The Associated Press

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The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has proposed approving a permit for a company that plans to develop a gold, zinc and copper mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The agency announced the decision Friday about the mining permit for Aquila Resources for the Back Forty Project in Menominee County. The project also includes a proposed processing facility in Lake Township.

A public hearing is planned for October 6.

The MDEQ says it determined the application meets the requirements for approval under Michigan's mining law.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder is urging calm ahead of Michigan's release of the lowest-performing public schools, saying there is a "misperception" that schools will be closed.

He said Friday that Michigan is required to publish the bottom 5 percent list by next week, but he told The Associated Press it is wrong to assume listed schools will receive closure notices.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

  LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The prosecution of current and former state employees for their role in Flint's lead-contaminated water crisis likely will face an early test over whether one of the most serious charges can even be levied against the middle- and lower-level government officials.

  All eight workers charged so far, five from the Department of Environmental Quality and three with the Department of Health and Human Services, face a misconduct in office charge. The felony carries a maximum five-year prison term.

WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally near Lansing later this week.

The Republican presidential candidate will rally supporters Friday afternoon at the Summit Sports and Ice Complex in Eaton County's Windsor Township.

It is Trump's second visit to Michigan in as many weeks, following his economic speech in Detroit last week.

The public can request tickets on a first-come, first-served basis on Trump's campaign website.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is part of the team planning Hillary Clinton’s move into the White House if she wins the presidency in November.

The Clinton campaign announced its White House transition team this morning.

Clinton tapped former U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to lead her White House transition team. Salazar will chair a team that includes Granholm, former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, and longtime Clinton allies Neera Tanden and Maggie Williams.

“How much does it reflect on other Republican candidates, especially the ones who said basically that at some level they still find Donald Trump, as offensive as he might be, to be tolerable as a possible next president of the United States?” Pluta asked.
Flickr user Gage Skidmore /

Republican Donald Trump says that no business should pay more than 15% of income in taxes, and he's calling for a temporary moratorium on federal regulations.

In a speech at the Detroit Economic Club today, Trump also proposed allowing parents to fully deduct the average cost of childcare from their taxable income. The current Child and Dependent Care tax credit is capped at 35% of qualifying expenses or up to $3,000 for one cared-for individual or $6,000 for two or more.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Update: 5:15 pm Monday, August 1st:

On Monday, city officials reached an interim agreement with Republic to resume trash pickup, starting August 2. The arrangement will remain in place until August 12. Officials say trash collection will be delayed by one day for the rest of this week; it should be back on schedule by the start of next week.

A meeting of the Receivership Transition Advisory Board (RTAB) is scheduled for August 10th to decide who will perform trash pickups permanently.

Sunday July 31st:

Public domain

Kalamazoo is getting $70 million from philanthropists and others that will be used to create a foundation to help solve the city's budget woes, and cut property taxes.

The Kalamazoo City Commission decided Thursday to move forward with the idea of creating the Foundation for Excellence.

Officials expect the foundation would be fully funded by 2020, so revenue from investments would be available long-term.

Brian Turner / Creative Commons

The University of Michigan has agreed to pay $165,000 to settle a lawsuit over a graduate student's dismissal from an engineering program in 2011.

The school struck a deal with Jennifer Dibbern before a June trial and after a judge dismissed many claims.

Dibbern  had accused the university of retaliating against her for union activity and efforts to change the campus anti-harassment policy.

The university denied any retaliation and said Dibbern wasn't making progress toward a degree after four years, among other problems.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz needed to resign her job. 

Revelations that the DNC under Wasserman-Schultz’ leadership tried to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign led to her announcement Sunday to step down.

Dingell says Wasserman-Schultz is a friend, but the Florida congresswoman had to go.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - A federal judge has blocked Michigan's new ban on straight-party voting, a law that was passed by Republicans but criticized by Democrats as a way to discourage turnout among minorities.

Judge Gershwin Drain signed an injunction Thursday, a week after hearing arguments. He says the law would place a "disproportionate burden" on the rights of blacks to vote in the fall election.

Lawyers say more than 70 percent of ballots in Detroit and Flint have been cast as straight-party - votes that go for all candidates of one party with just a single mark.

"This country needs to learn how to pay its bills, protect its borders [and] invite in legal immigrants." Judi Schwalbach said.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Republican leaders insist their party is united, despite Monday’s unrest on the floor of the Republican National Convention.

Anti-Donald Trump forces had collected enough signatures to force a roll call vote on the party’s official rules. But supporters of the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, circulated a form enabling delegates to remove their names.

GOP officials say delegates from Maine, Minnesota and the District of Columbia pulled their names from petitions calling for a state-by-state roll call vote on the rules. That short-circuited the anti-Trump move.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s selection of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate is getting approving nods from Michigan delegates in Cleveland.

Trump announced his decision over his favorite medium: Twitter.

Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey addresses the media after today's shooting.
screen grab / WOOD-TV

Update 9:56 a.m.

Authorities say the man who killed two courthouse bailiffs in Berrien County before being killed by other officers was probably trying to escape.

flickr user Joe Gratz /

The Michigan appeals court says a woman has no parental rights to a child born during a long same-sex relationship but before gay marriage became legal in 2015. 

The court overturned decisions by a Washtenaw County judge, who had granted parenting time to Michelle Lake.

Lake and Kerri Putnam ended a 13-year relationship in 2014. During that time, Putnam gave birth to a boy, who's now 8.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Detroit school children, Flint residents and residents across Michigan will be affected when the next state budget takes effect in three months.

  Gov. Rick Snyder signed the $54.9 billion spending plan this week. It touches many corners of Michigan life - from spending on public schools and road repairs to increased dental coverage for low-income children and more troopers patrolling highways.

  Per-pupil grants for K-12 schools will increase by between $60 and $120. The gap between wealthier and poorer districts will shrink.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The state has fully relinquished oversight of Benton Harbor, six years after the city was placed under emergency management to address a budget deficit.

Friday's decision followed a recommendation from a state-appointed receivership transition advisory board.

The southwestern Michigan city will manage operations and finances without oversight. City council ordinances no longer need approval of the board that was appointed in 2014 once emergency management ended.

Both Gov. Rick Snyder and former Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed emergency managers in Benton Harbor.

Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI)
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder says its “premature” to speculate on how Great Britain’s exit from the European Union might affect Michigan’s economy.

Britain entered uncharted waters after the country voted to leave the European Union.  The decision shatters the stability of the continental unity forged after World War II in hopes of making future conflicts impossible.

Charles Picket Jr.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office

A prosecutor says a man accused of plowing his pickup truck into a group of Kalamazoo-area bicyclists, killing five, was under the influence of drugs.

The disclosure was made Wednesday as new charges were filed against Charles Pickett Jr., who already faces second-degree murder charges in the June 7 crash in Kalamazoo County.

Authorities say the bicyclists were riding in a group on a rural road in Cooper Township when Pickett struck them.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters says now’s the time “to act on guns”.

Peters and his fellow Democrats get their long-sought votes on gun control after the massacre in Orlando, Florida, but election-year politics ensure no changes in the nation's laws.

Democrats are expected to vote tonight to block two Republican amendments, saying they don't do enough. Republicans are expected to block two Democratic amendments, saying they threaten the rights of gun owners.

The guidelines have been controversial, but the board president expects them to pass this month

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Some lawyers and gay rights supporters say lingering statutes criminalizing sodomy and laws prohibiting same-sex marriage could be used to harass gay couples in Michigan, despite court rulings that render those laws moot.

  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that laws banning sodomy are unconstitutional. But a Ferndale attorney, Rudy Serra, says if a conservative prosecutor and judge paired up in Michigan they could financially devastate a gay couple.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Experts in flood management will get a firsthand look at flood-prevention efforts in Grand Rapids during a nearly weeklong gathering.

  The National Association of Floodplain Managers Conference starts Sunday and runs through June 24.

  More than 1,200 visitors are expected to attend. They're being offered a chance to check out the Grand River and its floodwalls, see projects taking place to improve the floodwalls and learn about efforts to restore rapids to the Grand River and improve recreation.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A Kalamazoo lawmaker says the recent crash that killed five bicyclists may renew the push to make roads safer for people not driving cars.

  Two state senators have introduced legislation after a pickup truck crashed into a group of bikers June 7 in the Kalamazoo area that could mean tougher penalties for those who fatally hit a bicyclist. It would extend existing penalties for those who hit construction workers.

  Kalamazoo Democratic state Rep. Jon Hoadley says the tragedy underscores the need to make roads safer.


DETROIT (AP) - Detroit-area federal officials say they have met with LGBT community leaders in response to last weekend's mass shooting at a Florida nightclub.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade and FBI Special Agent in Charge David Gelios hosted Thursday's gathering. Attendees included representatives of Equality Michigan, the Ruth Ellis Center, Affirmations and LGBT Detroit.

Gelios said in a statement Friday it's "essential to reassure" Michigan residents of "the FBI's commitment to protecting the civil rights of all persons."

Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - To rescue Detroit's school district from potential insolvency, Michigan is turning to a familiar playbook.

  It will shift more than a quarter of the state's $250 million annual payment from tobacco companies to Detroit schools. The move is the latest in a line of tapping the legal settlement when the governor and lawmakers are in a pinch.

  With the latest Detroit bailout, all but $26 million, or about 10 percent, of the yearly tobacco cash is automatically spoken for.

American Dog tick
Jerry Kirkhart / Creative Commons

Michigan health officials say they've confirmed the first case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever contracted in the state since 2009.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that the case involved a child in Cass County in the southwestern corner of the state.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by bacteria and can be fatal if not treated promptly and correctly, even in previously healthy people.

Symptoms typically include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting and muscle pain. A rash may develop a few days later.

Enbridge Energy's Line 5 oil and liquid natural gas pipelines runs under Lake Michigan at the Straits of Mackinac.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Congress has ordered stronger safety measures for pipelines carrying oil and other fuels in the Great Lakes region.

The requirement is contained in a bill that cleared the Senate on Monday and the House last week. It now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The measure re-authorizes a federal program that regulates 2.6 million miles of pipelines nationwide.

Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan says it designates the Great Lakes as an "unusually sensitive area," where pipelines must meet tougher standards for safe operations.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Lance Armstrong plans to be in Kalamazoo for a "Finishing the Ride" event in honor of the five cyclists killed when they were hit by a pickup truck.

Armstrong told the Detroit Free Press  the collision on June 7 in Kalamazoo County's Cooper Township, 160 miles from Chicago, is the worst he's seen and he's not sure he's emotionally ready for the ride. Armstrong says a fear of being struck by a vehicle is shared by all cyclists.

Armstrong plans to join Kalamazoo-area cyclists in a 28.5-mile ride Tuesday from Kalamazoo to Plainwell and back.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Late-night drama over rescuing Detroit's school district capped lawmakers' closing days in Lansing before they broke for a summer recess.

  The $617 million bailout ultimately passed - barely. The Detroit restructuring, along with completing the state budget, were priorities.

  But legislators also finalized, advanced or left until later other legislation.

  About $165 million more is being directed to Flint's water crisis.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A state commission has ordered Jackson-based Consumers Energy to pay a nearly $516,000 fine over billing rules violations.

The Michigan Public Service Commission announced the fine Thursday. It came about five months after the commission began an investigation into the utility's billing practices in Michigan.

The commission found that Consumers Energy failed to complete meter reads for more than 2,500 customers and determined that the company wasn't properly communicating how much time customers had to pay bills.