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The Associated Press

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Michigan has approved amended tax incentives so Dow Chemical has more time to add jobs and AK Steel can qualify for tax credits following a merger.

The deals OK'd Tuesday by the Michigan Strategic Fund Board impose new caps on the tax credits at $61.4 million for Dow and at $20.3 million for the steelmaker. Economic development officials say the AK Steel agreement reduces Michigan's estimated liability by about $23 million.

Andrea_44 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The U.S. Supreme Court has turned away an appeal from General Motors Co. seeking to block dozens of lawsuits over faulty ignition switches that could expose the company to billions of dollars in additional claims.

The justices on Monday left in place a lower court ruling that said the automaker's 2009 bankruptcy did not shield it from liability in the cases.

Governor Rick Snyder wants the $2.4 billion dollar in mental health Medicaid money to be turned over to private insurance companies to manage.
A Health Blog / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Community mental health groups fear that their funding and management could be transferred to private insurers.

The state House and Senate subcommittees on Health and Human Services passed their budget plans for the department this past week. Mental health groups say the Senate subcommittee's plan intends to privatize by 2020.

Similarly, Gov. Rick Snyder last year called for moving the $2.5 billion of community mental health money and management to private insurers. The House's proposal did not call for moving the money or management to private insurers.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Eight years into Michigan's economic recovery, the fiscal outlook is still unnerving for municipalities seen as ill-equipped to withstand the next recession.

  Despite continued job growth and record auto sales, the state's per-capita personal income lags the national average after a long-lasting downturn. Taxable values of property are below peak levels in 85% of municipalities. And their state aid is down 20% from 15 years ago.

front of vw car
User Mike Knell / Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Detroit judge has approved a fine negotiation between the U.S. government and Volkswagen Friday morning.

Federal Judge Sean Cox has ordered the German automaker to pay $2.8 billion in criminal penalties. The company pled guilty to conspiracy and  obstruction of justice six weeks ago.

VW admits that nearly 600,000 diesel cars in the U.S. were programmed to turn on pollution controls during testing and turn them off while on the road.

Wilson Hui / Flickr

Officials have denied a request for a permit to build a new pumping station by a bottled-water company that wants to pump more groundwater in western Michigan.

The Osceola Township Planning Commission on Tuesday night denied granting Nestle Waters North America the permit for the pipeline booster station at Spring Hill Camp. It's part of the company's proposal to withdraw up to 400 gallons per minute from a well in Osceola County.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers are introducing legislation to help fight rising opioid abuse.

  A group of bipartisan lawmakers is looking to tackle the drug epidemic in Michigan through a variety of ways, including health education in schools and creating prescription limits on opioids. They also are promoting the use of an updated database that monitors prescriptions.

Judge's gavel
(loveamourlove.com)

The Michigan appeals court has ordered a new sentence for a Kalamazoo teenager convicted of murder and suggested that he shouldn't be locked up for the rest of his life.

The court upheld the conviction of 16-year-old Victor Garay, saying the evidence in a 2014 gang-related shooting was "overwhelming." But the court said Tuesday that Judge Alexander Lipsey didn't handle the sentencing correctly.

wmich.edu

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Western Michigan University has picked a dean and professor of economics at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy as its next president.

The Kalamazoo, Michigan school's trustees on Wednesday approved the selection of Edward B. Montgomery to the post. His selection follows a national search to find a successor to John M. Dunn, who earlier announced that he planned to retire. 

Montgomery served as President Barack Obama's auto-recovery czar. He has held faculty positions at Carnegie Mellon and Michigan State universities as well as the University of Maryland during a more than 35-year academic career. He has been at Georgetown since 2010.

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The American Civil Liberties Union is objecting to a Michigan school district's restroom policy for transgender students.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that transgender students in the Jenison district must use a gender-neutral restroom, staff restrooms or restrooms that match their gender assigned at birth.

Various social media posts have accused Jenison of banning transgender students from restrooms that match their gender identity.

Center for Lakes and Research / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Volunteers will help monitor several Michigan trout streams for the invasive New Zealand mudsnail.

The tiny snail made its first Michigan appearance in 2015, when it showed up in the Pere Marquette River. Since then, it's been spotted in the Boardman and Au Sable rivers.

They reproduce in great abundance and gobble food needed by the native invertebrates that are food for trout and other fish.

a courtroom
Bill Ledbetter / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments in an unusual case involving a hospital, privacy and a personal protection order.

Tammy McNeil-Marks was fired in 2014 as a clinical manager at MidMichigan Medical Center in Alma. The hospital says she violated privacy rules when she told her lawyer about a patient in the hospital.

It turns out that McNeil-Marks was concerned about her safety because she had a personal protection order against the woman. The woman was served with the order while in a room.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) wants to see the Trump administration put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin over his support of the Syrian government.

Putin criticized last week’s U-S air strike on a Syrian airfield, where a chemical weapons attack was launched on a Syrian city.

The Michigan Democrat says President Trump should pressure his Russian counterpart to drop his support of  Syrian Preisdent Bashar al-Assad, who Peters describes as a “war criminal’.

Michigan will see more extreme storms as the climate changes
Flickr/mdprovost

Flooding in southwestern Michigan has closed several roadways and swamped the home of the Kalamazoo Growlers baseball team ,while severe thunderstorms caused damage in the Upper Peninsula.

The Kalamazoo River is one of several across Michigan's Lower Peninsula where flood warnings or advisories are in effect.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

A special board meeting has been scheduled to give updates in the Detroit Public Schools Community District's search for a new superintendent.

The meeting is open to the public and will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at district offices in the Fisher Building.

Interviews have been held with superintendent candidates Nikolai Vitti of Florida's Duval County schools and River Rouge Superintendent Derrick Coleman.

Subterranean / Wikimedia Commons

The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments in an uncommon case: Can courts intervene when religious schools reject students?

Churches and faith-based schools operate with broad protections under the First Amendment. But this case raises questions about whether a student claiming discrimination can overcome that legal threshold.

The parents of a girl who was rejected by Notre Dame Preparatory School in Pontiac say she was illegally turned down in 2014 because of a learning disability.

Christoper Sessums / Flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Crews are working to restore power to thousands of customers in Michigan after storms packing high winds, snow and heavy rain hit the state.

Authorities say Thursday's weather was a factor in at least one death. The Kalamazoo County sheriff's department says 57-year-old Kelli Roberts of Gobles died following a two-vehicle crash on snowy roads in southwestern Michigan.

Undersheriff Paul Matyas says she was going too fast for road conditions when she tried to pass a truck.

Christine Cooper

A popular overlook at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is closed after a viewing platform slid about 100 feet down the face of a sand dune.

The park recently announced the closure at Log Slide Overlook, saying heavy snow, ice, and sand deposits at the site - as well as erosion - were to blame.

The overlook located west of Grand Marais offers a view from atop the Grand Sable Dunes.

Plans call for moving the overlook's walkway back from the edge of the dunes and rebuilding the viewing platform if major erosion doesn't take place.

Brian Turner / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Lawyers for dozens of women who say they were sexually assaulted by a MSU sports doctor are trying to overturn a judge's gag order.

They asked a federal judge to intervene Tuesday and strike an order that bars attorneys and Larry Nassar's alleged victims from talking publicly. Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina is overseeing a criminal case against Nassar and says his rights could be violated if the public is repeatedly served with negative comments about him.

University of Michigan campus
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The renovated Nuclear Engineering Laboratory building is reopening on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor.

Remarks about the project are expected to be given Monday afternoon by school officials.

The $12 million renovation project started in 2015. The school says faculty in Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences will focus on advancing nuclear security, nonproliferation, safety and energy.

Lansing Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Bids submitted by companies vying for a state government contract will be exempted from public-records requests until the contract winner is announced under legislation signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

The law, which takes effect immediately, shields records containing a trade secret or financial or propriety information from being released under the state's Freedom of Information Act.

A state spokesman has said the old law permitted the public opening of vendors' proposals at the time of bid closing, letting them view competitors' bids before negotiating with state officials.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A national group representing America’s farmers is renewing its call on the Trump administration to block the proposed merger of Midland-based Dow Chemical and DuPont.

Rob Larew is with the National Farmers Union. He says the deal is not a good one for America’s farmers.

“Our nearly 200,000 farmers across the country are not in favor of mega mergers like this which will put farmers at a disadvantage,” says Larew. 

Surgery tools
Stanford EdTech / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Officials say the Detroit Medical Center has spent $1.2 million since September to correct problems with dirty surgical instruments and has put multiple systems in place to ensure patient safety.

The Detroit News reports that the update follows recent revelations that a third hospital in the health system - Children's Hospital of Michigan - failed a January inspection.

Surgeon-in-Chief Joseph Lelli Jr. says he wants to reassure parents that their children are safe at the hospital.

test with bubble answers
User Alberto G. / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan House has passed bills that would give high school students more class options to complete graduation requirements.

The legislation eliminates some math, science, health and English courses so students can take classes that would better prepare them for careers of their choosing.

someone getting a shot
Sanofi Pasteur / Flickr, http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is confirming the first case of measles in the state this year.

The department announced Wednesday that a person in southeastern Michigan is being hospitalized after recently traveling internationally and getting sick.

Michigan has a 15% residential recycling rate, compared to 30% in neighboring states
flickr user Redwin Law / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Two groups established by Gov. Rick Snyder have produced a list of suggestions for stepping up solid waste recycling in Michigan.

The proposals are in reports issued by the Governor's Recycling Council and the Solid Waste and Sustainability Advisory Panel.

Only about 15 percent of Michigan's solid waste is recycled, a rate far below the national average.

Charlie Davidson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A new Michigan law requires doctors or hospitals to report deaths of women during pregnancy or within one year of pregnancy.

The requirement starts April 6. The state has been collecting information on maternal deaths for years, but reporting was voluntary.

The goal is to understand the factors associated with the deaths in an effort to prevent more of them. The state health department says as many as 100 Michigan women a year die during pregnancy or within a year of pregnancy.

Sam VarnHagen / Ford Motor Co.

DETROIT (AP) - Ford Motor Co. is investing $1.2 billion in three Michigan facilities, including an engine plant where it plans to add 130 jobs.

President Donald Trump applauded the move in an early morning tweet.

After Wayne County found some 11,000 abandoned rape kits, a statewide survey found another 1800 around the state
http://www.npr.org/2015/02/10/384129985/advocates-join-fight-to-eliminate-detroit-s-rape-kit-backlog

Prosecutors say a second backlog of more than 500 untested Detroit rape kits languished in storage for years after more than 11,000 other unprocessed evidence packages were discovered in 2009.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - A federal watchdog agency plans to conduct an audit of $25.5 million in demolition costs in Flint related to the federal Hardest Hit Fund.

  The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, informed the U.S. Secretary of Treasury last week of the planned audit.

  That letter said the audit would examine demolition and related costs in Flint that were reimbursed with TARP dollars.

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