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The Associated Press

Lake Huron
Perry Quan / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

U.S. and Canadian officials are seeking public feedback on a draft plan for improving Lake Huron water quality.

The Lake Huron Lakewide Action and Management Plan is a five-year strategy developed by scientists and officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

A worker in a bright-green vest loads bottled water into a silver SUV.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

City and state officials will talk about the future of bottled water distribution centers in Flint Wednesday morning.

A trip to the neighborhood distribution center has become a regular chore for many people in Flint since the city’s tap water became contaminated with lead.

But things are changing.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, along with local pastors, met with Governor Snyder on Tuesday.

Wednesday, Weaver and the state officials responsible for the state’s water distribution effort will announce the “next steps” in the program.

Shawn / flickr

The state of Michigan is dropping charges and arrest warrants against nearly 200 people accused of illegally collecting unemployment benefits.

The warrants were issued against people who never showed up for court hearings after they were accused of defrauding the unemployment system. In many cases, the accused never knew they were charged with a crime.

The Michigan Talent Investment Agency asked for the arrest warrants to be dismissed because there’s a good chance the people accused actually didn’t do anything wrong.

A cyanobacteria bloom on Lake Erie in 2013.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

A robotic underwater laboratory has been deployed in Lake Erie to detect toxins produced by harmful algae that threaten city water supplies.

The project is intended to prevent recurrence of a 2014 tap water contamination crisis that prompted a do-not-drink order for more than 400,000 residents of Toledo, Ohio, and southeastern Michigan.

The device is positioned on the lake bottom, where it can provide about one day's notice if highly toxic water drifts toward the Toledo intake system.

The federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative paid $375,000 for the lab.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The Ingham County Sheriff's Office has announced it no longer will detain people with federal immigration holds past the detention period on their original booking charges.

The sheriff's office says Wednesday that administrative warrants and Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers issued by an ICE official have to have proper judicial authority.

A November ceremony will celebrate the beatification of Father Solanus Casey -- a significant step toward canonization as a saint for the beloved Detroit priest.

The ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 18 at Ford Field, home of the NFL's Detroit Lions. The stadium will be configured to accommodate about 60,000 people.

Pope Francis in May announced the beatification of Casey, who died in 1957 at age 86.

person shaking prescription pills from bottle into hand
flickr user frankileon / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

State officials say overdose deaths jumped by 18% last year in Michigan with the majority of cases involving opioid abuse.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that nearly 1,700 of the 2,335 overdose deaths in 2016 were opioid-related.

Under the Senate budget plan, the Women's Huron Valley would lose $1.3 million compared to this year's funding levels. MDOC spokesman Chris Gautz says that would strain the understaffed facility.
Michigan Department of Corrections

State auditors have found problems at Michigan's women's prison, saying required searches of inmates, staff and cells weren't conducted.

An audit released Thursday involves the Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti.

Auditors say nearly a quarter of cell searches and prisoner shakedowns weren't done during the weeks examined, and the prison documented 58 cell searches that it didn't conduct.

Auditors say not conducting all required searches makes it less likely that contraband will be discovered, compromising the safety of staff and inmates.

 Detroit Medical Center, Harper Hospital and Hutzel Woman's Hospital.
user Parkerdr / Wikimedia Commons

The Detroit Medical Center says a breach of health information affects more than 1,500 patients seen at one of its facilities in 2015 and 2016.

The health system announced Thursday that a staffing agency contracted by the DMC notified hospital officials that one of the agency's employees provided the information to unauthorized people who weren't affiliated with the DMC organization.

The DMC says letters were sent to 1,529 patients notifying them of the breach, which happened between March 2015 and May 2016.

Michigan Department of Corrections

A man in Michigan who was sentenced to life in prison without parole nearly 50 years ago as a teenager may soon be released.

The Herald-Palladium reports that at 17 years old, Bobby Gene Griffin was handed Michigan's then-automatic life without parole sentence for the 1967 murder of Minnie Peaples. The law has since changed, saying juveniles convicted of murder won't receive mandatory life sentences.

Thunderstorm over Lake Michigan.
Pete / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Thunderstorms packing winds exceeding 60 mph caused damage across Michigan, knocking out power to tens of thousands of customers.

Trees and power lines were knocked down by the storms, which started Thursday night and continued Friday morning. Heavy rain and hail were reported in places. Consumers Energy says more than 130,000 homes and businesses it serves lost power.

Authorities say a 72-year-old man has died after a tree fell on a home in western Michigan while severe thunderstorms moved across the state.

Solar panels
Ford Motor Company / Flickr

Huron County is developing a solar energy ordinance after a renewable energy company said it wants to build about a dozen solar farms in the area.

MLive reports California-based Cypress Creek Renewables has been pitching the idea to county residents in the county at the northern tip of Michigan's "Thumb" region.

Coast Guard boat in Lake Erie
US Coast Guard / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

U.S. Coast Guard stations that watch over the Great Lakes say they're seeing a huge jump in fake distress calls.

The Coast Guard says more than 160 hoax calls have been made across the Great Lakes so far this year.

That's nearly triple the number they had at this time last year.

Capt. Joseph McGilley of the Coast Guard's Cleveland-based Great Lakes unit says hoax calls put boaters at risk because they can divert search and rescue responders during real emergencies.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A judge has extended a freeze on $2.5 million in state aid for Michigan private schools at least until a court hearing Wednesday.

  Opponents are challenging the appropriation to private schools for fire drills, inspections and other state requirements. They say it violates the Michigan Constitution's ban on aid for non-public schools.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency and Dow Chemical say a planned meeting in March between EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the company's CEO never took place. The meeting was listed on Pruitt's schedule and reported by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) - A former doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics has been ordered to stand trial in Michigan in another sexual assault case.

An Eaton County judge made the ruling Friday after three alleged victims testified against Dr. Larry Nassar.

The 53-year-old Nassar is charged with multiple counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Federal officials say $15 million is going to provide health and social services for people who have had or are at risk for lead exposure stemming from the Flint water crisis.

“We understand the urgency of the situation, and this funding will help connect affected and at-risk Flint residents to comprehensive health and social services proven to mitigate the effects of lead exposure,” says U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
 

Courtesy Photo / justicebobyoung.com

Former Michigan Supreme Court justice Robert Young Jr. has officially launched his campaign for U.S. Senate in Michigan.

In a video announcement streamed live over Facebook on Wednesday, the 66-year-old Republican said he'll seek the 2018 nomination for the seat held by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat.

"I have the experience and the guts to know how to unseat Debbie Stabenow. I am the disrupter that [Washington] DC needs," Young said.

downtown Flint street
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan is suing Flint, alleging that the city council's failure to approve a recommendation to buy water long term from a Detroit-area system is endangering a public already troubled by a lead-tainted water crisis.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court.

(Read more about why the city council is delaying its vote.)

needle
mconnors / morguefile.com

A pharmacy co-owner in Massachusetts was sentenced to nine years in prison Monday for his role in a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 76 people.

Barry Cadden was acquitted of second-degree murder charges under federal racketeering law, but was convicted of conspiracy and fraud charges.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder is concerned about what a Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will mean for tens of thousands of Michiganders on Medicaid.

Today, U.S. Senate Republicans issued a revised version of their health care bill. The changes include a penalty for people who let their insurance lapse. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

  LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder says a major automotive supplier could expand its operations in Michigan and an Italian biotech company is considering Michigan as a place to which to locate in the U.S.

Snyder is wrapping up a weeklong trade trip to Europe. He met with business executives in France, Germany and Italy - both to touch base with those whose companies already have a presence in Michigan and to explore potential new opportunities.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder's administration agreed that he would publicly oppose many future labor-relations bills in a bid to secure Democratic votes in the Michigan House for economic development tax incentives.

A Republican legislative official and a Snyder administration official who told The Associated Press about the agreement spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the private meetings.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) - Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has declared a state of disaster in two central Michigan counties after severe weather led to widespread damage and flooding.

Calley issued the declaration Friday for Isabella and Midland counties. It provides state resources to assist local response and recovery efforts.

Hundreds of homes, businesses and roads have been affected by flooding from heavy overnight rain.

The Mount Pleasant Morning Sun reports motorists were being advised to stay off roads in Isabella County.

Courtesy of the Mika family

SHINGTON (AP) - Another victim of the mass shooting that critically injured a congressman is out of the hospital.

The family of Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika says he was released Friday from George Washington University Hospital.

Mika was among five people hit by gunfire multiple times in his chest and arm in the attack on a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, on June 14. The others were U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, two U.S. Capitol Police officers and a congressional aide.

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A $56.7 billion state budget is headed toward Gov. Rick Snyder's desk after the Republican-led state Senate gave it final approval on mostly party-line votes.

The bills approved Thursday include more money for K-12 schools, universities and community colleges. There is less funding for prison spending and environmental cleanup.

doctor
Public Domain

Doctors would be required to check an electronic monitoring database before prescribing painkillers and other drugs under legislation aimed at preventing opioid addicts from "doctor shopping."

Senate Bills 166 and 167 won approval Thursday in the Michigan Senate and were sent to the House for consideration.

Michigan's per capita rate of opiod painkiller prescriptions is the 10th highest in the U.S. 

The suspect in the Bishop International Airport stabbing, Amor Ftouhi.
FBI

Update Thursday, June 22, 10:45 p.m.:

The head of Detroit’s FBI office says investigators have learned how and when Fthoui entered the U.S., but still can’t say why he ended up stabbing a security officer at Flint’s Bishop International Airport Wednesday.

bottle of water
Wilson Hui / Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A zoning appeals board has dealt another setback to a bottled-water company that wants to pump more groundwater in western Michigan.

Nestle Waters North America had appealed the Osceola Township Planning Commission's decision in April to deny a request for a permit to build a new pumping station. MLive.com reports a zoning appeals board on Tuesday let that denial stand.

Michigan Supreme Court

Robert Young, the former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, has announced that he plans to run for U.S. Senate in 2018. He confirmed his future bid at the annual Fourth Congressional Republican District Breakfast on Monday.

Although the announcement was technically unofficial, the 65-year-old conservative says he will run against Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow, who has held the position since 2001.

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