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The Associated Press

City of Allen Park

The state of Michigan says the Detroit suburb of Allen Park has been released from receivership following improvements in its financial situation.

The state announced Tuesday that, effective immediately, city leadership will regain control and manage all internal operations and finances without state oversight. Treasurer Nick Khouri says in a statement the city has "an opportunity to succeed independently."

Allen Park Mayor William Matakas says he looks forward to working with state and local officials "to ensure we continue down a path of financial success."

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latina to serve the Supreme Court.
oyez.org

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Susanne Baer from Germany's highest court will speak at the University of Michigan on diversity, higher education and the role of history in their work.

Sotomayor is the first Latina to serve on the Supreme Court, and Baer is the first openly gay woman to serve on the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany.

Sotomayor and Baer will speak at morning and evening events as part of the university's commemoration of its bicentennial.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A federal appeals court has found nothing heavenly about a Michigan's man claim to have a religious right to grow pot.

The court on Thursday upheld an 18-month prison sentence for Brendan Barnes. In 2014, Lansing authorities responding to a gas leak found 321 plants at his house. Police found more marijuana at another house in Marshall.

Barnes claimed he was growing marijuana under a religious exemption from the Oklevueha Native American Church. He said he paid $25 for a membership card and $200 to possess sacraments.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A state official who's conducting a wide-ranging review of Michigan's embattled unemployment benefits office is apologizing for the fiasco that led at least 20,000 people to be falsely accused of fraud.

Talent Investment Agency Director Wanda Stokes adds that lawmakers should consider reducing the country's highest financial penalties for unemployment fraud.

She told The Associated Press that people affected are angry and she is, too. She says their plight "shouldn't have happened."

USGS

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Scientists say grass carp have invaded three of the Great Lakes and pose a significant environmental risk. But they say there's still time to prevent them from becoming established.

Grass carp are among four Asian carp species threatening to reach the lakes, where they could upend ecological systems and compete with native fish for food.

A U.S.-Canadian assessment released Friday says grass carp have been found in Lakes Erie, Michigan and Ontario. At least some are reproducing, although most are believed to be sterile.

Courtesy: 1michigan.org

A computer outage has left customers with no ability to conduct transactions online or in person at Michigan Secretary of State offices.

State spokesman Fred Woodhams said officials got word of the issue shortly before offices opened at 9 a.m. Friday. He apologized for the inconvenience and said the state currently does not have an estimate of when service will be restored.

People use the website and branch offices to renew their vehicle registration, driver's license and to conduct other business.

Fraser home falling into the sinkhole.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Macomb County officials say sediment has cut the flow of sewage through a collapsed sewer line that caused a massive sinkhole north of Detroit.

Approximately 500,000 Macomb County residents in 11 communities along the 15 Mile Road sewer line are being asked to reduce the amount of water going down their drains to help prevent the release of sewage into the Clinton River.

Michigan State University is using a roughly $2 million federal grant to help southwestern Haiti restore agricultural production after Hurricane Matthew's devastating blow last fall.

The East Lansing school announced Tuesday the U.S. Agency for International Development grant focuses on producing beans for household food and income. Beans are a staple in the Haitian diet, so researchers are working to get high-yielding bean varieties into the hands of at least 6,000 regional farmers.

The relief effort is called "Mwen Gen Pwa," which is Haitian Creole for "I have beans."

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

From Detroit to Kalamazoo, thousands of people have turned out at rallies for women's rights, social causes and peace.   The marches were in response to the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

An estimated 7,000 men, women, and children were at the State Capitol Saturday for the Women’s March on Lansing. It was a sister rally to the Women’s March in Washington D.C.

user Thomas Anderson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

More than 700 people have filed claims for payment in the case of a Detroit-area doctor who put patients through needless cancer treatments.

Federal Judge Paul Borman got an update Tuesday from the government and a contractor hired to handle claims. No money has been paid yet.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

One Democratic Michigan congressman says he’s willing to keep an “open-mind” about Republican plans to replace Obamacare.

Large crowds gathered across the nation on Sunday, including in Warren, to oppose the push to repeal the Affordable Care Act.   

Flint Congressman Dan Kildee is concerned a quick repeal of the Affordable Care Act will leave 20 million people, including hundreds of thousands in Michigan, without health insurance.

Kildee wants to see how Republicans will keep some popular provisions of the health care law in place.

U.S Army Corps of Engineers

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - A federal report lists upgrading the Soo Locks shipping complex among 40 proposed infrastructure projects nationwide that would give the economy a significant boost.

  The locks network at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, enables vessels to move between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - The state of Michigan says it has money to replace faucets in as many as 4,000 Flint homes.

  The state says brass faucets and other brass components can contribute to lead in drinking water. The state plans to target Flint homes that still are showing high lead levels, despite improvements in water quality elsewhere in the city.

  Homes that qualify will have one kitchen faucet and one bathroom faucet replaced. Some plumbing will also be replaced. Health department Director Nick Lyon says it's a "vital step" in helping residents.

Asian carp at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.
Kate Gardiner / Creative Commons

Federal officials say they'll continue efforts to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, despite uncertainty about what Donald Trump might propose.

The Obama administration has spent over $388 million since 2010 to shield the lakes from the invasive fish, which could disrupt food chains and compete with valuable native species.

Officials say they've budgeted $42 million this year for Asian carp projects. They include further study of ways to fortify defenses at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam complex on a carp-infested Illinois waterway leading to Lake Michigan.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

A large fire has damaged a bus terminal on Detroit's east side and could cause service disruptions in the city.

The fire at the Detroit Department of Transportation facility, which includes bus storage, was reported early Friday and burned for several hours. No injuries are reported.

There were reports of explosions during the fire and some bus bays collapsed. WWJ-AM reports about 10 buses were damaged.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Judge's gavel
Joe Gratz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Justice Department is suing a Detroit suburb, alleging it violates the Voting Rights Act by denying black residents an equal opportunity to elect city council representatives of their choice.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Detroit says no black candidate has ever served on the Eastpointe city council and that white voters have consistently opposed and defeated preferred candidates of black voters.

The legal action, which follows a federal review, seeks a court order forcing Eastpointe to change how the city council is elected.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich.  - A key senator is proposing to repeal Michigan's school-turnaround law and to overhaul a system that potentially could lead to the closure of academically failing schools.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Phil Pavlov said Tuesday he will introduce repeal legislation Wednesday, the first day of the two-year legislative term. His bill comes as Michigan prepares to soon release its latest school rankings list.

Michigan Hall of Justice
Phillip Hofmeister / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Supreme Court has named a new chief justice.

Justices unanimously chose Stephen Markman Friday as the new chief. He'll succeed Chief Justice Robert Young, who's held the job since 2011.

Markman was first appointed to the court in 1999 and re-elected in later years.

In a statement issued by the court, Markman says his primary responsibility is to make sure the system of justice is "made readily and fairly available to all."

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Macomb County has declared a state of emergency following a sewer line collapse that caused a football field-sized sinkhole.

County Executive Mark Hackel made the declaration Thursday to Gov. Rick Snyder. The action was needed before the county can seek state and federal funding to cover some costs associated with the sinkhole. 

The sinkhole was discovered Dec. 24 north of Detroit in Fraser after a family awoke to find their home sinking. Their house and two others have been condemned. Officials also evacuated 19 other homes.

Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has wrongly accused tens of thousands of people of cheating on their unemployment claims.
Bytemarks / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The director of Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency has been reassigned after at least 20,000 people were wrongly accused of fraud by the agency's automated system.

Talent Investment Agency Director Wanda Stokes said Thursday that UIA Director Sharon Moffett-Massey will now work on special projects.

Bruce Noll, TIA's legislative liaison, will serve as acting assistant director of the unemployment agency during a search for a new director to replace Moffett-Massey.

jasonwoodhead23 / Flickr

Consumers Energy expects to have 1.8 million new meters installed across Michigan's Lower Peninsula by the end of the year.

The Jackson-based utility says the work will mark the completion of a five-year project that will allow electric customers to track their energy usage more closely online. It also is expected to help them identify ways to save energy and money.

The service began installing smart meters in 2012. More than 1.3 million electric meters and 350,000 gas communication modules have previously been installed. 

Al Pscholka
Michigan House Republicans

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder has chosen a former top state lawmaker to be Michigan's next budget director.

Al Pscholka chaired the House Appropriations Committee in 2015 and 2016 but left office under term limits. He will take over the budget office in mid-February when John Roberts leaves for a job with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Pscholka, a Republican from Stevensville in southwestern Michigan, will be Snyder's third budget director.

Near the scene of the Wayne State shooting. This was taken just north of the corner of Lincoln and MLK Blvd.
Mike Blank / Michigan Radio

DETROIT - The Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality says it plans to introduce conflict resolution training, peer mediation and other programs in the neighborhood where a Wayne State University campus police officer was slain.

The group also says it will work to create a more positive atmosphere for relations between police and the community in the "Peace Zone."

The "Peace Zone" will be just west of the Wayne State campus and northwest of downtown.

Wikimedia Commons

Wisconsin tight end Troy Fumagalli made a leaping 8-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter and the Badgers won 24-16 in the Cotton Bowl on Monday to deny Western Michigan an undefeated season.

The TD catch by Fumagalli with 14 minutes left, in the back of the end zone between two defenders, came three plays after a rare interception thrown by Zach Terrell and made it 24-10.

As the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoffs, the Lions now have to win three straight games away from Ford Field to reach their first Super Bowl in team history.
meesh / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

DETROIT - Aaron Rodgers threw three of his four touchdown passes in the second half, lifting the Green Bay Packers to an NFC North-winning 31-24 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday night.

Detroit's Matthew Stafford connected with Anquan Boldin for a 35-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds left, but the Packers recovered the onside kick and Rodgers had only to kneel once to seal the victory.

The Fraser sinkhole is about 250 feet by 100 feet.
Henrique Pinto / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Officials say it will take several months to repair a sinkhole in a suburban Detroit neighborhood. The sinkhole forced home evacuations and closed roadways in Fraser. City and county employees have been working around the clock over the holiday weekend and local leaders say it’s going to be all-hands-on-deck to make repairs.

The sinkhole is more of a depression, because it hasn’t actually opened up above ground yet. But officials believe it’s about 250 feet long and 100 feet wide; larger than one in 2004 that caused a nearby section of roadway to cave in.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) - The families of two sisters whose snowmobile plunged off a cliff on Mackinac Island in 2010 will get a chance to take their case to a jury.

The Michigan Supreme Court last week turned down an appeal from Arctic Cat, the snowmobile maker, although two justices wanted to hear the case. It means a key decision by the state appeals court will stand.

Michigan Supreme Court

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The outgoing chief justice of Michigan's Supreme Court is pushing to move the state's jury duty system to one that eases wait times.

  Chief Justice Robert Young Jr. tells the Detroit Free Press that Michigan's jury process is "extraordinarily stupid," as people often get called for jury duty only to sit around in a courthouse before being sent home.

  Young says jury duty is an important obligation for U.S. citizens and that the court shouldn't burden them by wasting their time.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - A strategic planning and cultural engagement project is seeking to revitalize Historic Fort Wayne in southwest Detroit.

The National Park Foundation and the National Park Service Midwest Region is working with city officials to improve recreational and cultural opportunities at the site that features a former military fort.

The Kresge Foundation has awarded a $265,000 grant for the two-year project.

An advisory group of public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders is expected to guide the planning process.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A national humanitarian organization says Michigan's prison system is keeping Jewish inmates from celebrating Hanukkah because they are not allowed to use matches or lighters.

Surfside, Florida-based Aleph Institute says prisoners are unable to light menorahs over the eight-day Hanukkah observance that starts Saturday.

Rabbi Menachem Katz says Corrections officials "should have a little compassion."

Prison policy prevents inmates from possessing candles, lighters and other incendiary devices during group religious services or activities.

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