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Mateus DeFaria

Newsroom Intern

Mateus DeFaria is a Senior at the University of Michigan majoring in Political Science. Born and raised just outside of Los Angeles, he came to school in the midwest in efforts to expand his horizons and tackle new challenges far away from home (which may have at one time included learning how to do laundry).

Besides completing his degree, he also leads a student-run music label on campus that works to sign and promote talented student musicians. In addition to media production, his passions and interests include great coffee shops, ice-white converse, Bay Area sports, and the countryside of southern Spain.

Flickr Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The American Civil Liberties Union in Michigan is suing U.S. Customs and Border Protection, alleging the agency failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request. 

The ACLU branch is seeking documentation outlining the "on-the-ground" implementation of President Trump's first executive order that temporarily banned immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries.  The group says the government has failed to substantively respond to the request. 

Pexels

A new study released last month suggests that when college admissions officers have more background information about applicant high schools, students from low-income communities have a higher likelihood of acceptance. 

Learning more about district test scores, AP class offerings, and available support services from a high school can help an admissions officer identify high-achieving students in areas with limited resources or opportunities. 

Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP)

A new exhibition opening this week at the University of Michigan aims to demonstrate the creative and intellectual ability of many of Michigan's incarcerated individuals. 

The 22nd Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners features 550 works of art by 450 artists, making it one of the largest exhibits of inmate artwork in the nation. Curators selected work from incarcerated artists in 28 prisons in the Michigan Department of Correction system. Visitors may purchase most of the art on display, with all proceeds going to the artist.

Potter Park Zoo

Potter Park, Michigan's oldest public zoo, is working to preserve one of the world's most critically endangered species. Now it's waiting on approval to transport an eastern black rhino male from Texas, in hopes that it may breed with of the zoo's female rhinos.

The Ingham county board of commissioners must approve the cost of the move before the zoo can proceed.

The uncertain future of the Affordable Care Act is likely influencing some of the health care rate increases.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan arts and humanities funding may soon be taking a hit. 

President Trump's proposed budget calls for an end to the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH), one of the largest sources of funding for arts and humanities funds nationwide.

The endowment provides more than $1 million in funding every year to the state of Michigan. 

chumlee10 / Flickr Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A large Toronto-based mining company has started expanding one of its projects near Marquette. But it will need approval from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality if it wants to finish the tunnel it started building in July. 

Lundin Mining is asking the state agency to change its current permit to allow for the completion of the tunnel, which would connect its Eagle Mine site to a mineral deposit nearby. The deposit has large amounts of nickel and copper ore, but Lundin is still unsure whether the area would be profitable to mine.

LadyDragonFlyCC / Flickr Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan's wind-generated power woes are not over yet. 

Major energy providers Consumer's Energy and DTE Energy announced Thursday that more than 800,000 homes and businesses were still without electricity, and many in the dark about when they can expect to get their power back. 

Consumer's Energy spokesperson Terry DeDoes says crews have been working tirelessly throughout the week to restore power to the over 320,000 customers facing interruptions, routinely logging 16 hour days. He says while there has been progress, full power is still a few days away.

Doug Kerr / Flickr Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

New Michigan roadways may soon be getting the green light. 

This comes after the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) released a report earlier this year, announcing pilot projects to test better and longer-lasting road construction.

The report was presented to legislators this month. Gov. Snyder signed a $1.2 billion road improvement bill in 2015 that recommended the state study new ways to build roads.

Vince Pahkala / Wikimedia Commons

Planning your next winter excursion in Michigan could get harder this year. 

Unusually warm temperatures throughout the state, including record highs in certain areas over the weekend, have led tourism experts and representatives to question whether enough snow will stay on the ground to support outdoor activities. 

University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment / Flickr Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan energy is getting greener. 

A state report released Wednesday says all Michigan energy providers met or exceeded a government requirement to supply 10% of energy from renewable sources in 2015. 

The Michigan Public Service Commission wrote the report based on a 2008 law. That law also called for a 12.5% standard by 2019 and a 15% standard by 2021. 

The majority of the energy came from provider investments, while a small part came from banked energy credits bought from consumers with an energy surplus.

Phillip Hofmeister / Wikimedia Commons

A Michigan agency is seeking public comment on a recommendation creating uniform standards for public defenders in the state.

The 15-member Michigan Indigent Defense Commission created the proposal. The standards include better education and training for attorneys and mandatory interviews with defendants, along with other practices that improve legal service.

Commission Chair James Fisher says that these recommendations are necessary to improve a Michigan public defense system that, in his eyes, is failing and inconsistent in too many areas. 

Tamekia Ashford / Detroit Health Department

Detroit's Public Health Director is running for Governor in 2018.

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed made his announcement after resigning from his health position on Monday. The 32 year-old former Rhodes scholar hopes to center his campaign around inclusion and equality in Michigan communities. 

krossbow / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Eastern Michigan University has dropped sanctions against 16 students who participated in peaceful protests last November. 

The students were protesting multiple instances of racially insensitive graffiti on campus by participating in a sit-in at the University Black Student Union. After defying police orders to leave when the building closed, the university imposed sanctions ranging from formal reprimands to recommendations of expulsion. 

Clare Luz (left) and Joan Ilardo (right)
Courtesy of MSU Today / Michigan State University

As the retirement-age population grows in Michigan, in-home care is increasingly in high demand. The state, however, is struggling to maintain a workforce that meets the need. 

Two researchers at the MSU College of Human Medicine are working to change that. They received grants from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. The Fund was set up in 2013 under state law. (Read more about the it here.) 

Newly-arrived Syrian refugees in Oakland County
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

An Arab American foundation has launched a fundraising campaign for new Syrian refugees in Southeast Michigan, raising more than $50,000 for 25 families. 

The Center for American Philanthropy (CAAP) in Dearborn created the Building Blocks for New Americans Fund to provide each family with basic needs like housing, clothing, and transportation. 

The fund is supported by large donors, who match all contributions by smaller community groups.