talked about the dismal state of Michigan’s third grade reading scores.

Vincent Duffy / Michigan Radio

There’s nothing wrong with having principles. Not everyone does; back in the bad old days, there was a U.S. Senator from the South who supposedly used to tell audiences, “Well, them there’s my positions, and if you don’t like ‘em – well, I can change ‘em.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint school board has picked a former emergency manager to be the district’s interim superintendent.

Gregory Weatherspoon says he’s learned things that can help Flint schools from his stints as EM in Muskegon Heights and Highland Park schools, and recently was Benton Harbor interim school superintendent.

Michigan superintendent Brian Whiston
Michigan Department of Education

State schools superintendent Brian Whiston is stepping down and taking long-term disability leave so he can focus on fighting cancer.

Whiston made the announcement today at a meeting of the Michigan State Board of Education.

Whiston set a goal of making Michigan one of the nation’s top 10 states when it comes to the quality of schools. He says plans that have been put in place to turn around struggling schools make that possible.

“They’re just now in progress, and it’s just very sad to me that I won’t be part of seeing whether they all worked or not,” Whiston said.

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

The Michigan Senate this evening passed a package of sexual assault legislation (SB 871-878) designed to stop the type of abuse carried out by former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar.