News

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Donald Trump’s strength among white, blue collar, male voters powered him to victory in the Republican primaries, including Michigan’s.

But can expand his hold on this key demographic group?

Wednesday was a sunny day in downtown Cleveland and the food trucks were doing a brisk business. Joseph Albrecht was among those waiting their turn. He works construction. He says he used to have his own business, until Obamacare came along.

Now he’s planning to vote for Donald Trump.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Ted Cruz supporters liked what their candidate had to say at last night Republican National Convention.

They didn’t like that Donald Trump supporters booed him off the stage.

State Senator Patrick Colbeck sat on the convention floor listening to Cruz as the Texas senator outlined his vision for America, but didn’t endorse Trump.

Task force looks to reduce solid waste in Michigan

Jul 20, 2016
Trash bins
dcJohn / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Members of the public told a state panel they have concerns about landfills in their backyards. The hearing on Wednesday was part of the Department of Environmental Quality’s waste management task force. The task force was created in April of 2015. Its job is to come up with ways to increase recycling and re-use trash in the state.

Steve Sliver is the acting chief of the state Office of Waste Management and Radiological Protection. He says the panel is hoping to create laws to promote sustainability in Michigan.

prison cells
Thomas Hawk / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Janika Edmond was found lying in the prison shower with her bra wrapped around her neck.  

On November 2, 2015, the 25-year-old inmate at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility apparently tried to hang herself by attaching her bra to the shower head, but the bra broke and Edmond fell to the floor, landing on the back of her head.

She was rushed to the hospital, where she was eventually pronounced brain dead and, days later, taken off life support.

A bill before a Michigan Senate panel would reform the state's public defender system.
Bill Ledbetter / flickr

New requirements for Michigan sign language interpreters are now in effect for courtrooms and doctor's offices.

Anne Urlasky is the director of Division on Deaf, Deaf-blind and Hard of Hearing within the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

She says the new requirements are a chance to improve a system that is flawed.

"This is a positive opportunity here to set the standard and make sure that certified interpreters going forward and from here on out will meet the standard, rather than focusing on how things worked before," Urlasky says.

Chris O'Droski and Caitlin Darfler told us that many people struggling with addiction simply don't know there are alternative to Alchoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous
flickr user Chris Yarzab / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

"Minding Michigan" is Stateside's ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state. 

When it comes to finding a pathway to helping an addict to recovery, most people and most courts think of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

The popular view is that AA and NA are the only ways for someone to get clean and sober, and stay that way.

But there are other options, organizations like SMART Recovery, LifeRing Secular Recovery and the Buddhist Recovery Network

For some, these alternatives can do what AA and NA could not.

a guy doing something with a tool
American Panel

Michigan’s monthly job rate has dropped slightly, to 4.6%. But it’s not because more people are working. The one-tenth of a percentage point is because of a shrinking number of people competing for jobs.

The shift in the jobless rate is slight. But it is the second month in a row that the unemployment rate has dropped because the workforce got smaller.

"This country needs to learn how to pay its bills, protect its borders [and] invite in legal immigrants." Judi Schwalbach said.
flickr user Gage Skidmore / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

It's the mid-way point for the Republican National Convention.

 

And now you can peel away that word "presumptive" when talking about Donald Trump. Because after last night, he is now officially the GOP Presidential nominee.

 

Judi Schwalbach is the former mayor of Escanaba. She's a delegate representing the 1st Congressional District at the convention.

 

Schwalbach voted for Gov. John Kasich during the primary. However, Trump won her district.

Jeff Montgomery at the The NAMES Project's AIDS Quilt Memorial Display Candlelight Vigil in October, 1992
flickr user Elvert Barnes / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Jeff Montgomery was one of Michigan's first leading gay-rights activists. 

A personal tragedy drove him to become a fierce advocate for LGBT rights in Michigan and found the Triangle Foundation, which later became a part of Equality Michigan

Montgomery died this week in Detroit.

Republican National Convention
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s House speaker says he doesn’t want the focus on Donald Trump to take away from the Republicans' need to protect their majority in the state House in November.

Republicans hold a nearly 20-seat majority in the state House: 63 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two vacant seats. Some of those seats are in safe Republican districts and others in are safe Democratic districts

But House Speaker Kevin Cotter says 15 to 20 seats may be in play in November’s general election. He says the Republican Party will need to invest its campaign money wisely to maintain its majority.

Outside the RNC in Cleveland.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

On the night Donald Trump officially became the Republican Party's presidential nominee, Michigan added an asterisk to its political history. 

The state-by-state roll call for delegates goes in alphabetical order. When Michigan's turn came up Tuesday night, state party chairwoman Ronna Romney-McDaniel announced that she would pass. Michigan eventually delivered its votes - last. 

Sen. Oren Hatch, R-Utah.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A day after Republicans nominated Donald Trump for president, Michigan’s GOP leaders are being urged to rally behind their nominee.

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, originally backed Jeb Bush. Then Marco Rubio. Now, he’s backing Donald Trump.

Speaking to Michigan’s delegation to the Republican National Convention this morning, Hatch told Michigan’s Republicans it's time they do the same.

“And even if you don’t like Donald Trump, you got to get behind him and do it enthusiastically,” Hatch said, “because guess what the alternative is … it couldn’t be any worse.”

The confluence of Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River in 2010 (left), and in 2015 (right).
USEPA and Mark Brush / USEPA, Michigan Radio

You probably remember hearing about fines levied against Enbridge for the 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill before. You're right. You did.

The company paid fines and settlements to the state of Michigan, fines to tribes, and fines to the U.S. Department of Transportation, and settlements with nearby homeowners and landowners.

Thirty-two years ago, I watched President Ronald Reagan give a speech in Michigan in which he attacked Democratic nominee and former Vice-President Walter Mondale.

“If his administration had been a book,” Reagan said of the man running against him, “you would have had to read it from back to front to get a happy ending.”

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

School is out for the summer, but education in Michigan is still making headlines. This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry joins Doug Tribou to talk about opposition to the state's plan to split the Detroit Public Schools into two districts, and a legal battle between East Detroit schools and the State. Lessenberry also shares his thoughts on the first two days of the Republican National Convention.


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

You’ll hear the phrase “build the wall” repeated often during this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

But it’s that type of rhetoric that may cost the party some votes in Michigan.

Voting for the first time can be intimidating.

So to make it a little easier, a small group of people gathered in a community center gymnasium on Saginaw’s south side recently to vote for their favorite Coney dog.

“So there’s One, two, three hot dogs … coney dogs to choose from,” organizer Debbie Vasquez tells the crowd.

Michigan delegates to the Republican National Convention
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan played a curious role in last night’s confirmation of Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

People were scratching their heads after Michigan state Republican Party chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said this when the roll call of the states reached Michigan:

“Madame Secretary, Michigan passes,”  Romney-McDaniel announced, drawing confused looks by some in the delegation. 

Romney-McDaniel says she was asked, five minutes before Michigan was scheduled to announce how the state’s 59 delegates would vote, to pass.

A demolition in Detroit.
City of Detroit / via Facebook

Detroit’s sweeping campaign against blight under Mayor Mike Duggan marked a big milestone Tuesday, as the city demolished its 10,000th home in two-and-a-half years.

Duggan has dramatically sped up the pace and scale of demolitions, saying the city and its residents can’t afford to delay tackling neighborhood blight any longer.

Duggan says every time a blighted home goes down, it raises the quality of life for residents of that neighborhood.

Davontae Sanford was wrongfully convicted of four murders at age 14. He was released from prison last month after spending nearly nine years behind bars.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Tuesday was another surreal day in the Davontae Sanford case. 

First came the news that Judge Brian Sullivan was finally dismissing the murder charges against Sanford, more than a month after letting him out of prison.

(Quick explainer: Judge Sullivan already vacated the murder convictions against Sanford, and ordered him released from prison, which he was last month. But ever since, Sanford’s been stuck in limbo, still out on bond and at risk of being thrown back in jail until the charges were dismissed.)

Finally a fully free man

Bo Schembechler and Greg Stejskal
Courtesy of Greg Stejskal

More than 400 Russian Olympic athletes are in danger of being banned from the Rio Summer Olympics.

With just 17 days until the games open, the International Olympic Committee is reviewing its legal options after a stunning report revealed the biggest doping scandal in sports history. Those options could include banning all Russian teams from Rio.

The World Anti-Doping Agency report spells out an elaborate doping scheme run by the Russian government. It says the cheating goes back to the Sochi Olympics and beyond.

It's proof that attitudes toward performance-enhancing drugs have certainly shifted since Greg Stejskal worked for the FBI here in Southeast Michigan.

And, as it turns out, a certain legendary Michigan football coach was ahead of his time when he raised questions that inspired the FBI's first probe into performance enhancing drugs.

Bryan Weinert told us Michiganders are throwing away some $350 million worth of recyclable material every year
Mike Blank / Michigan Radio

Do you have any idea how much money we are throwing away with that all that garbage that's going into our landfills?

Tomorrow, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public meeting in Lansing to figure out how to rethink the way we deal with garbage and trash.

At the meeting, members of the public will get a chance to weigh in on the first major revision of our trash disposal and recycling laws since the 1990s.

A protester holds an anti-Donald Trump sign outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Monday.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

If you live in Michigan and haven't decided which presidential candidate you'll vote for this November, you're far from alone.

A recent poll conducted by the Lansing-based Marketing Resource Group shows a staggering 32% of Michigan voters have yet to settle on a candidate.

That's bigger than the share of voters supporting the current leader, Hillary Clinton. The presumptive Democratic nominee currently holds an advantage over Republican nominee Donald Trump, as she claimed support from 34% of the 800 likely voters MRG surveyed. Trump registered 29% support. 

Michigan's delegates have a good view of the Quicken Loans Arena, not quite as close a view of the main stage itself.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Republicans raising money for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign are hearing the word ‘no’ from some Michigan donors.

Trump’s initial intent to self-fund his campaign, along with his rejection of the party’s establishment, has turned some donors off.

David Nicholson’s family have a long history of donating to Republican candidates.

The family gave thousands to the Jeb Bush and John Kasich campaigns early on.  Nicholson is attending the Republican National Convention as an alternate Kasich delegate,

Gov. John Kasich, R-OH, posed for photos with Michigan delegates after their morning meeting in Akron.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan delegates say they are disappointed Ohio Governor John Kasich did not endorse Donald Trump for president when he met with them today in Akron.

Kasich was among the 16 other Republicans who ran and lost to Trump in the Republican primaries and caucuses.

John Kasich is skipping the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week.  He is attending a few satellite events like the one this morning with the Michigan delegation in Akron, Ohio. 

Michigan Radio and AEG Live will present a live performance of the popular public radio show Snap Judgment in Royal Oak on Friday, December 9, at 7:00 p.m.

The bottom line, Phil Power told me recently, is that our future is all about the schools.

Power isn’t exactly a wild and crazy left-wing radical. He ran for the U.S. Senate once as a moderate Democrat nearly 40 years ago, but lost the primary to a fellow named Carl Levin.


Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Toxic blooms of cyanobacteria have been forming on Lake Erie for several years now.

A kind of cyanobacteria called Microcystis produces a toxin that can hurt pets and make the water unsafe to drink. Back in 2014, Toledo had to shut down its drinking water supply because of the toxin.

The states around the lake – and Ontario - are working to cut back on phosphorus. It’s a nutrient that runs off from farms and wastewater treatment plants and makes those toxic blooms grow like crazy.

The Great Lakes Commission just launched a new pilot program with Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Ontario. It’ll be a trading program for phosphorus, and they’re calling it the Erie P Market.

Proposed salmon cuts upset some fishermen

Jul 19, 2016
Headed out to go salmon fishing on Lake Michigan near Grand Haven.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

A proposal to reduce the number of Pacific salmon stocked into Lake Michigan has upset some sport fishermen. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently took a poll of its advisory group.

It found about 40% of those surveyed were against the plan.

Millions of king salmon have been planted in Lake Michigan since the 1960s, as many as seven million fish a year at the peak. That has created a booming sport fishery.

But there is not much food for salmon in the lake these days, so fewer fish are being stocked.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Some Flint residents may be eligible for more healthcare benefits than they thought.

According to the "Care for Flint" campaign, the expansion of Medicaid has changed the income requirements for some services. 

"Care for Flint" is a collaboration of non-profits, churches, and grassroots organizations trying to find solutions to the ongoing water crisis.

Jamie Gaskin is the CEO of United Way of Genesee County and he says helping people understand their healthcare options is the goal of the campaign.

This train wreck was big news at the time
Jodi Westrick/Michigan Radio

People from the Adrian area and local historians know the story of the “wreck on the Wabash.” But outside of those circles, the train crash that took place in 1901 isn’t especially well-known.

There are many tragic elements to this story and for a thorough sense of what took place, you can read historian Laurie Perkins’ book, “Wreck on the Wabash” (written under the name Laurie C. Dickens).

Pages