Michigan News

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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.

abcsemi.com

Non-union builders challenge local wage floors

An association of non-union construction companies has asked the state Supreme Court to strike down local prevailing wage laws. The Associated Builders and Contractors says a state law preempts the ordinances.

Nearly two dozen Michigan communities have their own prevailing wage ordinances. They're supposed to ensure that workers on city-financed projects are paid something close to union wages.

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If you’re looking for some hints for dining out for lunch or dinner, MLive's Jessica Webster has accumulated a few in the 25 summers she's spent here.

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79 Illegal Water Users Caught In 3 Days   A spokesman for Detroit's water system says it cited 79 customers for illegal water use in one three-day period and levied $21,750 in fees.  The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has been cracking down on tens of thousands of nonpaying residential and business customers. 

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Corn Acreage Down Nationwide    Michigan farmers have reduced the amount of land they use for growing corn. The Detroit News reports weather and falling market prices caused farmers to start growing corn later than usual this year. Michigan's corn farming area has shrunk by about 10,000 acres to 2.24 million.

 Lawsuit: Michigan Regents Break Open Meetings Act     The Detroit Free Press has sued the University of Michigan, saying its Board of Regents routinely violates the state Open Meetings Act. The newspaper says it filed the suit Friday in the Michigan Court of Claims. The Associated Press left phone messages Sunday seeking comment from university spokespeople.

“Caveman Chuck” Coker / Foter.Com

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries could soon become legal, after GOP change of heart

The state Legislature returns this week for its only scheduled session day in July. A state Senate panel is likely to vote on bills that would relax restrictions on medical marijuana.

Courtesy Image / Organization of American Historians

An annual conference of Underground Railroad scholars and enthusiasts is coming to Detroit.  The Detroit News reports the event coordinated by the National Park Service will explore the roles women played as leaders along the secret network for runaway slaves. Detroit was the last stop on the Underground Railroad before the Civil War.

Courtesy, Mark Schauer

This morning Democratic candidate for Michigan, Democrat Mark Schauer joined Rick Pluta on a statewide call-in show via the Michigan Public Radio Network.

You can listen to the full program here:  

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The Ann Arbor Art Fair hits downtown Ann Arbor this July 16th-19th. With the work of 1,000 artists on display, there is a lot of ground to cover if you want to see it all! Maricat Eggenberger of Pure Michigan provides some helpful tips for navigating the fair.

michigan.gov/mdch

Medicaid expansion sign-ups hit one-year target in just four months

In less than four months, Michigan has already hit its 2014 enrollment goal for the state's expanded Medicaid program.

More than 322,000 low-income Michiganders now have government sponsored healthcare through the Healthy Michigan program.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) say the dramatic jump in enrollment will help boost the state's economy.

Livonia Police Department

A Detroit-area soccer player accused of killing a referee with a punch to the neck has made an initial court appearance on a second-degree murder charge.

Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad was arraigned Thursday in Livonia District Court. The judge ordered a $1 million bond and set a preliminary hearing for July 30.

John Bieniewicz died last week from injuries sustained June 29. Police and prosecutors say Saad struck Bieniewicz as the 44-year-old soccer referee announced his decision to eject him from a men's league game.

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  The campaign of Republican Michigan U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land says it raised about $2.15 million from donors in the latest quarter and got an additional $1.2 million from Land herself. Democrat Gary Peters says his campaign raised $1.95 million.

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  Vice President Joe Biden will mingle with liberal activists next week at the Netroots Nation convention.

Netroots Nation says the vice president has agreed to speak at its annual political conference being held this year in Detroit. The July 17 speech will be the first time Biden has addressed the group.

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Another audit says Michigan has failed to protect vulnerable adults

Gov. Rick Snyder's administration is again taking heat for failing to protect vulnerable adults.

A state audit released Wednesday shows the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) has mismanaged its Adult Protective Services (APS) program since 2010. Among other things, it says DHS did not adequately train caseworkers and supervisors and failed to investigate complaints of abuse.

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Washtenaw County, City of Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township and Eastern Michigan University launch the Eastern Washtenaw Safety Alliance. Broad collaboration features increased police staff, expanded patrols and new community safety measures.

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A Detroit organization that helps people in need has found a positive way to make use of illegally dumped tires in the city. Cass Community Social Services (CCSS) is the manufacturer of Detroit Treads, sandals selling for $25 a pair that are made out of tire treads.

michigan.gov/mde

State superintendent predicts institutions will lose ability to charter schools

The top education official in Michigan says there's a good chance some institutions will lose their authority to create charter schools.

That statement comes a day after state Superintendent of Schools Mike Flanagan said he's ready to use his authority to revoke that ability from charter school authorizers. That's if they fail to meet new standards for transparency set by state education officials.

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High schoolers' test scores up in all areas, many still not ready for college

Michigan high school juniors are improving in all core academic subjects. That's according to standardized test results released Monday.

The Michigan Merit Exam (MME) is given to high school juniors each year. The data released by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) includes the ACT college entrance exam.

The biggest improvements in the results were in social studies and reading. State education officials credit tougher graduation requirements approved in 2006.

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A number of families received a pleasant surprise Tuesday evening when an anonymous donor passed out $100 bills to at least three vendors on food row at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s Top of the Park.

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Superintendents blast education budget

As Michigan schools begin their new budget year this week, some local superintendents are urging lawmakers to return from their summer break to boost education funding.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed a new education budget last week that boosts funding for all public schools by at least $50 per student. But Forest Hills Schools Superintendent Dan Behm says districts face new costs that wipe out that minimum increase.

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Snyder: Prison food contract troubles are "unacceptable"

Governor Rick Snyder says a deal with a private contractor to provide food for state prisons could be terminated if there are future problems with the company. Aramark Food Services was awarded the $145 million, three-year contract last December. But the arrangement has been beset by problems since then.

Aramark has been fined by the state for unapproved menu changes and running out of food. Also, 70 Aramark employees are banned from state prisons for inappropriate relationships with prisoners.

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Background checks coming for home-aid workers, state can't exclude all felons

Michigan cannot ban all felons from being caregivers in the state's Medicaid in-home care program. That's according to state officials who outlined an upcoming background check system on Monday.

People convicted of patient abuse or neglect, health care fraud, or drug-related crimes will be barred from working with in-home Medicaid patients. But state officials say federal law prevents them from excluding people based on crimes that are not related to in-home care.

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