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Legislation that allows parents to surrender their children to secured "baby boxes" has passed in Michigan's House.
safehavenbabyboxes.com

Michigan's House has passed legislation that lets parents leave their newborns in secured boxes at hospitals, fire departments and police stations in addition to personally surrendering them to emergency services personnel and first responders.

Lawmakers approved the four-bill package Wednesday that amends the Safe Delivery of Newborns Law to allow for use of these baby boxes which the state Department of Health and Human Services would be tasked with regulating. The bill also redefines "newborn" as a child not older than 30 days.

Inconsistent lead level readings led to the closure of three buildings on Northern Michigan University's campus.
Flickr user Bart / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Northern Michigan University has closed three campus buildings as a precautionary measure after initial water tests found inconsistent lead level readings.

The school in Marquette announced Wednesday that the Physical Education and Instructional Facility, or PEIF; Thomas Fine Arts; and the Learning Resources Center will be closed until the school gets expedited results of additional tests.

Those results could come over the weekend. The school will then make a determination of whether additional investigation and testing is required. The school is posting updates online .

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law giving Nevada a monopoly over legal sports gambling. And there were immediately voices clamoring to legalize it here.

They argued that the state would get more tax revenue as a result, and that it would boost tourism. Well, the tourism part sounds dubious to me, but I can easily believe that there is tax revenue in it. But will it be worth what it does to people?

Foreclosed for the cost of an iPhone. That’s life in Wayne County.

May 17, 2018
foreclosed home
stock photo / Bridge Magazine

Antoinette Coleman lost her home for less than the cost of an iPhone.

After 30 years of paying the mortgage on her neat, three-bedroom brick home on Detroit’s east side, the retired Defense Department technician was foreclosed last year because of unpaid taxes of $291, records show.

A congregation of moose on Isle Royale.
Rolf Peterson

The last two wolves on Isle Royale are still hanging on. 

The wolf-moose research study on the wilderness island in Lake Superior is now in its 60th year, and the report from the past year of the study is out today.

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

Governor Rick Snyder and state lawmakers just got a windfall of $315 million to spend in the new state budget. It’s the result of better-than-expected economic growth that yielded more tax revenue.

PhotoMIX-Company / pixabay

A Saginaw therapist filed suit on May 11 in federal court alleging she was fired for her Catholic faith.

An attorney for Kathleen Lorentzen says she faced workplace harassment and was eventually fired in September of 2017 after asking her supervisor to refer a gay couple to another therapist.

Lorentzen, while working for HealthSource of Saginaw, had seen the couple twice for marriage counseling but felt she could not counsel them because of her faith.

A canning line for cider made at Vander Mills LLC
Courtesy of Paul Vander Heide

 

If you just focus on the craft brews and the wines made in Michigan, then you're missing a growing part of the Michigan beverage scene – cider.

Cider Week GR is happening now to May 19 in Grand Rapids. The city is also hosting the annual Great Lakes Cider and Perry Competition – the largest competition of its kind in the world, says Paul Vander Heide.

pintandpoppy / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

This Friday marks the 172nd anniversary of a uniquely Michigan milestone. On May 18, 1846, Michigan became the first English-speaking government in the world to vote and pass a measure to abolish the death penalty.

Mark Harvey, State Archivist with the Michigan History Center, joined Stateside to talk about Michigan’s progressive past. Judge Avern Cohn, the Senior United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, also joined the conversation.

Courtesy of Toni Trucks

Michigan born-and-raised actors may wind up working in New York or Hollywood, but they make sure the world knows they’re from the mitten.

Toni Trucks has been in a host of movies and TV shows, including her current roles as Lisa Davis in “SEAL Team” on CBS. Trucks began her performing career here in Manistee, and now she’s giving back to her hometown by loaning it her voice.

USDAgov / CREATIVE COMMONS - HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

The U.S. Senate is taking up net neutrality today. A bill that would protect net neutrality rules from repeal by the Federal Communications Commission passed a procedural hurdle earlier this afternoon.

These Obama-era rules prevented internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast, for example, from speeding up or slowing down traffic from certain apps and websites. Barring changes made by Congress and signed by the President, the FCC's repeal of these rules is set to go into effect on June 11.

lake sturgeon
Tennessee Aquarium

The Center for Biological Diversity is petitioning the federal government to protect lake sturgeon under the Endangered Species Act.

The Center's Mark Finc says there used to be 15 million lake sturgeon in the U.S.  There's now just a few thousand.

While Michigan and some other states have taken steps to protect lake sturgeon, Finc says it's not enough.

"What we have found is it's fairly haphazard," says Finc, "and that it really needs to be more consistent across the board,  instead of just a couple spots here and there."

Aaron Selbig/Interlochen Public Radio

Mining companies would be able to modify onsite facilities without an environmental permit amendment under legislation that has passed the Michigan House.

Lawmakers voted 63-45 on Tuesday to advance the bill to grant companies more flexibility in moving and adjusting their mining sites and buildings. The proposed change would allow mining companies to modify the facilities provided they give Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality a 30-day notice and if the changes don't add environmental risk.

Larry Nassar
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University has reached a global settlement of $500 million dollars with the 332 survivors of former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Yesterday I mentioned a candidate for Congress who was frustrated that he had to spend so much time attempting to raise the money needed to run a competitive race.

He’s far from alone. Virtually every candidate I know complains about the same thing. These days, running in a competitive congressional race costs millions.

money
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A woman who worked for the city of Detroit has pleaded guilty to stealing $265,000.

Masharn Franklin worked in Detroit's audit and payroll department where she was in charge of garnishing money from the paychecks of city employees. The government says she came up with a scheme to embezzle money by issuing checks in the names of her relatives.

The FBI so far has recovered $58,000. Franklin pleaded guilty Tuesday and will get her sentence on August 15.

Monarch Butterfly
flickr user Paul VanDerWerf / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Public comment is being sought on a draft of a conservation plan expected to help reverse eastern monarch butterfly population declines.

Michigan's Department of Natural Resources says the Mid-America Monarch Conservation Strategy builds on existing efforts by state, federal, and local agencies and private organizations and individuals.

Monarch butterflies found east of the Rocky Mountains have declined by more than 80 percent over the past 20 years primarily due to habitat loss, including reduced milkweed required for reproduction and fewer nectar plants.

A long table surrounded by red chairs in a school classroom.
BES Photos / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a challenge with the state court of appeals this week over the issue of public money for private schools. Schuette disagrees with a court ruling that said it's unconstitutional for the state to reimburse private schools for fire drills and other expenses required by the state.

Michigan Radio news analyst Jack Lessenberry and Morning Edition host Doug Tribou discuss the issue and whether Schuette's appeal stands a chance.

a fuel economy (mpg) sticker
wikimedia

Seven national environmental groups are challenging the EPA's decision to freeze fuel economy standards in the year 2022.

Eastern Michigan University
F. Delventhal / Flickr Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Eastern Michigan University cut four of its sports programs. Now a pair of alums is suing the school.

Doug and Mary Willer are EMU alums and are boosters for the school’s wrestling program. That program is one of the four that is being cut.

Doug was a wrestler at EMU and is in the school’s sports hall of fame.

He says the university violated the Open Meetings Act by restricting the public comment portion of a Board of Regents meeting to just 30 minutes.

dog97209 / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

In 2009, it was official: China leapfrogged past the United States to become the largest auto market in the world.

The world's most populous country offers lots of opportunities for both domestic and foreign car makers, and Chinese automakers want to go global.

Nicole Beverly
Stateside Staff / Michigan Radio

Lawmakers in Lansing are focused on giving some crime victims more rights and protections.

Governor Rick Snyder will have to decide if convicted criminals should be required to listen to their victims in court. The legislation, on its way to his desk, is in response to a defendant who was convicted of killing a woman – but who left the courtroom during the family’s statements.

“For me, it’s a matter of putting victims first,” said bill sponsor Holly Hughes, R-Montague. “Putting humanity first is the principal of all this and making sure you do the right thing.”

Thomas Gould

Howell High School's Jason Schrock is Michigan's Principal of the Year for 2018.

In 2000, Schrock joined Howell High School as a math teacher. After seven years, he became assistant principal, and for the last six years has been full on principal.

Leading by example and wanting to create a positive school climate he says, "The more I’ve read and learned and watched other leaders from across the state, in and out of education, I know that the direction and the culture of the organization -- the tone is set by the leader." 

Samar Baydoun Bazzi

The holy month of Ramadan begins this evening. For the next month, Muslims around the world will fast from sunrise to sunset and devote more time to reading the Holy Koran.

Samar Baydoun Bazzi of Dearborn wanted to make the holy month a little festive for her family. After years of seeing Christmas trees and other holiday decorations, she came up with a Ramadan tree. She joined Stateside to talk about how she came up with the idea and its reception by her family and local community.

Trump delivers a speech at a CPAC conference. Auto supply CEO claims his tariffs are hurting American companies
Michael Vadon / FLICKR - HTTP//J.MP/1SPGCL0

President Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs continue to worry Michigan companies, particularly companies whose supply chains stretch to China.

One such company is Auburn Hills-based auto supplier, Lucerne International.

Team fEMR

We often ask listeners to reach out with stories we could share on Stateside. Here's an example of when someone did just that, writing to tell us about a Detroit-based nonprofit that can save lives.

It's called Team fEMR, a free and open source electronic medical records system for short-term medical service trips. It allows medical volunteers to record and pass along patient records to the next group of volunteers.

skeeze / Pixabay

A petition campaign to repeal wage protections for workers on government construction projects has been halted. That leaves time for the Michigan Supreme Court to hear a challenge to the question filed by construction worker unions.

Patrick Devlin is with the Michigan Construction and Building Trades Council. The Supreme Court order came less than an hour before a state board was going to certify the petition campaign and send the question to the Legislature.

Neon box office sign
Connor Limbocker / Unsplash

It’s time for another edition of Theater TalkDavid Kiley, editor-in-chief of Encore Michigan, joined Stateside to preview and review plays, with a special focus on West Michigan.

Power plant
Courtesy of Duke Energy

A majority of Americans say the federal government isn’t doing enough to protect air and water quality.

That’s the latest from a national Pew Research Center survey.

The survey found 69 percent of Americans think the government isn’t doing enough to safeguard water quality, while 64 percent say the government isn't doing enough to protect air quality. 

This photo of Microcystis, a kind of cyanobacteria, was taken in Lake Erie.
Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

We’re coming up on the time of year when people will be testing lakes for toxic blooms of cyanobacteria.

Jason Deglint wants to speed up that testing process. Right now, he says it can take at least a few days.

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