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Ann Arbor Police Department

The Ann Arbor Police Department is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of men who allegedly spray-painted racist messages in an alley off the 600 block of East Liberty Street.

The men are suspected of spray painting hateful messages on a mural in an alley.  The messages read "Free Dylann Roof," (the white supremacist who killed nine African Americans at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015) and "I hate [n-word]."

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

We haven’t had a lot of what we used to call “slow news days” lately.

Something that once might have been a story for a week quickly gets overwhelmed by a new torrent of disasters, natural and man-made.

One story that was somewhat overlooked was an interesting Freedom of Information Act case involving the president of the University of Michigan, Mark Schlissel, and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a group whose ideology oscillates between libertarianism and thinly veiled support for the Republican Party.

How does an elite group of nine people shape everything from marriage and money, to safety and sex for an entire nation?  During the week of Oct 9-13, Michigan Radio will air a special five part series called More Perfect. Produced and hosted by Radiolab ‘s Jad Abumrad, More Perfect dives into the rarefied world of the Supreme Court to explain how cases deliberated inside hallowed halls affect lives far away from the bench.

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

At this point another editorial cartoon about guns and gun violence (especially after a mass shooting) feels like an exercise in futility. There is the emotional tumult that fuels an enormous bonfire, and the cartoons simply get tossed in. It rages and eventually burns itself out, leaving a feeling of despair. Rinse and repeat.

Michigan vs. Notre Dame. The two teams play their final game in 2014.
Michigan Football / Facebook

For the first time in their 119-year football rivalry, Michigan and Michigan State football will play at night this Saturday.

The 7:30 kick-off time excites the recruits, the players, and the students. In other words, young people. The night game bothers many older fans, and worries store owners, university officials, and the police.

True, the late starts can bring a new energy to the game, which it did when Michigan hosted Notre Dame in Michigan’s first ever night game, in 2011. After the Wolverines pulled off an amazing 17-point comeback, the crowd stuck around for 30 minutes, just to cheer.

But older fans don’t like getting in their cars after midnight, especially when many have to drive several hours. Everyone else is worried about how fans will behave after a full day of tailgating. Some restaurant owners are prepared to close their doors if things get out of hand, and the police and university leaders of both schools are working to keep that from happening.  

So why risk it? That one’s easy: Money.

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

The number of homeless people in Michigan declined 9% last year.

That shows Michigan's approach is working, says Kelly Rose.  She's Chief Housing Solutions Officer for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. 

Rose says agencies now focus resources on those most in need, rather than first come, first serve.  And the approach is to get someone into housing first, then help them deal with problems like substance abuse or mental health.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Twenty-three Detroit neighborhoods could see their business strips revitalized and made more walkable under a plan proposed by Mayor Mike Duggan.

The plan involves selling $125-million worth of bonds to fix the roadways, add medians and bike paths, and plant trees, among other improvements.

Jevana Watson is opening a coffee shop, Detroit Sip, on McNichols road near Livernois on the west side of the city, one of the neighborhoods that would get a facelift.

She says the plan could help the neighborhood thrive and grow.

School desks
Flickr user Frank Juarez/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Grand Rapids Public School District could lose more than a million dollars due to a drop in enrollment.

Michigan schools are funded based on the number of students – or per pupil funded. So, fewer students mean less money for the district.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flags across Michigan have been flying at half-staff this week in honor of the victims of Sunday night’s massacre in Las Vegas. Flags will be raised at sunset Friday.

It’s become an all too common ritual.

black and white headshot of author
Courtesy Gasper Tringale

Jeffrey Eugenides was born in Detroit in 1960, and later moved to Grosse Pointe. Since high school, Eugenides has lived in New York, Chicago, Berlin and many other places, but the influence of growing up in Michigan filters into many of his works. Detroit plays a major role in his novel Middlesex, which won the 2003 Pultizer Prize for fiction. Eugenides also set his debut novel The Virgin Suicides in metro Detroit.

Looking up into the rotunda of the Michigan Capitol.
user cedarbenddrive/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Members of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus met with the head of the Michigan State Police Thursday.

 

The meeting was to address concerns about a meme Colonel Kriste Etue posted on Facebook. It called NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem “degenerates.”

 

Members of the caucus called for Etue’s resignation or firing.

The new House Speaker, Tom Leonard from DeWitt, wants to bring civility back to the political process in Lansing.
GOPHouse.org

  Michigan’s Speaker of the House has his eye on a new government position for 2019.

 

Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, announced Thursday he is running for state Attorney General. Leonard is in his third term as a State Representative.

 

Police
J J / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Grand Rapids Police Department wanted to mirror the community it serves. Now, the most diverse recruiting class in years has been sworn in.

Dave Rahinsky, chief of police for the Grand Rapids Police Department, says the diversity was intentional.

Undocumented students rally on UM campus

Oct 5, 2017

Undocumented students rallied on the University of Michigan campus to raise awareness of their needs ahead of the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

People in the DACA program arrived in the United States as children, and have been allowed to remain in the country to work or attend school. The students said they wanted to bring attention to their predicament, and ask the administration for specific supports and resources.

Kevin Reese / Flickr- HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL

This Las Vegas massacre has revived the outcry against the presence of certain guns in this country. These calls for tightening gun laws, or banning the bump stock that converts a rifle into an automatic weapon, are focused on Congress.

But there won't be much of an outcry in Lansing, beyond a few tweets.

That's because the gun control side lost Michigan more than 16 years ago, according to Zach Gorchow, editor of Gongwer News Service.

Alan / Flickr - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Will General Motors and Ford be able to rise to the challenge of self-driving cars? 

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes isn't sure. 

Marco40134 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There is an agony that descends upon a family when a child is diagnosed with a neurological and behavioral disability. Imagine adding to that by realizing this child’s disability is 100% incurable, and 100% preventable.

That is the case with FASD: fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

mollyali / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

Former AOL CEO and Revolution LLC founder Steve Case's "Rise of the Rest" will make its second pit stop in Ann Arbor on Wednesday.

“It’s really emerging as a strong startup city," Case said. "It’s sort of the center of gravity in terms of a lot of the innovation in Michigan and a lot of people are beginning to understand there are great startups there.”

Football game at Michigan Stadium at night
Larry / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

At 7:30 on Saturday night, plenty of folks in the state will be fixed on the annual clash between Michigan and Michigan State during the first-ever night game between the two.

Haberman is third Democrat to run to succeed Trott

Oct 5, 2017
Haberman for Congress Campaign

Dan Haberman, a Democrat, announced his candidacy today for Republican Dave Trott's U.S. House seat in the Detroit suburbs. Trott is not seeking re-election in 2018.

Haberman is a long-time resident of Birmingham and a Southeast Michigan businessman.

He said he will bring a problem-solving approach to government.

"The push to get government back to work for us is an essential driver, to get healthcare that works for all of us, an economy that works for all of us, and government that works for all of us," said Haberman.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of nurses are walking a picket line outside the largest hospital in the Upper Peninsula.

Members of the Michigan Nurses Association launched a 48-hour strike against U.P. Health System Marquette on Thursday. The nurses have been working without a contract since May.

Scott Balko is the president of the local nurses’ union. He says staffing issues have become an increasing problem since an out-of-state hospital company acquired three local hospitals in the U.P. in past few years.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Who should issue a health alert and when they  should do it became the focus during a long day in a Genesee County courtroom today. 

State health department Director Nick Lyon is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Genesee County man in 2015.

More than a dozen people died during the Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Genesee County from 2014 to the end of 2015.

The incomplete Wayne County jail.
Wayne County

Wayne County and the city of Detroit announced a tentative land swap deal Thursday, which brings the Dan Gilbert-owned Rock Ventures one step closer to building a new jail on the land.

Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans and Mayor Mike Duggan said in a press release that the move will benefit the city and the county alike. Duggan called it “a win-win.”

Police
J J / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of legislation proposed that was, well, just plain nutty. Some was wrongheaded, some was outrageous, and generally the system took care of itself. There have also been things that became law that I profoundly disagreed with or which filled me with dismay. But I frankly cannot recall being really scared by any of it, until now.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof is pushing a plan to legalize a whole new class of private police forces, and if that isn’t immensely frightening, I think it should be.

It was July 7, 2013, and Diane Hubble remembers that she was making mulberry jam at her son’s house.

When she came home, there was a Macomb County sheriff’s car, still running, parked in the driveway. She knew immediately that something was very wrong, and that it had to do with her daughter, Jennifer Meyers.

The "Sparty" statue on the MSU campus
Betsy Weber / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Larissa Boyce has good days and bad days.

Today is a good day. Boyce’s husband, Adam, a teacher, and their three oldest kids are at school, leaving just her and three-year-old Skyler to visit Grandpa and the central passion of Skyler’s life: Grandpa’s tractor.

“All done with tractor,” Skyler announces solemnly at the end of their ride. (A few minutes later: “Go tractor?”)

G.L. Kohuth / Michigan State University

Michigan may start tracking its sexual assault evidence kits. An amendment to the state’s budget would pay for the required software and training.

The kits contain swabs and other evidence gathered from a victim of sexual assault. Software would track the kit as it moves from hospital to police department to laboratory. It also sends out alerts if a kit has been in one location too long. 

Prison bars
flickr user Thomas Hawk / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Sentencing people to prison instead of probation can have some long-lasting effects, according to a recent study from the University of Michigan.

It found that if you're convicted of a felony and sentenced to prison rather than probation, you're more likely to go back to prison.

Stack of documents
moppet65535 / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

File a FOIA request, get sued.

A journalist, taxpayer, or government watchdog group can use the Freedom of Information Act to request records from a public body — maybe a government agency or state university, for instance.

The response? The public body sues the requester.

It’s happening in Michigan and spreading through the country. But what does this mean for a free press and transparency of public information?

Tobias Leeger / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Today (10/4)  is Count Day. For school districts in Michigan, it’s crucially important to have as many enrolled kids sitting in their seats as possible. That’s because this is one of the two days during the school year when attendance determines how much state aid schools will get.

There’s much work to do in boosting attendance, not just on Count Day.  A recent report from Johns Hopkins University finds Michigan's chronic student absence rate of 18-percent is well above the national average of 13-percent.

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