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Flint water plant
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Court of Appeals is weighing legal arguments which may determine if a class action lawsuit against the state concerning the Flint water crisis may go forward.

The lawsuit is seeking damages from the state for Flint residents affected by decisions that created the city’s tap water problems. It’s one of many lawsuits related to the water crisis.   

Michigan Radio is welcoming the hit public radio storytelling show Snap Judgment to Kalamazoo for a live show on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 8:00 PM.

Snap Judgment is a popular storytelling show that airs on Michigan Radio and over 365 public radio stations nationwide. Created by Detroit-native Glynn Washington, Snap delivers a raw, intimate, musical brand of narrative -- daring audiences to see the world through the eyes of another.

Garretttaggs55 / wikipedia commons

DETROIT - An official says a pending lawsuit by a business group over medical marijuana regulations in Detroit means the industry will be on hold in the city until it's resolved.

The Detroit Free Press reports Detroit's deputy corporation counsel Charles Raimi said in a recent memo that it "would be improper, administratively wasteful and confusing to the public" to implement the new ordinance or take action on permitting or licensing of marijuana facilities amid the lawsuit.

FLICKR USER USFWS MIDWEST / FLICKR / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Scientists might have found a new way to combat white-nose syndrome, a disease caused by a fungus killing millions of bats in the U.S. and Canada.

President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, 1972
www.nixonlibrary.gov

Probably few are thinking about him today, on what would have been his 105th birthday, but there was a time when everybody thought about him all the time.

For a while, he was one of the most divisive figures in this nation’s history. I never met him, but I was in a room with him more than once. The last time was nearly thirty years ago before a packed crowd at the Detroit Economic Club.

Governor Rick Snyder has proposed a plan to offset tax increases on Michigan families as a result of the federal tax overhaul. The main component is to allow Michigan taxpayers to continue to claim a four thousand dollar personal exemption on their state taxes.

farm field
Julie Falk / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Michigan U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow says getting high speed internet to rural communities in Michigan is a priority for her.

Stabenow said she plans to tackle this issue as part of the new federal farm bill.

“If we want to truly expand, create jobs all over Michigan, and the quality of life that we want in small towns as well as big cities, you have to have high speed internet,” she said.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The government's chief prosecutor in the Flint water crisis criminal case suggests top officials pressured state employees to switch Flint’s water source before the city was ready to treat it.

Special Counsel Todd Flood says he plans to call two dozen witnesses this month for the preliminary hearing for four current and former Department of Environmental Quality staffers. The four face a variety of charges related to the Flint crisis.

Highland Park municipal building
City of Highland Park

Highland Park is a small city with a lot of vacant land. Now, it's trying to use that vacant space as an asset to lure developers.

At just under three square miles, the city is basically an enclave within the city of Detroit, along the central Woodward Avenue corridor. A once-prosperous city built on the backs of automakers, Highland Park is now close to economically destitute.

The Rapid bus station
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids officials must wait for federal money before continuing with a $70 million transit project.

The Obama administration promised the city nearly $57 million for the project, but Grand Rapids didn't receive any of that money during the 2017 fiscal year.

The Michigan Department of Transportation pledged to match the federal grant with $14 million for the project, but the Federal Transit Administration hasn't approved the grant.

kids in hallway
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio file photo

More than 1,000 people sent in tips about suicide threats to a state-run student safety hotline last year. It’s the first time suicide was the most common concern of all incoming tips.

Classically trained in vocal performance at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Holden Madagame was a mezzo soprano. 

But today, he sings professionally as a tenor.

Courtesy of Jalyn-Spencer Harris, Alex Fluegel

The Next Idea

It’s fair to say that mothers need all the help they can get. Family and friends can step in, of course, but what about things like getting lactation advice, finding support groups, programs for kids, and most of all, finding other like-minded mothers?

Some metro areas seem to have lots of resources, but two Detroit residents connected over what they felt was a real lack of community in their city.

Detroit Red Wings vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Carrie Lu / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 

 

We’ve had some listeners reach out on twitter to put in a request: talk some hockey!

We aim to please, and the timing is perfect — it’s the mid-season mark.

 

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio sports commentator, joined Stateside to give us an update on all things hockey, with a side of basketball and football.

New Lexus Velodrome
Courtesy of Dale Hughes

 

Take one impossible dream, and add an angel donor with deep pockets.

What do you get? An impossible dream that comes true – in this case, a new indoor velodrome that's just opened up in Detroit's Midtown area.

It makes Detroit one of only three U.S. cities to have a specially-designed facility for indoor bicycle racing, and its designer believes this velodrome could put Detroit racers in future Olympics.

 

 

straight-party voting
Lars Plougmann

A federal judge says some Michigan lawmakers must sit for interviews about a law that bans straight-party voting.

The questions will be limited to what they might have said about their motives to people outside their offices. U.S. Magistrate Judge Mona Majzoub says communications between lawmakers and their staff are protected.

Charles Woodson, 1997
Bentley Historical Library

Heisman Trophy winner and former Michigan cornerback and safety Charles Woodson was named to the 2018 College Football Hall of fame class Monday morning. He marks the 34th Michigan player or coach to be inducted.

Woodson helped Michigan football to its 1997 national championship and in addition to the coveted Heisman Trophy, earned first-team All-American Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He recorded 18 interceptions in his three years at Michigan. He is currently the only primarily defensive player to win the Heisman award.

Deer cull cuts January hours in 16 Ann Arbor parks

Jan 8, 2018
Ann Arbor plans its first-ever deer cull this year.
Rodney Campbell / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Professional sharpshooters will cull the city's deer population this month, leading to the closure of 16 Ann Arbor parks from 3 p.m. to midnight daily through the end of January. 

According to the city of Ann Arbor, park closures starting Monday, Jan. 8 from 3 p.m. until midnight include: Arbor Hills Nature Area, Barton Nature Area (Foster area north of Warrington Dr. only), Bird Hills Nature Area, Foxfire West Nature Area, Glazier Hill Nature Area, Huron Parkway/ Braun Nature Areas, Leslie Park Golf COurse, Leslie Woods Nature Area, Narrow Gauge Way Nature Area, Oakridge Nature Area (East of Huron Parkway only), Oakwoods Nature Area, Olson Park (dog park and parking lot to remain open), South Pond Nature Area (only the area in the vicinity of NAP office at 3875 E. Huron River Dr.), Stapp Nature Area, Sugarbush Park (North of Rumsey Dr.), Traver Creek Nature Area.

Starting Jan. 8, several select University of Michigan and Concordia properties will also be closed from 3 p.m. to midnight daily. 

Homeless
SamPac / creative commons

Fifty-four years ago, kids were bused from my suburban Detroit high school to Ann Arbor for a special event. The president was coming to the University of Michigan to give a historic commencement addresses. Lyndon Baines Johnson, in office exactly six months following the assassination of President Kennedy, announced his plans to build what he called the Great Society by launching a massive war on poverty.

When Democrats won massive majorities in both houses of Congress that fall, he was able to do just that. These days, popular legend sees the War on Poverty as a failure. In reality, statistics tell a different tale. Some of the programs were clearly poorly thought out, and funding for and interest in poverty waned as the Vietnam War heated up.

As voters pass judgment in the first mid-terms of the Trump era, many are wondering if Michigan will be a congressional battleground in 2018.

There’s a lot of talk about the possibility of a wave-election come November as Democrats prepare for their “wait-til-next-time” moment after the Trump upset of 2016 when Michigan played a central role.

And after last fall’s gubernatorial wins in New Jersey and Virginia and the Roy Moore drama in the Alabama Senate race, 2018 is shaping up to be a doozy of an election year.

On this week's edition of That's What They Say, English Professor Anne Curzan joined us from Salt Lake City, Utah where she attended the American Dialect Society's annual meeting. 

Each year, the ADS gathers to choose a word that best represents "the public discourse and preoccupations of the past year."

Before we reveal the word that dominated 2017, we feel it's necessary to assure you that there's nothing false about this report.


Dollar bills and pennies
Jeffrey Smith / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Minimum wage in Michigan bumped up again with the start of the New Year on Monday. For most workers, that means a jump from $8.90 an hour to $9.25. A group wants to put a measure on the November ballot that would drive that figure up to $12 by 2022, but business groups have expressed concerns.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss what might be best the move for the state.


Mariam Elamine / Southwest Solutions

When the weather gets as bitterly cold as it is right now, an already-dangerous life becomes downright lethal for people living on the streets.

There are teams who try to bring in them in from the cold, if only for a couple days. But first, they have to find them.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

The American car is dying.

And it took an Italian to point it out.

That’d be ol’ Sergio Marchionne. He’s the heretical CEO who shocked the industry when he said Fiat Chrysler would stop producing cars in its U.S. plants. They’d be converted to building higher-margin SUVs because that’s what Americans want in more shapes and sizes. 

Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

A group called Kalkaska for Peace will begin collecting signatures on Saturday to try to force a recall election of its notorious village president, Jeff Sieting.

Sieting's Facebook posts, which contain violent rhetoric against Muslims and other marginalized groups, have attracted national attention.  

David Marvin / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

More than 40,000 Michigan residents were wrongly accused of fraudulently claiming unemployment benefits. The Legislature is considering laws to try to make sure something like that doesn’t happen again.

The Governor and the Legislature are also trying to figure out how to do something beyond just restitution. Some of the people accused of fraud went bankrupt, lost homes, and suffered other consequences. The question is how far can, or should, the state go to make those people whole?

Rep. Paul Mitchell
mitchell.house.gov

Congress has a substantial “to-do list” this year, and with Republicans controlling the House, Senate, and White House, they have a lot of say in what gets done.

To learn more about the GOP goals for the New Year, Stateside sat down with Congressman Paul Mitchell, who represents Michigan’s 10th district.

He discussed the upcoming budget deadline, challenges with saving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and more.

Courtesy of Carma Lewis

Today marks two years since Governor Rick Snyder declared a ‘state of emergency’ in Flint because of lead contamination in the city's water.

Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reported that water quality has improved since the city switched back to Detroit system after using the Flint River, whose improperly treated water corroded pipes. The city has also seen almost 6,000 lead lines replaced. That’s around a third of the number to be replaced.

But there’s still a lot of confusion among Flint residents. 

Thirty years ago, both Detroit newspapers circulated statewide, had hundreds of thousands of readers, and had squads of reporters in Lansing, covering state government.

The Detroit News at one time had 13 reporters there, on the reasonable theory that state government was really the most important branch of government in the lives of people.

Bo Schembechler talks to Jim Harbaugh during a 1985 game against Notre Dame.
Bentley Historical Library

This year, for the first time, the Big Ten failed to place a team in the four-team College Football Playoff. But the league redeemed itself by winning its first seven bowl games – an amazing run. The Big Ten was just one win away from an unprecedented 8-0 bowl record: Michigan versus South Carolina in the Outback Bowl.

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