Two signs side by side. One says "Stronger Together" and the other says "Protect Kids Not Guns"
Brian Wybenga

Marches for stricter gun laws happened all across Michigan and the U.S. today.

Thousands of people gathered in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, and several other

In Lansing, about 2,000 people walked from the Hall of Justice to the State Capitol, carrying signs and chanting.

Kayden Moore is a 6th grader in Jackson. He loves math and science. And he’s had to do active shooter drills at his school.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

So Bill Ford wants the Blue Oval to buy the decrepit Michigan Central Depot. You know that toothless edifice, empty and decaying since 1988, towering over Detroit’s Corktown. It’s an 18-story high reminder of the industrial and financial decline that has been synonymous with this town.         

Until very recently.

Gov. Rick Snyder says it's time to raise the federal gas tax to fix Michigan's disintegrating roads. Snyder says the state has done its part by increasing fees and fuel taxes, and local governments have come up with their own ways to increase revenue. Now, he says its the federal government's turn to step up.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether that's a realistic expectation.

Shredded dollar
TaxCredits.net / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Attorney General Bill Schuette is being asked to decide whether a state-sponsored tax-exempt college savings plan can also be used for private K-12 school expenses. The new federal tax law allows it. But the Michigan Constitution says the state cannot provide direct or indirect financial support for private or religious schools.

Gov. Rick Snyder has asked for an official opinion on whether holders of Michigan Education Savings Program accounts can use them for private school tuition.

A judge cannot impose a certain sentence simply because a defendant exercised his right to a trial. The Michigan Court of Appeals made this ruling today, for the second time. To the same judge.

In 2016, the court told Judge Qiana Lillard of Wayne County that her practice of sentencing defendants who go to trial at the top of their sentence range violated their rights. But that wasn’t a precedent setting opinion. Now the court has made itself clear and set the precedent.

Teacher at a chalkboard
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

If a bill headed to the state Senate becomes law, ballots could not disclose when charter schools stand to be recipients of proposed countywide school funding millages.

In February, Governor Rick Snyder signed a change in Michigan law allowing charter schools to share regional enhancement millage revenue – taxpayer money – with traditional public schools.

Lansing Board of Water and Light

The Lansing Board of Water and Light meets Tuesday to vote on issuing bonds for a new natural gas plant, but opponents plan to make a last-ditch effort to change the minds of board members.

The city-owned utility held public meetings before choosing a natural gas plant to replace two coal-burning plants. "But that was several years ago," says Rebecca Payne with the Lansing Environmental Action Team. "Things on the energy market are changing overnight."

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

We travel the state every once in a while for our Artisans of Michigan series, and this time we went to Flint.

C.H. Schultz & Sons has been repairing upholstery in cars nearly as long as cars have been around. Back in 1917, more than 100 years ago, Clyde H. Schultz was working at Buick and in the garage behind his house. A family business was born. Deborah Schultz-Pawloski is the third generation.

And all that car history is inspiration for her.

Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

A group of lawmakers wants more federal money to address drinking water contamination around the state.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee and U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters included money for PFAS contamination in their latest budget bill.

The family of toxic chemicals, known as PFAS, have been linked to certain forms of cancer as well as other health issues.

Jason Henry / The California Sunday Magazine

Some start-up tech companies are skipping the cutthroat atmosphere of Silicon Valley and instead opting for the Midwest.

Matthew Shaer wrote an article about that trend for The California Sunday Magazine. He joined Stateside to discuss what attracts tech companies to the Midwest, what differentiates Midwestern tech culture from that of Silicon Valley, and how the tech boom is reshaping the Midwestern economy.

Michigan State Capitol Building
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This week in Michigan politics, some Republican legislators led by Senator Mike Shirkey pushed to impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Republicans also campaigned hard against a ballot initiative that would fight political gerrymandering and seeks to establish an independent commission to draw district lines.

MSU Belmont Tower
EMMA WINOWIECKI / Michigan Radio

This week, an article in The Atlantic blasted Michigan State University for its handling of nearly every aspect of the Larry Nassar scandal. Nassar is the former MSU physician who sexually abused girls and young women despite complaints that date back to 1997. The article focused on how MSU is “botching its reputation rehab.”

One of the experts interviewed for the article is Jeff Hunt. He is a partner and co-founder of PulsePoint Group and the author of the book, Brand Under Fire: A New Playbook for Crisis Management in the Digital Age.

Brett Mountain (Left) and KMS Photography (Right)

Tomorrow, people in cities around the country and around the state will be holding events to protest school shootings such as the one in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and teachers were killed. March for Our Lives gatherings will be held in Detroit, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, Royal Oak, and other Michigan cities.

One group of high school students is taking its activism to Washington, D.C. Berkley High School students have been raising money to rent buses to take them to the March for Our Lives event there.

NCAA Tournament Bracket
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

I can’t recall March Madness starting with more mayhem.

In the first round alone, the lower-seeded team pulled the upset in eight of 32 games – fully a quarter. And it only got crazier in the second round, when six of 16 lower-seeded teams beat the favorite – which is fully … more than a quarter, I think.

power plant
user cgord / wikimedia commons

DTE Energy is planning to close three of its coal-fired power plants by 2023.  That’s 1,300 megawatts of electricity coming off the books.  But what will take its place? 

The January EPIC/MRA poll shows 57% support legalizing recreational weed in Michigan
flickr user Dank Depot / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The state medical marijuana board has deadlocked on the first two applications for licenses.

The issue was how to deal with old criminal convictions. 

One applicant thought his marijuana conviction had been expunged from the record. In another case, the applicant had a 20-year-old misdemeanor. 

Michael Densmore says it’s all a misunderstanding. 

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

The oldest surviving neighborhood in Detroit is Corktown. Irish immigrants started settling there in the 1830s, and many of them were from County Cork.

You could make a good case that the most famous symbol of Detroit's decline and urban decay is right there in the heart of Corktown: the Michigan Central Station.

The once-glorious train station closed 30 years ago and has since been ravaged by scrappers and weather. Now we hear that Ford is in talks to buy Michigan Central and return to the city.

A cyanobacterial bloom on Lake Erie in 2013.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Environmental groups are waiting to see what Ohio will do next, after the state finally declared the open waters of Lake Erie are "impaired."

Gail Hesse is with the National Wildlife Federation.

She says the declaration shows Ohio's leaders are no longer in denial about how badly the lake is polluted. 

"They've been dragging their feet and been recalcitrant in making this designation," says Hesse. "So this is an important step."

NIH IMAGE GALLERY / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Last month's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida prompted the President to call for more attention to mental health.

That's a common response to these violent events – Sandy Hook, Columbine, Las Vegas, the theater shooting in Colorado, and so many more.

So how should we think about mental health in the wake of tragedies like these?

Mercedes Mejia/Michigan Radio

It’s been a momentous couple of years for Jason Singer, who goes by the stage name Michigander.  

An old image of a two-masted schooner ship
Courtesy of Craig Rich



She sank in Lake Michigan during a squall in 1873. 
Now Michigan shipwreck hunters say they've discovered the final resting place of the Lizzie Throop, and it's a big find: the two-masted schooner is an important part of West Michigan's maritime history. 

school buses
Juhamanninen / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

State school superintendent Brian Whiston recently announced he's going on medical leave after being diagnosed with liver cancer.

Whiston believes he has put the programs in place to reverse the downward spiral of student scores, and he also has a plea aimed at state lawmakers.

Courtesy of Lisa Vogl / Verona

Macy's has rolled out a new fashion line called Verona.

It’s aimed at Muslim women who want Western-style clothing and hijabs, or headscarves. Founder of the Verona Collection is Lisa Vogl, a fashion photographer who grew up in East Lansing. She converted to Islam in 2011.

Downtown Grand Rapids
Steven Depolo / Creative Commons

Kent County is adding two full-time health experts to help tackle issues of PFAS exposure and opioid addiction.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to approve hiring two full-time epidemiologists for the health department.

Teresa Branson, the county’s Deputy Health Officer, says the department was stretching itself thin dealing with these issues. But adding more staff is good for the department and county residents.

Michigan Central Station in Detroit
Jason Mrachina / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg



As Ford talks of buying Michigan Central Station, residents in the surrounding neighborhood might be the ones seeing the most impact.

prescription drugs
Charles Williams / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams joined a panel discussion on opioid addiction at the University of Michigan Thursday. 

Adams highlighted the challenges of the opioid addiction epidemic, calling for a cultural change in how people use opioid medications.

"We need you all to have discussions in your communities, at your board room tables, at your break room tables, at your dinner tables, about how dangerous these medications can be when used improperly and the fact that in the majority of cases you simply don't need them," said Adams. 

Fitzgerald High School
Fitzgerald Public Schools

Violent threats have closed down more than two dozen schools across metro Detroit Thursday.

Those include two entire school districts: Oak Park Public Schools in Oakland County, and Fitzgerald Public Schools in Macomb County. Oak Park schools will be closed again Friday due to social media threats against multiple schools.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley
Michigan House Republicans

Once upon a time, there was a Republican governor of Michigan who enthusiastically endorsed his lieutenant governor as his successor. The governor was very popular.

His lieutenant governor was also respected and well-liked. He was good-looking and had an impressive background as a lawyer, FBI agent, and president of Eastern Michigan University.

DTE's River Rouge plant
DTE Energy

Tracy Samilton also spoke with Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about the issues surrounding the transition to natural gas

The President of the United States says coal is coming back, but in reality coal is going away.

The fight is over what will replace it.

Even utilities are dumping coal. In Michigan, DTE Energy wants to shut down three coal-burning power plants and replace them with a billion dollar natural gas plant.

But environmentalists think there's a better way.  

Tenet-DMC Charity Care Report / Michigan Nurses Association

A new report says the Detroit Medical System’s for-profit owner has broken its promise to care for the city’s poorest residents.

The DMC is owned by Dallas-based Tenet Health Care. Tenet pledged to continue the DMC’s historic commitment to “charity care” when it bought the hospital system in 2013.

But the Michigan Nurses Association report says federal government data show DMC charity care spending plunged 98% in three years, from nearly $23 million in 2013 to around $470,000 in 2016.