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Hundreds race to catch "dinosaur of a fish"

Feb 13, 2018
A fisherman heads across Black Lake before the sturgeon fishing season starts on February 3.
Morgan Springer / Interlochen Public Radio

This month, hundreds of spear fishers went to Black Lake in northern Michigan. They competed to catch just six lake sturgeon before the fishing season ended. Sturgeon are a state threatened species, and their harvest is tightly regulated.

satellite map of Michigan, the Great Lakes
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

There are a lot of baffling things about President Trump, but perhaps the most baffling is this: Usually, when you win a close election, you do everything you can to hang on to those voters who gave you victory.

Trump won the last election by a tiny margin, and he won it in the Great Lakes states, flipping Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio.

Doctor's stethoscope
Pixabay.com

A former University of Michigan pediatric rheumatologist has been arrested and is in federal custody on child pornography charges.

Dr. Mark Hoeltzel was arrested as part of a larger investigation into a sexual relationship with a female patient that started when she was 18.

Police in Ann Arbor began looking at Hoeltzel in December, when the Michigan office of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) was investigating that alleged relationship.

State capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Michigan House passed a bill along party lines last week that would change how state courts deal with asbestos-related cancer cases.

Supporters of the Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Claims Transparency Act would prevent “double-dipping” among some plaintiffs. Currently, victims of asbestos exposure can file claims in state courts against solvent asbestos companies, and an asbestos bankruptcy trust for insolvent companies.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Wind and solar groups are launching a ballot initiative to require electric utilities to use 30% renewable sources by 2030.

The state's current mandate is 15% by 2022.

Campaign manager John Freeman says Michigan can do a lot better than 15%. He says the cost of renewables is cheaper than natural gas or coal.

"So everybody will save money," says Freeman, "and plus, we get the added benefits of having much cleaner air because solar and wind don't produce any pollution."

public domain

The Trump administration could try to dramatically weaken the vehicle fuel economy standards adopted during the final days of the Obama administration.  

One of the options being considered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would reduce the average fuel economy standard for 2025 from 46 miles per gallon to 36 miles per gallon. 

The agency says that would mean only about 10% of new cars and light trucks would have to be hybrid or plug-in electric, compared to 61% under the previous standard. 

Congressman Dan Kildee
Photo courtesy of the Office of Congressman Dan Kildee

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, isn't happy with the president's 2019 budget proposal that was released today.

Trump's latest budget proposal looks to cut the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by $267,963,000 -- or by about 90%.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative aims to protect the lakes from pollution and invasive species. 

In a statement released today, Kildee calls the cuts reckless.

House Buy Fast / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Next Idea

If you’re arrested and charged with a crime, you’ll likely be asked to “post bail.” Bail is the money that a defendant hands over to the court in order to be released from custody until their trial.

So, if you don’t have a huge bank account, where are you supposed to find, say, $50,000? Traditionally, you go to a bail bondsman.

Judd Grutman has a different idea in mind.

EMMA WINOWIECKI / Michigan Radio

A skillful mining of data can give you a pretty good snapshot of how groups of people are faring -- for better or for worse.

Sarah Szurpicki wanted to find out how Michigan women are faring in education, health, and the economy.

ROBBIE HOWELL / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Michigan's no-fault auto insurance law is seen as the "gold standard" in this country in terms of medical care for drivers badly hurt in a car accident.

Michigan also has the highest insurance costs in the nation, and although various fixes have been floated through the years, nothing gets traction in the state legislature.

TONY BROWN / MICHIGAN RADIO

Between a wild weekend with the Red Wings and coaching change-ups at the Lions, there’s a lot going on in the world of Michigan sports.

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio’s sports commentator, joined Stateside to talk about the week’s news.

Courtesy of the University of Michigan Library

As part of the University of Michigan’s Bicentennial Celebration, the University of Michigan Library brought StoryCorps to campus last fall to capture personal stories of those who make up the university’s rich history.

One of the conversations featured Karen Downing, a University of Michigan librarian. She sat down with her father, Harold Johnson, to talk about what it was like for him to make history as the first black dean at the University of Michigan.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Some Democratic state lawmakers are laying out what they want in new legislation aimed at addressing the problem of sexual assault on college campuses.

Today is Abraham Lincoln’s 209th birthday, and it seems safe to say he probably wouldn’t have made it this far even had John Wilkes Booth left him alone.

If you’ve read much about Lincoln, you may recall that he served a single term in Congress, and then didn’t run again. I wondered about that for years, until I learned they had a deal where Lincoln would run for a term, and then another Whig would.

Did Governor Rick Snyder intend to name an anti-gay activist to the state civil rights commission? Or is this one that just slipped past him?

Democrats and Republicans are asking, “What was he thinking?”

Snyder seems to have rekindled the fight over LGBT rights in Michigan with his appointment of Ira Combs to the Michigan Civil Rights Commission.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state House may vote this week on a package of bills that would expand the state’s college savings program to include some K through 12 expenses.

Michigan’s Education Saving Program was created to help families save for college, with tax-free accounts.  

But the proposed changes would allow money to be spent on primary and secondary school costs, including some expenses at non-public schools.

movingmacomb.org

One of the state’s busiest highway corridors should start getting some much-needed maintenance this week.

Portions of I-696 in Macomb and Oakland counties are literally crumbling. Some motorists have reported getting hit by flying chunks of road debris.

The situation has forced the Michigan Department of Transportation to do some emergency repairs.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Work begins this week on the demolition of a nearly century-old dam in Flint.

The Flint River has flowed through the Hamilton Dam since it was constructed in 1920.

But the dam has been crumbling for decades.

Last year, the state government approved spending $3.1 million to demolish the dam, as part of a project to revitalize Flint’s riverfront.

There are a few different ways to talk about retaliating against someone in equal terms. There's "an eye for an eye," "a tooth for a tooth," and "measure for measure," among others. 

These phrases are all pretty transparent. If you take my eye, I'll take your eye. If you make that move, I'll make this move.

But what about "tit for tat?" One of English professor Anne Curzan's colleagues recently asked us about this one, and it's no wonder -- the meaning isn't nearly as obvious.


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new poll shows most Michigan parents have doubts about the education their children are getting.

Ed Sarpolus, with Target Insyght, says pollsters asked the opinions of 1,000 parents of children in traditional and charter public schools, private schools and home schools. 

He says only 12% say current teaching practices in Michigan are meeting the needs of their children.

“They’re not confident that the methods being taught now do help their children succeed. Not only in class but also in life,” says Sarpolus.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

The push is on to change the way Michigan selects trustees for its Big Three universities.

Using statewide ballots to choose trustees is no way to govern highly paid university presidents running multi-billion dollar institutions.

Michigan is the only state in the country to do it that way.

In the school of bad practices, the home of the Green and White perennially contends for Number One. Time for that to change.

money
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder presented his final budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year to the House and Senate this week. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle found things they did and didn't like about the governor's spending plan, which includes increased spending for roads and education.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about what else stood out in Snyder's budget.


A Rapid bus in Grand Rapids.
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids can go forward with a $70 million transit project -- now that federal funding for it has been approved.

The city can begin work on a new, rapid bus line connecting Grand Valley State University's Allendale campus to downtown.

The Federal Transit Administration just approved a $57 million grant to help fund the so-called Laker Line. The Michigan Department of Transportation pledged $14 million.

Construction is scheduled start this spring. It should be finished by spring of 2020. 

Catherine Shaffer

Eastern Michigan University will add comprehensive primary care and seven-day-a-week urgent care to its existing on-campus health service offerings in a new, $6.6 million health facility.

The project is a collaboration between EMU, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, and Integrated Healthcare Associates, a multi-specialty health care group based in Ann Arbor. 

Services currently offered in the University's Snow Health Center will be incorporated into the new facility, as well as Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Michigan University flipped the switch on its new co-generation plant Friday, making the university the first in Michigan to meet close to 100% of its campus energy needs.

Cogeneration is an efficient way to use natural gas. The plant burns natural gas to spin a turbine, which creates electricity. The hot exhaust is then funneled to a generator that creates steam heat. 

John Donegan is vice president in charge of facilities. He says the plant will be able to produce 98% of the heat used on campus, and 93% of the electricity.  

"This is the most economical, most environmentally friendly way to mass produce large amounts of electricity and steam," he says.

Police
J J / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Detroit police officer has pleaded guilty in a scheme to take bribes in exchange for sending abandoned or stolen vehicles to a collision shop.

Charles Wills was accused of getting $4,000. He pleaded guilty to extortion Thursday in federal court, the fifth guilty plea in the investigation.

Pyeongchang Olympic torch
Andy Miah / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

With the weather our state is facing this weekend, it’s unsurprising that Michigan is well-represented at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. 

bottle of water
Wilson Hui / Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Michigan Legislature is considering three bills that would change how the state determines environmental rules. One of the bills would create an environmental rules committee that could reject or change any rule the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issues.

Michigan's 13th congressional district
WikiCommons

Voters Not Politicians is the group working to get a proposal on the ballot to end gerrymandering. They are proposing that an independent commission draw congressional and legislative districts to avoid gerrymandering districts in favor of one party or another.

Some Republicans say Voters Not Politicians is a front-group for the Democrats. In fact, it’s likely a Republican-backed group will challenge the ballot initiative in court in an attempt to kill it before voters get their say in the matter.

Dave Nakayama / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The big news out of Lansing this week was Governor Rick Snyder’s eighth and final budget. His proposed budget for the fiscal year of 2019 is $56.8 billion, a slight increase from 2018’s budget.

Vicki Barnett, former mayor of Farmington Hills and Democratic legislator, and Ken Sikkema, senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants and former Republican legislative leader, joined Stateside to talk about the budget proposal. 

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