News

The Michigan Supreme Court has seen a sudden rise in unanimous decisions during the 2015-2016 term.
Flickr user Joe Gratz / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Michigan cannot apply changes to the state’s sex offender registry law retroactively. That ruling came today from a federal appeals court. But the court also went further and said the law is flawed in many other ways and isn’t working the way it’s supposed to.

Miriam Aukerman is an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. She says the Legislature should take another look at the law.

A repeatedly sewage-flooded basement on Detroit's east side.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Two recent cases of Hepatitis A in Detroit are sparking a larger public health response.

That’s because the people who tested positive for the virus had both recently dealt with basement sewage backups, which have plagued an area of Detroit’s east side during rainfall this summer.

It’s not entirely clear how they got Hepatitis A, but contact with sewage is a known path of transmission.

But just in case, the Detroit health department will offer the vaccinations for free or at low cost to all Detroiters affected by the recent flooding over the next week.

Screencap from Google Maps / Google

A group of cities near the Great Lakes is appealing a decision to let Waukesha, Wisconsin draw water directly from Lake Michigan. 

Waukesha asked to divert water from Lake Michigan because its own water source is contaminated. 

Great Lakes governors approved the diversion, but many Great Lakes mayors disagree. 

A group of 120 of them – members of The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative – is appealing. 

Flickr user Stanford EdTech/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In 2010, now Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan was the CEO of the Detroit Medical Center. One decision he made was to streamline the process of sterilizing medical instruments.

The result: A sole Central Sterile Processing Department in the basement of Detroit Receiving Hospital.

That department is responsible for cleaning and sterilizing instruments for all five DMC hospitals in Midtown Detroit. That includes Children’s, Detroit Receiving, Harper, Hutzel Women’s and the DMC Heart Hospital.

This means workers must clean and sterilize thousands and thousands of instruments then package them for surgical procedures.

An investigation by Detroit News reporters Karen Bouffard and Joel Kurth revealed that DMC surgeries are now plagued by dirty or missing instruments and equipment.

Flickr user roger4336/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

This is an extra-good week to be a beer drinker in Michigan.

Stroh’s Bohemian-style Pilsner came back this week, and it’s made in Detroit. It will be on tap at 72 bars all over Michigan on Friday.

Frances Stroh of the Stroh beer family joined us to talk about the big return of the Pilsner beer that won a ribbon at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

Humble Designs

Humble Design has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the garage of its co-founder, Treger Strasberg.

Strasberg got the idea for the non-profit after a co-worker and her children became homeless. 

After some time in a shelter, the family found a house to rent. But they had almost no possessions.  Strasberg recalls visiting the home and being shocked at how they had to live.

"(They made) little nests on the floor of where they were going to sleep with their coats and their clothing," she says, "and (they had) no furniture at all."

Flickr user Agência Brasil Fotografias/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In the standings of medals won in Rio, Michigan would rank 16th if it were a country. That’s according to a story in the Detroit Free Press by Brian Manzullo.

“What’s impressive about that is these are the summer Olympics," sports commentator John. U Bacon said. "This is Michigan, man. Summer’s not our thing." 

Bacon joined Stateside to discuss Michigan’s outstanding performance at this year’s Summer Olympics – with a special hat tip to Olympians Michael Phelps and Nick Willis – and Ryan Lochte’s “we were robbed at gunpoint” lie.

Flickr user Jim Fruchterman/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

From the time Hilary Clinton first ran for President in 2008, former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm has been one of her most vocal and visible supporters.

She was recently named part of Hillary Clinton’s transition team.

Michigan Radio’s Rick Pluta spoke with Granholm to learn what her responsibilities would be in the Hillary Clinton administration, if Clinton is indeed elected.

jamesjyu / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Lawmakers and regular folks strolled past more than 70 venders at the Farmers Market at the Capitol Thursday. But while goers ogled the plethora of fruits and vegetables, State Representative Dave Pagel, R-Berrien Springs, was there to bring attention to the lack of healthy food access in Michigan.

Pagel is sponsoring a bill he says would increase the availability of healthy food in Michigan particularly in rural and urban areas.

Michigan Department of Corrections

UPDATE 5:30 pm: The Michigan Department of Corrections says Johnny Rodgers is back in custody following an arrest this afternoon.

Original post:

The search is on for a convicted felon who was mistakenly released from a suburban Detroit jail on Wednesday evening.

Johnny Rodgers is serving a seven- to 15-year sentence for assault with intent to commit murder, armed robbery and felony firearms charges in Wayne County.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Democrats will hold their state party convention in Lansing on Saturday.

This weekend’s convention may end up reflecting former presidential candidate’s Bernie Sanders' policies as much as party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are looking at the effectiveness of a Michigan State Police program aimed at reducing violent crime.

Since 2012, through the Secure Cities program, state troopers have helped cities like Detroit and Flint with day-to-day patrol and investigations.

On Wednesday, Capt. Gene Kapp told the state Senate Appropriations Committee the program is working in some of Michigan’s most violent communities.

user frank juarez / Flickr

The state board of education wants more input on the fates of Michigan schools deemed “failing.”

That’s what some board members signaled in a statement released this week.

It called on the State School Reform/Redesign Office to work with the Michigan Department of Education “to provide assistance to local districts to succeed at turning around their own schools and to keep the public fully informed of decisions affecting their local schools.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A veteran’s home in Marquette says it’s already fixed problems found by the state Auditor General. After a four-month review, the auditor raised concerns about the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans’ control over medications and its background checks of volunteers.

Officials with the home say they’d started fixing the issues before the auditors visited, and the issues had to be raised because they were previously not in compliance.

The main field at Urbandale Farm used to be a vacant lot filled with downed trees. It’s now used to grow a variety of flowers, herbs and vegetables.
Daniel Rayzel / Michigan Radio

Just a few minutes away from our state Capitol building rests Lansing’s Urbandale neighborhood – an area trapped in the city’s 100-year floodplain.

The floodplain designation led to rising insurance costs, abandoned homes, and vacant lots overgrown with trees. Locals took it upon themselves to make the best of the situation by growing some fruits and veggies, and starting Urbandale Farm.

"Wanda & Winky" was illustrated by Susan VanDeventer
Susan VanDeventer Warner

In April 2005, the Detroit Zoo made history.

It moved its last two elephants, Winky and Wanda, to a sanctuary in warm-weather California. 

That made Detroit the very first zoo in the nation to give up its elephants for humane reasons. 

Now retired Walled Lake teacher Linda McLean has written a children's book telling the story of Winky and Wanda, and in doing so, educating youngsters about how elephants live while in captivity. 

michigan.gov / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There's a new chapter in the very public rivalry between Governor Snyder and State Attorney General Bill Schuette.

This time, they're going at it over a circuit judge's order that bars state health workers from having any contact with the Genesee County Health Department and McLaren Hospital of Flint over new cases of Legionnaire's Disease. 

Flickr user David Drexler/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It seems tourists driving up north on M-22 are a little bit too enthusiastic in expressing their appreciation for what’s been called one of the most scenic drives in the country.

People are stealing those M-22 signs. Around 90 signs have been replaced in the past three years.

In response, the Michigan Department of Transportation is changing the signs. No longer will they read “M-22”, but rather just “22”.

The state hopes that will make signs less attractive to sticky-fingered vandals.

Photo of Gov. Rick Snyder
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Genesee County health officials insist a court order restricting communication with state health officials is not preventing them from investigating cases of Legionnaires Disease.

The court order is related to the Attorney General’s investigation of the Flint water crisis. 

The Snyder administration is challenging the order.

I met a former student of mine for an early lunch Tuesday, in a little café in the bustling, cosmopolitan suburb of West Bloomfield. Anasie Tayyen has three children, who are seven, nine and 12, and has her hands full running after them and managing her pediatrician husband’s office.

But she now realizes she was also meant to be a writer.

Last week, she had a beautiful piece in the Huffington Post, called “The Olympics Chased the Bogeyman Away.” It begins with these lines:

"Being Muslim in America has been anything but easy this past year. The presidential election has been particularly hard on many Muslim-American children’s psychological well-being."

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Doug Tribou talk about political pushback on Melissa Gilbert's request to get her name off the November ballot and whether enough justice is being done in a $2.7 million school supplies kickback scheme in Detroit.

Lessenberry and Tribou also discuss the latest news from Flint, including the lead crisis and a hometown hero who brought home her gold medal.  


Suzanna Shkreli will officially appear on the ballot

Aug 24, 2016
Suzanna Shkreli, the Democratic Party's new candidate for Michigan's 8th Congressional District
Suzanna Shkreli / Facebook

She is the underdog in the eighth district congressional race, but Suzanna Shkreli is happy to be officially on the ballot. Shkreli will replace Melissa Gilbert as the democrat on the ballot. Gilbert dropped out of the race citing health reasons. Shkreli is running against incumbent Republican Mike Bishop. Shkreli says nothing will change in her campaign now that she's on the ballot.  "I'm excited to finally be officially announced, however, nothing changes," she says.

stevendepolo / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The architect of a bribery-and-kickback scheme in the Detroit Public Schools deserves to spend almost six years behind bars, at the least.

Or, he’s a “compassionate” and “devoted” person who, “despite his greed-filled actions in latter years, was an honest, upright businessman for the bulk of his career,” and merits leniency.

Those are dueling descriptions of Norman Shy found in sentencing memorandums from both federal prosecutors and Shy’s lawyer.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Two-time Olympic boxing champion Claressa Shields returned home to Flint this afternoon to a hero’s welcome.

“When I say two-time, you all say champ!” Shields yelled, leading her own cheers at Flint’s Bishop Airport, and the crowd willingly followed her lead.

WFIU Public Radio / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

More local government leaders are feeling insecure about their fiscal health than in years past. A new study shows the first decline in feelings about fiscal health since the end of the Great Recession in 2010.

pixabay

Thousands of disabled people in Michigan may soon be able to save up to $100,000 without jeopardizing their federal social security disability payments and other benefits like SNAP.

Lt. Governor Brian Calley says he believes the federal program, called MI-ABLE in Michigan, is the most important program to help disabled people since the Americans With Disabilities Act was passed in 1990.

It applies to those who were disabled or blind before age 26.

University YES Academy told parents and students this week that the high school was shutting down
Brett Levin / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Tregan Bradley, a rising senior at University YES Academy in Detroit, had been hearing rumors from his teachers over the summer.

“One of my favorite teachers, she told me that they’re not sure if they’re going to be opening up the high school, like around July or June,” he says. “I called her, I was checking in with her, because I was missing her and stuff.”

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire
Gage Skidmore / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A big section of Michigan’s economy is being targeted by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 98.2% of businesses in Michigan are small businesses. The SBA defines a small business as one with fewer than 500 employees.

According to Bowens, the report "does not adequately reflect the realities of today."
morgueFile user kconnors / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Anyone driving between Detroit and Grosse Pointe will be struck by the stark change that happens when you cross the border at Alter Road.

A report from a New Jersey non-profit group has declared that the economic divide between Detroit schools and Grosse Pointe schools is the worst in the nation. 

The report from the group EdBuild says nearly half the households in Detroit's school district live in poverty. In Grosse Pointe, that number is 6.5%. 

It also found that 82% of Detroit's public school students are African-American. In Grosse Pointe schools, it's 16%.

When you go to vote this fall, you'll have a chance to weigh in on education.

Amidst mounting calls for the state to do a better job educating its students, state Board of Education candidates are up for election, as well as trustees and governors of Michigan's major universities. 

Michigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry joined us today to talk about the myriad issues at stake in the upcoming education races. 

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