Michigan News

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has temporarily halted the sale of marijuana products intended for vaping so that they can be tested for a compound linked to lung illnesses.

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Today the Michigan Dept. of Health & Human Services announced that overdose deaths decreased slightly in 2018. It's the first decline in six years. You can read the release below. 

LANSING, Mich. – After several years of increases in overdose deaths, in 2018 Michigan experienced a decrease overall, including a slight decline in opioid-related overdose deaths, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced today. In 2018, there were 2,599 overdose deaths, 2,036 of which were opioid-related.

DAN CHARLES / NPR

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Egg-laying hens in Michigan will have to be housed in cage-free systems before 2025 under a new law.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist signed the legislation Thursday because Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is on a trade trip in Israel.

The law will also prohibit non-cage-free eggs from being sold in Michigan starting in 2025.

Gilchrist says the measure will ensure Michigan’s standards for protecting animal welfare are among the strongest in the U.S. while ensuring egg producers can thrive.

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PAW PAW, Mich. (AP) — State police say human remains discovered by a Michigan hunter 31 years ago have been identified as an Oklahoma woman.

First Lieutenant Chuck Christensen says that the identity was made by comparing a femur bone with a public genealogy database and interviewing family members. Marcia Bateman of Oklahoma City was 28 years old when she disappeared in 1988.

Christensen says Bateman’s death remains under investigation. He says she was “living on the street a little and somewhat transient.”

Michigan GOP Leader Uses Expletive To Call Governor 'Crazy'

Nov 22, 2019
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Republican legislative leader in Michigan apologized Thursday for using an expletive to describe Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as crazy, saying it was "disrespectful and unnecessary."

MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — The state Corrections Department has been hit with a class-action lawsuit on behalf of inmates who say they’ve been overwhelmed by chronic mold and other unsanitary conditions at Michigan’s only prison for women.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Detroit federal court, says the Huron Valley prison in Washtenaw County is “operating under a state of degradation, filth and inhumanity.” Lawyers say women have suffered health problems because of mold and their complaints have gone unheeded.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FAMILY OF JILMAR RAMOS-GOMEZ

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Lawyers for a Latino American war veteran who was wrongfully detained by immigration agents in Michigan have filed a $1 million claim against the U.S. government for his three days in custody.

Jilmar Ramos-Gomez is a Michigan-born U.S. citizen. Yet he was taken into custody after his release a year ago from a Kent County, Michigan, jail for an alleged crime. The American Civil Liberties Union says Ramos-Gomez’ “shocking mistreatment” only exacerbated his post-traumatic stress disorder from his service as a Marine in Afghanistan.

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Eight former Michigan lawmakers are suing to challenge the state’s legislative term limits, alleging they are unconstitutional and ensure that the Legislature lacks experience.

Those filing suit in Grand Rapids federal court Wednesday include three Republicans and five Democrats. They say Michigan’s term limits law has increased the power of lobbyists, unelected “bureaucrats” in the executive branch and political dynasties.

Michigan Issues 1st Recreational Marijuana Licenses

Nov 20, 2019
RICHARD VOGEL/AP PHOTO, FILE

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan has issued the first licenses to a business planning to grow and sell marijuana for recreational use.

Ann Arbor-based Exclusive Brands already has medical marijuana operations. It received recreational licenses Tuesday. It wants to start selling marijuana to adults age 21 and over as soon as Dec. 1.

Recreational marijuana is unlikely to be available on a widespread basis in Michigan until licensed growers can harvest the first crop, possibly in March or April.

Michigan Secretary of State's office via AP

FERNDALE, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says her department is making it easier for transgender people to get a driver’s license or state ID card.

Starting Monday, those wanting to correct the sex designation on their license can go to a branch office to have their photo taken, fill out a form and pay $9. They no longer will need to provide a birth certificate, passport or court order.

RICK BOWMER/AP PHOTO/FILE

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — Michigan health authorities are reporting a 6th fatality linked to Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

Berrien County Health Department officials said Monday the victim was one of two people who contracted the mosquito borne virus. The death occurred Saturday.

Cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis first appeared in West Michigan at the end of August. The virus has been reported in Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties. The outbreak has resulted in 10 human cases and 46 animal cases.

John Raoux/AP Photo/

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Court clerks around Michigan are criticizing a proposal to allow phones and other electronic devices in courthouses.

Among their objections: They fear they’ll lose money.

The Michigan Supreme Court is holding a public hearing Wednesday in Lansing.

Courts typically charge people to make copies of public documents. Someone with an electronic device could do it for free. For example, Mason County charges $1 per page. Clerk Cheryl Kelly says the proposed rule “would put a dent in our revenue.”

Benton Harbor Trash Pickup Stops Amid Cash Controversy

Nov 17, 2019
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BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Trash is piling up in Benton Harbor.

No curbside trash was picked up Friday for the third consecutive day amid a controversy over payments to the contractor, Wecycle Industrial Sanitation.

Wecycle manager Willie “Curly” Williams says a monthly payment of $39,000 was given to a former employee. Williams says the trash hauler won’t resume pickup until it gets another payment from Benton Harbor.

Michigan Easing Permit Process To Fight Lakeshore Erosion

Nov 17, 2019
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MANISTEE, Mich. (AP) — State regulators say they want to make it easier for lakeshore property owners to get permits to temporarily fix the effects of high water, especially along Lake Michigan.

The permit fee is being reduced to $100, and a public notice in most cases won’t be required. The goal is to stabilize eroding shore with sandbags, although the bags must eventually be removed.

United Auto Workers Approve New 4-Year Contract With Ford

Nov 16, 2019
David Zalubowski/AP Photo

DETROIT (AP) — Members of the United Auto Workers union at Ford Motor Co. have voted to approve a new contract with the company.

The union says in a statement Friday night that 56.3% of workers who voted were in favor of the deal.

The four-year agreement reached Oct. 31 gives workers a mix of pay raises and lump-sum payments as well as a $9,000 ratification bonus. The company also promises $6 billion in U.S. factory investments. Ford gets to close an engine factory near Detroit but its 600 workers there will get jobs at a nearby plant.

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