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young kids playing with toys on floor
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Some of the state’s major education entities can’t come to a consensus about recent gun legislation.

The bills would, among other things, let people who get a special license carry a concealed weapon into schools.

Brian Whiston is the state superintendent. He says the Department of Education is okay with the bills, but says they need to get rid of the requirement that all schools allow concealed carry.

“In some communities it’s kind of natural," he said. "In some communities it’s not. By allowing the local districts to opt in and out is something we would support.”

The incomplete Wayne County jail.
Wayne County

The Detroit City Council on Tuesday put a short-term hold on plans to start a land swap that could provide a new location for the Wayne County jail.

The three-party property exchange would set that plan in motion.

Right now, a half-finished jail is sitting on a piece of downtown Detroit real estate that developer Dan Gilbert wants. The project has been sitting idle since 2013, when Wayne County abandoned initial plans because of cost overruns.

Commission delays LGBT bias decision, again

Nov 14, 2017
Allen Allen / Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission has tabled a request to interpret the state civil rights act to include protections for the LGBT community. The vote was 7-0, with one absent.

Yesterday was the second time since September that the commission has voted to delay a decision on a request made by Equality Michigan for an interpretation of whether sexual orientation and gender identity may be included under the state ban on sex discrimination. 

Gov. Rick Snyder
gophouse.com

Governor Rick Snyder signed an executive directive yesterday to deal with PFAS and PFC contamination around the state.

Snyder has established a task force called the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team, which will coordinate efforts by local, state and federal agencies to keep residents safe from these chemicals.

John Grigaitis

David Kiley of Encore Michigan joined Stateside to talk about a few of the latest theater productions happening around the state. 

HarperCollins, 2017

A music lover can likely pinpoint the moment a song or a lyric crashes its way into your young consciousness. And then things are never the same.

For writer Daniel Wolff, that moment happened in 1965, when he first heard Bob Dylan.

TradingCardsNPS / Wisconsin Historical Society WHi-3957 / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

You've probably heard of the Trail of Tears, when more than 4,000 Native American men, women, and children died in a series of forced removals from their homeland in the Southeastern U.S. to present-day Oklahoma. They were members of the Cherokee, Seminole, Muscogee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations.

But there was another Trail of Tears much closer to us. It's the Sandy Lake Tragedy of 1850. Hundreds of Ojibwe people died as the U.S. government tricked them into leaving their homes in the Upper Great Lakes and traveling to northern Minnesota. 

It's known as the Chippewa Trail of Tears, and the Wisconsin Death March.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Macomb County Commissioners are turning to a rather obscure state law to help them get the county clerk's office back on track, and possibly remove County Clerk Karen Spranger.

The commissioners hope this state law will force Spranger to answer questions about the way she's running her office, and about the many problems that have piled up since the Republican clerk took office in January.

Macomb County Commissioner Leon Drolet joined Stateside today to give us the latest.

Chef Myles Anton
Trattoria Stella

November 15th is the start of firearm hunting season in Michigan, which runs until the 30th. That got us wondering about the best ways to cook and serve venison.

Myles Anton is the executive chef and owner of Trattoria Stella in Traverse City. He spoke with Stateside’s Cynthia Canty about his favorite methods for preparing venison.

A diver inspects Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac for a possible dent.
Enbridge inspection video shared with the state of Michigan

There’s something that seems to have united state officials and representatives across party lines and despite political disagreements.

That something is a new safety report from Enbridge Energy on Line 5, the pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Potrait of Governor Charles Croswell
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

Another governor has found his place on the walls of the Michigan State Capitol.

Governor Charles Croswell’s portrait was unveiled Monday. He’s one of the so-called “Missing Governors” that the Capitol Commission has been trying to bring to the Capitol over the last couple years.

Detroit demo blitz linked to rising lead levels in children

Nov 14, 2017
measuring lead paint levels
Joel Kurth / Bridge Magazine

Lead levels among Detroit children are rising after decades of decline, and health officials say the city’s aggressive housing demolition program is partially to blame.

The city has razed nearly 13,000 homes since Mike Duggan was elected mayor in 2013. 

Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

State officials say they’re troubled by a new safety report from Enbridge Energy on Line Five. The report says there are more spots that have been laid bare to the metal because its safety coating has worn off.

Enbridge Energy delivered that report to state officials Monday.

I never really knew Irving Tobocman, the world-renowned architect who lived in Birmingham and designed buildings all over the state and the world.

I knew his work, which evoked the best of the Bauhaus movement and Frank Lloyd Wright, and I have often been amazed that Detroit has been home to what seemed a disproportionate number of great architects –Tobocman, Minoru Yamasaki, and back in the day when the auto industry was exploding, Albert Kahn.

1992 LCR document from Battle Creek
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

One of the things Flint’s water operators got in trouble for was falsifying records; for saying the city was testing homes at the highest risk of having elevated lead levels when it was not. But records obtained by Michigan Radio show Flint is not the only city in the state that tested the wrong homes over the years and potentially underestimated lead in water.

The biggest culprit for high lead in tap water is the lead water pipes that connect a house to the water main. That’s why cities are supposed to test those homes.

user jdurham / MorgueFile.com

A Detroit activist has filed a lawsuit, asking a Wayne County judge to throw out absentee ballot results from Detroit’s election last week.

Anita Belle is co-chair of the Committee for Voter Justice and a gubernatorial candidate for the Michigan Green Party. She was an election challenger at Detroit’s Cobo Center last Tuesday.

Belle says per state election law and its manual for election officials, election workers are supposed to check ballot envelopes against absentee voter applications and precinct lists from the state’s Qualified Voter File before counting the votes.

MORGAN SPRINGER / Interlochen Public Radio


(Editor’s note: we recommend you listen to the story.)

In March 2001, Fred Williams left his friend Tanya Davis’ house to get groceries. He was 17 and living on the west side of Detroit. Fred says he weighed two options before he left.

“I had Hometown Groceries on Joy Road and Wyoming,” Fred recalls, “or I had Foodarama on Livernois and Julian.”

Gov. Snyder attended a ribbon cutting Monday to celebrate the opening of the Flex Routes along the US-23 corridor
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

The dreaded commute on US-23 between Ann Arbor and Brighton is about to get a little easier.

 Overflow lanes, known as Flex Routes, will open for traffic Wednesday. They run along the left shoulder in both directions of U-S 23, between M-14 and M-36. Governor Snyder attended a press conference today to discuss the completion of the roughly $90 million project. "This has been a major bottleneck in our state for some time, in terms of the congestion," he said. The Flex Routes will be open for traffic daily from 6 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. They will also be used as auxiliary lanes during off hours in the event of accidents or heavier-than-normal traffic.

JANE KRAMER

Mid-Michigan, and particularly the Lansing area, has long been a landing spot for refugees.

To share their stories, a group of artists in Lansing has put together a storytelling exhibit and a book called Refuge Lansing: Stories of Resettlement in Mid-Michigan.

Hillary Miller

The Next Idea

FEMMES, Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering and Science, is a group of University of Michigan graduate students and faculty who are working to get girls in the 4th through 6th grades excited about science and to get them thinking about going into STEM fields. They do this through hands-on activities and presentations that show science in action.

We reported on FEMMES back in 2014 and decided to check back in three years later. Hillary Miller, a PhD candidate in cell and molecular biology at the University of Michigan and a part of FEMMES, joined The Next Idea to provide an update.

Cleavers / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio sports commentator, joined Stateside today for a sports roundup. 

Krissy Venosdale / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

One of the best ways to help close the education gap for low-income kids is Head Start.

Up to 36,000 children around Michigan, and their families, rely on Head Start for free early childhood education, meals, and support services for parents, all of which are funded by the federal government.

But Chalkbeat Detroit reports  11 Head Start centers in Southwest Detroit are closing by the end of the year. That means some 420 children will have to be transferred to other centers, and 122 employees will be laid off. The affected centers are run by Southwest Solutions, a social service organization.

What happened? And are other Head Start centers in Michigan on shaky ground too?

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A top city official admits there has been a “learning curve” after the city of Flint took over bottled water distribution from the state two months ago.

Flint distributes more than 65,000 cases of bottled water a week, comparable to what the state was doing before it handed the job over to the city in September. The city is working with local churches, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and United Way of Genesee County to manage the water distribution program.  

Flint City Clerk Inez Brown administers the oath of office to the new Flint city council members.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“I do solemnly swear,” intoned City Clerk Inez Brown, as she led the nine members of the Flint city council through their oath of office.

The new city council were sworn in today at noon. Five of the nine council members are new to the job.  Last week, Flint voters ousted a majority of incumbents from the panel.   

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver suggests voters wanted the new blood on the council to move beyond old arguments.

Was last year’s Trump-wave a one-time deal? This past Tuesday’s election results are a hint at what might be in store for Election 2018.

Democrats pretty much ran the table last week in Virginia and New Jersey so Republicans have to face some tough political truths. That President Donald Trump has a very low approval rating. That voters upset with him were motivated to get out and vote. And, that it’s tough in mid-terms to be the party that controls the White House and Congress.

construction workers
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Public and political pressure from the Flint water crisis is beginning to shape new, tougher water regulations in Michigan - and other states are taking notice.

If passed, they’d be the strongest such measures in the country.

Two years ago, when news broke about the Flint water crisis, lots of people wondered if Michigan’s governor would resign. That’s because emails show Rick Snyder’s top aides had concerns about Flint’s water long before pediatricians and scientists proved there was a huge problem.

City of Flint emblem
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

At noon today, the new Flint city council is sworn in. It could signal a change in the city’s long debate over where its tap water should come from.

Last week, Flint voters elected five new people to the city council. They replace five council members who have fought, in court and out, against signing a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.   Flint has been getting its tap water from the authority on a temporary contract since it turned off the tap to the Flint River.

“Let’s go make this legal.  Let’s go sign this bill,” Gov. Rick Snyder told a crowd of dignitaries gathered at Kettering University in Flint last week.

The governor was in Flint to sign an expansion of Michigan’s ‘Promise Zone’ law.   The legislation expands the number of Michigan communities that can provide special ‘promise zone’ college scholarship programs from 10 to 15.

Beitler Real Estate Services

Monday night, the Lansing city council will begin reviewing a plan to sell city hall to a developer.

Mayor Virg Bernero picked a Chicago real estate developer to turn the site of Lansing city hall into a hotel.    Beitler Real Estate Services was one of four bidders.

Bernero says the company’s $42 million City Hall development plan was the overwhelming favorite of the city’s internal and external review teams. The plan includes the construction of a new City Hall.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Enough is enough, Macomb County Commissioners say.  It's time for County Clerk Karen Spranger to go.

Before she was elected, Spranger was a political neophyte known for odd forms of protest, such as showing up at a Warren City Council meeting wearing a silver track suit, sunglasses, and two hats, to protest DTE smart meter installations.

It's not clear why Macomb County voters chose someone with no qualifications as their next County Clerk, but most county officials believe she was elected solely by virtue of straight-party ticket voting, and won the office on Donald Trump's coattails.

Spranger's tenure has been a whirlwind of one scandal after another, with lawsuits, employee grievances, a car wreck, allegations of perjury, and chaos in the day-to-day workings of a crucial county department that touches the lives of citizens, businesses, and the courts.

"She refuses to hire new employees," says County Commissioner Robert Leonetti, "so now we're down 11 or 12 employees, in her department, not to mention the ones that are on administrative leave because of harassment."

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