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Detroit City Council

Detroit City Council member Gabe Leland was indicted on bribery-related charges Thursday.

A federal grand jury indicted Leland on two counts of bribery, and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

Detroit pastors call for an end to water shutoffs

Oct 4, 2018
Catherine Shaffer / Michigan Radio

Religious leaders gathered in downtown Detroit to call for an end to the city's water shutoffs. The city began issuing shutoff notices in May. Since then, it has turned off water for 11,422 people, and 8,559 of those have had service restored.

U of M President announces new carbon neutrality goal

Oct 4, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

"Human-influenced global climate change is the defining scientific and social problem of our age,"  University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel told a gathering of U of M leaders Thursday. "And a significant component of this growing crisis is due to the burning of fossil fuels to generate energy."

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are moving to keep the percentage of school administrator evaluations based on student growth right where it is now.

The percentage is supposed to increase to 40% this year.  But on a 14 to 1 vote, the House Education Reform committee Thursday endorsed keeping it at 25%.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

In the middle of a tight re-election campaign, Michigan Congressman Mike Bishop took time Thursday to escort a top Trump administration official around a Lansing development project.

A recent poll showed Republican Mike Bishop holding a slim lead over Democratic challenger Elissa Slotkin.  Slotkin has raised more money than Bishop in the traditionally Republican district.

A map of Michigan shows several orange dots denoting locations where PFAS has been discovered.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

This spring, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality set out to test 1,300 public water systems for PFAS. So far, it's showed up in 69 places, ranging from large city systems to small mobile home park supplies.

Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

This week, we’re looking at PFAS chemicals: they're industrial chemicals that have contaminated water sources around the state.

PFAS chemicals are used to make a lot of products stain and water resistant.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State House Democrats have sent a letter asking the state auditor to investigate the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s handling of the state’s PFAS problem. 

PFAS is a group of man-made chemicals linked to human health problems.

State Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) hopes the state auditor can find answers.

Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

The EPA is keeping its promise to Michigan residents by holding a meeting in Kalamazoo on Friday to talk about PFAS contamination, but it’s not the meeting residents expected.

For starters, there won’t be a public comment period at the meeting, which will be held from 1-3 p.m. at the Kalamazoo Expo Center on Friday.

Gerald R. Ford International Airport near Grand Rapids
Photo courtesy of the Gerald R Ford International Airport

Congress has passed legislation to allow airports to stop using foam containing PFAS chemicals.

Under current law, commercial airports must use firefighting foam that contains toxic chemicals known as PFAS. However, Congress wants that to change.

betty ford dancing with husband
Gerald R. Ford Museum

 


Today on Stateside, what does Governor Rick Snyder's agreement with Enbridge Energy actually mean for the future of the Line 5 pipeline? Plus, a conversation with the author of a new book on First Lady Betty Ford's legacy.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Several Flint commmunity leaders said Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette has a record of ignoring the people of Flint.

They spoke at a press conference Wednesday organized by the Michigan Democratic Party.

According to Chris Martin, pastor of the Cathedral of Faith Church in Flint, Schuette ignored 15 complaints in 2015 from residents reporting bad water quality in Flint.

Martin said complaints about bad water and health problems had fallen on deaf ears in Flint. 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A group of Detroit students walked out of class in protest on Wednesday, the same day the state uses student attendance numbers to decide how much per-pupil funding school districts receive.

The students say they did it to draw attention to water contamination in the Detroit Public Schools Community District. The district cut off drinking fountains and other drinking water sources before the school year started, after tests found high levels of lead and copper in some schools.

PFAS foam washing up on the shore of Van Ettan Lake.
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Over the past two years, Michiganders across the state have become aware of the chemicals known as PFAS. They first made news when elevated levels were found in more than 20 private water wells in Oscoda. Now, there are 35 known contamination sites around the state.

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 announced Wednesday that his administration has reached an agreement with Enbridge Energy to replace Line 5, the 65 year old twin pipelines that run under the Straits of Mackinac connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. 

The agreement calls for a new pipeline that would run through a tunnel dug into bedrock below the lake bed. 

The Michigan Department of Environmental
Ben Thorp / Michigan Radio

State environmental officials are using infrared drone monitoring for the first time to help identify the source of PFAS contamination in Crawford County.

The Grayling Army Airfield is one of 35 sites with confirmed PFAS contamination the state is monitoring. PFAS are a family of chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other health problems. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

One of the contaminated PFAS sites first documented in Michigan was in Oscoda Township near the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base. The base has been closed for years.  Firefighting training there used a fire suppressant foam containing a PFAS chemical.

Water faucet
user william_warby / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Governor Rick Snyder wants to improve the state’s response time to PFAS chemicals. They’ve been found in groundwater, surface water, and drinking water across the state. Snyder issued a directive on Tuesday calling on state departments and agencies to create a readiness and response plan.

“We want to be ready in case something else happens, how do we respond as quickly and effectively as possible and that’s what this is about,” said Snyder spokesperson Ari Adler.

classroom of kids
NeONBRAND / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, a conversation about the dismal state of special education in Michigan in light of a recent report that names it as the only state in need of federal intervention to help improve special education curriculum. Plus, an environmental health expert talks about the potential health risks associated with PFAS exposure. 

Ann Arbor city hall.
Heritage Media / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

The Ann Arbor City Council decided Monday night between two competing ordinances that would create a  police oversight commission. 

The City Council chose a version proposed by Ann Arbor City Mayor Christopher Taylor and rejected a different version that was written by a citizen-led task force.

This left many at Monday night's City Council meeting vocally dismayed.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

At least 18 people, including Democratic congressional candidate Rashida Tlaib, were taken into police custody at a pro-union rally in downtown Detroit Tuesday.

Dr. Gérard Mourou speaking at a University of Michigan event.
Daryl Marshke/Michigan Photography

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to a former University of Michigan Engineering professor.

Working with Donna Strickland, who also received the prize, Gérard Mourou was honored for developing a way to generate ultrashort laser pulses in order to burn precise and small holes in materials. Strickland was once his former student and is now an associate professor at the University of Waterloo. She is also the first woman to win the award since 1963.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Updated at 3:00 p.m.

The driver of a burgundy pickup truck drove into a crowd of protesters in Flint Tuesday morning. Police believe it was an accident and the male driver has not been arrested.

Eight protesters were taken to the hospital with what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries.  

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

There have been more news stories in recent months about water contamination from a group of industrial chemicals. PFAS chemical pollution seems to have come out of nowhere. That’s not exactly true. PFAS contamination has been known to be a problem. What's different is we’re discovering the problem is bigger than imagined.

Enbridge Energy

Several environmental groups are stepping up their efforts against an expected plan to build a tunnel for an oil pipeline that passes through the Mackinac Straits.

A spokesman for Governor Rick Snyder says the state is still “reviewing studies and working through all possible options” for what to do with Line 5.

But environmentalists believe the governor has already decided.

Bird electric scooter
April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, why the auto industry is breathing "a sigh of relief" after President Trump announced the trilateral trade deal that will replace NAFTA. Plus, an Oscoda resident shares his experience of being affected by PFAS contamination, kicking off Michigan Radio's week-long series on contamination by the chemicals across the state.    

DEQ map of Parchment
MDEQ

The state will get help from Georgia-Pacific to help investigate the source of PFAS contamination in the city of Parchment.

The Department of Environmental Quality says Georgia-Pacific never owned or operated the paper mill in Parchment near Kalamazoo. But the company has a corporate relationship with the mill’s former owners.

shelf of wine bottles
Flickr user Geoffrey Fairchild / Flickr

It's about to get much easier for Michigan consumers to receive their favorite wines on their doorstep.

A recent federal court ruling has lifted a statewide ban on shipments from out-of-state wine retailers.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Legalizing recreational marijuana would net half a billion dollars in new state tax revenue over its first five years, that's according to a new study.

The study was commissioned by the group behind the November ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan.

wikimedia commons

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters says its most recent legislative scorecard for the 2017 - 2018 session paints a bleak picture.

Lisa Wozniak is the bipartisan group's executive director. She says a low point was the state legislature's approval of a bill that gives polluters a say in setting cleanup standards. Governor Snyder signed the bill into law.

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