Kate Wells | Michigan Radio
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Kate Wells

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Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist and co-host of the Michigan Radio and NPR podcast Believed. The series was widely ranked among the best of the year, drawing millions of downloads and numerous awards. She and co-host Lindsey Smith received the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists. Judges described their work as "a haunting and multifaceted account of U.S.A. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s belated arrest and an intimate look at how an army of women – a detective, a prosecutor and survivors – brought down the serial sex offender."

Wells and her family live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A damaged dairy farm in Corunna, Michigan
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

At least 60 homes and businesses are damaged after two tornadoes swept through mid-Michigan Thursday night.

No injuries have been reported. The tornadoes touched down near Vernon in Shiawassee County around 7 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Nestled among the Starbucks and CVS pharmacies on Greenfield Road and Ten Mile in Southfield and Oak Park are clusters of Orthodox synagogues, and Hebrew schools. 

There are delis and other other Jewish-owned businesses.

So it sure seems like the Israeli citizen, who was visiting after catching measles in New York, did his best to visit a lot of them, including a kosher grocery store, a yeshiva, and Congregation Yagdil Torah, where I meet David Shapero.

Maria Elena/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

There was the case where the student called his teacher the b-word on Facebook. The school was threatening to not only suspend the student, but also discipline anybody who "liked" the post with detention. The student wanted to know: What are my rights here?

Or take the case where a school’s basketball team crushed its rival, only to have one of its own students tweet this sensitive gem:

prison bars
Flickr user FatMandy / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The preliminary hearing for Barry Cadden and Glenn Chin begins today in district court in Livingston County. The two men are accused of second-degree murder for their roles in a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak caused by tainted medications that killed dozens of people across the country, including 23 in Michigan. 

cmu.edu

Emma Dale was a freshman reporter, covering the student government beat at Central Michigan University in 2016, when she got wind of a story:  the student body president, Ian Elliott, was abruptly resigning.

Lou Anna Simon
MiSpartan Impact / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan State University "screwed up" its investigation into Larry Nassar in 2014 - perhaps even intentionally - and former president Lou Anna Simon lied to police to cover it up, state attorneys argued Tuesday.

Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon
Michigan State University

One year after resigning because of the Larry Nassar scandal, Michigan State University’s former president, Lou Anna Simon, is heading back to court Tuesday. She’s facing four charges of lying to the police about her knowledge of the Nassar case.

Michigan State University sign
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

 

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse.

On Wednesday, Michigan State University released a scathing investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Education. Bottom line, the report says the university repeatedly violated a federal law known as the Clery Act, which requires schools to inform the public about safety issues on campus.

Satish Udpa
Michigan State University

Satish Udpa, Michigan State University’s Executive Vice President for Administration and a former Dean of the College of Engineering, will man the helm at MSU as the new interim president.

The Board of Trustees announced Udpa as their pick Thursday morning, hours after former interim President John Engler resigned Wednesday night

John Engler
Cheyna Roth

They say timing is everything.

Just last week, Michigan State University Trustee Dianne Byrum seemed resigned to Interim President John Engler sticking around until a new, permanent president is hired this summer.

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler speaks at Hillsdale College on on January 25, 2009.
Chuck Grimmett / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

John Engler has resigned as Michigan State University's interim president, nearly one year after taking the job. Engler sent his letter of resignation to Board of Trustees chair Dianne Byrum Thursday evening. 

"This evening I received a letter of resignation from John Engler and this will be discussed and acted upon at the BOT meeting tomorrow morning," Byrum said on Twitter. 

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

“John Engler’s reign of terror is over.”

That was the message from Michigan State University trustee Brian Mosallam via Twitter Wednesday, as the board gathered enough votes to fire Engler following his latest insensitive comments about Nassar survivors.

Michigan State University sign
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

This is it. Michigan State University’s trustees finally get it: they’re finally going to “fix the culture” at Michigan State University.

At least, that’s the message the board tried to send Wednesday at its first meeting of 2019.

Larry Nassar at Eaton County sentencing
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Deleted emails. Documents removed in boxes and a suitcase. Lying to investigators. An FBI investigation into Larry Nassar that stalled for seven months.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio NPR

“Spartans deserve better.”

That was the message at a rally at Michigan State University Friday night. About 100 students, community members and sexual assault survivors came out to call for the resignations of the entire Board of Trustees and Interim President John Engler.

The "Sparty" statue on the MSU campus
Betsy Weber / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A group of Larry Nassar survivors are organizing a rally tonight at Michigan State University to call for the resignations of interim president John Engler and the entire board of trustees.

The rally comes after accusations and apologies about a meeting between Engler and one of Nassar’s victims. 

YouTube

Scott Westerman announced today he’s resigning as Michigan State University’s associate vice president for alumni relations and executive director of the MSU Alumni Association. While Westerman cited a desire to be near his grandchildren in Florida on his personal blog Tuesday, he’s also involved in an ongoing Title IX investigation, the university confirmed.  

Kaylee Lorincz at MSU Board of Trustees Meeting Friday
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio NPR

Updated April 13th at 5:40 pm

Kaylee Lorincz, a survivor of former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse, accused Michigan State University Interim President John Engler of privately offering her a $250,000 check to drop her civil lawsuit against the school.

Lorincz says she told Engler it “wasn’t about the money.”

“Well give me a number then,” Engler replied, according to Lorincz’s allegations.

Michigan State University sign
Michigan State University

Update, Friday, April 13:

Michigan State University Interim President John Engler told the Board of Trustees Friday he "regrets" Wednesday's response to an alleged rape victim's federal lawsuit. The student claims she was discouraged by school counselors from reporting her assault in 2015.

Engler told the board the initial response "provided an unnecessary amount of detail," which was "perceived by some as violating privacy expectations." While MSU's statement on Wednesday described the woman's allegations as "untrue," Engler now says "we take these allegations very serious and are working towards improvements."

Michigan State University sign
Michigan State University

Three former Michigan State University football players pleaded guilty today in a sexual assault case.

Josh King, Demetric Vance, and Donnie Corley all took deals with the prosecutor’s office to lesser charges. They were charged last June and accused of assaulting a female student at a party in a campus apartment on January 16 of last year.

Larry Nassar
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Before the FBI arrested Larry Nassar for child pornography possession in December 2016, he was googling “Is it illegal to not use gloves with intravaginal manipulations,” “intravaginal manipulations for back pain,”  “vaginal massage,” and “Pubic Hair Removal Demonstration (18+) YouTube,” as police discovered after pulling 57,000 pages of search history from Nassar’s cell phone and laptop.

Mugshot of Dr. William Strampel
Michigan Attorney General's office

The fallout from the Larry Nassar scandal at Michigan State University continues. Nassar’s boss and former Dean of MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine, William Strampel, was arrested late Monday and arraigned Tuesday on felony and misdemeanor charges.

Michigan State University sign
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Dr. William Strampel, Larry Nassar's boss and former Michigan State University medical school dean, was arrested and booked into the Ingham County Jail Monday night.

Rachael Denhollander and her husband
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Update, Sept. 10, 2018:

Michigan State University has frozen the Healing Assistance Fund while a fraudulent claim is investigated. 

The university says it will reopen the fund when the investigation is complete, but when that will happen is unknown.

Igor Ovsyannykov/Unsplash.com

A Metro Detroit bar has canceled a party booked by an alt-right group, whose members were reportedly planning an event around white supremacist Richard Spencer's speech tonight at Michigan State University.

Megan St. Pierre is a manager at Tipsy McStaggers, an Irish bar in Warren.

She says a couple weeks ago, they got a reservation request from the group, Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas.

Rachael Denhollander and her husband
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

When Rachael Denhollander told her story to the Indianapolis Star in September 2016, none of us knew this would eventually become one of the largest cases of child sexual abuse in recent memory. Denhollander’s accusations against Michigan State University and former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar eventually encompassed more than 250 reported victims, led to crises at both MSU and gymnastics national governing body, and gained international attention.

Lorie Shaull

The Oakland County sheriff's office says it's responded to five possible school shooting threats in the span of just five days.

Sheriff Mike Bouchard says it's not unusual to get more "copycat" threats after a school shooting like the recent one in Florida.

"It's sad,” he says. “It's incredibly sad to think that other people want to either emulate it, or get attention from it, or think it's ok."

Courtesy of Deb McCaul

Here’s a sample of the kind of comments parents of Larry Nassar’s victims see online these days. Or, for that matter, just overhear at work and the grocery store:

“Why don’t the parents of the Nassar victims take any responsibility?”

“I wonder how many of those girls complained to their parents, and their parents turned a deaf ear about it.”

“The parents are equally to blame. Should be sharing a cell with Nassar.”

Deb McCaul says on some level, she gets it.

Michigan State University sign
Wikimedia Commons / public domain

Michigan State University faculty decided to take a vote of “no confidence” in the school’s Trustees, as a response to the Board’s selection of former Governor John Engler as MSU’s interim president.

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