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The Associated Press

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin expects it will be difficult overriding President Trump’s veto of legislation to block his emergency declaration to build a southern border wall.

Gerald R. Ford International Airport near Grand Rapids
Photo courtesy of the Gerald R Ford International Airport

Samples are expected to be taken from about 49 residential drinking water wells in western Michigan to test for chemical contaminants. Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality says the wells are along Trout Creek in Cascade Township and that the testing is part of its ongoing investigation of potential PFAS contamination sources near the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

scales of justice
North Charleston / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Michigan Supreme Court says a Jackson County judge was irresponsible for communicating privately with prosecutors in disputed cases and then vilifying prosecutors when they informed defense counsel.

In 2017, Judge Joe Filip sought briefing by lawyers on key issues in a few cases, a common practice in any court. But Filip also emailed prosecutors and suggested they look at certain appeals court decisions as they prepared their briefs for him.

The judge didn't tell defense lawyers what he had done.

Democrat Jocelyn Benson
Rick Pluta / MPRN

New Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is urging lawmakers to let absentee ballots be counted before Election Day, and to make other changes following the passage of a ballot initiative that expanded voting options in Michigan.

The Democrat says the number of absentee ballots is expected to increase significantly now that people can vote absentee for any reason. Benson wants clerks to be able to start counting ballots four days before Election Day.

Elissa Slotkin
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

An amendment added by Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of a campaign finance and government accountability reform bill. The bill is aimed at reducing the role of big money in politics, ensuring fair elections, and strengthening ethics standards. It would make election day a holiday for federal workers, create a public financing system for congressional campaigns, bar voter roll purges, and restore voting rights for ex-prisoners.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel calls President Trump’s emergency declaration for a southern border wall a “publicity stunt”.

That’s why she’s signed on to a federal lawsuit filed in California this week.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Local Secretary of State offices around Michigan and the department’s online services will be getting a major computer upgrade this weekend.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Federal workers in Michigan are getting anxious with the deadline for another potential partial government shutdown less than a week away.

The White House is not ruling out another government shutdown, as lawmakers continue to negotiate funding for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall.

Ice on a tree branch
Susanne Nilsson / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared a state of emergency in Grand Rapids, qualifying the city for additional assistance as it copes with power outages and cleans up from storms.

 

A cyanobacterial bloom on Lake Erie in 2013.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Environmental groups have filed a federal lawsuit pushing for more action to prevent the toxic bacterial blooms that plague Lake Erie's western basin each summer.

Central Michigan University

Update, January 26, 3:10 pm:

A judge has found James Davis Junior was mentally ill when he killed his parents last March in his dorm room at Central Michigan University.

The decision means there won't be a trial for the 20-year-old.

Davis has been committed to a psychiatric facility and could be held there indefinitely.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The technicians who maintain the nation’s air traffic system warn the ongoing partial federal government shutdown is affecting air safety.

A weekend offer that President Donald Trump says is a compromise with Democrats doesn't appear to be on track to ending the partial government shutdown, now in Day 31.

The University of Michigan has ended its relationship with former USA Gymnastics executive Rhonda Faehn, three days after she agreed to work as a coaching consultant for the women's team.  

Athletic director Warde Manuel released a statement Sunday, saying:

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are beginning what may be a contentious 100th legislative session. 

Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen was busy Wednesday morning asking state senators, “Do you solemnly swear that you will support the Constitution of the United States....” as they were sworn into office.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Partisan division marked Michigan’s congressional delegation’s reaction to the President’s call Tuesday evening for a wall along the nation’s border with Mexico.

President Donald Trump said in an Oval Office address that there is a "growing humanitarian and security crisis" at the U.S.-Mexico border, though crossings have fallen in recent years.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) says it’s time for the president to come to the negotiating table to end the partial federal government shutdown.

But, for now, the president has other plans.

President Donald Trump says he will address the nation Tuesday night at 9 p.m. about what he says is a "crisis" at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Danny Ducat

University researchers in Michigan are concerned that if the federal government shutdown drags on, it could affect future scientific projects.

On their first day in the majority, House Democrats passed a plan to re-open the government without funding President Donald Trump's promised border wall.

The largely party-line votes Thursday night came after Trump made a surprise appearance at the White House briefing room, pledging to keep up the fight for his signature campaign promise.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Crimes of sexual abuse committed by former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar and the chaos they provoked have been named the Story of the Year in balloting by Associated Press members and editors.

Syringe with drip
ZaldyImg / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan attorney general has filed second-degree murder charges against a pharmacist and the co-founder of a Massachusetts pharmacy who are blamed for a fatal meningitis outbreak.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michiganders will likely not notice much if there is a federal government shutdown at the end of this week.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says it's up to President Donald Trump whether the federal government partially shuts down at midnight Friday over his border wall.

Trump has said he'd be "proud" to have a shutdown over the $5 billion he wants for the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Asked Sunday if there was room for compromise, Schumer told NBC: "He's not going to get the wall in any form."

French fries
HopCat

A Michigan-based bar and restaurant chain plans to change the name of its "Crack Fries" in January to distance itself from a name associated with a drug epidemic.

A post on HopCat's website by BarFly Ventures CEO Mark Gray says the recipe and ingredients of its seasoned fries will stay the same.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Olympic Committee has fired chief of sport performance Alan Ashley in the wake of an independent report that said neither he nor former CEO Scott Blackmun elevated concerns about the Larry Nassar sexual abuse allegations when they were first reported to them.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The holiday shopping season is about to move into high gear.

Michigan Retailers Association spokeswoman Meegan Holland says a recent survey shows store owners are very confident going into Black Friday.

USFWS MIDWEST

The U.S. House has passed a bill to drop legal protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states, reopening a lengthy battle over the predator species.

Long despised by farmers and ranchers, wolves were shot, trapped and poisoned out of existence in most of the U.S. by the mid-20th century.

NOAA

Smoke from the devastating California wildfires has reached Michigan, but it won’t be around for long.

Authorities have more than doubled their estimates of buildings destroyed in Southern California's huge wildfire. Officials said Monday that an estimated 370 structures burned and that only 15% of their damage estimate has been completed.

The size of the fire has also increased to more than 143 square miles (370 square kilometers) and was 20% contained Monday morning.

Michigan voters have approved a wide-ranging constitutional amendment that will allow people to register and vote on the day on an election, request absentee ballots without having to give a reason and cast straight-ticket ballots.

The ballot measure approved Tuesday will also automatically register people to vote when they obtain or renew a driver’s license or conduct some other type of business with the secretary of state’s office, unless they opt out.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The big winners in this weekend’s big lottery jackpot drawings may be Michigan retailers.

About one and a half billion dollars is up for grabs in the Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

U.S. border officials are reminding Michiganders it is still illegal to transport marijuana across the border, despite recreational cannabis being legal now in Canada.

Wednesday morning, Canada became the second and largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace.  Uruguay was the first country to legalize recreational marijuana. 

Sales started just after midnight local time in Newfoundland, Canada's easternmost province.

Francis Anwana
Diane Newman

U.S. immigration officials have postponed the deportation of a deaf immigrant from Nigeria in the U.S. illegally.

The Detroit Free Press reports Friday that 48-year-old Francis Anwana and his attorneys met with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, who plan to review his case over the next month.

John Dingell
Wikimedia Commons

Former U.S. Rep. John Dingell is in a Detroit-area hospital after a heart attack.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell says her  92-year-old husband had a heart attack early Monday and is "alert and in good spirits, cracking jokes as usual."

She added, "We'll know more later."

John Dingell, a Democrat, was in office for nearly 60 years and still remains the longest-serving member of the House or Senate in U.S. history. He didn't run for re-election in 2014, the same year that his wife was elected to his 12th District seat in southeastern Michigan.

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