Bryce Huffman | Michigan Radio
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Bryce Huffman

West Michigan Reporter

Bryce Huffman is Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. Huffman has been serving as a reporter for Michigan Radio since Fall 2016.

He has covered a variety of Michigan stories, including immigrants facing deportation, residents dealing with ongoing groundwater contamination, and tension between the black community and Grand Rapids police.

A Detroit native, Huffman graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Journalism. He joined Michigan Radio as a newsroom intern in May 2016.

Protesters holding signs on corner
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Vice President Mike Pence talked about the economy, national security and the impeachment inquiry at a campaign rally in Holland on Wednesday night. 

Outside of the campaign rally, there were more than 100 protesters calling for President Donald Trump's impeachment.

Men smells jar of weed
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Recreational marijuana sales started Sunday in Michigan. Several people lined up outside of one Ann Arbor dispensary for hours.

The line at Greenstone Provisions at the edge of downtown Ann Arbor stretched around the corner.

The DEQ PFAS Investigation Map near Rockford, MI
From Google map provided by Wolverine Worldwide

Researchers from the University of Michigan, Notre Dame University and Indiana University released a report that found West Michigan shoe-maker Wolverine Worldwide is still using pollutants known as PFAS in its products.

Wolverine has been getting a lot of press the past couple years, because it is a large source of PFAS contamination throughout northern Kent County.

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Recreational marijuana sales are expected to begin in Michigan this Sunday.

David Harns is a spokesperson for the Marijuana Regulatory Agency. He says state licensed shops are allowed to sell product that has been on the shelf and available to medical marijuana patients for at least 30 days.

Grand Rapids Police cruiser
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A state Court of Appeals panel ruled that the Grand Rapids Police Department is allowed to gather photos and fingerprints to help identify people they stop.

Back in 2014, GRPD began fighting this case but the incidents in question go back to 2011 and 2012.

A protester holds a sign in this stock photo.
vivalapenler / Adobe Stock

A group of immigration activists from Michigan is headed to Washington, D.C. on Monday.

They want to bring awareness to a U.S. Supreme Court case on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss called her re-election campaign a success before all the votes were even in.

Bliss and her campaign team saw how far ahead she was when the first election results came in, and they felt her 10,000 vote lead was too big to overcome.

Bliss says she has a lot of things she wants to get done in her next term.

Bill Huizenga delivering remarks in front of a sign
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Congressman Bill Huizenga wants a multi-share health coverage pilot program for low-income uninsured workers.

Huizenga (R-MI 2) introduced a bill last week that seeks $36 million in federal funding over four years for the, the Community Multi-Share Coverage Program Act. The money would go towards five pilot sites around the country.

The bar at Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
flickr user Bernt Rostad / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Founders Brewing Company settled the racial discrimination lawsuit against it this week.

Tracy Evans, a former employee at Founders’ Detroit taproom, first filed the lawsuit back in 2018. Evans alleges that several racist incidents happened while he worked there and upper management did nothing to put an end to it.

outside of Benton Harbor High School
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Benton Harbor’s school district voted to approve a community engagement and advisory committee.

This comes after the state had proposed closing down Benton Harbor High School in May to help the district, which is struggling financially.

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin
U.S. Congress

U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) is urging the Department of Defense to replace PFAS-foam at military bases faster.

She sent a letter to the head of Pentagon PFAS Task Force, Assistant Secretary Robert McMahon, earlier this week.

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

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy sent draft rules that would limit PFAS contamination in drinking water to Governor Whitmer’s office Tuesday.

The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team approved the set of rules last Friday after months of gathering input from scientists, citizen groups, and businesses across the state.

two men hugging
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

After being held in a Chinese prison, a Detroit man is home. Wendell Brown was greeted by friends and family at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. He went to China to coach American football there, but an incident in a bar in 2016 led to a criminal conviction that Brown still disputes.

We are looking for your help! Michigan Radio is launching a new podcast on October 7 called Same Same Different.

The show is about identity – and how to survive otherness with our full humanity intact.

Elizabeth Warren stands next to union workers on strike
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Democratic Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren met with the United Auto Workers union members who are on strike at General Motors in Detroit.

Senator Warren, who walked in solidarity with hundreds of UAW workers outside the GM Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant on Sunday, says the country needs a Department of Labor that stands by union workers.

Driverless shuttle
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

You and four other passengers can now ride autonomous shuttles for free in downtown Grand Rapids. The one-year pilot program officially launched Friday. 

Josh Naramore, the Director of the city’s mobility department known as Mobile GR, says the city and its private partners will be gathering data from the shuttles for the next year.

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

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that looks to address PFAS contamination near military bases.

The National Defense Authorization Act has provisions in it that would require the Department of Defense to treat contaminated water that's used for agriculture.

Grand Rapids' new police chief, Eric Payne.
City of Grand Rapids

Eric Payne will be the next chief of Grand Rapids police.

The city made the announcement Friday, after a months-long nationwide search. Payne is a nearly 33-year veteran of the Grand Rapids Police Department. He currently serves as Deputy Chief. He will be the department's first black police chief. 

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

Congressman Dan Kildee says he's disappointed that the Trump administration wants the president to veto a bill that would address PFAS contamination.

The Trump administration released a statement this week recommending that President Donald Trump veto the annual defense authorization bill. The bill has provisions that would require the Department of Defense to treat contaminated water that's used for agriculture.

Joel Langlois surrounded by supporters
Joel Langlois campaign

West Michigan businessman Joel Langlois has announced he's challenging Congressman Justin Amash for Michigan's third congressional district. 

The Republican businessman joins an already crowded field of candidates challenging Amash, who recently made headlines for calling for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. 

Benton Harbor Area Schools Central Adminstration building
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Update: July 9, 2019 6:45 p.m.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist met today with officials from the Benton Harbor school board. The governor's Press Secretary, Tiffany Brown, and BHAS Board President Steve Mitchell issued the following joint statement after the meeting:

“Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist and Benton Harbor Area School Board leadership met to discuss next steps regarding the district. The lines of communication are open among all parties and we look forward to future discussions to identify a solution that puts Benton Harbor students first.”

Brown declined to elaborate on the statement, and school board vice president Joseph Taylor declined to comment.

Interim Police Chief David Kiddle standing at podium in the park
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids officials and community members spoke out against recent uptick in shootings around the city at a press conference Friday.

There have been ten shootings resulting in six people being injured in the city this week. City officials are in talks with neighborhood associations and community activists to find solutions to the violence.

David Kiddle, the interim Chief of Police for the Grand Rapids Police Department, says there has been one arrest made so far in connection to the shootings.

State Rep. Lynn Afendoulis standing at podium
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Michigan House Representative Lynn Afendoulis announced on Thursday that she’s running for Congress.

The Republican Afendoulis is running for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes the city of Grand Rapids and Ionia, Barry and Calhoun counties.

Afendoulis says one of her biggest priorities is fixing the country’s immigration crisis.

outside of Benton Harbor High School
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

State officials have reached a tentative agreement with the Benton Harbor school board that could keep the district's high school open.

The agreement comes after a two-hour meeting between Governor Gretchen Whitmer's administration and Benton Harbor school board officials on Wednesday.

Men playing drums
Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Residents and city officials in Grand Rapids came together Wednesday to celebrate Juneteenth.

Dickinson Buffer Park in Grand Rapids was full of kids running across the grass, tents with Pan-African flags and bracelets, and older residents sitting and laughing with their neighbors.  

Benton Harbor Area Schools Central Adminstration building
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

The fight for Benton Harbor High School is still alive.

The Benton Harbor school board rejected the state’s plan to close the high school.

Congressman Justin Amash
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Congressman Justin Amash is holding a town hall meeting in Grand Rapids Tuesday night.

The town hall will be held at 5:30 pm at Grand Rapids Christian High School.  

The meeting will be the first time the Republican Congressman speaks directly to his constituents after he recently made headlines by being the first member of his party to accuse President Donald Trump of impeachable conduct.

Asian carp
USGS

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has saigned off on a $778 million plan intended to keep Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.

The money would be used to upgrade a lock and dam in Illinois. But the proposal still needs Congressional approval.

Empty classroom
Brad Wilson / FLICKR - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Students, parents and faculty of a K-8 Detroit charter school learned Tuesday that their school is being shut down.

Southwest Detroit Community Schools and the landlord of the building couldn’t reach a leasing agreement, meaning school administrators couldn’t cover the cost of the lease. So the landlord, Turner Impact Capital, decided to evict the school.

School desks
Flickr user Frank Juarez/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan is not on track to be a top ten state in K-12 education by 2030, according to a report from the Education Trust-Midwest found.

The annual report Opportunity For All says that Michigan is currently 35th in the nation in fourth grade reading and 33rd in eighth grade math.

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