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The Associated Press

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.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Municipalities that are collecting substantially lower property taxes than they used to from big-box stores must overcome opposition from business interests and their allies in the Legislature to tilt the tax assessing system back in favor of local governments.

Jethro Taylor / Flickr, http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

For rural residents worried about visits from black bears this spring and summer, a wildlife expert has some advice: Take down your bird feeders, at least for now.

Katie Keen of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says bears are particularly attracted to bird seed and suet because they have higher fat content than natural food sources such as roots of early spring plants and insect larvae.

Once a bear finds a bird feeder, it will keep coming back until the seed is gone or the feeder is removed.

Joe Gratz / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A man who embezzled nearly $19 million from a suburban Detroit credit union has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Federal Judge Gershwin Drain followed the recommendation of prosecutors Thursday. He repeatedly said the amount of money stolen by Michael LaJoice was extraordinary.

LaJoice was chief financial officer at Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union. He stole from the credit union over a dozen years, buying a luxurious home, fancy cars and commercial properties, and traveling by private jet.

pontiac silverdome
User Alex simple / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The city of Pontiac is suing the owners of the decaying Pontiac Silverdome in suburban Detroit for violations of building, safety and zoning codes.

The Oakland Press of Pontiac reports complaints were filed with the 50th District Court after a parking lot was used to store Volkswagen cars amid the automaker's U.S. emissions scandal.

needle
hitthatswitch / Creative Commons

A verdict has been reached in the trial of a Massachusetts pharmacy co-founder charged in a nationwide meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people and sickened 700 others in 2012.

Barry Cadden was charged with 25 counts of second-degree murder, conspiracy and other charges under the federal racketeering law. 

The jury determined that Cadden was not responsible for the deaths, but he was found guilty of the racketeering, conspiracy and mail fraud charges. His sentencing is scheduled for June 21.

Capitol Hill
johrling / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Rick Snyder has written letters to every member of Michigan's congressional delegation to warn how House Republicans' health care legislation would "adversely impact" the state's most vulnerable residents.

DETROIT (AP) - A candidate who lost an election for Detroit's 36th District Court is getting his robe another way. Gov. Rick Snyder says he's appointing Christopher Blount to a vacancy on the city court. In November, Blount finished third in a race for two seats at 36th District Court.

Jane M Sawyer / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Public school advocates are suing to block the state of Michigan from helping private schools with the cost of complying with state requirements such as immunization reporting and safety drills.

Steve Johnson / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Wolverines are in and the Spartans are out of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Michigan swept into the Sweet 16 with a big win Sunday in Indianapolis.

Moe Wagner scored a career-high 26 points and spurred a furious second-half rally to send Michigan past second-seeded Louisville 73-69 on Sunday and into the Sweet 16.

The seventh-seeded Wolverines (26-11) have won seven straight, six since a frightening plane accident before the Big Ten Tournament. They also earned a ticket to the Midwest Regional in Kansas City, Missouri, their first since 2014.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Drinkable unfiltered tap water for residents in Flint might still be a few years away.

  Retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael McDaniel, who is heading the pipe replacement program, says he has an optimistic goal of 2019 for all lead piping to be replaced in the neighborhoods.

  McDaniel says pipe replacements are expected to pick up in late April. Construction crews are replacing the old lead lines with new copper ones in neighborhoods most affected.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The debate over publicizing A-to-F grades for every public school in Michigan is not entirely over, despite the surprise decision by top education officials to back off the proposal.

State Superintendent Brian Whiston will default to report cards without any letter grades, to replace color-coded marks that have been criticized. But the caveat remains that the Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder could still decide that letter grades should be issued.

It will be a tough sell.

Michigan State University

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Records show a Michigan State University doctor resigned in January after learning the school was considering her termination because she didn't disclose that USA Gymnastics was investigating Dr. Larry Nassar.

ACLU sign
Slightly North / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Donald Trump and federal agencies are being sued in Detroit over his revised ban on travel to the U.S. by people from six predominantly Muslim countries.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the Arab-American Civil Rights League. The plaintiffs include nine people whose family members can't travel to the U.S.

Dog plays in Lake Michigan
tmannis / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

President Donald Trump wants to eliminate federal support of a program that addresses the Great Lakes' most pressing environmental threats.

Federal prosecutors are recommending an eight-year prison sentence for a Detroit-area man accused of endorsing Islamic State and making threats against a church.

Khalil Abu Rayyan of Dearborn Heights is returning to federal court Monday, six months after pleading guilty to gun charges. He was not charged with terrorism-related crimes. But investigators say he made threats against a church and others in support of Islamic State.

Somewhere beneath the waves of Lake Michigan lies the wreck of the 'Andaste'
Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr, http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Supporters of a Great Lakes cleanup program are taking their case to Congress as preliminary budget figures suggest the Trump administration may try to cut nearly all its funding.

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition represents nearly 150 groups that favor the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

It has funded toxic waste removal, wetlands restoration and the fight against invasive species such as Asian carp.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan House has approved legislation to prohibit a lawmaker who resigns or who has been expelled from office from running in the special election to fill the seat.

The bill passed 72-36 Thursday is a response to former Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat running in special elections to finish the remainder of their terms in 2015. He had resigned and she had been expelled after being accused of misusing state resources to try to cover up their extramarital affair.

The sinkhole in Macomb County.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

FRASER, Mich. (AP) - It likely will take until Thanksgiving to repair damage from a broken sewer line that caused a football field-sized sinkhole on Christmas Eve north of Detroit.

Macomb County Public Works chief Candice Miller said Tuesday that the cost of the work would be determined Monday when a contract is awarded. 

The Michigan Union covered in blooming ivy
Wikimedia Commons

University of Michigan researchers say they plan to launch a satellite that will serve as a technological test bed and space-time capsule.

The Ann Arbor school said Tuesday that CubeSat will contain interviews featuring 1,000 people affiliated with the university. It's meant to test synthetic DNA as a medium for storing data in space.

The project is supported by the Michigan Bicentennial Archive, which says such capsules should remain "alive," not buried.

Collin Rose, 29, was on the K-9 unit of the Wayne State University police force.
Wayne State University

Authorities have released video they say shows a suspect in the November slaying of Wayne State University campus police officer.

Detroit police say the video recorded by a camera on a Detroit Department of Transportation bus shows the suspect running from the scene of where 29-year-old Collin Rose was shot. Investigators late Tuesday renewed a request for tips from the public.

The Detroit News reports a reward now exceeds $100,000.

Lawsuits against the university claim students started reporting abuse as early as 1999.
user John M. Quick / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Construction has started on a solar power project at Michigan State University.

The East Lansing school says carports with solar arrays are being built at five parking lots. They'll cover most of the parking spaces in each lot and provide partial protection for vehicles from inclement weather.

The project will be owned by South Bend, Indiana-based Inovateus Solar and British Columbia, Canada-based Alterra Power. The number of parking spots isn't being affected. The school says the carports will be tall enough to cover RVs used for pregame tailgating.

The Detroit Institute of Arts.
Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts is ready to take advantage of the warm spring weather.

The museum is planning the eighth annual "Inside/Out" exhibition, which brings reproductions of famous artworks outdoors in southeast Michigan.

For this year's program, the DIA is teaming up with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Reproductions from both museums will be in 11 communities from April to July and in 10 other venues from August to October. Each community will have up to twelve reproductions clustered within walking or biking distance.

USGS

  LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan is turning to the public for help fighting Asian carp.

The state plans to offer a prize to someone who can come up with a way to keep the invasive fish out of the Great Lakes.

Michigan's Legislature and governor allocated $1 million to develop a global invasive carp challenge. Details on how much prize money will be offered are being worked out. Officials also haven't determined how many winners might be chosen.

The challenge will go live this summer in collaboration with crowdsourcing company InnoCentive.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow is glad U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week recused himself from any future probes involving the possible Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election.

Sessions failed to disclose two meetings with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the campaign.  Sessions insists the discussions did not involve the Trump campaign. 

Stabenow believes an investigation is warranted into possible links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Mayor Karen Weaver has told the Environmental Protection Agency that more corrosion control studies have to be done and Flint will need more than two years before the city can begin to supply its own water.

The Flint Journal reports  that the plan and a letter from Weaver were filed Wednesday with the EPA.

Extensive work, including chemical mixing and filtration, also is needed at the city's water treatment plant.

EPA

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan has spent or obligated almost all of a dedicated source of funding needed to clean up and redevelop 7,000 polluted sites across the state.

  So lawmakers are questioning the Snyder administration on what, if any, plan there is to ask voters for permission to borrow more money.

  A 1998 ballot measure authorized the state to issue $675 million in bonds for environmental protection, but the money will soon dry up.

Downtown Jackson, Michigan.
user hor Criticalthinker / Wikimedia Commons

DETROIT (AP) - A full federal appeals court will consider whether a Michigan county's tradition of Christian-only prayers at public meetings violates the U.S. Constitution.

The order on Monday by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacates a ruling earlier this month by a three-judge panel of the court that said prayers by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners were unconstitutional. In that 2-1 decision, the court ruled in favor of a Jackson County resident who was offended after he began attending county commissioner meetings in 2013 to discuss environmental issues.

Takata airbags.
NHTSA

DETROIT - Attorneys for people suing air bag maker Takata and five automakers say the car companies knew that the company's products were dangerous yet continued to use them for years because they were inexpensive.

The allegations against Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Ford and BMW were made in a document filed Monday with a federal court in Miami. The court is handling pretrial evidence-gathering in dozens of lawsuits against Takata and the automakers. The document says the allegations are partly based on auto company documents.

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