News

flickr user Joe Gratz / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Two Grosse Ile High School students face up to four years in prison for allegedly torturing and killing a guinea pig, possibly as some kind of pre-game ritual before a varsity lacrosse game.

“The alleged facts in this case illustrate much more than a youthful prank or a pre-game antic. We must take these cases seriously,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement today.

Mason County competition stimulates local business

Jul 18, 2016
The Momentum Business Plan Competition galvanized entreprenuer Andy Thomas's brewery, Starving Artist Brewing.
Flickr user Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

For the last two years, Mason County has the Momentum Business Plan Competition, which awards $50,000 to entrepreneurs during the startup phase of their businesses. The project aims to boost entrepreneurship and small businesses within the county. Prize money is provided by local sponsors and organizations.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s drinking water crisis took center stage at the Republican National Convention today, if only for a moment.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is the only Michigander scheduled to speak from the podium during the convention’s four-day run at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Gov. Chris Christie, R-NJ, spoke to the Michigan RNC delegation at their hotel in Cuyahoga Falls.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s delegates to the Republican National Convention cheered a former rival to Donald Trump when he called for all Republicans to back the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was an hour late getting to the Michigan delegation meeting at a hotel in Cuyahoga Falls, but his message to the delegates was in tune with the sentiment with most in the room.

Several weeks ago, I was rushing to a meeting at Wayne State University, distracted and speeding on the freeway. Suddenly, I saw the flashing lights and was soon pulled over by a black policeman, who took my license and registration and went back to his car.

I expected a ticket and points on my record, and I indeed deserved them. But he eventually came back, gave me a warning, and said I had better slow down and be careful.
 

I was astonished and grateful. But today I am scared.

There’s a new chief for the embattled state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) but the effort to restore confidence to the agency that was a huge part of the Flint water crisis is off to a rocky start.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

  In Cleveland later this morning, a coalition of Muslim groups plan to hold a news conference to "Challenge the GOP’s  'Politics of Fear'."

Concern about growing islamophobia has led to a push to get more Muslim Michiganders to the polls in November. 

Last month, services at mosques in Michigan were crowded with people observing Ramadan.

On the final Friday of Ramadan, as worshippers gathered at a mosque in Canton, they were greeted by volunteers trying to get them registered to vote.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Republican delegates get down to work Monday, after spending the weekend partying in Cleveland.

Cleveland has been rocking all weekend with Republican Party parties.

Michigan delegates spent part of Sunday at the House of Blues, a party hosted by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. But Calley says they’re ready to get started.

“We’re really excited about the energy in the room,” says Calley. “The delegation is ready for this convention to get inspired about this election season so we can win in November.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A Michigan Republican delegate who's trying to stop Donald Trump from getting the nomination at the GOP Convention insists the fight isn’t over.

Wendy Day looks at the “Dump Trump” movement in football terms.

And it’s a game now deep in the fourth quarter.   But it’s a game where the Trump faction has scored all the points.

They have the votes and the convention rules committee blocked an effort to let delegates change their vote.

Still Day isn’t throwing in the towel just yet.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It’s about to get easier for coaches and parents to decide whether an athlete has had a potentially serious blow to the head.

Two Michigan State University professors have invented an impact-sensing headband to help people on the sidelines make quick decisions if a player takes a hit.

On the outside, the device looks like any other stretchy athletic headband, but this headband has pockets for wireless sensors that record the location and severity of an impact.

Michigan State Police troopers head to Cleveland

Jul 17, 2016
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Cleveland is preparing for an estimated 50,000 visitors for the Republican National Convention. In an effort to help with security, traffic, and crowd control, the Michigan State Police Department is sending 100 troopers to the city for the week. Cleveland sent a request to MSP through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. The compact is the nation’s state to state mutual aid system.

Anita Peppers/Morguefile

One dirty truth about child rearing is the high price of diapers, which can cost families from $70 to $80 per month per child. Congress is considering legislation that would fund pilot programs in states such as Michigan to help low-income families afford this necessity.

There are currently no federal programs that meet the need, according to Alison Weir, chief of policy and research for the National Diaper Bank Network.

Road to self-driving cars depends on people

Jul 16, 2016

The talk of the auto industry this year isn’t about Detroit’s record profits. Rather, it’s about racing to field vehicles that drive themselves.

But it’s not as easy as it sounds.

The road to self-driving cars isn’t just about technology.

flickr user FatMandy / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

State police are requesting a warrant as a result of their investigation into the death of Janika Edmond, a 25-year-old inmate who apparently hung herself last year at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility.

State police presented their findings to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s office Thursday, said MSP spokeswoman Shanon Banner.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s selection of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate is getting approving nods from Michigan delegates in Cleveland.

Trump announced his decision over his favorite medium: Twitter.

Detroit Firefighters
City of Detroit Fire Department / Facebook.com

Most Detroit firefighters should get a pay bump as soon as next month,

Under a tentative deal struck by Mayor Mike Duggan and the fire union, firefighters who cross-train as medical first responders will get the 4% raise.

The city says that 26 of the fire department’s 46 companies are currently doing medical runs, and that’s helped bring average EMS response times down to around 8 minutes. That's in line with the national average.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Racial tensions are growing as the perceptions and evidence of racial inequality are growing.

Many of Detroit's residents see billionaires buying up downtown buildings where new retailers open shop, selling items most of Detroit's impoverished citizens cannot afford. There's a marked divide between that prosperity in downtown and the poverty in the neighborhoods.

That divide is stark in the Cass Corridor. New residents, often white, are moving in. Rents are rising. New restaurants and boutique shops are popping up. The old residents, often black, are being pushed out.

flickr user Joe Gratz / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Court of Appeals says convicted felons must be sentenced in person, and not via a video hookup between the jail and the courthouse.

Video links are commonly used for early procedures like arraignments, because it’s less expensive and more secure than moving defendants between the jail and the courthouse. 

Using video links for sentencing is still rare. But in this case out of Hillsdale County, defendant Trenity Heller was sentenced via video from jail while everyone else – including his lawyer – was at the courthouse.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Thompson family has been constructing stained glass and leaded glass windows in Michigan since 1929.

“You know, we’re not interested in making sun catchers or little things that we sell at craft fairs. That’s just not our business. Our business is stuff that’s much longer lasting than that,” explained Dirk Thompson.

The family's stained glass windows have been installed in churches, colleges, businesses, and high-end homes. Thompson Art Glass also does a lot of restoration work.

Remember the Onion, that crazy satirical newspaper people couldn’t get enough of in the 1990s? It’s still around, but these days, I think real life has gotten better than art at being utterly absurd. Certainly that was the case in Michigan yesterday.

I mean, can you imagine a better Onion headline than “Governor whose aides poisoned children appoints oil industry lobbyist to head environmental agency?”

Downtown Cleveland will play host to the 2016 Republican National Convention, which begins Monday.
Erik Drost / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Headed to Cleveland next week for the Republican National Convention? We've gathered up some tips on where to go from a now proud native of the "City of Losers Winners!"

Michigan Radio's news director, Vincent Duffy, wants you to know there's a lot more to his hometown than just LeBron James and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Among Duffy's go-to spots:

Auchter's Art: Finding common ground on guns

Jul 15, 2016

Artist's POV:

A cop shoots a man dead. Is your first thought to want to know their racial profiles?

A man uses a military assault rifle to kill multiple people. Is your first thought to hope for a reason that won't conflict with your political views?

A neighborhood teen takes his own life with a handgun. Is your first thought to wonder why a handgun was available to him at a moment of despair?

A young woman is gunned down in Chicago. Is your first thought to consider how this might affect gun control statistics?

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

Davontae Sanford has been home for a little over a month now.

One month -- after nearly nine years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

Now, Sanford says he just wants to build a normal life. But he’s still got legal restrictions on his freedom.

After exoneration, hopes for normalcy

The waiter at this chain restaurant in downtown Detroit just came up to Davontae Sanford and asked, sorry, are you who I think you are?

This is, apparently, happening to Sanford a lot.

Jim Harbaugh didn't like the call.
MGoBlog / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It’s seems like eons ago now, but just two years ago, Michigan football coach Brady Hoke seemed poised for a solid season. With eight or nine wins, Hoke’s job would be safe, athletic director Dave Brandon would give him a contract extension, and the Brandon-Hoke Era would continue for many years.

On the West Coast, everybody expected Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers to make their fourth straight trip to the playoffs.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Governor Rick Snyder has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to offer an opinion on whether it’s ever possible for the state to give money to a private or parochial school.

There’s a question over a $2.5 million budget in the new state budget. It’s set aside to reimburse private and religious schools for immunization reports, safety drills, and other state mandates that are not related to curriculum.

Pre school classroom
FLICKER USER BLOOMBERRIES / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

For working parents with young children, child care is not a luxury. It's a necessity. But for many low-income families in Michigan, it's out of reach.

Consider this: it costs around $10,000 a year to send a toddler to high-quality child care.

That is almost as much as it costs to send a kid to college at a public university.

iphone
iphone / Chuong Le [LeSy]

A new law will help victims of domestic violence get out of shared cell phone plans with their accused abusers. Prior to this law, victims did not have a way to cancel or change their cell phone plans unless they were the primary account holder. Under the new law, victims who have a personal protection order would be able to get a court order from a judge to cancel or transfer their cell phone or data plan that they share with an accused abuser. 

Carla Blinkhorn, CEO of the YWCA West Central Michigan, says cell phones can be dangerous for individuals in a violent relationship.

Commonwealth Detroit works at offering affordable property for creative minds in their 128,000-square-foot building.
Robert Elmes / Commonwealth Detroit

The Next Idea

Young artists can struggle to make a living if they lack the proper knowledge to start and care for a storefront – and that’s where a new Detroit project comes in.

A cyanobacteria bloom on Lake Erie in 2013.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

 

It's been two years since drinking water in Toledo was contaminated by cyanobacteria in Lake Erie.

Four hundred thousand Toledo-area residents couldn't drink the water for a few days.

 

That fired up Pam Taylor to start tracking how Lake Erie's been getting contaminated.

 

Drew Philp is walking from Detroit to the RNC in Cleveland, passing fields like this one near Monroe, Mich.
Courtesy of Drew Philp

Cleveland is just days away from hosting this year’s Republican National Convention. Delegates, candidates, and reporters are flying and driving from across the world cover the event.

However, Drew Philp chose to use his own two feet. He’s coming all the way from Detroit and documenting his journey for Belt magazine.

And why did he choose the RNC as his destination?

“It’s closer than Philadelphia,” Philp laughed. “But I’m also curious about Donald Trump.”

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