News

MichigansChildren / YouTube

The state’s top education official says lawmakers should stop allowing new charter schools to open in Michigan. State Superintendent Mike Flanagan told state lawmakers today a moratorium on charter school creation would help stabilize traditional public schools – especially ones in high-poverty areas.

Holland BPW

One of the top Republicans in the state House has introduced bills that would make sweeping changes to Michigan’s energy policies. It comes ahead of Governor Rick Snyder’s address on the issue next week.

Peter Ito / flickr

Proposal 1 is the road funding proposal that will be up for a vote on May 5th. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has long expressed their support for a road funding solution, but they are staying neutral on the proposal.

Gary Peters / Facebook

When he was elected to the U.S. Senate, Gary Peters promised to approach his job in a spirit of bipartisan cooperation. He says that's exactly what's behind the first two bills he has introduced in the Senate.

Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr

The Supreme Court has announced they plan to hear arguments on two issues around same-sex marriage on April 28. Do same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, and are states required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states?

Flickr user Penn State Special Collections / Flickr

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the confrontation between civil rights marchers and Alabama State Troopers known as Bloody Sunday.

Retired teacher and librarian with Detroit Public Schools Gloria Mills has organized a bus trip to Selma for this weekend's commemoration.

Rae Allen / Flickr Creative Commons

An anti-Islamic Christian group argued in front of the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit this week that the Wayne County Sheriff's Office had violated its First Amendment rights.

The group, called the Bible Believers, carried signs with inflammatory statements about Islam's prophet, Muhammed, and shouted anti-Muslim slogans at the 2012 Arab International Festival in Dearborn.  They also carried a large pig's head on a pole. 

Photo courtesy of Miller's office

Michigan Republican Congresswoman Candice Miller  announced this afternoon she will not seek reelection in 2016. U.S. Rep. Miller has held the 10th District seat since 2003.

"It has been the greatest privilege and sincere personal honor to serve the people of Michigan's 10th Congressional District as their voice in the US House of Representatives.  People of faith, people of family, people of community.  Hard working people, decent people, patriots who are constantly engaged in building our community, our state, a stronger nation," Rep. Miller said in a emailed statement.

The congresswoman also released a video statement on her Facebook page.

Before being elected to Congress in 2002, Rep. Miller served as Michigan's Secretary of State for eight years.

Kalamazoo Valley Bird Observatory

It’s another big year for the majestic white birds from the north.

Snowy owls summer in the Arctic. Sometimes they fly south in the winter in big migrations called irruptions.  In a typical year, we might end up with a few dozen snowy owls in the Great Lakes region.

But in an irruption year the owls can come south by the hundreds or even thousands.

D.Clow / flickr

A recent NPR/ProPublica investigation calls the nation's worker's compensation laws a "grand bargain" between workers and their employers. It's supposed to work like this: if a worker gets injured on the job, workers agree not to sue, and employers agree to help care for those workers.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Financially struggling Michigan homeowners may face a new problem.

98,000 Michigan homeowners have Home Equity Lines of Credit that are scheduled to reset at a higher interest rate during the next four years.

Nationally, more than half the three million homeowners with these lines of credit are seriously underwater on their mortgage.

James Allenspach

An on-line threat has shaken a west Michigan college campus.

Officials at Kalamazoo College are asking the FBI for help in investigating a threatening note posted on an online campus message board this week.

Flickr/Martha Soukup

The Next Idea

Living in Michigan, we experience incivility on a daily basis, from simply driving down pot-hole filled roads to attending public meetings to logging into our social media accounts. This has to change, and not just so our Facebook feeds can feel more like a cocktail party -- though that’s not a bad place to start.

Well, Governor Rick Snyder and the legislature are close to accomplishing another economic objective – a negative one. They are about to kill the film industry in this state, a move I am convinced will hurt our economy in the long run and has already hurt our souls, at least when it comes to quality of life in Michigan.

wikipedia

A Michigan Congressman is cautioning a federal agency to be careful how it goes about creating rules to protect a certain type of bat.

Congressman Dan Benishek (R), who represents Northern Michigan’s first district, is concerned the US Fish and Wildlife Service could name the northern long-eared bat a threatened species—and that could place an “undue economic burden” on affected areas.

Buddha painting in Dambulla cave temple in Sri Lanka. People in Sri Lanka have practiced Theravada Buddhism for centuries.
Bernard Gagnon / wikimedia commons

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The University of Michigan has received $2 million to establish the Thai Professorship of Theravada Buddhism.

The school says Thursday the gift will enhance one of the largest Buddhist studies programs in North America. The holder of the endowed chair will teach courses and conduct research to advance knowledge of Thai Buddhism.

Detroit’s regional board of water commissioners will vote on new rates next week.

The board will vote on a proposal that would increase Detroit retail customers’ combined water and sewer rates by 12.8%, while suburban wholesale customers would see rates jump a combined 6.4%.

ma.co. / Flickr

Legislation that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to work with LGBT couples or anyone else based on moral or religious grounds is headed to the floor of the state House.

A state House committee approved the bills as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on same-sex marriage. 

Beyond my ken / Wikimedia Commons

One of the greatest skyscrapers in Detroit is on the auction block.

The Fisher Building and its next-door neighbor, The Albert Kahn Building, have fallen into foreclosure as they struggle with fewer and fewer tenants.

Dan Austin is with the Detroit Free Press, and he runs HistoricDetroit.org.

Smart phone.
Johan Larsson / Flickr

The bill, if passed, would require cell phone carriers in Michigan to release location information to police in the event of an emergency.

In short, according to this House Fiscal Agency analysis, the bill does this:

Pages