News

Photo courtesy of Governor Snyder's office

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a measure to set up a three-county pilot project to try out suspicion-based drug testing of people who apply for welfare benefits.

Snyder says the testing would only occur in cases where there’s a reasonable suspicion of drug use. The governor says people who test positive the first time will be directed to a treatment program without losing benefits.

ACLU defends anti-Muslim group in free speech case

4 hours ago
Joe Gratz / Flickr

The American Civil Liberties Union is taking the side of Christian evangelists in a free speech case at a federal appeals court.

The ACLU's Michigan branch says the rights of a group called Bible Believers were violated during a violent clash at an Arab-American street festival in Dearborn in 2012.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

2015 may be another slow growth year for Michigan’s housing industry.

A few years ago, as home sales slowly started to recover from the depths of the Great Recession, analysts were predicting a return to strong housing sales by 2015

Now that 2015 is a week away, those expectations are not quite as high

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The “snaketivity” scene decorating Michigan’s state capitol this holiday season has raised some eyebrows — and questions about the group behind it.

That group calls itself the Detroit Satanic Temple, and it just formed a few months ago.

Temple director Jex Blackmore says the display is meant to promote Satanic practices and beliefs, but those aren’t what many people think.

Mitzvah Day is joint Jewish and Muslim day of service on Christmas

Dec 25, 2014
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Members of the Detroit-area Jewish and Muslim communities are joining together on Christmas for a day of good deeds in the Detroit area. It's called Mitzvah Day.

About 1,000 volunteers from both faiths will participate in 43 service projects across metro Detroit.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint Police Department is getting some help meeting its need for training and new equipment.

For years, the Flint Police Department has struggled with budget cuts.

Now the Flint Police Foundation is stepping in to fill some of the gaps.

flickr.com

The National Insurance Crime Bureau tracks car thefts by just about any variable you can think of, including holiday car thefts. 

The Bureau's Frank Scafidi says in many states, the lowest number of car thefts take place on Christmas Day, "so maybe there's still a little holiday Christmas spirit among thieves, too."

But the most popular holiday - New Year's Day - is just around the corner.

The Detroit Public Schools has laid out new plans to erase its red ink.

The district’s revised deficit elimination plan still awaits state approval. But if approved, it would result in a small surplus by 2023, says district spokesman Steve Wasko.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's lawmakers aren't likely to wait long next year before taking another shot at tackling the cyanobacteria problem in Lake Erie.

  The Legislature ran out of time this month before it could pass a bill that outlined new rules for farmers and water treatment plant operators.

Thetoad / Flickr

Some Michiganders may soon be able to have their criminal convictions removed from public records.

People would be able to petition the court that convicted them to remove up to two misdemeanors or one felony. Law enforcement officials would still be able to see the convictions.

Aaron Cooley Themm

GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Officials in western Michigan's Ottawa County are expected to discuss the removal of a sign bearing the Bible's Psalm 19:1 verse from a public park.

  Mlive.com reports that parks and recreation staff were told to take down the sign which had been in Hager Park since the late 1960s or early 1970s after a Georgetown Township resident complained it promoted a particular religious view using public resources.

The issue has been added to the Jan. 13 Ottawa County commissioners' work session meeting.

Emily Fox / Michigan Radio

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Seth Rogen comedy that ticked off North Korea is being released today in some 300 independent theaters in the U.S.    

Theaters in Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Traverse City and Ironwood will be among those screening the controversial movie "The Interview."

Salvation Army

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) - All that glitters isn't gold, and the Salvation Army says it discovered that two metal bars dropped in a donation bucket in Muskegon weren't genuine.

Salvation Army spokesman Roger Snider announced Wednesday morning that the one-ounce bars turned up in a  kettle Tuesday evening and had an estimated value of about $2,370.

  But he says a further check showed that the bars were replicas and not solid gold.

Jason Pratt / Flickr Creative Commons

An Ann Arbor neighborhood group is kicking off a new way to keep city sidewalks clear.

It's raised enough money, $20,000 so far from about 170 people, to buy a tractor for clearing 12 miles of sidewalks in the Water Hill neighborhood and its connection to the downtown.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is reviewing hundreds of bills approved by the Legislature in the waning days of the lame-duck session.

Lawmakers sent the governor 224 bills since the November election.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

BLISSFIELD, Mich. (AP) - A former canning company site in southeastern Michigan has been selected as the future home of an agricultural history museum.

  The Daily Telegram of Adrian reports that the Blissfield Village Council approved leasing land to the Agricultural Awareness & Preservation Museum board of directors.

HerpShots / Flickr

A new rule makes it easier for drivers who hit and kill an animal to claim their road kill.

The new rule replaces the previous policy that said people who want to claim road kill have to wait for an officer to show up and issue a special permit. Now, they can phone the police, report the accident, and take possession of the carcass.

Lawrence OP / Flickr

The state Supreme Court will decide whether a woman can have her ex-husband’s parental rights revoked because he’s not the biological father of her daughter.

Paternity was never an issue in the divorce of John and Jennie Glaubius, and the divorce order treats the ex-husband as the father of a little girl born while the couple was married. But a paternity test done after the divorce determined the biological father was almost certainly a man the mother was having an affair with during the marriage.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Michigan utilities are bracing for extremely strong winds, a year after a storm put thousands of people in the dark at Christmas.

  DTE Energy spokeswoman Randi Berris says crews are on standby Wednesday in case weather forecasters are right in predicting gusts of 45 mph or higher in southeastern Michigan. Consumers Energy says it also will be ready.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

A group of volunteers has been welcoming veterans and active military servicemen and women home for the holidays at the Grand Rapids airport.

Volunteers with “Operation Handshake” come almost daily around the holidays. They line up with signs and flags. Those they can identify as soldiers get a warm welcome, a Christmas card and a salute.

user memories_by_mike / Flickr

This week, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss some of 2014's top political stories. Funding for road repairs, Detroit's bankruptcy case and gay marriage all made headlines in Michigan this year.


Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

  The Michigan Supreme Court says schools cannot sue the state for underfunding K-through-12 education without showing how much money they’re being short-changed.

450 school districts across Michigan filed the lawsuit. They say the Legislature imposed expensive new data collection and reporting requirements on districts without fully paying for them. That would violate the Headlee Amendment to the state constitution which outlaws unfunded mandates.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Voters will decide in May whether to raise taxes for roads and education.

Keith Allard chairs the Grand Rapids Taxpayer Association, a group formed to oppose a city income tax extension in Grand Rapids. It passed last May.

Now he’s opposing a proposed increase in the Michigan sales tax that residents will vote on in May.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Natasha Henderson admits there are challenges ahead.

Henderson was introduced today as Flint’s incoming city administrator. Starting in February, she’ll take over running the day-to-day operations of a city still struggling to shake off a multi-million dollar budget deficit and ongoing crime problems. 

Pat Ibbotson/"Eloise: Poorhouse, Farm, Asylum and Hospital 1839-1984"

We recently stumbled across some cool, old photographs of life at one of the most well-known psychiatric hospitals in Michigan: Eloise.

Celebrating the holidays was an important part of life for the people who lived and worked at Eloise, which was located a few miles outside Detroit in Wayne County. 

The Index of Consumer Sentiment has been increasing lately.
U of M

WASHINGTON - A survey finds U.S. consumers are more optimistic about the economy than at any other time in the past eight years, buoyed by more jobs and falling gas prices.

The University of Michigan says its index of consumer sentiment has jumped to 93.6 from 88.8 in November.

Third Coast Kings

The Third Coast Kings is a seven member funk and soul band from Ann Arbor.

Sean Ike is the front man of the band. When he’s on stage, he commands your attention. You will almost always see him jumping and dancing around his microphone, dressed in a brightly colored suit, shooting deep stares to the audience and occasionally wiping the sweat that drips off his shaved head with a hand towel he keeps nearby.  

“If you give us five or six songs, if you are at least not tapping your foot, they should check your pulse or we’re doing it wrong,” Ike says.

Not only do the Third Coast Kings draw people to the dance floor across Michigan, they also have a large following in Japan.

Michigan State University

Scientists look all over the Earth for things called drug leads. Those are things that could eventually make new medicines.

Researchers at Michigan State University have discovered an enzyme in a species of poisonous mushroom.

Jonathan Walton is a professor of plant biology at MSU.

University of Michigan's Climate Center

Our climate is already changing in the Great Lakes region. And people who manage our cities are finding ways to adapt.

“We’re seeing changes in our precipitation patterns; we’re seeing more extreme precipitation events, " says Beth Gibbons, the director of the University of Michigan’s Climate Center. Her group has released a new online tool for cities in the region. 

A dive team works on Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The oil spill disaster on the Kalamazoo River got many in Michigan wondering about the state of Michigan's oil and gas pipelines.

Pages