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Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

City commissioners in Kalamazoo are scheduled to vote Monday night on whether to raise rates for water and sewer services.

The city’s public services director, James Baker, told commissioners earlier this month the rate increases are needed to help fund improvements to the water system. Those include the replacement of lead service lines, and extending the city’s water system to two townships where harmful PFAS chemicals were found in the water supply.

Kalamazoo has more than 120,000 water customers.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Groups involved with promoting skilled trades and support for military veterans are hopeful Congress will act soon on legislation to bring the two together.

The Support for Veterans in Effective Apprenticeships Act would expand the number of skilled trades apprenticeship programs available to vets.

Almost as long as there's been email, there's been the question of what the plural of "email" should be. 

A listener named Steve Roznowski reminded us of this recently, when he pointed out that Professor Anne Curzan says "emails." Roznowski says he uses "email" for both the plural and singular form.


Caroline Cook standing on conrer talking to people
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Tour groups in Grand Rapids are braving the cold weather to learn about the city’s black history.

This tour focuses on civil rights leaders like Rosa Parks, and the works of famous black painters like Paul Collins.

Mel Tucker in East Lansing
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

After a week of the usual chaos, Michigan State University has a new football coach.

Welcome to the asylum, Coach Mel Tucker. It’s where the inmates otherwise known as the board of trustees repeatedly show zero understanding of the difference between management and governance, and where MSU’s new president, Samuel Stanley, is nowhere to be found beyond a simple news release.

Darryl DeAngelo Terrell sits in a wicker peacock chair with two men on either side of them
Courtesy of Darryl DeAngelo Terrell

We all have a version of ourselves that lives in our head. Your favorite self, your strongest self, the self this worldㅡ for whatever reasonㅡ doesn't want to let you be. For queer and gender non-binary artists, that self isn't just a daydream. It's someone who might get you through years of being made to feel like an outsider. It might also be a canvas for important ideas.

Heather Johnson

A former University of Michigan-Flint employee has filed a federal lawsuit against the university, alleging she was fired for advocating for better resources for LGBTQ students.

Supporters of the Michigan Green Party visit the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department.
Michigan Green Party / Facebook

Today on Stateside, one Michigan family got an extended vacation after their cruise ship was turned away from port after port because of fears about the coronavirus. Also, we round up the week's news, including the coverage of black voters ahead of election 2020 and Detroit's ongoing water shutoffs.

Joel Langlois surrounded by supporters
Joel Langlois campaign

West Michigan businessman Joel Langlois ends his campaign to take Justin Amash’s congressional seat.

Langlois was in a crowded field of Republican candidates running for the seat currently held by the now Independent Amash.

Ryan Grimes / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan will no longer be able to enforce key parts of its Sex Offender Registry Act, unless state legislators write a new law by this summer.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Cleland issued an opinion today that will force the state to stop enforcing parts of the law that were ruled unconstitutional, and from enforcing any part of the law against people whose offenses happened before April 12, 2011. Lawyers in the case have until March to come up with a plan for how to notify the more than 40,000 people currently on the sex offender registry. Sixty days after that plan is submitted, key parts of the state's current sex offender registry will become unenforceable.

"The law can't be enforced, it has to be rewritten," says Miriam Aukerman, senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Michigan. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Children in Flint faced a myriad of problems well before the city’s water crisis raised new fears of potential negative health effects from lead tainted drinking water.

The challenges faced by Flint kids and the progress that’s been made since the water crisis was the subject of a conference Friday.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit now faces a reckoning for its history of over-taxing homeowners—and a new class-action lawsuit.

The city admits it over-assessed many homeowners for years after the Great Recession, leading to inflated property tax bills. A recent Detroit News investigation pegged the amount of over-taxation at around $600 million from 2010-2016. Wayne County has foreclosed on around one-third of all Detroit properties since 2008.

sad dog
Unsplash

The City of Detroit has announced that improvements in its animal care and control operations are exceeding initial goals.

Last December city officials promised to invest in making Detroit a safer place for people and pets.

This came four months after a nine-year-old girl was fatally mauled by three dogs as she rode her bike near her Detroit home.

absentee ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

2020 is the first presidential election year Michigan voters will have access to no-reason absentee voting, and election clerks are expecting a surge in absentee ballots. A set of bills passed out of the state Senate Elections Committee Thursday will allow clerks to remove ballots from the mailing envelope, but not the secrecy sleeve the day before the election.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

When you walk into Buffalo Traders Lounge in Grand Rapids, it’s the kind of space that just begs you to get comfortable, relax, and sip a drink.

“I have to say this is a gorgeous space, kind of mid-century modern decor. And I love it,” Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings said as she looked around.

We were there to visit with the lead bartender, Tony Jones and to sample one of his craft cocktails.

Lume Cannabis Co.

Some Michigan communities have something new: recreational marijuana home delivery.

Lume Cannabis claims to be the first licensed recreational marijuana company to provide home delivery in the state of Michigan.  The service is so far only available in 11 communities in Osceola, Wexford and Mecosta Counties.

close up of Katyh Klages and other woman
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

Updated: Friday, February 14, 2020 at 5:22 p.m.:

A jury has convicted a former Michigan State University gymnastics coach of lying to police when she denied that two teen athletes told her of sexual abuse by sports doctor Larry Nassar in 1997, nearly 20 years before he was charged.

Picture of Michigan State University marker on campus
Michigan State University

Today on Stateside, we're digging deeper into the hiring of Mel Tucker, his around $30 million compensation package, and the process governing sports hiring at Michigan's Big 3 schools. Plus, two African American artists in Detroit talk about finding a canvas big enough to tell real stories.

Sydney James stands in front of a mural she painted
Courtesy of Sydney James

The fine art world has not always been friendly to African American artists. But that’s starting to change, and black artists are now more visible than they’ve ever been. That includes prominent artists of the past, like Harlem Renaissance painters Jacob Lawrence and Norman Lewis, as well as more contemporary figures.

profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Senate voted Thursday to reject one of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s appointments to the state Natural Resources Commission, which oversees hunting and fishing regulations.

Courtesy of City of Detroit

Detroit's animal care and control operations are delivering improvements more quickly and at a higher rate than initially expected, according to city officials.

They said that in 2019 there was a substantial increase in calls that animal control officers responded to, in tickets issued to pet owners, and in the number of animals released for adoption. That's compared to the year before. 

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

The city of Ann Arbor is considering a carbon tax on internal operations that rely on fossil fuels and carbon emissions. This comes three months after the city declared a climate emergency and set a goal of carbon neutrality for the city by 2030.

Asian Carp
Kate Gardiner / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

President Donald Trump's proposed budget won’t fund a barrier to stop Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes despite recent remarks that he would protect the lakes from the invasive fish.

It does, however, include one win for the Great Lakes: another $123 million in 2021 to build a new lock in Sault Ste. Marie ($75 million was already appropriated to start construction on the lock in 2020).

BYTEMARKS / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Attorneys involved in two lawsuits over Michigan’s unemployment insurance debacle say they’ll join forces on those cases in hopes of moving them forward.

An automated computer system, the Michigan Data Automated System (MIDAS) falsely accused more than 40,000 people of fraudulently claiming unemployment benefits from 2013-2015, under Governor Rick Snyder’s administration. Many suffered huge losses as the state garnished wages and tax returns as repayment for the alleged fraud.

a group of children in front of a large portrait of a black woman lounging on a couch
Courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts

When you walk into the African American art wing of the Detroit Institute of Arts, you see a large portrait of a woman on a couch. The portrait is covered in rhinestones, and the glittering woman has a regal air.

The painting, titled "Something You Can Feel," is by artist Mickalene Thomas. The woman is her mother, who was a runway model in the 1970’s. The portrait is filled with color and joy. Its celebration of black womanhood is an example of how African-American artists have reshaped the portrayal of black bodies in fine art. 

Saline High school with students in wintertime
Public Domain

Four Saline high school students have sued their school district for punishing them over racist social media posts that used the 'N' word.

The federal lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, alleges that the Saline Area Schools violated the plaintiff's constitutional rights to free speech and due process, and that the school district did not have the authority to suspend or expel them over the posts. 

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Grand Valley State University is offering a new online degree program aimed at adult students. The program expands on the online degrees already offered by the university.

GVSU president Philomena Mantella  says the new program will offer more flexibility.

guns in holsters on two people
Lucio Eastman - Free State Project - PorcFest 2009 / Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Today on Stateside, the trial of Kathie Klages has begun. The longtime coach for the Michigan State University women’s gymnastics team is accused of lying to police during an investigation into Larry Nassar. Plus, the national debate over new gun control measures has led to some Michigan municipalities to adopt “sanctuary county” resolutions for gun rights.

stock photo of a water bill and pen
aberenyi / Adobe Stock

The Detroit City Council could adopt a resolution soon asking Governor Gretchen Whitmer to declare water shutoffs a public health emergency. That’s according to a report in The Detroit News.

Civil rights groups have been pressing the governor to address water shutoffs. They say the problem has been building for decades.

Issues & Ale:  Michigan’s Presidential Primary 
Mon, March 9, 2020   6:30-8:00 PM 
Lansing Brewing Co.
518 E Shiawassee St, Lansing, MI 48912

Michigan is considered one of the key swing states that could decide the 2020 presidential election. The race for president rolls into Michigan with the state’s presidential primary on Tuesday, March 10. 

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