News | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

News

MSU Board of Trustees takes heat over cutting healing assistance fund

1 hour ago
Plaque on the door of the MSU Board of Trustees
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

The MSU Board of Trustees held its first meeting on Friday after the school’s controversial decision to cut the Healing Assistance Fund for survivors of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar.

Most commenters were angry about the decision to cut the Healing Assistance Fund, which had earmarked $10 million for mental health services for survivors.

The school announced last week that it would move the remaining $8 million into a settlement fund.

Google maps

Fourteen Michigan water treatment plants from Port Huron to Monroe now have a coordinated early warning system.

Kelley Karll, an engineer with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, says there's a lot of heavy industry and freighter traffic on both the Canadian and U.S. side of the shared waterway, which includes the St. Clair River.

She says it's a risk for the three million people who depend on the treatment plants for drinking water.  Now, an upstream water treatment plant can immediately warn a downstream plant of a threat.

"It's just a poke," a nurse told a toddler at a special lead clinic at Brownell Elementary School in Flint. The little girl disagreed, loudly.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan updated its blood lead levels for workers earlier this week, making it the first state to replace standards that were drawn up in the 1980s.  

Workers will now have to be removed from lead exposure when their blood lead levels reach 30 ug/dL – a substantial decrease from the previous level of 50 to 60 ug/dL. Under the new standards, employees cannot return to work until their blood lead level is below 15 ug/dL.

Anders Adermark / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

The Detroit Archdiocese has responded to criticism of its move to transfer property into a holding company. The church is being accused of trying to shield assets from potential lawsuits by victims of sexual abuse.

Wikimedia commons

 

Today, where do bills still passing through the Michigan Legislature stand as we head into the final week of the lame-duck session? Plus, we speak to two siblings who were separated in the foster care system. Now, they're fighting for a Sibling Bill of Rights. 

Legislator explains why school grading system is needed

 

Wikimedia Commons

A bill introduced by Representative Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw) passed yesterday with some amendments in the state House. If the education bill is passed in the state Senate, it will create an A-through-F grading system for Michigan schools.

Rep. Kelly joined us to discuss SB 5526 and respond to criticizers of the bill, such as Nikolai Vitti, the superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District who called the bill anti-democratic. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Mike Cameron and Michael Konas are the co-founders and creative forces behind Dog Might Games. 

If you visit their woodshop, you’ll first be greeted by a dog. He’s a rescue.

Dog Might Games says it doesn’t have customers; it has fans. The fans named the dog “Sawdust.”

Gov. Rick Snyder
gophouse.com

Governor Rick Snyder signed two bills into law that weaken voter initiatives to raise the minimum wage and require paid sick leave for workers. Republican legislators passed the initiatives into law in September to prevent them from going on the ballot. That allowed them to extensively amend the measures.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The copper mug was on the mixing table, but I knew Tammy Coxen with Tammy’s Tastings was probably not going to be mixing a Moscow mule. She was about to throw me a curve.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Time is running out for Michiganders to sign up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act.   
Midnight Saturday is the deadline to qualify for next year’s health plans. 

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

On Wednesday this week, Governor Snyder signed a bill into law that will allow a tunnel for a new section of pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac to move forward. The intention is to resolve the status of the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline, which currently is laid across the bottom of the Straits and poses a potential for catastrophic disaster.

John U. Bacon

The people who run all 39 college football bowl games recently picked the 78 teams they want to showcase this holiday season – even though there are only 130 teams to choose from. In other words, they have to dip into the bottom half of teams to fill the bowls.

Livingston County

The Michigan attorney general's office has issued three felony counts against Livingston County district court Judge Theresa Brennan.  

The charges stem from Brennan's 2016 divorce case.

At the 53rd District Court, Judge Theresa Brennan was assigned all divorce cases that didn't involve children. So, in 2016 she was assigned her own divorce case. 

Investigators say that rather than immediately recusing herself, she waited, and found out there was a court order for her to preserve evidence on her iPhone. She deleted the evidence, then recused herself, and later lied under oath about what she'd done. 

Nikolai Vitti
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District, is strongly opposed to an education bill making its way through the state's lame-duck legislature. SB 5526 narrowly passed with some amendments in the state House around 3 a.m. Thursday morning. The bill goes next to the state Senate.

Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

People have until December 18th to weigh in on a plan to build a new section of pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. The pipeline would be put in a tunnel under the bedrock of the Straits and carry crude oil and natural gas liquids.

Russell Kirk
Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

Today, Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Nikolai Vitti joined Stateside to react to a lame-duck bill that would create a statewide A-F grading system for Michigan schools. Plus, what would Michigan native Russell Kirk, a founder of American conservatism, think of the ideology today? 

“This is colonialism”: Detroit schools chief blasts lame-duck A-F grading plan  

 

graduation ceremony
Flickr/ ISZL Alumni Relations

 

A recent national report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that Michigan is behind the rest of the country in helping young people move out of the foster care system and onto a successful adult life. In West Virginia, 70 percent of youth transitioning out of foster care got education financial assistance. The national average was 23 percent. Here in Michigan? It was just one percent.

laptop on bed
Pixabay

The Michigan State Police says organizations nationwide have reported receiving emailed and phoned-in bomb threats, including in Michigan.

The law enforcement agency says there been no reports of actual bombs being set off, and that it "does not advise persons to pay the Bitcoin ransom" being demanded in the emails.

Yue Liu and Michael G. Rossmann, Purdue University / https://www.cdc.gov/

A child from Oakland County has been confirmed as the second case of acute flaccid myelitis in Michigan in 2018. The first case, confirmed earlier this month, was a child from Wayne County.

The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio file photo

Members of the Michigan House were busy quickly passing bills in its lame-duck session until 3:30 am Thursday morning. Here's a round up of what they passed.  

An aerial view of Downtown Detroit with other part of the city in the distance.
Robert Thompson / Wikimedia Commons

Seven companies have pledged a total of $35 million to Detroit’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund. Making the announcement this week, Detroit officials called it the largest-ever corporate investment in the city’s neighborhoods. The money will help fund improvements to parks, streetscapes, and other features in areas beyond Downtown and Midtown.

Teacher standing in front of a classroom of children.
Unsplash

On today’s show, a toxicologist shares his concerns over a bill moving through Michigan's lame-duck legislature that would restrict what information the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality uses when determining standards for toxic contamination cleanup. Plus, our education commentator Matinga Ragatz on why it’s important that teachers not shy away from talking about race in the classroom.

EMU

14,000 students have dropped out of Eastern Michigan University over the past ten years without completing their degrees, primarily because they couldn't afford to keep attending classes.

It's a big problem for universities across the nation, especially universities like Eastern Michigan, which count many first-generation and working people among their student body.

Protesters hold court in rotunda of state Capitol

Dec 12, 2018
Looking up into the rotunda of the Michigan Capitol.
user cedarbenddrive/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Protesters flooded the rotunda of the Michigan Capitol Wednesday to oppose actions taken by the Legislature during this year’s lame duck session. Protesters gathered for a second week after lawmakers passed legislation modifying measures such as minimum wage and earned sick time.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A portion of a package of school safety bills is expected to see a vote in Lansing this week.

The bills would create an Office of School Safety within the Department of State Police. They would also require school districts to consult with law enforcement about security and emergency plans for situations like active shooters. And they would allow school boards to discuss safety plans in closed sessions.

State capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Scientists and public health advocates are voicing concern over a bill currently making its way through Michigan’s lame-duck Legislature. They say that SB 1244,  sponsored by state Senator Jim Stamas (R-Midland), could prevent the state from using the most up-to-date science when determining what levels of toxic contamination should trigger a cleanup. 

One of the anchors used to hold Line 5 in place under the Straits of Mackinac.
Screen shot of a Ballard Marine inspection video / Enbridge Energy

Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill Wednesday that allows a plan to build a tunnel for a new section of pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac to go forward.

That pipeline would carry crude oil and natural gas liquids. Environmentalists are concerned because the plan would let the decades old Line 5 stay open while the new tunnel is under construction.

Lansing area township OKs external review of Nassar case

Dec 12, 2018
Meridian Township

On Tuesday, the Board of  Trustees of Meridian Township unanimously authorized the hiring of an independent investigator to review the township's handling of a 14-year-old case related to Larry Nassar.

In 2004, Nassar survivor Brianne Randall-Gay told Meridian Township police that she'd been molested by Nassar. But the police department did not forward her complaint to the Ingham County prosecutor.

Earlier this year the township publicly apologized for mishandling Randall-Gay's case.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lapeer County’s sheriff is apologizing for comments one of his employees made against the Flint police department.

A video surfaced online earlier this month showing a Lapeer County Sheriff’s employee implying that Flint police officers don’t care about murder, drug sales, or prostitution that occurs in the city.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor is dumbfounded by a decision to offer a new state job to one of the defendants in the Flint water crisis criminal investigation.

Pages