Michigan News

Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court says it won't take an expedited appeal from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a dispute over flavored e-cigarettes.

The court says any appeal should follow a traditional course to the Court of Appeals.

A Court of Claims judge in October blocked Whitmer's ban on flavored e-cigarettes, saying health officials can't justify short cuts to adopt the new regulations.

The judge also expressed concern about the impact on adults who might be vaping to avoid regular cigarettes.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

Experts say a change in Michigan’s election law could bring a big change to how candidates campaign in the state.

COLON, Mich. (AP) — A St. Joseph County, Michigan, family is mourning the loss of all five of their dogs in a Christmas Eve fire that broke out when the family was at a holiday celebration.

MLive cites a relative, Karen Herman, as saying the family's dogs died in Tuesday's fire and the family also couldn't locate their cat after the blaze at their Colon area home.

Herman said the family “lost everything” in the fire, but she said she's thankful they weren't home at the time of the fire.

A TV station reports the family is staying with relatives in nearby Mendon.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/potterparkzoo/posts/?ref=page_internal

UPDATE:

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Lansing zoo is holding a naming contest for a rare black rhino calf that was born on Christmas Eve.

Potter Park Zoo officials have released a list of six potential names for the male calf, which is a member of a critically endangered species.

The names include options in Swahili and Afrikaans. Zoo fans can cast ballots online with a donation.

Proceeds will go to development of the zoo's animal health program.

The contest ends Jan. 8. Zoo officials say there are only 54 black rhinos in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

David Eggert/AP Photo/File

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A ballot group has submitted petitions to prohibit a second-trimester abortion procedure in Michigan.

The Michigan Values Life committee says it turned in nearly 380,000 voter signatures to the state on Monday.

It needs roughly 340,000 signatures. If the petitions are certified as valid, the Republican-led Legislature will have a 40-day window to pass the initiative, and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer can't veto it.

https://www.facebook.com/113580635353600/photos/a.2539507736094199/2539535252758114/?type=3&theater

According to a post on the Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm's Facebook page on Sunday, Dec. 22, the Teichman family indicated the farm is going up for sale. 

Bill Teichman from Tree-Mendus Fruit contracted Eastern Equine Encephalitis earlier this year.

For years, the farm was home to the annual cherry pit spitting contest.

 

Here is the post: 

 

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

It’s been a year since the Michigan Legislature’s record-breaking lame duck session that saw more than 300 bills fly through the House and Senate. 

Lawmakers approved controversial measures making it harder to launch successful citizen petition campaigns, removing protections for wetlands, and gutting the state’s new minimum wage and paid sick leave laws. As part of the weekly series MichMash, Cheyna Roth and Jake Neher explain that the state is still grappling with the implementation of many of those laws.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

It’s been a year since the Michigan Legislature’s record-breaking lame duck session that saw more than 300 bills fly through the House and Senate. 

Lawmakers approved controversial measures making it harder to launch successful citizen petition campaigns, removing protections for wetlands, and gutting the state’s new minimum wage and paid sick leave laws. As part of the weekly series MichMash, Cheyna Roth and Jake Neher explain that the state is still grappling with the implementation of many of those laws.

Whitmer Signs Bills To Legalize Sports, Online Gambling

Dec 20, 2019
BAISHAMPAYAN GHOSE/FLICKR

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed legislation to legalize sports betting and internet gambling. 

The laws enacted Friday take effect immediately, but wagering won't start for a number of months because casinos need to obtain state licenses.

Lawmakers are hopeful sports bets can be placed by the start of the NCAA men's basketball tournament in March.

New tax revenue generated from sports betting and internet gambling will go to public schools and a fund for firefighters who get cancer.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Some of President Donald Trump's staunchest GOP allies say he should apologize for attacking the late Democratic Rep. John Dingell of Michigan.

On Wednesday night as the Democratic-led House impeached him, Trump said from a rally in Michigan that the World War II veteran Dingell might be “looking up” from hell.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham says the president should apologize.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said Dingell had served the country well.

The White House says Trump was “”just riffing."

Evan Vucci/AP Photo

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) - A defiant President Donald Trump is labeling his impeachment by the House of Representatives “a suicide march” for the Democratic Party. 

Trump spoke at a freewheeling rally in Michigan on Wednesday night as the House voted to impeach him.

He took the stage just minutes before he became the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.

It was a dramatic and discordant split-screen moment, with Trump emerging from a mock fireplace like Santa Claus at the Christmas-themed rally as the debate in Washington was underway.

Michigan Sues Opioid Distributors, Likens To Drug Dealers

Dec 17, 2019
PAUL SANCYA / AP

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is suing four companies over the deadly painkiller epidemic. State Attorney General Dana Nessel says Michigan is the first state to sue major opioid distributors under a drug dealer liability law.

The suit filed Tuesday names AmericsourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson and Walgreens.

They have been sued in other states, too.

Michigan is the 49th state to file legal action against the opioid industry.

Only Nebraska hasn't.

Nessel says the opioid crisis has led the state to bear high financial costs.

Michigan.gov

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel will file a lawsuit today seeking damages from multiple drug related cases in the opioid addiction crisis.

This is the first time Michigan will take its own legal action related to alleged drug company misbehavior related to opioids.

The lawsuit will be filed in Wayne County, which has been hit particularly hard by opioid abuse.

https://www.facebook.com/signalpointgolfclub/photos/a.173355323098934/327680134333118/?type=3&theater

NILES, Mich. (AP) — A golf course in southwestern Michigan has been sold and could be turned into a residential development.

Signal Point Golf Club near Niles in Berrien County has been around since the 1960s.

It was recently sold to local real estate broker Jim Ringler and partners.

Ringler says it might remain a golf club. But he noted that Signal Point's previous owners at Blackthorn Golf Club in South Bend, Indiana, decided to get out.

https://www.facebook.com/1066497076705337/photos/a.1079083112113400/2590811014273928/?type=3&theater

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say one person was killed and three more were injured early Sunday during a car crash in southwestern Michigan.

According to a statement from the St. Joseph Public Safety Department, the crash occurred before 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

Authorities believe two of the car's passengers were ejected from the vehicle during the rollover crash.

One of those people died at the location of the crash. The others were taken to a hospital for treatment.

Michigan Doubles Bonus To $10K For State-Employed Dentists

Dec 14, 2019
(FILE) Stephanie Oberlander Kalis/AP Images for Aspen Dental

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials have agreed to double hiring bonuses for dentists who choose to work in state hospitals and prisons in an effort to lure them into a practice that overwhelmingly pays less than the private sector.

The Civil Service Commission voted Wednesday to add another $5,000 hiring bonus for newly hired dentists who complete a year-long probationary period, bringing the total bonus to $10,000.

Whitmer Tells Trump Michigan Will Keep Welcoming Refugees

Dec 14, 2019
Michigan.gov

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says the state will continue welcoming refugees.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

Online gambling and sports betting could soon be legal in Michigan. As part of the weekly series MichMash, Jake Neher and Cheyna Roth talk about why gambling is becoming more of a sure bet at the state Capitol.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed legislation to ensure that Michigan's 6% sales and use taxes are collected on more items sold through websites such as Wayfair, Overstock and Amazon.

The laws could generate an additional $90 million in revenue per year, mostly for public schools.

The laws require “marketplace facilitators” such as eBay to remit sales and use taxes on behalf of independent sellers that work through their sites.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, a moderate Republican, says he will vote against impeaching President Donald Trump.

Upton, top Democratic target in 2020, issued a written statement Thursday calling the impeachment process “highly partisan and clearly motivated by what I believe is an attempt to overturn the last election.”

He says the time to vote on Trump is next November, not next week. Trump is accused of abusing his power by asking Ukraine to investigate his 2020 rival,

Michigan Sales Top $1.6M In First Week Of Recreational Pot

Dec 10, 2019
DANK DEPOT / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Recreational marijuana sales totaled about $1.6 million in the inaugural week of business at the first retail shops in Michigan.

https://www.stjosephcountymi.org/sheriff/units_corrections.php

CONSTANTINE, Mich. (AP) — A man who served 20 months in custody for a wrongful conviction is suing police in southwestern Michigan.

Ray McCann was repeatedly hounded by police during an investigation of a girl’s killing in St. Joseph County.

McCann denied any role in the death of the 11-year-old girl but says he felt pressured to plead no contest to perjury.

The conviction was thrown out in 2017 at the request of a prosecutor. McCann's lawsuit says his rights were violated during a “corrupt scheme” by police. Another man confessed to killing Jodi Parrack.

Michigan Nears Deal To Legalize Sports, Online Gambling

Dec 8, 2019
Kartoman/Wikimedia Commons

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are closing in on an agreement to legalize sports betting and internet gambling in Michigan, with final votes possible this coming week.

The development would be a landmark in a state with a lot of gambling options already. Those include three commercial casinos in Detroit, 24 tribal casinos across western and northern Michigan, and the Lottery.

Justin Hicks/WVPE

The state of Michigan has announced a series of meetings that have been scheduled to address the future of education in Benton Harbor.  This follows a plan announced earlier this year in which the state proposed closing Benton Harbor High School. Now an advisory committee is taking input on options.

Michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says no public money should go to private or parochial schools --  even for the costs of complying with state mandates. 

The governor and the state schools superintendent filed a brief today with the Michigan Supreme Court.

They agree with a challenge that says the funding violates the state constitution's ban on public money going directly or indirectly to non-public schools. The only exception is to pay for transporting students.   

Trump Announces Dec. 18 Reelection Rally In Michigan

Dec 6, 2019
Paul Sancya/AP Photo

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — President Donald Trump will campaign for reelection in Michigan a week before Christmas. His campaign announced Thursday that he will host a “Merry Christmas” rally on Dec. 18 in Battle Creek.

The evening event will be held at the Kellogg Arena.

Trump's announcement came a day after Vice President Mike Pence visited three cities in western Michigan.

Pence vowed that he and Trump would be in Michigan “again and again and again." Trump last visited Michigan in March, when he held a rally in Grand Rapids.

Sales Top $200,000 On Opening Day For Michigan Marijuana

Dec 3, 2019
GET BUDDING/UNSPLASH

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Marijuana sales totaled more than $200,000 on the first day of business at a handful of Michigan shops.

UPDATE: Crowds Lined Up For First Day Of Legal Marijuana Sales

Nov 30, 2019
Get Budding / Unsplash

UPDATE:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Crowds lined up for the first day of legal recreational marijuana sales in Michigan.

Impeachment May Complicate 2020 For Lonely Michigan Moderate Fred Upton

Nov 30, 2019
Wikicommons

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — For more than 30 years and under five presidents, Republican Rep. Fred Upton easily won reelection to his southwest Michigan House seat by touting "common-sense values" and bipartisan accomplishments.

Michigan Priest Denies Holy Communion To Gay Judge

Nov 29, 2019
https://www.accesskent.com/Courts/63dc/

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Church in western Michigan is defending a priest’s decision to deny Holy Communion to a judge in a same-sex marriage.

Judge Sara Smolenski says the Rev. Scott Nolan privately informed her on Nov. 23, about a week after receiving Communion from him at St. Stephen Church in East Grand Rapids. She says she hadn’t been regularly attending the church for months.

Nolan says the teachings of the Catholic faith aren’t flexible. The church recognizes marriage as between a man and a woman.

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