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It’s looking increasingly likely that more than 500 nurses at McLaren Macomb hospital could go on strike next week. The OPEIU Local 40 has issued a 10-day strike notice to management, and the current contract ends July 27, says union Vice President Dina Carlisle. 

Muskegon Heights High School (file photo)
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The state has officially released the Muskegon Heights school district from receivership, marking the end of oversight for all school districts and communities in the state.

a lot of cars lined up outside the detroit windsor tunnel
Wikimedia Commons / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Today on Stateside, fully vaccinated Americans will soon be able to cross the border into Canada for non-essential travel. We'll hear from a reporter about what they can expect. Plus, a conversation about the many varieties of vaccine hesitancy—and effective strategies to convince skeptics. And, we’ll talk with the directors of the Williamston Theatre, outside of Lansing, about their reopening plans. 

Richard Wershe Jr. ("White Boy Rick") received a life sentence because he was caught as a 16-year-old with eight kilos of cocaine in Detroit in the 1980s.
Michigan Department of Corrections

A Detroit-area man whose decades in prison for drug dealing and work as an informant inspired the movie "White Boy Rick" has filed a lawsuit seeking $100 million, claiming he was coerced into assisting police as a teenager.

a statue of CMU's insignia
CMU

Central Michigan University students could win a full-year scholarship for being fully vaccinated.

The university announced Monday that it will name winners Aug. 2 and 23, Sept. 13, and Oct. 4. Each drawing will have 100 students who will get a $75 gift card and one student who will win a full-year scholarship for the 2021-2022 school year.

young Black teen receives a vaccine in his right arm
Seventyfour / Adobe Stock

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, 31% of Michigan children are not up to date on CDC-recommended childhood vaccinations.

Those vaccinations include MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and DTaP (diptheria, tetanus, and whooping cough or pertussis).

Physicians and school administrators across the state want kids up to date on all their shots when they come back to school in-person this fall. 

Dr. Mark Hamed is the president of the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians, and the director of emergency medical services for McKenzie Health.

The state Senate will begin hearings soon on a proposed overhaul of how Michigan offers publicly funded mental health services. There are lots of different ideas on how to fix the system, but there is one area of wide agreement: The current approach is not working.

A mental health system overhaul is a key area of interest for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), who says the quality of care right now depends largely on where a patient lives. The system is managed by county mental health boards.

John Seung-Hwan Shin / Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en

A Black teenage girl said she was turned away from a Livonia skating rink after being pinged on its facial recognition software. 

But the girl, 14-year-old Lamya Robinson, said she has never been to the arena before.

Robinson and her parents told a local television station she was mistaken for another girl, who was banned from the rink for allegedly fighting.

The Ambassador Bridge.
Lester Graham

Sixteen months after border restrictions first went into effect, people from Michigan will be able to visit Canada (by air or land) once again this summer.

The Canadian government announced Monday it plans to re-open the border to vaccinated U.S. citizens and residents starting August 9.

Benson touts new changes to SOS branch offices

Jul 19, 2021
the exterior of a Michigan secretary of state express office
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

All Michigan Secretary of State branch offices are now offering extended hours.

Offices are now open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says it's part of a plan to accommodate more customers and cut through the backlog of expired licenses and ID cards that have accumulated during the pandemic.

person receives COVID vaccine shot
Adobe Stock

Federal health officials recently declared the current COVID-19 spike to be a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”. The announcement is a national public reminder that the pandemic is not yet over. 

testing swab
Shutterstock image

Today on Stateside, Detroit's handling of sewage, and a system that’s been overwhelmed with flooding twice already this summer. Also, thoughts on this stage of the pandemic. If herd immunity is impossible, how should we change prevention plans? And the owner of Count Your Lucky Stars records tells the story of growing a micro music scene.

Unsplash

On Wednesday, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments on whether requiring Michigan students to wear masks in classrooms violates their constitutional rights.

The case involves a Catholic elementary school – Lansing-based Resurrection School – which contends that any state mandate that children age five and older wear a mask in classrooms is unconstitutional. 

The school says such a rule would violate “sincerely held religious beliefs” because they say humans were made in the image of God, and masks shield that image from being seen.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The deadline for Flint property owners to take part in the city’s free lead service line replacement program is just a few days away.

The Mackinac Bridge was closed to all traffic in both directions for more than two hours Sunday afternoon because of a bomb threat.

The Mackinac Bridge Authority tweeted that law enforcement notified officials about the threat shortly after 2p.m. The bridge was reopened after 5p.m. following a search of the span.

A solar-powered light in Highland Park.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Highland Park now has 18 streetlights powered by the sun. That’s thanks to a community solar group called Soulardarity.

Soulardarity has been installing solar street lights across Highland Park since 2012. That was soon after DTE repossessed all the city’s conventional streetlights over unpaid bills.

When we wet our whistle at a bar, we have a "wh" in whistle but not in "wet." 

That fact spurred an argument in the comments section of an article we found last week. The author had used the phrase "wet your whistle," but some commenters argued it should've been "whet your whistle.


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

An attorney at a Detroit-area law firm is looking at options to reduce the amount of money people have to pay to rebuild dams that were damaged during flooding last year, but some local leaders fear the effort could prevent the dams from ever being restored.

a hospital hallway with people at the end of it
Robin Erb / Bridge

Michigan's new auto insurance law is overturning the lives of many auto accident survivors and their families, week by week, as long-term care providers that used to support them close.

Take the case of one of Christine Call's clients. She's a case manager for auto accident survivors. One of her clients is a quadriplegic with a traumatic brain injury.

Mojtaba Hoseini via Unsplah

Judge Sara Spencer-Noggle would have preferred to send Brian Kolodziej, a former state prosecutor who falsified a police report and had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a rape victim in a case he was prosecuting, to jail. 

But at Kolodziej’s sentencing hearing Friday, the Isabella County Circuit Court judge said she could only give Kolodziej two years of probation, community service, and mandatory mental health treatment.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Wayne County as heavy rains moved across the region Friday. NWS reports 1 to 2 inches of rain has already fallen in southern portions of Oakland and Macomb counties.

Westbound I-94 closed to traffic just after 12:30 p.m. at I-75 due to flooding; and Eastbound I-94 closed to traffic just after 12:45 p.m. The I-96 East Ramp to I-94 East is also closed.

Semaj Brown

The American Academy of Poets has chosen Flint’s Poet Laureate, Semaj Brown, as one of twenty-two 2021 Poet Laureate Fellows. Brown will receive $50,000 for her literary work. 

Brown intends to put the award toward the Poetry Pod Project, or P3. The virtual programming series, a project of her own design, aims to support literacy in Flint. 

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, a discussion about what needs to change to prevent massive flooding as torrential rain pours in Southeast Michigan. Also, an update on a week of Michigan politics, and a conversation with two cast members from the Steven Soderbergh film “No Sudden Move,” which is set in 1950s Detroit.

prescription drugs
flickr/Charles Williams / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It is another devastating statistic from 2020.

 

Michigan had a 16% increase in drug overdose deaths in 2020 as compared to the previous year, according to provisional numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control.

This disrupts Michigan's decrease in overdose deaths since 2018. 

When two is a lonely number: Group aims to connect spousal caregivers, ease isolation

Jul 16, 2021
Ginger and Mike Henrichs
MAX SCHULTE/WXXI NEWS

Pulling a pill organizer box from a kitchen drawer in her Penfield home, Ginger Henrichs removed the contents from the Monday compartment and broke them into tiny pieces with a pill crusher.

Henrichs emptied the pills -- now almost as fine as dust -- into a carton of pudding and walked over to her husband, who is sitting in a wheelchair.

“Hey, Mike, can I give you some pudding?” Henrichs asked.

"Sure,” he replied.

Giving her husband his pills is just one of the daily caregiving tasks that she's taken on since he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2011.

Serenity Mitchell / Unsplash

The City of Saginaw is delaying the resumption of its water shutoff program, which had been suspended during the pandemic.

Water shutoffs due to unpaid bills had been scheduled to begin Wednesday this week, but a spokeswoman for the city says the delay will allow people more time to gather documentation, so they can apply for help from local non-profit agencies.

That's only a short-term fix, says Bonsitu Kitaba, Deputy Legal Director with the ACLU of Michigan.

She says many low income Saginaw residents simply can't afford the cost of their city's water service.

PFAS foam on lakeshore
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

A collection of Michigan environmental groups said Thursday that they had formed a coalition aimed at reducing the harmful effects of a group of chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

cartoon about unemployment
John Auchter for Michigan Radio

Undermine is a good word. What it means is very intuitive from its roots. Is there a category for those types of words? It's not quite an onomatopoeia, or is it? Perhaps Rebecca Kruth and Anne Curzan can help me out with this.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new study finds there was not a significant increase in fetal deaths in Flint during the city’s drinking water crisis.

Many in Flint have wondered if stillbirths between 2014 and 2016 were due to increased lead levels in the city’s drinking water. A 2017 report suggested Flint had seen a 58% increase in fetal deaths. But the report was criticized by academics and the state health department.  

Getty Images

Today on Stateside, a new report outlines how the FBI failured to investigate Larry Nasser. Also, one theater company in Dexter on taking risks during the lockdown and finally getting back onstage. Plus, poet Semaj Brown on the power of introducing people to writing.

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