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Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Half the trees in Michigan cities could be killed

Some cities in Michigan could lose half of all their trees due to disease or pests. Foresters are working to reduce the potential devastation.

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Michigan State Capitol.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

It’s the third week of the Michigan Legislature’s frenzied lame duck session. One controversial bill could fly out of the state Senate this week: legislation that targets public employee unions. It would require members to vote every two years to re-certify or disband their union.

Senator Jim Ananich is the Democratic leader in the Senate. He says Republicans are trying once again to weaken unions in Michigan.

“There’s no need for it. All it would do is cost the state and both the workers and the unions a lot more money,” he says.

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Nearly half of people covered under Michigan’s Medicaid expansion said their health improved immediately after enrolling. For those whose health improved, they were four times as likely to say that they were doing a better job at work. That’s according to a study by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. 

At this point and time, it's pretty clear that the words "awful" and "awesome" aren't interchangeable. But why do their prefixes sound identical?

Our listener Kalen asks: “Why is ‘awesome’ a positive word and ‘awful’ a negative word?”

This is a great example of how two words can start in the same place and end up with quite different meanings.


Michigan State Police

The future for some drug detecting police canines is uncertain in Michigan, now that recreational marijuana is legal.

A woman wearing warm clothing holds a sign that says "Shut Down Line 5, No Tunnel".
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Demonstrators gathered in Petoskey on Saturday, opposing the state's plan to build a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac, which would house twin oil pipelines owned by Canadian company Enbridge Energy.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

With apologies to Mark Twain, reports heralding the death of auto production in Detroit are exaggerated.

General Motors shocked Michigan, Ohio and Maryland last week with plans to idle four assembly plants next year and eliminate 8,000 salaried jobs. GM CEO Mary Barra spent two days on Capitol Hill this week fielding pleas from lawmakers to reconsider pleas she appears to have politely refused.

Enter Fiat Chrysler. Its late CEO, the legendary Sergio Marchionne, was the first in Detroit to acknowledge the death of the American car and to actually do something about it. Fiat Chrysler dropped car production in the United States long before its hometown rivals dared do the same. Nearly three years later, it’s poised to reap a reward, and so is Detroit the home of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Detroit News reported this week that Fiat Chrysler is prepared to announce as early as next week that it plans to revive its Mack No. 2 engine plant and convert it into a second assembly plant for the iconic Grand Cherokee. Up to 400 new jobs are expected to be created as the automaker and the United Auto Workers move staffing around to meet demand and retooling.

A renovated Mack facility would be Detroit’s first new assembly plant in 27 years. It would cushion the blow that’s expected when GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant is scheduled to cease production in June, just weeks before national contract talks with the UAW begin.

The Michigan State Capitol
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Republican lawmakers in Lansing have been criticized lately, because they adopted two ballot proposals in September on minimum wage and paid sick time – and then passed bills to significantly change those measures.

It’s left some to wonder how fair our ballot initiative process is. One lawmaker has introduced a bill that he says will increase transparency and accountability in the ballot petition process.

deqmiair.org

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says Michigan and 19 other states have complied with a 2008 rule to reduce their pollution that was drifting into other states. But air quality experts say there's much more to be done.  

Ozone is a harmful gas created when sunshine, heat and pollutants like nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds interact. Those pollutants, which come from power plants, manufacturing, and vehicles, can drift from one state to another. 

Janice Nolen is with the American Lung Association. 

whitewall buick / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Rent has increased more in Detroit as a percentage of household income than in any other large U.S. city in the last few years, according to a report by the financial tech company SmartAsset.

The report looked at fair market rent across the U.S. between 2014 and 2017.

Ann Arbor superintendent Jeanice Swift
April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, the Michigan legislature has been busy pushing through bills during lame duck. The question is: will Governor Rick Snyder sign them? Plus, how training police to interact with people who have a mental illness or cognitive disability can reduce the chance of a violent encounter. 

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A 9-part podcast about a team of women who won justice in one of the largest serial sexual abuse cases in U.S. history.

Introducing Mornings in Michigan

How do you spend your mornings?