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Michelle Huan

Reem Nasr

Chrissy Yates

State of Opportunity

Megha Satyanarayana

Stateside

Bre'Anna Tinsley

Operations

from video posted by Opportunity Detroit
screen grab from YouTube

The “MHacks” hackathon will be hosted this weekend at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (Jan 16-18).

According to the University of Michigan Engineering Department, the event is the largest student-run hackathon in the country. In 2014, the school says MHacks attracted over 1,200 college and high school students from 100 schools.

Hyatt Guns

A bill that gun-rights advocates say will streamline the process of receiving a concealed-weapons permit also contains a measure that other advocates - for domestic violence victims and women's rights - say could put many Michiganders in danger.

Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes subject to clean-up by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
User airbutchie / flickr.com

A proposal to continue a wide-ranging Great Lakes cleanup program has been resurrected in Congress after falling short last month.

Rep. David Joyce, R-OH, introduced the bill Thursday. It would extend the soon-to-expire Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for another five years and authorize spending $300 million annually.

Shannan Muskopf / Flickr Creative Commons

Michigan's plan to switch its 11th grade standardized test from the ACT to the SAT in 2016 is too much change too fast, according to some educators.

Wendy  Zdeb-Roper, executive director of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, said many of the state's high school principals were caught off guard by yesterday's announcement by the Michigan Department of Education.

Part of the Diego Rivera mural in the DIA. Foundations pulled together to help save the art in the museum.
Joseph Gallegos / Flickr

  

Graham Beal will retire from his position as the director of the Detroit Institute of Arts at the end of July. 

His 16-year tenure saw the museum through the financial crash in 2008 and the city's bankruptcy. 

"We did indeed get tremendous support," Beal said, "but none of that would have happened had we not been a thriving institution that had positioned itself as being for the people."

user: Allert Aalders / flickr

One of the most iconic rock venues in Detroit will be seeing a big transformation in the coming months -- The Magic Stick, on the second floor of the Majestic entertainment complex on Woodward, will turn its back on its rock roots for electronic music, the Detroit Free Press reports
 

http://www.michigan.gov/ok2say

A Michigan school safety initiative received more than 400 tips in its first semester of operation, according to an announcement today by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Michigan State Police Director Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue.

Called OK2SAY!, the program lets students use phone, text, web, and email to submit confidential reports of possible threats to students, teachers and other school staff. 

The 410 verified tips include 163 for bullying and cyberbullying, 54 for suicide threats, and 13 for child abuse.

Office of the Wayne County Executive

The new Wayne County executive, Warren Evans, has kicked off his term by announcing a 5 percent cut to  the salaries of all his appointees.  

Evans said the move will save Wayne County taxpayers $1.2 million. He said he will also make nine fewer executive appointments than his predecessor.

FAFSA

The start of 2015 opened up an opportunity for college-bound students in Michigan and across the nation who need help paying for tuition.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, determines how much financial aid schools can award based on a family's financial situation.

SDRandCo/morguefile.com.

More locally grown fruits and vegetables could soon be coming to a school district near you, thanks to a pilot program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Linda Jo Doctor, program officer with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, works with farm-to-school programs in Detroit. She says this opportunity will help build on what she calls a win-win scenario.

"The kids get access to healthier foods, and it creates economic opportunities for our local farmers in building their connections with schools as a new market for them," Doctor says.

Lexie Flickinger / Flickr

Michigan families are preparing to ring in the New Year, but some kids may miss the festivities because they can't take their eyes off a screen. Mobile phones and tablets were among the hottest gifts this year, but experts are cautioning parents about the drawbacks of technology.

At Indiana University, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology Dr. Ann Lagges says there are many positives to electronics, from educational uses to helping kids stay connected with friends. But, she says, moderation is key.

Alex Proimos / flickr

Most Michigan patients should be able to access primary care doctors - even though the Affordable Care Act means more people are likely looking for appointments.

Nine out of ten Michigan primary care doctors say they have capacity for new patients. And almost two-thirds say they are accepting new Medicaid patients.  That's according to a 2014 survey conducted by the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation.

Jason Pratt / Flickr Creative Commons

An Ann Arbor neighborhood group is kicking off a new way to keep city sidewalks clear.

It's raised enough money, $20,000 so far from about 170 people, to buy a tractor for clearing 12 miles of sidewalks in the Water Hill neighborhood and its connection to the downtown.

Microsoft Images

Congress is set to consider updating a decades-old law that guides states on the custody and care of juveniles in the criminal justice system.

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act was introduced this month, and one big change is an incentive for states to lock up fewer children.

Michigan lawmakers want you to decide on roads.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Human Services said it is eliminating jobs because of a $7.5 million dollar budget cut.

According to spokesman Bob Wheaton, the department has notified employee unions.

Wheaton said it is too soon to know the net reduction in jobs or the total number of layoffs.

"There certainly will end up being some people who are laid off," he said. "But we're hoping it will be as close to zero as possible."

Founders Brewing Company

A 125-year-old, seventh-generation, family-owned Spanish brewery, Mahou San Miguel, has bought a 30% interest in Founders Brewing Co., based in Grand Rapids.

Founders CEO Mike Stevens said the craft brewery has succeeded in its search for a long-term partner that will allow it to thrive for many generations.  

National Poll on Children's Health / C.S. Mott Children's Hospital

Many parents don't believe their  18- to 19-year-olds are ready to manage their own health care.  

According to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, 69% of parents think adolescents should move to an adult-focused primary care provider by age 18. But only 30% of  the parents reported that their adolescents had transitioned from their pediatricians by age 18.  

The poll surveyed a national sample of parents of adolescents and young adults aged 13-30.

Inside the Michigan Senate
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Republican-led Michigan Senate has voted to make it a crime to coerce a woman to have an abortion against her will.

The legislation would prohibit stalking or assaulting a pregnant woman or anyone else with the intent to force an abortion against her wishes. After learning that a woman does not want an abortion, a person also could not threaten to cut off legally required financial support or withdraw from a contract with her.

University of Michigan

The recent lack of indictments in the police killings of young, unarmed black men in several states has raised strong emotions in Michigan and across the nation, and one group is turning the outrage into action.

The Rev. Jamie Hawley is a chaplain for the University of Michigan Hospital and one of the organizers of a group that will head to Washington this weekend to take part in a national march against police violence.

Rowan Renstrom-Richards

More than 200 students and faculty gathered on University of Michigan's campus yesterday for a "die-in protest". 

Those participating lay down on the Diag for 45 minutes, in protest of the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York. The 45 minutes was symbolic for the four-and-a-half hours that Michael Brown's body remained on the street after his death.

User: West Midlands Police / Wikimedia Commons

In the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri and the death of Eric Garner in New York, there's been a national and local conversation about body-worn cameras for cops. Here in Michigan, Ann Arbor is one of the more recent communities to bring up this discussion.

The positives of these cameras are obvious: They help the public hold police officers accountable for their actions, supply evidence for potential cases of misconduct, and hopefully help to restore some of the trust in law enforcement. 

Michigan state capitol.
Jimmy Emerson / flickr.com

Lawmakers are at odds over a bill that would change Michigan's definition of renewable energy to include  electricity generated by burning tires, used oil and industrial waste.

The Republican-backed legislation is pending in the Senate after it was approved last week on a mostly party-line vote in the House.

Orion spacecraft takes off from Cape Canaveral!
Nasa.gov / Nasa.gov

The “Block M” has officially made its way into space.  

This morning at 7:05 a.m. EST, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle carried by the Delta IV heavy rocket took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida with a University of Michigan flag on board.

A screenshot of the owl from the YouTube video.
Steve Spitzer / screenshot YouTube

A Chicago photographer and birder saw something swimming in Lake Michigan, and it was not a hardy winter athlete taking an Arctic plunge.

The photographer, Steve Spitzer, captured on video a great horned owl doing a vigorous breast stroke in the water off of Loyola Park Beach in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood. 

Kalamazoo is taking steps to build relationships between its police officers and its community members.
taliesin / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

In the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the Obama administration announced that it will dedicate $263 million to body cameras for police officers. 

The White House has said it will match the spending of local law enforcement agencies in hopes of making body cameras more prominent.

Paul Engstrom/Skillman Foundation

About 50 civic leaders met today in Detroit to develop a plan to improve life outcomes for young men of color.

The group is taking up the challenge of President Barack Obama's "My Brother's Keeper Initiative," launched early this year to address the growing disparities faced by African American and Latino boys and young men. The group is working to come up with a report and a set of recommendations in 120 days.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said his priority for 2015 is to create opportunities for Detroit youth.

Jim Hammer / Flickr

When does a news assignment become a classic story? Here's one we like to trot out to set the tone for Thanksgiving.

The sound of Narragansett turkeys gobbling and barking for Rebecca Williams' microphone are legendary around the Michigan Radio studios. 

Their turkey timing is perfect.

As the farmer describes the turkeys for Rebecca, they speak up at his disconcerting words. Have a listen:

User:peoplesworld / flickr

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in cities across the state, including Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor and Detroit where crowds blocked traffic, to protest the Grand Jury decision in the Ferguson case regarding Michael Brown and officer Darren Wilson. At Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids, the crowd observed a moment of silence for Michael Brown, the unarmed black 18 year old who was fatally shot by Wilson, a white police officer. 

Key Bank building in Ann Arbor, MI
OZinOH / flickr.com

Michigan banks have made an impressive recovery since January 2011, according to quarterly data compiled by BauerFinanical Inc., a Florida-based ratings service.

As Tom Henderson from Crain's Detroit Business explained:

Homeless camp
Nicole Salow / Flickr

People living in an Ann Arbor homeless camp are bracing for eviction from the privately owned woods where they've established their tent community.

On Sunday, California-based Highridge Costa Housing Partners reported that it had authorized Ann Arbor police to clear the camp from the company's property. Camp Serenity, as its residents call it, is situated along nature trails near a highway on the city's southeast side.

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