News

Pages

Law
2:54 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Posting "revenge porn" in Michigan could cost jail time, fines under new law

Posting 'sexually explicit' photos of someone without their permission in Michigan may soon result in fines and jail time.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A state House committee takes up legislation tomorrow aimed at cracking down on so-called "revenge porn."

Under the proposed law, posting sexually explicit photos of a person without their consent could land someone in jail for three months and/or a $500 fine. A second offense could result in a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

State Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, says there’s a growing problem with people posting nude or semi-nude photos of former intimate partners.

Read more
Politics & Government
2:21 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Petition aims to stop water shutoffs in Detroit

The People's Water Board Coalition has collected signatures to stop water shutoffs in Detroit.
Credit User: bnosnhoj / Wikimedia Commons

A group in Detroit hopes that 158,000 signatures will be enough to persuade city officials to stop shutting off water to residents. 

The People's Water Board Coalition has been working on a petition over the summer that has three main goals: stop water shutoffs in Detroit, restore household water to those living without, and implement a water affordability plan. 

Read more
Families & Community
2:12 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Last victim of 1927 Bath school disaster gets headstone

A new headstone marks the grave of Richard Fritz, one of 45 people, including bomber Andrew Kehoe, who died as a result of the Bath school disaster in 1927.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The last of the victims of the Bath, Michigan, school bombings finally has a headstone on his grave, nearly 90 years after the deadly attack.

A small crowd of people sang as they gathered at the grave of Richard Fritz.

Fritz’s death in 1928 was attributed to the injuries he suffered in the Bath school bombing the year before.

Andrew Kehoe bombed the school on May 18, 1927.   The school board treasurer, Kehoe was apparently upset about rising school taxes.

Read more
Auto
1:40 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

GM CEO Mary Barra to receive Appeal of Conscience award for handling of recall scandal

Mary Barra listens in to a call at GM's Customer Engagement Center in the wake of the ignition switch recall.
Credit General Motors

GM CEO Mary Barra will receive an Appeal of Conscience Award on September 23rd from the interfaith organization Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

Barra is being honored for her leadership in the wake of a shocking revelation in late January that General Motors had delayed a potentially deadly ignition switch recall for ten years.

The switches could be knocked out of the run position into the accessory position when the cars went over a bump.  That disabled safety features, including airbags.

Read more
Auto
12:34 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

GM adds third shift, 750 workers, to Wentzville, MO factory

The assembly line at GM's Wentzville, Missouri assembly plant.
Credit General Motors

General Motors is adding a third shift to its Wentzville, Missouri plant to meet expected demand for the midsize trucks that are built there.

GM is introducing new versions of its midsize trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon.

The new shift is expected to start work in early 2015.

The automaker says dealers have ordered 30,000 Colorados already, "which is very high for early orders."

Read more
Stateside
12:28 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

A Detroit-born filmmaker travels the world to uncover roots of the city's techno music

Main stage of Hart Plaza, Detroit
Credit User: The #technoMeccaMixtape / screengrab detroitsoundproject.com

The power of music to build bridges.

In this case, electronic and techno music is building bridges between Detroit and South Africa.

That's the focus of a documentary film called Electric Roots: The Detroit Sound Project. The short film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

Filmmaker Kristian Hill is based in Los Angeles, but he is from Detroit. Hill says in exploring the underground electronic and techno music scenes in Detroit and places like Tokyo, Russia, and South Africa, he got to meet people from all over the world.

Hill says he found music lovers who have a real interest in Detroit music -- beyond just Motown.

“We’ve met people who tell us that you know, Muslims go to Mecca, but techno lovers go to Detroit,” says Hill.

* Listen to our conversation with Kristian Hill on Stateside today at 3 pm. We'll post the audio around 4:30 pm.

Watch a trailer of the documentary:

There will be a screening of the film on September 27, 2014 at Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit. You can get more information on the screening and the progress of Hill's film on his website.

Opinion
10:46 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Detroit’s bankruptcy settlement is far from the end of the story

Many years ago, I met Thomas Friedman, the distinguished New York Times journalist who won two Pulitzer Prizes for his coverage of the Middle East by the time he was 35.

When I told him that I regarded his reporting as indispensable, he told me something I’ll never forget. He said “don’t read my stories every day.”  That startled me, and I asked what he meant.

He went on: “Daily journalists covering a beat have to produce a story just about every day.” That’s partly because everybody doesn’t always read everything. But if you look closely, you’ll see that much of the time, much of the daily stories are repetitious.

Read more
The Environment Report
10:38 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Enbridge plans to bring more tar sands oil into Great Lakes region

Cleanup of the 2010 Enbridge oil spill. The company wants to bring more tar sands oil from the Alberta oil sands region into the U.S.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s been a lot of controversy over TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. But there’s another company working to bring more tar sands oil into the U.S.

Enbridge Energy wants to increase the amount of heavy crude oil crossing the border from the Alberta tar sands into the Great Lakes region.

Lorraine Little is with Enbridge. She says Enbridge wants to move more oil on its pipeline known as the Alberta Clipper. That pipeline runs about a thousand miles from northern Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin.

“Its purpose is to carry heavy crude oil from the oil sands in Alberta into our Superior terminal where then it can get off on other pipelines and serve refining markets around the Midwest region or other parts of the country,” she says.

Back in November of 2012, Enbridge filed an application with the U.S. State Department. The company wants to raise the capacity of the border segment of the Alberta Clipper pipeline to 800,000 barrels per day (they're currently transporting 450,000 barrels per day).

That permit is still under review.

Read more
The Environment Report
8:59 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Study suggests pesticides in rivers could harm insects and fish

U.S. Geological Survey

Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey have been monitoring pesticides in rivers and streams around the country for 20 years. They just released their findings, and they found there are levels of some pesticides that could be a concern for bugs and fish.

For example, they found the insecticide fibronil at levels that could cause harm. That chemical disrupts insects’ nervous systems.

The study, "Pesticides in U.S. Streams and Rivers:  Occurrence and trends during 1992-2011” is published in the Environmental Science and Technology journal. 

Wes Stone, a hydrologist with the USGS, says some pesticides have been phased out and others have come on the market, and you can see that directly reflected in the water.

“What it shows is to stay on top of what’s in the environment, we’re going to have to constantly evolve and keep looking at the newest ones and evolving new methods to sample for them," he says.

But Stone says their study probably underestimates potential risks to aquatic life. He says there are more than 400 different pesticides in use, but he says funding is limited, so his agency only tests for a fraction of those pesticides in rivers and streams.

Stateside
8:02 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Michigan bird species threatened by climate change, report says

The common loon is one of the climate-endangered species in Michigan.
Credit User: jackanapes / Flickr

 

A recent report from the National Audubon Society points to troubling times ahead for our bird population.

Climate change could make some huge changes for birds in North America: About half of our 650 species would be driven to smaller spaces or forced to find totally new places to live or become extinct – all of this in just the next 65 years.

Jonathan Lutz is the executive director of the Michigan Audubon Society. He says in Michigan, about 50 species are vulnerable to the changing climate.

Read more
Stateside
7:58 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

A preview of Affordable Care Act marketplace, year 2

Credit healthcare.gov

 

Health insurers and Healthcare.gov are now gearing up for year two of the Affordable Care Act.

Open enrollment begins two months from today – November 15. And this year, there's a new twist: renewals and plan changes.

Marianne Udow-Phillips is the director of the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation at the University of Michigan. She says consumers have to do their homework to compare different health plans this year.

"Some [rates] are up, and some are down ... Even those who have coverage now, it would be very important for consumers to actually look at the choices again and see what is the best match with the premiums and the networks that are offered," says Udow-Phillips.

* Listen to our conversation with Marianne Udow-Phillips above.

Stateside
7:54 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Love the online quest for a sweet deal on airfare or hotel rooms? You may be wasting your time

A Delta Connection plane.
Credit user Doug / Flickr

    

 

Are you one of those travelers who scours the web, checking for the very best prices on all of the travel sites, big and small?

How much time does it take to find that "best" airfare or hotel room price?

Detroit Free Press travel writer Ellen Creager says if you're just looking for a hotel room or airfare, there really is no point spending hours comparing deals, because the travel sites have all turned into something she calls "inbred goldfish." 

"Let's say Expedia. They own hotels.com, Hotwire, Venere and TravelTicker. Priceline owns Kayak and booking.com. And Sabre Holdings owns Travelocity but they just firmed out their search to Expedia ... they all have ties and links to each other," says Creager.

For those of you who are hunting for travel bargains around the Web, Creager suggests keep looking, just don't spend too much time looking. 

"You can check 100 places, and you are basically going to find the exact same fare," says Creager.

* Listen to the interview with Ellen Creager above.

Stateside
7:49 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

DIA director talks about Detroit bankruptcy battle

Bank of the Oise at Auvers by Van Gogh, owned by the DIA
Credit user: Maia C / Flickr

 

As the Detroit bankruptcy trial moves into its third week, the spotlight has often been trained on the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The discussion over whether the DIA can and should be forced to sell its treasures to help offset Detroit's insolvency has been one of the most hotly debated issues of the bankruptcy.

DIA director Graham Beal recently wrote a letter that was published in the museum's newsletter and then posted on Deadline Detroit under the headline "Museums Should Step Very Carefully 'In Times Of Crisis.'"

Here's an excerpt of the letter:

In the Great Depression, the DIA remained open and staffed, largely thanks to the secret support of Edsel Ford. The city of Detroit arts commissioners could have sold the van Gogh self-portrait, Matisse's The Window, Ruisdael's Jewish Cemetery, or even Breugel's Wedding Dance, but the thought never seems to have crossed anyone's mind.

Read more
Stateside
7:45 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Michigan-made Aeron chair was designed to break away from predictable office style

Credit User: Matt Carey / Flickr

The Aeron Chair: It's the instantly recognizable mesh-backed, ergonomic office chair.

Nearly seven million Aerons have been sold to date by the Herman Miller Company of West Michigan.

But the chair that epitomizes today's office actually began life as something designed for a completely different consumer.

Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf designed the Aeron for Herman Miller. 

Chadwick joined Stateside today. He says that the they believed that what had been done before and what was currently available would not satisfy their approach.

That's why they set out to take a totally different look at how an office chair looks, how it works, and how it responds to the environment it's to be used in.

"To be blunt, a lot of them were boring, because they were predictable," says Chadwick.

* Listen to the full interview with Don Chadwick above.

Economy
6:32 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Report: Exports, foreign investment boost Michigan economy

Credit denise.weerke / Flickr

According to a report from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Michigan's exports in 2013 totaled $58.7 billion. More than 90 percent stemmed from Detroit, Warren and Dearborn. And about twenty percent of the Michigan exports were generated by small and medium size businesses with less than 500 employees.Michael Finney heads the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. He said exports improve the state's employment picture, diversify the economy, and provide a hedge against domestic economic downturns.

Read more
Education
3:21 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Legislation would force new Michigan teachers into a 401(k)-style plan

Senator Mark Jansen, R-Gaines Twp, introduced Senate Bill 727.
Credit Michigan Senate Republicans

New legislation in the state Senate would close Michigan’s teacher retirement system to new teachers. Instead, all new teachers would get a “defined contribution” 401(k)-style plan.

Under a partial overhaul of teacher retirement approved by state lawmakers in 2012, new teachers can choose between that or a “hybrid” plan, which combines elements of a defined contribution plan and a traditional pension. The new legislation would end that choice, giving new teachers only the 401(k)-style defined contribution plan.

Read more
Families & Community
3:13 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Michigan refugee services in danger of losing $800,000

May Anayi is an Iraqi refugee now working for St. Vincent Catholic Charities, a Lansing refugee service organization that stands to lose $165,000 this year.
Credit St. Vincent Catholic Charities

May Anayi was forced to flee her home in Baghdad after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. She’s a teacher. But her certificate is not valid in the United States.

She says finding a new career in Michigan seemed almost impossible. She had trouble just figuring out how to cross the street. She says she once stood for 15 minutes waiting for the crossing signal to change, not realizing she had to push a button first.

Read more
Stateside
2:30 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Do Michigan employers face a "job skills gap," and, if so, what can be done about it?

Credit User: andjohan / Flickr

Even with the unemployment rate at 7.5% in Michigan, employers say they still can’t find the skilled workers they need to fill available jobs.

But other voices question the skills gap, calling it "overblown", even a "myth" and suggesting that it’s really more the fault of the companies.

Lou Glazer is president and co-founder of Michigan Future. He says companies should take the responsibility making jobs more attractive.

“When you look at the package employers have put together to attract people to the industry, it ain’t so great,” says Glazer.

For cyclical industries like manufacturing and construction, when the employment package is not great, the employers likely get a small pool of entrants.

Read more
Transportation
2:24 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Revisiting the origin of the "Michigan Left"

A sign indicating a "Michigan Left".
User diablo234 SkyScraperCity

As part of our M I Curious project, Nick Ochal asked Michigan Radio this question:

What is the origin of the infamous "Michigan Left" that befuddles so many out-of-staters?

Read more
Law
1:18 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

3 indicted in mismanaged Wayne County jail project

The incomplete Wayne County jail.
Credit Wayne County

DETROIT - A grand jury has indicted a former chief financial officer, county attorney and contractor in a mismanaged Wayne County jail project.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy says Monday ex-chief financial officer Carla Sledge and chief assistant corporation counsel Steven Collins are charged with misconduct and neglect of duty. They are accused of giving false or misleading information on the project's cost.

Contractor Anthony Parlovecchio is charged with neglect of duty and accused of not fully informing officials about the project.

Construction has been halted on the 2,000-bed jail which was more than $90 million over-budget.

Sledge's attorney Harold Gurewitz says she is innocent of the charges. Parlovecchio's lawyer Ben Gonek says the project was within budget when his client was running it.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment from Collins.

Pages