natural disaster

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Michigan is one of only two states (the other being Iowa) that does not meet any of the minimum standards for disaster planning for schools and child care operators, according to Save the Children.

An annual report by the group says Michigan schools are not required to have a "multi-threat" disaster plan, which would include drills for active shooter events.

And the group says, while large child care centers are required to have disaster plans in place, family and individual day care operators are not.

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Chrysler waves the white flag

Chrysler is now agreeing to recall some 2.7 million older model Jeeps. At first, Chrysler refused to recall the cars and the company maintains the vehicles are not defective. Safety regulators say 1993 to 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty Vehicles can catch on fire when they're rear-ended. The design flaw has killed 51 people in fiery crashes.

Michigan counties will receive disaster relief

President Obama has approved a disaster declaration for 16 Michigan counties hard hit by spring floods. The declaration will help communities repair and rebuild roads, bridges and other public infrastructure damaged in the flooding. This does not include assistance for individuals or businesses. State and federal agencies will soon hold briefings across the state to help communities understand and start the application process.  

The Detroit Zoo and the DIA are safe

Legislation was signed into law yesterday allowing the Detroit Zoo and the Detroit Institute of Arts to get millions of dollars in tax revenues as promised from the metro region. Several metro cities were skimming some of the revenue generated by multi-county millages voters approved to support the zoo and the museum.

Lindsey Smith/Michigan Radio

President Obama has approved a disaster declaration for 16 Michigan counties hard hit by spring floods.   

Heavy rains in April and May inundated communities across the state. 

The president’s disaster declaration will help communities repair and rebuild roads, bridges and other public infrastructure damaged in the flooding. The disaster declaration does not include assistance for individuals or businesses.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Ballot hearings today

The state Supreme Court will hold a hearing Thursday on whether four proposals should appear on the statewide November ballot. The Board of State Canvassers deadlocked on whether the proposals' wording met the requirements in the state constitution. "The proposals would guarantee collective bargaining rights in the state constitution, allow more casinos in Michigan, require super-majorities before the Legislature can increase taxes, and demand voter approval before the state could build a new international bridge to Canada. Some of the campaigns – the ones blocked from the ballot – want to see some changes in how elections decisions are made. They say a state elections board should not make determinations on whether proposals meet the requirements of the Michigan Constitution -- that’s up to the courts," Rick Pluta reports

Drought and heat makes Michigan a natural disaster area

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared the entire state of Michigan a natural disaster area because of the continuing drought and heat. Governor Rick Snyder says the declaration will help state farmers get more federal aid in dealing with crop or livestock losses.

Closure of pipeline would increase heating bills

Michigan residents might see an increase in their heating bills if a Texas company shuts down a natural gas pipeline. "Trunkline Gas Company is asking regulators for permission to abandon some 770 miles of natural gas pipeline. Consumers Energy spokesman Dan Bishop says the utility gets 60% of its natural gas supply from Trunkline. Governor Snyder, The Michigan Public Service Commission and a coalition of businesses are also asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to deny Trunkline's request," Rina Miller reports. The pipeline runs from the Gulf of Mexico to White Pigeon, just north of the Indiana line in southwestern Michigan.

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Jodi Debbrecht, Waterford’s 51st District Court Judge, is organizing a donation drive to help the city of Joplin, Missouri.

On an Oakland County website "Judge Jodi Helps Joplin" Debbrecht writes about her personal connection to the Joplin area:

Like many in southeast Michigan, I was overcome with emotion when I saw the television images of the devastation from the tornado that touched down in Joplin, Missouri. For me, Joplin’s violent weather literally struck close to home. I grew up in Missouri, and would frequently vacation with my family in the Joplin area and many of my relatives still live in Missouri.

Main Street Oakland County’s Manager, Bob Donohue, is helping organize the donation effort. Donohue has been in touch with the Mayor of Joplin, Mike Woolston, who provided a list of things needed. The list includes everything from wheelbarrows, to pet food, to power tools.

They'll collect the items at 11 drop off centers around Oakland County.

Absent these items, Mayor Woolston said money would be the biggest help:

"We’re benefiting from tremendous generosity from people all over the country, but if people can give cash, that’s the best way to help us right now."

The Missouri Department of Public Safety has set up a website directing people to where they can donate.

And if you want to volunteer in the Joplin area, you can find more information from the United Way.