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.

Automakers are asking the Trump administration and California to restart negotiations over future fuel economy standards, worried about disruption in their business model if the two sides can't come up with a new, single national standard.  

The problem facing automakers is partly of their own making. Car companies in the U.S. asked a newly elected President Donald Trump to relax the Obama administration's finalized fuel economy standards for 2020 through 2025. 

Michigan's two biggest utilities have launched pilot programs to boost the number of electric vehicle charging stations in the state. 

From commuting to longer-distance trips, the programs aim to help electric car owners go anywhere in the state, without worrying about where they will charge the battery next.

DTE Energy and Consumers Energy will offer rebates of $400 to $500 to EV car owners to install home chargers. That roughly covers the equipment cost, but not the electrician's bill. 

The Eastpointe City Council approved a settlement Monday in a discrimination lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department. 

The city will be the first in Michigan to implement a ranked choice voting system, in which voters designate their top preference among candidates running for office, along with their second and third choices. The decree only applies to city council races.

The Trump administration says it will allow sales of gasoline with 15% ethanol in it year-round, and it says that will give customers more choices at the pump.

Former administrations banned its sale during the summer, says David DeGennaro of the National Wildlife Federation.

"And that's because ethanol in gasoline actually increases the amount of smog relative to gasoline with no ethanol in it," says DeGennnaro.

French automaker Renault's board will meet Tuesday to consider a merger offer from Fiat Chrysler.

It would create the largest automaker in the world based on sales, but that's only if Renault's current partner, Nissan, stays in.

A Kent County judge will hear a contested parole case Monday involving an infamous serial killer. Catherine Wood has served nearly 30 years for helping to kill at least five people.

Wood confessed to helping her nursing home co-worker Gwendolyn Graham suffocate at least five elderly and frail residents over the course of three months at the Alpine Manor Nursing Home in Walker, Michigan in 1987.

Auto analysts say new tariffs against Mexico threatened by President Donald Trump would be  damaging to the auto industry, and make vehicles more expensive for consumers.

Trump has threatened to slap escalating tariffs on Mexico until that country stops undocumented immigrants from reaching and crossing into the U.S.

Michelle Krebs is an analyst with Autotrader.

An initially emotional Juwan Howard held his first press conference as the new head coach for the University of Michigan's men's basketball program Thursday.  

The Michigan Innocence Clinic has filed a motion asking the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its recent decision to deny an appeals hearing for Fred Freeman.

Michigan Innocence Clinic attorney Imran Syed says the Michigan man was wrongfully convicted of murder 32 years ago.

Wayne County officials hope a dire new roads study creates some "shock and awe" at the annual policy conference on Mackinac Island this week.

The study puts a staggering three billion dollar price tag on fixing Wayne County's roads and bridges. It says nearly 60% of the county's roads and 31% of the county's bridges are in poor condition.

That's up from 42% just two years ago.

The state of Ohio has stepped into a court battle over whether Lake Erie has legal rights. 

In February, Toledo voters approved the charter amendment by a large margin. The amendment claims city residents have the legal right to protect Lake Erie.

Toledo lies on the shore of the western part of the lake, which is plagued with cyanobacterial blooms, largely caused by fertilizer runoff from farms. In 2014, the city of Toledo briefly shut down its water system, after its Lake Erie water intake was surrounded by a bloom of toxic cyanobacterial.

Xcel Energy has reached a settlement with environmental groups that puts it a step further on its ambitious path to zero carbon emissions by 2050.  

Xcel Energy's Northern Michigan Power division provides electricity to 9,000 customers in Michigan. 

The utility also serves customers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed bills into law that will permit some medically frail and seriously ill inmates to be paroled.

They will be cared for in hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes instead. That means Medicare and Medicaid will pay for the inmates' care, rather than state taxpayer dollars.

Dana and Kristy Dumont, a same-sex couple in Michigan, have filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit over whether religious child welfare agencies can decline to help them foster a child.

The lawsuit was filed by St. Vincent Catholic Charities and Melissa and Chad Buck, who fostered and then adopted five children using St. Vincent Catholic Charities' services.

The lawsuit was filed after the state agreed to settle a previous lawsuit filed by the Dumonts. The settlement means the state will stop letting agencies that receive state funds turn away same-sex couples for religious reasons.

Hundreds of people gathered in Ann Arbor on Wednesday to support abortion rights.

Similar rallies were held across the country. That's after Alabama passed a law last week that makes performing almost all abortions a felony.

Other states have recently adopted bills that ban abortion after six to eight weeks.

Cecile Richards is the former President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She told the crowd to vote against anti-abortion legislators, and  President Trump, in 2020.

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