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Emma Winowiecki

Online News Assistant

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

Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports the board passed a resolution Tuesday in opposition to Enbridge Inc.'s Line 5 pipeline. The resolution passed on a 7-3 vote.

15 other counties, 24 cities and 26 townships throughout the state have also voted in favor of shutting down Line 5.

The more than 60-year-old pipeline travels through Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas. It was created to be a safer and more efficient way to transport crude oil.

Water faucent in Flint.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The ACLU of Michigan and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund are calling for Flint City Council and Mayor Karen Weaver to suspend any efforts to impose liens on homes where resident's haven't paid their water bills. Those liens could eventually give the city the right to sell off the home if the debt isn't paid back. 

creative commons

Late Friday, it was announced that the Detroit Federation of Teachers and the Detroit Public Schools Community District had reached a tentative contract agreement after nearly three months of negotiations.

Now, the teacher's union says it has dismissed that agreement.

The union announced late Monday that its executive board voted to reject the agreement, and that it wants to continue negotiations.

Details about the terms of Friday's agreement haven't been released.

Pontiac Silverdome
Don Robson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Detroit demolition company has been chosen to take down the Pontiac Silverdome.

The Oakland Press reports that the Adamo Group has been given the demolition project. The Detroit-based company has previously worked on demolition at the old Dodge Main Plant and the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. 

Ford Motor Co. headquarters
Ford Motor Company

The Ford Motor Company is planning to cut its global workforce by about 10%.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the cuts aim to boost the company's profits and stock price. The report states that the company's stock has fallen in the three years since Mark Fields become CEO.

Auto sales fell in March and April, with Ford falling 7.2% in year-over-year sales.

groceries
Ruth Hartnup / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Thousands of children in Flint are presumed to receive additional money for nutritional foods that can limit lead exposure effects.

The Detroit Free Press reports the $7 million in food aid is going to about 15,000 kids who qualify for food assistance. Qualifying families will receive a one-time payment of $420 per child. That money is expected to be used throughout the year and is in addition to the $30 per child families got in March.

school lunch
Tim Lauer / Creative Commons

The number of Michigan K-12 students eligible for free and reduced lunches decreased for the third year in a row in 2016.

According to the latest data from the Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information, which heads up the state’s student counts, over 700,000 students qualified for subsidized lunches in the 2016/17 school year. That’s 45.6% of Michigan students.

Groceries, including milk, eggs and produce, sitting on a counter.
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

"Making Ends Meet" is a new report from the Michigan League for Public Policy that reveals the average cost of living throughout Michigan.

In its seventh annual report, the policy organization analyzed housing data, child care costs, food expenses, health care costs, and other necessities to calculate a “basic needs income level.”

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.

Rachel Kramer / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Ahead of the 100-year anniversary of the state park system, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has drafted a strategic plan for the state parks and recreation system.

The draft plan will replace the current strategic plan, which was set to last until 2019. The draft identifies new issues and recent changes within the system. Key issues include the environment, economic impact, and balancing recreation and protection.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

A $24 million music building is expected to be a centerpiece for an arts and cultural hub in northern Michigan. The building will break ground on May 12.

Interlochen Center for the Arts president Jeffrey Kimpton says music is the center's largest discipline. But students for years have practiced in several, disjointed areas of the campus near Traverse City.

user H.L.I.T. / Flickr

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning announced today that traffic fatalities rose 10% in 2016, from 963 in 2015 to 1,064 last year. 

This was the second year in a row traffic deaths rose by 10%. Officials say the last time fatalities were over 1,000 was in 2007.

In addition to the rise in traffic fatalities, crashes were up 5%, injuries up 8%, and serious injuries were up 16%. Bicyclist and motorcyclist fatalities were both up from 2015, as well as drug-involved fatalities.

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.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Officials have found that a recent outbreak of an invasive virus may be responsible for killing tens of thousands of fish in Lake St. Clair.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed this afternoon that the fish tested positive for the viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSv). The virus first appeared in Lake Michigan in 2006.

speed limit sign
Famartin / Wikimedia Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The speed limit on rural highways throughout Michigan will be lifted to 75 mph as soon as next week.

The Michigan Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that 600 miles of interstate will increase from 65 to 75 mph limits, and 900 miles of non-interstate highway will increase from 55 to 65 mph. 

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley
Michigan House Republicans

Republican Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley looks to be tossing his hat into the race for governor.

While he hasn't officially announced his candidacy, Calley launched a website early Monday morning with a clock counting down to May 30, when he is expected to formally announce his bid.

The website also features an online ad, in which Calley compares lessons he's learned from parenting his autistic daughter to the way he's learned to govern.

aerial view of Michigan
NASA / Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Earth Day events throughout Michigan this weekend hope to bring people outside to enjoy the fresh air, while also promoting eco-friendly lifestyles and climate education.

A large national March for Science will be held in Washington, D.C. Much like the Women's March in January, partner events are also happening in Michigan.

There are 14 marches planned in cities across the state including Lansing, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, and Petoskey.

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.

Brian Turner / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A new legal challenge is putting a pause on negotiations between the Detroit Public Schools Community District board and Nikolai Vitti, who was chosen as the district's new superintendent this week.

The challenge was filed by Robert Davis, a community activist who threatened the action after the board's decision to hire Vitti was announced. He is seeking a temporary restraining order that would stop the board from negotiating with Vitti.

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.

Motown31 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

After months of interviews and discussions, the Detroit Public Schools Community District school board has chosen Dr. Nikolai Vitti to be its next superintendent.

The vote to enter contract negotiations with Vitti is the first major decision by the board, which was created last year.

Dr. Vitti is currently the superintendent of schools in Duval County, Florida, but he grew up in Dearborn Heights and graduated from Divine Child High School in Dearborn.

The other finalist for the job was River Rouge superintendent Derrick Coleman.

car and bicyclist riding side by side in the road
Flicker user Richard Masoner / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A Lima township man has been sentenced to probation and ordered to pay $3,000 in fines for striking and killing an Ann Arbor triathlete with his car. Terry Lee Lacroix pleaded guilty in March to a misdemeanor charge of a moving violation causing death.

Michigan State Police say the 70-year-old Lacroix was trying to pass another vehicle when he hit Karen McKeachie on Dexter-Chelsea road in Washtenaw County in August. McKeachie was a 17-time national champion in triathlon.

The recalled toys.
Target

Target stores voluntarily recalled several potentially dangerous toys on Thursday, just before the Easter weekend.

The Hatch & Grow Easter Eggs, Easter Grow Toys, and Hatch Your Own Dino toys were included in the nationwide recall. Customers are encouraged to keep those toys away from small children, and can return them to any Target store for a full refund.

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.

Downtown Kalamazoo.
Michigan Municipal League / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Kalamazoo will present design concepts and a strategy for the future of its downtown at a community open house tonight. The city is setting aside $10 million to spend on community-building projects over the next ten years.

The plan, called Imagine Kalamazoo 2025, started last year. The Kalamazoo City Council held a planning session Monday night to hear ideas for how to spend the money, which will be funded through a non-profit foundation.

Mackinac Bridge
Julie Falk / Flickr

Falling ice and high winds have shut down the Mackinac Bridge for a second time this week.  

The Mackinac Bridge Authority closed the 5-mile-long bridge Tuesday evening due to high winds. It briefly reopened the bridge for a few hours before again closing it to traffic Wednesday morning.

Michael Dorausch / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Detroit unveiled new digital voting machines to volunteers this weekend after years of faulty machines that slowed down the voting process.

The machines are a part of a statewide effort to replace all voting systems by 2018. Voting machines in Michigan have not been replaced in over a decade.

Detroit ordered 700 new machines, which will be installed before the August primaries.

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

Crews are working to restore power to thousands of customers in Michigan after storms packing high winds, snow and heavy rain hit the state.

Authorities say Thursday's weather was a factor in at least one death. The Kalamazoo County sheriff's department says 57-year-old Kelli Roberts of Gobles died following a two-vehicle crash on snowy roads in southwestern Michigan.

Undersheriff Paul Matyas says she was going too fast for road conditions when she tried to pass a truck.

Lansing City Hall building
Michigan State Historic Preservation Office / Flickr

The Michigan and Lansing Chambers of Commerce are urging city council members to rescind a resolution which declares Lansing a "sanctuary city."

In a letter sent to the Lansing City Council Thursday, business leaders wrote that they want the declaration removed because it sends the wrong message.

Tim Daman, president and CEO of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Rich Studley, president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber wrote:

Demolition
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit has approved a new contract with the same company that left 19 demolition sites unfinished for more than 8 months. That work was part of the city's blight removal program, which is currently under federal investigation.

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