News

A map outlining the proposed transit master plan for Metro Detroit.
Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan

Last week, Southeast Michigan's Regional Transit Authority postponed a vote deciding whether to put a millage to fund an ambitious transit master plan on the November ballot.

The delay came as the leaders of Oakland and Macomb counties--and their representatives on the RTA board--outlined a number of objections to the plan, and said they can't support it in its current form. 

Ali Lapetina / Detroit Journalism Cooperative

Attitudes about race have been improving in southeast Michigan, but there are still wide gaps on some issues between white people and black people. Those are some of the findings in a new survey commissioned by the Detroit Journalism Cooperative. 

The survey included people from mostly black communities, mixed communities, and mostly white communities in the Detroit metropolitan area.

When asked to rank the importance of race relations, black and white people ranked that issue below issues such as education and crime.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Mayor Mike Duggan talked about Detroit’s recovery (and took a shot at Donald Trump) during last night’s Democratic National Convention.

Mayor Duggan used his time at the podium to tout Detroit’s recovery.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s lead tainted drinking water has been a crisis for more than a year.  

Now it’s also national political issue.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver strode to the podium at the Democratic National Convention last night after delegates watched video tracing the history of the crisis dating back to April of 20-14.

Once at the podium, Weaver stated the situation bleakly.

“The problems in Flint are not over,” Weaver told the packed sports arena. “The water is still not safe to drink or cook with from the tap. Our infrastructure is broken, leaking, and rusting away.”

Derek Key / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard is warning against the possible release of some convicted teenage killers, saying it could spark an “unparalleled deadly crime spree.”

The US Supreme Court has ordered states to re-sentence all people sent to prison for mandatory life without parole as juveniles, saying that amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

Leaders of Detroit's Black LGBT community at the Hotter than July kickoff.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

It’s time for Hotter than July, Detroit’s annual week of celebration and remembrance for the black LGBT community.

This year’s events kicked off Tuesday evening at Detroit’s Palmer Park, with a vigil for community members who faced violence, diseases like HIV-AIDS, discrimination and oppression.

Organizers say the week of events often feels like “a big family reunion.”

But it also has its somber moments, like when attendees honored those who have passed away near a spruce tree dedicated in their honor.

Brian Turner / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The University of Michigan has agreed to pay $165,000 to settle a lawsuit over a graduate student's dismissal from an engineering program in 2011.

The school struck a deal with Jennifer Dibbern before a June trial and after a judge dismissed many claims.

Dibbern  had accused the university of retaliating against her for union activity and efforts to change the campus anti-harassment policy.

The university denied any retaliation and said Dibbern wasn't making progress toward a degree after four years, among other problems.

Open Books

A state panel will be named soon to look into improving Michigan’s dismal literacy rate. Governor Rick Snyder signed an executive order Wednesday creating the new PreK-12 Literacy Commission.

Michigan has one of the nation’s worst literacy rates. It’s ranked 40th when it comes to student literacy in the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Human Trafficking
Ira Gelb / Creative Commons

The Firekeepers Human Trafficking Awareness Program is continuing its efforts to raise human trafficking awareness. Over the past year, the program has been working to combat human trafficking in its casino and hotel. The program provides training to employees on how to spot and report possible human trafficking.

aks at a rally for immigration reform in Kalamazoo, MI.
Courtesy of Sarahi Nieves

What is family life really like for the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States? 

That's the question Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project explores in a new documentary by Dustin Dwyer, entitled "Out From the Shadows: Living Undocumented."

Telling All

16 hours ago

Well, after a rocky first day, the Democratic National Convention seems to be on course to doing what the Democrats wanted it to do. Certainly Hillary Clinton supporters can’t complain about Bernie Sanders; he’s been extremely gracious.

This convention, by the way, has inadvertently proven his longtime complaint that the process was rigged against him; the famous leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee made that perfectly clear. It also seemed unfair that states like Michigan cast a majority of their votes for Clinton, when Sanders actually won the primary here.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The division between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in Michigan’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention is getting noticed.

Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison half-jokingly asked, “Am I in the middle of something?” when several Michigan delegates started arguing in the middle of his speech to the delegation this morning.

Sanders delegates, complaining about the treatment of their candidate by the DNC, and Clinton delegates, growing tired of hearing complaints from Sanders delegates, have grown increasing at odds. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A top state official does not expect divisions over the Democratic Party’s pick for president will affect the party’s chances of winning control of the state house in November.

This could be a pivotal year for the Michigan legislature and who controls the lower chamber. But this is also a presidential election year, with most of the attention focusing on what’s at the top of the ballot.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

All eyes are on Philadelphia this week for the Democratic National Convention. This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry joins Doug Tribou to talk about what’s happened at the DNC so far and what’s to come before the week is through. They also discuss what's at stake for Michigan political races following a federal judge's decision to block the state's recent straight-ticket ban.


The Asian Tiger Mosquito is a carrier of Zika virus
flicker user coniferconifer / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Scientists have unlocked new information about the Zika virus that could eventually contribute to a possible cure – and in the shorter term, may help create faster, simpler tests for identifying if someone’s been infected with the virus.

That’s especially important with Zika, because the virus itself is thought to leave the body pretty fast; maybe after about a week, says Janet Smith, Director of the Center for Structural Biology at the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute and a professor of biological chemistry.

Michigan helped put Hillary Clinton over the top last night, officially making her the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.

“The next president of the United States, Hillary Clinton,” U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow said as she delivered Michigan’s official vote at the Democratic National Convention. 

Stabenow says she was overcome by emotion seeing her party choose the first woman to be a major party presidential nominee.   

Clinton delegate Sunny Sahu expects now the divisions within the party can heal.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Highland Park leaders postponed an announcement Tuesday about the city’s troubled water system, citing progress in talks with Governor Snyder’s office.

Highland Park’s water troubles go back at least to 2012. That’s when the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality ordered it to shut down its water treatment plant for repairs.

But the plant stayed shut down. That was followed by botched billing collection, spiking water bills, and water quality issues.

ACLU sign
Slightly North/Flickr

The ACLU is urging Battle Creek officials to reject proposed anti-panhandling laws.

The civil liberties group sent the Battle Creek city commission a letter discouraging proposals that would regulate solicitation and panhandling.

Battle Creek city officials wrote the so-called "aggressive solicitation" proposals, based largely on complaints from local business owners and residents.

Miriam Aukerman is with the ACLU of Michigan and she says it's not illegal to ask for help.

Screen grab of "Parts Per Billion," a documentary produced by Alex Douglas and Nicholas Ferguson

The red carpet is being rolled out this Thursday in Flint.

It's the Flint Youth Film Festival, a chance for you to see the work of mid-Michigan's young filmmakers.

We were joined today by Donna Ullrich​, director of the Flint Youth Film Festival, and filmmaker Alex Douglas, a Flint resident and recent Mott Community College graduate who submitted two films to the festival.

A protestor calls for campaign finance reform during the 2011 Occupy Boston movement
flicker user Massachusetts Cop Block / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

As you watch the political conventions and decide which candidates will get your vote, here's something you'll want to think about: Who helped to pay for all of that campaigning? And what happens when that newly elected or re-elected member of Congress gets back to Washington?

According to the group Issue One, members of Congress spend more than half of their time raising money, not governing.

And in 2010, just .26% of the population accounted for over two-thirds of contributions to congressional campaigns.

How can we fix America's campaign finance system?

user cohdra / MorgueFile.com

A Native American tribe in west Michigan has agreed to share revenue from its casino with the state as part of a dispute over online Lottery games. The Gun Lake tribe says the state broke a treaty when it started online lottery games. As a result, the tribe stopped half of its revenue sharing payments. Instead of sending the usual payments to the state, the tribe put them in an escrow account that will now be divided between the two.

Courtesy of Cheryl Angelelli

 

Today marks the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities — people like Cheryl Angelelli. A former Paralympic swimmer, Angelelli holds four Paralympic medals and won seven world championships.

 

Now, Angelelli is taking her talents to the dance floor. This week, she’s competing in the Dancing World Championships in Las Vegas. She and her partner Tamerlan Gadirov won a medal last night at the championships.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

 A Washington Post-ABC News poll shows the majority of Americans think race relations are getting worse. Concern about race relations spiked shortly after the reports of white police officers killing black men. Since the poll, two black men have targeted and killed police.

The hunt for methane gas leaks goes high tech

Jul 26, 2016
Carnegie Mellon researcher Aja Ellis monitors air emissions near a Marcellus Shale gas well in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania.
Reid Frazier / Allegheny Front

Scientists are trying to find leaky gas wells and pipelines. They want to know how much of this infrastructure is leaking methane - a potent greenhouse gas.

Naomi Zimmerman is checking a computer screen inside a white van that looks like it came straight from an episode of Storm Chasers.

“There’s a blue line with the green line, but you can’t even see it anymore because the fit is spot on. We’re ready to do our calibrations,” she says.

Shortly after the Democratic National Convention got started Monday morning, I got a phone call from a near-panicked Clinton supporter. “The convention is in chaos!” she said. “Bernie Sanders’ own supporters booed him when he told them to support Hillary.”


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Former Governor Jennifer Granholm says tonight’s roll call vote will give Bernie Sanders supporters a chance to heal.

Sanders delegates booed the mention of Hillary Clinton’s name during the first day of the Democratic National Convention.

Granholm says the Sanders supporters are dealing with a type of grief one gets when, after passionately backing a candidate, you must deal with their losing the election.  

“They got to take some time to be able to absorb that and see it turn,” Granholm told reporters.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The head of Michigan’s Democratic Party is asking his delegates to not boo speakers at tonight’s Democratic National Convention.

Monday, it seemed whenever Bernie Sanders supporters were booing DNC speakers, television networks panned over to the Michigan delegation. 

Sanders supporters in the Michigan delegation defaced pro-Hillary Clinton signs and heartily booed the mention of her name.

This morning, as the delegation sat down to breakfast, Michigan State Party Chairman Brandon Dillon asked the delegates to be more respectful tonight. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s mayor says he plans to strike a very different tone in his speech to the Democratic National Convention this week than the tone at last week’s Republican National Convention.

Mayor Mike Duggan says he was surprised to be asked to speak to the Philadelphia convention.

Duggan says he was “horrified” by Donald Trump’s GOP presidential acceptance speech last week in Cleveland.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Union members have been a key voting demographic in Michigan for decades.

Historically, they’ve been a reliable voting bloc for Democrats. But in 2016, the Trump campaign hopes to change that. 

Hillary Clinton can pretty much write off Joe Kinder’s vote. He’s a retired Ford UAW worker.   

“As far as Clinton goes, she can’t be trusted," says Kinder. "I wouldn’t vote for her."

Kinder, like other members of organized labor, believes the North American Free Trade Agreement, signed by former President Bill Clinton, was a bad deal for American workers.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Tammie Lewis sat in her seat crying as Bernie Sanders finished his speech to the Democratic National Convention last night. Sanders spoke about what the campaign had achieved. Lewis could only think of what she has lost.

“I’m just upset,” Lewis said as tears streamed down her cheeks, “Nothing’s going to change.  He was my only hope."

Other Bernie Sanders delegates from Michigan sat stone-faced as their candidate extolled the virtues of Hillary Clinton.  

Melissa Arab stood holding a pro-Hillary sign she had altered to read STOP HER.

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