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Liz Ceay, Jailynn Borck and Nathan Arno of Lenawee Intermediate School District wait for the Special Olympic World Games torch to arrive at their post.
Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

The Special Olympics "Flame of Hope" torch is currently on its way through Michigan as part of a cross-country relay trek to California.

It was carried through Detroit on Monday and made it to Ann Arbor on Tuesday, where a group of students from the Lenawee Intermediate School District were waiting at the Big House at 11:30 a.m. for their section of the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America.

user hipsxxhearts / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

UPDATED 6/8/2015

Abuse of stimulant drugs  usually prescribed for ADHD are typically associated with stressed-out college students. But a new study from the University of Michigan Medical School shows that abuse of those drugs typically starts much earlier, in the teen years, with a peak age range of 16 to 18 years for starting to misuse the drugs. 

Reading kids
Phil Dowsing Creative / Flickr

A legislative workgroup has released a report outlining ways to help Michigan students struggling with early literacy.

The Third Grade Reading Workgroup, which was created by Gov. Rick Snyder in March, recommends at least 90 minutes of diagnostic-driven, individualized reading instruction per day.

How a pothole forms gif animation
Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

After Proposal  1 was voted down earlier this month, the message from voters seemed to be that they wanted a bill that simply addressed road funding. No extra politics, special interests or provisions.

So what happens when you strip away the politics of road repair? What goes into the actual, well, road repair?

Apartment building in Detroit
Joseph Wingenfeld / Flickr

To afford an average two-bedroom apartment in Michigan, you would need to make $15.16 an hour, according to a recent study done by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. 

The hourly housing wage was derived under a few assumptions, the most significant being that the cost of rent and utilities shouldn't exceed 30% of a person's total income. 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Voters believe providing education for Detroit students is the state's duty, but don't think Governor Snyder's recent proposal is the way to do it, according a recent poll conducted by Public Sector Consultants and Michigan Radio.

Of the 600 likely voters polled, 82% agreed the state has an obligation to provide a quality education to all kids in Detroit, but answers varied when it came down to how to fund that education. 

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

After the failure of Proposal 1 in the May 5 election, Michigan Radio and Public Sector Consultants wanted to figure out why. This past weekend we polled 600 likely voters about their thoughts on the recent ballot proposal.

Proposal 1 was meant to fund Michigan road repair and included increased funding for schools and other provisions.

Message in a bottle
Flickr user Laura Alvarez

Not many people find messages in bottles. Terry Smith just found his second--though this one was technically a message-in-a-film-canister.

The Ohio resident stumbled on the cannister while hunting for morels in the Grand River on the west side of the state.

"I always look inside something like this you never know what you will find," he wrote in a post on his Facebook page.

Oskar Annermarken / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

A new study provides some of the strongest support to date for early screening and diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

The study, led by University of Michigan endocrinologist William Herman, made use of data from a European study that enrolled people between 40 and 69 without known diabetes, and evaluated the potential benefit of screening and treatment for diabetes.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Principals and teachers at Detroit Public Schools' eight lowest-performing schools will be required to reapply for their jobs, under a new restructuring plan designed to boost academics, public image, and student enrichment.

Principals will reapply and be chosen first, and then will have an opportunity to evaluate their staffs and select a team, according to school spokesman Steve Wasko. 

user jdurham / morguefile

State representative Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth Township) has sponsored a bill to reverse a law in effect since 2006 requiring all public schools in Michigan to start after Labor Day. That law was passed to support the tourism industry by extending the vacation season, but Heise says it has made little difference to tourism revenues while burdening schools with a very inconvenient schedule.

The law would provide an option for schools to start before Labor Day as long as the preceding Friday was still a vacation day. "That way, everybody's guaranteed a four day weekend," Heise says.

Ashlie Forchione

Michigan State University graduate students marched on campus to protest a contract they say does not provide an adequate lifestyle for vital university staff.

About 250 students participated in the march, sponsored by the Graduate Employees Union. They are demanding a set of accommodations in their next contract that includes tuition waivers, affordable health care, an inclusive work environment, and a living salary.

Union President Sylvia Marques says MSU's pay for graduate students is on the low end for Big Ten universities, and that combined with high health care premiums, it is difficult for the students to make ends meet. 

michigandaily.com

A policy to ban guns in Ann Arbor schools is heading to the courtroom.

The policy stems from an incident last month when an Ann Arbor resident openly carried a gun to a high school choir concert.

Kevin Rosseel / morguefile

A private prison near Baldwin, Michigan could re-open, adding 150 jobs to the economy, under a bill sponsored by state Rep. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo. The prison operated from 1998 through 2005 as a private youth facility, and was open again briefly later housing inmates from California. It closed again in 2011. 

jimmiehomeschoolmom / flickr

Legislation set for introduction next week would require home-schoolers to report to their school districts and check in with child welfare experts twice a year. 

Courtesy Quicken Loans

As part of its five-year investment in Detroit, JPMorgan Chase conducted a study of the current state of the city's job force.

It released the report today, which details where there will be job openings, and what training will be needed to get those jobs. 

Chauncy Lennon is the head of workforce initiatives for JPMorgan Chase. 

"By providing people more opportunity, opportunities to get GEDs, opportunities to get other kinds of certificates and credentials, we'll be helping those folks really be in position to be candidates for these jobs."

Steven Vance / Creative Commons

Right now, skateboarding is banned in downtown Grand Rapids. But advocates say skateboards, longboards, roller skates, and roller blades are just like any other kind of non-motorized transportation. They say they should be allowed on downtown streets just like bicycles.

The Grand Rapids City Commission is considering the proposed change. It will hold a public hearing at city hall Tuesday night.

Catherine Shaffer

 The University of Michigan student group Fashion for Freedom staged a mock fashion show on campus Friday to protest the sexualization of women's bodies in advertising, which the group believes promotes sexual violence and human trafficking.

The group then marched on downtown Ann Arbor retailers, applauding those with respectful advertising and protesting stores with ad campaigns it believes objectify women, including American Apparel.

Flickr

Several Michigan universities are offering free tax help for low-income families.

Ron Draayer is with Davenport University and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. He says the program is part of a greater effort to help people get their tax refunds.

A Blood Moon visible during a total lunar eclipse.
Nasa.gov

Early tomorrow morning, a total lunar eclipse, or "blood moon," will grace the skies of much of Michigan. The eclipse itself will span several hours, though total lunar coverage, in which the moon takes on a reddish hue, will last only about five minutes. 

Lunar eclipses occur when the earth slides between the sun and moon, obstructing the light that normally illuminates our moon.  For those viewing from Michigan, the eclipse will start at 5:00 am, with peak lunar coverage occurring at around 7:00 am. 

RegBarc / Wikimedia Commons

The American Lung Association is not happy with state health insurance plans.

Jim Harrington with the Lung Association says in Michigan, many plans aren't covering the drugs or therapy needed to help people quit. 

University of Michigan Supermileage Team

Imagine how much money you'd save on gas if your car got 1,000 miles per gallon. 

That's the goal of the University of Michigan's Supermileage Team. They're competing in the Shell Eco Marathon in Detroit next week.

Bwmoll3 / Wikimedia commons

Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters signed onto letters Monday to try to stop federal cuts that would hurt the state.

Both senators signed onto letters sent out Monday. One urges a senate subcommittee to support health clinics for primary medical care.

Arborlight hopes to replace harsh indoor lights like the ones pictured above with natural lighting that simulates sunlight.
Ari Sandberg / Michigan Radio

For many of us lacking the fortune of an office with a window, harsh indoor lighting has become an accepted staple of workplace life. This reality might be changing in the not-so-distant future.

Ann Arbor-based technology company Arborlight has been awarded a $1.7 million venture capital investment to further commercialize its "daylight simulator."

Vince Cavalieri / US Fish and Wildlife Service

It may not feel like Spring, but the piping plovers are returning. 

A growing number of the endangered birds soon will return from their winter nests to their Michigan homes.

CDC / CDC

A cluster of three chicken pox cases in Birmingham, Michigan, prompted the school district to exclude unvaccinated children until April 14 to prevent the virus from spreading.

The directive, issued by the Oakland County Health Division, affects about a dozen families, according to Birmingham schools superintendent Daniel Nerad.

Dan Moyle / Flickr Creative Commons

States like Michigan that allow employers to enforce non-compete clauses may be inadvertently hurting their economies, according to a recent study.

Employers sometimes require new employees to sign a non-compete agreement promising they won't go work for another company in the same industry for one or two years after leaving their job.

Kalamazoo College will no longer require students to provide their ACT or SAT scores when they apply. 

Instead, admissions officials will look more closely at the classes applicants took in high school, and their GPA. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Northern Michigan’s congressman says he plans to run again in 2016.

Dan Benishek represents Michigan’s first congressional district, and plans to run for a fourth term.

"I’m happy to serve the people of northern Michigan if they’ll have me. And I’ve decided that I’m gonna try to stay a little longer,” Benishek said.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing city council is getting a 20% pay raise, despite protests from some council members. 

Five of the eight council members voted to reject the pay raise. But they fell short of the super-majority needed to block the raise. 

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