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Republican U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land has relentlessly attacked Democrat Gary Peters for supporting the federal health care law.  

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The final phase of demolition has begun for a well-known vacant Detroit housing project that once was home to boxer Joe Louis and members of the Supremes.  Active demolition began Monday on four 15-story towers that are part of the former Frederick Douglass Homes, better known as the Brewster projects.  Louis once lived at the project near downtown Detroit, as did members of the Supremes before the musical trio became vital voices of the Motown sound. Other demolition work began at the site last year.

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Governor meets with legislative leaders to hammer out road fix, Medicaid deal

State lawmakers are about to dive into the process of crafting a budget for next fiscal year. But they have to fix some problems with the current year's budget first.

One of the biggest concerns is a hole in the state's Medicaid budget of more than $100 million. Everyone agrees that shortfall needs to be addressed. But the state House and Senate have not been able to agree on how to fix it or where that money should come from.

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       Legislation to rewrite or clarify recent changes in Michigan's foreclosure rules has taken a step forward.

     The bill approved 107-3 by the House last week retains main elements of a law signed last summer by Governor Rick Snyder, including taking away someone's right to save his or her property if an inspector discovers the home's in bad shape due to neglect or other reasons.

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       Michigan cities are getting behind legislation to create local stock exchanges allowing residents to invest in smaller businesses.

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The debate over reviving medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan starts up again in Lansing this week.  A state Senate panel will hear public testimony on House Bill 4271, which would let communities decide whether to allow dispensaries and how to regulate them. It is also expected to take up House Bill 5104, which would allow patients to use edible and other non-smokable forms of cannabis.

The bills come in response to recent Michigan Supreme Court rulings that shut down marijuana distribution through dispensaries in the state and effectively outlawed any forms of medical cannabis other than smokable forms. 

Supporters of the legislation say reviving and regulating dispensaries will ensure patients have safe and consistent access to treatment. And they say patients who are children or who suffer from respiratory illnesses should not have to smoke marijuana.

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Actress Mariska Hargitay plans to join Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to discuss proposed legislation that would speed up sexual assault kit testing.  Worthy's office also says the Detroit Rape Kit Project will be discussed at the press conference later today. She has been pushing for more funding to process the backlog of kits. 

Hargitay stars on NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." She also is founder and president of the Joyful Heart Foundation. The foundation works with police and prosecutors on eliminating the backlog of testing for sexual assault kits. 

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William Clay Ford Senior, who helped steer Ford Motor Company for more than five decades and owned the NFL's Detroit Lions, has died at the age of 88.  The company said in a statement Sunday that Ford died of pneumonia at his home. He was the last surviving grandson of company founder Henry Ford.  Ford served as an employee and board member of the automaker for more than half of its 100-year history. The company says in a statement that he was instrumental in setting the design direction for the company's vehicles. CEO Alan Mulally says in a statement that Ford had a profound impact on the company.

     

 Closing arguments have ended in a challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage, which was approved by voters in 2004.

     Detroit federal Judge Bernard Friedman says Friday he expects to make a decision within two weeks.

     The trial was dominated by different views from scholars about the welfare of children raised by same-sex parents. Two Detroit-area women are trying to convince the judge that there's no "rational" basis under law for Michigan to ban same-sex marriage.

Brian Calley
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        Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has signed legislation designed to offer more treatment options in Michigan for people with mental illness, including those who are jailed or at risk of being imprisoned.

Dakota Serna served in the Marines during the Iraq War. He says memories of seeing friends and children killed left him suicidal after he came home. Serna says the only thing that has helped him get his life back on track is using marijuana. 


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State Senate votes to ban e-cigarette sales to minors

It could soon be illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to children in Michigan. The state Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday meant to keep the smokeless devices out of the hands of minors. 

So-called "e-cigarettes" deliver a nicotine-laced vapor, but don't contain tobacco. That means the state cannot currently regulate them along with regular cigarettes and other tobacco products.

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      A person familiar with the event says that new General Motors chief executive Mary Barra is expected to speak at the University of Michigan's spring commencement in May.      The person asked not to be identified Wednesday because the speaker hasn't been officially announced. Barra is the first woman to head a major U.S. automaker.

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        Books, furnishings and other contents from the suburban Detroit home of the late author Elmore Leonard are being sold at a three-day estate sale. The sale at the home in Oakland County's Bloomfield Township runs Thursday through Saturday. A listing on the website EstateSales.net says items include first edition "and/or signed books, furniture, lamps, linens, rugs, garden accessories, outdoor furniture and more."

Michigan Edging Toward Year-Round School

Mar 5, 2014
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Lawmakers in the state House have approved a $2 million program to encourage schools to go year-round. Schools in mostly low-income areas could get money from the state to add air-conditioning and other things allowing them to operate in the summer.

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Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan hopes to renew state lawmakers’ interest in curbing scrap metal theft across the state. Duggan met with Democrats and Republicans in the state House on Wednesday.     

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The state House and Senate have not been able to agree on a mid-year budget bill. 

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The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether more than 350 inmates sent to prison for murder as juveniles for life without parole will get a chance someday at freedom.

Texting While Driving On the Rise In Michigan

Mar 5, 2014
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 A poll reports a doubling in the percentage of Michigan drivers who acknowledge they text or use email while behind the wheel since the previous survey two years earlier.

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 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says Great Lakes water levels rebounded sharply last year after a prolonged low period dating from the late 1990s.

Same Sex Parents
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 A university economist says children raised by heterosexual couples have a much greater chance of making normal progress through school than kids living with same-sex parents.

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       Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed a law changing sentencing rules for juvenile defendants convicted of murder and other serious crimes.

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       Congress has given final approval to a bill designating 32,000 acres of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as wilderness.      With U.S. House passage of the bill, it now heads to President Barack Obama for signature. The U.S. Senate passed it in June 2013.      The lakeshore is headquartered in Empire in the northwestern Lower Peninsula.      Hunting and fishing would be permitted in the wilderness areas.      More than 1.4 million people visited Sleeping Bear Dunes in 2011, pumping about $120 million into the local economy.      Democratic Michigan U.S.

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There is an effort afoot in Lansing to regulate smokeless electronic cigarettes - and ban their sale to minors. But there is a difference of opinion on how to go about it. 

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Legislation to repeal and replace a tax on business equipment has cleared the state Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bills seek to make sure local governments are not hit hard by a repeal of Michigan's Personal Property Tax (PPT). 

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