Michigan News

Michigan News
11:30 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Automakers To Help Save Detroit's Art Treasures

Exterior of The Detroit Institute of Arts
Credit Michael Barera / Wikimedia Commons

General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are stepping into Detroit's bankruptcy picture by pledging $26 million to help support retiree pensions while keeping the city's art treasures off the auction block.

The Detroit Institute of Arts, Gov. Rick Snyder and representatives from the automakers announced the donation Monday at the art museum.

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Michigan News
9:49 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Local Governments May Get Smaller Boost Than Hoped

Local governments in Michigan may get a smaller increase in state revenue sharing than hoped.

Gov. Rick Snyder proposed a 15 percent increase in statutory shared revenue. But House Republicans say a budget agreement includes a 5.5 percent boost in statutory revenue sharing for cities, townships and villages — not including $8 million for financially distressed local governments.

Municipalities also are expected to get 3 percent more next year in revenue-sharing payments guaranteed under Michigan's constitution. A House-Senate committee plans to approve the budget plan Monday.

The Snyder administration said last week revenue sharing would stay "pretty close" to what Snyder proposed. But it's looking like that may not be the case after revenue estimates were revised downward recently.

Snyder's plan to significantly boost payments to counties is intact.

Michigan News
7:26 am
Fri June 6, 2014

State Schools Superintendent: Schools' Finances Stabilizing

Credit michigan.gov/mde

Michigan schools' finances "stabilizing," says state superintendent

Late last year, the state's top education official had dire predictions for the finances of Michigan schools. He predicted the number of districts in deficit could reach 100 "before long."

Now, state Superintendent Mike Flanagan says the situation is stabilizing, and he credits increased funding from the state.

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Michigan News
7:57 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

State Working To Improve Fine Collection System

Credit wikimedia commons

Michigan Supreme Court names workgroup to improve system for collecting fines

A group of judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys goes to work Thursday on finding new and better ways to collect fines and fees from defendants, and to ensure that people are not sent to jail because they don't have the money to pay.

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Michigan News
7:53 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Road Funding Up In The Air In Lansing

Credit Andrew Cluley

Road funding talks in flux at state Capitol

It looked like there might be a wave of bipartisan cooperation in Lansing. Lawmakers recently voted to raise the state's minimum wage and contribute almost $200 million to help Detroit emerge from bankruptcy.

But that doesn't seem to be the case anymore with road funding negotiations in flux.

State lawmakers want to find a way to increase funding for roads in the next couple weeks. That's when they leave Lansing for the summer.

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Michigan News
8:16 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Supreme Court Says Decision To Commute Sentence Final

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Credit michigan.gov

MI Supreme Court says governor cannot un-commute life sentence

The Michigan Supreme Court says a governor cannot take back a decision to commute a prison sentence once the papers are signed and filed.

Matthew Makowski helped plan the robbery of a co-worker in 1988, but was not there when the attempt went awry and Pietro Puma was stabbed to death. Makowski was convicted of first-degree murder for his role in the killing and sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole, the mandatory sentence.

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Michigan News
8:12 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

'One Parent' Doctrine Struck Down By Michigan Supreme Court

Credit wikimedia commons

Michigan Supreme Court strikes down "one parent" doctrine

A Jackson County man will get a trial on whether he gets to keep his kids after a ruling by  the Michigan Supreme Court.

The state Supreme Court struck down a policy that allows authorities to limit or terminate both parents' rights to their children when one of them runs into trouble with the law. In this case, the mother lost her parental rights when the couple's newborn daughter tested positive for drugs.

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Michigan News
10:51 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Hearings Scheduled In EMU Football Player's Slaying

Slain EMU student/athlete Demarius Reed
Credit Eastern Michigan University

Two Detroit men face pre-trial hearings in the robbery and fatal shooting of Eastern Michigan University football player Demarius Reed.    The hearings are scheduled this afternoon for Kristopher Pratt and Ed Thomas in Washtenaw County Trial Court in Ann Arbor.

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Michigan News
10:42 am
Tue June 3, 2014

'RoboCop' To Throw Out 1st Pitch At Tigers Game

RoboCop to throw out 1st pitch at tonight's Detroit Tigers game at Comerica Park
Credit Google Images

Everybody's favorite fictional crime-fighting cyborg is heading to the Detroit Tigers game.  

RoboCop is scheduled to throw out the first pitch at Comerica Park tonight as the Tigers host the Toronto Blue Jays.

RoboCop's motorcycle is to be on display at the stadium and the first 10,000 fans will get a RoboCop cheer card after getting inside.

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Michigan News
7:53 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Governor Defends Taxing Of Pensions

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Credit Michigan.gov

Snyder defends "pension tax" in special message on aging

Gov. Rick Snyder is firing back against critics of his so-called "pension tax."

Snyder gave a special address on aging Monday in Rochester. He used part of the speech to defend his 2011 decision, which ended the practice of exempting pensions from state income tax.

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10:28 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Ex-EMU Student's Extreme Weight Loss Sparked By International Friendship

Lead in text: 
Flemming lost nearly 400 pounds and overcame an alcohol addiction, in just 19 months.
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Matt Durr
Brian Flemming was going to miss his flight to London - and, with it, the chance to spend time with the woman who helped change his life. Fourteen months earlier, getting on the plane wouldn't have been a problem.
Education
10:20 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Teacher Reinstated After Segregation Lesson

A southeast Michigan public school teacher has been reinstated after his removal from the classroom while district officials assessed his lesson plan on African-American history and racial segregation laws.

The Monroe News reports hat Alan Barron was placed on paid leave last month after he showed an eighth-grade history class at Monroe Middle School a video of how white entertainers once used black face paint to imitate blacks.

An assistant principal sat in on the class.

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Michigan News
7:46 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Michigan Legislature OKs Minimum Wage Hike

Credit Raise Michigan

Legislature approves $9.25 Michigan minimum wage

Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to quickly sign a bill increases the Michigan minimum raise as a petition campaign is about to file signatures to force the wage floor even higher.

That will cap days and weeks of feverish negotiations between Republicans and Democrats and business and labor groups that produced the compromise measure that cleared the House and the Senate with bipartisan support.

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Michigan News
11:06 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Dearborn Honoring 7 Veterans Never Buried

A Detroit suburb is honoring seven veterans on Memorial Day whose cremated remains have been in Michigan funeral homes for years.

The Dearborn Allied War Veterans Council conducted a funeral procession Monday morning before the city's 90th annual Memorial Day parade.

It's the fourth time in the past five years the group has sought veterans who died with no money for burial as part of the Missing in America Project.

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

On Memorial Day Eve, President Obama Visits Troops In Afghanistan

President Barack Obama, right, is greeted by U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham, center, and Marine General Joseph Dunford, commander of the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), as he arrives at Bagram Air Field for an unannounced visit, on Sunday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 12:09 am

(This post was last updated at 2:17 p.m. ET.)

Under the cover of darkness and on the eve of Memorial Day, President Obama landed at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan for an unannounced visit with U.S. troops.

After a concert from country music star Brad Paisley, Obama spoke before a rally of about 3,000 American troops. Currently, there are 32,000 Americans currently serving in Afghanistan.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Detroit Federal Judge OKs Rep. John Conyers For Primary

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., addresses supporters during the Michigan Democratic election night party in Detroit. Conyers has served in Congress since 1964, but problems with ballot petitions have threatened to keep him out of the August primary.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 6:12 pm

This post was updated at 4:40 p.m. ET.

A federal judge in Detroit has ruled that Democratic Rep. John Conyers, the second-most-senior member of the U.S. House, will appear on the August primary ballot, overturning a decision by Michigan's secretary of state who said the candidacy was invalid.

Judge Matthew Leitman issued an injunction ordering Conyers' name to be placed on the ballot, The Associated Press says.

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Michigan News
8:28 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Michigan House Republicans Prefer No Inflationary Ties To Minimum Wage

Credit wikimedia commons

Republican wants to make sure state minimum wage doesn't get tied to inflation

A bill to boost Michigan's minimum wage would not be tied to inflation if a state House committee chair gets his way.

The legislation would gradually boost the wage from $7.40 to $9.20 an hour over three years. After 2017, it would index the minimum wage to inflation.

That last provision is something House Government Operations Committee Chair Pete Lund doesn't want.

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Michigan News
7:25 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Michigan Senate Democrats Say Road Fix Plan Is A No-Go

Credit wikimedia commons

Senate Democrats do not support plan to fix roads

It looks like efforts to boost state road funding by about $1.4 billion dollars may have stalled in the state Senate. That's after Senate Democrats came out against the plan because it would significantly increase the state's gas tax.

Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, says increasing the amount people pay at the pump would disproportionately hurt the poor.

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Michigan News
7:24 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Minimum Wage Hearing Planned In State House

36th District Michigan Representative Pete Lund (R)
Credit gophouse.org

Bill boosting minimum wage to $9.20 an hour to get hearing in state House

The debate over raising Michigan's minimum wage moves to the state House Wednesday.

A legislative panel will hear testimony on a bill that cleared the state Senate last week. Senate Bill 934 would gradually increase the wage from $7.40 an hour to $9.20 an hour. After 2017, the minimum wage would rise with inflation.
    
State Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township, chairs the panel. He says he's open to the plan - but he has some concerns.

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Michigan News
7:20 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Detroit Bailout Vote Pending In Lansing

Credit wikimedia commons

Lawmakers could cast first votes on Detroit bailout

There could be a first vote Wednesday in the Legislature on an almost 200 (m) million dollar bailout for the city of Detroit. Mayor Mike Duggan was one of those who testified prior to the historic vote. Duggan says, overall, he supports the plan.

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Michigan News
7:35 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

State Senate Considers Road Funding Increase

Credit Andrew Cluley

State Senate could triple road funding increase passed by House

The Michigan Senate could vote this week on bills that would increase state funding for roads by $1.3-1.4 billion a year. That's almost triple the amount recently approved by the state House.

Under the Senate plan, people would gradually pay more taxes at the pump over the next few years.

The proposal was brought to light the same day the Michigan Chamber of Commerce unveiled a poll suggesting most Michiganders are ready to pay more for better roads.

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Michigan News
4:28 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Drug Arrests On The Rise At Michigan State

Credit Wikipedia

  EAST LANSING, MI- Michigan State University reports that it arrested 261 people for drugs in 2012, a 158 percent increase from two years earlier.

The Detroit Free Press says the East Lansing school had more drug arrests than any state school in 2012, the last year for which figures are available. The news says Michigan State had 31 percent more drug arrests than the 199 arrests at the University of Michigan that year.

Michigan State reported 101 drug arrests in 2010.

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Michigan News
4:26 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Gas Taxes May Be Going Up

Credit Wikipedia

  LANSING, MI- Michigan senators are considering whether to significantly increase gasoline taxes over five years to mend roads and bridges.

The talk of pumping more money into transportation infrastructure comes on the heels of a House vote to gradually allow Michigan's 19-cents-a-gallon gas tax to go as high as 32  1/2 cents over time.

It would initially generate $450 million a year, mostly by diverting money from elsewhere in the budget.

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Michigan News
4:23 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Pontiac Silverdome Being Sold Off Piece by Piece

Pontiac Silverdome before the roof collapsed
Credit Wikipedia

  PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) - The Pontiac Silverdome once was THE place to see big events.

The 80,000-seat indoor stadium hosted the Super Bowl, the NBA finals, the World Cup, WrestleMania, a papal visit and concerts by Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones.

Nowadays, the venue north of Detroit is a shell of its former self. Its roof is in tatters, allowing the elements to wreak havoc on the seats and turf below. A lack of electrical power has left the stadium's innards dark and mold-covered.

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Michigan News
4:20 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Traverse City Hosting International Tree Conference

Michigan's Project Learning Tree Conference takes place this week
Credit michiganplt.com

            TRAVERSE CITY, MI - Environmental educators from 47 states, Mexico, Japan and Puerto Rico are expected to attend an international conference in northern Michigan on trees and forests.

Project Learning Tree begins Monday and runs through Thursday in Traverse City.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the American Forest Foundation program provides educators with resources to teach and inspire young people.

This is the first year the annual conference will be hosted in Michigan.

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