WUOMFM

Tyler Scott

Reporter

Tyler reports stories and occasionally hosts overnights for Michigan Radio. He holds a degree in political science from the University of Michigan, where he graduated in 2016. 

Prior to Michigan Radio, Tyler was a sports reporter for The Michigan Daily, morning host at WMLM 1520am in Alma, Michigan, and news intern at WDET in Detroit.

Tyler was born-and-raised in Michigan and still enjoys spending time in Michigan's state parks and nature areas. He also enjoys watching Michigan sports, reading, and binge-listening to music and podcasts. 

Ways to Connect

A glass being filled with tap water.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Massive defense spending bills in Congress would require the federal government to study the health effects of  perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). Groundwater near military bases in Michigan is polluted with the chemicals.

Both the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2018 would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to conduct the study. An amendment in the House version of the bill would require the Pentagon to develop an alternatives to using PFCs.

Yumi Kimura / Wikimedia Commons

The Michigan Crime Victim Services Commission is putting together a panel of experts to suggest potential new services for crime victims -- and changes to the rules that determine who is eligible for compensation after a crime.

James McCurtis is the director of the Michigan Crime Victim Services Commission. He says in the last few years there have been fewer people filing claims with the Michigan Crime Victim Compensation Fund, and that’s partially because more people have insurance.

The Riyadh, Saudi Arabia skyline
B.alotaby / creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

A human rights organization says a Saudi-Arabian man who was traveling to visit Western Michigan University when Saudi officials arrested him for allegedly attending pro-democracy protests could soon be executed.

According to the human rights group Reprieve, Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat was detained at a Saudi Arabian airport on his way to visit WMU in 2012, and he’s been imprisoned ever since.

Three wine bottles from the neck up.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan will once again be the testing ground for a new service from a major retailer. Subscribers to Meijer’s grocery delivery service will be able to add alcohol to their purchases and have it delivered starting July 11.

Meijer Vice President of Digital Shopping, Art Sebastian, says in order to stay relevant in the era of online shopping, retailers have to do more than offer low prices to customers.

“In this day and age, we’re busy, we’re time-starved. We’re looking for ways to save time,” Sebastian said. “I’ve said in the past that convenience is the new price.”

Book Store with a "store closing" banner
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Amazon is planning to build its second distribution center in Romulus, partly with funds from a five million dollar state grant. The Michigan Strategic Fund board approved the grant Tuesday. 

Amazon had considered other locations in the Midwest and Canada as potential development sites, according to Josh Hundt, Vice President of Business Development Projects at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the Strategic Fund Board. The Michigan Business Development Program is the pot of money allocated by the state legislature where the funds will come from. 

A blue Navya Arma with University of Michigan decals
Tyler Scott

This fall, two completely driverless shuttles will start running on the University of Michigan’s campus.

Researchers will be focusing on safety. But it’s also a chance to see how people interact with driverless vehicles.

A blue Navya Arma with University of Michigan decals
Tyler Scott

The University of Michigan plans to use two fully autonomous vehicles to shuttle students around campus this fall. University officials announced the pilot program at the MCity test facility for autonomous and connected cars.

Two 15-passenger autonomous vehicles will travel along a two-mile loop on Michigan’s North Campus during normal business hours beginning this fall. The vehicles were manufactured by the French autonomous car start-up Navya.  

Satellite image of algal bloom in Lake Erie taken in 2015.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The state of Michigan just put out an early plan for improving Lake Erie's water quality. And already, it's getting a lot of criticism for lacking specifics, and relying too much on farmers to volunteer for new anti-pollution programs. 

The lack of specifics might be a "fair argument," says Jamie Clover Adams, the director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. But right now, she says state officials don't have all the answers, and need to do more research before they know which guidelines and best practices should be part of the plan. 

pile of one  dollar bills
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state legislature is sending Governor Snyder a package of bills that will change retirement benefits for teachers.

Vicki Barnett, the former Mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic legislator, says the switch to a defined contribution retirement model for new public school employees increases costs for local school districts.

“I have no problem with the concept of what they’re trying to do. It’s the underlying reason they’re doing it which will again lead to failure of the system,” Barnett said.

Mark Dantonio at a podium
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio took swift action to kick three football players off the team once criminal charges against them were announced.

The three players face charges related to an alleged assault of a woman that took place on MSU's campus on January 16.

Dantonio says all players – and especially freshmen – have education "thrown at them" about how to act on campus.

Timothy Plancon with the DEA's Detroit field office says it's difficult to tell when the dangerous drugs Carfentinil or Fentanyl may be mixed with drugs such as heroin
Narconon

Powerful synthetic opioid street drugs have changed the way some law enforcement officials collect and handle drug evidence. 

Fentanyl and carfentinil are extremely powerful synthetic opiates sometimes used in street drugs that have made their way to Michigan. The drugs are especially dangerous because they can be absorbed through the air or through contact with the skin, according to Timothy Plancon, Special Agent in charge of the DEA's Detroit field office. 

The head of Ontario's Liberal government, Premier Kathleen Wynne, wants to change labor laws to help part-time and contract Ontario workers make more money.
Jason Hargrove / creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Ontario’s top government official introduced a plan Tuesday to increase the minimum wage and rework labor laws in the province to help support vulnerable workers.

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s plan calls to increase Ontario’s minimum wage from its current level at $8.47 USD, to $10.40 USD per hour by 2018. Under Wynne’s proposal, the minimum wage would increase again to $11.14 USD in 2019, and continue to increase to keep pace with inflation.

Mike Maycroft, left, president of the Grand Rapids Police Command Officers Association; and Andy Bingel, president of the Grand Rapids Police Officers Association.
Lindsey Smith

A recent study commissioned by the city of Grand Rapids, which found that black drivers in the city are twice as likely to be pulled over as white motorists, is getting some criticism.

But Grand Rapids City Manager Greg Sundstrom says the new critique doesn’t change the fact that there’s a problem. Even if the notion is hard to swallow for police officers.

Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state is considering building a new psychiatric hospital as a replacement for the aging Caro Center in Tuscola County, in the Thumb. Governor Snyder’s proposed state budget includes $115 million for building a new facility, but the Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services hasn’t decided where it will be built.

downtown Flint street
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The Flint City Council on Wednesday passed a resolution that puts a year-long moratorium on the city’s policy of placing tax liens on properties with unpaid water bills.

Council President Kerry Nelson said he had received numerous calls to his office pleading for the move. Multiple city council members mentioned that some city residents struggle to afford Flint’s high water rates, and other residents were refusing to pay for water that could not be used without a filter.

Left to right: Steve Kiefer, David Tulauskas, General Motors; Peter Ramirez, Michelin; Mark Purtilar, Goodyear; Juan Botero, Continental; James DeMouy, Bridgestone
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

General Motors says it's commited to sourcing sustainable natural rubber for future use in all its tires.  GM senior Vice President of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain Steve Kiefer announced the initiative alongside supplier partners from the tire manufacturing industry at a press conference Monday, in Detroit.

The South Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority (SOCRRA) and Madison Heights meet in court May 17.
User: steakpinball / flickr

A public authority that handles trash and recycling for 12 metro Detroit cities is suing the city of Madison Heights. The dispute centers around whether the city has the power to declare an old waste disposal facility in Madison Heights unsafe.

The South Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority (SOCRRA) wants to temporarily move some operations, including solid waste, and yard waste disposal, to the old Madison Heights facility while SOCRRA updates its recycling systems.

Madison Heights is not one of the 12 member cities SOCRRA services – but it used to be.

Under the Senate budget plan, the Women's Huron Valley would lose $1.3 million compared to this year's funding levels. MDOC spokesman Chris Gautz says that would strain the understaffed facility.
Michigan Department of Corrections

The State Senate proposed reducing funding for Michigan prisons, because the number of prisoners in the state continues to decline. But MDOC officials are balking at the suggestion. 

According to State Senator John Proos, there are 1600 fewer inmates in Michigan prisons than in February 2016.

That is largely how Proos justified the Senate’s proposed $41 million cut to prison funding in its budget plan. It's money that correctional facilities would no longer have to fund the day-to-day operations.

Immigrant workers at EZ Industrial Solutions were fired for skipping work to attend "A Day Without Immigrant" protest in February.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Tony Paris says that in ten years as an attorney filing charges with the National Labor Relations Board, he has never had a case sent to Washington until now.

Apparently, it's because in the current political climate, immigration is a sensitive issue. 

“They have to go up through to Washington D.C. and the national office of the NLRB for what they call 'advice',” Paris said. “I was instructed that’s because of the high sensitivity of this issue.”

Judge's gavel
Joe Gratz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A Girl Scouts council from Michigan is suing the national Girl Scouts organization for making changes to the employee pension plan without proper consent.

In the lawsuit, Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan claims the national group, Girl Scouts USA, added people to the pension plan, and then passed the added costs on to local councils like Heart of Michigan. Girl Scouts U.S.A. (GSUSA) manages the pension plan for Girl Scouts council employees nationwide.

The path of the Rover pipeline will cut through Lenawee, Washtenaw and Livingston counties
Energy Transfers

The Rover pipeline will run through three counties in southeast Michigan once it's built.

But for now, the company building the natural gas pipeline, is busy cleaning up mud.

According to Ohio EPA spokesperson James Lee, Energy Transfer reported two bentonite spills in mid-April.

"[Bentonite is] a natural clay mud used as a lubricant for drilling," Lee said. "It's a common application; [bentonite] doesn't contain any additives or chemicals."

One of the anchors used to hold Line 5 in place under the Straits of Mackinac.
Screen shot of a Ballard Marine inspection video / Enbridge Energy

Representative Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor,  says he’s talked with people from around Michigan who are worried that if Enbridge's Line 5 oil pipeline were ever to spill, the Great Lakes would be devastated.

“It’s running under the Straits of Mackinac, pumping millions of gallons of oil a day,” Rabhi said. “If that old pipeline were to rupture, we would have a major catastrophe.”

Jackson City Council member Dan Greer says he will attempt to bring city clerk Randy Wrozek's job performance up for discussion at the next council meeting Apr. 25
Joe Gratz / flickr

Jackson city council member Dan Greer is criticizing the city clerk for mishandling petition signatures that caused a petition challenging the city of Jackson’s non-discrimination ordinance to be invalidated.

Last week, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wilson ordered Jackson city clerk Randy Wrozek to invalidate petitions that had been blocking the city’s civil rights ordinance.

Members of the public submitted public comment for hours before Lansing City Council voted to rescind the resolution naming Lansing a "sanctuary city"
Tyler Scott

At a special meeting Wednesday night, the Lansing city council voted 5-2 to rescind a largely symbolic resolution calling Lansing a “sanctuary city.”

Kathie Dunbar was one of two council members who voted to keep the largely symbolic resolution on the books. She said she was embarrassed by the council’s decision to rescind the measure. The original resolution to become a sanctuary city had been unanimously approved nine days earlier.

Right: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen Left: moderator Susan M. Collins, Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy at the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said at a University of Michigan event today the Fed plans to gradually raise short-term interest rates. 

Yellen said the change in monetary policy comes after years of holding short-terms interest rates at low levels.

“I think we have a healthy economy now ... but it’s been a long time coming,” Yellen said.

Dr. Abdalmajid Katranji and Dana Mosa-Basha supported President Trump's ordered bombing of a Syrian Airbase
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

After President Trump ordered the bombing of a Syrian air base, some members of the Syrian community in Michigan have voiced their support for the military action.

Grand Rapids Whitewater is the non-profit group leading a project to restore parts of The Grand River
user deckheck / Rails to Trails Conservancy

Organizers of a plan to restore areas of The Grand River in Grand Rapids are waiting to learn more about the future prospects of procuring federal funding to help pay for the project.

Grand Rapids Whitewater is the non-profit group leading the projected $35 million project to remove old dams and restore The Grand River’s natural rapids. Once completed, the group says a restored river could generate between 15.9 and 19.1 million dollars a year through expanded recreational use of the river.

Amanda Darche with the Ingham County Health department says she's seen how prescription opioid abuse can lead to heroin use.
United Nations Photo

Deaths related to opioid drug use are continuing to climb in Ingham County, reflecting a similar pattern across the state.

Last year, 77 people suffered opioid-related deaths in 2016, according to Amanda Darche, the health communications specialist with the Ingham County health department.

“If you compare that to 2006, when there were only eight opioid related deaths, you can see that that’s quite an increase,” Darche said. “Opioid abuse really is an epidemic here in the county.”

LAW
user southerfried / morguefile

Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger has been a source of controversy since her election last fall. Now two of Spranger's former deputies are suing their old boss.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court Friday, says that Paul Kardasz and Erin Stahl were fired in retaliation for submitting ethics complaints against Spranger. The pair is being represented by attorney Jennifer Lord.

Andrew Stein, executive director of City Year Detroit, says Americorps members help at-risk students, and teachers who have to manage large class sizes.
Detroit Public Schools

The leader of a community service program that brings volunteers to work in Detroit schools is urging members of Congress to vote against the budget plan proposed by President Trump. 

Trump's budget plan eliminates the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that funds, among other programs, Americorps. It's one of the 19 federal agencies eliminated in the budget proposal. 

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