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State of Opportunity

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Bre'Anna Tinsley

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Arts & Culture
12:22 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Listeners and readers weigh in about what State of Opportunity should cover next

State of Opportunity Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio's new State of Opportunity project just capped off its busy launch week, and we want your feedback.

We are relying on you for insights, questions and story ideas to help us tell complicated and important stories about childhood poverty in Michigan. Maybe you have a question, comment or a story idea for the project? We'd like to hear it. 

You can always comment on our Facebook page, but you can also connect with us in a deeper way by sharing your insight here. We promise to read all your comments and follow up as needed.

Visit the State of Opportunity website to see what some readers and listeners are already saying.

Transportation
4:52 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Detroit-Windsor tunnel closed due to bomb threat

Wikimedia Commons

Update 4:52 p.m.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports that traffic has reopened through the tunnel.

1:59 p.m.

Windsor police say the Detroit-Windsor tunnel has been closed due to an anonymous bomb threat.

Windsor police are investigating the source of the threat, and authorities on both sides of the border are examining the tunnel.

Politics & Government
4:45 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Political Roundup: A complex November ballot

user mattileo flickr

Every Thursday, we look at Michigan politics on Michigan Radio's Political Roundup.

This week, Michigan Radio's Jennifer White was joined by Ken Sikkema, former Senate majority leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants and Debbie Dingell, political analyst and member of the Democratic National Committee to discuss the questions that may appear on this November's ballot.

This week, the Michigan Supreme Court agreed to take up the question of whether a referendum on Public Act 4, the emergency manager law, should appear on the November ballot.

Read more
Education
2:20 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

ACLU sues on behalf of Highland Park Schools students' 'right to read'

user ppdigital MorgueFile.com

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing on behalf of more than 950 Highland Park Public Schools students and their parents, claiming children aren't receiving an adequate reading education.

ACLU of Michigan Executive Director Kary Moss told reporters at a news conference Thursday the lawsuit is about the "right of children to read."

The suit against the state and others seeks class-action status.

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Offbeat
12:04 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Online identity theft scam poses as Obama, lands in metro Detroit

user cohdra MorgueFile.com

If you get an email from President Obama, saying he wants to pay your electric bill, it's best to delete it.

A countrywide email and text message scam in which the sender offers to pay the recipient's utility bills through a new federal program in exchange for sensitive identity information has hit metro Detroit.

And some are taking the bait, reports The Detroit News' Charles E. Ramirez:

Read more
Economy
4:27 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

State of Opportunity's first live call-in show aired today

State of Opportunity live show
Logan Chadde Michigan Radio

Today, Michigan Radio's new State of Opportunity project aired the first of many live call-in shows and documentaries. 

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Arts & Culture
3:17 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

DIA displays more than 100 works by Picasso and Matisse in new exhibit

Matisse - Circus, 1943
Pamela Marcil Detroit Institute of Arts

 

The Detroit Institute of Arts opened a new exhibition today comprised of works by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.

"Picasso and Matisse: The DIA's Prints and Drawings" will run through January. Showcasing the institute's collection, the exhibit explores the artists' stylistic progression, with 110 prints and drawings across a broad range of media.

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Law
12:47 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Judge denies request to revisit dismissal of Detroit consent agreement lawsuit

An Ingham county judge has denied Detroit's top lawyer's request that he revisit his dismissal of her lawsuit challenging the city’s consent agreement with the state.

Last month, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge William Collette dismissed Detroit Corporation Counsel Krystal Crittendon's lawsuit challenging the authority of the consent agreement. Crittendon says it violates the Detroit charter.

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Environment & Science
11:55 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Ospreys make a comeback in southern Michigan

Teddy Llovet/Flickr

Everyone loves a comeback story, and this is a good one. Just 13 years ago, there was only one osprey nest in southern Michigan. Today, there are at least 49.

The large raptor, known as the “fish hawk,” began disappearing from the Great Lakes region in step with increasing use of DDT and other pesticides. Scientists have found that these chemicals cause thinning in osprey eggshells.

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Politics & Government
1:34 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Sarah Palin to address metro Detroit tea party event

Sarah Palin Facebook.com

Former governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin will be in Michigan this Saturday.

Organized by Americans for Prosperity-Michigan and the Willow Run Tea Party Caucus, the Patriots in the Park event will take place at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Belleville.

According to the event's website, Palin and at least seven other conservative speakers will focus on the economy and the reach of the government.

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Arts & Culture
12:27 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

More than 1,000 artists featured at 53rd Ann Arbor Art Fair

Ann Arbor Art Fair Facebook.com

Beginning on Wednesday, July 18, the Ann Arbor Art Fair will fill the streets of the city for the 53rd consecutive year.

Vendors selling everything from underwater photographs to jewelry made from computer microcircuits will crowd 27 city blocks as part of the four individual street fairs that comprise the event.

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Law
9:32 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Three things people in poverty worry about that you probably don't

Many little things can conspire to keep people from climbing out of poverty.

Dustin Dwyer of Michigan Radio’s State of Opportunity project takes of look at some of them in his report, When Working Hard Doesn't Necessarily Get You Out of Poverty.

He writes, “life is hard for people in poverty. But, … you still have no idea what it’s like to live with poverty day after day.”

Here are three things that the average middle class person probably doesn’t worry about.

  1. "If you’ve got a college degree, and you’re on salary, would taking your daughter to school really be a major factor in losing your job?" It was for the father Dustin Dwyer spoke to in his story.
  2. Losing your kids to the foster care system, not because you do horrible things, but because you don’t have the resources.  University of Michigan law professor Vivek Sankaran says that happens more often than you'd think.
  3. Not being able to pay your parking tickets and losing your license.
Read more
Economy
1:09 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

MI ties for state with most top African American-owned businesses

(l to r) Ronald E. Hall, Jr. and Ronald E. Hall Sr, owners of Bridgewater Interiors L.L.C., the biggest Michigan-based company on the Black Enterprise list.
Ara Howrani http://howranistudios.com/

This year, 22 of the nation's 233 biggest companies owned by African Americans are based in Michigan, according to Black Enterprise Magazine.

The only other state with that many businesses on the list was New York.

The magazine divided the companies into seven sectors: industrial/service, auto, advertising, financial services, banks, asset managers, investment banks and private equity firms.

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Health
11:01 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Six ways life is different when you grow up poor

Nearly a quarter of all kids in Michigan live in poverty. We want to believe these kids have an equal shot at success in life, but there’s a pile of research that suggests otherwise.

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Arts & Culture
2:46 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Ann Arborites say 'hello to the future' in new time capsule

The Library Lane parking structure time capsule.
Jada Hahlbrock Ann Arbor DDA

The Downtown Development Authority is getting ready to open the new Library Lane parking structure on Ann Arbor's South Fifth Ave. In the process, the group hopes to preserve a snapshot of the city's zeitgeist sealed beneath the structure's Division St. staircase.

DDA Executive Director Susan Pollay estimates that the time capsule will be reopened 100 to 200 years from now. She sees the project as a way in which all Ann Arborites can participate in the parking project.

"It's a chance to say 'hello' to people in the future," she said.

Read more
Health
3:27 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

MI cooling centers open amid excessive heat and power outages

user jdurham MorgueFile.com

Update 3:27 p.m.

The AP is now reporting that more Michigan homes and businesses --around 400,000-- lost power this week:

DTE Energy Co. says about 210,000 of its customers were without power Thursday after a new round of damaging thunderstorms made its way across the state, knocking down trees and power lines. Since Tuesday, DTE says about 300,000 of its customers have been affected.

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Politics & Government
11:46 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Raunchy TV script by Michigan's Rep. McCotter surfaces

Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter jams with his blues band.
Vincent Duffy Michigan Radio

Things don't seem to be going all that well in U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's (R-Livonia) political career. His bid for the Republican presidential nomination sputtered out last year, and more recently, he was forced to give up his Congressional re-election campaign over falsified petition signatures.

But perhaps he has a future in show business.

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Politics & Government
3:18 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Snyder vetoes election bills

Gov. Rick Snyder, seen here, vetoed three bills in a package of Republican-sponsored election reforms today.
Rick Snyder for Michigan Facebook.com

Update 3:18 p.m.

MPRN’s Rick Pluta reports that reactions to Gov. Snyder's vetoes today were divided across party lines:

Republicans – including Secretary of State Ruth Johnson – said the bills were reasonable ways to ensure only people who are supposed to vote cast ballots. She says the veto will not stop her from including a box on voter registration forms affirming their U.S. citizenship.

The governor did sign 11 other bills in the package. But GOP leaders in the Legislature expressed disappointment in their Republican governor’s decision to veto some of their work.

House Speaker Jase Bolger quickly issued a statement expressing his disappointment in the vetoes.    

Democrats, on the other hand, praised the decision as “courageous.”

House Democratic Leader Rick Hammell said the vetoes were “brave,” and Michigan AFL CIO President Karla Swift praised the governor for standing up to “extremists” in his party.

The governor said in a veto letter that “voting rights are precious and we need to work especially hard to make it possible for people to vote.” 

2:07 p.m.

The Michigan Election Coalition publicly thanked Gov. Rick Snyder for vetoing three election bills today. The group is a collection of organizations with the common aim of ending what it calls "voter suppression legislation" in Lansing.

In an MEC press release, Sue Smith, President of the League of Women Voters of Michigan said,

“On the eve of Independence Day, this is a huge victory for our American democracy. We want to thank Gov. Snyder for doing the right thing by vetoing this unfair and unjust legislation. While today’s action is a step in the right direction, the League of Women Voters will continue to educate voters about their rights to make sure every eligible voter can make their voice heard at the ballot box this November."

In the press release another MEC member, Melanie McElroy, Executive Director of Common Cause Michigan, said,

“Gov. Snyder’s veto pen should send a strong message to Lansing politicians that it’s time to halt these voter suppression efforts once and for all. Our elected leaders need to stop the partisan games, and start working together to expand access to voting in Michigan.”

The AP reports that Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger says he's "deeply disappointed" his party's governor vetoed "very reasonable" changes to election laws.

More from Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta to come.

12:35 p.m.

Gov. Snyder has vetoed three bills in a Republican-sponsored package.

The vetoed bills would have required people to affirm their U.S. citizenship and show a photo ID before they can get a ballot, and require people to get training before they can register voters. In both cases, the governor says, the measures would have created too much confusion about who can vote or register people to vote.

The governor signed 11 other measures including ones that would require ballot petitions to be submitted in advance for the Secretary of State to post online, and forbid the use of campaign funds to cover legal expenses unrelated to campaigning.

Health
1:52 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

How to stay safe this Fourth

user Miguelwhee MorgueFile.com

A confluence of Heat Advisories in 34 Michigan counties, drought-like conditions in the southern half of the state, and relaxed consumer firework legislation could make this year's Independence Day celebrations more dangerous than usual. 

The AP reports that two Lansing-area communities have postponed tomorrow's annual firework shows because of warm and dry weather that's settled in across the state.

Michigan officials are urging people to use caution with fireworks and outdoor fires as some areas face what's described as dangerously dry conditions.

Here are some tips from The National Council on Fireworks Safety about how you can stay safe this holiday.

Read more
Economy
4:11 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

After tough losses, MI farmers get some federal help

Cherries, a staple Michigan fruit crop suffered after this spring's fluctuating weather.
user maena MorgueFile.com

The federal government has approved financial support for Michigan fruit growers whose crops suffered due to unusual temperature fluctuations.

Almost all of Michigan's counties--72 of 83-- are now considered natural disaster areas and eligible for help.

Some growers say crop losses haven't been this bad in three generations.

Read more

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