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Lake Michigan
User airbutchie / flickr.com

Communities along the shore of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin and Michigan have been recording unusually high levels of ozone for years. On some days, these levels even put them in violation of federal air quality standards.

The source of the pollution is presumed to be upwind urban centers, primarily Chicago, but little is known about how the ozone is transported to shoreline areas. 

Money
Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / Creative Commons

We have an update on the efforts to get Detroit area charter school employees paid for time worked during the school year.

Many employees at Michigan Technical Academy spread their paychecks out over the year, but late last month, the charter school's board had to divert those summer paychecks to creditors. 

Matchbook Learning is the nonprofit charter management company that directly employs MTA staff. Today, the company's CEO Sajan George sent a letter to MTA employees saying the charter's board gave its approval last night to appoint an independent "receiver" to review the payroll issue. 

Legionella pneumophila
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

State officials are working with health departments in Detroit and Macomb, Wayne and Oakland counties to investigate an increase in Legionnaires' disease cases.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Friday that 73 cases of legionellosis were identified in June and July in southeastern Michigan.

An average of 30 cases were identified over the same two months from 2014-2016.

Workers are voting today at a Nissan vehicle assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi whether to join the United Auto Workers union. That might not seem like a huge deal either way.

After all, it’s just one plant. But it is a big one, with more than six thousand workers, about three-fifths of whom are African-American. If the UAW wins, it will be the dwindling union’s first victory ever in a major foreign-owned “transplant” factory.

cartoon of trump on ladder giving James McCloughan medal of honor
John Auchter / Michigan Radio

On Monday, July 31, former Army medic and Vietnam War veteran James McCloughan was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by the president at a White House ceremony.

His story is breathtaking. In 1969, during the Battle of Nui Yon Hill, McCloughan's company came under heavy fire and was in full retreat. As his fellow soldiers ran for cover, McCloughan was consistently moving in the opposite direction and into harm's way to collect the wounded and bring them to safety. 

child holds onto a fence that surrounds a refugee camp
User Jordi Bernabeu Farrús / Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A small group of children fleeing violence in their home countries is stuck in limbo. They've been paired with American foster families, including some in Michigan.

But they can't come to the U.S. because of President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, which affects people from six predominantly Muslim countries and temporarily bans all refugees. 

The children are part of the unaccompanied refugee minor program, which was created in the 1980s to help thousands of displaced children from Southeast Asia. 

Detroit precincts will have new vote tabulators for the primary.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Despite receiving unfavorable national attention for some serious problems in last November’s general election, Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey pledges that Tuesday’s primary election should run smoothly.

Winfrey says a combination of new voting equipment and improved poll-worker training should help avoid the problems that plagued Detroit precincts in November.

An aborted presidential recount found that votes couldn’t be “reconciled” in more than half of all Detroit precincts, meaning that voter poll books didn’t match the number of ballots cast. 

Picture of Collin Rose
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Charges have now been filed in the shooting death of a Wayne State University police officer.

Raymond Durham, 61, faces first-degree murder and three other charges in the fatal shooting of Sergeant Collin Rose last November. Rose was shot in the head while conducting a bicycle traffic stop near midtown Detroit.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office had to drop charges against another man accused of Rose’s murder last year. But Worthy says the case against Durham is different.

karen weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver will face a recall election in November over her support for a trash removal contract opposed by the city council. Executives at Rizzo, the trash removal company, were later indicted in Macomb County for bribery and fraud.

Weaver wanted the petition thrown out, saying that recall organizers didn't gather enough valid signatures. But Genesee County Clerk John Gleason says his review of the petitions found enough valid signatures to call the election.

Andrew Stein, executive director of City Year Detroit, says Americorps members help at-risk students, and teachers who have to manage large class sizes.
Detroit Public Schools

Detroit public school students could soon be spending a lot less time on testing during the school year.

The Detroit Public Schools Community District is moving to cut the number of assessments they give students across the district by 70 percent — from administering 186 tests down to 57 tests.

Courtesy of the Siddiqui family

Marine Gunnery Sergeant Joseph Felix will soon face a general court martial at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

The former drill instructor is facing charges including hazing and maltreatment — violations of military discipline — and drunk and disorderly conduct.

He is being tried for his alleged involvement in the March 2016 death of Marine recruit Raheel Siddiqui.

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

President Trump has thrown his support behind a plan to slash legal immigration in half by moving to a “merit-based” system. It’s called the RAISE Act and it was written by Republican Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia.

Even though the RAISE Act is not expected to pass in Congress, what message is America sending to the world? And what would this plan mean for Michigan if it did pass? 

Roymundo VII / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

The Next Idea

Homelessness has a different look in a city than it does in rural areas, and somehow it feels easier to overlook.

Dennis Van Kampen, executive director and CEO of the Grand Rapids nonprofit Mel Trotter Ministries, joined Stateside to talk about a pilot program aimed at helping homeless families in rural Cedar Springs, and take on the problem of rural homelessness more broadly.

collection of photos
STEVE CARMODY, JODI WESTRICK, AND THOMAS HAWK. / MICHIGAN RADIO AND FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

When it comes to re-sentencing inmates who were sentenced to life without parole as juveniles, Michigan is lagging behind just about every other state.

Back in December, we brought you a series of stories about the juvenile lifers in Michigan prisons.

We dug into how Michigan prosecutors have responded to a pair of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that made it very clear that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles are unconstitutional.

John Chevier / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

In 2000, 59 young adults in Michigan between the ages of 18 and 29 were reported as having chronic hepatitis C (HVC). Last year, there 2,060 reported cases in that same age group.

That’s an astonishing 3,391 percent increase within the span of just 16 years.

Those numbers come from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services annual assessment of hepatitis rates, which was released on Wednesday. 

The Statue of Liberty
Celso Flores / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

You never know, but if President Trump’s sweeping new immigration policy proposals had always been in place, I probably wouldn’t be here. Most likely, you wouldn’t either.

My paternal ancestors supposedly came from Great Britain centuries ago, but my maternal ones came from Bavaria to Michigan in the 1880s. They didn’t speak English and had no special skills, so that would have been that.

Asian longhorned beetle
USDA

Officials want you to help them look for a tree killer.

It’s called the Asian longhorned beetle. It has a shiny black body with white spots, really long antennae, and sometimes, blue feet.

It’s not in Michigan yet, as far as anyone knows. But there are infestations in Ohio.

Bottled water.
John McDonnell / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Back in January of this year, when I first decided to embark on reporting about bottled water in Michigan, I had literally no idea what I was in for. That’s probably a good thing, because I plowed ahead naively optimistic and enthusiastic.

Judge orders Flint and DEQ into mediation over water

Aug 2, 2017
Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

A federal judge has ordered the state of Michigan and the city of Flint into mediation to try to resolve their differences regarding the future of Flint’s drinking water.

U.S. District Judge David Lawson on Tuesday appointed Troy-based attorney Paul Monicatti to facilitate an agreement between the city and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Screencap from Google Maps / Google

A group representing mayors and cities in the Great Lakes region has dropped its fight against letting Waukesha, Wisconsin, draw water from Lake Michigan.

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative says it has reached a settlement with a council representing the region's eight states. The council last year granted Waukesha permission to tap the lake, which ordinarily would be prohibited because the city is outside the watershed boundary.

Waukesha needs a new water source because its groundwater is contaminated with radium.

Television remote control
flash.pro / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

As if rural communities aren’t already underserved by media outlets, University of Virginia Professor Christopher Ali says the problem will likely get worse in the future.

The Federal Communications Commission is considering loosening some of the oldest regulations on broadcasters: the Main Studio Rule and the UHF discount.

woman carrying bags on factory floor
Nestle / Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Governor Rick Snyder recently signed into law a package of bills collectively dubbed “Good Jobs for Michigan.”

It’s a tax incentive intended to reward businesses that hire large numbers of Michigan employees. But it’s not exactly clear what qualifies as a “good job" under the new law. 

outline of human body
Alexander Tokarev / Courtesy of Arul Chinnaiyan

Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have taken a big step forward in understanding how to craft precision treatments for advanced cancer – cancer that has metastasized, or spread.

Using 520 tumor types, they found that in 90 percent of cases, key contributors to an individual patient’s cancer can be identified.

IMAGES MONEY / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

President Trump has made no secret of his desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“You know, I said from the beginning: Let Obamacare implode,” Trump said late last week after the Senate failed to repeal the ACA.

But is the president letting Obamacare implode, or is he making it implode?

Trump threatened on Twitter to end the cost-sharing reduction subsidies – money that helps poorer Americans buy health insurance on the ACA exchanges.

State Police records, RG 90-240, housed in the Archives of Michigan

It was nearly fifty years ago when Michigan music lovers attended a Woodstock-like music festival in south-central Michigan. But not everyone was happy about it.

The Michigan History Center’s Mark Harvey joined Stateside today dig into the story surrounding the Goose Lake Music Festival.

flooding in Midland
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump has made a disaster declaration for four Michigan counties that sustained widespread damage amid severe storms and flash flooding in June.

The announcement Wednesday makes federal funding available to residents and business owners in Bay, Gladwin, Isabella and Midland Counties for things such as temporary housing, repairs, and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses. The assistance will also aid the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe within Isabella County.

President Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services announced Tuesday that it won a 30-day extension to publish proposed health insurance rate hikes, citing "uncertainty" over whether insurers will be reimbursed for providing required financial assistance to low-income consumers who purchase insurance through the individual marketplace.

sign that says "please be a leader in the fight for single payer"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan opponents of repealing the Affordable Care Act say now that the latest effort to repeal it has failed, it’s time to look at how to fix Obamacare's problems. 

Rising costs was a complaint raised by several people attending a forum on health care in Saginaw on Wednesday. 

Dan kildee talking to crowd
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan members of Congress are back in their districts on their August break.

During the first half of year, many Michigan congressmen held raucous town hall meetings with people angry about the presidential election and the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Flint Congressman Dan Kildee says he’s still seeing frustrated constituents. But he says their frustration is different.

aerial shot of buildings, soccer stadium
Rossetti

Wayne County is a step closer to letting its unfinished jail in Detroit become a $1 billion development that would include a pro soccer stadium. The county is working to finalize details with businessman Dan Gilbert. In exchange for the jail site, Gilbert would construct a new criminal justice center near I-75 in the city.

Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the deal and whether major league soccer would be successful in Detroit. 

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