WUOMFM

Mark Brush

Digital Media Director

Mark is Michigan Radio's Digital Media Director. He works to develop and maintain the station's overall digital strategy. As a senior producer/reporter from 2010 to 2016 he helped move the station toward publishing more online-first stories.  

From 2006 to 2010, as the unit's co-manager and senior producer, Mark helped transition the station's regional environmental news unit into an award-winning national news service known as The Environment Report.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Michigan ('00 MS in Environmental Policy and Planning & '91 BA in Political Science) and has been a "public radio junkie" since 1992. Much of Mark's storytelling philosophy was influenced through his close work with veteran CBC "réalisateur" David Candow.

Ways to Connect

The Chevy Bolt
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The Chevy Bolt won the 2017 North American Car of the Year. It’s a long-range electric car.

The EPA estimates the Bolt can travel 238 miles per charge, and GM thinks of it as an electric car that will have mass appeal. After a federal tax credit, the price of the car comes in around $30,000.

Tesla is planning to release a more affordable electric car. They call it the Model 3. But GM beat Tesla to it.

Karl Brauer is executive publisher at Auto Trader.

The GM Bolt EV, The Chrysler Pacifica, and the Honda Ridgeline won the awards.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

GM’s Chevy Bolt beat out the Genesis G90 and the Volvo S90 for the 2017 North American Car of the Year award. 

Sharon Carty of Automotive News was one of the jurors for the award.  She says it's no surprise the Bolt got the award.  It's the first long-range mass-market electric car to make it to the market.

"And it's great inside, it's super modern," says Carty.  "It's gonna definitely be a Tesla fighter." Tesla has announced plans for a mass market long-range electric car, but the vehicle hasn't yet been launched.   

Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium
Bahamas Bowl

It’s been a long time since the Eastern Michigan Eagles have been in a bowl game. Today, the football team will play in their first bowl game since the 1987 season.

The Eagles (7-5) will play the Old Dominion Monarchs (9-3) in the 2016 Popeye's Bahamas Bowl at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN and you can livestream it here.

You can also find live stats of the game here.

A roundup of our juvenile lifers in Michigan series

Dec 20, 2016
Photos from our series on juvenile lifers in Michigan.
Steve Carmody, Jodi Westrick, and Thomas Hawk. / Michigan Radio and Flickr - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

In the 1990s, Michigan took a tough stand against teens under 18 convicted of violent crimes. Prosecutors in Michigan started locking more of them up for life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In 2012, the United States Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life without parole sentences are unconstitutional for juveniles. The justices found that it violated the Eighth Amendments' prohibition against "cruel and unusual punishment."

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette continues to bring charges against those involved in decisions leading up to the Flint water crisis.
Michigan AG's office

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed criminal charges against two former City of Flint employees, and two former state-appointed emergency managers in Flint.  

The four charged are:

  • Darnell Earley, former Flint Emergency Manager
  • Gerald Ambrose, former Flint Emergency Manager
  • Howard Croft, former Director of Public Works in Flint
  • Daugherty Johnson, former Flint Utilities Director

The defendants were charged with a range of felony charges, including “willful neglect of duty,” “false pretenses,” and “misconduct in office.”

Infographic.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

With one landmark ruling in 2012, the United States Supreme Court made it clear: mandatory sentences of life without the possibility of parole for teenagers under 18 are unconstitutional. They said the sentence is considered "cruel and unusual punishment" under the 8th Amendment.

The justices cited research on brain development to determine their ruling.

From the majority opinion in Miller v. Alabama:

People in Flint shared how things are going today for them. Visit myflintstory.tumblr.com to hear them.
Mark Brush

People in the city of Flint have been coping with a broken water system for a long time.

Report shows declining road conditions in Michigan.
Michigan Infrastructure Commission

During his January 2016 State of the State address, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder apologized to the people of Flint for the water crisis in that city, saying "government failed you."

During that speech, he called for the creation of an independent commission to examine Michigan's infrastructure needs. He later signed an executive order creating the commission.

The Michigan Senate.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Some lawmakers are hoping to pass a bill in this lame-duck session of the Legislature that would force new teachers into a 401(k)-style retirement system, and move the state away from supporting a traditional pension system.

Supporters say it would save the state money in the long term. Critics say it will blow a major hole in the state budget in the near term.

Zhu “Joyce” Ni, Min Tang, Pan Ji, Mariah Gnegy / Virginia Tech

Researchers from Virginia Tech announced the results of their fourth round of water testing in Flint today.

The tests show that lead levels continue to drop, that water disinfection by-products in the water are normal, and that the drinking water in the city continues to improve.

“We’re now approaching the end of the public health crisis,” said Marc Edwards of Virginia Tech University.

Edwards says even with the improvements, citizens in Flint should still be protecting themselves.

Collin Rose,29, was on the K-9 unit of the Wayne State University police force.
Wayne State University

This has been a developing story. We updated the post as new details were learned.

Update: Thursday, November 24, 10:45 a.m.   The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office says it has a warrant request in connection with the fatal shooting of Officer Collin Rose that is currently being reviewed. An update will be sent out when charges are authorized.

Update: Wednesday, November 23, 6:22 p.m.

According to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, the DeVos family has given roughly $14 million to political campaigns and causes over the last two years.
BetsyDeVos.com

President-elect Donald Trump has selected longtime school choice advocate Betsy DeVos to head the U.S. Department of Education. (Presidential cabinet picks are subject to Senate confirmation. See who Trump has picked for his cabinet so far with WaPo's cabinet tracker.)

Trump’s stance on education policy has, thus far, been difficult to discern. His pick of DeVos indicates how his administration likely sees education policy going forward.

According to Halderman, pink counties have a paper trail. Blue counties do not.
Image courtesy of J. Alex Halderman

A blog post in New York Magazine has been sweeping around the internet because it calls into question the results of the 2016 presidential election.

University of Michigan Provost Martha Pollack
Cornell University

University of Michigan provost Martha Pollack will become Cornell University's 14th president. 

Cornell University made the announcement today. She is expected to assume the presidency of Cornell on April 17, 2017. Cornell began searching for a new president after the death of their previous president, Elizabeth Garrett, last March.

More from Pollack:

Michigan's Hall of Justice.
Eridony / flickr

The two races for Michigan Supreme Court have gone to the incumbents.

Michigan Supreme Court Justices Joan Larsen and David Viviano held onto their seats on Michigan’s highest court.

Larsen defeated Wayne County Judge Deborah Thomas and lawyer Kerry Morgan. Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Larsen to the court in 2015 to replace a justice who resigned. She's now been elected to serve the two years remaining on that term.

Muralist at work at NPR
NPR - Facebook

NPR has a muralist painting state-by-state results in the middle of its newsroom as results come in.

You can watch below.

The candidate with 270 electoral votes or more wins the presidency.

Today, as results come in across the country, NPR reporters will be updating this breaking news blog in real time. The NPR Politics team, along with Member station reporters, will be providing live updates in the form of photo, video, commentary and analysis for both national and local contested races.

“As far as we're concerned here in Michigan, there's no suggestion or allegation that there were any hacks or any attempts to that," Woodhams said.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Here are election results from the major races we are following. 

Wilson Hui / Flickr

Nestle owns a water bottling plant in Stanwood, Michigan, north of Grand Rapids. It bottles spring water for its Ice Mountain and Pure Life brands.

The company wants to increase the amount of water it pulls out of the ground at one of its wells. The well is about 35 miles north of Stanwood in Evart, Michigan. To do that, it needs a permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and the public is supposed to weigh in on whether the company should get that permit.

But a lot of people didn’t hear about it – until it was almost too late.

No photo ID? Just fill out this affidavit at your local polling place to cast your vote.
Michigan Secretary of State / YouTube clip

We recently asked people what they wanted to know about the upcoming election in Michigan.

Steve Merring of Hastings, Michigan submitted this question to our MI Curious project:

"Do I have to present my voter registration card at the polling station?"

Merring asked the question because he had some firsthand experience with this.

A mural in the Hope District of Detroit.
Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

Turn on the TV news in metro Detroit, and you're bound to catch the latest story about a shooting, a stabbing, or some other tragic story about another lost life in the city.

Violent crime is something every major urban center struggles with, and Detroit is no exception.

Balloons drop at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
PBS NewsHour / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In big election years like this one, the two major parties typically host election night parties where candidates and party officials gather to hopefully celebrate their victories.

But this year, there will be no big party for the Michigan Republican Party. 

More from Chad Livengood of the Detroit News:

EPA Emergency response vehicle in Flint.
EPA

The EPA’s Inspector General says the agency should have issued an emergency order in Flint, Michigan seven months before it did.

The Inspector General’s investigation into the Flint water crisis found EPA Region 5 had enough information and the authority to issue an emergency order to protect Flint residents from lead-contaminated water as early as June 2015.

NPR.org

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton faced off in the final presidential debate on Wednesday night at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The debate followed the same format as the first presidential debate.

It was divided into six segments of around 15 minutes each on major topics selected by the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News.

Wallace announced those topics last week. They were:

Little Caesars Arena under construction in June 2016.
Rick Briggs / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Detroit officials say an estimated half-million dollars in fines have been levied on contractors working on the new Red Wings arena because the companies haven't hired enough Detroit residents.

Little Caesars Arena's developer, Olympia Development of Michigan, is required to ensure at least 51% of the workers live in Detroit.

Debate image
NPR

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton faced off in the second presidential debate Sunday night at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

This debate took the form of a town meeting.

Vice presidential candidates Republican Mike Pence (L) and Democrat Tim Kaine (R).
wikimedia commons

Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence are squared off in the vice-presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia on Tuesday, October 4.

It was the only vice-presidential debate before Election Day.

(By the way, you have until Tuesday, October 11 to register to vote if you haven't done so already. Find out how here.)

Part of Flint's  hand-written records showing drinking water lines last updated in 1984.
Image courtesty of Jacob Abernethy / U of M

New research suggests there may be many more lead service lines in Flint that need to be replaced than previously thought.

A team of University of Michigan researchers examined 171 drinking water service lines removed as part of Flint’s “Fast Start” program. The pipes had connected homes to city water mains.

Based on the city's records, they expected around 40% of them would contain lead, but they found 96% did.

More from a summary of findings by the U of M researchers:

On EMU's campus.
user F Delventhal / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Two incidents of racist graffiti found on Eastern Michigan University’s campus in Ypsilanti have sparked protests and dialogue between students and faculty.

The first racial slur was found spray painted on a wall outside King Hall this past Tuesday:

The Michigan State Capitol
user aunt owwee / Flickr

Michigan is one of two states that completely exempts the governor's office from the state's Freedom of Information Act.

Massachusetts is the other. Michigan's public records law also exempts the Legislature, one of a minority of states to do so.

That could change under a package of bills being voted on by the House today.

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