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side view of a red Detroit Fire Department Firetruck.
user cutedtownboi / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Funding has been approved to provide body armor for Detroit firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

Fire Commissioner Eric Jones tells The Detroit News that his $500,000 budget request for the equipment has been approved by Mayor Mike Duggan and the City Council.

Jones says firefighters and EMTs are on "the same scenes as the police officers, and they face the same dangers."

On Monday, paramedics in Dallas were shot at as they responded to a shooting. One paramedic was wounded.

The January EPIC/MRA poll shows 57% support legalizing recreational weed in Michigan
flickr user Dank Depot / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Marijuana proponents are launching a ballot drive to make recreational pot legal in Michigan.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol plans to file ballot language with the state today. The initiative is being backed by state marijuana advocates and the Marijuana Policy Project, a national group that has been involved in successful legalization campaigns in five other states.

user jennuine captures / Flickr

The Detroit Police Department is moving forward on plans to equip officers with stun guns following years of debate on the issue.

WDIV-TV reports the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners on Thursday gave the OK to a proposal by police Chief James Craig to use stun guns. Craig says they're a tool for officers that can help save lives, since they offer an alternative to an officer using a gun.

Doctor's office
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Relieved Republicans have pushed their prized health care bill through the House. The mostly party-line 217-213 vote advances a bill that addresses their longtime pledge to erase the 2010 Obama health care law.

“Today, I voted to keep the promise I made to the voters of my district to rescue Americans from the collapsing health care law that has raised premiums and deductibles and replace it with a better health care system,” says Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan has dropped charges against one of the government officials charged in connection with the Flint water crisis.

Mike Glasgow is Flint’s former utilities director. He appeared in court today, where a judge agreed to dismiss a misdemeanor charge against him.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

The Michigan appeals court says teachers and other school employees can quit a union at any time, not just one month a year.

In a 3-0 decision, the court says it's following Michigan's right-to-work law, which says workers can't be forced to support a union to keep their job. The court says restricting union resignations to August clashes with the Legislature's goal of giving employees more choices.

The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio file photo

The Michigan House of Representatives approved a spending bill last night that would provide $39.5 billion in general spending.  The bill passed 60-47, mostly along party lines.

The Republican majority says the plan would fund priorities such as roads and public safety and give local governments more in revenue sharing than under Snyder's plan. It would also add $265 million to savings, as requested by the Republican governor.

Lead pipes
Mitch Barrie / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - More than 200 lead water pipes will be removed from a southwest Michigan city this summer. MLive (http://bit.ly/2oU9UII ) reports the Kalamazoo City Commission approved a nearly $850,000 construction contract on Monday with Rieth-Riley Construction Co. to replace the lines.

The city's 2017 Water Capital Improvement Budget will fund the service line replacement project. Public Services Director James Baker says Kalamazoo plans to replace almost 500 lead service lines during the 2017 construction season. Baker says on average the city has removed 100 lead pipes per year. 

A hiking trail in the Upper Peninsula
Brook Ward / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Authorities say a student at Michigan Technological University has died after suffering from symptoms of hypothermia while on a hiking trip in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The Marquette County sheriff's department says 19-year-old Marcus Antilla of Republic was among a group of six students from the school camping in the Rocking Chair Lakes area when he went looking for firewood but didn't immediately return. His friends found him wet and cold.

The University of Michigan Health System
The University of Michigan

The family of late entrepreneur Heinz Prechter is pledging to match up to $5 million in donations for bipolar disease research at the University of Michigan.

The university announced the challenge Monday. The university also is naming its bipolar research program for Prechter, who made a fortune in the car sunroof business. He was afflicted with bipolar disorder and killed himself in 2001.

Michigan Dept of Corrections

  DETROIT (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court is looking at the case of a Detroit-area man who was convicted of murder based on DNA.

  The issue is whether Johnny Ray Kennedy's rights were violated when a judge refused to appoint an expert at public expense who could help the defense.

  DNA was critical to the case, especially because Kennedy was charged with murder 20 years after the crime. Prosecutors had two experts who could talk to jurors about DNA but Kennedy had none at the 2014 trial.

rollercoaster at Cedar Point
Coasterman1234 / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Officials say amusement park visitors can expect a slightly longer wait time to pass through new metal detectors at Cedar Point.

The park's parent firm, Cedar Fair LP, says it decided to add another level of security at all of its parks to screen for prohibited metal objects.

Cedar Point spokesman Tony Clark says the process for passing through metal detectors will go quickly for guests entering the park. Clark recommends guests leave unnecessary items in their cars before entering.

Cedar Point will open with a newly-expanded water park called Cedar Point Shores.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is offering its opposition to Grand Rapids' plans to use license plate scanning technology for parking enforcement.

The Grand Rapids Press reports the ACLU of Michigan's western region unit sent a letter to city officials this week, saying that the scanners are another piece of surveillance technology that reduces "personal privacy rights and empowers the surveillance society."

A courtroom
Bill Ledbetter / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Detroit-area doctor and his wife are returning to court on Wednesday to see if they'll be released from jail while facing charges in an investigation of female genital mutilation.

Prosecutors are asking a judge to keep Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife, Farida, locked up while their case winds through federal court.

Brian Charles Watson / Wikimedia Commons

Michigan has approved amended tax incentives so Dow Chemical has more time to add jobs and AK Steel can qualify for tax credits following a merger.

The deals OK'd Tuesday by the Michigan Strategic Fund Board impose new caps on the tax credits at $61.4 million for Dow and at $20.3 million for the steelmaker. Economic development officials say the AK Steel agreement reduces Michigan's estimated liability by about $23 million.

Although General Motors CEO Mary Barra wasn't among the business leaders that quit President Trump's advisory councils before they disbanded, Howes says he believes she was leaning in that direction.
Andrea_44 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The U.S. Supreme Court has turned away an appeal from General Motors Co. seeking to block dozens of lawsuits over faulty ignition switches that could expose the company to billions of dollars in additional claims.

The justices on Monday left in place a lower court ruling that said the automaker's 2009 bankruptcy did not shield it from liability in the cases.

A Health Blog / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Community mental health groups fear that their funding and management could be transferred to private insurers.

The state House and Senate subcommittees on Health and Human Services passed their budget plans for the department this past week. Mental health groups say the Senate subcommittee's plan intends to privatize by 2020.

Similarly, Gov. Rick Snyder last year called for moving the $2.5 billion of community mental health money and management to private insurers. The House's proposal did not call for moving the money or management to private insurers.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Eight years into Michigan's economic recovery, the fiscal outlook is still unnerving for municipalities seen as ill-equipped to withstand the next recession.

  Despite continued job growth and record auto sales, the state's per-capita personal income lags the national average after a long-lasting downturn. Taxable values of property are below peak levels in 85% of municipalities. And their state aid is down 20% from 15 years ago.

front of vw car
User Mike Knell / Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Detroit judge has approved a fine negotiation between the U.S. government and Volkswagen Friday morning.

Federal Judge Sean Cox has ordered the German automaker to pay $2.8 billion in criminal penalties. The company pled guilty to conspiracy and  obstruction of justice six weeks ago.

VW admits that nearly 600,000 diesel cars in the U.S. were programmed to turn on pollution controls during testing and turn them off while on the road.

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

Officials have denied a request for a permit to build a new pumping station by a bottled-water company that wants to pump more groundwater in western Michigan.

The Osceola Township Planning Commission on Tuesday night denied granting Nestle Waters North America the permit for the pipeline booster station at Spring Hill Camp. It's part of the company's proposal to withdraw up to 400 gallons per minute from a well in Osceola County.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers are introducing legislation to help fight rising opioid abuse.

  A group of bipartisan lawmakers is looking to tackle the drug epidemic in Michigan through a variety of ways, including health education in schools and creating prescription limits on opioids. They also are promoting the use of an updated database that monitors prescriptions.

Judge's gavel
(loveamourlove.com)

The Michigan appeals court has ordered a new sentence for a Kalamazoo teenager convicted of murder and suggested that he shouldn't be locked up for the rest of his life.

The court upheld the conviction of 16-year-old Victor Garay, saying the evidence in a 2014 gang-related shooting was "overwhelming." But the court said Tuesday that Judge Alexander Lipsey didn't handle the sentencing correctly.

wmich.edu

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Western Michigan University has picked a dean and professor of economics at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy as its next president.

The Kalamazoo, Michigan school's trustees on Wednesday approved the selection of Edward B. Montgomery to the post. His selection follows a national search to find a successor to John M. Dunn, who earlier announced that he planned to retire. 

Montgomery served as President Barack Obama's auto-recovery czar. He has held faculty positions at Carnegie Mellon and Michigan State universities as well as the University of Maryland during a more than 35-year academic career. He has been at Georgetown since 2010.

Amboo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The American Civil Liberties Union is objecting to a Michigan school district's restroom policy for transgender students.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that transgender students in the Jenison district must use a gender-neutral restroom, staff restrooms or restrooms that match their gender assigned at birth.

Various social media posts have accused Jenison of banning transgender students from restrooms that match their gender identity.

Center for Lakes and Research / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Volunteers will help monitor several Michigan trout streams for the invasive New Zealand mudsnail.

The tiny snail made its first Michigan appearance in 2015, when it showed up in the Pere Marquette River. Since then, it's been spotted in the Boardman and Au Sable rivers.

They reproduce in great abundance and gobble food needed by the native invertebrates that are food for trout and other fish.

A courtroom
Bill Ledbetter / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments in an unusual case involving a hospital, privacy and a personal protection order.

Tammy McNeil-Marks was fired in 2014 as a clinical manager at MidMichigan Medical Center in Alma. The hospital says she violated privacy rules when she told her lawyer about a patient in the hospital.

It turns out that McNeil-Marks was concerned about her safety because she had a personal protection order against the woman. The woman was served with the order while in a room.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) wants to see the Trump administration put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin over his support of the Syrian government.

Putin criticized last week’s U-S air strike on a Syrian airfield, where a chemical weapons attack was launched on a Syrian city.

The Michigan Democrat says President Trump should pressure his Russian counterpart to drop his support of  Syrian Preisdent Bashar al-Assad, who Peters describes as a “war criminal’.

A storm
Flickr/mdprovost

Flooding in southwestern Michigan has closed several roadways and swamped the home of the Kalamazoo Growlers baseball team ,while severe thunderstorms caused damage in the Upper Peninsula.

The Kalamazoo River is one of several across Michigan's Lower Peninsula where flood warnings or advisories are in effect.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

A special board meeting has been scheduled to give updates in the Detroit Public Schools Community District's search for a new superintendent.

The meeting is open to the public and will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at district offices in the Fisher Building.

Interviews have been held with superintendent candidates Nikolai Vitti of Florida's Duval County schools and River Rouge Superintendent Derrick Coleman.

Subterranean / Wikimedia Commons

The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments in an uncommon case: Can courts intervene when religious schools reject students?

Churches and faith-based schools operate with broad protections under the First Amendment. But this case raises questions about whether a student claiming discrimination can overcome that legal threshold.

The parents of a girl who was rejected by Notre Dame Preparatory School in Pontiac say she was illegally turned down in 2014 because of a learning disability.

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