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Proposed legislation in Lansing would prevent local governments from using federal, state or local funds to invest in internet infrastructure unless the municipality already has a deal with a private company to provide the internet service.

Rep. Michele Hoitenga (R-Manton), introduced the bill last week. She said government should not be competing against the private sector, and she is particularly concerned about communities that already have private broadband providers.

OER Training / FLICKR - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Congress is reviewing the Obama administration’s fuel efficiency standards.

There’s been a slew of op-ed pieces from conservative think tanks calling for a rollback of rules that increase fuel efficiency. They’d rather let the market decide – a market that trends toward less efficient trucks and SUVs.

Environmental groups are saying we’ll save fuel, save money, pollute less, and reduce the greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

The origin of the term "gerrymandering" comes from a political cartoon from March of 1812. This was drawn in reaction to the newly-drawn state senate election district of South Essex created by the Massachusetts legislature to favor
J. Albert Bowden II / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

If you’ve been to a fall festival or any kind of carnival in the state lately, chances are there was a booth there for Voters Not Politicians.

That group is gathering signatures to get a proposal on the ballot. It wants an independent commission to draw the congressional and legislative districts to avoid gerrymandering districts in favor of one party or the other.

rock and roll hall of fame
Chris "Paco" Camino / Flickr- HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL

Could 2017 be MC5's year? 

Detroit Music Magazine Publisher Paul Young and Executive Editor Khalid Bhatti think so. 

After two unsuccessful nominations to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 and 2016, they say nostalgia around the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit uprising might help their case, along with the band's famous supporters like Iggy Pop and The Stooges. 

GM Renaissance Center in Detroit.
John F. Martin / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Liz Wetzel never thought she'd work at General Motors, or any car company for that matter. 

She was an art student after all. 

But when her dad noticed there was a lack of female designers in the Pontiac studios where he worked, he suggested she pursue automotive design. 

detroit city skyline
Shawn Wilson / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Sonya Mays doesn't like saying the "g word" – gentrification, that is. 

But if we're talking about it, she says her company Develop Detroit might just have the solution. 

“We’re saying that we believe that there’s a way to be very intentional and thoughtful and to partner with particularly residents who have been in a community the longest. We’re saying there’s an approach here that can be taken that doesn’t directly lead to rapid displacement," Mays said. 

It's called equitable development, and she says cities like Harlem and Washington, D.C., have used it to combat gentrification with mostly positive results. 

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Scary, mysterious radio dramas – there’s just something about hearing a creepy story with all the sound effects and the trembling voices, forcing your imagination to go places you might not want it to go.

The Roustabout Theatre Troupe seems to agree. On Saturday, Oct. 21 at Livonia’s Trinity House Theatre, the troupe’s Dark Ride Radio Hour will bring four original radio plays to life –  and death. I mean, this is Halloween, right?

gavel
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge is tired of waiting for officials to choose the city of Flint’s long-term drinking water source.

Flint has been getting its drinking water from the Great Lakes Water Authority since the fall of 2015, when the city officially ended the ill-fated experiment of getting its tap water from the Flint River.

For months, a final decision on whether Flint would sign a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority has been on hold. Flint’s mayor and state officials signed off on the deal last spring.   

Jim Roberts / National Register of Historic Places

Officials in Kalamazoo have agreed to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day, but the city hasn't decided what to do with a statue that some say celebrates the forced removal of Native Americans.

satellite map of Michigan, the Great Lakes
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

People are gathering in Buffalo this week for the annual Great Lakes restoration conference.

At the top of their list is making sure Congress fully funds the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the 2018 budget.

President Trump’s proposed budget included massive cuts to the GLRI.

Todd Ambs is the campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

A lighthouse on Pelee Island in Lake Erie.
Richard Hsu / Flickr

A new partnership has a plan to keep Lake Erie clean. The MI CLEAR group is made up of farmers, conservationists, environmental leaders, and more. Those groups are teaming up with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Jamie Clover Adams is the Director of the Department of Agriculture. She said the multiple perspectives will help improve the lake’s water quality on a variety of fronts.

“This didn’t happen overnight and it’s not gonna be fixed overnight,” she said. “This is a very complex problem that will call for many solutions.”

Governor Rick Snyder says he’s close to a final decision on what disciplinary action – if any – will be taken against the leader of the Michigan State Police over a controversial Facebook post.

Colonel Kriste Etue is facing a review after she shared a Facebook meme that called NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem “degenerates” and “unpatriotic.” She quickly took down the post and issued an apology.

Snyder repeated that Etue will not lose her job over the incident.

Photo of Gov. Rick Snyder
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder says he’s concerned that President Trump’s decision to end subsidies that help low-income families pay for health insurance could make rates unaffordable.

Snyder says more study is needed to determine the state’s next move, but he hopes Congress will act quickly to settle things.

“I think there are reforms needed to the Affordable Care Act,” he said. “Some parts have worked well, others need more work, and the part that needs more work has been in the insurance markets. This makes it more challenging, but hopefully it gets to the point where Congress could hopefully do some bipartisan actions to improve things.”

About 156,300 Michigan consumers have subsidized health plans. It’s estimated the loss of the subsidies would cause their rates to spike by 28 percent.

The subsidies are already the subject of lawsuits. And there could be more legal action to challenge the presidential order to immediately end the subsidies.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, joined local officials today in Ypsilanti to talk about President Trump's suggested cuts to Medicaid. Trump's proposed budget would eliminate nearly $700 billion from the federal program. Dingell spoke in front of community members and constituents at Community Alliance, an organization that serves developmentally disabled adults in Ypsilanti.

MDEQ

Health officials in Kent County plan to investigate whether there are cancer clusters near waste dump sites once used by  the shoemaker Wolverine World Wide tannery in Rockford.

Brian Hartl, an epidemiologist with the Kent County Health Department, joined Stateside today to explain what the department knows now, and how it plans to move forward.

purple rose sign
Michigan Municipal League / Flickr- HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL

Jeff Daniels says he was originally going to write a comedy when he sat down to work on his newest play Flint.

But then Trump happened. And Charlottesville. 

So Daniels started to think about the precursors that might explain what made those things possible.

A Broadway theater called the Eugene O'Neill
Rough Tough, Real Stuff / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

One of America's greatest playwrights was born 129 years ago this day.

Eugene O'Neill was a prolific writer whose works earned him four Pulitzers and a Nobel Prize.

And it was his youthful battle with tuberculosis that inspired many of his greatest works.

Takashi Yamamiya / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

You've probably heard of One Thousand and One Nights. It's a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales in Arabic from what's known as an Islamic Golden Age collected over many centuries. 

The English-language version is The Arabian Nights.

Something else stemming from that bygone era is coming to the Michigan Science Center — an exhibition called 1001 Inventions: Untold Stories from a Golden Age of Innovation.

bathroom sign with man and woman symbol
AMBOO / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

People in Grass Lake, in Jackson County, are arguing about their school district’s decision to allow a transgender boy in elementary school to use the boys’ restroom.

The district has plans to build privacy stalls around urinals in school buildings.

Supporters and opponents of the policy, including people who don’t live in Grass Lake, have been showing up at school board meetings even when the issue isn’t on the agenda. 

Rick Pluta / MPRN

Next year is a big election year for Michigan. We thought we’d check in with party leaders to see what each party’s priorities are.

Brandon Dillon, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, joined Stateside to talk about what the party is focusing on in the run up to the 2018 elections.

Currently, Dillon says, the party is assessing voters' concerns.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A major project to remove century old contamination from the Flint River is moving into its final phase.

Last week, crews finished dredging part of the Flint River bottom to remove the last remnants of coal tar from the sediment. The coal tar came from a coal gasification plant that shut down in the 1920s.

Amazon
User soumit / flickr.com

Tuscon, Arizona, uprooted a 21-foot-tall saguaro cactus and tried to have it delivered to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. Birmingham, Alabama, constructed giant Amazon boxes and placed them around the city. The mayor of Kansas City bought a thousand items online from Amazon and posted reviews of each one.

The retail giant Amazon is looking for a second home and there are a lot of contenders trying to land the project being called “H-Q-2.” At stake are many thousands of jobs and a new economic anchor for the winner.

user H.L.I.T. / Flickr

If you watched a football game on TV this weekend, you may have seen these two commercials over and over:

Here’s a scoop: We already know who’s on the ballot next year. Even though you won’t see their names in the voting booth.

Election 2018 is a little more than a year away but we are looking forward to the past.

Newspaper
Zoe Clark / Michigan Radio

I think I can say that I have some professional credibility as a journalist. I have a master’s degree from a major university, a national Emmy award, work in all forms of media, and am in charge of journalism at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Yet legally, I have the same standing as a journalist as a high school dropout who writes a blog in his grandmother’s basement, and that is exactly the way it is supposed to be.

Plumbers are licensed by the state. So are doctors, lawyers, and every other profession great and humble. But I am granted the right to do what I do by a greater authority, the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. That’s as sacred a secular document as they come.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Monday marks the second anniversary of Flint’s switch back to Detroit water.

October 16th, 2015 was the end of Flint’s experiment with getting its tap water from the Flint River.   

But the ramifications of improperly treated river water continue.

Wolverine tannery neighbors threaten suit to force cleanup

Oct 15, 2017
Map from the MDEQ of affected area
MDEQ

Residents who live near an old leather tannery waste dump in western Michigan are threatening to sue Wolverine World Wide to force it to clean up the site.

Attorneys for 40 residents near the long-forgotten dump sent Wolverine a notice of intent to sue on Friday.

They want the Rockford-based global footwear company to remove contaminated soil from the 76-acre property, rebury it in a pit lined with a hazardous waste liner and then encircle the property with a slurry wall to contain polluted water.

The word "singular" doesn't raise any eyebrows when we're talking about grammar. However, there's some concern about how the word is being used outside the grammar world.

A listener named Brian recently wrote to us about the use of singular as "a pretentious version" of single. He was under the impression that singular only means single in the context of grammar, and otherwise means unique.

"However, just in the past year, I've heard [singular] used more and more often to mean single, usually in a more formal context. I wonder if the horse is already out of the barn on this one," he says.

Brian, we can't even see the horse at this point. 


Spirit Airlines plane
JTOcchialini / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A 70-year-old passenger who was arrested at New York's LaGuardia Airport after authorities say he threatened a ticket agent has pleaded not guilty to making a terrorist threat.

John Park of Farmington, Michigan was released without bail after his arraignment late Saturday.

Authorities say Park became irate when he was told there was a $50 fee to check his bag Saturday morning.

Prosecutors say Park told the ticket agent at Spirit Airlines there was a bomb in the bag and tried to leave.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is sidestepping questions concerning whether Governor Rick Snyder may have misled congress about when he learned of a deadly Legionnaires Disease outbreak.

Between 2014 and 2015, at least 12 people died after contracting Legionnaires in Genesee County. Dozens more fell ill with the bacteria pneumonia. Prosecutors have charged or announced their intent to charge six government officials with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the outbreak, which they say is connected to Flint's drinking water crisis.  

Appearing before a congressional committee investigating the Flint water crisis, Gov. Snyder testified under oath last year that he didn’t learn of the outbreak in Genesee County until January, 2016.  But as part of the criminal probe of the Flint water crisis, a top aide to the governor testified they talked about the outbreak a month earlier.

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