Michigan News

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

Cell phones are now allowed in all Michigan state courts.

As part of the weekly series MichMash Jake Neher and Cheyna Roth talk about why that matters to just about everyone in Michigan.

Two Children Die From The Flu In Michigan

Jan 10, 2020
Lauren Chapman/IPB News/File

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed that two children have died in the state as a result of the 2019-2020 flu season. 

Michigan Sees a Third Vaping-Related Death

Jan 10, 2020
ROBERT F. BUKATY/AP PHOTO/FILE

Today the Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services announced there has been another vaping-related death in the state.

You can read the department's release about it below. 

Deadline Extended For Benton Harbor School Survey

Jan 9, 2020
Justin Hicks/WVPE

Today the Michigan Dept. of Treasury announced on behalf of the Benton Harbor Area Schools Community Engagement Advisory Committee that more time will be given for Benton Harbor community members and resident to take a survey about the Benton Harbor Area Schools. 

The survey submission deadline has been extended to Jan. 31, 2020.

Late in May in 2019 the state announced a plan to close Benton Harbor High School which drew an outcry. That plan is now on hold as a committee studies options on moving forward.

Potter Park Zoo, Lansing, MI

A contest to name a rare endangered black rhino calf in Michigan is over. The rhino born over the holidays at the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing has been named Jaali. The voting ended at midnight on January 8th. 

The birth of the calf marked the first time in the 100 year history of the zoo that such a creature was born there. Jaali was born on Christmas Eve of 2019. Jaali was born to a rhino named Doppsee. This was Doppsee's first pregnancy.

The zoo has released the following additional information: 

George Perles, Longtime Michigan State Coach, Dies At 85

Jan 8, 2020
Beth A. Keiser/AP Photo/File

Longtime Michigan State football coach George Perles has died at the age of 85.

Perles coached the Spartans to a Rose Bowl victory in 1988 after helping the Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowls as an defensive assistant.

Perles played football at Michigan State and later was an assistant, head coach, athletic director and member of the school’s governing body.

He won Big Ten titles in 1987 and 1990 as coach and guided the school to seven bowls.

Michigan Supreme Court Gives Green Light To Phones In Courts

Jan 8, 2020

The Michigan Supreme Court says the public can bring laptops, tablets and phones into local courthouses.

The court announced the groundbreaking policy change Wednesday.

The new rule covers the use of electronic devices in courtrooms and clerk's offices, where public documents are stored. 

The public can bring electronic devices into courtrooms to take notes, use the internet or exchange email and text messages.  

Fernando Vergara/AP Photo

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group is launching a 2020 ballot initiative to expand Michigan's civil rights law to include anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.

Fair and Equal Michigan submitted petition language to the Board of State Canvassers on Tuesday.

Once it's approved, the committee of business, political and philanthropic leaders will try to collect 340,000 signatures to place the initiated bill before lawmakers.

If the Republican-led Legislature doesn't adopt the legislation, the initiative would go to a statewide vote in November.

MICHIGAN SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE VIA AP

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is considering adding an alternative to the male or female designation on driver's  licenses.

Such a designation might be an "X." Fourteen other states that offer an option other than male or female.

Erin Knott is with Equality Michigan. 

She says it would help people who are transgender or who don't conform to traditional gender roles.

"It's saying that all Michiganders, including members of the transgender community, deserve to live with dignity and respect," Knott says. 

Federal Prosecutor Appointment In Michigan Being Held Up

Jan 7, 2020
David Eggert/AP Photo/File

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — President Donald Trump's nominee to serve as the top federal prosecutor in Grand Rapids is being held up by Michigan's two Democratic senators.

The Detroit News reports former state House Speaker Tom Leonard's nomination, announced in August, is being blocked after Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters declined to meet with him.

Typically, a nominee isn't confirmed without two positive blue slips from his or her home-state senators - but the Republican-controlled Senate has approved some appeals court nominees anyway.

https://www.msufcu.org/

EAST LANSING, Mich (AP) — An official with Michigan State University Federal Credit Union says 2,300 cards were charged with false transactions to an international televangelist network.

Officials with the Lansing-area credit union say it's unclear who was behind the fraudulent charges to LoveWorld TV.

Each charge was under $100 and will be refunded.

The credit union says it is also issuing new cards to members who were affected.

Stock Photo

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. Census Bureau data shows that Michigan's population grew by less than 3,000 residents last year, apparently keeping the state on track to lose one congressional seat following the 2020 Census.

The Detroit News reports the figures released Wednesday reveal Michigan saw an increase of 2,785 residents, bringing its total to 9,986,857.

An online apportionment tool from the University of Michigan Population Studies Center indicates that Michigan appears on pace to lose a congressional seat due to other states surpassing its growth.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 Local officials across Michigan are concerned about what a recession would mean for their communities.

As part of the weekly series MichMash Cheyna Roth and Jake Neher talk about what cities are doing to prepare for a possible economic downturn in 2020.

Feds Say Man Threatened Ohio State During Michigan Game

Jan 2, 2020
Jay LaPrete/AP Photo

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Authorities are looking for a man accused of threatening to shoot up Ohio State University and hurt players on the football team in 2018.

A September indictment unsealed last month accuses Daniel Rippy of making the “electronic communication” threat from California during the annual game between Ohio State and the University of Michigan in 2018, which was played in Columbus that year.

Ohio State won the game 62-39.

Rippy was arrested Dec. 28 in Livermore, California, and released on bond Monday.

https://www.lssu.edu/banished-words-list/

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan university is out with its 45th annual list of words or phrases that should be retired. At the top of the list: quid pro quo. The Latin phrase got new life during the impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump.

Lake Superior State University each year invites the public to nominate words and phrases that seem tired or annoying through everyday speech, news coverage and more.

UPDATE: Drastic Steps May Be Needed To Clean Up Green Ooze In Michigan

Dec 31, 2019
The Michigan Department of Transportation

NEW: 

Michigan environmental officials say drastic steps may be needed to clean-up chemicals that produced a green ooze in portions of Macomb County.

 

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge in Detroit is making it easier for independent candidates to run for statewide office.

Judge Victoria Roberts says the 30,000-signature threshold is too high and doesn't reflect a “compelling state interest.”

She set the bar at 12,000 petition signatures for the 2020 election.

The ruling could immediately affect independent candidates who want to run for U.S. Senate or president.

There are no races next year for Michigan governor, attorney general or secretary of state.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An audit of Michigan’s Bureau of Elections released Friday found discrepancies that allowed an unauthorized user to access the state's voter file and inadequate training of elections officials in over 500 local governments.

The audit by the Office of Auditor General found that 32 counties, 83 cities and 426 townships lack fully accredited clerks nearly two weeks before a general election year begins.

The audit also found that an unauthorized user accessed the state’s file of 7.5 million qualified voters.

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.

Pages