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Lake Superior
Helena Jacoba / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

If you’re in the U.P. this summer, you can give back to Lake Superior.

There’s a new project called the Lake Superior Volunteer Corps.

Emily Goodman is with the Superior Watershed Partnership. She says they’re looking for volunteers every Friday this summer to help with restoration work along the lakeshore.

“For example, at Pictured Rocks, tourism has nearly tripled in the last couple years. With this increased nature tourism comes more litter, more erosion, sensitive dunes and vegetation are trampled,” she says.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sign
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The EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice is meant to defend communities that face a disproportionate share of the effects of pollution. But that office’s funding could be cut entirely in the 2018 budget.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University plans to press incoming freshmen to sign up for more courses.

MSU President Lou Anna Simon says studies show first-year college students who take 30 credits their freshman year are more likely to graduate in four years.

“If you take more credits, no matter your preparation the first year, you’re going to be able to graduate higher,” says Simon, “Student success is really important because you’re investing a lot of money and the value of your degree is when you finish.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University trustees clashed today  over a trustee’s recent outing of a whistleblower in a sexual assault case involving the school’s football program.

MSU Trustee Mitch Lyons has come under fire for his comments on a Tuesday radio interview that former player Auston Robertson reported a January sexual assault incident in a meeting with Mark Dantonio.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley
Photo courtesy of www.governorelectricksnyder.com

The ballot campaign to adopt a part-time Legislature amendment in Michigan decided to skip getting its petition approved by a state elections board. The leader of the campaign, Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, says he’s comfortable fighting any challenges in court.

Getting a petition form pre-approved is a voluntary step that’s supposed to avoid legal hassles later on. But Calley says he doesn’t think a court battle can be avoided.

A Navya Arma with University of Michigan branding decals
Tyler Scott

The University of Michigan plans to use two fully autonomous vehicles to shuttle students around campus this fall. University officials announced the pilot program at the MCity test facility for autonomous and connected cars.

Two 15-passenger autonomous vehicles will travel along a two-mile loop on Michigan’s North Campus during normal business hours beginning this fall. The vehicles were manufactured by the French autonomous car start-up Navya.  

Protestors holding signs on Lafayette street in Detroit in solidarity with the Chaldean immigrants who are facing possible deportation back to Iraq.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Lafayette Street between Shelby and Washington Boulevard in downtown Detroit was flooded with people supporting several Iraqi-American immigrants facing possible deportation.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, arrested these immigrants in metro-Detroit more than a week ago.

Most have criminal records, but have already served time or paid their fines.

Carrie Heichle is the wife of one of the men arrested during the ICE sweeps.

She says her two sons are having a hard time without their dad.

Archives of Michigan

Beards and baseball mixed with roller coasters and religion. That could be a nutshell description of a West Michigan religious society known as the House of David. 

2 Detroit-area moms charged in probe of genital mutilation

16 hours ago
user Thomas Anderson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Two Detroit-area women have been charged with allowing their daughters to undergo genital mutilation as federal authorities expand their case against members of a Muslim sect.

A new indictment filed Wednesday raises the number of people charged in the case to six. The indictment also adds four girls from Michigan to the group of alleged victims. The case began with two girls from Minnesota.

We are not naming the two women to protect their daughters' identities. A judge entered not-guilty pleas on behalf of the women and released them on bond.

Mission Point Press, 2017

School’s out and summer is at hand. That means it’s time to make vacation plans.

Mission Point Press in Traverse City has your back.

They’re out with a true insiders’ guide to Northwest Michigan, including Traverse City, the surrounding area and Leelanau County.

Courtesy of former U.S. Army Spc. 5 James McCloughan

He spent 40 years teaching geography, sociology and psychology at South Haven High School.

He coached football, wrestling and baseball, and he made it into the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame.

But another honor awaits James McCloughan next month.

USDAGOV / CREATIVE COMMONS - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A group of 13 Republican Senators continues to work in secrecy, writing a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans will see a "discussion draft" of the bill tomorrow.

Their goal? A vote a week from tomorrow, on June 29.

outside Bishop International Airport
screen grab from WDIV

We're posting updates on this story as we receive them. Refresh for updates.

Michigan state Capitol building
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Michigan House passed a series of bills that increase the punishment for doctors and parents involved in female genital mutilation.

The bills, which were introduced and passed in the Senate in May, would make it a 15-year felony to remove or reconstruct a female minor’s genitalia for non-medical purposes.

bottle of water
Wilson Hui / Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A zoning appeals board has dealt another setback to a bottled-water company that wants to pump more groundwater in western Michigan.

Nestle Waters North America had appealed the Osceola Township Planning Commission's decision in April to deny a request for a permit to build a new pumping station. MLive.com reports a zoning appeals board on Tuesday let that denial stand.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Political intrigue is being blamed for the collapse of a deal for the state to offer big tax breaks to employers who bring a lot of jobs to Michigan.

An angry state House Republican leader abruptly canceled a vote Tuesday shortly before midnight on Governor Rick Snyder’s top priority for the Legislature’s spring and summer session. House Speaker Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, accused the governor’s bargaining team of making side deals with Democrats and unions without informing GOP leaders.

Caleb Woods/Upsplash

Dr. Larry Nassar is back in court this week. The former Olympic gymnastics and Michigan State University sports doctor is accused of sexually abusing dozens of patients, under the guise of treatment.


exterior of the Michigan state capital
Pkay Chelle / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

These are busy days in Lansing. Among other things, the legislature is working out the final details of the state budget before its summer recess. Last week, state Attorney General Bill Schuette charged a number of current and former officials with crimes related to the Flint water crisis.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The East Lansing city council has approved a tentative deal paving the way for a $132 million development project that would change the look of the college town’s downtown.

The 12-story complex will include hundreds of apartments and retail space.   

Mayor Mark Meadows hopes the Center City District project will attract more older people to East Lansing’s downtown.    

“Now someone can open a retail space that doesn’t just cater to somebody who’s 18 to 24 years old,” says Meadows.

Members of the Homrich Nine before their initial trial in 2015.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

After nearly three years, a judge has dismissed charges against nine defendants arrested for protesting Detroit’s mass water shutoffs.

The so-called “Homrich Nine” were arrested in June 2014 for attempting to block trucks belonging to Homrich, the contractor the city uses to shut off water service to delinquent customers.

They were charged with disorderly conduct, a criminal misdemeanor. But the case was beset by numerous delays as city of Detroit lawyers, in the words of one defense attorney, “appealed every single ruling the judge made.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor is the latest to call on the city council to sign-off on a plan to keep Flint’s tap water flowing from Detroit.

Back in April, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver announced she wanted her city to continue to get its tap water from the Great Lakes Water Authority. The agreement has support from various stakeholders, but so far not the Flint city council.

JOE LINSTROTH / Michigan Radio

Michigan is a top destination in the U.S. for Syrian refugees. Just this year alone, more than 600 have settled here, according to the State Department.

Among the hundreds who have fled their homeland for Michigan is a young family of five that we introduced you to almost a year ago.

They came here in April of 2016, trading the violence and death in the Syrian city of Homs for a sparsely furnished, rented corner duplex in a modest neighborhood in Dearborn.

An artists' vision of Little Caesars Arena.
Olympia Entertainment

The Detroit Pistons are one step closer to playing downtown again.

Despite backlash from some residents, Detroit city council has approved $34.5 million in bonds so the Pistons can move into the Little Caesars Arena downtown.

Some Detroiters are unhappy with the deal because the bonds are taxpayer funded with money originally intended for schools and parks. 

Council President Brenda Jones was one of two members to vote no on the bonds.

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We turn now to Metro Detroit’s music scene. This is the first of what will be a monthly look and listen at Detroit-area artists.

Founder and Publisher of Detroit Music Magazine Paul Young was looking for a creative outlet to share his knowledge of the Detroit music scene. He and his executive editor, Khalid Bhatti, strive to produce high quality music reviews, share events and highlight new music in their magazine.

USER: RICHEVENHOUSE / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A $2.5 million budget item has triggered a growing battle over whether Michigan can funnel state money to private and parochial schools.

It began when Michigan's Republican-controlled Legislature added that $2.5 million to the state's $16.1 billion education budget. The money was to reimburse private and parochial schools for the cost of complying with state-mandated safety measures.

USER THINKPANAMA / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Senate Republican leaders are sending strong signals they'll try to get a vote by the Fourth of July on a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.

What might this mean for small businesses? They need to compete for talent with large companies and that typically means offering health insurance.

But small businesses often find that difficult because of cost and other burdens.

Yale University Press, 2017

By any measure, Airea D. Matthews’ collection of poems, Simulacra, is an auspicious debut.  Awarded the 2016 Yale Younger Poets Prize by Carl Phillips, Simulacra channels the voices of famous 20th century poets like Anne Sexton and Gertrude Stein.  Her poems look unflinchingly at the ways mental illness intersects with class, gender and race, and she ushers the epistolary poem into the 21st century. 

Peter Heshey / Unsplash

The United Nations created World Refugee Day in 2000 as a way to recognize the struggles refugees face in their journeys to safety. 

Michigan is no stranger to welcoming refugees. In fact, the state took in the fourth highest number of refugees in the United States last year, with over 4000 people resettled in the state.

Michigan Supreme Court

Robert Young, the former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, has announced that he plans to run for U.S. Senate in 2018. He confirmed his future bid at the annual Fourth Congressional Republican District Breakfast on Monday.

Although the announcement was technically unofficial, the 65-year-old conservative says he will run against Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow, who has held the position since 2001.

gender neutral restroom
Jeffrey Beall / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

City-owned bathrooms in a popular northern Michigan tourist destination are now one step closer to becoming accessible for all genders.

The Record-Eagle reports that Traverse City commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution Monday to support creating more accessible gender-neutral bathrooms on city property. The resolution also encourages businesses that provide public bathrooms to offer at least one gender-neutral option.

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