Michigan News

A new Michigan allows families and health professionals to seek involuntary treatment for substance abusers.  The law was signed last week by Governor Rick Snyder. It  establishes a procedure under which a family member or health professional can petition a judge for the forced treatment. 

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Eastern Michigan University will be introducing kids on the autism spectrum to pirates, dinosaurs and rocket ships this summer.   

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Schauer says he'd push stricter regulations on charter schools as governor

Former Congressman Mark Schauer says he would put tougher regulations on charter schools if he's elected governor. The Battle Creek Democrat says Gov. Rick Snyder has given bad charter operators a "free pass."

"We need to write into law the oversight that was left out when Rick Snyder lifted the cap on the number of charter schools," said Schauer. "It's the Wild West right now, and these schools see kids with dollar signs on their foreheads."

The judge in Detroit's bankruptcy case is expected to get an update on the voting process from city lawyers.

An upcoming show about a Detroit-area strength coach is set to hold its local premiere. The first episode of Discovery Channel's "American Muscle" series is to be screened Thursday at Barwis Methods Training Center in Plymouth.  The show follows Mike Barwis and the work he does at his gym. Not only does Barwis train top pro, college and Olympic athletes, but he also works with patients who have suffered various injuries, including some who were told they would never walk again.

An eighth-grader at a Carleton middle school now has a robotic right hand thanks to school staff members' creativity and a 3D printer.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed laws exempting gun records from the state's Freedom of Information Act.

The legislation signed Tuesday codifies a 1999 Michigan Supreme Court decision that found disclosure of gun registry records to be an invasion of privacy. The information will still be available to law enforcement officials for certain purposes, though there are new restrictions on when police can access the records.

 A log of who accessed the records and the reason for doing so also is now required by the new laws.

Work on Detroit's light rail project is scheduled to start next month following City Council's approval of construction and operating agreements.

M-1 Rail President and CEO Matt Cullen said Tuesday that groundbreaking and construction details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Cullen says a public information campaign will prepare people living along the Woodward corridor and area businesses for the work.

Michigan now has a law ensuring that women have the right to breastfeed their babies in public.

Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday signed the Breastfeeding Antidiscrimination Act. Lawmakers introduced the legislation after getting some past reports of women being asked to leave stores, restaurants and government agencies for nursing in public.

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Michigan economists warn against ending pensions for public employees

Some economists say Michigan failed to consider the consequences of ending pension plans for public workers.

The state stopped offering pensions to new employees in 1997. Budget officials say that decision has cut Michigan's long-term debt by about $5 billion.

  Gov. Rick Snyder is preparing to sign Michigan's $53 billion spending plan for the budget year starting in about three months.

     The Republican governor has scheduled a Tuesday afternoon ceremony to sign the $15.8 billion education budget bill on the steps of the Capitol in Lansing. He also may sign the $37.5 billion budget bill that covers all other state spending if it's proofed in time.

   Gov. Rick Snyder has signed laws stiffening criminal penalties for drive-by shooters and people who shoot into buildings.

     People who intentionally shoot from a vehicle get up to four years in prison if they endanger another's safety. The laws signed yesterday increase the prison time to 10 years and put in place longer sentences if there are injuries or death.

     The new law also clarifies that shooting into a potentially occupied structure is a crime without prosecutors needing to prove the structure was actually occupied at the time of the shooting.

  A federal investigator says a health care center for veterans in Ann Arbor has not dealt adequately with complaints about unsafe practices.

     The VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System was among facilities mentioned in a letter to President Barack Obama from Carolyn Lerner of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

     The letter released yesterday says a whistleblower reported that employees were "practicing unsafe and unsanitary work practices" and untrained workers were improperly handling instruments.

 A group working to save part of Rosie the Riveter's old factory says it has signed a purchase agreement for the property.

     The Yankee Air Museum announced yesterday it is moving forward with a deal to buy 144,000 square feet of the former Willow Run Bomber Plant.

     The museum says in a statement that, assuming an upcoming inspection goes well, it will close on the purchase "in a few weeks."

     The Save the Willow Run Bomber Plant campaign has raised millions of dollars in an effort to save part of the factory for use as the museum's new home.

 The grandson of a founder of an iconic Michigan soft drink company says he was fired because of his age.

     Hugh Rosenthal was marketing director at Detroit-based Faygo when he lost his job at age 68 in 2012. He tells the Detroit Free Press there was no legitimate business reason to let him go.

     Rosenthal's lawsuit is in Flint federal court. The Free Press says Faygo vice president Al Chittaro declined to comment.

   The Nuclear Regulatory Commission plans to hold a public meeting this week to discuss the federal agency's safety assessment of the Palisades power plant in southwestern Michigan.

     The NRC announced yesterday the meeting will take place Thursday at the Beach Haven Event Center in South Haven. Agency staffers will discuss the results of safety inspection findings at Palisades, which is located 5 miles away on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Van Buren County's Covert Township.

 Michigan will receive $2.5 million from the federal government for efforts to protect shore lands and coastal ecosystems, along with public access and recreation.

     The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded the funding this week to the state's coastal management program. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will administer the grant, which will generate an additional $2 million in state and local spending.

 Hot air balloons will take to the skies over Howell this weekend for the 30th annual Michigan Challenge Balloonfest.

     The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus reports  that the event takes place Friday through Sunday at Howell High School. Forty-three balloons with Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri and Tennessee pilots are scheduled to compete.

     Balloon launch and fly-in times are 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and 6 to 8 a.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday.

 

  Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jane Seymour's new show is filming in the Detroit area.

     The actress isn't working on a new movie or a scripted series, however.

     She's the host of a national 13-part series called "Feel Grand with Jane Seymour" that's being produced by Detroit Public Television.

     Seymour will be joined on the show by medical experts such as author Deepak Chopra and Susan Blumenthal, former U.S. assistant surgeon general.

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Michigan welcomes office to help skilled immigrants get jobs

Highly skilled immigrants in Michigan now have a new resource to help them find jobs. The national nonprofit organization Upwardly Global opened a new office in Detroit on Monday.

Upwardly Global says immigrants and refugees often have valuable job skills that are in high demand in the United States. But the group says they often still have trouble finding work because of cultural differences.

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Police say a 58-year-old University of Michigan employee who was struck by a bus has died.  The Ann Arbor News reports Nancy Sanders was crossing a street on Thursday morning in Ann Arbor when she was struck by the university bus.

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An effort by deep-pocketed philanthropists to save the bankrupt city of Detroit's art treasures culminated today when Michigan Governor Rick Snyder authorized $195 million in state help. The bill signing in Detroit was part of what's dubbed the Grand Bargain. The deal also includes $366 million from foundations and a $100 million fundraising pledge by the Detroit Institute of Arts.

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The University of Michigan has approved a 2.6 percent increase in tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates. 

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Michigan's jobless rate jumps very slightly to 7.5 percent

Michigan's monthly unemployment rate has edged up slightly 7.5 percent. It's a statistically small nudge of one-tenth of a percentage point, and most of the change is attributed to more people looking for jobs.

A one-tenth of a percentage point shift in the unemployment rate represents about 2,000 people, and statistically that's considered virtually unchanged from the month before. The slight bump in the rate is attributed primarily to more people joining the workforce to compete for jobs.

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MI Supreme Court: Judges can't impose fines for court costs on their own

The Michigan Supreme Court says judges can't order people convicted of a crime to pay the costs to the legal system -- unless it's been specifically allowed by the Legislature.

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