Michigan News

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Divided Michigan lawmakers have voted to allow for the use of coal ash and other industrial byproducts in cement and other products. The main bill approved 68-42 Tuesday by the Republican-led House would classify coal ash and other materials as "low-hazard" industrial wastes.   

Wikipedia

This is Arson Awareness Week in Michigan. Gov. Rick Snyder says he wants to focus public attention on vehicle arson and the importance of preventing such behavior through a collaborative statewide effort.

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Statewide teacher evaluations move forward in state Legislature

Legislation that would create a statewide teacher evaluation system has cleared its first hurdle in the Michigan Legislature. A state House panel approved the bills Tuesday with bipartisan support.

A diverse coalition of Michigan education groups recently came out in support of the legislation. Supporters say that could help clear the way for the Legislature to approve the bills before lawmakers leave Lansing in June for two months.

City of Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor City Council has approved a new hiring policy removing references to past felony convictions from most employment applications for city jobs. 

The Ann Arbor News reports exceptions to the change approved unanimously Monday night are for police and fire department applicants.

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Ann Arbor plans to consider efforts to control the city's deer population that could include killing some of the animals or sterilization.  The Ann Arbor News reports City Council voted Monday night to direct the city administrator to evaluate Ann Arbor's options and report back by the end of July.

Wikipedia

Michigan is expected to certify a second referendum on hunting wolves for the November statewide ballot. The secretary of state's office estimates the group Keep Michigan Wolves Protected collected more than 182,000 valid signatures of registered voters. That's about 21,000 more than needed.  

University of Michigan / www.lsa.umich.edu

The University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology is developing a website featuring three-dimensional images of mastodons, mammoths and other prehistoric creatures. 

Paleontologist Daniel Fisher and his students began digitally scanning the images more than 20 years ago.

Wikipedia

Detroit's latest plan to get out of bankruptcy includes a lump-sum payment of about $195 million from the state to shore up pensions and prevent the sale of city-owned art. 

Wes Nakagiri / facebook.com

A tea party activist has filed to run against Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley at the state Republican Party convention in August.  

Wikipedia

Henry Ford Community College is taking the word "community" out of its name.  

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The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island has added its first new room in more than a decade. 

Wayne County Airport Authority / http://www.wcaa.us

Detroit Metropolitan Airport is upgrading food and beverage offerings at the McNamara terminal with a blend of local eateries, national chains and technology allowing people to be served at the gate.  

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Authorities in northwest Ohio say they've broken up a cockfighting ring. 

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A case of good news/bad news.  

Courtesy Image / Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Applications for licenses to hunt elk and bear in Michigan are available through June 1st.  

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The Director of the Michigan Office for New Americans will be among the speakers during this year's Asian Pacific American Heritage Day Celebration at the Michigan Capitol. 

Monroe County Sheriff's Department

Authorities say a triple shooting in southeastern Michigan has left one man dead and two others injured. 

Courtesy Image / NAACP

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan told the thousands of people who attended the local NAACP chapter's annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner that the struggle for equality goes on, despite the progress that has been made.  

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Detroit EM tries to sell bailout to lawmakers

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is spending a couple of days in Lansing for closed-door meetings with state officials. He's primary mission is to convince reluctant state lawmakers to support the Detroit bailout package.

The state's share, which would have to be approved by the Legislature, is $350 million dollars. That would help mitigate cuts to pension benefits as part of the city's bankruptcy, and
ensure the assets of the Detroit Institute of Arts are safe from the auction block.

Michigan Public Radio Network

Pro-gun activists pack heat at the state Capitol

More than 200 gun owners descended on the state Capitol in Lasing Tuesday - many of them openly carrying firearms. Several pro-gun groups from across the country participated in the annual 2nd Amendment Day demonstration.

They say the rally is an important way to remind state policymakers to protect residents' gun rights.

Michigan Public Radio Network

Minimum wage and equal pay advocates join forces at state Capitol
 

Women's rights advocates say boosting the state's minimum wage would be a big step toward equal pay in the workplace. Groups backing both causes joined forces Tuesday during an equal pay rally at the state Capitol.

"Women are disproportionately represented in low-wage work. So, when we raise the minimum wage we are raising them a little bit more out of poverty," said Danielle Atkinson with Raise Michigan, a coalition working to put a minimum wage increase on the November ballot.

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As part of Toyota's plan to establish a new world headquarters in Plano, Texas, its Ann Arbor-area Technical Center will absorb about 250 jobs currently based in Kentucky.

Toyota says the direct procurement positions will be housed in a new facility to be built at the Technical Center in York Township. 

Toyota plans to move its manufacturing, sales and marketing, and corporate and financial services operations to a new world headquarters in Plano over the next three years.

wikimedia.org

The University of Michigan is creating an institute to study congnitive science, thanks to the generous donation of an alumnus.

Marshall Weinberg is giving the school $7.7 million for the creation of the Weinberg Institute for Congnitive Science. 

Professor Sam Epstein is Director of the institute.

"I personally, and the university, owe a lot to Marshall," Epstein says, "and are indebted to him for his generosity."

en.wikipedia.com

Bill would define e-cigarettes as tobacco products in Michigan

Efforts to keep electronic cigarettes out of the hands of minors continue this week in Lansing. A state House panel will hold a hearing Tuesday morning on legislation that would make it illegal to sell e-cigarettes to minors.

The smokeless devices produce a nicotine-laced vapor, but do not contain any actual tobacco. The bipartisan bill would define e-cigarettes as tobacco products. But it would also exempt them from the state's tobacco tax.

The current conservative Supreme Court majority has a well-earned reputation for protecting the First Amendment right to free speech, whether in the form of campaign spending or protests at military funerals.

But in one area — the First Amendment rights of public employees — the conservative majority has been far less protective of the right to speak out. Now the court is revisiting the issue, and the result could have far-reaching consequences for public corruption investigations.

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