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Donald Trump doesn't take the oath of office for 49 days but he's already used Twitter to send some crystal clear messages to business and unions.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

It was Theodore Roosevelt who declared the Presidency was a "bully pulpit." Our incoming 45th President clearly agrees. Donald Trump doesn't take the oath of office for 49 days, but he's already used his favorite tool, Twitter, to send some crystal clear messages to businesses and unions.

Joe Brusky / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

On Nov. 30, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein requested a recount of votes in Michigan. That request was the beginning of a frantic week of legal battles as county clerks rallied staff and resources to undertake the recount. But now the statewide recount appears to be over after the ruling that came from Federal Judge Mark Goldsmith last night. He lifted the restraining order that triggered Monday’s start to the recount. The Board of State Canvassers then canceled its meeting earlier today. Though the recount effort seems to have reached its limit, Stein said not yet.

JOHN AUCHTER / AUCHTOON.COM

In writing these little "support" articles for my cartoons over the years, more than a few readers have made a point of telling me how much they hate having the cartoon "explained" to them. They feel the cartoon should stand on its own, and it definitely should. I get that. My intention is not to explain the cartoon but to add context to the subject, present a counter-view, or provide bonus value. However, if you are one of those readers, you might want to move on, because I'm gonna straight...

I-96 crash leaves traffic backup, 3 dead

9 hours ago

Update, 6:15 p.m.: The Livingston County Sheriff's Department announced that westbound I-96 would remain closed for several more hours. Update, 4:30 p.m.: In addition to the three fatalities, eleven injured victims were taken to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing and St. Joseph Livingston Hospital. According to the Livingston County Sheriff's Department, their injuries were not life-threatening. A department spokesman said eastbound I-96 re-opened around 3 p.m.,...

Well, the chaotic mess of Michigan’s off-again, on-again recount battle is apparently finally over. The reason I say “apparently” is that absolutely nothing has been certain this year, and it is still possible, though unlikely, that more courts could intervene. Essentially, everyone connected with this looks like the gang who couldn’t shoot straight, right down to Mark Goldsmith, who appeared to be a flip-flopping federal judge. The Republicans look worst of all, however. Based on what I know...

Derek Key / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A bill on its way to Governor Rick Snyder would compensate people who were wrongly convicted of a crime and imprisoned. The legislation would allow former felons to collect $50,000 for every year spent in prison. They would also have to agree not to sue the state. State Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, says it’s only fair that the state compensate people who did not belong in prison. “We can’t bring them their time back. We can’t bring back the time they’ve lost with their families, the ability to...

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announcing the benefits of applying for a municipal ID card.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit residents can now apply for a municipal ID card that will be recognized throughout the city. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the ID program will allow residents, regardless of citizenship status or criminal background, to access businesses and services that require a valid photo ID. “For most of us who have driver's licenses, we don't know what this experience is not to have ID and how hard everyday life can be,” Duggan said. Homeless people living in the city can even list the shelter...

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The legal battles over the statewide recount of Michigan's presidential election results have been raging. At the same time, another story is clearly emerging: Precincts that cannot be recounted because of Michigan's recount law, which dates back to 1954.

Kym Worthy (file photo).
waynecounty.com

Prosecutors in Detroit say they had the wrong man in jail for the murder of Wayne State University Police Sgt. Collin Rose on November 22. They are dropping all charges against DeAngelo Davis, 31, who was arraigned in connection with the fatal shooting and pled not guilty to killing Officer Rose on Nov. 25.

Ottawa County is a pretty lovely place on the western shore of Lake Michigan, a little south of Grand Rapids. I know it primarily for two things: the tulip festival in Holland, and for being the most Republican county in Michigan. Ottawa last voted Democratic for president in 1864, when the local farmers decided they’d had enough of the Civil War and wanted their boys home. Since then, it has been as Republican as they come. Franklin Roosevelt couldn’t carry it, nor could Lyndon Johnson.

London Looks / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A mom whose son died at a Grand Rapids daycare last year has been visiting Lansing, pushing state lawmakers to create criminal penalties in similar cases. Investigators found the daycare where Mary Fales’ 3-month-old Cooper died had violated several rules, particularly around safe infant sleep.

Ballots
flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

More courtroom drama tomorrow is expected as Michigan Republicans and the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump continue try to shut down the statewide ballot recount. The recount was requested by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. But Republicans say, with one percent of the vote, Stein has no chance of winning in the end, and so has no right to demand a recount. The Michigan Court of Appeals agreed. But state Elections Director Chris Thomas says he won’t stop the recount...

bottle of pills
Tom Varco / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Bills making their way through the Michigan Legislature would allow school staff to more quickly treat students who overdose on heroin or prescription opioid pills. If they pass, teachers wouldn’t have to wait for an ambulance before getting them naloxone, aka Narcan, the anti-opioid drug that police and EMS workers carry.

Craig Camp / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission says the state is wrong to eliminate minimum wage protection for workers on some small farms. According to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs' Wage and Hour Division, small farms with fewer than 500 man-days in any quarter of the previous year are exempt from paying the minimum wage. A "man-day" means any day during which an employee works at least one hour. "We received an informal attorney general opinion, and we determined that we had...

Protestors stand outside Roseville Community Schools building urging the removal of Vice President Alfredo Francesconi
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

The vice president of the Roseville Community Schools Board of Education is facing public criticism over racist, Islamaphobic, and transphobic posts on his Facebook page. A group of around 20 protestors gathered outside the district's administration building before a school board meeting on Monday night. The protestors moved inside during the meeting and urged the school board to remove Alfredo Francesconi from his position.

A lead service line removed from a Flint home. Lead service lines were useful because the metal is flexible and can bend - making installation easier.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

It has been well over a year since the world learned that Flint was in the throes of an environmental disaster. In the early months of this year, the Flint water crisis brought a steady stream of political leaders promising aid and vowing this would never happen again: President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, President-elect Trump.

So here we are, at year's end, and Flint hasn't seen a penny of that promised federal aid to help replace its damaged lead water pipes. And now there's a new curve ball that could threaten that federal funding.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The vote recount continues in Michigan, even as State Attorney General Bill Schuette and the campaign of president-elect Trump keep pushing forth with challenges to that recount. Recounting began Monday in Oakland and Ingham Counties. Wayne County began today. And there's a growing awareness of technical problems, coupled with possible human error, adding up to precincts that cannot be recounted under Michigan law.

Homes in Detroit.
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Calling all homeowners. Did you know that if your income is below a certain level, you can receive tax exemptions on your property tax? Michigan law calls for it under the General Property Tax Act . More from the law: "The principal residence of persons who, in the judgment of the supervisor and board of review, by reason of poverty, are unable to contribute toward the public charges is eligible for exemption in whole or in part from taxation under this act." Property owners who think they...

Caviar, climate change and a Great Lakes fish

Dec 6, 2016
Lake herring
Peter Payette

Scientists have been worried about the herring population in Lake Superior recently. In fact, last year they warned it might collapse. Lake Superior is the only one of the Great Lakes with a large population of this native fish. This fall, new rules protecting herring took effect in Wisconsin and Minnesota and things appear more stable. But there may still be a big problem lying beneath the surface.

One of the most frightening, haunting and horrible stories I heard this year had nothing to do with politics. In September, an eight-year-old autistic child in Lake Orion was supposedly misbehaving in class. So his teacher locked him in a padded room by himself for three and a half hours – a barbaric, medieval punishment called “seclusion and restraint.”

Ballots being prepared for the recount in Ingham County.
Rick Pluta / MPRN

The Detroit News reports that nearly a third of the precincts in Wayne County - most of them in Detroit - may not be able to be recounted in the presidential recount which began Monday in Michigan, due to broken machines and mistakes by poll workers. Wayne County starts its recount on Tuesday. From the News : “It’s not good,” conceded Daniel Baxter, elections director for the city of Detroit. He blamed the discrepancies on the city’s decade-old voting machines, saying 87...

According to McClelland, nasality is the hallmark of Midwestern speech.
Public Domain / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

One of the core elements of your identity is your accent. But we here in the Midwest have a tendency to believe we don't have an accent. Writer Edward McClelland proves otherwise in his new book How to Speak Midwestern . McClelland sat down with us today to talk about what makes the Midwestern accent so distinct.

Courtesy of Erika Brown-Binion

The Next Idea Learning a new language and making new friends in a foreign land are just a few of the hardships faced by refugee children. They also encounter cultural differences that affect their ability to adapt; they worry about friends and families back in their home country; and they struggle with the uncertainty of acceptance in a foreign land.

Matthileo/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There isn't much we in America can agree on these days. However, some might say we are pretty well united on one thing: Most of us think the Citizens United ruling stinks and needs to go.

Thetoad / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Police officers, fire fighters, and other municipal employees are planning what they are titling a “call to action” Tuesday at the state Capitol. Lawmakers are holding a second hearing on a series of bills that would cut health benefits for municipal retirees like police officers and fire fighters. The bills would aggressively scale back retiree health benefits in cities with high unfunded liability costs. Proponents of the legislation say the current retiree health benefits system is not...

The Uptake/Flickr

Hoo boy. Here we go, folks. A hand recount of 4.8 million ballots, all done before December 13 to meet federal deadlines. Oakland County and Ingham County are scheduled to begin their recounts at noon Monday, in order to comply with a judge's early morning order that the state begin its recount right away. That way, state elections workers will be able to focus on these two counties first, iron out the process a bit, and then help the other counties begin tomorrow morning. (To see the recount...

On Election Night it seemed clear the Republican candidate had won an upset narrow victory in Michigan. But some people wouldn’t accept it. They fought to get a recount. The Republicans opposed it. But when a recount was finally ordered, irregularities and mistakes began to turn up. Figures had been transposed. Soon, the lead changed. When two thirds of the state had been recounted, the Republican gave up. The Democrat at the top of the ticket had carried the state, and that changed history....

Report shows declining road conditions in Michigan.
Michigan Infrastructure Commission

During his January 2016 State of the State address, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder apologized to the people of Flint for the water crisis in that city, saying "government failed you." During that speech, he called for the creation of an independent commission to examine Michigan's infrastructure needs. He later signed an executive order creating the commission . Today, that commission released its findings. Its report found that Michigan must spend $4 billion more annually to upgrade...

The largest vote recount in Michigan’s history has been ordered to begin this afternoon at noon. Very early this morning, federal judge Mark Goldsmith ordered the state to, “cease any delay in the commencement of the recount of the presidential vote cast in Michigan as of noon…”

Voters in Midland cast ballots for Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians on Tuesday.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith issued his ruling regarding the presidential recount a little after midnight, following a rare Sunday hearing in his Detroit courtroom. Goldsmith heard arguments over the logistics of the recount and how much the state would have to spend, but in his written opinion, he said what’s most important is the integrity of the presidential election in Michigan. Green Party candidate Jill Stein's lawyers argued that waiting until Wednesday to start a recount would...

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