Michigan News

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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