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The University of Michigan Regents
Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

I have never been more proud of the University of Michigan than I am today, because it showed last night that it believes that our Constitution is stronger than our enemies.

In a rare public meeting, the regents voted not to forbid Richard Spencer, a man who is essentially a Nazi, from speaking on campus. Trustee Mark Bernstein was the most eloquent in explaining why. “The only thing worse than Richard Spencer being on our campus is stopping him from being on campus,” he said. Bernstein knew that if the university failed to live up to America’s bedrock values of free speech and free expression, it would play right into Spencer’s hands.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
Courtesy https://debbiedingell.house.gov/about/full-bio

Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell is speaking out about the allegations of sexual harassment against fellow Democratic Rep. John Conyers.

Conyers denies claims of inappropriate behavior, but has acknowledged he settled a sexual harassment complaint using his House office fund in 2015.

According to a report by Buzzfeed, in 2015 U.S. Representative John Conyers settled a claim made by a female employee in his office who said she was fired because she resisted Conyers' sexual advances. Conyers said he "vehemently" denies the allegations. 

Senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry joins Michigan Radio's Morning Edition host Doug Tribou to discuss the allegations and what they mean for Conyers' legacy.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio/NPR

Last night, the Flint city council voted five to four to approve a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.

The contract to provide Flint with drinking water has been held up since April by city council members worried about rising water bills under the deal. But most of those councilmen lost their seats in this month’s election.

Tracy Samilton

The University of Michigan is negotiating with white supremacist Richard Spencer on his demand to speak on campus.

U of M President Mark Schlissel says Spencer's views are abhorrent. Spencer thinks whites should pursue what he calls a "peaceful ethnic cleansing" to remove minorities from the U.S.

"However, as a public university, the law and our commitment to free speech forbid us from declining a speaker based on the presumed content of speech," Schlissel told a jeering and angry crowd of students at a hastily-called regents meeting Tuesday night.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says Michigan’s death rate from suicide, alcohol and drug use is poised to skyrocket over the next decade.

The report, Pain in the Nation, examines the effect of rising death rates related to drug use, alcohol abuse and suicide.

According to the report, Michigan’s death rate from these three preventable reasons is expected to soar 44% between now and 2025. That would lift Michigan’s death rate to 20th in the country. 

The unfinished Wayne County jail near Gratiot Ave. in Detroit.
Wayne County

A three-party land swap that would be the beginning of a project to get a new Wayne County Jail built near downtown Detroit cleared a hurdle Tuesday. Detroit city council approved a resolution to trade a piece of city-owned property for a parcel currently owned by the county.

The county wants that land to be the site of a new jail. But the deal still needs to be negotiated, and approved by the Wayne County Board of Commissioners and the Wayne County Land Bank. Detroit city council passed the resolution after tabling the measure last week.

Mixtape: DeJ Loaf, Anna Burch, and Rebecca Goldberg

17 hours ago

Time for us to listen to some new music from Detroit area artists.

Our guides are Paul Young, founder and publisher of Detroit Music Magazine and executive editor Khalid Bhatti.

DeJ Loaf - “Changes”

Congressman John Conyers
Photography Courtesy of www.conyers.house.gov

Update 5:12 p.m.: The leaders of the House Ethics Committee say the panel has begun an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Michigan Rep. John Conyers. A statement from Reps. Susan Brooks and Ted Deutch says the committee is aware of public allegations that Conyers may have engaged in sexual harassment of members of his staff and used official resources for impermissible personal purposes.

Original post: 

Another United States legislator has been accused of sexual harassment.

City of Ann Arbor Public Services Administration

Ann Arborites can rest easy that they will not be asked to volunteer to limit their water consumption over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to Robert Kellar, spokesman for the Ann Arbor Public Services Administration.

Kellar said a leak that might have led to a temporary shutdown of Ann Arbor's water treatment plant has been isolated and is getting fixed. 

Kellar said the leak was discovered last weekend in one of two intake pipes to Ann Arbor's treatment plant. 

"The staff did an excellent job. There's not a threat at this point to the quality or the use of people's water," said Kellar. "So everybody should enjoy their holiday."

According to Kellar, the possibility had always been remote that the leak might lead to temporary voluntary water restrictions. He said they were presented to Ann Arbor City Council on Monday night as part of considering a worst case scenario.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Monday night’s Issues & Ale event dove into the complicated world of sports – where players kneel during the national anthem, college students get payoffs, and misinformation swells around concussions and other injuries.

USER F DELVENTHAL / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Colleges and universities are seeking ways to reach more students, and bring in more money.

One way to do that is to hire an outside company to market and support online programs. That company recruits students for online degrees branded with the name of that university.

Detroit city clerk candidate Garlin Gilchrist II.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The candidate who narrowly lost his bid to become Detroit city clerk says he’ll ask for a recount of some votes cast in this month’s election.

Garlin Gilchrist II lost to incumbent clerk Janice Winfrey by about 1,400 votes. He easily won votes cast at polling precincts, but Winfrey dominated absentee votes by an even bigger margin.

Courtesy of the Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps

Think for a moment of what a cyber-attack would mean for business, for government, for health care systems. Without the internet, it'd be incredibly difficult to function.

That's why Governor Snyder recently signed a law creating the Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps (MiC3). Think of it as a volunteer fire brigade that's ready to be called up in the event of a cyber-attack or other internet threat.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the past year, to reconnect with family and friends, and to express gratitude for the all that is good in our lives.

But more importantly, Thanksgiving is a time to eat.

With those priorities in mind, Michigan Radio has compiled a number of favorite recipes from our own family feasts. Below you’ll find everything from the classics, like cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie, to more specific family traditions, like Portuguese Sweet Bread or onion pie.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

After years of construction, water from Lake Huron soon will begin flowing into Genesee County through the KWA pipeline.

The Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline was completed last year. But testing and permitting, as well as construction of a new water treatment plant, have delayed water flowing through the pipeline. Until now.

Photo by Scott McArt, used with permission.

We’ve heard a lot about honeybees and how important they are as pollinators. But bumblebees pollinate wildflowers and crops, too, and some kinds of bumblebees are in trouble.

Men in late middle age are capable of daydreaming. For most of us, these dreams are fairly pedestrian. Maybe, just maybe, we might be the first 60-something to suddenly break into the major leagues. Maybe that one lottery ticket I buy every Thanksgiving will turn out to be a big winner and I’ll be able to quit my job.

Those are fairly typical fantasies. But things change for those few of us who actually do have a whole lot of money. Some do things like acquire a 24 year old girlfriend, whether they are already married or not. Others buy large boats, or perhaps a Maserati.

The Flint water treatment plant
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint is on the verge of moving ahead with a 30-year drinking water contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority, under an agreement hashed out in federal court Monday.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says Flint needs to choose a long-term water supplier to move ahead with a lawsuit settlement reached earlier this year. The $97 million settlement lays out a series of measures to mitigate lasting effects of Flint’s water crisis, such as removing the city’s lead service lines.

Katie Wheeler / Flickr

Millionaire businessman Sandy Pensler has joined the group of Republicans who want to be the nominee to run against incumbent Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow. 

Pensler says he is a trained economist and an entrepreneur who understands how to drive job creation. He also says he’s a big fan of President Trump’s efforts to reduce regulations on businesses.

“President Trump has been trying to roll it back," Pensler said. "I think they’ve done a good job with that, and I want to support that and a lot of the other policies that he has provided.”

Garretttaggs55 / wikipedia commons

A proposal to legalize marijuana in Michigan overcame a critical hurdle Monday. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol turned in more than 360,000 signatures to the Board of State Canvassers. Now they need to get enough signatures approved so it can go on the 2018 ballot.

So far, the measure hasn’t run into strong opposition. But Josh Hovey, who is with the coalition, says the lack of opposition right now doesn’t mean they can skimp on fundraising.

“Most successful ballot initiatives need to raise a total of about $8 million,” he said. “You know, we’ve raised about a million so far, spent about a million. We need to keep on raising money and do what we need to do to communicate to voters all across the state and that doesn’t come cheap.”

Enbridge

A final state-commissioned report on alternatives to Line 5 is out.    People are looking for those alternatives because the pipeline runs under the straits of Mackinac, and a spill could be catastrophic.   The highly technical report from Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems claims the overall risk of a spill from Line 5 is very small.  Most people worry about the pipeline losing its protective coating, or metal fatigue caused by stresses from the strong currents, but the report claims the greater threat is a ship anchor striking the pipeline.    The alternatives considered range from an expensive $2 to $3 billion new pipeline that avoids the Great Lakes altogether to constructing a new section of the pipeline across the Straits in a trench or tunnel. That alternative would cost between $30 to 150 million, according to the analysis.

gavel on a table.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Today was the deadline for Michigan counties to submit plans for indigent defense reform to the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC). Those plans must include the adoption of four new standards established by the MIDC last May.

Counties were submitting compliance plans throughout the day Monday.

Thomas Boyd is a judge in Michigan’s 55th district court, and a member of the MIDC. Created in 2013, the commission establishes new standards for public defenders  to protect the rights of poor people accused of a crime.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed a top state official criminally charged in the Flint water crisis investigation to head a new council tasked with improving Michigan’s response to emerging public health threats.

Dr. Eden Wells is Michgan’s chief medical executive.   

Wells will be in court tomorrow for a hearing on charges of obstruction of justice and lying to an officer in connection to the Flint water crisis. Prosecutors say an additional charge of involuntary manslaughter will also likely be added.

2017 Traverse City Children's Book Festival
Jim Barnes / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan is one of the 15 states plus the District of Columbia to have a Third-Grade Reading Retention Law.

Starting in 2020, a third-grader who doesn't meet a certain reading proficiency level will have to repeat that grade.

In response, schools are preparing for a potential surge in English Language Learner (ELL) students who may be held back because of the law.

Matthew Murphy

Right now, all over Michigan, countless high schools are putting on their fall theater productions. Acting in a school play can help a kid discover something she never knew she had inside. Someone who’s shy can somehow find the key to shining on stage, and it’s something that can change the course of her life.

That’s what happened for Teri Hansen, when she auditioned for a play at Seaholm High School in Birmingham.

Ford Rouge Factory Tour in Dearborn
Nicole Yeary / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

Michiganders know well the effects of manufacturing’s decline in this country. 

But a new report points out ways to ensure manufacturing stays alive here, and with 1-in-7 workers in our state still employed in this sector, it’s a challenge that we need to address. 

The report is called Making it in America: Revitalizing U.S. manufacturing. It was released this month by the McKinsey Global Institute, a leading private-sector think tank.

The report examines what hurt manufacturing in the past, and explores where it might go in the future.

MGoBlog / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio’s sports commentator, joined Stateside today for a roundup of the week’s sports news.

D Borz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Congress is now considering two different tax reform bills, with pressure from the president to get a final version on his desk before year's end.

Universities and colleges are worried that both the House and Senate tax plans could threaten higher education. Of special concern: a proposed 1.4-percent excise tax on wealthy private college endowments.

It’s always hard to save money. We know that’s true for many people, and it’s true for Lansing, as well.

And, politics makes it even harder.

A recent report by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council says Michigan is not ready for another recession. The report says lawmakers are short-changing the state’s savings-account, officially known as the Budget Stabilization Fund, but commonly referred to as the “rainy day” fund.

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