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.

user alkruse24 / Flickr

With the roads funding plan behind them, the Michigan Legislature is on break until December. When they return, fixing Detroit Public Schools will be at the top of the legislative agenda.

Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed a controversial plan for DPS that would start a new district responsible for educational instruction and general operations while leaving the roughly $500 million in legacy debt with the old district.

There were around 3,600 fires in Detroit this past year
flickr user Sam Beebe /

The news site Motor City Muckraker took it upon itself to track every fire in the city of Detroit for a year.

When you take on a project like that, you begin to see and hear about the problems faced by one of the most overworked fire departments in the nation.

Steve Neavling runs Motor City Muckraker. He tells us the Detroit Fire Department was “a bureaucracy that was literally in shambles.”

Kevin Rosseel / morguefile

The federal government recently released more than 6,000 inmates from custody. It's the first wave of what will be some 4,600 people whose sentences for drug offenses were eased by the United States Sentencing Commission. 

Eighty-three of those federal prisoners were in Michigan when they were sentenced.

flickr user neetalparekh /

The Next Idea

Mark “Puck” Mykleby is a retired Marine colonel who worked from 2009 to 2011 as an assistant to former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen.

Mullen wanted a grand strategy for the nation. Not a military strategy, but something to encourage the kind of innovation and leadership he felt has been slipping away in the United States.

Mykleby left the Pentagon a little frustrated with Washington and figured he really needed to take the idea to the private sector.

The Art Gallery of Knoxville/flickr /

Emerging artists in Michigan may wonder: "How do I get the attention of an art critic? How do I get someone to write about my work if I haven't gotten to the point where I can mount a show?"

Lori Waxman, art critic for The Chicago Tribune, understands the challenges for artists trying to get honest feedback of their work.

In a rare event, Waxman will review any artist's work, no matter the skill level.

Tom Kowalczk

The Coast Guard has been responding to a leaky shipwreck on the bottom of western Lake Erie.

The shipwreck is believed to be the Argo. It’s a tank barge that sank in 1937 and it’s considered the biggest pollution threat from a shipwreck in the Great Lakes.

Today, auto workers at Ford will begin voting on a new three-year contract negotiated by the United Auto Workers union, a process that will take almost a week.

The settlement is exceptionally rich by contrast with the last couple of agreements, negotiated when the automakers were on the ropes or just barely recovering from the near-death experience that ended in bankruptcy for Chrysler and General Motors.

A federal judge is allowing the bulk of a lawsuit filed on behalf of a man who died in the Macomb County jail to go forward.

David Stojcevski died in June 2014, after being arrested for failing to pay fines stemming from traffic infractions. His cause of death was determined to be prescription drug withdrawal.

His family’s lawsuit accused county officials, jail staff, and the private contractor who provides medical services at the jail, of not acting to prevent Stojcevski’s  death, even as his health clearly deteriorated and he lost 50 pounds in about two weeks.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s presidential primary ballot will begin to shape up this week.

Michigan’s Republican and Democratic presidential primaries are March 8. 

But who gets a spot on the ballot? Hundreds of people are running for president of the United States. Of course, you’ve heard of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. But how about John Blyth or Mike Diggs?

Kate Wells

A couple hundred University of Michigan students came out to central campus Wednesday evening in a passionate show of support for protesters at the University of Missouri.

As the crowd grew, one organizer from the U of M School of Social Work said black students at the University of Michigan can empathize with the experiences, and the feelings of frustration and isolation, that Mizzou students are voicing.

Protesters in Flint.
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be watching over the state of Michigan's shoulder to make sure our drinking water is safe.

The EPA will audit the state's drinking water safety program after the state Department of Environmental Quality admitted it failed to use the correct protocols when it approved the switch to the Flint River as the primary source of drinking water for Flint.

That mistake led to dangerously high lead levels in that city's drinking water.

Flint's Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee joined us today to discuss the EPA’s audit.

Math flashcards
Ross Belmont / Creative Commons

Wayne State University is getting a $1.4 million grant to prepare elementary and middle school math teachers to teach in Detroit.

The grant from the National Science Foundation's Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program will help WSU recruit and train 56 new math teachers to teach in Detroit classrooms.

Neeta Lind / Flickr

Michigan police are weighing in on state proposals to officially recognize – and regulate – medical marijuana dispensaries.

The Michigan House already passed a bill to create a new framework for who grows, transports, and sells marijuana to these storefronts – sometimes called a “seed-to-sale” tracking system.

Tim Lauer / flickr creative commons

Rockford Public Schools has notified elementary school parents about a short mention of a gay character in a book that will be available at its upcoming Scholastic Book Fair.

According to the district's Nov. 10 letter to parents, the plot of the story has a very brief reference to one of the featured characters traveling 20 years into the future to find he is married to another man. The book is the 12th in the Captain Underpants series and is titled "Captain Underpants and The Sensational Saga of Sir-Stinks-A-Lot." 


Scientists say a toxic bacteria bloom in Lake Erie this past summer was the largest on record, and produced a thick scum so big it could almost cover New York City.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the outbreak surpassed the record-setting bloom in 2011 that stretched from Toledo to Cleveland.

Sandy Bihn is with Lake Erie Waterkeeper Inc. 

She says states bordering Lake Erie have to dramatically reduce the amount of phosphorus getting into the lake.

Phosphorus is a nutrient that helps cyanobacteria grow.

9-11 veterans: Jamaine Atkins, Sherman Powell, Russ Dotson (top, L-R), Cassie Michael, Curtis Gibson, Andrew Hunter (middle), Eric Fretz, Cody Barnhart, Brendan Lejeune (bottom).
Mark Brush, Paula Friedrich, Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

The United States military is currently involved in the longest period of sustained, armed conflict in our nation’s history.

Yet only around 0.5% of the U.S. population is on active military duty.

Contrast that with 9% of the U.S. population who served during WWII, and you can understand how there’s been a growing gap between those who haven't served in the military and those who have.

Listen to how these post 9/11 vets from Michigan describe some of the more awkward interactions they’ve had with people:

American flag.
Corey Seeman/Flickr /

"Service Above Self, Honoring Our Veterans" happens tonight at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor.

A select number of veterans from Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, and World War II will be on stage to tell their stories.

The storytelling night kicks off a push to raise $8 million to build a Fisher House.

Jake Neher / MPRN

State lawmakers are taking a three-week break for deer hunting and Thanksgiving.


And they’ll have a lot of work waiting for them when they return to Lansing.

Neal Steeno

When soldiers are sent into war, they often leave a chunk of their hearts and souls on the battlefield.

They may make it home, but part of them remains tied to that far-off battleground.

Tim Keenan of Traverse City lived with that hole in his heart and soul for more than 40 years. He was a 20-year-old infantryman in the fall of 1967 when he was dropped into the frontline fighting in Vietnam at Dak To.