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State of Opportunity

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Politics & Government
4:48 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Stabenow agrees to debate Hoekstra twice

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
USDA.gov

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow says she will participate in two debates with Republican U.S. Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra.

Stabenow made the announcement this afternoon. Hoekstra has been calling for six debates with the two-term Democrat from Lansing.

Details have not been finalized, but the Associated Press reports Stabenow has accepted debate invitations from the Detroit Economic Club and Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids.

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Health
3:16 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Mango-related salmonella outbreak reaches Michigan

user xenia MorgueFile.com

Federal health officials are telling Americans to avoid Daniella mangoes distributed by a Northern California fruit distributor because they may be contaminated with salmonella that has already sickened more than 100 people in 16 states.

The Food and Drug Administration issued the warning yesterday after Burlingame, Calif.-based Splendid Products recalled five lots of mangoes imported from Mexico.

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Environment & Science
3:28 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

'Blue moon' will coincide with Neil Armstrong's funeral

user earl53 MorgueFile.com

There will be a "blue moon" tomorrow night, a fitting wink to Neil Armstrong by the cosmic calendar.

That's the day of a private service for Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, who died last Saturday in Ohio at age 82.

A blue moon occurs when there's a second full moon in one calendar month. The lunar cycle is 29.5 days long, so a blue moon is rare.

This will be your last chance to spot the phenomenon until July of 2015.

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State of Opportunity
12:29 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

State of Opportunity: Michigan's most disturbing disparity

cheriejoyful Flickr

In Grand Rapids, African American infants are just slightly more likely to survive to their first birthday than infants born in the Gaza Strip. Six years ago, Grand Rapids had the worst infant mortality rate in the state. Today, it is sixth.

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Politics & Government
1:53 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Status update and full text: 7 ballot proposals in Michigan

The Secretary of State says local jurisdictions and school districts in 82 of Michigan's 83 counties are conducting elections today.
user eyspahn Flickr

Update Wednesday, October 10, 11:30 a.m.

Editor's note: This post was created after state election officials voted on pending ballot proposals.

There are now six proposals on the ballot.

To see a comprehensive list with links to the ballot language, see this more current post:

The six ballot proposals facing Michigan Voters

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Arts & Culture
1:32 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Activist Tom Hayden to commemorate the Port Huron Statement tonight

Tom Hayden, co-author of the Port Huron Statement.
user KCET Departures Flickr

Activist Tom Hayden will be in Port Huron tonight to commemorate the Port Huron Statement.

A group of university students wrote the statement fifty years ago at a UAW retreat center north of Port Huron.

Hayden was one of the main participants, who was in his early twenties at the time.

The 25,000 word document addressed racism, poverty, the Cold War, and the nuclear arms race.

It was one of the first times there'd been a formal call-to-action for students to be part of a movement pushing for social change.

Economy
1:18 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

GM will take Volt plant off-line for second time in 2012

The redesigned 2014 Impala
User IFCAR Wikimedia Commons

In mid-September, General Motors will temporarily close the Detroit-Hamtramck plant that makes the Chevrolet Volt for about a month.

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Law
10:19 am
Tue August 28, 2012

Judge says Michigan's panhandling law violates the Constitution

A federal judge in Grand Rapids says a Michigan law that bans panhandling in public places "on its face" violates the First Amendment.... and the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause.

The judge made the ruling Friday in a civil suit by two Grand Rapids men arrested last year for begging.

The men were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union.

A Grand Rapids City Attorney says her office will analyze the judge's opinion before deciding whether to appeal.

Environment & Science
9:00 am
Tue August 28, 2012

Life in Delray

The Delray neighborhood in southwest Detroit hopes to benefit from the New International Trade Crossing.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

You can listen to the Environment Report segment here or read Suzanne Jacob's story below.

Delray is a neighborhood in southwest Detroit.  People who live here are surrounded by heavy industry. A proposed new bridge to Canada is planned to land in the Delray neighborhood.  The construction could change how the neighborhood looks.  It’s estimated that thousands more trucks will pass by the neighborhood every day.

When we visited one recent summer evening, a bunch of kids were climbing on a playground. Two of them were playing tag, laughing and running themselves breathless.

But just past the red and yellow playground are two tall smoke stacks. If you look closely, you can see a green haze creeping out of them.

Simone Sagovac is with Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision. The non-profit group has been working to clean up southwest Detroit for 20 years.

“People who come to visit here from the EPA, from around the country, say that it's one of the worst places they've ever been to.”

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Transportation
4:44 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Michigan's high gas prices explained

user frenchbyte MorgueFile.com

As Labor Day Weekend approaches, Michiganders are seeing higher gas prices.
The current national gas price hovers around $3.75 for a gallon regular fuel, while Michigan's average gas price is almost $3.93 a gallon, making it the ninth priciest state for refueling. In a press release, the American Automobile Association reports that Michigan is the state with the fifth highest year-over-year gasoline price jump. 

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Education
12:55 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

In West Michigan, textbooks go digital

Ali Moore Wikimedia Commins

Schools around the county are considering digital textbooks as a more affordable and modern update to paper textbooks, and a West Michigan school district will pilot an "etextbook" program this year.

The Muskegon Chronicle reports Mona Shores Public Schools' students in select classes will receive their own computers to test how the etextbooks compare to traditional methods.

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Politics & Government
1:21 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

In Oakland County, Romney promotes five-part platform

Tracy Samilton Michigan Radio

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, delivered speeches to thousands at an Oakland County rally this afternoon.

Three days before Romney and Ryan will probably cinch the nomination at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, the pair arrived at Long Family Orchard Farm and Cider Mill in Commerce Township, about twenty miles northwest of Detroit.

Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton was on the scene, updating us with the latest.

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Law
11:27 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Inmates in Oakland County jail released due to overcrowding

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard says releasing more than 200 prisoners from the overcrowded  County Jail could have been avoided,  if judges had used alternative sentencing.

He  tells The Detroit News he sent a letter to judges earlier this month, notifying them of the "jail emergency and asking for cooperation to help avoid it."

Michigan law requires sentence reductions if prisoners don't pose a high risk.

Bouchard says beds are being used by inmates who don't need to be in jail, and could have been punished differently, avoiding the problem.

Health
4:43 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Bedbug sighting prompts Detroit judge to clear courtroom

Michigan.gov

A Detroit judge ordered everyone out of her courtroom this afternoon after a bailiff observed bedbugs crawling on a man in the first row of seats.

The Detroit News reports that 36th District Judge Cylenthia LaToye Miller emptied the room so that a pest-c0ntrol company could come spray it down.

The man was in the courtroom accompanying a witness. His daughter later said she knew there were bedbugs in her father's house.

Miller told the News:

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Health
1:25 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

MDCH reports summer's second Michigan West Nile fatality

user xpistwv MorgueFile.com

Michigan officials say a second person has died from the West Nile virus, and 18 more cases have been reported this week.

Today, the Michigan Department of Community Health released figures (see chart) showing two deaths and 41 cases this season.

Officials last week said an elderly woman in Washtenaw County died from West Nile. Details of the most recent death were not released.

The data shows cases span several counties, including nine cases in Wayne, eight in Macomb, six in Oakland and seven in Detroit.

Yesterday, federal officials reported four times the usual number of cases in the current U.S. West Nile outbreak.

So far, 1,118 illnesses and 41 deaths have been reported nationwide. Typically, fewer than 300 cases are reported by mid-August.

Prevention tips include draining standing water in your yard, avoiding skin exposure to mosquitos, wearing mosquito repellant and reporting sick or dead animals to authorities.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Politics & Government
4:28 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Biden, Romney, Ryan campaign in Michigan this week

Vice President Joe Biden and Olympian Claressa Shields
Click on Detroit http://htl.li/d9UeY

Vice President Joe Biden, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, will all make campaign stops in southeast Michigan this week.

Vice President Joe Biden made an afternoon stop in Detroit today, where he held what the Obama Campaign called a grassroots event at Renaissance High School.

Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields introduced Biden to a packed crown in the school's atrium.

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Transportation
3:09 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

New 'Pure' Michigan license plates unveiled (PHOTOS)

1905-1910
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Michigan.gov

This morning, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson unveiled two new Michigan license plates.

(Click through the photos above to see Michigan plates through the ages.)

Standing on the Mackinac Bridge, Johnson revealed two newly designed plates that promote the state's Pure Michigan campaign.  A simple blue and white version will eventually replace the state's standard plate, but another more colorful option featuring the Mackinac Bridge will also be available.

The plates will be available beginning early next year.

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State of Opportunity
1:03 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

State of Opportunity: When funding dries up for programs that help kids

user CarbonNYC flickr

This week, Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity reporter explores a pilot project in Michigan that helped kids and reduced state caseloads.

So why, he asks, is it ending?

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Offbeat
12:23 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

The Ann Arbor Shopping Cart Race speeds down Main St.

Elaine Ezekiel Michigan Radio

The annual Shopping Cart Race attracted a crowd of about one hundred people outside the Fleetwood Diner in downtown Ann Arbor last night.  Each year, competitors personalize their shopping cart(s), don costumes and protective gear and push their teammates down the half-mile Main St. slope from E Ann St. to the railroad bridge past Depot St.

Scroll through the photo gallery above to see some of the racers and their creations.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Politics & Government
5:18 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

As Detroit brings in outside police, civil rights leaders worry about oversight

Michigan State Police Capt. Monica Yesh told the Detroit News the outside police reinforcements who patrol the inner city are given additional training.
Michigan State Police Facebook.com

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing cut the city's police department budget by nearly 20 percent earlier this summer, which will mean the loss of an estimated 380 positions, of about 2,600 officers, through attrition and early retirement, reports the Detroit News.

Michigan State Police troopers and Wayne County Sheriff's deputies have come to the city to help patrol traffic and prevent violent crime.

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