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michigan state university sign
Branislav Ondrasik / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


Michigan State University has stopped payments to sexual abuse victims because of suspicion of possible fraudulent claims.

The $10 million fund was set up earlier this year to pay for counseling services for the survivors of abuse by former MSU sports physician Larry Nassar. 

Matt Mencarini is with a reporter with Lansing State Journal. He broke the story of the halted funds earlier this week. Mencarini joined Stateside’s Lester Graham to explain why exactly MSU suspended these funds. 

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.

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.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s a new tool that Michigan cities can use to better understand their health care needs.

The NYU School of Medicine has developed what they call the City Health Dashboard, which looks at 36 key measures and drivers of health.   

Marc Gourevitch is the Dashboard’s principal architect. He says health problems like opioid abuse and obesity are tracked on the dashboard.

“Not only looking at health itself,” says Gourevitch, “but some of the things that cause health, like housing and transportation and air quality. So we try to bring all that together.”

michigan state capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

 

It's time to put people over party. 

That's the idea driving young legislators across the country to group together in a bipartisan way, forming caucuses as a part of the Millennial Action Project's State Future Caucus Network for lawmakers under age 40 who want to govern in a different way. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s mayor is putting the sale of city hall “on hold”.

Last year, former Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero picked Chicago-based Beitler Real Estate Services over three other developers, to turn Lansing city hall into a new hotel. 

Lansing officials settled on the idea of selling city hall, since the estimated $55 million cost of renovating the aging building would be cost prohibitive.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This past week, Lansing’s Catholic bishop introduced a special panel that will examine issues of race in the diocese.  

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.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s mayor is not ruling out some “pain” as the city deals with a rising legacy costs.

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor sat down with his Financial Health Team for the first time today to discuss ways of dealing with the capitol city’s long-term liabilities.

aeiral view of flooded Grand River
City of Grand Rapids / Facebook

Most of West Michigan and Mid-Michigan are still under a flood warning after last week’s heavy rains and warm temperatures that melted snow on the ground. 

A street pole in the middle of flood water
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Lansing is one of several cities throughout the state dealing with flooding.

Mayor Andy Schor declared a state of emergency Wednesday. Several streets are still blocked off, making it tougher to navigate sections of the city.

John Estill lives right along the Grand River. Flood water covers his entire backyard and has made its way to his basement.

“We’ve got sandbags around the outside of the house, but it’s still seeping in, and we’re trying to keep ahead of it with pumps,” Estill said.

Estill says the drywall in his basement took the most damage.

Lansing City Hall building
Michigan State Historic Preservation Office / Flickr

Lansing officials are urging residents of several neighborhoods to evacuate due to possible flooding.

Mayor Andy Schor declared a state of emergency tonight.

Officials said residents should leave their homes by noon Thursday and stay away until the water recedes. They said rivers will keep rising until Friday.

Whitney Spotts lives near the river in the downtown Cherry Hill neighborhood and has experienced flooding there before. 

She said she and her husband are both musicians, and they are packing up this time.

Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America / Creative Commons

Fifty years ago, the practice of barring people from buying houses in certain neighborhoods or declining home loans because of race or ethnicity became unlawful.

But a new investigation finds it’s still happening.

Beitler Real Estate Services

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor is reopening, slightly, the bidding process involved in the sale of city hall. 

In the 1930s, property assessors graded American cities on a four-point scale, with the worst neighborhoods coded red, giving birth to the term "redlining."
Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America / Creative Commons

It’s been half a century since the federal government banned discrimination in the home mortgage industry. But a new analysis of mortgage data shows people of color are still routinely denied conventional mortgage loans far more often than white people.

Lansing City Hall
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

An apparent administrative oversight means a still-unknown number of city laws in Lansing were wiped off the books - at least temporarily.

The city's regulatory ordinances that went into effect before 2007 were supposed to be re-enacted by last November. 

But that did not happen, and now the City Council is scrambling to fix the problem.

Under Lansing's city charter, the council must vote to re-enact its regulatory ordinances every ten years, or adopt a resolution to let them expire.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor says Michigan’s Capitol City is in a “good place.”

Schor delivered his first State of the City address Wednesday. He took office January 1. 

Schor talked about new efforts to improve Lansing public schools, better connect with city neighborhoods, and promote arts and culture.  

But the mayor says infrastructure, especially crumbling city streets, is a problem.

“We’re going to spend what we have,” says Schor, “but what we have is not enough to fix all the roads.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Lansing city council will hold a public hearing Monday night on a proposal to sell city hall to a developer.

Chicago-based Beitler Real Estate Services proposes turning Lansing city hall into a hotel. It’s part of a complicated deal under which the developer would spend $42 million renovating the building. Beitler would also turn the old Lansing State Journal building into the capitol city’s new city hall.

JANE KRAMER

Mid-Michigan, and particularly the Lansing area, has long been a landing spot for refugees.

To share their stories, a group of artists in Lansing has put together a storytelling exhibit and a book called Refuge Lansing: Stories of Resettlement in Mid-Michigan.

Lindsey Scullen/Michigan Radio

Come next January, Lansing's going to have itself a new mayor for the first time in a dozen years.

That's because Mayor Virg Bernero chose not to run for re-election.

During his tenure, Bernero never shied away from a fight — if he felt it was warranted — and his plain-spoken style earned him the handle of America's Angriest Mayor.

Grand River Ave. street sign in Lansing, Michigan.
user Lovelac7 / wikimedia commons

A section of roadway in Lansing has been renamed after civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.

The Lansing State Journal reports that the city council approved the renaming Monday night of East Grand River beginning at Oakland to Washington and West Grand River beginning at Washington to Pine.

More from the Journal's Julie Garcia:
 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Monday night, the Lansing city council declared the opioid crisis a public nuisance. It’s a first step toward filing a lawsuit against drug companies.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Latino leaders and others told the Lansing city council during a public hearing last Monday night why the city should rename part of a city street after activist Cesar Chavez. 

The civil rights icon died in 1993. 

In 1994, Lansing officials renamed part of Grand River Avenue street for Chavez. But a public vote reversed the decision the next year.   

Marisol Garcia says the rebuke still stings.

“It does because I have children,” says Garcia. “For them to see that the city of Lansing is not accepting of an important leader to our community…it’s hurtful.”

Cristian Newman @ismaelnieto

If most people over the age of 65 will need long-term care, what will that look like, and will they be able to afford it? That’s what State Representative Jon Hoadley wants the state to study. He and other lawmakers are backing bills to measure that cost and come up with some funding options.  

Hoadley says people turn 65 every day, but the long-term insurance market is unstable.

“All that together means that a storm is coming,” he says. “We have an opportunity with this bill to get ahead of this problem.”

Sarah Slocum specializes in elder care for a nonprofit health group. She says the state needs to know what all that long-term care will cost.

“We’ve been working very hard in the advocate community, from the department, from the provider prospective to make improvements in long-term care,” Slocum says. “But the puzzle that we have not yet unlocked is financing and how to make that really work across the spectrum.”

The state report wouldn’t make recommendations, but it would outline some options for lawmakers such as tax credits and reinsurance to improve the marketplace. The bill received its first committee hearing last week.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The public will get a look tonight at four proposed futures for the site of Lansing city hall.

Developers bidding to buy Lansing city hall have four different visions for the property across from the state capitol.

One would renovate city hall into a hotel. Two other bidders would construct new towers on the current City Hall plaza, each featuring a hotel. The fourth proposal would tear down city hall and replace it with a hotel.

Developers will deliver 45-minute presentations starting tonight at the Lansing Center.

Lansing city hall
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A developer is scheduled to be selected to buy Lansing city hall by the end of this week.

Four developers submitted proposals to the city. Mayor Virg Bernero says the winning bidder will be the one that makes the highest and best use of the property.

Lansing City Hall
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The future of Lansing city hall may rest with paperwork filed today.

Would-be developers had until 5 p.m. to submit their proposals for the property across the street from the state Capitol. The proposals will now move to a committee for review.  

Mayor Virg Bernero says the half-century-old building needs too much work to maintain. He wants to sell the building and use the proceeds to relocate city offices.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing voters will take a step toward electing a new mayor August 8th. 

On Tuesday, Lansing will hold a mayoral primary election which for the first time in a dozen years will not feature Virg Bernero on the ballot.

Bernero’s decision not to run for re-election this year opened the door to five candidates seeking Lansing’s mayor’s office.

Lansing's city hall
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s outgoing mayor wants to sell city hall and find a new home for the city's offices.    

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero today formally asked for proposals from businesses interested in turning Lansing City Hall’s downtown location into a hotel, office space, residential units or retail space.  He’s also asking for a plan to relocate city offices elsewhere.

A few of the items you can check out at the Capital Area District Library's "Library of Things"
Screenshot from CADL.org

The Next Idea

We think of borrowing from a library and what comes to mind? Books. DVDs. CDs.

Now, through the Capital Area District Libraries in Lansing, you can check out a badminton set, a GoPro camera,  a thermal leak detector or even a sewing machine. Those are just some of the items that they have available in the CADL's Library of Things.

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