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Michelle Huan

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State of Opportunity

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Stateside

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

Some Michigan jails are introducing technology to inmates, and jail officials say it creates a safer environment and improves productivity. Last month, Sanilac County began a pilot program in cooperation with Securus Technologies – the company that provides the jail's video visitation and phone – to provide inmates with tablet computers for their use. With the devices, inmates are able to access resources such as a library of approximately 10,000 readable items, some radio stations or music...

cafegulistan.com

A southwestern Michigan cafe owner who the U.S. government says hid his ties to a group labeled a terrorist organization has been granted a 90-day extension of a deferral that has kept him from being deported. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that the Department of Homeland Security gave Ibrahim Parlak the extension Wednesday. His two-year deportation deferral was to expire at midnight Thursday. "Knowing that I may be stripped of everything I have and sent over there, basically to be killed, is...

Lakes are getting warmer worldwide

Dec 18, 2015
user Rhonda Noren / Flickr

A study of 235 lakes around the world shows water temperatures are on the rise. The overall average increase was 0.61 degrees per decade over the past 25 years. Four of the five Great Lakes were included in the study, with deeper, colder Lake Superior showing the biggest temperature gain – about three times the worldwide average. The ongoing temperature change could be damaging to Michigan's lake ecosystem and economy, says Donald Uzarski, director of the Institute for Great Lakes Research at...

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

A new law would protect rape victims from a custody battle with their rapists when a child is conceived. The Michigan Senate unanimously passed legislation this week that would allow courts to terminate a rapist's parental rights to a child conceived by the rape of the mother. Senate Bill 629 was introduced by Republican Sen. Rick Jones earlier this month. "I want to ensure that victims of rape are not faced with a custody battle from their rapist," Jones said. Current state law allows a...

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

After months of negotiations, union members at Detroit's three casinos - MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity and Greektown - ratified a new contract on Sunday. The Detroit Casino Council, a consortium of the UAW Local 7777, Unite Here Local 24, Teamsters Local 372 and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324, reached a tentative agreement with the casinos last week. The deal replaces a contract that expired on Oct. 16 and covers approximately 6,000 workers. The agreement was approved...

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

After a round of negotiations lasting six days, a tentative agreement has been reached between the Detroit Casino Council and Detroit's three casinos - MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity and Greektown.

Fishing on Lake Michigan.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Although domestic clean energy efforts are leading to decreases in mercury pollution in the Great Lakes, a new International Joint Commission report says that increased reliance on fossil fuels overseas poses new concerns. The IJC report urged the Canadian and U.S. governments to better monitor for mercury in the Great Lakes after noting increased levels of mercury in some fish in some parts of the Great Lakes. The report said along with natural causes of mercury pollution, increases in...

USDA.gov

A deer killed by a hunter in DeWitt Township in Clinton County tested positive for chronic wasting disease. It is the fourth deer found with the disease in southern Michigan this year, and it shows that efforts by the Department of Natural Resources to stop the disease from spreading have not been successful. DNR deer management specialist Chad Stewart says that the deer was found about eight miles from the previous CWD cases, which were in Meridian Township. "Having one in Clinton Township...

hmm360 / morgueFile

The Michigan Postsecondary Credential Attainment workgroup wants more people in Michigan to obtain some type of post-secondary credential by 2025. That's according to a report the workgroup released this week.

James Craig, Detroit police chief, says terrorist attacks would not occur in Detroit because of armed citizens.
M&R Glasgow / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Detroit police chief James Craig said the casualties following the terrorist attacks in Paris — resulting in more than 100 deaths — would not have occurred had the citizens been armed. "A lot of Detroiters have (concealed pistol licenses), and the same rules apply to terrorists as they do to some gun-toting thug," Chief James Craig told The Detroit News . "If you're a terrorist, or a carjacker, you want unarmed citizens." The Detroit News also spoke with Oakland University criminal justice...

You’ve probably heard of the word e avesdropping , but what about the word easedropping ? “Eavesdropping can be easy, which is why some folks now refer to the act of listening in on other peoples’ conversations as easedropping ,” says University of English Michigan Professor Anne Curzan. Is this an act of lexical wrongdoing? Or is it, perhaps, a stroke of creative genius?

Many local MIchigan restaurants give back to their communities by providing free meals on Thanksgiving.
Satya Murthy / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Many family-owned businesses across the state provide free turkey meals to local patrons to help give back to their communities. Michigan Radio spoke with a few owners of these restaurants and created a map to make note of the rest.

We all admit to being a rabble-rouser once in a while, but no one wants to be a part of the rabble. It’s even built into the language. After all, how often do you see the word rabble without the word rouser attached to it? “Not very often at all,” says University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan. Much like some people, there are words that just don’t like to hang out on their lonesome. “Linguists would talk about this as collocates , as words that co-occur,” says Curzan. “And rabble...

Michigan gas prices fall below $2 a gallon in time for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
user cobalt123 / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Good news for Thanksgiving travelers: gas prices have fallen to below $2 a gallon in Michigan for the first time since January, the Associated Press reports. Today, the average gas price in Michigan is about $1.99 per gallon, down 24 cents from last week and about 92 cents less than this time last year, according to AAA Michigan. The last time gas prices dipped below $2 a gallon was in January , when some Detroit and Ypsilanti stations offered gasoline for $1.60 per gallon. Over the summer,...

American astronaut Scott Kelly posted a picture of Michigan and some of its Great Lakes to Twitter on Monday.
Scott Kelly

Many astronauts are using social media to showcase images of the blue planet from outer space – including awe-inspiring photos featuring Michigan cities and its Great Lakes. Monday morning, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted out a picture of Michigan and the area surrounding the Great Lakes at nighttime. Kelly calls the Great Lakes "unmistakeable," even from 250 miles up. Even in darkness the #GreatLakes are unmistakable. #GoodMorning from @Space_Station #YearInSpace pic.twitter.com...

Indigenous Peoples Day celebration in Berkeley, California.
Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

Ann Arbor city council passed a resolution on Nov. 16 recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day in place of the nation-wide holiday, Columbus Day. The Ann Arbor News reported Ann Arbor city council's decision this morning: The City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to that effect Monday night, describing Indigenous Peoples Day as a chance "to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of indigenous people on this land, and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that the Odawa, Ojibwe,...

A pair of Eastern Massasauga rattlesnakes, the only venomous snake native to Michigan.
Steven Parrish / Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, the University of Michigan

The Eastern Massasauga — the sole rattlesnake to inhabit the state of Michigan — is facing rapid population loss that's prompting national concern for Michigan wildlife. In September 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list the snake as a "threatened species" under the Endangered Species Act, which would qualify the snake for national funds to help preserve the species. The snake is currently listed as endangered, threatened or a species of concern under every state in which...

Tom Casperson

State Senator Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, announced early Monday that he will run for the 1st U.S. House District, which represents northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. He is the first Republican to officially announce to succeed Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, who is retiring. Casperson has served almost 11 years in the Michigan Legislature.

stevendepolo / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A successful program that rewards students with cash for boosting their grades has expanded to a second high school in Westland, Michigan. Bill Gray, a retired school psychologist with Wayne Memorial High School, started the Champions of Wayne program in 2009 with the goal of improving performance of at-risk students. The program offers mentorship and a $200 reward each semester to each students who successfully increase their grade point averages. Although parenting and education experts...

Flint water treatment plant
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will conduct a full review of the actions taken to address drinking water quality issues in Flint. It is expected to be completed by the end of this week, with results released next week. EPA regional administrator Susan Hedman said in a Nov. 3 letter to U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, that she was asked by the head of the federal agency to carry out the review.

Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

Connections is a State of Opportunity documentary about the power of networks. The show looks at the importance of a strong network, and how those who start with sparse networks can start to build more connections.

Many Michiganders believe a full moon causes us to act peculiar – but researchers find no correlation between the full moon and unusual human behavior.
Rachel Kramer / Flickr

Throughout history, humans have often thought the full moon changes a person’s behavior – most notably through Hollywood movies about humans turning into vampires or werewolves. In fact, the word “lunatic” itself derives from the Latin word for moon, “luna.” And as Dustin Dwyer on our State of Opportunity team points out , some teachers put full-moon days on the calendar -- preparing for squirrelly kids. We also put the question out on social media throughout the week. We asked if people...

getoverit.org

A new study released by the Economic Alliance for Michigan ( EAM ) says rising health care costs threaten economic growth and the stability of working families. The report says overall health care spending in the U.S. nearly doubled, from $1.5 to $2.9 trillion between 2001 and 2013. Projected costs are expected to reach $4.8 trillion by 2021.

The Michigan Union covered in blooming ivy
Wikimedia Commons

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel announced an ambitious new program today to increase diversity in the pool of students applying for admission. The program, called Wolverine Pathways, will be launched in January for 7th and 10th grade students in Southfield and Ypsilanti. It will be offered in a series of eight-week sessions throughout the year, and will focus on academics and other activities like field trips, campus visits and internships.

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

UPDATED: 8:35 am on 10/22/2015 The federal government paid at least $1.7 million to 25 Michigan charter schools that never opened, according to a report released this week by the Center for Media and Democracy ( CMD ). The Wisconsin-based media group "conducts in-depth investigations into corruption and the undue influence of corporations on media and democracy," according to their website. They say state and federal records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show that in the...

Great Sphinx corn maze on Jacob's Farm near Traverse City.
Jacob's Farm / screen shot YouTube

Each year, tens of thousands of Michiganders flock to nearby farms to make their way through mazes made of corn stalks. The idea of a maze made of maize began in the early 1990s in Pennsylvania. According to Lebanon Valley College , farmer Don Frantz created the first American corn maze to attract visitors to his farm: Frantz had read about Europe’s small hedge mazes designed to fit in a backyard or terrace, but the outdoor, human-size maze had not caught on in the U.S. He worked with England...

Marijuana plant.
USFWS

Regular marijuana use is increasing nationwide, and in Michigan, more people are going to jail for it. Michigan voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 2008. Proposals for the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana have been voted on in 21 Michigan cities since 2011, with 15 communities approving them.

my_southborough / flickr creative commons / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

State Rep. Martin Howrylak, R-Troy, has introduced a bill that would reopen the W.J. Maxey Boys Training School in Whitmore Lake. The juvenile justice facility closed Sept. 30 after being removed from the state's budget in June. The 60-bed facility treated youth offenders, ages 12-21, with mental illnesses. Overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Maxey School was one of three remaining state-run juvenile facilities. The Bay Pines Center in the Upper Peninsula and the...

Enbridge Line 5 runs from Superior, Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario.
Enbridge

A federal judge has ruled in favor of Enbridge Energy and the federal government in a lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club over a pipeline running through Michigan state forest land. According to the Sierra Club, Enbridge ought to have been required to carry out a full environmental impact analysis for the pipeline in 2014 when it took out a new permit.

Honeycrisp apples are explosively popular.
University of Minnesota

In our little informal apple poll , Michiganders agreed: Honeycrisp apples are the tastiest apple to eat. Unfortunately, your love for Honeycrisp apples could be the reason why they are so pricey. Up until 2008, farmers had to pay a royalty on Honeycrisp apple seeds to the University of Minnesota, where they were first developed. According to a University of Minnesota website , Honeycrisp apples are now enjoyed by millions, in places like Europe, New Zealand and South Africa. These apples are...

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