Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr

People would face criminal penalties for coercing someone to have an abortion under a bill in the state House.

Republican state lawmakers have been trying to add the penalties for years. Supporters say prosecutors should have them as a tool to crack down on domestic abuse.

flickr user bobdoran /

A state House panel has approved long-stalled bills to overhaul Michigan’s medical marijuana system.

House Bills 4209, 4210, and 4827 would add protections for dispensaries and non-smokable forms of medical marijuana. But to get the necessary support from Republicans on the committee, the bills now include taxing and tracking cannabis sold through dispensaries.

This week marks the 45th anniversary of Dr. Alice Hamilton’s death.

Hamilton was a leading expert in the field of occupational health and a pioneer in toxicology. She lived to the age of 101.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A Detroit woman has reached a settlement with the city of Dearborn, after her HIV-positive status became an issue during a traffic stop.

Shalandra Jones told Dearborn police officer David Lacey she had HIV after he found her medication during a vehicle search in 2012.

Lacey chastised her for not revealing that immediately.

Claressa Shields is the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing

One of the breakout stars of the 2012 summer Olympics in London was a teenage girl from Flint.

Claressa Shields made it to London to become the first American woman to win Olympic gold in boxing.

Shields, nicknamed “T-Rex,” is still going strong. She won the World Championship in 2014, and she recently won gold at the Pan American games in Toronto.

People moving from Syria into Turkey.
European Commission DG ECHO

The Syrian refugee crisis has forced President Obama to consider admitting many more refugees to the U.S. Recently, Secretary of State John Kerry pledged that the United States will take 100,000 refugees a year by 2017, increasing from 70,000 this year.

Well, if you’ve been following the news from Lansing, it seems likely that the Legislature will soon vote to eliminate what’s known as "prevailing wage," which is the requirement that the state pay union-scale wages to workers on state construction projects.

kyle rw / flickr

Michigan Child and Adult Protective Services workers are now eligible for more overtime pay. That’s after the workers won a big arbitration decision for on-call employees.

Ray Holman is with UAW Local 6000, which represents the workers. He’s also a former Child Protective Services worker.

Wikimedia Commons

  Nearly 1 in 4 college women experience some form of sexual assault, according to a new survey from the Association of American Universities.

The survey polled 150,000 students at 27 schools, including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

And what’s interesting is that this survey indicates that sexual assault on campus may be even more prevalent than other, widely-cited studies suggest – for instance, the White House’s “Not Alone” campaign says 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted while in college.

Former Michigan Representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat.
From Courser/Gamrat websites

State elections officials say there’s nothing in the law that says former Representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat can’t run for their old seats in the upcoming special election.

Both filed after Gamrat was expelled by a two-thirds vote of the state House, and Courser quit as he was about to be removed. The two tea party lawmakers were embroiled in a sex-and-cover-up scandal.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Amid growing concerns about Flint’s drinking water, federal, state and local elected leaders were briefed today in Lansing by federal and state environmental regulators. After the meeting, one prominent elected official called for more independent testing of Flint's drinking water.

Recent tests by researchers from Virginia Tech University have shown "serious" lead levels in a significant percentage of Flint homes. The tests showed lead levels in some homes at 15 parts per billion or higher. The researchers have advised many homeowners to stop drinking their tap water, especially if there are young children or pregnant women living there.

Doug Coombe

Carson Brown wants to make people think critically about what he calls the American landscape, and he’s not talking about mountains and vistas. He’s talking about the American landscape of consumerism.

“I want people to look around the space of a big box store and ask, ‘Is this space necessary? Do I need all these things? Is this a healthy way of living my life?’”

Richard Nixon is remembered today largely for all the bad things he did while President. He lied, engaged in a massive cover-up of criminal activities, obstructed justice, bugged even himself – you name it. 

In the end he resigned.

Todd Courser did the same 10 days ago, so that he wouldn’t be thrown out of the Michigan Legislature, as Cindy Gamrat in fact was.

A weekend of Republican partying on Mackinac Island wrapped up yesterday after 2,200 people with the time (and money) attended the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference. 

University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

A new poll shows disagreement among parents about what exactly constitutes cyberbullying.

The University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked hundreds of parents of children between 13 and 17 years old about cyberbullying.   

The poll found agreement that children bullying other children online is wrong. But agreement was more elusive on what exactly qualifies as cyberbullying and what’s the best response.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan school district is ending a program that put grandparents in the classroom.

  Grandparents for years got a small payment for volunteering to help Saginaw teachers and students. Elease Watson tells WNEM-TV  that sometimes a simple hug can change a kid's day.

  But Superintendent Nate McClain says the district can't use certain grants to pay for the program. He says the money is reserved for instruction.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

HOUGHTON, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to take an unusual case involving an Upper Peninsula counselor and a teen's false memories of sexual abuse.

The teen's parents are accusing Kathryn Salmi of malpractice in Houghton County. They say their daughter falsely accused the father of sexual abuse because of Salmi's counseling techniques.

  Authorities investigated but no charges were filed. The state appeals court, in a 2-1 decision last year, said Salmi could be sued by the parents.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

CLARE, Mich. (AP) - A man hunting for porcupine was attacked by a black bear in Clare County.

  The Department of Natural Resources says the 46-year-old was treated for minor injuries Thursday night. The hunter told authorities that the bear knocked him over from behind.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan Republicans have wrapped up their leadership conference on Mackinac Island. Senator Rand Paul won a straw poll of the 2,200 Republicans in attendance. Paul told the conference he’s the candidate who will shake things up.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A national group representing the left and right of the political spectrum is concentrating on Michigan as ripe for criminal justice changes that include releasing parolees earlier and taming law enforcement's seizure of people's assets regardless of whether charges are filed.

  The U.S. Justice Action Network comprises groups such as the liberal American Civil Liberties Union and conservative FreedomWorks. The organization's executive director, Holly Harris, has been lobbying lawmakers and hopes legislation is enacted by year's end.

It’s that time of year when University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan is asked for her opinion about all kinds of language disputes.

Curzan is one of about 200 panel members of American Heritage Dictionary, which sends out a user ballot every September.

This year one of the questions is: "How many syllables in the word 'miniature?'

Some people use four syllables, but the word is commonly pronounced with three, as in "mini-ture."

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has taken a subtle dig at rival Donald Trump while explaining leadership to Michigan Republicans.

  She says that leadership isn't defined by position, title or the size of someone's helicopter or "ego." She's delivered the line before.

  Republicans gathered on Mackinac Island were excited to hear from the lesser-known but buzzed-about Fiorina days after a strong debate performance.

  She says a leader "challenges the status quo" and "we have been managing the decline of this great nation for far too long."

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

CASSOPOLIS, Mich. (AP) - Hunters in southwestern Michigan are being warned to watch for waste related to methamphetamine.

  Cass County authorities say it's unfortunate that meth makers dump their waste in rural areas. It could be drain cleaner, coffee filters, cold packs and bottles with plastic tubes sticking out from the lid.

  Hunters are being told to call police and not touch anything.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The state of Michigan is suing Hewlett-Packard Co., accusing the company of failing to complete a multimillion-dollar overhaul of computers at Secretary of State offices.

  The state says it gave HP a termination letter on Aug. 28. Three days later, employees stopped reporting to work, although the state says they still were required to provide support.

Coasters with sexual assault awareness messages are being distributed this month in Saginaw bars catering to a college age crowd.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

At 13 bars popular with local college students in Saginaw, bartenders are handing out sexual assault awareness messages along with the drinks.

The Saginaw County Sexual Violence Prevention Team and other groups have printed hundreds of bar coasters with sexual assault awareness messages in the form of popular songs with their lyrics slightly altered.

Marc Edwards, PhD, of Virginia Tech University holds two vials of water, one from Flint and the other from Detroit. The Flint water is noticeably cloudy.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This past week, researchers from Virginia Tech University were back in Flint to conduct more tests of the city’s tap water. 

A previous round of tests of nearly 300 homes found ‘serious’ lead levels in nearly one in five homes.  

That’s at odds with tests conducted by the city of Flint and overseen by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, which didn’t show higher than acceptable levels of lead in the water. 

The incomplete Wayne County jail.
Wayne County

The IRS is auditing Wayne County over $200 million in bonds for a jail that was never completed.

The Wayne County Building Authority issued the bonds to construct a new jail in 2010.

The county shut down the project in 2013, after costs skyrocketed beyond original projections.

Update 5:44 pm:

Former state Rep. Todd Courser is running again for the state House seat he resigned last week. Courser filed shortly after 3 p.m. on Friday to run in a special election for the seat.

Courser admitted to trying to cover up an affair with former state Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, who was expelled for her part in the scandal. Gamrat filed to run for her former seat on Thursday.

In an interview on Friday with CNN, Courser, R-Lapeer, said the decision came after discussions with his wife.

I know a couple who bought two brand-new General Motors cars in the mid-1980s. She bought an Oldsmobile station wagon, and he bought a beautiful sleek Buick.

They carefully maintained them, didn’t abuse them, and the cars fell apart. The Oldsmobile finally died after barely seventy thousand miles. The Buick had massive electrical problems for which the company refused to take any responsibility.

Gray wolf confirmed in lower peninsula

Sep 17, 2015
Gray wolf
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

The presence of a gray wolf in Michigan's lower peninsula was confirmed this week.  

In the winter of 2014, a motion-activated wildlife camera on the reservation of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians captured several shots of what appeared to be a wolf.