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Emma Winowiecki

Online News Intern

Emma is currently the online news intern at Michigan Radio. In addition to covering news, she assists with The Environment Report and other programs. Emma is a senior at the University of Michigan majoring in Communication Studies and Screen Arts & Cultures, and plans to pursue radio and digital journalism in the future. When she's not at Michigan Radio, Emma can be found at various coffee shops around Ann Arbor.

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.

User apoxapox / Flickr

Cases of hepatitis A are increasing in Detroit, as well as Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced today that there has been a significant uptick in the number of lab-confirmed hepatitis A cases.

In a press release, the department said that 107 cases were confirmed from August 1, 2016 to March 1, 2017. That's eight times higher than the previous year.

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.

Hemlock woolly adelgid
Michigan DNR

Insects and diseases are posing a threat to Michigan's forests.

That's according to a report released yesterday by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The report, which is a part of the National Forest Health Monitoring Program, includes an analysis of issues that threaten Michigan's 20 million acres of forest land for 2016.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has clarified what seems to have been a misinterpretation of NAFTA law, which led to a number of Canadian nurses working in Detroit being denied work visa renewals.

The Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System raised concerns last week that some of their nurses has been denied renewals of a type of work visa called a TN visa. Canadian nurses help fill staff shortages in a number of crucial areas.

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

A sinkhole in Fraser which caused three homes to be condemned will be fixed by September.

The sewer collapsed in December and has affected 11 Macomb county communities. The county has chosen Dan's Excavating to fix the damage. The company won a $33 million bid to do the repair work.

corktown sign
Robert Duffner / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan’s Irish traditions go back nearly 250 years.

The first Irish immigrants largely settled on the East Coast, in large cities like Boston and New York. But they soon started heading west.

Because Detroit was founded by the French, it was an established as a Catholic city, which was attractive to many of the Irish facing persecution by Protestants back home.

michigan state university sign
Branislav Ondrasik / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Around 700 faculty and staff members at Michigan State University say they will not help immigration officials that attempt to apprehend, deport, or determine the immigration status of students.

Staff members have been signing a "Statement of Solidarity," which promises to support students that want to remain in the US.

Capitol Hill
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Last week, House Republicans submitted their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The bill, which has been under intense committee debate, has drawn criticism from Democrats, some Republicans, health care organizations, doctors, and others. But it is largely supported by House Republicans and the White House.

Some of the bill’s provisions would be enacted as soon as it is put into law, including the elimination of individual and employer mandates. Others would be delayed until 2020, such as limiting the Medicaid expansion and a repeal of subsidies for out-of-pocket expenses.

Christoper Sessums / Flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Extremely high winds have caused power outages and more throughout Michigan today.

DTE, Consumer's Energy, and Great Lakes Energy are all reporting power outages due to winds that have reached up to 60 mph.

The strongest winds have been in the southeastern part of the state, but there have been challenges up north, as well. The Mackinaw Bridge is partially closed due to the winds, and the motorists that do cross are being asked to drive under 20 mph.

Waves on Lake Michigan.
user ellenm1 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Extremely high winds will cause massive waves on Lake Michigan tonight.

The National Weather Service has issued a gale warning that predicts wind gusts with speeds up to 52 miles per hour, which could create up to 20-foot-tall waves.

The gale warning is in effect until Tuesday morning, and includes all of Lake Michigan 5 miles off shore and beyond.

The largest waves are expected overnight, and will range from seven to 20 feet. The best views of the waves will likely be in Ludington and Muskegon - as long as you are a safe distance from the shore.

Wayne State University
Wikimedia Commons

A group of academics will visit Wayne State University this week as part of an accreditation process that happens every ten years.

The Detroit News reports that the Higher Learning Commission will be assessing the quality of education offered by the university. The organization is one of six in the U.S. that accredits colleges and universities.

Wayne State was first accredited in 1868 and has been ever since.

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.

Lois Robins is a bit of a late-bloomer when it comes to politics.
courtesy of Lois Robins

There’s been a growing amount of political participation these past few months. Citizens are calling their representatives, dozens of protests pop up every weekend, and Congress people are facing massive crowds at town halls meetings.

But only a small number of Americans are considered politically engaged. A 2012 study by the Pew Research Center found that approximately 20% of adults had attended a political meeting and only 6% participated in an organized protest.

For many people, 2016 was the first time they actively participated in political events.

Brandon Otto / Flickr

Kalamazoo Public Schools are closed today after approximately 1,900 students were absent or sent home Thursday due to stomach illnesses or flu-like symptoms.

KPS announced yesterday that the decision was made after a discussion with Kalamazoo Health and Community Services. The district hopes that a three-day weekend will give kids time to get better, and a chance for buildings to be disinfected.

Parents, students and community activists holding signs at a press conference in front of Osborn High School in Detroit.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

In a letter to Governor Rick Snyder, Michigan's Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives asked that he stop the Michigan School Reform Office from closing 38 schools.

U.S. Reps. John Conyers, Debbie Dingell, Dan Kildee, Brenda Lawrence, and Sander Levin requested that the governor not close any schools without input and support from local communities.

The representatives cited the negative impacts of school closings, such as the burdens placed on working families that may face longer commutes.

Planned Parenthood of Michigan

Michigan legislators in the House and Senate are trying to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

Identical bills introduced last week, one in the House and another in the Senate, would prohibit the state from contracting with any healthcare service providers that perform abortions. The bills would also prohibit the allocation of any state or federal funds to such agencies.

Dr. Larry Nassar in his office
From one of Nassar's YouTube videos

Dr. Larry Nassar, a former athletic doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, is accused of assaulting a young girl under the age of 13 in his home. He has been ordered to stand trial. If convicted, Nassar faces up to life in prison.

MC Sports

MC Sports announced yesterday that the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and has begun the process of store liquidation.

The Grand Rapids-based company operates 68 store locations across the Midwest, including 22 in Michigan, and employs 1,300 people.

In a statement, MC Sports President and CEO Bruce Ullery said that the sports supplier has been unable to compete with online retailers.

More from yesterday's announcement:

Ford Motor Company's headquarters in Dearborn.
Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company plans to build a $200 million aerodynamic testing facility in suburban Detroit.

The Dearborn-based automaker announced Wednesday that the wind tunnel complex will be on 13 acres next to Ford's current Driveability Test Facility in Allen Park.

In an announcement, the company highlighted consumers' desire for improved fuel economy:

The Dispatch Blotter from the Leelanau Enterprise.
Mary Winowiecki

Some local newspapers print police dispatches. These are usually pretty basic, detailing the time and reason for dispatch.

But one Northern Michigan newspaper takes its dispatch report a step further - and the results can be hilarious.

The Leelanau Enterprise covers news in Leelanau County, and is popular among locals and tourists alike.

The real gem in the Enterprise can be found in the “Courts” section, where one can find descriptions of 911 calls made by concerned citizens.

user earl53 / MorgueFile.com

Get your binoculars ready! A full moon, an eclipse, and a comet will all be passing through the night sky late Friday night and early Saturday morning. 

A "penumbral" eclipse isn't a full lunar eclipse, and is more subtle, but still visible to the human eye. It occurs when the moon moves through the outer part of the Earth's shadow. In North America, this will be most visible at moonrise, at 7:43 p.m.

The Michigan Union covered in blooming ivy
Wikimedia Commons

Three emails containing racist and anti-Semitic content were sent to students in the computer science and engineering departments at the University of Michigan Tuesday night.

The emails, which were made to look as though they were sent by a university professor and graduate student, had the subject lines "African American Student Diversity" and "Jewish Student Diversity."

According to University of Michigan officials, the emails were the result of a spoof, or imitation, of two U-M faculty members.

Images of the e-mails have been shared on Twitter:

The detour is the black line. Officials say I-96 and I-275 have "more capacity" than I-94, so it's the official detour route.
MDOT

The Michigan Department of Transportation announced earlier this week that southbound I-75 in Detroit will be closed for construction starting tomorrow.

The highway will be closed for two years as improvements are made to the Rouge River bridge, as well as several smaller bridges and the implementation of intelligent transportation system (ITS) equipment.

Northbound I-75 will not be significantly affected, although a single lane will be closed at times.

Why aren't they listening to me?!
user Ayana T. Miller / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Discussing politics can be a tenuous activity these days. Whether at school, work, home, or (and I know you won't believe this) on Facebook, many people have seen political discussions melt down into yelling or name-calling.

We asked you to tell us your stories about successful conversations you have experienced, and heard some interesting responses.

Some people found that having a calm, rational discussion to be impossible. 

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.