Jake Neher

MPRN Capitol Reporter

Jake Neher is a state Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network. 

He joined MPRN in September of 2012. Before that he served as a reporter and anchor for WFUV Public Radio in the Bronx, New York, and as News Director for KBRW Public Radio in Barrow, Alaska. He has been working in radio in some capacity since he was 15 years old.

A native of southeast Michigan, Jake graduated from Central Michigan University in 2010. He has a master's degree in public communications from Fordham University.

 

Courtney Hurtt, WDET

Gov. Snyder defends his record on statewide call-in program

Gov. Rick Snyder spent an hour fielding questions from Michiganders on Friday. The questions spanned a broad range of topics, including education, the economy, the environment, and social issues.

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Judge says Michigan's largest teachers' union must let member leave any time

A Michigan labor judge says the state's largest teachers' union must let members leave at any time.

The Michigan Education Association (MEA) only allows teachers to quit the union during a one-month period in August. But conservative groups say that is a violation of Michigan's right-to-work law. They are applauding administrative law judge Julia Stern's decision this week.

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No-Fault auto insurance rates case to be appealed to Michigan Supreme Court

A group that wants more information on how auto insurance rates are set in Michigan plans to take its case to the state Supreme Court.

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State House Dems call for higher minimum school funding

As many Michigan students return to school, the debate over education funding is starting up again at the state Capitol in Lansing.

Democrats in the state House plan to introduce a bill that would increase minimum payments to districts. Gov. Rick Snyder and lawmakers this year set that amount at an additional $50 per student.

michiganauthorizers.com

Charter school authorizers vow to hold themselves to higher standards

A group of institutions that oversee Michigan charter schools has come up with a system it says will lead to better oversight.

It's a voluntary accreditation system that would judge authorizers based on things like transparency and efforts to turn around failing schools.

michigan.gov/mdch

Michigan's top health official resigns after suffering mild stroke

The state's top health official is stepping down to focus on his personal health. Michigan Department of Community Health Director Jim Haveman says he suffered a mild stroke in May.

Haveman served as director of the Michigan Department of Community Health twice - once during Gov. John Engler's second term, and then Gov. Rick Snyder named him the head of MDCH again in 2012.

whitmer.senatedems.com

State Senate Dem leader launches women's health nonprofit

The top Democrat in the state Senate is launching a new nonprofit group to help women gain access to health care.

Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, says the new organization, called Right to Health, will hold forums, conferences, and fundraisers to promote the cause.

Jake Neher

Lawmakers vote to allow wolf hunts in Upper Peninsula

Wolf hunts in the Upper Peninsula will be able to continue under a law approved on Wednesday by the state House. The petition-initiated proposal cleared the state Senate earlier this month.

The new law does not need Gov. Rick Snyder’s approval to take effect. It’s designed to circumvent two anti-wolf hunting proposals on the November ballot.

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Education groups join calls for LGBT rights in Michigan

The list of groups calling on state lawmakers to pass protections for LGBT people is growing. Organizations representing Michigan college, university, and school officials now say they support the measure.

They join more than 50 business and non-profit groups urging lawmakers to pass the legislation, which the coalition expects to be introduced next month.

Jake Neher

Judge hears arguments over recognizing 300 same-sex marriages in Michigan

Some 300 same-sex couples in Michigan are waiting to hear whether a federal judge will force the state to recognize their marriages. Judge Mark Goldsmith heard arguments on Thursday from attorneys for the state and for the same-sex couples.

flickr.com

Audit finds problems with prisoner education programs in Michigan

Jake neher

Michigan congressional delegation to push FEMA for flood help


Andrew Cluley

Talks over ways to fix Michigan's roads "back at square one"
 

State lawmakers are hitting the reset button on talks over how to fix Michigan's crumbling roads.

A state Senate workgroup met for the first time Thursday to hammer out a solution. Senators and staff involved in the meeting say it consisted of members offering wide ranging ideas for how to address the issue.

Most estimates say the state needs to boost road funding by between $1 billion and $2 billion a year just to keep the roads from getting worse.

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Three schools in the Ypsilanti Community Schools district are classified as "priority" schools:

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Democrats blast Scott Woosley for unnecessary expenditures in the tens of thousands of dollars. 


Bob Eccles

More voters cast ballots in primary than expected, but turnout still low

More than 82 percent of all registered voters sat out Michigan's primary election this week.

That's not the all-time low some observers predicted before the election, but they say the number is still dismal. And many of them expect low voter turnout again for Michigan's general election in November.

Business and local government groups are applauding Michigan voters' decision to get rid of a tax on business equipment.  

openclipart.org

Historic low voter turnout possible in Tuesday's primary

Voters head to the polls Tuesday for Michigan's primary election. Some observers say there could be a historically low number of people casting ballots.

"I think what we're seeing is we could have an election where we have about 13% to 15.1% of the people that are going to make a decision about what happens in the state on election day," said Matt Marsden with RevSix Data Systems, which is tracking absentee ballots.

Michigan Pubic Radio Network

100+ show up to give input on new standardized test

Michigan education officials are in the process of finding a new standardized test… again.

More than a hundred people were in Lansing Wednesday to tell the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) what they want out of a new assessment.

MDE had already chosen the Smarter Balanced assessment three years ago. But many lawmakers were not happy with that test because it's aligned with the controversial Common Core school standards.

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$10.10/hour minimum wage petition shot down by state elections board

A state elections board has rejected a petition to raise Michigan's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

A bipartisan majority of the Board of State Canvassers threw out dozens of signatures after a last-minute challenge from opponents. They say the signatures were from people who signed the petition more than once, which is illegal under Michigan election law.

michigan.gov

Snyder: Pensioner approval of grand bargain sets Detroit up for faster recovery

Gov. Rick Snyder is praising Detroit pensioners for approving the city's bankruptcy restructuring plan.

The so-called "grand bargain" is designed to prevent deep cuts to retirement benefits and protect city-owned artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Snyder says the vote this week makes it more likely the city will emerge from bankruptcy soon.

michigan.gov

State could become more transparent about infection rates at hospitals

The state's top health official says Michigan could be more transparent about how many people get infections while at hospitals.

A recent MLive.com series suggests the state has withheld that information from the public. That includes infection rates at specific hospitals.
    
Jim Haveman, director of the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), says that information is becoming more important for many patients.

Michigan Public Radio Network

State attorney general's office unveils law guides for vets and military personnel

Michigan veterans and active duty military families now have new resources to help handle legal issues. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette released two new legal guides Thursday.

"Sometimes trying to help veterans in transition coming back from a deployment, it can get a bit complicated," said Schuette.

michigan.gov

AG Schuette won't give details on his opposition to medical marijuana bills

The state attorney general is not saying why he opposes bills that would ease restrictions on medical marijuana in Michigan. Some top lawmakers are now urging Bill Schuette to detail his concerns.

A state House panel approved the two bills this week. House Bill 4271 would let communities allow and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. House Bill 5104 would also allow patients to use edible and other non-smokable forms of marijuana.

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Future of medical marijuana bills uncertain after clearing state Senate panel

Two bills that would ease restrictions on medical marijuana in Michigan are one step closer to becoming law. A state Senate panel approved the legislation Wednesday.

But it is not clear what will happen to the bills now that they are going to the full Senate.

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