News

Lloyd Hartnett assembly line in 1957.
flickr user John Lloyd / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

We may be several years past the Great Recession, but the shockwave of pain and job loss of those years is still being felt in many homes around the country.

That’s especially true for autoworkers.

Since the mid-20th century, those well-paid jobs on the auto assembly lines built not only cars and trucks, but the American middle class as well.

Today, entry-level jobs in auto plants pay around $16 an hour.

But many unlucky autoworkers have seen their jobs go away, never to return.

Dwight Burdette / creative commons

Washtenaw County is facing up to 70 layoffs in mental health services due to a $4 million budget deficit.

County Commissioner Andy LaBarre is chair of the Ways and Means Committee.

Mark McCulloch / Washtenaw County

People who live in Europe know what to do when they’re driving along and come to a roundabout.

They've been a fixture in road design there for many years.

Michigan drivers are starting to get more familiar with roundabouts. And now, there’s a new kind to get used to: the urban roundabout.

http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2015/msu-supply-chain-ranked-first-in-the-nation/

This story was updated with a response from MSU at 5:05 pm on 9/2/15

Students started complaining about sexual harassment from a Michigan State University counselor – who was at times working with students seeking sexual assault counseling – back in 2009.

Michigan State University’s response was to hold a meeting between one of those students and the counselor.

The Wolverines taking the field in 2009. They enter this season with 90-to-1 odds at the championship, but fans hope Harbaugh can turn them around.
flickr use Anthony Gattine / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM


The wait is over: College football begins this week.

The University of Michigan kicks off the Jim Harbaugh era at Utah tomorrow night, and Michigan State will play Western Michigan at Kalamazoo Friday night.

Vegasinsider.com lists Michigan State at 20-to-1 odds to win the college football title, putting the Spartans at seventh in the rankings.

“It sounds like a long shot, but if you’re seventh, that’s not bad,” says Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon.

wikipedia/creative commons

The state is seeking bids for pilot projects to divert mentally ill people from jails, as well as get them better treatment while in jail.

The projects will seek to address the needs of mentally ill people at every step – from arrest to after incarceration.

Steven Mays is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

He says one thing that's needed is better training of police and guards to recognize the signs of mental illness.

Paula Friedrich/Michigan Radio

On a recent Thursday, the Cascade Branch of the Kent District Library in Cascade Township, just outside of Grand Rapids, was bustling – but not just with patrons checking out books.

Toddlers played in KDLville, a learning center that engages kids and their parents through writing, talking, playing, singing, and reading, which all promote literacy. The branch even offers events where patrons can learn how to hula hoop, watch movies on the big screen and get answers to their technology questions without going to the Apple Store.

Paula Friedrich/Michigan Radio

Although Walton Erickson Memorial Library in Morley is one of only six libraries left in the state that uses a physical card catalog instead of an automated one, that doesn't mean it's technology deficient.

The library has six computers, often occupied by patrons who come to file their taxes, book bus and plane tickets, or do homework.

Morley is a rural town an hour north of Grand Rapids, dotted with cornfields and farm stands full of fresh produce. The library serves an area of 9,800 people, including a sizeable Amish population.

Businesses in Hamtramck, Michigan
Ian Freimuth / creative commons

This weekend brings the 36th annual Hamtramck Labor Day Festival with its food, parade, concerts, carnival and more. All of which is a testament to a tough city that’s refused to be driven to its knees by hard times; a city that’s been made even stronger by its diversity.

Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski and City Clerk August Gitschlag joined Stateside to talk about the beginning days of the festival and how, through tough economic times, the celebration continues.

Some days I find myself wishing President Obama would make a speech honoring motherhood and propose a program to honor mothers.

If he did that, it’s very clear most Republicans would refuse to support honoring mothers.

NOAA

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockley talk about the other issues involving Todd Courser, R-Lapeer, and Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell; more problems with water in Flint; and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's opposition to President Obama's new rules to reduce greenhouse gases.


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

More and more college students are using marijuana on a daily basis.

The University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future program has been studying the drug habits of college students for 35 years. 

Its latest report finds nearly 6% of college students use marijuana daily. That’s the highest percentage since 1980. Rates of frequent marijuana use are also higher. 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A Muslim flight attendant disciplined for refusing to serve alcohol has filed a federal complaint in Detroit.

Attorneys for Charee Stanley filed the complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Tuesday.

Stanley is a flight attendant with ExpressJet Airways, working with Detroit-based management and crew.

When she converted to Islam about two years ago, Stanley says she arranged for fellow flight attendants to serve alcohol on her behalf.

Gavel on table
orangesparrow / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Washtenaw County District Judge J. Cedric Simpson could soon be out of a job.

The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission this week recommended Simpson be removed from the bench for interfering with a police investigation involving a former intern.

In August 2013, Crystal Vargas called Simpson after she was involved in an early morning automobile accident near his home in Pittsfield Township. 

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Leaders of the bus system in Grand Rapids and the union representing mechanics and drivers have not been able to reach an agreement over a retirement plan.

That means The Rapid will no longer collect dues on behalf of the union. But The Rapid's spokeswoman Jennifer Kalczuk says pay and benefits will remain the same for now.

The Detroit Institute of Arts
flickr user Quick fix / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Detroit Institute of Arts made fresh headlines late last month with the announcement that its three top executives, including newly retired director Graham Beal, are in line for bonuses and pay hikes topping $600,000.

Paula Friedrich/Michigan Radio

You check out rent the giant chess set that’s in the lobby of the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library. Production librarian Jody Harnish said since it takes about about a dozen human-sized bags to transport, they haven’t found a good way to coordinate it. But that’s about the only thing that’s off limits. There are electric guitars, models of the human brain, sewing machines, Frisbee golf sets and energy meters, all ready to be checked out, just like a book.  

Paula Friedrich/Michigan Radio

Pre-Wikipedia there was the encyclopedia.

Pre-Google there was the reference desk.

  

In the age of the Internet, what’s the future of the local library?

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s new school superintendent wants to do something with the district’s unused buildings.

Superintendent Bilal Tawwab says he’s forming a task force to figure out what’s the best thing to do with nearly two dozen empty school buildings, many of which have sat unused for years.

Dr. Juan Manuel Romero engaging in a consultation with a patient 400 miles away
flickr user Intel Free Press / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Telemedicine is the practice of treating patients remotely through telecommunication and information technology.

It’s on the rise in Michigan, especially in rural areas where they don’t have enough doctors, physician assistants, or nurses.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Starting tomorrow, Flint water and sewer customers can expect to see a drop in their bills, though maybe not by as much as they expected.

Last month, a judge issued an injunction ordering the city to stop collecting a 35% rate hike put in place in 2011. The judge found the rate hike was improper.

Don Harrison/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

  One of the most striking features of the waterfront in Marquette is the Upper Harbor ore dock. Built in 1912, the pocket dock is still in use today.

Maritime historian Frederick Stonehouse says the city of Marquette began because of the discovery of iron ore back in 1844 in the Ishpeming and Negaunee area, about 20 miles west of Marquette. The city developed as the shipping port for the delivery of iron ore.

This story was updated at 3:03 pm on 9/1/15 

The US Department of Education has finished its investigation into whether Michigan State University mishandled two complaints of sexual assault.

In their report released today, the DOE says MSU's "investigations of both complaints ultimately were thorough and equitable."

The Go Rounds

The Go Rounds have a new album out today. It’s called, “dont go not changin.” The album features layered vocals, a strong rhythm section, stylish guitar riffs and some recorded natural sound (think rain, birds, a crowd at a bar.)

Well, as anyone who cares now knows, the official report on the “alleged misconduct” by Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat was released yesterday.

And it makes it clear that there is no longer anything “alleged” about their misconduct. What’s most shocking to me is that they both didn’t resign long ago in order to prevent a report like this from being made public.

Building a stronger honey bee

Sep 1, 2015
Lou Blouin/The Allegheny Front

Honey bee die-offs are so common now that beekeepers generally just order more bees when they lose a hive. But this has put a lot of pressure on bee breeders to raise more and more bees. And that is only bringing the quality of bees down.

But researchers and backyard beekeepers are now teaming up to build a better honey bee. And not through genetic engineering—through good old-fashioned selection.

Wikipedia

Forty-three Michigan school districts will start this school year with a lower credit rating.

The Detroit News reports that Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the districts over the past year.

Michael Vadon / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Ohio Governor John Kasich is the latest Republican presidential candidate to pay Michigan a visit.

The former U.S. House budget chairman stopped in Southfield Monday to speak at a forum sponsored by Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security.

Rep. Todd Courser, R-Lapeer, and Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell.
From Courser/Gamrat websites

A select committee will begin its work to help whether state Representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat will keep their jobs following a just-released internal investigation that says the two are guilty of misconduct.

  

The report by the non-partisan House Business Office says the two tea party lawmakers used state computers, staff and other resources for a variety of political and personal purposes, including efforts to cover up their extra-marital affair.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Back-to-school events are taking place around Michigan this week.

Thousands turned out at an event in Lansing today.  Along with school supplies and back packs, students could also get their required immunizations.

“Many of them are ones without a primary care doctor … to make sure the families are following up on that,” says Joan Jackson Johnson, Human Relations director for the city of Lansing.

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