Dearborn Mosque
user rypix / Flickr

Dearborn’s large Lebanese community continues to grieve those it lost in Thursday’s twin suicide bombings in Beirut.

“You’ve never seen a wife and husband love each other so much,” says Dearborn resident Mehdi Taleb of his sister, Leila Taleb, and her husband Hussein Mostapha.

A recent poll finds 90% of us want to have end of life discussions of our doctors, but only 17% have actually done so
University of Michigan Medical School

No matter what your circumstances in life, there is one great and final equalizer: Every single one of us will die.

Yet it is often difficult for patients, their families and their physicians to accept the approaching end of life and to shift focus of care from curing and treating to comfort.

A coffee leaf infected with Hemileia vastatrix, or coffee rust
wikimedia user Smartse /

For many of us, the day doesn’t really start until we polish off that steaming cup of coffee.

But a fungus called "coffee rust” is putting that luxury in jeopardy. It’s attacking coffee plants across Mexico and Central America, and in recent years has caused more than $1 billion in crop losses and cost thousands of workers their jobs.

Two University of Michigan professors have been studying coffee in Mexico for nearly 20 years. They want to understand just how this fungus spreads and how best to shut it down.

Flickr /

The Next Idea

The 21st century software industry owes a lot to a certain 18th century inventor.

Open source innovation is a phrase we tend to associate with post-millennial creativity, but it’s actually a 300-year-old idea. Benjamin Franklin famously did not patent his lighting rod, his bifocals, his stove, and many other of his inventions because he thought that these ideas were simply too important not to share.

This is the same mindset behind today’s open source movement: unrestricted access to designs, products, and ideas to be used by an unlimited number of people in a variety of sectors for diverse purposes.

“They are well protected…but not absolutely,” says attorney Michael Pitt.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Attorneys are hoping to sign up tens of thousands of Flint water customers for a class action lawsuit against the city and state.

The suit was filed Friday on behalf of four families.  

Attorney Trachelle Young says they are seeking damages for people suffering health problems because of Flint’s problem-plagued drinking water.

“I don’t think the community has any idea how truly extensive the damages are,” says Young.

Governor Rick Snyder bowed to pressure yesterday and made a decision that was politically easy.

He reversed his earlier courageous stand and announced that Syrian refugees are no longer welcome in Michigan.

Here's what he said:

"Our first priority is protecting the safety of our residents. Given the terrible situation in Paris, I’ve directed that we put on hold our efforts to accept new refugees until the U.S. Department of Homeland Security completes a full review of its security clearances and procedures.”

What the governor did was exactly what ISIS would want.

Marcie Casas

Update 2:30 p.m.: Judge Christopher Yates has ruled Hewlett-Packard must hand over the source code to Michigan.

Original post:

Michigan is squaring off with technology company Hewlett-Packard over source code for an unfinished computer system upgrade.

The state hired HP in 2005 to replace the Secretary of State's computer system. The $49 million project was supposed to be finished by 2010. 

Michigan terminated its contract with HP in August, on grounds that the company had missed deadlines and failed to deliver a complete project.

A big economic development project in Grand Rapids seems to have Republican lawmakers rethinking their opposition to industry-specific tax breaks.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new poll shows strong support for restrictions on e-cigarettes. 

But industry group say more restrictions may create a kind of regulatory “prohibition”.

The latest C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at the University of Michigan finds a majority of parents and teens agree that e-cigarettes should be restricted in public spaces, come with health warnings and be taxed like conventional cigarettes.

Researchers at Virginia Tech received samples of Flint water (both clear and discolored) from residents.
Flint Water Study / Facebook

The Flint water crisis will be part of a public meeting this week in Virginia about federal rules on lead.

The National Drinking Water Advisory Council is holding meetings tomorrow through Thursday to develop recommendations for the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA is working on changing its rules on lead and copper in water. Those rules have been scrutinized lately because of Flint’s problems with lead in drinking water.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Backers of a ban on fracking in Michigan will deliver hundreds of thousands of petition signatures to the Secretary of State’s office this week.

Supporters need to collect a quarter million signatures to ask voters next year to approve a ban on hydraulic fracturing in Michigan.

Hydraulic fracturing is a process used in nine out of 10 natural gas wells in the United States, where millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are pumped underground to break apart the rock and release the gas.

Michigan governor puts refugee acceptance efforts on hold

Nov 15, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - Michigan's Republican governor, who has bucked many party leaders for welcoming Syrian refugees, is putting efforts on hold following the deadly attacks in Paris.

Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement Sunday that the state is postponing efforts to accept refugees until federal officials fully review security clearances and procedures.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Firearm deer season is underway today in Michigan.

The hunt is giving state wildlife officials a chance to expand the search for more cases of chronic wasting disease.

In April, a 6 year old doe tested positive for CWD, a fatal neurological disease. It was the first case of a free ranging deer coming down with the disease. Since then, two more deer have tested positive. All three deer were from Ingham County and were related.    

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Automotive and technology firms including Ford, General Motors and Microsoft have pledged about $4.5 million to a Detroit organization's workforce development and educational programs.

  Focus: HOPE announced Sunday that Microsoft Corp. is offering $2 million in software and cash, Magna International is giving $1 million and robotics equipment, and Lear Corp. and GM Foundation both pledged $500,000. Ford Motor Co. donated $360,000.

If you attended a symposium in the 18th century, you likely did so with an "adult beverage" in hand.

Now, the word symposium strikes a different image: a group of academics talking research, nary an "adult beverage" in sight. Why the change of heart, academia?

Our own resident academic, University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan, is at hand to provide some needed insight into the language of academia.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s senior U.S. Senator wants a top level meeting with Canadian officials to raise objections to a planned nuclear waste dump near Lake Huron.

The election of a new Canadian government is raising hope among opponents of a plan to build the waste dump less than a mile from the shore of Lake Huron.

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow says she’s working with the U.S. ambassador to Canada to set up a meeting with the new Canadian environment minister.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s water crisis is now the subject of a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of four families was filed Friday.

The lawsuit singles out 14 state and local officials FOR “reckless” conduct connected to the decision to switch to and stay with the Flint River for the city’s drinking water source.  The lawsuit names Gov. Rick Snyder, former Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and former emergency manager Darnell Earley, among others.  


Gov. Rick Snyder would veto legislation allowing concealed weapons in schools if it doesn’t give districts a choice.

Bills sitting on the state Senate floor would allow people to carry concealed weapons in gun-free zones. But Senate Bills 442 and 561 would also ban them from openly carrying in those areas, which is currently allowed in schools.

Snyder vetoed similar legislation in 2012.

"I vetoed it once. I’d veto it again,” the governor told WJIM Radio host Steve Gruber on Friday.

Triin Q / wikipedia commons

Casino workers go back to the bargaining table in Detroit this weekend, as city leaders keep a close eye on negotiations.

That’s because a major strike could cripple casinos, which are a huge source of tax revenue for Detroit.

Already Detroit’s thousands of casino employees - not just the card dealers and floor workers, but people in wardrobe, guest services, kitchens, valet services- have given union leaders approval to call a strike if necessary.

That same leadership turned down a contract proposal from MGM Grand, Motor City Casino and Greektown earlier this week.

Gov. Snyder is taking heat regarding decisions made by his Emergency Managers that lead to the Flint water crisis
Gov. Rick Snyder / screengrab

A state elections board has rejected a petition seeking to recall Governor Rick Snyder over the Flint water crisis.

The bipartisan Board of State Canvassers says the petition is premature since there are still inquiries underway into what happened in Flint, and the allegations are unproven. Democrats and Republicans on the board voted to reject the petition, which says Snyder is “culpable” for the contamination.

A pair of Eastern Massasauga rattlesnakes, the only venomous snake native to Michigan.
Steven Parrish / Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, the University of Michigan

The Eastern Massasauga — the sole rattlesnake to inhabit the state of Michigan — is facing rapid population loss that's prompting national concern for Michigan wildlife.

In September 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list the snake as a "threatened species" under the Endangered Species Act, which would qualify the snake for national funds to help preserve the species. 

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Heavy wind made for surprisingly Instagramable "bad weather" this week. Here are some photos from Instagram for those of you who couldn't see the waves in person:

The last time Michigan voted for a Bush for President, the Berlin Wall was still up, nobody in these parts had ever heard of a twenty-something Barack Obama, few imagined the Soviet Union would ever disappear, and the World Wide Web had yet to be invented.

Since then, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s father and brother have been the Republican nominees for president three times, and Michigan voters each time said no.

Jeb Bush wants to turn that around this year. Yesterday, he arrived in Grand Rapids in an effort to kick-start his sputtering national campaign.

An old portrait of Richard Chang, front and center, with his five brothers.
Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

The Detroit neighborhood where Richard Chang lives has changed. A lot.


Chang moved into the Osborn neighborhood in 1980 “because the economy in Michigan was really good,” he says.

That changed dramatically, of course. And now Chang is wondering what the future holds for his children.


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Dozens of families turned up for free blood lead level testing in Flint today.

Nurses tried to soothe the fears of toddlers, telling them “it’s just a little poke” before using a small lancet to prick the child’s finger.   

Many of the children were not soothed. But many parents hope the clinic will ease some of their worries.

Jeb Bush
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush says a slimmed-down tax code and fewer environmental regulations would boost the economies of manufacturing states – and promises to adopt that sort of “pro-growth” strategy should make the Republican ticket attractive to voters in industrial states like Michigan and Pennsylvania come November of 2016.

“The only way to grow income for the middle class and lift people out of poverty is to grow the economy, and I know how to do it,” he told a crowd gathered at the Kent County Republican headquarters in Grand Rapids.


Democrats in the state Legislature want to establish water as a “human right” under state law. It’s part of a package of bills meant to address tap water contamination and mass water shutoffs in cities like Flint and Detroit.

“What we’re seeing is a complete disregard for human life, human safety, and the future of our children,” said Melissa Mays, a Flint resident who says her entire family has health problems because of contaminated water.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Secretary of State has released the initial list of Republican and Democratic candidates who will appear on the March 8 presidential primary ballot.

The Republicans:


Plans are in motion to build a Syrian refugee haven around an abandoned Pontiac elementary school.

The project is the brainchild of some Metro Detroit Syrian-American refugee advocates.

Local businessman Ismael Basha is one of the project’s organizers.

Basha says he and a partner have purchased the former Franklin Elementary School, along with about 120 vacant lots surrounding the school.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality is asking Flint for data that would show where the city’s lead service lines are. People living in homes hooked to lead service lines have a higher risk of being exposed to lead in drinking water.

Under federal rules, those homes are supposed to be sampled to help determine how well a water system is doing in keeping lead out of the water. But Flint doesn’t necessarily know where those homes are.