In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

Sep 10, 2012

Lower lake levels-- the good and bad news

"Lakes Huron and Michigan are two feet below normal levels and possibly headed for a record low. You can thank the lack of snow this winter for lower lakes this summer.  The beaches are bigger and the water is warmer, which is great for tourists. Guy Meadows is with the Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Tech. He says the bad news is with water levels so low, big waves can now carve out new currents close to the beach which has led to an increase in rip-related drownings. Lower lakes are also bad for the shipping industry, which has seen boats run aground this summer. And your drinking water could taste a little funny, too: warmer lakes breed lots of teeny organisms, which means the water has to undergo more treatments before it ends up in your glass," Kate Wells reports.

Prison health care counter proposal

"A public employees’ union says it will offer a counter-proposal if the state goes ahead with plans to privatize prison health care. Governor Rick Snyder has ruled out privatizing entire prisons. But corrections officials think there may be savings to be had if the state turns to private companies to provide health care services. Ray Holman is with UAW Local Six-thousand, which represents many of the corrections employees who would be affected. Holman says the union believes it can deliver the same services at a lower cost than other bidders. Those services include inmate health clinics, psychiatric services and counseling, psychological evaluations for parole candidates, and record-keeping," Rick Pluta reports.

America's longest-running housing discrimination case wrapping up in Hamtramck

"The longest-running housing discrimination case in the U-S is coming to an end. A federal court in the early 1970s said Hamtramck had targeted African-American homes for demolition in the name of urban renewal. The city agreed to build 200 homes for the plaintiffs. And 40 years later, they're finally going to be finished. Jason Friedman is the city's community and economic development director. Friedman says the city's fulfillment of its legal obligations will also lift a court-ordered ban on city-owned residential property sales. He says the ban has put a stranglehold on the city's development for 40 years," Sarah Hulett reports.