News

farming equiptment
Helen Hanley / creative commons

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is teaming up with three states –  Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana –  and 40 groups to jointly tackle cyanobacteria, that scourge of Lake Erie that briefly shut down Toledo's water supply last summer.

Cyanobacteria thrives on phosphorus and other nutrients in runoff from farms. The hope is to deprive cyanobacteria of some of the food it needs to reproduce in massive quantities.

Purple Loosestrife is an invasive plant found in wetlands and on roadsides throughout much of North America.
user liz west / Flickr

Amos Ziegler has developed a smartphone app that could make it a lot tougher for invasive plants and critters to sneak into our state and get a foothold before they're detected.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

On Wednesday a state senate panel will review a bill that would cut off welfare benefits to families whose children skip school repeatedly.

About 29,000 families get cash assistance in Michigan now. Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services has been cutting off families with kids who don’t show up for school.

Cargo ship coming into San Francisco Bay.
C.M. Keiner / Flickr

It's called The Trans-Pacific Partnership, and it's big.

The proposed trade deal among the U.S., Canada and 10 nations in the Asia-Pacific region could cover 40% of America's imports and exports.

Stethoscope
Adrian Clark / Flickr

The issue of police violence against black men has been a central news story in recent weeks and months. Reverend James Dickson says many more black men are dying due to preventable and treatable illnesses. Reverend Dickson is the founder of Fitness Fellowship International, a fitness, health, and wellness initiative for black men. Dickson spoke to Jennifer White about why he started Fitness Fellowship International and how he hopes to help black men live healthier lives.

Here's their conversation:

 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are taking aim at elk and moose poachers in Michigan.

Lawmakers are considering tripling the fine poachers pay if they are caught illegally killing elk or moose in Michigan. Fines will also rise for bear and eagles.  

Broadside-Lotus Press

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Broadside Press. It was founded in 1965 by African-American poet and publisher Dudley Randall.

This groundbreaking company has published a long and distinguished list of African-American poets and writers.

If you think you’ve heard quite enough about today’s road repair referendum, I can’t blame you. But I want to talk today about some elections you may not have heard about. First, Flint. It sometimes seems that Flint is sort of the Rodney Dangerfield of Michigan cities. It doesn’t get enough respect, and it can’t catch a break.

Empty desks in a classroom.
Matt Katzenberger / Flickr

Buena Vista voters today will decide whether to renew a millage that would cover debt still owed by the township's now-defunct school district.  

Last November, voters rejected a similar proposal to cover the former district's $725,000 debt.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Tuesday, Flint voters will pick members of a special city charter review commission. There are 13 names on the ballot.  

Mayor Dayne Walling says the nine-member board will have a lot to consider to update Flint’s more than 40-year-old city charter.

Don Shikoshi

In her latest memoir, writer Anne-Marie Oomen takes us back to growing up in the turbulent 1960’s on a her family’s Michigan farm. From school dances and sewing lessons to the Detroit riots and the Cuban missile crisis it’s all in her new book Love, Sex and 4-H. 

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Large animal farms will no longer be allowed to give or sell excess manure to smaller farms between the months of January and March.

Brad Wurfel is with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.  He says the larger farms know not to do this, but sometimes the smaller farms will spread the manure on frozen, snow-covered fields. 

American flag.
Corey Seeman / Flickr

A number of Republican presidential hopefuls are descending on Michigan. Three confirmed and likely candidates made stops across the state on Monday.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker – who has not yet confirmed his candidacy- spoke at a GOP gathering in Ingham County. He focused on foreign policy, criticizing the records of President Obama and Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton.

Ben Carson Twitter / https://twitter.com/realbencarson

Republican Ben Carson formally kicked off his presidential campaign in his hometown of Detroit today, with an event that included a gospel choir, five opera singers from Nashville, and a video ad featuring Mount Rushmore, a soaring bald eagle, and amber waves of grain.  

The retired neurosurgeon and former Fox News contributor is a long-shot candidate in what’s already a crowded primary field.

But he’s hoping he can build on his outsider status, his powerful biography and his tea party popularity.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

U.S. Senator Rand Paul says Republicans need to be as passionate about the entire bill of rights as they are about people’s right to own a gun.

Sarah Perks, of Caledonia, was among a couple hundred people who stood to listen to Paul’s 20-minute speech. The Republican presidential hopeful talked about people’s right to a fair trial and privacy at an event in Grand Rapids Monday.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Researchers say there would be beneficial side effects from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan. 

The plan is intended to lower carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30% by the year 2030.  CO2 is a large factor in climate change.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Midland-based Dow Chemical will cut about 3 percent of its global workforce as it prepares to break off a significant part of its chlorine operations in a deal it announced earlier this year with Olin Corp.

The company says the cuts will reduce its workforce by 1,500 to 1,750 positions. Dow Chemical employed about 53,000 people worldwide at the end of last year.

Flickr/Tobias Abel

The Next Idea

A “yes” vote on Proposal 1 will improve the quality of life for people with disabilities in Michigan. It is just that simple, and rarely is anything in life that simple – including the language in the actual proposal before us.

At Disability Advocates of Kent County, we have a saying: “If you want better transportation for people with disabilities, stop working for better transportation for people with disabilities.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint mayor’s race is even murkier today.

It appears the one candidate that did file his petitions before a state deadline may not have enough valid signatures.

Other Flint mayoral candidates missed the filing deadline because the city clerk gave them the wrong date.

Tomorrow, Michigan voters, some of them at least, will go to the polls and decide whether to raise our sales tax from six to seven percent, mainly to fix the roads. Polls show voters badly want the roads fixed, and know this will cost money. But if the polls are correct, Proposal One will also go down to an overwhelming defeat.

Speculation continues that Governor Rick Snyder is eyeing a run for the White House.

Just last week, former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman fanned the flames by telling reporters that he met with Snyder in California and that, “he’s running.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

For more than a century, Pulaski Hall has been a cornerstone of Bay City’s Polish community. But Thursday was the last dance.

The beer and the stories flowed at Pulaski Hall as the band played polka after polka.

“This was the place everybody stopped after work before they went home and after church,” Tom Reeter recalled.    

Copy editors around the country are mulling over what to do about the pronoun "they" used as a singular, because the issue just won't go away.

So we decided to revisit the topic, because increasingly "they" is what's used in everyday language.

"The issue is what to do with a noun where the gender is unknown or unspecified.

MARIORDO / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Google Inc. is moving its Ann Arbor operation to bigger digs on the north side of the city.

The Ann Arbor News reports Friday the Mountain View, California-based Internet giant is leaving the downtown space it's occupied for nearly a decade. Officials say the operation is moving into an existing building, then constructing a new campus.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A former home of Michigan’s auto industry will soon train future automotive engineers.

Kettering University is moving ahead with plans to turn part of Flint’s old Chevy in the Hole site into an automotive research hub.

“This is the next generation,” says Robert McMahan, the president of the Kettering University, “The next phase in (Chevy in the Hole’s) long legacy.”

An image from the USGS showing the epicenter of today's earthquake in Michigan.
USGS

The U.S. Geological Survey confirms a 4.2 magnitude earthquake hit Michigan at 12:23 this afternoon.

The epicenter of the quake was near Kalamazoo, about 8 km south of Galesburg.

An earthquake of this strength usually causes noticeable shaking of indoor objects and rattling noises. Lots of people across Michigan and in Chicago reported feeling the quake on social media.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. - Flint's mayor and others seeking the job could be left off an August primary ballot due to what one official calls a "clerical error."

Mayor Dayne Walling, Councilman Wantwaz Davis and businesswoman Karen Weaver turned in their nominating petitions after an April 21st deadline. State elections officials say Flint Clerk Inez Brown mistakenly told candidates the deadline was Tuesday.

Rebecca Kruth

First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to more than 2,000 Detroit students as part of the city's first College Signing Day.

Students from more than 40 Detroit high schools came to hear Obama speak about the importance of committing to higher education.

"In fact, we should all be as excited about college signing day as we are about the Super Bowl, the World Series, and the Playoffs," she said.

user jdurham / morguefile

State representative Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth Township) has sponsored a bill to reverse a law in effect since 2006 requiring all public schools in Michigan to start after Labor Day. That law was passed to support the tourism industry by extending the vacation season, but Heise says it has made little difference to tourism revenues while burdening schools with a very inconvenient schedule.

The law would provide an option for schools to start before Labor Day as long as the preceding Friday was still a vacation day. "That way, everybody's guaranteed a four day weekend," Heise says.

Ashlie Forchione

Michigan State University graduate students marched on campus to protest a contract they say does not provide an adequate lifestyle for vital university staff.

About 250 students participated in the march, sponsored by the Graduate Employees Union. They are demanding a set of accommodations in their next contract that includes tuition waivers, affordable health care, an inclusive work environment, and a living salary.

Union President Sylvia Marques says MSU's pay for graduate students is on the low end for Big Ten universities, and that combined with high health care premiums, it is difficult for the students to make ends meet. 

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