The Associated Press

Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
flickr user fiatontheweb / creative commons

DETROIT - The U.S. government's highway safety agency says it will hold a public hearing in July to determine if Fiat Chrysler has met its legal obligations in 20 safety recalls.

Witnesses and the automaker will be able to present evidence at the July 2 hearing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

ApprenNet

The daughter of longtime Michigan Democratic political figure and ex-state Sen. Gilda Jacobs has died in the crash of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia.

Thirty-nine-year-old Rachel Jacobs earlier was reported missing after Tuesday evening's crash.

Her family says in a statement that Jacobs "was a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, wife and friend" who was devoted to family and social justice.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan is getting a small share of a multi-million dollar settlement.

Sprint and Verizon have agreed to a $158 million national settlement over unauthorized charges on cell phone bills.

Verizon Wireless has agreed to pay $90 million and Sprint $68 million to settle charges that the mobile giants allowed phony charges on their customers' monthly bills.

The Hekmati family

The United States Senate has passed a resolution calling on Iran to release a Flint man.

Amir Hekmati has sat in an Iranian prison cell for more than three years. The former U.S. marine denies the spying charges for which an Iranian court convicted him.

The lawmakers on Monday called on Iran to free Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Jason Rezaian, and cooperate with the U.S. government to locate and return former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who is believed to be missing in Iran.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit's police chief says that someone fired a shotgun at a car parked outside the home of state Sen. Virgil Smith.

Chief James Craig tells The Detroit News that no one was hurt in the shooting, which happened about 1 a.m. Sunday next to Smith's home on Detroit's north side.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Midland-based Dow Chemical will cut about 3 percent of its global workforce as it prepares to break off a significant part of its chlorine operations in a deal it announced earlier this year with Olin Corp.

The company says the cuts will reduce its workforce by 1,500 to 1,750 positions. Dow Chemical employed about 53,000 people worldwide at the end of last year.

Auto sales grew in 2014
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

UNDATED (AP) - Demand for small and midsize SUVs is driving up auto sales.

  General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and Nissan all reported U.S. sales gains in April as buyers flocked to crossover SUVS that handle like cars and sit up higher. But the gains came at the expense of small and midsize cars.

DETROIT (AP) - Under pressure from U.S. safety regulators, Ford is expanding a recall of small and midsize cars to fix door latches that may not stay closed.

  The recall now covers almost 546,000 Ford Fusions and Lincoln MKZs from the 2013 and 2014 model years, and Ford Fiestas from 2011 to 2014.

A 2014 Impala on the assembly line driving off the line at Oshawa Assembly.
© General Motors

OSHAWA, Ontario - General Motors Canada says it will cut about 1,000 positions from its Oshawa manufacturing operations this year.

GM Canada said Thursday that its main assembly operation is expected to have 2,600 hourly employees, down from 3,600 by December.

PONTIAC, Mich. - Economists are predicting that Oakland County in a few years will have replenished 87 percent of jobs lost from 2000 through summer 2009.

Experts at the University of Michigan believe the county's unemployment rate will fall below 5 percent next year. The annual forecast was released Thursday.

INKSTER, Mich. - A Detroit-area police officer charged with assault in the beating of a motorist is scheduled to make his first court appearance.

William Melendez is due in Inkster District Court on Tuesday, a day after charges were announced in the bloody beating of Floyd Dent.

The 57-year-old Dent was repeatedly punched in the head during a traffic stop in Inkster on Jan. 28. Prosecutors didn't know about it until a TV station in March aired dashcam video of the arrest.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Neither of Michigan’s U.S. Senators likes a deal that would give President Obama the authority to negotiate a major trade deal with Pacific nations.

There are congressional hearings on the legislation this week.

DETROIT - A judge says the state of Michigan still has "serious problems" in collecting statistics that are crucial to improving foster care, child welfare and other programs for kids.

Detroit federal Judge Nancy Edmunds made the remark Monday as court-appointed monitors delivered their latest report.  The child welfare system has been under court oversight since 2008.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Duke is one step away from its fifth national championship.

  Justise Winslow had 19 points, Jahlil Okafor added 18 and the top-seeded Blue Devils beat up on Big Ten power Michigan State 81-61 in Saturday night's national semifinal.

  Next up: The winner of unbeaten Kentucky and fellow top seed Wisconsin.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Flint police say sexual assault kits discovered unprocessed in a department evidence room are being examined with help from a TV show.

Chief James Tolbert said Thursday some of the nearly 250 kits date back as early as 2003 and the testing of 71 kits has helped identify six possible suspects.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Two mid-Michigan mayors are trying to lure convention planners looking to move their events out of Indiana. 

The controversy over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration law has many groups rethinking their convention plans in the Hoosier state.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett have posted an open letter encouraging convention planners to look to mid-Michigan.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

DETROIT – The federal government has ended 10 years of management of Detroit's public housing system and restored it to local control.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says in a statement Tuesday that the change is effective March 16. U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro says the update "represents an important milestone in Detroit's road to recovery."

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A program requiring some Michigan sex offenders to wear electronic monitors for the rest of their lives might face a legal challenge.

The U.S. Supreme Court says a North Carolina sex offender should have a chance to challenge a requirement that he wear a GPS monitoring bracelet for the rest of his life.

The Herbert C. Jackson prepares to enter the MacArthur Lock while the Tuscarora approaches the Poe Lock pier.
Michelle Hill / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) - Another cargo shipping season is underway on the upper Great Lakes.

The navigational lock complex at Sault Ste. Marie was to open Wednesday just after midnight after being closed since January 15 for routine maintenance.

Treetops Resort in Gaylord, Michigan suffered $400,000 in damages.
Dan Perry / Flickr

GAYLORD, Mich. - Two of three University of Michigan students charged after their fraternity was blamed for widespread vandalism at a ski resort during a wild weekend party in January have waived their initial court hearing.

Sigma Alpha Mu chapter president Joshua Kaplan and Zachary Levin face misdemeanor charges of allowing drug and alcohol use by minors. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan's public records law allows anyone to request information that can help shine a light on what government is doing, but not all of government is subject to those disclosure requirements.

  Michigan's Freedom of Information Act does not cover the governor, lieutenant governor, their offices or legislators. It does, however, cover state departments, local governments and schools.

user FatMandy / flickr

DETROIT - The Michigan Supreme Court has put the brakes on a lawsuit that accuses state prison officials of failing to prevent the sexual assault of male teen inmates.

The court ordered a stay Friday and told the appeals court to consider whether it can be a class-action case, possibly affecting hundreds of people. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The first TV ad urging passage of a Michigan sales tax increase says the roads aren't just bad, they're dangerous.

A group backing a "yes" vote on a May ballot measure will start airing the 30-second ad Monday.
 

It features a mid-Michigan mother who says her family is on the road a lot for kids' basketball and soccer, and she worries about concrete falling from bridges.

Buddha painting in Dambulla cave temple in Sri Lanka. People in Sri Lanka have practiced Theravada Buddhism for centuries.
Bernard Gagnon / wikimedia commons

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The University of Michigan has received $2 million to establish the Thai Professorship of Theravada Buddhism.

The school says Thursday the gift will enhance one of the largest Buddhist studies programs in North America. The holder of the endowed chair will teach courses and conduct research to advance knowledge of Thai Buddhism.

pixabay.com

Freezing temperatures and drifts of snow likely took a small bite out of U.S. auto sales last month, but most automakers are still reporting gains thanks to the strong economy.

General Motors' sales rose 4.2% over last February, while Chrysler's sales were up 5.6%. Nissan's sales were up 2.7%. However, those gains were smaller than analysts had predicted.

Sai Pradeep Reddy Kobaku / university of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - It may be the tiniest University of Michigan logo ever made, but it's more than just an effort to show "how small can you go."

Researchers at the Ann Arbor school's College of Engineering have replicated a 3-micron-thick, two-layered block "M" to test a system that they say could be used to deliver drugs at different times and rates or to different parts of the body.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Pension cuts are kicking in for roughly 12,000 city of Detroit retirees.

The 4.5 percent reduction is a result of Detroit's bankruptcy. Pension fund spokeswoman Tina Bassett tells the Detroit Free Press that about 1,450 retirees with very low incomes have qualified for financial help from a separate fund. Some people will get as much as $180.

Gray wolves.
USFWS / Flickr

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - Michigan is joining the federal government in appealing a decision that restores legal protections for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region.

Federal Judge Beryl Howell ruled in December that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service erred by dropping the region's wolf population from the list of endangered and threatened species in 2012.

  WYANDOTTE, Mich. (AP) - The federal government is supporting a Detroit-area teenager who accuses several schools of discriminating against him because he's transgender.

In a court filing last week, the U.S. Justice Department urged a judge to deny a request to dismiss the lawsuit at an early stage. The government says the boy so far has stated a "plausible claim" under federal law.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.  - Another round of winter weather is expected to make travel difficult in parts of Michigan as bitterly cold temperatures moderate somewhat.

Temperatures on Tuesday morning ranged from just above zero to the low 20s. It was 6 in Detroit, 7 in Grand Rapids and 17 in Traverse City.

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