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State of Opportunity

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Rick Pluta / MPRN

We're following the twists, turns, and drama surrounding Michigan's presidential recount. 

The number of hate incidents logged during the 10 days after the general election.
Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center released a new report showing that it received 40 hate incident complaints in the 10 days following the U.S. general election on Nov. 8, 2016.

Hate incidents are defined as acts of hostility directed at a person based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The center recorded 22 incidents in Ohio, 16 in Indiana, 25 in Illinois, and 13 in Wisconsin. There were 867 incidents nationwide.

Many hate incidents have been reported by the media in Michigan.

Ann Arbor-based Esperion Therapeutics is riding a wave of renewed enthusiasm for pharmaceutical stocks since the presidential election. Esperion is developing a cholesterol-lowering drug, bempedoic acid, that experts believe may be more effective and less expensive than drugs currently on the market. Bempedoic acid is in Phase III clinical trials and, if all goes well, is expected to hit the market as soon as 2019. 

Sikkema told us it's "premature to start talking about opposition. I think you need to give the president-elect a chance and time to lead.”
flickr user Gage Skidmore / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Hundreds of people gathered on U of M's Ann Arbor campus yesterday to protest Donald Trump's election. The president-elect used sexist and racially charged speech for the majority of his campaign.

David Schafer is a senior at U of M.

He says the key for students is to stay involved after the vigil.

“I think it's ensuring that our work does not start and stop tonight or even tomorrow or next week,” he said. “I think it's continuing to challenge people who might be saying problematic things.

Charles Pugh

A former Detroit City Council president and Channel 2 anchor was sentenced to five and a half to fifteen years in prison for criminal sexual conduct with a minor by Wayne County Circuit Judge Thomas Cameron.

The victim, Austin Williams, previously testified that he met Pugh at the Channel 2 (Fox TV) station in March 2003 when Pugh worked there. At the time the sex acts occurred, Williams was 14, below the legal age of consent. 

Williams filed charges in 2013. By that time Pugh had moved on to become Detroit City Council president. 

A classroom in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

In what used to be a perfect time for a lesson in how government works, the tone of the presidential campaign is creating uncomfortable conversations in many high school classrooms.

With the presidential election focused on the antics, accusations and scandals involving the candidates, some civics instructors say they've faced questions that typically would not be topics of conversation in their classrooms.

And the degrading talk about women and immigrants in the presidential race is making some students uneasy, says biology teacher Frank Burger of Flint Township.

An emerald ash borer
User: USDAgov / flickr

The emerald ash borer is spreading westward again in Michigan. One of the insects was discovered in a trap set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA placed 122 traps in Upper Peninsula counties that had not yet been invaded by the ash borer. 

West Midlands Police / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

MSU scientists proved that you can trick commercial fingerprint scanners with a 3D-printed fake hand.

The finding was incidental to their goal of testing the accuracy of a set of fingerprint scanners like those commonly used in airports, banks, and police stations.

Detroit Bike City Kendra / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Detroit's popular weekly Slow Roll bike ride was canceled for the second week in a row due to competing events.

About 13% of Michiganders are undecided – enough to possibly make a difference this year
User: Keith Ivey / flickr

As the presidential race tightens, voter turnout could play a decisive role, and a new study warns that some Americans may have a harder time casting ballots than others.

Spencer Overton, president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, says data from the last presidential election points to serious shortcomings in how polling is managed in communities of color.

Deb Nystrom / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Update Friday, September 23:

Recreation on the Huron River has been resumed and, so far, water tests show no threat to human health, according to an updated press release by the city of Ann Arbor.

It is believed that the leak was caused after a motorist drove through barriers near the entrance to Gallup Park. The investigation of that incident is ongoing.

Raw sewage flowed out of the pipe from Saturday, September 17 to Monday, September 19.

More from the city’s press release:

Courtesy Photo / Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

Raymond Harvey has become a familiar face in Kalamazoo. He’s been conducting the state’s third largest professional orchestra for 18 years.

For the past two years, Harvey has taught music at an opera center at the University of Houston. In a letter to the orchestra board this week, Harvey said teaching has always been his calling.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Bicyclists in Kalamazoo are asking city leaders to adopt local laws to help safeguard them against drivers.

The push came after a man struck nine people riding bikes just north of Kalamazoo back in June. 

Charles Pickett Jr. allegedly took prescription drugs before the crash, killing five and injuring four other bicyclists.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

It’s a big week for parents, kids and school administrators. If last year is any indicator, roughly 1.5 million Michigan kids are heading back to school.

Larry Johnson heads security at Grand Rapids Public Schools. This week, his message is simple.

“Pay attention to this yellow bus. It’s important. Our kids will be getting dropped off. They’re not paying attention. They’re excited to get to school,” Johnson said.

In Grand Rapids, people will see more police officers hanging out in school zones, making sure drivers are aware of reduced speed limits near schools.

surgical instrument tray
wikimedia / creative commons

Michigan's Bureau of Community and Health Systems has launched an investigation into dirty, broken, and missing instruments at Detroit Medical Center hospitals.

The investigation was prompted by a report in the Detroit News showing a pattern of improper cleaning and sterilization at DMC facilities,  putting patients at risk for over eleven years.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, so it’s a good time to take a look at how well Michigan schools are doing in their efforts to curb bullying.
M. Kukhlman / newsservice.org

Homework isn't the only thing some Michigan kids dread as they head back to school, as a new nationwide analysis ranks Michigan worst for bullying. According to the online-survey site WalletHub, the state is also third for the percentage of high-school kids bullied on school property.

Diego Cambiaso / Flickr

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are dominating the presidential campaign, but in many states, other names also will be on the November ballot.

Former GOP congressional aide Evan McMullin announced his candidacy last week. He joins third party and independent candidates Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein with the Green Party as long-shot candidates.

money
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Fourteen Michigan schools received a total of $40 million in the fifth and final round of federal School Improvement Grants. The grant program was authorized under the 51-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The ESEA is being replaced with the Every Student Succeeds Act, and the grants will not continue.

Fibonacci Blue / Flickr

Thousands of workers from across the country, including some from Michigan, converge on Richmond, Virginia, this weekend to ramp up the fight for better wages and call attention to what poverty is doing to people of color. It's the first-ever nationwide "Fight for Fifteen" convention, today and Saturday.

User: lanier67 / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Ann Arbor has become the first city in Michigan to join the nationwide Tobacco 21 initiative by raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21 years.

According to city council member Julie Grand, Ann Arbor has joined 180 communities around the country to raise the age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21. The impetus for the change was a trend toward increasing rates of smoking among adults in Washtenaw County, combined with advocacy from members of the Tobacco 21 organization.

Philadelphia, the hometown of Michigan Radio reporter Steve Carmody and the site of next week's Democratic National Convention.
Peter Miller / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Last week, Michigan Radio's news director Vincent Duffy previewed the sights and sounds of Cleveland, his hometown, in advance of this week's Republican National Convention. 

Anita Peppers/Morguefile

One dirty truth about child rearing is the high price of diapers, which can cost families from $70 to $80 per month per child. Congress is considering legislation that would fund pilot programs in states such as Michigan to help low-income families afford this necessity.

There are currently no federal programs that meet the need, according to Alison Weir, chief of policy and research for the National Diaper Bank Network.

Downtown Cleveland will play host to the 2016 Republican National Convention, which begins Monday.
Erik Drost / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Headed to Cleveland next week for the Republican National Convention? We've gathered up some tips on where to go from a now proud native of the "City of Losers Winners!"

Michigan Radio's news director, Vincent Duffy, wants you to know there's a lot more to his hometown than just LeBron James and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Among Duffy's go-to spots:

Protestors rally in Ann Arbor

Jul 13, 2016
Catherine Shaffer

About 700 protesters marched on downtown Ann Arbor Wednesday night to protest the loss of black lives in recent police shootings.

The protest, organized via Facebook by University of Michigan students, drew a large and enthusiastic crowd. Protesters lined State Street in front of the Michigan Union, chanting and waving signs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. They then marched through downtown Ann Arbor with a police escort.

Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

A lawsuit asking Flint to remove lead service lines free of charge for all of its water customers may proceed, according to a U.S. District Court ruling. The suit was filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the ACLU of Michigan, Concerned Pastors for Social Action, and Flint resident Melissa Mays. 

The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

There are new efforts in Michigan to crack down on those who hurt people with special needs.

Rep. Frank Liberati, a Democrat, and Sen. Rick Jones, a Republican, have sponsored bills that would increase penalties for assaulting a person with a developmental disability.

Jones says people with disabilities can often have difficulty caring for themselves and protecting themselves. And he contends all Michiganders deserve to live with respect and dignity.

Pixabay

Eating fish is the biggest source of mercury contamination for people, and as Michiganders gear up for the Free Fishing Weekend, there are calls for better protections.

More than 50 Michigan scientists sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Schuette requesting he drop his fight against the Environmental Protection Agency's federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which require power plants to reduce mercury emissions.

user mconnors / morgueFile

Michigan State Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., D-East Lansing, introduced a new bill to ban registered sex offenders from working in organizations that serve sexual assault victims or children.

He drafted the bill in response to recent reports that three registered sexual offenders were found working for The Listening Ear in Lansing. The Listening Ear runs a crisis hotline for sexual assault victims. 

Hertel said he assumed it must be illegal already for the organization to have neglected screening volunteers for being on the sex offender registry, but it was completely legal.

a drinking fountain
Ian Sane / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Drinking fountains in two buildings on Wayne State University's campus have tested positive for lead, according to university officials. In a letter to the campus community, the university said it had tested water in 11 campus buildings, and found lead above the EPA action levels in two buildings – the College of Education Building and the Meyer L. Prentis Cancer Center Building.

The water inlets to the buildings were free of lead. The affected fountains have been shut off, and the University says it will test all other drinking water sources on campus as soon as possible. 

hstreetagent

The Fair Housing Center of Southeast and Mid Michigan has filed a discrimination complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development against Ypsilanti Township. The complaint relates to an ordinance the township passed last year banning government subsidies in a new development. That would exclude tenants with Section 8 vouchers. It is the first time a Michigan municipality has attempted to ban subsidized housing.

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