11:59 am
Wed November 14, 2012

State asks judge to reconsider awarding jobless benefits to Andrew Shirvell

The state of Michigan is asking a judge to reconsider her decision to award unemployment benefits to former assistant state attorney general  Andrew Shirvell.

Shirvell was fired in November 2010 by then Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox for misconduct after harassing a student leader at the University of Michigan.

Rick Pluta of the Michigan Public Radio Network reported the story Friday:

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9:17 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Marijuana in Michigan: What new pot laws mean for the state

miss.libertine Creative Commons

Marijuana users across the state are claiming victory after the success of pro-pot ballot proposals in several Michigan cities.

Supporters say decriminalization of the drug in Flint, Grand Rapids, and Detroit shows that Michiganders are warming to the idea of a pot-friendly future.

But beyond symbolic value, how will these votes affect the way marijuana is managed and policed throughout the state?

Michigan Radio is venturing into the morass of overlapping local, state, and federal law to determine how the state manages weed.

We begin with a look at the new laws and how other Michigan towns have chosen to regulate marijuana.

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5:04 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Hamtramck inches closer to closing ugly chapter

Tisha Friday, left, with her mother LaRhonda Brown. Friday signs closing papers for a brand-new, mortgage-free home tomorrow. Brown became the first plaintiff to get a home through a long-running discrimination lawsuit, in 2003.
Sarah Hulett Michgian Radio

After she signs her name on closing documents a few dozen times tomorrow, Tisha Friday will get a set of keys to her brand new house in Hamtramck.

Friday is part of the plaintiffs class in what some say is the longest-running housing discrimination lawsuit in the country. And with every closing, Hamtramck inches a little closer to closing an ugly chapter in its history.

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1:25 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Tribe asks federal court to dismiss "meritless" state lawsuit to block Lansing casino

Artist's conception of the proposed Kewadin Lansing casino
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Upper Peninsula Native American Tribe says a lawsuit trying to prevent it from building a casino in Lansing is “utterly without merit”.

Michigan’s Attorney General filed a lawsuit in September challenging the right of the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians to build a casino in downtown Lansing.

Attorney General Bill Schuette says the casino project would violate federal law, as well as a gaming compact with the state.

But in its response to the state’s lawsuit this week, the tribe describes the state’s case as “meritless”.

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11:01 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Woman accused of stealing from the Detroit pension fund surrenders

Lead in text: 
Faberge eggs, Rodin sculptures, and a mountainside resort in Costa Rica. And now bribe money from a heroin dealer. The plot behind the theft of Detroit pension fund money thickens. And now that Kastenes has surrendered, more answers are likely to come.
Detroit - A fugitive businesswoman accused of stealing $5 million from a Detroit pension fund - and blowing the cash on exotic art and jewelry - turned herself in Tuesday, ending an eight-month manhunt stretching from Detroit to the Caribbean. Teresa Kastanes was escorted off the plane by agents from the Office of Homeland Security at 5:43 a.m.
1:22 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Michigan mom asks for death benefits for in-vitro twins conceived after father's death

Cells multiplying after in-vitro fertilization.
user mperloe YouTube

A Michigan mother whose twins were conceived using  in-vitro technology after their father died is asking the state Supreme Court to allow the children to get death benefits and inheritance rights.

Pam and Jeff Mattison had a daughter using in-vitro fertilization, and wanted more children.

But Jeff Mattison was ill, and died just before the procedure was performed again.

Pam Mattison had a twin boy and girl nine months after her husband died. She applied for Social Security benefits for the twins, but was denied.

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1:00 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Man who opened fire in police station was a veteran

Yesterday, on Veterans Day, Southfield police say a man entered a police station in the Detroit suburb and opened fire.

Yesterday's first AP report said the man and an officer were wounded in the shootout:

Southfield police say a man entered a police station in the Detroit suburb and opened fire, then was wounded in an exchange of shots with an officer who also was hit.

Police tell WXYZ-TV and WJBK-TV that the shooting happened Sunday afternoon in the Detroit suburb. They say the wounded officer and the suspect are in stable condition.

Now we learn that the man who entered the station was a veteran and he was killed in the shootout.

The 64-year old man was identified as Harold J. Collins of Southfield.

More from MLive

Collins was shot several times and killed.

Investigators identified Collins as a military veteran. He was in poor health and had "serious internal issues," Southfield Police Chief Eric Lawson said Monday.

Lawson was unsure in what branch of the military Collins served. He  would "not speculate" on whether that played a role in the shooting or timing.

The Detroit Free Press has more details on how the shooting occurred.

At 2:20 p.m. on Sunday, police said Collins left his white Dodge Caliber and walked into the department lobby in plain clothes. Hawkins said he approached the information desk, which is behind protective glass, and gave no answer when the officer behind the glass greeted him.

“There was nothing to alert any of our staff that anything unusual was about to happen,” said Hawkins.

The Free Press reports officers are still trying to reach Collins' family members.

4:49 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Stateside: Michigan's marijuana laws receive revision

The state's treatment of marijuana is in a process of change

This Tuesday Grand Rapids, Detroit and Flint witnessed a revision of laws concerning marijuana regulation.

David Uhlman, director of the University of Michigan's Environmental Law and Policy Program and Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith talked with Stateside about the specific changes and what they mean for Michigan residents.

Listen to the audio above to hear their conversation.

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1:42 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Wixom man charged with multiple felonies in I-96 shooting case

Raulie Casteel was charged with multiple felonies Wednesday in the 53rd District Court.
Livingston County

The Wixom man thought to be responsible for a series of shootings along the I-96 corridor was charged Wednesday with multiple weapons-related felonies.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Raulie Wayne Casteel, 43, was arraigned in 53rd District Court on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, carrying a weapon with unlawful intent and intentionally discharging a weapon from a motor vehicle, and on three counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

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1:00 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Arrest made in I-96 shooter case

Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wrigglesworth is confidant that a suspect in custody is the I-96 shooter.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Update November 7, 1:00 p.m.

Police are beginning to reveal more details about the man they say is responsible for shootings along the I-96 corridor.

They have confirmed that Raulie Wayne Casteel is being held in the Oakland County jail while he awaits arraignment, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office and four Michigan counties are meeting to determine what charges to file against the 43-year-old Wixom man.

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10:25 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Person of interest in custody in I96 shootings

A sketch of a possible suspect in the I96 shootings
Wixom Police Department

WIXOM, Mich. (AP) - Michigan authorities have taken a person of interest into custody in connection with dozens of shootings across four counties that resulted in at least one injury.

Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth tells The Associated Press that authorities executed a search warrant late Monday night in Wixom, the Detroit suburb where the shootings began last month.

Wriggelsworth says authorities are "trying to confirm whether he's our guy or not."

12:21 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Mercado pleads guilty in Kilpatrick corruption trial

12:21 p.m.

More on Mercado's guilty plea from the Associated Press:

The former head of Detroit's water department has pleaded guilty, six weeks into a corruption trial that also involves ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Victor Mercado's surprise guilty plea to conspiracy occurred Monday. The trial is in recess until next week because of a lawyer's illness.

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3:34 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

I96 shooter search means more police during MSU-Nebraska football game

Sketch of possible I96 shooting suspect
Wixom Police Department

Fans traveling to East Lansing this weekend for the Michigan State-Nebraska football game can expect to see more police patrolling along I-96.

The added police presence is in response to last month’s still unsolved shooting spree along the I-96 corridor.    Two dozen cars were shot at between October 16th and 27th,  along a nearly 100 mile stretch between Ingham and Oakland Counties.  One person suffered a minor injury.

The last incident connected to the shooting spree occurred last Saturday.

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5:34 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Stateside: Proposal 6, crossing the bridge

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek's insight on Proposal 6.
Michigan Radio

Today we spoke with Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek about Proposal 6.  For complete audio of the segment, click the link above.

There are two ways you can podcast "Stateside with Cynthia Canty"

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2:00 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Updates on the I-96 shooter

A sketch of the man suspected of random shootings in a four-county area along I-96 in Michigan.

Update Thursday, November 1, 2:00 p.m.

A series of shootings on or near I-96 has Michigan motorists thinking twice about driving the interstate.

A police task force reports 24 confirmed shootings since October 16. Here is a summary of what we've learned since then:

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1:10 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Mich. company wins round in health law dispute

DETROIT (AP) - A judge has blocked the government from taking any action against a Detroit-area company that opposes the contraception mandate in the new federal health law.

Federal Judge Robert Cleland says the government could eventually win the lawsuit, but he ordered a preliminary injunction Wednesday in favor of Weingartz Supply Co., which sells outdoor power equipment.

Weingartz says the contraception mandate violates the free speech rights of company owners who are Roman Catholic. But under the new health care law, companies can be fined if they don't offer insurance.

Cleland justified the injunction by saying the loss of First Amendment rights, even for a brief period, is an "irreparable injury."

8:48 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Tips up in I-96 shooter investigation, so's the fear

Wixom Police Department

There’s concern that news media coverage of an unsolved shooting spree along the I-96 corridor is spreading fear in the motoring public.

Its happened a couple times since the shooting spree investigation started a few weeks ago.   The news media starts reporting on a new possible incident involving the shooter.  Only later it turned out that it was a minor ‘road rage’ incident or a rock hitting a car windshield.

“So what’s getting out there is ‘you can’t travel 96 without getting shot at.’  That is not the case.” says Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police.

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5:00 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Former state Attorney General Mike Cox sues Blue Cross Blue Shield

Blue Cross Blue Shield building on Lafayette in Detroit.

Former state Attorney General Mike Cox says Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan illegally denies seniors access to certain plans.

Cox filed a class action lawsuit Wednesday against the state’s largest health insurer.

It claims Blue Cross denies access to its most popular Medigap plan to anyone with a retiree health savings account. Medigap is a program that covers healthcare costs that Medicare does not.

Cox said the policy unfairly forces some customers to buy more expensive plans.

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4:09 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Stateside: That status of Michigan's medical marijuana law

Debate continues over marijuana's medicinal purpose
user Laughing Squid Creative Commons

Nearly four years ago, Michigan voters approved the use of medical marijuana by 63% making Michigan one of 17 states permitting its usage.

The law removed state-level criminal penalties for using, possessing and growing marijuana by and for patients whose doctors have granted them medicinal usage of marijuana.

Throughout the past four years, however, the law has generated a considerable amount of confusion over who can grow marijuana and what its uses really are.

To assess where the law stands today, Stateside spoke with attorney Matthew Abel and Senator Rick Jones.

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1:01 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

ACLU sues Isabella County for overcrowding in jail

Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a class action lawsuit against Isabella County.

It says the county jail violates the constitutional rights of inmates with cells that are too crowded, and too few opportunities to exercise.

The federal lawsuit also says the jail discriminates against female inmates because they can’t participate in work assignments that could reduce their sentences.   

ACLU attorney Sarah Mehta filed the lawsuit.

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