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Health
6:00 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Flint officials working to resolve water issues

Flint Public Works director Howard Croft explains what the city is doing to resolve problems with the city's water system during a news conference this week.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

People in Flint may be a bit wary of drinking water from their taps these days.

Several boil water advisories have been issued in the past month, after tests showed potential problems with bacteria.   The latest pair of advisories were lifted earlier this week.

Howard Croft is Flint’s public works director. He says the problems are due to Flint’s aging infrastructure. 

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Education
2:50 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

Exercise before school may reduce ADHD symptons in some kids

MSU researchers studied the effects of moderate to vigorous exercise on young school children at-risk of developing ADHD.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Moderate to vigorous exercise in the morning may help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder be better prepared for the school day.  

Michigan State University researchers studied 200 kindergarten, first and second grade students for 12 weeks. They found children at-risk for developing ADHD were more attentive in class after exercising.

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Sports
1:01 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

Jackson's 'Field of Dreams'?

If Jackson builds it, will people come? A group is conducting a market study to see if people in Jackson want a downtown baseball stadium.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Backers of a plan to bring pro-baseball to downtown Jackson may make their pitch official this week.

The group behind the ballpark plan isn’t saying much just yet. But they do have a website.

It says the group is conducting a market study. They’re trying to gauge potential public support for the plan which would include a privately financed stadium and possibly a crowd-source funded team of players.

There are about a half dozen minor league and independent baseball teams in Michigan:

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That's What They Say
12:48 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

Some words don't mean what you think they do

    

If some one gives you fulsome praise, is that good or bad?

University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan says that question came up during a family game of "Cranium" recently. 

These were the choices:

  1. Excessive or fake praise
  2. Disgusting or offensive
  3. Abundant or copious

That game was stacked, because Curzan happens to be on the usage panel for the American Heritage Dictionary, which tackled "fulsome" in 2012.

It turns out there's a lot of confusion about what "fulsome" means.

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Politics & Government
11:43 am
Sun September 14, 2014

Analysis: Gov. Snyder tweaks `comeback' message

Gov. Snyder says the recovery and comeback themes are both accurate. He notes he's always said more work must done and it's not time to be content.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Governor Rick Snyder has been fond of calling Michigan the "comeback state" for at least 2 1/2 years. So he naturally made it a part of his re-election campaign early on.

But as the Republican governor's campaign ramps up in the final two months of the race, he's tweaking his message. Now Michigan's on the "road to recovery."

Pollsters say the fine-tuning reflected in new TV ads is an attempt to align with voters who are more positive about the state's direction but also say the recovery hasn't helped them personally.

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Arts & Culture
7:35 pm
Sat September 13, 2014

ArtPrize installation meant to provoke thought

Part of an ArtPrize installation entitled "Something is Happening Here"
Credit Michigan State University College of Arts and Sciences

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Figures that appear to be holding guns and binoculars stand sentry on a downtown Grand Rapids rooftop.

They are a statement of art, not a call to arms.

The Grand Rapids Press reports  Saturday that crews have been installing "...there's something happening here..." on the roof and terrace of the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts. The work is Henry Brimmer's fourth entry in Michigan's annual ArtPrize competition, which opens Sept. 24.

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Health
5:22 pm
Sat September 13, 2014

Toledo may use conservation to fight water toxins

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Consumers in Ohio's fourth-largest city may be asked to voluntarily conserve water next year to limit demand and help reduce contamination from toxins left by Lake Erie algae.

Such toxins fouled water for 400,000 people in the Toledo area last month, leaving some without clean tap water for two days.

The Blade newspaper reports the water treatment commissioner talked about the planned conservation request during a panel discussion this week. Commissioner Tim Murphy says lowering demand would allow water to be treated for longer periods of time.

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Education
1:57 pm
Sat September 13, 2014

MSU professor says "high stakes testing" drives teachers from the profession

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The emphasis on “high stakes testing” in America’s schools may be having an unexpected side effect.

A Michigan State University researcher says teachers are citing the testing as their reason for quitting the profession.

Alyssa Hadley Dunn is a professor at the MSU College of Education.  She also was once a high school teacher in Atlanta, Georgia.   

She says she decided to quit after years of pressure to “teach to the test.”     

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Economy
9:33 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Consumers may feel more confident about economy; so do Kroger and Meijer

Credit User: *Grant* / flickr

The University of Michigan’s preliminary reading on September consumer confidence came in at 84.6, marking the highest level in 14 months.  

Improved outlook reflected by this estimate today could mean Americans feel more comfortable about their spending.

This fall, hiring at Kroger and Meijer are on the rise, too.

Kroger has announced it will hire 20,000 permanent positions at its supermarkets, including roughly 1,800 in Michigan.

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Offbeat
5:19 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

After Colbert Report segment, Detroit Fire Deptartment gets offers of free alarm systems

Credit The Colbert Report

The Detroit Fire Department is getting calls from software companies as far away as California and Oregon.

The companies want to donate updated alert systems after the department's current system was featured on the comedy TV show, "The Colbert Report.”

The show aired a Detroit Free Press video about emergency alerts coming into fire stations via fax machine.

Firefighters rig up contraptions like soda cans full of screws on top of the fax machines.

So when the cans fall over, firefighters hear the alert.

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Environment & Science
5:10 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

DNR says drilling not OK under old growth forest

Hartwick Pines
Credit mollyall / Flickr

The rights to drill under a landmark old-growth forest in northern Michigan are off the auction block.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creigh says the family that donated most of the land that makes up the Hartwick Pines state forest objected to allowing energy exploration under the pines.

“It was certainly a very generous gift from the family and, in my opinion, we needed to honor both the spirit and the legal requirements of the deed,” he said.

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Families & Community
4:05 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Michigan marks 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps volunteers are sworn in in Lansing, Michigan during a ceremony broadcast from the White House
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The national AmeriCorps program is marking its 20th anniversary.

Hundreds of new AmeriCorps volunteers were sworn in today in Lansing and Detroit.

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Health
4:00 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Group wants state to end Medicaid funding for circumcisions

One of the protesters at today's anti-circumcision rally at the state capitol in Lansing, Michigan.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

An anti-circumcision group says Michigan’s Medicaid program should stop funding for circumcision.

Michigan has one of the highest circumcision rates in the country.

Norm Cohen is the state director of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers. Members of the group picketed at the state capitol today.  Many in the group wore white pants, stained in the crotch with red paint. 

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It's Just Politics
3:30 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Hopes of adding LGBT protections to civil rights law dashed as focus pivots to politics

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

Democrats in Lansing are not waiting any longer to push civil rights protections for gays, lesbians, and transgender people.

And the fact that Democrats are now out in front, signals this is no longer about adopting a policy, this is now political.

For several sessions, Democrats have introduced legislation to add LGBT protections to Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. But last year they were persuaded to wait by civil rights groups who at long last saw a policy success in their grasp. That’s if they could get a Republican to take the lead (because, of course, the GOP runs the show in Lansing).

This week, however, those hopes essentially fell apart as prospective Republican co-sponsors bailed, and GOP leaders put unacceptable conditions on taking up the bill.

Now, the sole, lonely Republican publicly backing LGBT rights in the civil rights law, says he has not given up. “We’re still working and talking with colleagues and educating,” said Republican state Representative Frank Foster. Interestingly enough, as we talked about last month on It's Just Politics, Foster lost his primary in August to a more socially conservative Republican. There's continued debate over whether or not  his loss was do in part because of his support for adding LGBT rights to Elliott-Larsen.

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Health
3:18 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Michigan health centers receive $8.5 million in Affordable Care Act funding

Genesee Health System in Flint, MI. One of the MI health service centers to receive Affordable Care Act funding.
Credit Genesee Health System / Facebook

Three-dozen health care centers in Michigan are being given more than $8.5 million in Affordable Care Act funding. 

The announcement was made Friday by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. In all, $295 million was awarded to 1,195 centers across the country. 

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the funding will enable targeted health centers to:

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Law
2:52 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Flint rejoining Genesee County 911

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is rejoining Genesee County’s 911 system.

Since 1997, the city has been using its own operators to handle emergency calls, but the city’s system is aging and out-of-date.

Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley says the plan is to fold Flint into the county’s 911 system by the middle of next year.

“Our citizens will have access to the most up to date features of next-generation 911, which will include the ability to send text or photos to 911 and other more cutting edge technology,” says Earley.

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Politics & Government
1:46 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Gov. Snyder signs bill to avert potential $1.1 billion loss

The Michigan State Capitol.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a bill to clarify that Michigan never intended to give out-of-state companies a lower tax liability in a 2007 business tax overhaul.

The legislation is designed to ensure the state isn't forced to pay $1.1 billion in refunds in 134 cases after a July ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court in a case involving IBM. The administration and lawmakers worried the court's 4-3 decision could affect other cases in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 tax years.

Snyder said in statement Friday that the bill is a "common-sense solution" encouraging companies to invest and create jobs in Michigan. The state estimates most of the $1.1 billion in refunds would have been paid in the fiscal year that starts in October, throwing the budget out of balance.

Culture
1:07 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

University of Michigan band will help mark 'Star-Spangled Banner' bicentennial

The flag flying at Fort McHenry today. Francis Scott Key wrote the poem "Defence of Fort McHenry" on September 14, 1814. He was inspired by a battle he witnessed there.
user Bohemian Baltimore Wikimedia Commons

A tune that reverberates through ballparks, auditoriums and community gatherings is getting an amped-up workout during its 200th anniversary.

One of the biggest and flashiest salutes to "The Star-Spangled Banner" comes Saturday at the University of Michigan. The Ann Arbor school's marching band, a 500-voice choir and dance team combine during a football halftime show.

The university also plans a sing-along Friday, the same day it opens an exhibit on the national anthem's cultural history.

More from AP:

Major festivities also are happening in Baltimore, including a flag-raising ceremony Sunday at Fort McHenry National Monument. That's where Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics on Sept. 14, 1814, during a pivotal War of 1812 battle.

Many events nationwide are encouraged by the Star Spangled Music Foundation. It's founded by Michigan musicology professor Mark Clague.

Opinion
10:19 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Senator Warren’s bill reminds me of Harry Truman’s "do-nothing Congress" move

State Senator Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, looks absolutely nothing like Harry Truman, the 33rd President of the United States. Yet yesterday, when Warren introduced legislation to amend Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, he instantly came to mind.

And here’s why: Many people, especially the LGBT community and their allies, were excited when, with considerable fanfare, Warren introduced her bill. SB 1053 would make it illegal for anyone hiring employees or providing housing to discriminate against anyone based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Identity, or expression. Her bill, as I understand it, would also make it illegal to refuse to hire or sell or serve or rent to anyone because you don’t like the way they dress or define themselves.

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Education
6:54 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Kalamazoo College among best in nation at enrolling (and graduating) low-income students

Kalamazoo College President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran
Credit Kalamazoo College

An analysis by the New York Times ranks Kalamazoo College 12th in the nation among elite colleges that enroll a large percentage of PELL-grant eligible students.

The eligibility for PELL grants is a strong marker for low-income status, since many students in families above the poverty level are not eligible for the grants.

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