Michigan News

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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.

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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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.

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.

Lead in text: 

Flemming lost nearly 400 pounds and overcame an alcohol addiction, in just 19 months.

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.

Raise Michigan
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.

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.

(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.

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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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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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.

Minimum Wage Hearing Planned In State House

May 20, 2014
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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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.

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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  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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  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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  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.

Traverse City Hosting International Tree Conference

May 19, 2014
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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State Senate votes to raise Michigan's minimum wage to $9.20 an hour

A bill to raise Michigan's minimum wage from $7.40 to $9.20 an hour by 2017 has cleared the state Senate.

The bill is really an attempt by Republicans in Lansing to kill a petition drive that would raise the minimum wage to 10.10 an hour - including for tipped workers.

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Michigan's economy improves, but at a slower pace

The long, harsh winter slowed the state's economic recovery. And it took a bite out of tax revenues, leaving Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature with about $300 million less to work with as they put the finishing touches on a new state budget.

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Valuable art is back on the docket in Detroit's bankruptcy case. 

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Officials say more than 90 dogs and puppies have been removed from the site of a suspected puppy mill in Livingston County. 

theguardian.com

State Senate votes to delay statewide teacher evaluations… again

It looks like lawmakers could once again delay the implementation of a new statewide teacher evaluation system. The state Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to push back the deadline until the 2015-2016 school year.

State law requires the new evaluation system to be in place during the current school year. State Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, says that clearly isn't going to happen.

michigan.gv/mde

Bill would take standardized testing duties away from state education officials

State education officials would no longer oversee K-12 standardized testing in Michigan under a bill in the state House. It would move those duties to the state Department of Treasury.

The state Legislature and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) have been sparring in recent months over standardized tests. The MDE wants to replace the state's MEAP test with a computer-based exam that measures student growth - unlike the MEAP.

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