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State House bill 4540 would exempt information regarding energy infrastructure from Michigan's Freedom of Information Act.
user toffehoff / flickr

  

A bill just introduced in the State House would draw a veil over information about oil and gas pipelines, electrical lines and other key pieces of energy infrastructure.

Under House Bill 4540, backed by State Rep. Kurt Heise, R-Plymouth, that information would be exempt from the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, making it no longer available to the public.

CDC

It doesn't matter where you live in the United States; the leading cause of death is heart disease, followed closely by cancer.

But there are more than 113 causes of death listed in the The International Classification of Diseases, and any one of those can end up on someone's death certificate. 

That means there are a lot of state-by-state distinctions hidden in the bigger numbers.

The nation was transfixed last winter by the story of James Robertson, who walked 21 miles to and from work every day, from his home in Detroit to his factory job in an upscale suburb, where he made only about $22,000 a year.

Lauri Rantala / Wikimedia Commons

The state Senate could vote today on legislation that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. But Governor Rick Snyder says he’s against the bills and hopes lawmakers will adopt a different course.

Snyder says he’s opposed because he wants e-cigarettes to be regulated and taxed the same as tobacco. 

Today on Stateside:

G.L. Kohuth / Michigan State University

The state is kicking in $3 million to investigate evidence found from thousands of backlogged rape kits in Detroit.

Some 11,000 abandoned rape kits were found in an old Detroit police evidence locker in 2009.

By now they've all been tested for DNA.

As results come in, a lot of kits are pointing to serial rapists, because the same DNA shows up in multiple kits.

But this is when the real work begins.

An artist, fabric sculptor and dancer, Nick Cave grew up in central Missouri. In 1989, he got a masters degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills.
PD Rearick

 Nick Cave has come home to Cranbrook.

The artist, fabric sculptor, and dancer grew up in central Missouri.

In 1989, Cave got a master’s degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills.

Since then, Nick Cave has exhibited his work all over the U.S. and internationally, from New York to Denmark, Chicago to Italy.

"Escape Room" games have become quite popular as a video game genre. Escape Michigan is the latest venue that allows you to play the game in real life.
user haru__q / flickr

West Michigan’s first “live escape room,” is opening next month in the town of Walker, near Grand Rapids.

Based on the popular video game genre, players are locked in a room where they have to solve puzzles and link clues to eventually escape.

Taryn / Flickr

State lawmakers have approved a bill allowing student groups to sell sweets in school to raise money. Senate Bill 139 now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk.

Student groups have complained new federal guidelines have hindered their ability to fundraise by holding bake sales. Those guidelines are meant to reduce the amount of unhealthy food sold in schools.

More people expected to travel this holiday weekend

21 hours ago
Bug Girl / Flickr

AAA Michigan predicts that 1.1 million people will travel 50 miles or more for Memorial Day weekend, a five percent increase from last year and the most since 2007.

Sarah Hiltz, public affairs director for AAA Michigan, says that a stronger economy and lower gas prices are two reasons why more people are traveling.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state Senate has taken a critical step toward giving candidates another chance to be on the Flint mayoral ballot.

Legislation adopted on Tuesday would set a new deadline for candidates to qualify for the August mayoral primary. It would be a one-time exception to state elections law after no candidates qualified for the August ballot based on erroneous information from the Flint city clerk.

Enivronmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency is hosting a meeting in Kalamazoo tonight to get feedback on its proposed plan to clean up a 22-mile section of the Kalamazoo River.

For decades, paper mills dumped waste into the Kalamazoo River. Some of it had polychlorinated biphenyls; or PCBs.

Michelle and Chris Gerard

Michigan has a long and well-known history of car manufacturing, mining, logging, and agriculture.

But there's something else this state produces: writers. 

Anna Clark's new book explores the lives of ten of Michigan's most notable writers. Michigan Literary Luminaries: from Elmore Leonard to Robert Hayden is a collection of essays that are not just biographies.

Back in the 1960s and ‘70s, the popular law and order slogans were “get tough on crime,” and “lock ‘em up and throw the key away.”

Well, we tried that.

What it got us was an increase in the state prison population from 18,000 to more than 50,000.

Monarch Watch

Monarch butterflies are not around in the numbers they used to be — not by a long shot. By some estimates, monarch populations have dropped by 90% over the past twenty years. 

But why has that happened to these iconic butterflies? 

Apple with books
Creative Commons

A new report from the Education Trust-Midwest says without vast improvements to public education, Michigan is on track to become 49th in the country for white student achievement by 2030.

ETM says since 2003, white students have fallen from 13th to 45th in the nation for fourth grade reading.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says the city council is “flirting with disaster."

The council voted tonight to override Bernero’s veto of a change the council made to his city budget plan. 

The council rejected the mayor’s desire to hire an inspector general to oversee Lansing’s utility. 

michigan.gov

Gov. Rick Snyder outlined a public safety agenda on Monday that includes parole and sentencing reforms, job training for inmates, and more help finding a job once they’re released from prison.

Snyder says there are data-driven ways to reduce the state’s prison population without compromising public safety.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Meijer is suing an Indian drug manufacturer it claims cost the Michigan-based retailer tens of millions of dollars. The exact figure won’t be known for some time.

Ranbaxy is already in trouble with the U.S. government for lying to the FDA, among other things. The FDA has banned the company from producing and selling drugs for the U.S. market.

Today on Stateside:

State lawmakers want to reform no-fault auto insurance ... and if they pass a bill, they want to make sure voters cannot challenge it. How? By attaching an appropriation! Former congressman Joe Schwarz talks about what's wrong and what's right about the proposal.

Plus ... bird flu has led to the culling of millions of chickens and turkeys in the Midwest. What's in store for Michigan's bird industry? Dr. James Averill tells us it's not a matter of if, but when this disease will impact Michigan.

Did you know? Whenever the governor leaves Michigan, he leaves his powers behind and someone else in charge. So why is Lansing reluctant to tell us that? Dennis Lennox is a  columnist for The Morning Sun. He recently wrote about what he call "Michigan's acting governor mystery."

In 1918, 30,000 U.S. military officers stood in the formation of a shield for a now-famous photograph to help improve public support for World War I. Historian Louis Kaplan explains why the photograph taken at Camp Custer is so important.

There's much attention being paid these days to the DIA's retrospective on Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. And that's got Chris Cook mulling over the Mexican concept of malinchismo. Chris is HOUR Detroit's Chief Wine and Restaurant Critic.

user william_warby / Flickr

With water shutoffs in Detroit resuming as early as this week for some 18,000 households, activists say many officials are refusing to consider one possible solution: discounted bills for low-income residents.

Otherwise known as an affordability program, some activists say it’s a better option than the current assistance programs – which offer temporary financial help only after people are already behind on their water bills.

Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987

Imagine choreographing thousands of people into formations to look like famous things like the Liberty Bell, or the Statue of Liberty.

Sound like a stunt? Maybe a little nutty?

Well, that's exactly what Arthur S. Mole and John D. Thomas did in the early 20th century.

Jan Paul Zegarra / flickr creative commons

The Detroit Zoo has sent 22,571 tadpoles of an endangered species to be released in wild, making it the best breeding results in the zoo’s history.

Twenty of the frogs were kept to continue breeding at the National Amphibian Conversation Center, located at the zoo. The rest of the frogs were sent to Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
flickr user fiatontheweb / creative commons

DETROIT - The U.S. government's highway safety agency says it will hold a public hearing in July to determine if Fiat Chrysler has met its legal obligations in 20 safety recalls.

Witnesses and the automaker will be able to present evidence at the July 2 hearing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Michigan Radio received nine awards for news coverage this weekend from the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors. The station was recognized with six First Place awards and three Second Place awards in the large market radio category. The large market radio category includes both public and commercial radio stations that serve Michigan’s largest market of Detroit.  Here is the complete list of Michigan Radio winners from the Michigan Associated Press award competition:

First Place

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Secretary of State Dean Rusk once said, “we’re eyeball to eyeball, and I think the other fellow just blinked.”

Former Congressman Joe Schwarz.
U.S. House of Representatives / Wikipedia

 

    

State lawmakers have hit the accelerator pedal in their effort to reform Michigan's no-fault insurance law. The law provides all victims of catastrophic crashes with a lifetime of unlimited medical benefits. 

The package of bills moved quickly through the state Senate and is now before the state House. 

The legislation would limit what hospitals could charge insurance companies. The overhaul would also cap what insurers can be charged for in-home care for people who have been severely injured in car accidents. 

Oskar Annermarken / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

A new study provides some of the strongest support to date for early screening and diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

The study, led by University of Michigan endocrinologist William Herman, made use of data from a European study that enrolled people between 40 and 69 without known diabetes, and evaluated the potential benefit of screening and treatment for diabetes.

In Lansing, state Senate leaders say they’re scrubbing plans for a summer break in order to work toward a road funding solution. They say they heard John Q. Public loud and clear after the massive failure of Proposal One and that, this time, they’re going to get a roads-fix done.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new poll shows parents are hesitant to talk to doctors about their children’s behavioral challenges.

Temper, anxiety and concentration can be major behavioral health issues for children. But a new Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health shows a large number of parents don’t talk about it with their pediatricians.

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