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GM is abandoning its 2015 plan to invest a billion dollars in India.  The automaker says it will continue to build cars at its Indian factories, but will export them to other countries.  Its brands will not be on the showroom floors of India.

The about-face makes sense to Rebecca Lindland of Kelley Blue Book.  She says the Indian car market is slowing, and Indian consumers rarely buy GM's most profitable vehicles - SUVs and trucks.  Instead, they tend to purchase very small vehicles, and GM makes next to no money selling those.

person writing on paper
LucasTheExperience / Flickr

Two more petition campaigns were given the go-ahead Thursday by a state elections panel to start collecting signatures, including one to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan.

The Michigan state capitol building
Thetoad / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Controversial legislation on state regulatory rules is making its way through the Legislature.

The House approved a bill Thursday to prevent the state from being tougher on things like environmental and workplace safety than the federal government.

Proponents of the legislation, say less regulation is the way to go and a federal standard is enough regulation for the state.

Speaker of the House Tom Leonard supported similar legislation that failed in the Senate last year, and again voted in favor.

Lizzy Shell is a newcomer to Michigan’s music scene. 

The singer/songwriter has roots in Ypsilanti, but grew up in Tempe, Arizona.  Now, she's back in Michigan and out with her debut album Seed.

In the interview Shell talks about her faith, struggling with depression and dropping out of college. For Shell, healing came through writing and making music.  

Construction near the site of the sinkhole on the Fraser-Clinton Township border in Macomb County.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Macomb County will have to spend an extra $5 to $10 million to fix a major sinkhole on 15 Mile Road in Fraser. County officials say a lawsuit is to blame.

Sterling Heights is suing the county to avoid paying an estimated $22 million to help repair the sinkhole, claiming it was the county’s fault it occurred. It is one of ten cities in the sinkhole’s drainage district.

Committee hearing held on campus free speech legislation

May 18, 2017
Jayel Aheram / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

The Senate Judiciary Committee took testimony this week on recently introduced campus free speech legislation.

The legislation would require Michigan's public colleges and universities to adopt a policy on free expression that includes, at a minimum, 12 statements spelled out in the act.

One required provision of the policy would be the mandatory expulsion or one year suspension of  a student who has twice been found responsible for infringing on the expressive rights of others.

sign that says flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Six people who were arrested at a recent Flint town hall meeting will not face state charges.

The Genesee County prosecutor has declined to file charges, but the protesters could still be prosecuted by the city for misdemeanors.

Attorney Greg Gibbs of the ACLU represents five of the six people involved.  

The meeting was held in a church, and the arrests happened after one of them complained that town hall meetings should not be held in churches.

Gibbs says the arrests were wrong.  

Fair Winds Press, 2017

One of the greatest challenges a couple can face is infertility.

That struggle of trying to conceive can be so overwhelming that you feel you’re the only one who’s going through it.

That’s why a Michigan couple has come out with a book that shares ten different couples’ experiences with infertility, including their own.

Photograph of Downtown Detroit
Ifmuth / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Detroit's re-invention continues to gather momentum, according to a new survey.

The Kresge Foundation survey painted a rosy picture of Detroit's economic future.

Local respondents had a more positive impression of the city’s business potential than national leaders, but both groups were optimistic.

Esther Vargas / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

During the recent Academy Awards broadcast, Samsung aired a commercial for its new phone. Casey Neistat, a YouTube and HBO reality personality, narrates over a montage of young people engaged in feats of derring-do and uninhibited expressions of creativity. He declares that we are the true makers and maestros, and finishes with this zinger: “When we are told that we can’t, we all have the same answer - watch me!” And, there it is. The glorification of our selfie culture.

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

Nothing like having your car totaled by a driver who was probably playing Pokemon Go to sharpen your focus on distracted driving.

That's what happened to state Rep. Martin Howrylak (R-Troy), ironically, while the he was writing House Bill 4466. That bill zeros in on drivers and their hand-held cell phones.

Flint water plant manager Jolisa McDay in red sweater in front of microphones
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint's top water plant manager has resigned, according to MLive.

Jolisa McDay will remain on staff until June 30, a little more than a year after she was hired as the city's water plant supervisor.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers
Kit Johnson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Wayne County sheriff is urging his staff to deny detainer requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to an April 28 memo obtained by The Detroit News, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon ordered staffers to deny any ICE requests to turn over immigrant inmates without an order signed by a judge or magistrate.

More from the sheriff's memo:

User: Nic Redhead / Flickr

A Michigan activist group is telling immigrants not to attend regular check-ins with immigration officials. That's because some undocumented immigrants are being detained for deportation at these check-ins.

But immigration attorneys say this is bad, and potentially dangerous, advice.

An email sent from the group By Any Means Necessary earlier this week said, "WARNING: BEWARE OF 'SILENT' DEPORTATIONS--DO NOT GO TO 'CHECK IN' WITH I.C.E." 

BRIDGE MAGAZINE: How to cash in on a crappy home. Step one: Find a sucker to sign a land contract.

May 18, 2017
Bridge photo by Joel Kurth

Denise Pope put a down payment on hope as much as a house.

Sure, the home wasn’t much: An 800-square-foot wood bungalow, barely big enough to contain her four children and husband. There were holes in the walls, probably from thieves getting to copper pipes. Like most empty Detroit homes, it lacked a furnace and water heater.

But it was in a good neighborhood, Rosedale Park, near a big playground. And the house came with a promise: Put $3,500 down, pay $500 per month plus $82 in taxes, and it would be hers in a little over two years.  

Brett Levin / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A set of bills passed in the state Senate Thursday would ban schools from suspending or expelling students solely for poor attendance.

The legislation, which passed on 28-9 and 35-2 margins, requires schools to notify parents to attend a meeting in regard to a child's irregular attendance. The bills would also require school boards to include sufficient data about truancy, chronic absences and disciplinary absences in their annual expulsion reports.

Photograph of Downtown Detroit
Ifmuth / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Detroit is cracking down on those who owe back income taxes by launching an effort targeting thousands of potential tax evaders living or working at certain properties in downtown and Midtown.

Detroit corporation counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell tells the Detroit Free Press the city identified at least 7,000 potential tax evaders at 33 properties, which include the Penobscot Building, Cadillac Square Apartments and Broderick Tower.

Zelda Richardson / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

There will be no sunlight on the records of an auto insurance fund that affects every Michigan driver.

The Michigan Supreme Court on Wednesday turned down an appeal from a coalition of health care, labor and consumer groups. The groups want to open the books to understand how the state Catastrophic Claims Association calculates rates.

The insurance fund was created to reimburse insurers for claims that exceed $545,000. Owners pay a fee on every vehicle each year, on top of regular insurance. Starting July 1, the rate will rise to $170 from $160.

Shelly Provost / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Yesterday, a graduate student came to visit me who had never really seen Detroit before. So, I gave her a little mini-tour of the booming downtown and midtown areas.

Jessica Cross / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The state House of Representatives is set to vote today on a bill that would allow people to bet on horse races via smartphones and the internet.

The current horse race gambling law mandates that in order to bet on a race, a person must be physically present. The new bill changes this by allowing third-parties to receive licenses to facilitate wagering on horse races.

Why it's hard to get plastic bag bans to stick

May 18, 2017
Plastic bag in a tree.
Katy Ter Haar / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Plastic bags are all around us. They’re a persistent litter problem on land and along the Great Lakes. Some cities have tried to ban bags or charge a fee for them. But it's hard to make these bans stick.

Children at Cummings Early Education Center play at a water table using bottled water
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Every child who attends the Cummings Early Childhood Center in Flint lives in the city and was exposed to lead as a result of the Flint water crisis. That can have damaging effects on their development and growth. The Cummings daycare and preschool opened late last fall to help mitigate some of those effects on the youngest children. 

The resolution passed by city council says Flint won't place liens on properties with unpaid water bills for a year.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The Flint City Council on Wednesday passed a resolution that puts a year-long moratorium on the city’s policy of placing tax liens on properties with unpaid water bills.

Council President Kerry Nelson said he had received numerous calls to his office pleading for the move. Multiple city council members mentioned that some city residents struggle to afford Flint’s high water rates, and other residents were refusing to pay for water that could not be used without a filter.

Woman's silhouette
Creative Commons

State lawmakers are quickly pushing through legislation to make female genital mutilation a state crime. About two weeks ago a Senate committee passed legislation that would make performing female genital mutilation a 15-year felony.

The legislation was introduced shortly after two Detroit area doctors were federally charged with conspiring to commit female genital mutilation on two young girls from Minnesota.

Bill sponsor, Republican Senator Margaret O’Brien, said the five-year federal penalty isn’t enough.

Battle Creek Central High School Building
Battle Creek CVB / Flickr CC / HTTP://BIT.LY/1RFRZRK

Michigan's school choice policy has opened the door for thousands of parents across the state to take their kids out of their home school district and go to schools in neighboring districts.

That shift of students from mainly poorer urban districts to better-off suburban schools has created big financial challenges for the urban districts.

Take Battle Creek Public Schools, where shrinking enrollment meant a $20 million cut in state funding.

Photograph of a sunset over Torch Lake, Michigan
brentdaily / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Rachel Redmond had wanted to be a mother for a long time, ever since she was a little girl.

When she and her husband decided to have a child, Redmond became pregnant quickly.

“Everything was going according to plan, all of my early ultrasounds were perfect,” she said. 

Archives of Michigan

 


 

May 18 marks the 90th anniversary of largest school massacre in U.S. history. On that day in 1927, in Bath, Michigan, 38 elementary school children and six adults were killed and nearly 60 others were injured. Andrew Philip Kehoe had packed 100 pounds of dynamite and blown up half of a school. 

Detroit fire captain suspended over Facebook posts

May 17, 2017
CAIR-Facebook

The Detroit Fire Department has disciplined a captain for allegedly posting xenophobic and racist material on his Facebook page.  

According to David Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the more than 50 offensive posts targeted Muslims, Jews, blacks and immigrants, and some of the most offensive were posted when the captain was on duty.

Walid praised the leadership of the Detroit Fire Department.

Capitol Hill
johrling / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In case you haven’t heard, it's been a crazy few days in Washington. A number of breaking stories have come out related to President Donald Trump, now ex-FBI director James Comey, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Russia.

Vegetable aisle.
Erelster / Flickr, http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A loan fund designed to boost access to healthy food in underserved Michigan communities has made more than $10 million in investments.

The two-year-old Michigan Good Food Fund announced Wednesday it surpassed that mark through financing six enterprises in southeastern Michigan, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and the Upper Peninsula.

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