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Lauren Talley

Morning Edition Producer

Lauren Talley returns to Michigan Radio nearly a decade after her very first internship as a newsroom intern.

In her role as Morning Edition producer, Lauren coordinates and edits interviews, writes scripts, news copy, and features, but mostly she helps make Doug sound good on air.

Before returning to Michigan Radio, Lauren spent six years producing for PBS in Washington, DC. She has degrees in journalism and Spanish from Michigan State University.

An Ann Arbor native, Lauren is happy to be back in the city where she was raised. Outside of work, she enjoys outdoor activities, sewing, and playing with her hound/lab mix, Rufus.

hospital exterior
Michigan Medicine

Nurses at the University of Michigan hospital have voted to authorize their union to call a three-day work stoppage if the university does not respond to claims of unfair labor practices. Ninety-four percent of the votes were in favor of the authorization.

black and white close up of hand filling out form
Kathryn Decker / Flickr

Governor Rick Snyder announced Friday the state will stop asking job applicants and people seeking certain occupational licenses to check a box if they have been convicted of a felony.

He also will sign an executive order directing state departments and agencies to remove the felony question box from applications for state employment.

He said the types of state licenses affected include those for plumbers, electricians, barbers and cosmetologists.

sign that says vote here
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

A federal appeals court restored a law Wednesday that bans Michigan voters from checking a single box to vote for all of a party's candidates.

That means in the November general election they’ll have to select each individual candidate.

close up of plant with purple flowers
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Officials in northern Michigan are working to remove an invasive plant that poisons monarch butterflies.

The black swallow-wort is a vine with heart-shaped leaves and small, dark purple flowers.

underground train tunnel
Peter Gilbert / Flickr

Border patrol agents arrested a Canadian man accused of bringing people across the border through a railroad tunnel between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

Prosecutors say five people paid Juan Antonio Garcia-Jimenez $1,500 each to smuggle them in to the U.S.

ferris state university sign
Ferris State University

Hundreds of faculty at Ferris State University plan to strike today – the first day of classes – after negotiations failed to produce a new contract.

The contract with the union representing 450 tenured faculty members expired in June.

red two truck
Boulevard Trumbell Towing

A man who built a towing empire in Metro Detroit is now serving time in prison.

A federal judge sentenced Gasper Fiore to 21 months Thursday.

He's among the 20 defendants in an investigation into public corruption in Macomb County.

planet fitness sign
Flickr user Jeepers Media

A lawsuit over a transgender person using the women's locker room at a gym can continue.

The Michigan Appeals Court says Yvette Cormier can argue that her rights were violated under the state's consumer-protection law.

Cormier says a Planet Fitness in Midland terminated her membership after she told other women about a transgender gym member who was using the women's locker room.

damaged road and car
Vicky Ingram

Flooding in the Upper Peninsula earlier this month prompted Governor Rick Snyder to declare a second state of disaster for Houghton County.

The declaration will open up additional resources and money for areas that were still recovering from severe flooding in June.

That flooding washed away large chunks of concrete and asphalt, damaged homes, and killed a 12-year-old boy.

Several roads that had already been repaired were damaged again this month.

explosion in desert
U.S. Army

A Dearborn man has been arrested in Syria on suspicion of fighting for the Islamic State.

American-backed forces captured Ibraheem Musaibli earlier this month.

The New York Times says that authorities are working to prosecute him in the United States. He's currently being held in an undisclosed facility.

Musaibli has been described as a high school dropout who moved to Yemen before traveling to Syria in 2015.

bobfire
user Kari / Flickr - http://j.mp/1spglc0

Several mid-Michigan communities have issued burn bans because of the recent hot, dry weather.

In Genesee County, the latest additions to the list include Mount Morris Township, Grand Blanc and Grand Blanc Township.

Some communities in Saginaw County also already have burn bans in place and there are county-wide bans in Bay and Midland counties.

The restrictions will continue until further notice.

race car
Flickr user somethingness

The future of the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle in the Detroit River is uncertain after its contract expired this year.

Belle Isle has hosted the Grand Prix periodically since 1992 and annually since 2012.

This week, race officials will make their pitch to the Belle Isle Advisory Committee to continue the race.

The Grand Prix pays $200,000 each year and race officials say they've improved the island by building two bridges and fixing the roads.

black and white bacteria under microscope
Wikimedia Commons

The state says warm weather is partly to blame for an increase in the number of legionella-related illnesses – including Legionnaires’ disease – across Michigan.

From January 1 through July 6, the state Department of Health and Human Services confirmed 135 cases.

That compares with 107 cases during the same period last year.

MDHHS is investigating the cases with local health departments.

The bacteria that causes Legionnaires' grows faster in warming, stagnant waters, so it's most common in the summer and early fall.

old building
Wayne State University / Flickr

Wayne State University has confirmed two contract workers on a construction project have been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease.

That’s a total of three diagnosed cases in two months.

In May, a university employee was diagnosed with the pneumonia-like illness.

Wayne State began testing its water systems soon after that.

Legionnaires' is not contagious, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It's contracted by breathing in mist containing legionella bacteria.

drinking fountain
jasongillman / Pixabay

Students at Flint Community Schools will continue drinking bottled water during the upcoming academic year, but the schools are looking for some help.

That's because some tests this spring showed water in district buildings still has elevated levels of lead.

Students have been drinking bottled water since the city's water crisis became public.

School officials told the Flint Journal they can provide bottled water through the fall, but they're looking for "community and corporate partners" to contribute after funding runs out.

Temperatures that topped 90 degrees over the weekend caused a section of highway outside Lansing to close twice when the road buckled.

Michigan Department of Transportation crews broke up concrete Sunday along northbound I-69 in Charlotte in Eaton County and filled gaps with quick-drying asphalt.

In extreme heat concrete isn't able to expand, so it starts to break up, MDOT told the Lansing State Journal.

Road buckling also closed southbound lanes of I-69 in the same location on Saturday night.

A wind turbine above a barn
jettajet / Flickr

Another Michigan community is pushing back against wind turbines. In Monitor Township, the Board of Trustrees unanimously passed a moratorium on building wind turbines Monday night.

More than 400 residents attended the meeting. Residents said they're concerned the turbines could lower their property values. They're also worried about the noise and possible effects to their health.

Twenty wind farms have already been built in Michigan, including farms in Huron, Saginaw, and Bay counties.

aerial view of airport
Wikimedia Commons / Russ Nelson

Two people died and one person was injured when a small plane crashed in a neighborhood on Detroit's east side Sunday.

city council room
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

City prosecutors in Lansing recently dropped 50 misdemeanor cases after the city council accidentally let hundreds of ordinances expire last year.

The Lansing State Journal reports that as a result, the defendants in those cases won't be prosecuted at any level.

According to city officials, the alleged crimes were non-violent. The most common charges were trespassing and providing false information to a police officer.

Sewer cover
user greg l / wikimedia commons

Nearly 300,000 gallons of sewage overflowed from a manhole into the University of Michigan's Nichols Arboretum this weekend, according to the city of Ann Arbor.

Some of the sewage also ended up in the Huron River, but in a statement the city said it doesn't know how much.

Ann Arbor is blaming the blockage on an uninflated sewer plug and 3,000 feet of rope.

The rope was left by a contractor who recently inspected the sewer.

A federal judge sentenced a Rochester Hills doctor to three years in prison for prescribing more than 110,000 doses of Oxycodone and other opiates to patients who didn't need them.

The Oakland Press reports Dr. Chris Samy pleaded guilty to two charges, including conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. He was sentenced last week.

Court documents say Samy wrote the prescriptions from 2014 to 2017 and after patients filled them they gave the drugs to Joel Swift.

Swift then sold them on the street. He's been sentenced to probation.

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.

chalkboard with sex education written on it
Flickr user saulalbert

A Michigan bill to mandate teaching affirmative consent – or "yes means yes" – during sex education at public schools in unlikely to become law before the Legislature's summer recess.

However, supporters say they're optimistic the idea will gain traction in future legislative sessions.

That's because the issues of sexual misconduct and abusive men have gotten more attention with the rise of the MeToo movement.

driverless shuttle bus
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

Ann Arbor residents may see some unusual vehicles driving around the University of Michigan's north campus starting today.

There’s one thing missing: a driver.

The two driverless shuttles will run on roughly one-mile loop and have a conductor on board in case anything goes wrong.

The 11-passenger shuttles are part of a research project from M-City, a public-private partnership with U-M that develops driverless technology.  

Researchers placed cameras onboard to study how passengers and pedestrians will respond to seeing them on the road.

USFWS

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said in a statement that state laws will now allow the sale of CBD (oil based cannibus) to medical marijuana patients.

CBD advocates say the oil can help people with medical conditions like seizures, chronic pain, anxiety and sleep issues.

However, it does not give users the same "high" feeling commonly associated with smoking pot.

But any change by the state might not matter.

In the fall Michigan residents could vote on a ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana.

high school exterior
Fowlerville Community Schools

Authorities are conducting an internal investigation after an off-duty police officer's gun accidentally went off at a high school wrestling meet this weekend.

The officer was at Fowlerville High School about 25 miles east of Lansing to watch his son wrestle on Saturday.

The bullet didn't hit anyone, but it did get stuck in the gym floor. One person twisted their ankle as people ran out of the gym.

The meet was interrupted for about an hour.

The internal investigation report will be reviewed by the Livingston County Prosecutor's Office.

headshot
Senate Dems

Democrat Steve Bieda of Warren had been running to replace U.S. representative Sandy Levin, who's retiring.

Now Bieda is running for Macomb County clerk.

In a statement yesterday, he said his decision was influenced by the "corruption and scandal" under former clerk Karen Spranger.

Spranger was removed from office by a judge last month.

Bieda has been a state senator since 2010 and also served as a state representative.

utility lines and power plant
Notorious4Life / Wikimedia Commons

A quarter of a million DTE Energy customers in Metro Detroit are still without power after the weekend ice storm.

That's down from 370,000. The company says it expects 90 percent of its customers to have power restored by the end of the day tomorrow.

Consumers Energy says about 8,000 customers still have no power. Most of them are south and west of Lansing.

flooded Grand River
City of Grand Rapids / Facebook

Gov. Rick Snyder wants a federal disaster declaration for eight Michigan counties affected by severe flooding last month. He's asking the federal Small Business Administration to study the damage caused by heavy rainfall and snow melt Feb. 19-21.

If approved, the disaster assistance program would provide money and low-interest loans to repair homes and businesses.

park sign
Flcikr user Patricia Drury

A National Park Service conservation program will help pay for a new 6-mile multi-use trail around Detroit's Belle Isle Park.

Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters say the program is providing $750,000 for the project. 

The Land and Water Conservation Fund State and Local Assistance program provides grants for local and state park projects outside national park boundaries. Private investments will match the federal funding for the trail.

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