Michigan News

Michigan News
8:16 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Kevyn Orr Pushing Detroit Bailout In Lansing

Credit wikimedia commons

Detroit EM tries to sell bailout to lawmakers

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is spending a couple of days in Lansing for closed-door meetings with state officials. He's primary mission is to convince reluctant state lawmakers to support the Detroit bailout package.

The state's share, which would have to be approved by the Legislature, is $350 million dollars. That would help mitigate cuts to pension benefits as part of the city's bankruptcy, and
ensure the assets of the Detroit Institute of Arts are safe from the auction block.

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Michigan News
8:14 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Gun Owners Converge On State Capitol

Jim Howley (left) and his son Josh Howley (right) at 2nd Amendment rally at the state Capitol Tuesday.
Credit Michigan Public Radio Network

Pro-gun activists pack heat at the state Capitol

More than 200 gun owners descended on the state Capitol in Lasing Tuesday - many of them openly carrying firearms. Several pro-gun groups from across the country participated in the annual 2nd Amendment Day demonstration.

They say the rally is an important way to remind state policymakers to protect residents' gun rights.

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Michigan News
8:10 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Wages Focus Of Lansing Protests

Danielle Atkinson of the Raise Michigan Coalition, and founder of Mothering Justice, speaking with Democratic lawmakers Tuesday at an equal pay rally in the state Capitol.
Credit Michigan Public Radio Network

Minimum wage and equal pay advocates join forces at state Capitol
 

Women's rights advocates say boosting the state's minimum wage would be a big step toward equal pay in the workplace. Groups backing both causes joined forces Tuesday during an equal pay rally at the state Capitol.

"Women are disproportionately represented in low-wage work. So, when we raise the minimum wage we are raising them a little bit more out of poverty," said Danielle Atkinson with Raise Michigan, a coalition working to put a minimum wage increase on the November ballot.

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Michigan News
8:19 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Toyota Moving 250 Jobs From Kentucky To York Township

Credit wikimedia commons

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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Michigan News
7:58 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Gift From Alumnus Creates Congnitive Science Institute At U-M

Credit wikimedia.org

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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Michigan News
7:36 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

E-Cigarettes: Tobacco Products?

Credit en.wikipedia.com

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.

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Law
3:37 am
Mon April 28, 2014

How A Public Corruption Scandal Became A Fight Over Free Speech

Monday the Supreme Court hears the case concerning what kind of speech is protected for public employees.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 1:31 pm

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.

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Michigan News
8:38 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Inmate Limit Proposed

Credit flickr.com

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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Michigan News
8:07 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Minimum Wage Alternative Offered In State Legislature

Michigan senator Rick Jones.
Credit SenatorRickJones.com

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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Michigan News
8:11 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Republicans At Odds Over Detroit Pensions

Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger.
Credit gophouse.org

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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Michigan News
7:39 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Vote Pending On Education Achievement Authority Expansion In Michigan

Credit michigan.gov/eaa

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.

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Michigan News
10:30 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Supreme Court Upholds Michigan's Ban On Affirmative Action

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette speaks to reporters after arguing the case before the U.S. Supreme Court in October. He's with XIV Foundation CEO Jennifer Gratz, who was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the University of Michigan's affirmative action policy.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 8:02 am

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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Michigan News
8:25 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Johnson Running Again For Michigan Secretary Of State

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.
Credit michigan.gov

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.

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Michigan News
10:46 am
Mon April 21, 2014

'Rosie The Riveter' Event Officially Sets World Record

From left to right Hilda Havlik, Christy Hoffman, Deb Hoffman, and Betty Jones attended the successful record-breaking event at the Willow Run Bomber Plan for the largest gathering of people dressed as Rosie Riveter.
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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Michigan News
10:40 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Interstates Closed Near Ohio-Michigan State Line Because Of Suspicious Item

Ohio-Michigan Border
Credit Wikipedia

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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Michigan News
8:31 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Nonprofit's Agriculture Work In Detroit Moves Ahead

Gary Wozniak, representing RecoveryPark is standing in a field that he wants to use for urban agriculture in Detroit ...
Credit recoverypark.org

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

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Michigan News
7:47 am
Mon April 21, 2014

EAA, Detroit and Budget on Michigan Legislative Agenda This Week

Credit Wikipedia

The state Senate returns this week after three weeks away from Lansing. As Jake Neher reports, lawmakers have some high-profile issues to address between now and June.

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

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Michigan News
6:15 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Detroit Backlog Allows Serial Rapists To Stay Free

DNA Testing
Credit Wikipedia

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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Michigan News
5:54 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Cheney To Visit Grand Rapids, Talk Heart Problems

Former Vice President Dick Cheney to visit Michigan
Credit Wikipedia

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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Michigan News
2:52 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Connected Vehicles Conference In Ann Arbor This Week

Connected Car conference in Ann Arbor through Wednesday
Credit Courtesy Photo / detroitperforms.org

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

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Michigan News
2:45 am
Mon April 21, 2014

GM Says China Sales To Hit 5 Million Next Year

Credit Wikipedia

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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Michigan News
6:27 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Grants To Help Communities Develop Recycling

Credit Wikipedia

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 News
5:28 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Grant Money Increases For Michigan Specialty Crops

Credit Wikipedia

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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Michigan News
8:04 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Road Funding Debate Begins In Lansing

Credit Andrew Cluley

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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Michigan News
7:57 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Snyder Files For Re-Election

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder
Credit Facebook.com/GovernorRickSnyder

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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