Michigan News

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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.

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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."

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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.

Inmate Limit Proposed

Apr 25, 2014
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Lawmakers could set limit on number of inmates in Michigan prisons

One Michigan legislator wants to put a limit on the number of inmates in state-run prisons.

State Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, says legislation he introduced this week could save the state tens of millions of dollars. It would require the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) to keep the number of inmates in its prisons under 38,000. Right now, that number is about 44,000.

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State GOP Senator offers minimum wage hike alternative

A Republican in the state Senate wants to boost Michigan's minimum wage to $8.15 an hour.

Sen. Rick Jones' introduced the legislation Thursday, which would be an alternative to a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage.

That ballot drive would boost the rate from $7.40 an hour to $10.10 an hour. It would also eventually raise the rate for tipped workers from $2.65 to $10.10 an hour.

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Gov. Snyder and Senate leader not embracing Bolger's union demands

Republican leaders in Lansing are not joining House Speaker Jase Bolger's calls for unions to contribute to Detroit's bankruptcy settlement.

Gov. Rick Snyder and several foundations have signed off on a complicated deal to protect retiree pensions and artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The state's contribution to the so-called "grand bargain" would be about $350 million, and state lawmakers would have to approve that money.

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EAA debate heats up in Lansing, final vote possible this week

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville hopes to hold a final vote this week on a bill to expand the state's Education Achievement Authority (EAA).

The EAA is the entity the state uses to take over persistently failing schools. Right now, it runs 15 schools in Detroit. The bill would pave the way for it to expand up to 50 schools statewide.

Richardville, R-Monroe, says the EAA is not a perfect solution, but it's better than doing nothing.

The Supreme Court has ruled that a Michigan ballot initiative to ban racial preferences in college admissions is constitutional, overturning a lower court decision.

In a 6-2 decision Tuesday, the justices said the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong to set aside the voter-approved ban as discriminatory.

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Ruth Johnson announces reelection bid for Secretary of State

Ruth Johnson will seek another term as Michigan's Secretary of State.

Johnson made the announcement Monday and kicked off a four-stop campaign tour across the state. She says the Secretary of State's office has become more efficient under her direction, largely because of technological improvements.

Christy Hoffman

  A group trying to save a portion of a Detroit-area assembly plant where Rosie the Riveter once worked is the proud owner of a new Guinness World Record. 

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Authorities in Toledo have shut down two interstate highways near the Ohio-Michigan state line after finding a suspicious item along the roadway. 

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A nonprofit's plans to create agriculture projects in Detroit neighborhoods are moving forward.  

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The state Senate returns this week after three weeks away from Lansing. 

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A published report says a backlog in testing thousands of Detroit rape evidence kits has allowed serial rapists to remain free and in some cases commit more attacks. 

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney plans to visit Grand Rapids with his cardiologist to discuss Cheney's history of heart problems. 

Cheney and cardiologist Jonathan Reiner plan to speak at a luncheon today presented by Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and the Economic Club of Grand Rapids.

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Industry, academic and policy experts will be in Ann Arbor this week for a connected cars conference. 

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The president of General Motors says sales of GM-brand vehicles in China should reach 5 million next year, and Cadillac sales will double to 100,000. 

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The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is offering $250,000 in grants to help communities develop recycling programs. Governor Rick Snyder announced a plan this week to boost the state's residential recycling rate.  Among the proposals is producing more information about local recycling options. The funding from the Community Pollution Prevention Grant Program will help local leaders do that.

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Michigan could receive nearly $2 million in federal block grants for specialty crops as a result of the U.S. farm bill. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says $66 million is available nationwide to state departments of agriculture for specialty crops. Michigan's allocation increased in the 2014 budget year from $1.26 million in 2013.

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Legislature begins debate over $500 million road funding plan

A plan to boost state road spending by about half-a-billion dollars a year is taking shape. State lawmakers introduced four bills Thursday that are now part of the package.

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Snyder files for reelection

Governor Rick Snyder has filed 26 thousand petition signatures to put his name on the Republican primary ballot in August, and - if all goes as planned - make him a candidate for reelection in November.

The governor was joined by Michigan First Lady Sue Snyder, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, and a couple dozen supporters to cart boxes of petitions into the state Bureau of Elections.

Snyder says he intends to run on his record and the state's improving economy.

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EVART, Mich. (AP) - Floodwaters are receding along rivers in Michigan's central and western Lower Peninsula, a trend that should continue with mostly dry weather in the forecast for the next several days.

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Some bankruptcy experts said that it now appears increasingly unlikely that creditors will be able to get their hands on the city-owned art collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

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The University of Michigan says it's working to boost black enrollment, which has dropped to 4.7 percent since state residents voted to ban consideration of race in admissions. 

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