WUOMFM

News

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A national crackdown on health care fraud has landed dozens of people in Michigan in trouble with the law.

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force, jointly run by the U.S. Justice and the Health and Human Services departments, has charged more than 400 defendants nationwide of fraud amounting to more than a billion dollars.

In Michigan, 32 people face charges, including fraud, kickbacks, money laundering and drug diversion schemes involving approximately $218 million in false claims for services that were medically unnecessary or never rendered.

Under the Senate budget plan, the Women's Huron Valley would lose $1.3 million compared to this year's funding levels. MDOC spokesman Chris Gautz says that would strain the understaffed facility.
Michigan Department of Corrections

State auditors have found problems at Michigan's women's prison, saying required searches of inmates, staff and cells weren't conducted.

An audit released Thursday involves the Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti.

Auditors say nearly a quarter of cell searches and prisoner shakedowns weren't done during the weeks examined, and the prison documented 58 cell searches that it didn't conduct.

Auditors say not conducting all required searches makes it less likely that contraband will be discovered, compromising the safety of staff and inmates.

USFWS

Biologists say the sixth mass extinction episode on Earth is already happening. But researchers say if we only look at species extinctions, we miss a big part of the story.

Paul Ehrlich is a professor emeritus of biology at Stanford University, and an author of a new study about this published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 Detroit Medical Center, Harper Hospital and Hutzel Woman's Hospital.
user Parkerdr / Wikimedia Commons

The Detroit Medical Center says a breach of health information affects more than 1,500 patients seen at one of its facilities in 2015 and 2016.

The health system announced Thursday that a staffing agency contracted by the DMC notified hospital officials that one of the agency's employees provided the information to unauthorized people who weren't affiliated with the DMC organization.

The DMC says letters were sent to 1,529 patients notifying them of the breach, which happened between March 2015 and May 2016.

Elizalde Ramirez Vasquez - a migrant worker who attended Michigan State University.
courtesy photo

The last few decades haven’t been kind to Michigan. Traditional manufacturing jobs have disappeared or gone abroad or to the Sunbelt.

Per capita income has fallen dramatically, to the point where two-thirds of the states are wealthier than we are. We were the only state to lose population in the first decade of this century.

While Michigan seems to be slowly growing again, the population increase is far smaller than average. We’ve lost five seats in Congress since 1980, and may lose another.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Genesee County United Way is expanding its program to help low-income Flint residents pay their past-due water bills. The non-profit is funneling more money to the program and is looking to raise even more.

Joanna Paterson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

23 counties in Michigan have reported one or more unhealthy ozone days each year, on average. That’s from a new analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

An online map the group produced also shows where those high ozone days tend to overlap with high pollen days. That can make air unhealthy for people with respiratory problems.

morguefile user Penywise / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

State lawmakers passed legislation to give big tax incentives to a handful of large employers Wednesday. 

The bills would let approved companies keep all or part of the state income taxes withheld from their employees’ paychecks. The companies would have to meet job-creation targets and pay their workers average or above-average wages. 

Sasha Kravchenko and Jessica Fry, MSU scientists
Michigan State University

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel says proposed cuts to National Institutes of Health grants would be devastating.

He says the U of M could lose $92 million if the cuts go through.

The Trump administration is proposing to strictly cap the amount allowed for overhead, including facilities and administration costs.

Russell Sage Foundation, 2016


The Trump administration’s proposed budget would potentially cut housing subsidies, child care assistance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and other programs that serve the poor by staggering amounts.

In response to that, Stateside is beginning a new series looking at the so-called working poor — who they are, what challenges they face and what policy changes might help the most people.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Congress has until the end of September to finalize a budget for the new fiscal year. The Trump Administration has proposed drastic cuts to science and research. While some in Congress are calling for spending increases.

The scientific community is sounding clear warnings about what curbing research funding would mean for the United States. A new analysis by University of Michigan researchers finds the U.S. would lose its top spot as a contributor to science research. Meanwhile, a huge competitor is ready to leap ahead: China.

Courtesy of the Crawford County HIstorical Society / Michigan History Center

If you like bird watching, Pere Cheney is a great place to see the Kirtland Warbler. Other than that, there isn't much there.

It's what you might call a ghost town.

If you're wondering how that happened, you're not alone. Michigan Radio listener Olivia Cushway of Ypsilanti posed that very question to our MI Curious team. 

state capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today is the only day this month that Michigan's lawmakers are in session, and the House used it to vote on a major new tax incentive for businesses.

Months of lively debate ended when the tax incentive package passed with bipartisan support. It was a vote that defied House Republican leaders and Speaker Tom Leonard, and served up a big win for Governor Rick Snyder.

Ft. Drum soldier accused of double homicide has troubling Michigan history

Jul 12, 2017
NYSP; Macatawa Bay Middle School yearbook

North County Public Radio has uncovered disturbing details about the Army soldier accused of murdering his wife and a New York State Trooper Sunday night in the town of Theresa, NY.

NCPR has confirmed that Justin Walters, now 32 years old, was accused of plotting to kill students at his middle school in Holland, Michigan. Walters pleaded guilty to conspiracy in 1999, when he was just 15 years old.

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

Detroit needs to put more resources into its transit system, according to a recent survey.

The 2016 Downtown Detroit Perceptions Report takes a look at topics like safety, mobility and inclusiveness.

The Swanson Funeral Home sign in front of its Flint building.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State regulators have shut down a Flint funeral home for keeping bodies in unspeakably bad conditions.

On its website, Swanson Funeral Home talks about it serving the local community for more than a half century, honoring the dead, and respecting the living.

But according to the state Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau, funeral home employees left  human bodies stored in an un-air-conditioned garage, in some cases for up to five months.

One of two fully autonomous Navya Arma vehicles that will shuttle students beginning this fall. They will be constructed in NAVYA's new Saline plant.
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

NAVYA, a French tech company, will open an autonomous vehicle assembly facility in Saline this fall. This announcement comes on the heels of NAVYA's collaboration with the University of Michigan to bring driverless buses to campus this school year.

NAVYA has a close relationship with M-City, the University's driverless vehicle testing ground. Henri Caron, NAVYA's VP of Sales, says this is the reason southeast Michigan was chosen as the location for the plant.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint police officers blocked water crisis protesters from entering Flint city hall today.

Little Caesars Area being built in June of 2016.
Rick Briggs / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Let me start out by saying that Robert Davis, usually referred to as a Highland Park activist, is a man easy to despise. He has won a reputation as a gadfly who is constantly filing lawsuits demanding transparency in government and attacking corruption.

Some see him as a crusading knight in shining armor and others as a relentless self-promoter trying to make a name and have us forget his past.

An artists' vision of Little Caesars Arena.
Olympia Entertainment

Last month, Detroit city council approved $34.5 million in bonds to help pay for the Pistons move to Little Caesars Arena. That property-tax money would have gone to schools, but will now be reimbursed to the teams' owners. Now, the NBA and the companies that own the Detroit Pistons and Red Wings have been added to a federal lawsuit against Detroit's public school district.

Activist Robert Davis filed the lawsuit. He says Detroiters should've been allowed to vote on how their tax money is used. Senior political analyst Jack Lessenberry tells "Morning Edition" host Doug Tribou whether he thinks Davis has a chance of winning the case. 


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith says, in spite of federal law that restricts judicial review of deportation proceedings, his court does have jurisdiction to block the deportation of some 1,400 Iraqis.

After cutting a deal with Iraq’s government earlier this year, the Trump administration moved quickly to deport non-citizen Iraqi-Americans with criminal records and standing removal orders. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed a removal flight in April. 

Larry Nassar mug shot
Michigan Attorney General's office

Jeanette Antolin says she feels like federal prosecutors “lied straight to my face.”

A member of the U.S. women’s gymnastics national team from 1995-2000, Antolin says Larry Nassar sexually abused her for years in his role as team doctor. Nassar was also a professor and clinician at Michigan State University until he was fired in 2016.

Anna Zvereva / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Michigan’s strong history in the defense sector dates back to Rosie the Riveter in World War II.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) reports the defense sector supports 105,000 jobs in our state, turning out $9 billion in goods and services.

Michigan wants to continue that tradition by landing the new F-35 fighter jet.

Mayor Mike Duggan handing Kiya Snapp the deed to her house after she completed the occupied buy back program
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Eighty Detroit families are regaining ownership of their homes, after nearly losing them to foreclosure.

This is the first group of families to complete the Detroit Land Bank’s “occupied buy back” program that sells Land Bank-owned homes to people rather than kick them out.

A piggy bank, stethescope and bundle of one dollar bills
401(k) 2013 / Flickr

Returning from the 4th of July recess, Senate Republicans are going to try again to come up with a health care bill that can win the 50 votes it needs to pass.

Word is, they hope to have a revised health bill to show senators by week's end, perhaps by Thursday.

Looking up into the rotunda of the Michigan Capitol.
user cedarbenddrive/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state House meets tomorrow, and Governor Rick Snyder hopes lawmakers will vote on a controversial set of business incentives.

Governor Snyder is trying to salvage an incentive deal that he says could mean thousands of jobs for Michigan. He met Tuesday with state House Speaker Tom Leonard and several other Republican House members.

This is the first face-to-face meeting between Snyder and Leonard since the Speaker abruptly canceled a vote on the incentive three weeks ago.

Courtesy of Wil Rankinen

There is no better reminder of what a diverse state we live in than contemplating the differences between the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula.

Wil Rankinen​ is an associate professor of communication sciences and disorders at Grand Valley State. He's also a born and raised "Yooper." Rankinen is spending his summer exploring the way Yoopers talk by criss-crossing the UP to record long-time residents.

John Kannenberg / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Summer is a time for crowd pleasers in the theater world.

David Kiley of Encore Michigan joined Stateside for another round of Theater Talk, highlighting the newest summer shows.

COURTESTY OF SHELDON HILL

Is there hope for a new life after being addicted to drugs or selling drugs?

Detroiter Sheldon Hill is proof there is.

After years of selling and using drugs, and multiple arrests, Hill went into an addiction recovery program. He was in his 40s. And it worked.

Today, Hill's sole mission in life is to keep others from making the mistakes and choices he made as a young man.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Congress is taking a step toward fully restoring funding for a program to clean up pollution in the Great Lakes region.

Federal agencies use Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) resources to target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem. 

Pages