Tracy Samilton

Tracy Samilton covers the auto beat for Michigan Radio. She has worked for the station for 12 years, and started out as an intern before becoming a part-time and, later, a full-time reporter. Tracy's reports on the auto industry can frequently be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as on Michigan Radio. She considers her coverage of the landmark lawsuit against the University of Michigan for its use of affirmative action a highlight of her reporting career.

Tracy graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English Literature. Before beginning her journalism career, she spent time working as a legal assistant at various firms in the Ann Arbor area.

Attorneys who handle accident claims say Michigan's new no fault law has implications for pedestrians and motorcyclists - and could be especially bad for motorcycle riders.

Brandon Hewitt is COO of Michigan Auto Law.

He says motorcyclists injured in a crash with a car can't make a claim on their own car insurance if they are injured.

They can claim only what the car driver's insurance pays out. 

In a surprise move, Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen, Honda, and BMW announced they have struck a deal with California on voluntary fuel economy standards for 2022-26.

That's after the Trump administration said it would move forward with a plan to roll back Obama era standards, freezing them after 2020, despite pleas from the automotive industry and other groups not to do that.

A tribe in northern Wisconsin is suing Enbridge Energy to try to force the closure of Line 5.

Dylan Jennings is a council member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.  He says the pipeline is an increasing threat to a fragile watershed. 

Several environmental, legal and advocacy groups, including the ACLU of Michigan and Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, have petitioned the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to intervene in water shutoffs in Detroit, calling them a public health emergency.

ACLU attorney Mark Fancher says more than 112,000 Detroit households had their water shut off at some point between 2014 and 2018.

More Michigan parents are requesting vaccination waivers for their children.

The rate dropped to 3.1% in 2015, after a new state law went into effect in 2014, requiring parents who want a waiver to attend a vaccine education session at their county health department.

The rate has since crept up to 3.8% in 2018.

Bob Swanson directs the Immunization Division at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib held a press conference on Monday to repeat her call for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

She says the rationale for impeachment should be his inhumane policies and disregard for the Constitution, not what she calls his "racist and xenophobic playbook."

Trump tweeted over the weekend that Tlaib and three other congresswomen of color should "go back and fix the crime infested places from which they came."

Tlaib was born in Detroit.

Detroit automakers kick off bargaining talks with the United Auto Workers union this week to negotiate the next four-year contract.

Researchers predict a large cyanobacterial bloom in Lake Erie this year.

But it will probably not be as bad as 2011 and 2015, when the blooms covered a large area of western Lake Erie.

Michigan Senator Gary Peters has joined with other members of the Senate Artificial Intelligence Caucus (AI Caucus) to sponsor a bill going after deepfakes.

Deepfakes are online videos created using sophisticated machine learning software.  They manipulate real content to depict events and statements that did not actually occur.

A group of northern Macomb residents are bracing for the construction of a new gas compressor station, saying it lacks a safety feature that could protect them in the event of an explosion.

Automotive legend Lee Iacocca, known best for developing the Ford Mustang and pulling Chrysler back from the brink of bankruptcy in the 1980s, has died. He was 94.

The son of Italian immigrants rose from a modest background to become a household name as CEO of Chrysler Corporation.

In May, the Michigan Public Service Commission approved a new, so-called "inflow/outflow" model for  rooftop solar rates, replacing the former "net metering" scheme.

Solar installation companies say the new rates are slowing demand for rooftop solar already.

Under net metering, people would get a credit for excess energy they put onto the grid, equal to the rate they were being charged for using their utility's electricity.

After three years, the criminal probe into the Flint water crisis is back to square one.

The Flint Water Crisis prosecution team, working under the aegis of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, has dismissed without prejudice all pending criminal cases brought by the former Office of Special Counsel.

A state House budget proposal would stop the Michigan Department of Transportation from using taxpayer money on the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.

That's even though Canada is reimbursing Michigan for its expenses.

Anna Heaton is a spokesperson for Business Leaders for Michigan, which is pro-bridge. She says Michigan stands to gain thousands of jobs from the new crossing, not just construction jobs.

President Donald Trump has backed down, for now, from his threat to impose tariffs on goods from Mexico. But experts say the threat itself was damaging to the corporate world.

Kristin Dziczek is with the Center for Automotive Research. She says tariff threats mean automakers and others that depend on Mexico for trade have trouble planning ahead. They lose time and money focusing on the threat instead of their core business.

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