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Kathleen Davis

Newsroom Intern

Kathleen Davis is a Newsroom Intern and 2017 graduate of the University of Michigan. She previously worked at the Michigan Daily for four years, where she wrote about art and culture and was the 2015 Managing Arts Editor.

Kathleen is from Birmingham, Michigan, a northern suburb of Detroit. Growing up in a bilingual household, she quickly developed a sense for the power of words. The three loves of Kathleen's life are coffee, dogs, and oxford commas, the latter of which she was forbidden to use at her previous place of employment.

Highlights of Kathleen’s relatively short journalistic career include interviews with Miami design icon Craig Robins, drag superstar Bianca Del Rio, and founder of the Kronos Quartet David Harrington.

Flint water plant manager Jolisa McDay in red sweater in front of microphones
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint's top water plant manager has resigned, according to MLive.

Jolisa McDay will remain on staff until June 30, a little more than a year after she was hired as the city's water plant supervisor.

User: Nic Redhead / Flickr

A Michigan activist group is telling immigrants not to attend regular check-ins with immigration officials. That's because some undocumented immigrants are being detained for deportation at these check-ins.

But immigration attorneys say this is bad, and potentially dangerous, advice.

An email sent from the group By Any Means Necessary earlier this week said, "WARNING: BEWARE OF 'SILENT' DEPORTATIONS--DO NOT GO TO 'CHECK IN' WITH I.C.E." 

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Creative Commons

A new federal bill up for a vote in Congress Thursday could hurt efforts to protect the Great Lakes from invasive species.

An amendment to a Coast Guard bill would loosen regulations against ballast water discharges by cargo ships. Experts say this is one way that invasive species enter new environments.

Marc Smith is Regional Conservation Director for the National Wildlife Federation. He says the harm from invasive species is well known.

University of Michigan campus
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A Michigan city has been ranked number one in the country for clean energy innovation. Washington D.C.'s Brookings Institution, a public policy think tank, says Ann Arbor has the most clean energy patents per million people.

Mark Muro is a policy director for the Brookings Institution, and a co-author of the report.

"I think it's very clear that Ann Arbor has a pretty well developed clean energy economy," Muro said.

Ben Sutherland / Creative Commons

Northern Michigan University will debut a forensic anthropology major in the fall. Included in the curriculum will be hands-on experience in the world's first cold-weather "body farm".

A body farm is a research facility where decomposition of the human body in various environments is studied. There are currently eight in the world, but all are in moderate to warm climates. Relatively little is known about how a human body decomposes in cold weather.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A new plan could help support Washtenaw County's undocumented residents.

The plan would give undocumented immigrants the same county-wide benefits as citizens.  Washtenaw County officials voted Wednesday to give initial approval to the plan.

Commissioner Conan Smith was a primary supporter of the plan.

"It's essential for our economy and our social fabric that we express how welcome they are as members of our community," Smith said.

He says this plan is especially important in light of national policies against undocumented immigrants.

DLG Images / Creative Commons

Budget talks in the House and Senate may close Michigan's pension program for new teachers.

Supporters say this would help ease Michigan's growing debt. But others say pension cuts would hurt a profession that's already struggling.

David Crim is with the Michigan Education Association.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

An Ann Arbor man who was scheduled to be deported  has been granted a temporary delay.

Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo has lived in Ann Arbor for nearly 20 years with his wife and two children. His lawyer says he's never had a criminal record.

He was detained last month during a routine check-in with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and sent to Louisiana to be deported. 

Supporters of the family rallied in front of ICE offices in Detroit and an Ann Arbor elementary school Sanchez-Ronquillo's son attends. 

Netflix mailer.
user rachellynnae© / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The new Netflix show "13 Reasons Why" is causing lots of controversy in schools. That's because it graphically deals with themes like suicide and sexual assault. It's also marketed to a teen audience.

Muskegon Intermediate School District is the latest in the country to send home a warning about the show. The district sent a letter to parents and guardians last week.

Stephanie Koenig is a social worker at Michigan Medicine who has worked substantially with adolescent psychiatry. 

401(K) 2012 / Creative Commons

A new report from a Michigan nonprofit says the state's households are still struggling financially. 

Michigan's unemployment rate is currently at 5%.  However, 75% of Michiganders face stagnant or declining incomes.

Lou Glazer is President of Michigan First, the nonprofit that released the report.

"It's pretty clear that you can have a low unemployment rate and still have a lot of people struggling. In a growing economy, the same thing is true," Glazer said.

An electric car at a charging station
Wikimedia Commons

A lack of public charging stations is hurting the growth of electric cars in Michigan, according to some clean energy advocates.

Consumers Energy recently pulled the plug on a plan to set up hundreds of charging stations around Michigan. This was in response to pushback from competitors and consumers who don't want to pay for the system.

Kathleen Davis / Michigan Radio

Part-time lecturers at Eastern Michigan University held a protest in front of the university president's office today, asking for better pay and benefits.

Almost 50% of EMU's teaching staff are part-time. Many of these instructors make less than $15,000 a year, and lack critical benefits like paid medical leave and job security.

Adena Rottenstein is a lecturer and member of the Part Time Lecturers Union. 

Wikimedia Commons

Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon has announced that a full review of the University's Title IX program will begin this fall.

Title IX requires gender equity in education and in school sports. It's also supposed to protect students from sexual harassment and assault.

Darko Stojanovic / Creative Commons

A new report from a public health watchdog called the Leapfrog Group ranks Michigan the 25th best state for hospital treatment.

Of the 79 hospitals graded, 25 earned an "A," 20 earned a "B," 31 earned a "C," and three earned a "D." These ratings are based on a hospital's reported errors, as well as systems in place to prevent errors.

Michigan dropped six spots since the last Leapfrog Hospital Safety report in the fall of 2016.

Ckay / Creative Commons

President Trump's proposed budget cuts to Great Lakes restoration has some Michigan lawmakers and small business owners concerned.

Creative Commons

A new bill passed by the Michigan House of Representatives would require police officers to have verbal consent from minors before administering a Breathalyzer test.

Under current legislation, adults in Michigan can refuse a Breathalyzer test, or PBT, but minors cannot.

Even if they're not under the influence, minors who are driving can be ticketed and fined for refusing a Breathalyzer, and a refusal adds two points on their driving record.

row of buses
dhendrix73 / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Under Michigan law, public schools aren't allowed to start classes before Labor Day.

A bill recently approved by the state Senate Education Committee would change that.

Under the new legislation, districts would be allowed to start school in August. But the bill would also require that those schools have three-day weeks until after Labor Day.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich.
Wikipedia

A new bill introduced by Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters proposes a comprehensive review of the U.S. criminal justice system. The bill has received bipartisan support, as well as the support of many major police organizations and civil rights groups.

"When you combine all the support, I believe that's the kind of coalition necessary to give this commission the political power to see it's recommendations actually enacted into law," Peters said. 

knittymarie / flickr

Michigan's average teacher salary has dropped for the fifth year in a row, according to data recently released by the state. Public school teachers are hit the hardest.

David Crim is with the Michigan Education Association. He says salary cuts drive young people away from pursuing education as a career.

"We're losing some of the best and brightest young teachers because they can't afford to pay off student loans while paying the cost of housing, food, and other essentials," Crim said.

Angela Setters / Flickr

In 2016 alone, lobbyists provided Michigan lawmakers with $690,681 in food and drinks, according to a report from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

Kathleen Davis

Women and men across Michigan rallied today in support of International Women's Day, as well as "A Day Without a Woman."

An event at Eastern Michigan University drew crowds to the Student Center on campus.

Solange Samoes is a professor of Women's and Gender Studies at EMU. She has organized International Women's Day events at the university since 2006.

Samoes stressed the importance of inclusivity and intersectionality at this year's rally.

Ray Dumas / Creative Commons

Fifty-nine percent of Michiganders would say they prioritize the environment over the economy, according to a new study from Michigan State University.

“The results are somewhat counterintuitive,” Daniel Bergan said, given President Donald Trump's November win in Michigan. Bergen was a researcher on the study.

Area where the boil water advisory was in effect.
City of Detroit

An equipment malfunction at a Great Lakes Water Authority plant has caused parts of Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park to be placed on a boil-water alert.

Cheryl Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the GLWA, says the advisory is a precautionary measure.

"It's not likely that we had an issue but we wanted to be careful and cautious and issue [the advisory] just in case," Porter said.

She says the alert was put in place in response to a water pressure drop. A change in pressure can make pipe water susceptible to bacteria.

MARY MEYER / FLICKR

Michigan's Department of Natural Resources is looking for volunteers for its annual frog and toad survey.

The DNR says the survey helps biologists monitor how Michigan's amphibians are doing.

Coordinator Lori Sargent says spring is the best time to estimate frog and toad populations in Michigan.

"This is when they call, when it starts to get warm and the water temperature gets warmer because they're calling for mates and establishing their territory," Sargent said.

BRANDON NGUYEN / FLICKR

A new class at the University of Michigan hopes to help students be savvier news consumers.

The course, called "Fake News, Lies, and Propaganda: How to Sort Fact From Fiction", will be available next fall.

Angie Oehrli is a University of Michigan librarian who helped develop the course. She hopes the class will provide tangible skills for students to recognize and avoid fabricated stories that pass themselves off as legitimate news.

Steve Hillebrand / Creative Commons

Black bear populations in the northern Lower Peninsula are booming.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the population has increased almost 50 percent since 2000. Kevin Swanson, a wildlife management specialist for the DNR, says this is creating a nuisance for some Michigan residents.

"We have had a pretty notable increase in complaints in the northern Lower Peninsula, especially in Baldwin, over the last few years and that continues to climb," Swanson said. "We've had more notable complaints like bluff charges on humans and some dogs being killed."

Scio Residents for Safe Water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will begin an examination into the Gelman 1,4-dioxane plume spreading through the groundwater of Ann Arbor and Scio Township. The EPA will determine if the pollution qualifies for federal Superfund cleanup.

Yesterday, Scio Township, which borders Ann Arbor to the west, joined the existing lawsuit against the polluter as a plaintiff. Scio Township joins the city of Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County and the Huron Valley Watershed Council in the lawsuit. 

Courtesy of Tommy Truong

Two MSU students are working to bring notable landmarks from around the world into the classroom with virtual reality technology.

Tommy Truong and Eric Martin have developed 360-degree immersive environments of sites like the Colosseum in Rome and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. to be used in tandem with traditional teaching methods.

Truong believes immersive VR experiences can be a valuable and inexpensive way for educators to engage their students.

STEPHANE MIGNON / FLICKR / Creative Commons

A study from the University of Michigan suggests engaging at-risk youth is a key tactic for understanding and preventing terrorism. 

The study was led by U-M Research scientist Scott Atran and co-authored by professor of public policy Robert Axelrod.

According to the study, young adults often join extremist groups like ISIS because they are socially connected to others who have done the same. They say this is a response to being unable to organize in creative, nonviolent ways.

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