News

I’ve been studying presidential elections for a long time, and can tell you that this has been the most anti-immigrant campaign since the Know-Nothing Party of the early 1850s.

Ironically, many of those bashing immigrants today are descended from people who the early immigrant-bashers hated: Germans, Irish and Catholics.

But I’m not sure that even the Know-Nothings ever descended to the levels we’ve seen this year, with the leading Republican presidential candidate saying he’d build a wall across our southern border and force Mexico to pay for it. Nor did they ever call for repealing the part of the Constitution that says children born here are automatically citizens.

Yash Mori / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan Attorney Bill Schuette is endorsing Jeb Bush for president in 2016.

He announced on Wednesday that he’ll serve as chair for Bush’s campaign organization in Michigan.

There’s a hunger out there for Republicans to take back the White House and put the country on the right track,” Schuette told reporters on a conference call.

Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

A few decades ago, if you wanted to know how far Port Huron is from Grand Rapids, you'd have had to look it up in a book. And that book would have probably come from the library. Today, Google will tell you the answer (180.9 miles) in less than a second.

So where does that leave libraries, with their stores of atlases, story books, encyclopedias and dictionaries?

That's what we're exploring when we hit the road on tomorrow to do some reporting for an upcoming online feature.

Potholes are a familiar obstacle on Michigan roads.
Flickr user Michael Gil / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

This Week in Michigan Politics, Michigan Radio’s senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry and Morning Edition host Christina Shockley discuss another road funding plan, proposed changes for medical marijuana cardholders, and body cameras.


Rebecca Kruth

The Detroit Police Department says it's moving forward with plans to put body cameras on all officers. All marked police vehicles will have dashboard cameras too.

Last spring, the DPD announced a 90-day pilot program to test several body cameras in the field.

Mayor Mike Duggan said the 20 officers who volunteered to be part of the program concluded "the technology works."

Marijuana plant.
USFWS

State lawmakers are considering taxing and tracking medical marijuana in Michigan.

Bill sponsors are expected to tack those and other changes onto bills that would create new protections for dispensaries and patients who use non-smokable forms of cannabis.

A state House panel on Tuesday also took up a new bill that would track cannabis from seed to sale.

USDA/wikipedia

More than 70% of Michigan school districts used a private contractor for busing, custodial, or food service in 2015, according to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

James Hohman of the Center says privatizing helps districts trim their payroll. Districts must pay about 25% of payroll into the state's severely underfunded pension plan.

Courtesy photo / Mary Whiteford

A small business owner and former ER nurse is hoping to unseat State Representative Cindy Gamrat.

Gamrat is at the center of a sex and cover-up scandal in Lansing.

Republican Mary Whiteford says she’s ready to run for Gamrat’s seat, whether she resigns or not. Gamrat has not resigned, but she’s not taken the option off the table either.

Rep. Todd Courser, R-Lapeer, and Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, returned to the state capitol today.
images from Courser/Gamrat offices

Representatives Todd Courser, R-Lapeer, and Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, were due to return to the Capitol today for the first time since their affair was exposed – along with Courser's attempt to cover it up by conjuring up a phony gay sex scandal.

Paul Hitzelberger / United Photo Works

A new logistics center on Detroit's east side is expected to create 150 jobs.  

The facility was announced at a job fair held at Second Ebenezer Church. 

Edgar Vann, the bishop of the church, says there were about 100 people lined up before the doors even opened. 

Fowling Warehouse / Facebook

For Chris Hutt, a long tradition of tailgating and camping at the same lot at the Indianapolis 500 has led to creating a sport and a business.

This new activity is called “fowling.”

And the business is the Fowling Warehouse in Detroit, where players gather to toss footballs at bowling pins.

“Fowling is a combination of football, bowling and a little bit of horseshoes in there as well," said Hutt.

Faisal Akram/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

It turns out that in France the role of the sommelier is more limited than here in the U.S., according to Christopher Cook, HOUR Detroit's chief wine critic.

"In France, the sommelier does not buy the wine for the restaurant. That's usually done by the owner in conjunction with the chef," said Cook. 

OUCARES

This summer marks the 10th anniversary of a very special summer camp program at Oakland University in Rochester.

It’s the annual film camp for young people on the autism spectrum. Campers from ages 10 to 20 write, direct, edit and star in a short film. It’s followed by a red carpet premiere for attendees and their families in October.

Courtesy of the artist

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Chenille Sisters. Cheryl Dawdy, Grace Morand and Connie Huber formed the group in 1985 in Ann Arbor and they’ve been harmonizing together ever since.

  Originally, Morand and Huber were in a band together. Dawdy attended their shows and was recruited to round out the group.

"Pretty soon Cheryl would come to our gigs and we would tell the guys in the band to take a break and just do things as a trio and it dawned on us that we didn’t need the band," Morand says.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Mary Beth Kelly unexpectedly announced yesterday that she was leaving the court in six weeks to return to private practice, where she will presumably make more money. 

She was first elected to the court less than five years ago, but is bailing out only about halfway through her term, saying she had accomplished what she set out to do.

Bill McGraw / Bridge

by Bill McGraw

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is a disciplined speaker whose message rarely varies from the nitty-gritty ways he and his administration are repairing the wounded city they inherited: improving emergency response times, auctioning vacant homes, turning on streetlights, demolishing abandoned property, and trying to lower auto insurance rates.

Rebecca Williams/Michigan Radio

Invasive species love to sneak a ride on boats.

There are more than 180 exotic species in the Great Lakes, and we help move them around.

Jo Latimore is an outreach specialist with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University.

“Research has shown that boats and trailers moving from one lake to another are the number one vector, the number one pathway of invasive species moving from one water body to the next,” she says.

Consumers Energy launching new solar energy program

Aug 18, 2015
Large solar panels
Consumers Energy

Consumers Energy is launching a new program that will let customers invest in renewable energy.

The new community solar program, called Solar Gardens, is the first of its kind for the company, according to Consumers.

Jake Neher / MPRN

A former staffer for embattled state representatives Todd Courser, R-Lapeer, and Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, is speaking out against his former bosses.

Courser and Gamrat are accused of using public resources to cover up an affair. That includes attempting to involve their publicly-funded staff, which they shared at the time.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Making state lottery games available online has resulted in a disagreement between the state and a native tribe.

Twice a year the Gun Lake Tribe gives a big check to the state of Michigan. Last time, in December 2014, it was more than $7 million. The money comes from the tribe’s casino, just south of Grand Rapids.

Cooley Law School enrollment declines sharply

Aug 17, 2015
Cooley Law School

Law schools across the country have been experiencing enrollment declines for the past few years, but not like Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

In 2010, Cooley Law School had about 4,000 students. This past academic school year, the law school had 1,880 students.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/77087921@N06/6910355817
cwazniak / Flickr/creative commons

Unemployment is improving, and gas prices are relatively low. That means more people are on the road, and they're driving more miles.

"During the recession, motor vehicle fatalities dropped by around 10,000," says the National Safety Council's Ken Kolosh. "Now with the economy improving, with gas prices at relatively low levels, we're beginning to see a rebound."

Matt Kenseth took the checkered flag in the Pure Michigan 400.
MIS

While a million or so people lined Woodward Avenue this weekend for the annual Dream Cruise, another big group of car fans made their way to the Michigan International Speedway for some NASCAR heaven: the Pure Michigan 400.

wikimedia commons

A Detroit police officer is accused of knowing about a conspiracy to commit murder, then lying to investigators about it.

A one-man grand jury indictment unsealed Monday lays out charges against Officer Elijah Lately.

Lately is accused of knowing about a plot to murder a witness in another criminal case.

flickr user Thomas Hawk / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

What determines whether a prisoner should be paroled?

In Michigan, that decision is informed by a risk assessment questionnaire called COMPAS.

Sonja B. Starr is a professor of law at the University of Michigan and is the co-director of the Center for Empirical Legal Studies.

Our "comeback" could use more women investors

Aug 17, 2015
Courtesy of Inforum

The Next Idea

“I never really thought about it that way.”

As someone who regularly judges start-up pitch competitions across Michigan, I tend to hear this phrase rather often from my male colleagues.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Mary Beth Kelly.
Michigan Supreme Court

The announcement was made today by the Michigan Supreme Court. Justice Mary Beth Kelly will leave the Supreme Court and return to private practice effective October 1, 2015. Kelly is counted as a conservative member on the seven-member court. The court is made up of five Republican nominees and two Democratic nominees.

I may be the only person who felt this way, but when I was watching Cindy Gamrat’s sad little press conference Friday, the first person I thought of was Oliver Cromwell.

I’m not sure that even Ms. Gamrat or Todd Courser or State Senator Virgil Smith ever heard of the 17th century British statesman. 

Marcelo Lopez-Dinardi

The big thing you need to know about Afrofuturism is that it is joyous and fun and a celebration of the past, present, and future.

Late last month, three young artists road-tripped from Toronto to Detroit for a weekend festival called Sigi Fest that celebrated Afrofuturism. And they were certainly joyful. 

General Motors

A University of Iowa survey finds many people are uncertain how many safety technologies work – even those that have been around for a long time.  

27% haven't heard of traction control, and the same percentage don't recognize the symbol indicating low tire pressure. 

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