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The answer is still forthcoming. So far, the National Weather Service has confirmed one EF-1 tornado that touched down in Portland, Michigan yesterday. More than 50 homes were damaged in Portland and there were no reports of serious injuries.

We're seeing a lot of other reports of damage due to the storms, but determining whether those were caused by a tornado takes some ground truth. 

Hillary Pasternak, student
Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

Sirens tore through Michigan Monday night, warning of strong thunderstorms and a few tornadoes. As you woke up, groggy at 1:30 a.m., what did you make sure you had before seeking shelter?

We asked a few people what their top three items to save would be.

Flickr user Justin Leonard / Flickr

Water is one of Michigan's most abundant and precious resources, but the rules for governing its use aren't always clear.

Wayne State Law Professor and water law specialist Noah Hall joins us to discuss the rules surrounding the use of creeks and rivers. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan hospitals may pay a price if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a key provision of the Affordable Care Act.

King v. Burwell is one of the final seven cases before the high court this term.   

The case involves a challenge to a specific portion of the federal health care insurance law dealing with federal subsidies. 

Michigan Army National Guardsmen earlier this year.
Master Sgt. Sonia Pawloski / wikimedia commons

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Michigan Army National Guard is holding training exercises across the state focused on response to a simulated nuclear explosion.

The Northern Exposure disaster response exercise starts Tuesday and runs through Saturday. Teams from federal, state and local law enforcement and disaster recovery agencies are involved along with about 2,000 members of the Michigan National Guard.

It now looks as though the Gordie Howe International Bridge is certain to become reality. Investors have to be lined up and there is still more work to be done before shovels go into the ground, but all the major political and legal challenges have been overcome.

flickr user Andres Pérez / Flickr

Scientists study chemicals for their potential to cause cancer, but usually they examine them one at a time.

And yet, we’re exposed to mixtures of different chemicals every day.

UPDATE: The National Weather Service has confirmed the damage caused in Portland was from an EF-1 tornado.

user paul (dex) / Flickr

General Motors is adding 300 new jobs and investing $245 million in one of its metro Detroit plants in Orion Township.

And residents there are breathing a sigh of relief, because just a few years ago, it looked like that plant was going to close.

michigan.gov

Michigan owes severance pay to eligible nursing aides who were laid off from a state-run home for veterans.

The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is one of two state-run long-term care facilities for veterans in Michigan. More than 400 veterans are housed there.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state Liquor Control Commission is unlikely to consider approving sales of powdered alcohol until after state lawmakers decide on a possible ban.

Federal regulators approved a dehydrated alcohol product earlier this year that could be sold in powdered form.  The powder could be rehydrated to create a six-ounce cocktail. 

Forge Detroit / Facebook

A new competition show called Forged in Fire starts tonight on the cable channel History.

Contestants will be challenged to make swords and knives, including period-specific weapons like medieval broadswords or ancient throwing blades.

Beachgoers on a Lake Michigan beach in the Upper Peninsula.
Joseph Novak / Creative Commons

So you want to stroll along a Great Lakes beach. Can a cottage-owner come shoo you away?

Today we looked at the water rules in the Great Lakes State.

SEO / flickr

More and more, consumers are realizing that social media is a much better way to get a company’s attention than getting lost in a voice mail jungle when you call some 1-800-phone line.

Michigan Radio’s social media producer Kimberly Springer joined us to talk about what companies and consumers are learning about using social media.

Marijuana citations going unpaid in Grand Rapids

Jun 22, 2015
Michigan voters may see marijuana on the ballot in 2016
user Coleen Whitfield / flickr

The city of Grand Rapids has failed to collect more than $100,000 in fines for marijuana use over the past three years.

In 2012, the city voted to decriminalize the drug. This made possession and use of marijuana a civil infraction, akin to being charged with a speeding ticket or traffic violation.

Yet while collection rates for most civil infractions are high, marijuana tickets are often ignored.

Inside the Michigan Senate
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Senate is considering a bill that would prohibit employers from asking employees or job applicants about their birth control use. 

Senate Bill 397 would not allow employees to ask women about their use of birth control.

Screenshot/Chrysler

The Next Idea

In 2009, the headline of a Time magazine cover story read “The Tragedy of Detroit” with a shadowy photo of a blighted factory in the background. The national press was brutal.

A supercharger station in Monterey, California. Tesla is bringing two more supercharging stations to Michigan.
Steve Jurvetson / Flickr

Michigan will have two new battery supercharging stations by the end of the summer courtesy of Tesla Motors.

Tesla's Model S electric car gets up to 300 miles on a single charge. It normally takes several hours to charge the car. But a "supercharger"shortens the charging time to 20 to 30 minutes, according to Tesla spokeswoman Alexia Georgeson. 

As a Michigan Radio listener, you may be aware that we work hard to stay ahead of rapid changes in the radio landscape.

Our goal is to continue to provide the news and information you want and the way that you want them, so I'm inviting you to share your opinions about technology in our annual survey.

Tell us how you use your radio, social media, smartphones, tablets, streaming and the Web to stay connected to entertainment, news, and updates from Michigan Radio and other sources. Whether you use all these devices/platforms or not, we value your opinion.

Last week I discussed a new bill that would make it easier for citizens to get absentee ballots in Michigan, a bill sponsored by a Republican state representative, Lisa Posthumus Lyons, and enthusiastically supported by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.

She’s also a conservative Republican and Michigan’s chief elections official. The bill is scarcely radical; it would merely allow any voter who wants an absentee ballot to get one. Two-thirds of the states already allow what is called “no-excuse” absentee voting.

Melissa Baldwin / Creative Commons

A state lawmaker wants religious leaders to have sole responsibility when it comes to performing marriages in Michigan.

Under legislation introduced  last week, judges and other public officials would no longer be able to officiate weddings.

MichigansChildren / YouTube

Michigan’s top education official says the state should help Detroit Public Schools pay down its massive debt.

The governor and state lawmakers are discussing ways to turn around the district - which is almost $500 million in debt. The district spends $53 million dollars a year on debt service.

  

Outgoing state Superintendent Mike Flanagan says paying off the district’s debt would free up tens of thousands of dollars for every classroom in Detroit.

We’ve got winning on the brain, but not because our lotto tickets finally paid off. It’s because of sports and Coach Carol Hutchins finding herself as the second-winningest active coach of softball and the winnigest coach in the University of Michigan’s athletic department history.

Winningest has been around since at least the mid-20th century, but winning in the Charlie Sheen sense, has been around even longer, says University of Michigan English Professor Ann Curzan. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan broke ground this week on a unique farmers market.

When it opens in July, the market near Mount Pleasant will feature locally grown produce, including some from local Native American farmers.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Making art in the open air has been on display this week in and around Saginaw.

More than 50 artists have been busy sitting in parks and along busy roads painting street scenes, lake shores and quiet parks in several mid-Michigan counties.   

It’s all part of the Great Lakes Bay En Plein Air festival.

U.S. Supreme Court
user dbking / Flickr

Michigan and three other states are awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans.

Michigan Radio's Jennifer White spoke to NPR's legal correspondent, Nina Totenberg, about the case and its possible implications for Michigan and the rest of the country. 

Here's their conversation:

Film rolls.
Luca Nonato / Flickr

It looks like a new Comedy Central pilot called "Detroiters" will be one of the last projects to get Michigan's film tax incentive.

The legislature voted this week to phase out the state's tax rebates for film crews that hire people and spend money in the state.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Treasury started reviewing Wayne County’s financial situation Friday.

The state review comes after Wayne County’s top administrator asked for it, earlier this week.

In a letter to the state, County executive Warren Evans wrote this week the deficit is $9.9 million. 

When I learned about the shootings in South Carolina this week, I thought of a fascinating book I read earlier this spring* about the assassination of President Garfield, in 1881.

His shooting had nothing to do with race. But his death also had nothing to do with his shooting. Garfield was shot in the back by a deranged assassin, but the bullet lodged harmlessly deep within his body. Had he been left alone, he probably would have recovered quickly.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint school board has decided it needs more time to pick its “preferred” candidate for the district’s soon-to-be vacant superintendent job.

The board heard from the two finalists for the position last night.

Bilal Kareem Tawwab is an assistant superintendent in the Detroit Public School district. Errick Greene is an executive with an education consulting businesses.  Greene is also the son of one of Flint’s school board members.

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