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steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint Democrat Dan Kildee says it’s time for Congress to act to prevent future mass shootings.

By one count, there have been more than 150 mass shootings in the United States this year, including the recent deadly shooting at a Maryland newspaper.

“This is just becoming almost insanity,” says Kildee (D-Flint), “and Congress just completely fails to act.”

The Fitz Forward plan calls for the development or demolition of every publicly-owned parcel in the quarter-square-mile area of the Fitzgerald neighborhood in northwest Detroit.
Fitz Forward Development Group

A development team has closed on the purchase of 128 parcels in northwest Detroit as part of a massive reinvestment in one of the city's neighborhoods.

Fitz Forward Development will develop the parcels in the Fitzgerald neighborhood as part of its plans to revitalize the area through reparations and remodels of existing historic homes, installation of a greenway, development of community gardens, and demolition of dilapidated homes.

Patino distributed 300 free hams to struggling Pontiac residents in 2014. He is now charged with a health care fraud scheme valued at over $100 million.
Brian Tam / Flickr

A Detroit-area doctor who wrote prescriptions for more than 2 million painkiller pills has been charged with health care fraud.

Dr. Frank Patino appeared in Detroit federal court Wednesday. He was returned to jail to await a Friday hearing to determine if he'll stay locked up without bond.

Patino is accused of submitting claims to Medicare and Medicaid for health care that wasn't performed or wasn't necessary. The value of the alleged scheme is pegged at $112 million.

Beach
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

A Michigan lawmaker is looking to amend the rules governing trust fund money intended to grow public land for resource protection and recreational opportunities.

Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts

An exhibition of "accidental" art will open at the Detroit Institute of Arts on August 26th.

"Lost & Found: Photographs from the DIA's Collection" will be a collection of photographs from around the U.S. and Detroit, taken by unknown and often untrained photographers.

Some of the work will feature James Pearson Duffy, an amateur photographer and collector, who made over 500 photographs of Detroit in the early 1970's, and Peter Cohen, an acclaimed vernacular photography collector.

Humane Society of Huron Valley

An animal welfare group says it’s rescued more than 100 dogs, cats, and other animals from a home in Michigan where an unlicensed animal breeding operation was housed.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Many online shoppers may have to start doing something new: pay sales tax.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today states can force online shoppers to pay sales tax.  

The decision came in a case that pitted the state of South Dakota and online shopping giant Wayfair.

The 5-4 ruling Thursday is a win for states, who said they were losing out on billions of dollars annually under two decades-old Supreme Court decisions that impacted online sales tax collection.

Prison fence barbed wire
Kevin Rosseel / morguefile

 The Michigan Supreme Court says judges, not juries, have the sole power to decide whether someone under 18 gets life in prison without parole.

The 4-2 opinion, released Wednesday, centers on murder cases from St. Clair County and Genesee County. Many new sentencing hearings for so-called juvenile lifers have been on hold while a decision was in the works.

A mosquito
flickr user trebol-a / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Mosquito control briquettes have been applied to nearly 18,000 catch basins in a Detroit suburb. Warren says it's the first application of the mosquito repellants this year by public works employees. Another application is scheduled for August.

Mosquitoes can breed in catch basins, tire swings, buckets, and anything else that holds standing water.

Warren Mayor James Fouts says the control measures are aimed at protecting residents from West Nile virus and other illnesses that can be contracted from mosquitoes and ticks.

John Engler at the final MSU Board of Trustees meeting of the 2017/18 school year.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

A letter signed by at least 120 victims of former sports doctor Larry Nassar demands that Michigan State University's governing board remove interim school president John Engler.  

The women and girls issued a statement Tuesday, days before the board of trustees' next meeting.

damaged road and car
Vicky Ingram

Storms moving across the Upper Peninsula washed out several roads in the Houghton and Hancock areas and created dozens of sinkholes across the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Dwight Burdette / wikimedia commons

Michigan would legalize online gambling under a bill passed by the state House.

Lawmakers voted 68-40 Tuesday night for two main bills to create a Lawful Internet Gaming Act that would regulate online versions of licensed casino games.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

A dredging project in Grand Traverse Bay Harbor in Michigan's Upper Peninsula has been delayed due to permit and contracting issues.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says dredging expected to start this spring will be postponed until at least fall. It's part of efforts to save Buffalo Reef off Gay, northwest of Marquette.

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

A $57 billion spending plan that boosts base K-12 funding and road construction has been approved by the Michigan Legislature.

The budget, which takes effect in October, also closes a state prison, earmarks $100 million for Gov. Rick Snyder's plan to link students with in-demand jobs, and sets aside money to better secure some schools from shooters.

The House and Senate passed the two main bills Tuesday, on what is expected to be the Republican-led Legislature's last session day before a summer break.

Detroit Public Schools

The Detroit Public Schools Community District is revising its student code of conduct in order to keep more students in school after recording 16,000 suspensions last year.

The Detroit Free Press reports the initiative aims to be less punitive and more focused on teaching positive behavior and conflict resolution. The new code changes punishment guidance to address behavior through parent conferences or restorative practices.

Federal Department of Corrections

Disgraced ex-Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has ended up at a low-security federal prison in New Jersey.

The Detroit News reports the 47-year-old Kilpatrick was transferred this week from a federal prison in Oklahoma to a federal detention center in Philadelphia before being moved to the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix.

Blue lockers
Flickr user C.C. Chapman

After graffiti referencing guns was found in a middle school, the entire Gull Lakes Community School District is closed Tuesday.

Officials in the district – which is near Kalamazoo – are still trying to identify who's responsible for the graffiti.

The graffiti was found in a boy's bathroom and on a desk at a middle school in the district, which is near Kalamazoo.

In a message on the district's website, the superintendent said students have also made several "inappropriate" comments about possible violence against other students.

Andrew Jameson / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Justice Department is adding more prosecutors in Michigan.

U.S. attorneys in Detroit and Grand Rapids say they'll benefit from the government's focus on fighting violent crime. Six are being added in the Eastern District, and four will be hired in the Western District.

Detroit U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider says his office will use new prosecutors to "keep the residents of Michigan safe." Grand Rapids U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge says the new hires will "make a positive impact" in western Michigan.

SpringChick/FLICKR

Gov. Rick Snyder has approved nearly $50 million in spending to boost public recreation statewide.

The $49.9 million for the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund enacted Monday will go to 34 land acquisition projects and 97 development projects . It includes $12.5 million to buy up to 372 acres surrounded by Ludington State Park.

Among the state or local development projects are trails, parks, canoe and kayak launches, playgrounds and splash pads across Michigan.

About $45 million in matching funds will be provided locally.

Abdul El-Sayed and Shri Thanedar
Michigan Radio

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers has unanimously upheld Shri Thanedar's nominating petition signatures in his bid to be the Democratic nominee for governor, The Associated Press has reported.

The board on Friday rejected a challenge from a primary rival, Abdul El-Sayed. The grievance claims most of Thanedar's petitions contain offenses ranging from voter information clashing with the qualified voter file to potentially falsified signatures of petition circulators.

Flickr user Joe Gratz / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A preliminary examination has been ordered for five young men and teens after a driver was killed when a rock thrown from a Flint-area highway overpass struck a van's windshield.

The Flint Journal reports that a judge set July 16 as the hearing for Kyle Anger, Mark Sekelsky, Mikadyn Payne, Alexzander Miller and Trevor Gray.

They face second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, malicious destruction of property and other charges.

michigan.gov

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says he and a key lawmaker have conceptually agreed on a plan to impose work or training requirements for Medicaid recipients, but some details are still being worked out.

The Republican governor told The Associated Press Thursday there's been a "meeting of the minds" and "we're in a pretty good place."

He confirms previous comments from Sen. Mike Shirkey - the bill sponsor - that a proposed 29-hour work requirement would instead be 20 hours.

A gun lying on a table with bullets around it.
Daniel Weber / Flickr

Councilwoman Mary Sheffield says a rally will be held in downtown Detroit to address a rash of gun violence throughout the city.

Sheffield says Friday's 10 a.m. "call to action" at the Spirit of Detroit statue also will bring attention to Gun Violence Awareness month in June.

A man and woman were shot to death early Wednesday by two men who forced their way into a west side home. Early Tuesday, four people were wounded after an argument downtown.

Wayne State University
Wayne State University

Wayne State University has a message for former students who owe money to the Detroit school: Come back and let's make a deal.

Wayne State says it will gradually forgive up to $1,500 in debt if a student returns and enrolls full-time. If a student successfully completes a semester, one-third of the debt will be dropped. Every successful semester will erase more debt.

The school is holding information sessions on June 28 and June 30. Wayne State is calling the program "Warrior Way Back."

Courtesy of Cheryl Angelelli

A Detroit-area dance studio is blazing the trail for wheelchair ballroom dancing in the U.S. - with the help of a retired Paralympic swimming world champion-turned-dancer.

Cheryl Angelelli and her dance partner, Tamerlan Gadirov, are among the people leading what's billed as the first U.S. training for Para Dance Instruction. The sessions will be held at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bloomfield Township, where Gadirov is an instructor and the pair teaches a Dance Mobility class.

The Michigan Senate in Lansing.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio file photo

Police say more than a dozen protesters have been arrested after refusing to leave the rotunda of the Michigan Capitol.

Michigan State Police say in a statement about 125 people were on the floor off the Capitol rotunda Tuesday afternoon and were required to leave the building when it closed at 5 p.m. Police say 19 refused and were arrested for trespassing.

hstreetagent

Citizen-initiated legislation to repeal Michigan's prevailing wage law will proceed after the state Supreme Court denied an appeal filed by opponents of the bill.

The court on Wednesday said it was not persuaded it should consider the questions presented, letting stand an appeals court order for the elections board to certify the ballot measure.

The law requires that "prevailing" union-scale wages are paid to workers on state-financed construction projects such as schools.

Motown31 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Detroit's public schools are closing early for a second-consecutive day because of hot weather.

The Detroit Public Schools Community District announced that classes would end three hours early on Wednesday after closing early on Tuesday as well. School field trips will be rescheduled. Updated information is being posted on the district's website.

Temperatures again were expected to rise to above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius). The National Weather Service says severe thunderstorms also are possible this week.

Michigan's 13th congressional district
Wikipedia

The son of former U.S. Rep. John Conyers is asking a judge to order that his name be placed on this summer's Democratic primary ballot.

The Detroit News reports John Conyers III filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Wayne County Circuit Court.

County Clerk Cathy Garrett ruled last week that Conyers III didn't have enough signatures to make it on the Aug. 7 ballot to fill out the final two months of his father's term or for the full term that starts in January.

Friends of the Porkies

Officials are looking for partners and sponsors to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Michigan state park system.

A year-long celebration of the state park centennial is planned to begin in May 2019. The Department of Natural Resources says there are opportunities for businesses, associations and others to take part.

Among options are sharing information about the centennial, underwriting portions of the educational campaign, hosting a cleanup or display and leading events such as geocaching challenges and vintage RV parades.

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