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Michigan now has a law ensuring that women have the right to breastfeed their babies in public.

Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday signed the Breastfeeding Antidiscrimination Act. Lawmakers introduced the legislation after getting some past reports of women being asked to leave stores, restaurants and government agencies for nursing in public.

  Gov. Rick Snyder is preparing to sign Michigan's $53 billion spending plan for the budget year starting in about three months.

     The Republican governor has scheduled a Tuesday afternoon ceremony to sign the $15.8 billion education budget bill on the steps of the Capitol in Lansing. He also may sign the $37.5 billion budget bill that covers all other state spending if it's proofed in time.

   Gov. Rick Snyder has signed laws stiffening criminal penalties for drive-by shooters and people who shoot into buildings.

     People who intentionally shoot from a vehicle get up to four years in prison if they endanger another's safety. The laws signed yesterday increase the prison time to 10 years and put in place longer sentences if there are injuries or death.

     The new law also clarifies that shooting into a potentially occupied structure is a crime without prosecutors needing to prove the structure was actually occupied at the time of the shooting.

  A federal investigator says a health care center for veterans in Ann Arbor has not dealt adequately with complaints about unsafe practices.

     The VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System was among facilities mentioned in a letter to President Barack Obama from Carolyn Lerner of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

     The letter released yesterday says a whistleblower reported that employees were "practicing unsafe and unsanitary work practices" and untrained workers were improperly handling instruments.

 A group working to save part of Rosie the Riveter's old factory says it has signed a purchase agreement for the property.

     The Yankee Air Museum announced yesterday it is moving forward with a deal to buy 144,000 square feet of the former Willow Run Bomber Plant.

     The museum says in a statement that, assuming an upcoming inspection goes well, it will close on the purchase "in a few weeks."

     The Save the Willow Run Bomber Plant campaign has raised millions of dollars in an effort to save part of the factory for use as the museum's new home.

 The grandson of a founder of an iconic Michigan soft drink company says he was fired because of his age.

     Hugh Rosenthal was marketing director at Detroit-based Faygo when he lost his job at age 68 in 2012. He tells the Detroit Free Press there was no legitimate business reason to let him go.

     Rosenthal's lawsuit is in Flint federal court. The Free Press says Faygo vice president Al Chittaro declined to comment.

   The Nuclear Regulatory Commission plans to hold a public meeting this week to discuss the federal agency's safety assessment of the Palisades power plant in southwestern Michigan.

     The NRC announced yesterday the meeting will take place Thursday at the Beach Haven Event Center in South Haven. Agency staffers will discuss the results of safety inspection findings at Palisades, which is located 5 miles away on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Van Buren County's Covert Township.

 Michigan will receive $2.5 million from the federal government for efforts to protect shore lands and coastal ecosystems, along with public access and recreation.

     The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded the funding this week to the state's coastal management program. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will administer the grant, which will generate an additional $2 million in state and local spending.

 Hot air balloons will take to the skies over Howell this weekend for the 30th annual Michigan Challenge Balloonfest.

     The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus reports  that the event takes place Friday through Sunday at Howell High School. Forty-three balloons with Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri and Tennessee pilots are scheduled to compete.

     Balloon launch and fly-in times are 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and 6 to 8 a.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday.


  Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jane Seymour's new show is filming in the Detroit area.

     The actress isn't working on a new movie or a scripted series, however.

     She's the host of a national 13-part series called "Feel Grand with Jane Seymour" that's being produced by Detroit Public Television.

     Seymour will be joined on the show by medical experts such as author Deepak Chopra and Susan Blumenthal, former U.S. assistant surgeon general.

Dan Bruell /

Police say a 58-year-old University of Michigan employee who was struck by a bus has died.  The Ann Arbor News reports Nancy Sanders was crossing a street on Thursday morning in Ann Arbor when she was struck by the university bus.


An effort by deep-pocketed philanthropists to save the bankrupt city of Detroit's art treasures culminated today when Michigan Governor Rick Snyder authorized $195 million in state help. The bill signing in Detroit was part of what's dubbed the Grand Bargain. The deal also includes $366 million from foundations and a $100 million fundraising pledge by the Detroit Institute of Arts.


The University of Michigan has approved a 2.6 percent increase in tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates. 

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State auditors say Michigan improperly spent $160 million over three years caring for Medicaid recipients needing in-home services. 


Detroit City Council has reaffirmed its approval to move artwork threatened by the city's bankruptcy into a charitable trust. 

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John Covington has resigned as chancellor of the turnaround district for Michigan's worst-performing schools after three years. Covington said Monday he's leaving to care for his ailing mother and become a school consultant.

General Motors is recalling 3.2 million more cars in the U.S. because of ignition switch problems.  

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The Detroit Zoo plans to "break ice" on a center dedicated to penguins. Officials are to take part in an "ice-breaking" ceremony  today for the $29.5 million, 33,000-square-foot Polk Penguin Conservation Center at the zoo in suburban Royal Oak. 


Oral arguments have been officially scheduled by a federal appeals court about Michigan's dispute over gay marriage.

The Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education has approved hiring company to run its custodial services starting in July.  The Ann Arbor News reports 114 custodians will no longer be employees of the district as of June 30. Crew chiefs also would be laid off. 


Michigan lawmakers have given initial approval to a school budget that boosts spending by 4 percent and prohibits the state from replacing its standardized test next year with one developed by a group of states. The bill approved 4-1 Tuesday by a House-Senate conference committee is expected to win final legislative approval this week.

Ann Arbor Public Schools /

Custodians with Ann Arbor schools are considering forming a worker-owned cooperative as part of an effort to keep their jobs if their work is outsourced by the district.    The custodians' union AFSCME Local 1128 voted Saturday to pursue forming the cooperative. The Ann Arbor News reports  the district could contract with the co-op for custodial work without paying into the state retirement system for school employees.

The Detroit Institute of Arts
Michael Barera / Wikimedia Commons

General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are stepping into Detroit's bankruptcy picture by pledging $26 million to help support retiree pensions while keeping the city's art treasures off the auction block.

The Detroit Institute of Arts, Gov. Rick Snyder and representatives from the automakers announced the donation Monday at the art museum.

Local governments in Michigan may get a smaller increase in state revenue sharing than hoped.

Gov. Rick Snyder proposed a 15 percent increase in statutory shared revenue. But House Republicans say a budget agreement includes a 5.5 percent boost in statutory revenue sharing for cities, townships and villages — not including $8 million for financially distressed local governments.

Municipalities also are expected to get 3 percent more next year in revenue-sharing payments guaranteed under Michigan's constitution. A House-Senate committee plans to approve the budget plan Monday.

The Snyder administration said last week revenue sharing would stay "pretty close" to what Snyder proposed. But it's looking like that may not be the case after revenue estimates were revised downward recently.

Snyder's plan to significantly boost payments to counties is intact.

Eastern Michigan University

Two Detroit men face pre-trial hearings in the robbery and fatal shooting of Eastern Michigan University football player Demarius Reed.    The hearings are scheduled this afternoon for Kristopher Pratt and Ed Thomas in Washtenaw County Trial Court in Ann Arbor.