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Paulette Parker

DIGITAL JOURNALIST - BLOGGER

Paulette is a blogger for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously interned as a reporter in the Michigan Radio newsroom.

Before working at Michigan Radio, she was the news editor of The Washtenaw Voice at Washtenaw Community College. She has an associate degree in journalism from WCC. And she is currently a junior at Eastern Michigan University, pursuing a bachelor's degree in media studies and journalism.

When she isn't working she is spending time with her husband and two young daughters.

Keyboard with a"Jobs" button
Got Credit / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A summer jobs program is providing kids in Detroit with more than just a paycheck.

That's according to researchers at the University of Michigan. They found the "Grow Detroit's Young Talent" program also boosts participants' academic performance.

The program gives Detroit youth a variety of summer employment opportunities including child care, counseling younger peers, volunteering with seniors, and clerical work.

blacklegged tick
Scott Bauer / USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

Washtenaw and Livingston counties have been named "known risks" for ticks infected with Lyme disease.

That's according to an assessment by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Erik Foster is a state medical entomologist. He says the counties got this label due to residents being diagnosed with Lyme disease after tick bites.

“It’s really important knowing that the ticks are now in the area,” he said.

Foster says adult deer ticks – which are the size of an apple seed – are currently the main threat to residents.

UAW sign.
UAW

Union leaders announced today that they're teaming up to support graduate student workers at universities across the country.

Graduate Assistants at some universities complain they have voted to unionize, but the results of those elections are being ignored by school administrations.

Randi Weingarten is president of the American Federation of Teachers - which is part of the organizing effort.

Protesters against Richard Spencer at MSU
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

White supremacist Richard Spencer might not be visiting the University of Michigan anytime soon.

He announced an indefinite halt to his national college tour Sunday in a video posted on YouTube.

Spencer blames violence between his supporters and protestors at his Michigan State University event last week, where more than a dozen arrests were made.

bottom of chalkboard, with an eraser and chalk sitting on the ledge
User alkruse24 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The only Michigan school district left under emergency management will transition back to local control.

A multi-million dollar deficit prompted a state takeover of Highland Park Public Schools in 2012.

Now the district and the Michigan Department of Treasury are reviewing options to transition to a form of local governance.

Emergency Manager Kevin Smith was appointed in January of 2014. His term ends in April.

Smith has drafted a District Educational Strategic Plan 2018-2023, which he expects to share with stakeholders early this month.

Larry Nassar
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Holt Public Schools says it's planning an investigation and remedial action, after at least one victim of former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar says she was assaulted on Holt school property.

Abigail Mealy says she started seeing Nassar for treatment after an injury left her with severe back pain. She was among more than 150 women and girls who addressed Nassar during his week-long sentencing hearing.

Surgery tools
Stanford EdTech / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A federal judge has dismissed a sex charge against two Detroit-area doctors accused of performing female genital mutilation on young girls.

Doctors Jumana Nagarwala and Fakhruddin Attar are charged with six federal counts, including conspiracy to commit female genital cutting.

The charges are related to a procedure performed on two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota in February 2017.

But U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman ruled Sunday that the pair did not commit conspiracy to transport a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

money
MIkolay Frolochkin / pixabay

The owner of multiple Southeast Michigan towing companies pleaded guilty Wednesday to paying bribes to a Macomb County official to in order to get a municipal towing contract.

Gasper Fiore pleaded guilty to conspiracy. He admitted to paying $7,000 to Dean Reynolds, a trustee in Macomb County's Clinton Township.

Telephone
user mconnors / morgueFile

A spike in hepatitis A cases has prompted the Genesee County Health Department to start a telephone hotline to keep residents up-to-date.

The hotline provides information like symptoms of the infection, how it's transmitted, and where to get vaccines.

person writing on paper
LucasTheExperience / Flickr

Organizers of a ballot drive want voters to decide if Michigan should have a part-time legislature.

And they're making a push for signatures to get it on the 2018 ballot.

Andy Levin
Andy Levin campaign

Representative Sandy Levin's 9th Congressional District seat could stay in the family when he retires in 2019.

Sandy Levin's son, Andy Levin, announced his bid Wednesday to succeed his father in Washington, D.C.

The Democrat is an entrepreneur and former head of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic growth.

Levin says he's witnessed four decades of trickle-down economics, which has concentrated all the wealth in the top one percent in the country.

The unfinished Wayne County jail project at Gratiot near Downtown Detroit.
Wayne County / via Wayne County

Wayne County announced Friday it's scrapping plans to complete construction on its stalled jail project on Gratiot Avenue near Greektown.

It will instead pursue Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert's offer to build a brand new, $380 million criminal justice center at a different location in Detroit.

Chicago-based Walsh Construction was the lone bidder to submit a proposal to complete the roughly $400 million Gratiot project.

Dan Gilbert's Rock Ventures offered to build a jail at a new location in Detroit in exchange for the current jail site.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
Courtesy https://debbiedingell.house.gov/about/full-bio

Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell is speaking out about the allegations of sexual harassment against fellow Democratic Rep. John Conyers.

Conyers denies claims of inappropriate behavior, but has acknowledged he settled a sexual harassment complaint using his House office fund in 2015.

aerial photo of the Great Lakes
National Oceanic and And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

The Great Lakes Commission and Lawrence Technological University are teaming up to protect the Great Lakes by changing the way cities think about rain water.

They want to explore new ways communities can handle storm water to prevent things like flooding and sewage overflow into the lakes.

Michael Polich is a program specialist with the Great Lakes Commission. He says cities often view alternate storm water technologies as different and untested, making them hesitant to implement new ideas.

Gov. Snyder attended a ribbon cutting Monday to celebrate the opening of the Flex Routes along the US-23 corridor
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

The dreaded commute on US-23 between Ann Arbor and Brighton is about to get a little easier.

 Overflow lanes, known as Flex Routes, will open for traffic Wednesday. They run along the left shoulder in both directions of U-S 23, between M-14 and M-36. Governor Snyder attended a press conference today to discuss the completion of the roughly $90 million project. "This has been a major bottleneck in our state for some time, in terms of the congestion," he said. The Flex Routes will be open for traffic daily from 6 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. They will also be used as auxiliary lanes during off hours in the event of accidents or heavier-than-normal traffic.

person writing on paper
LucasTheExperience / Flickr

A package of bills in the Michigan House would punish petition circulators who mislead or lie to petition signers about their causes.

HB 5208-5214 would make it a misdemeanor for circulators, or the organizations work for, to make false statements in order to get signatures.

Detroit skyline with GM building
Pixabay.com

The city of Detroit is offering $1 million in grants to help lift residents out of poverty and into jobs. The initiative is a partnership between the city and the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation.

Grants are available to community organizations offering services like literacy education, vocational training, and support services to Detroit residents enrolled in SNAP -- the federal food assistance program.

Jeff Donofrio is executive director of workforce development for the city of Detroit. He says low-income job seekers in the city often face many challenges.

Hopeful applicants in Leoni Township plan to camp out for nearly a week for the chance to apply for a medical marijuana dispensary license.
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

A group of hopeful applicants plan to camp out for nearly a week for the chance to apply for a medical marijuana dispensary license.

Cars, trucks, and an RV are already lined up outside the Leoni Township Hall, just outside Jackson. The township will begin taking applications for medical marijuana dispensary licenses November 1.

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The city of Lansing will enact a recently-passed medical marijuana ordinance after a petition to repeal it failed to get enough valid signatures.

Lansing City Council approved the ordinance in early September. It caps the number of permitted marijuana dispensaries in the city at 25 and requires operation licenses for all establishments.

Petition organizers hoped to get enough signatures to either repeal the ordinance or have it submitted to voters as a ballot proposal.

Chris Swope is Lansing City Clerk. He says many signatures were invalidated because some people signed the petition as many as three times.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, joined local officials today in Ypsilanti to talk about President Trump's suggested cuts to Medicaid. Trump's proposed budget would eliminate nearly $700 billion from the federal program. Dingell spoke in front of community members and constituents at Community Alliance, an organization that serves developmentally disabled adults in Ypsilanti.

Sue Snyder
Sue Snyder

A day-long summit taking place today at Eastern Michigan University will focus on ending campus sexual assault statewide.

The third-annual "Inform, Empower, Prevent: Let's End Campus Sexual Assault" summit will be hosted by Michigan's First Lady Sue Snyder.

Attendees will take part in a series of panels and networking sessions. They'll hear from experts on topics ranging from supporting sexual assault survivors to how institutions develop investigative processes.

lena epstein
Courtesy of Lena Epstein

Lena Epstein is ending her bid for a Michigan U.S. Senate seat.

The Republican candidate has decided to switch races and instead will run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The 11th District seat is currently held by Republican Congressman Dave Trott, who announced he would not seek re-election in 2018.

Congressman Fred Upton
Republican Conference / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The U.S. House of Representatives has rejected an amendment to cut the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by nearly 25%. The cut would have reduced the EPA budget by nearly $2 billion.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, joined Stateside to talk about why he voted against the proposal. Upton said the budget cut would have ended vital programs that protect the Great Lakes.

Syringe with drip
ZaldyImg / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Physicians are coming out against a bill in Lansing that would make it easier for qualified nurses to administer anesthesia. Currently, a physician has to sign off and supervise while a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist gives anesthesia to a patient. Senate Bill 550 would give hospitals the option to end that mandate.

Woman buckling child into car seat
Intel Free Press / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A new bill could help prevent hot car deaths among children.

The legislation was introduced last week by state Rep. Robert Kosowski (D-Westland). It would require car manufacturers to install alarms in all new vehicles that alert drivers when there's a child left in the back seat.

According to noheatstroke.org, 737 children over the past decade have died in cars due to heat stroke.

"And we thought this alarm would be kind of a good mechanism to approach this really big problem," Kosowski said.

Syringe with drip
ZaldyImg / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

New legislation aims to improve patients' access to anesthesia in Michigan's hospitals.

A current mandate requires physician supervision when anesthesia is administered by certified registered nurse anesthetists — even if that physician has little or no training in anesthesia.

Senate Bill 550 would allow Michigan hospitals to choose the anesthesia model that best meets the needs of their patients and communities, and give them the option to either keep or eliminate that rule.

Ken Lund / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

In a move that surprised many, the government of Canada this week gave the owners of the Ambassador Bridge permission to build a new bridge between Windsor and Detroit.

Canada, Ontario, and the city of Windsor have all had a contentious, even cantankerous, relationship with the Moroun family, which owns the Ambassador Bridge.

Christian Cross
Waiting For The Word / Flickr CC /

A federal appeals court is siding with a Michigan county in a dispute over Christian prayers at public meetings.

It ruled the practice by Jackson County commissioners of starting their meetings with Christian-only prayers does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

The case was heard by the entire 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, upholding the opinion of a Detroit federal judge in a 9-6 decision Wednesday.

James Shotwell is chairman of the Board of Commissioners. He says the commissioners just happen to be Christian, and aren't favoring one faith over any others.

This morning I sent my daughter off to her first day of third grade.

She was excited to go. She was ready to see her friends, and genuinely loves school.

But I'm sure she'll be less than thrilled once her teacher starts assigning homework. Like many kids, I'm sure she'd be happy if homework was simply eliminated.

That will be a reality this school year for more than 500 kids at a Massachusetts elementary school.

Hallway in Huron High School in Ann Arbor.
user rosefirerising / Flickr

A new tuition-based program would mean an increase in Chinese students at Ann Arbor's high schools, as well as more money for the district.

The school board is weighing a proposed partnership between Ann Arbor Public Schools and Troy-based BCC International Education Group, Inc. The Chinese-American company has created similar programs in Saline and Dexter.

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