Maya Goldman | Michigan Radio
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Maya Goldman

Newsroom Intern

Maya Goldman is a newsroom intern for Michigan Radio. She is currently a student at the University of Michigan, where she studies anthropology and writing. During the school year, Maya also works as a senior news editor and podcast producer for The Michigan Daily.

"It's just a poke," a nurse told a toddler at a special lead clinic at Brownell Elementary School in Flint. The little girl disagreed, loudly.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan updated its blood lead levels for workers earlier this week, making it the first state to replace standards that were drawn up in the 1980s.  

Workers will now have to be removed from lead exposure when their blood lead levels reach 30 ug/dL – a substantial decrease from the previous level of 50 to 60 ug/dL. Under the new standards, employees cannot return to work until their blood lead level is below 15 ug/dL.

whitewall buick / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Rent has increased more in Detroit as a percentage of household income than in any other large U.S. city in the last few years, according to a report by the financial tech company SmartAsset.

The report looked at fair market rent across the U.S. between 2014 and 2017.

syringe
mconnors / MorgueFile

Criminal drug offenses in Michigan in 2017 were most often related to heroin, according to a report from Detox.net, a division of the American Addiction Centers.

The report says only about 21 percent of criminal offenses in Michigan are related to drugs – and that means the state is tied for the second-lowest criminal drug offenses in the nation.

Ruchi Dhami is the Director of Marketing Insights and Development at the American Addiction Centers.

user ka_tate / Flickr

Delta Airlines will officially introduce facial recognition software for passengers on international flights at Detroit Metro Airport in early 2019.

The airline rolled out the software at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Thursday.

Trebor Banstetter, a director of communications at Delta, says the decision to make Detroit the second place to use facial recognition was a natural one. They've been testing it out at the airport since July.

Michigan Supreme Court
Subterranean / Wikimedia Commons

Michigan Supreme Court justice Kurtis Wilder lost his election bid for a full term on the court, but he'll still be hearing arguments in five cases Monday.

Court spokesman John Nevin says Wilder will participate in all decisions that are to be written before his current term ends on Jan. 1.

Someone shooting a gun at a gun range.
Peretz Partensky / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A new website hosted by the University of Michigan brings together research from across the country on firearm safety among children.

The site is the product of a research consortium made up of scholars from U of M and 12 other academic institutions called Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens, or FACTS.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

As wildfires across California have continued to cause massive damage this week, some Michigan residents have gone to California with organizations like the Red Cross to help those affected by the fires.

Kalamazoo resident Vicki Eichstaedt is a volunteer for the Red Cross’s Public Affairs team. She's currently in California, helping to take photos of damage done by the Camp Fire. She said the devastation is unlike anything she’s ever seen before.

Charlie Davidson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A new report on maternal deaths in Michigan says 66 deaths between 2011 and 2015 were related to pregnancy.

The report, issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, also says black women in Michigan are three times more likely to have a pregnancy-related death than white women.

Office of the Governor

Governor Rick Snyder spoke at the Detroit Economic Club on Friday afternoon following Tuesday’s election of Michigan’s next governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

Snyder began the event by reflecting on his time as governor, which began in 2011. He said he was proud of his accomplishments as governor, but urged the audience to keep working towards improving Michigan – and cautioned that people needed to cooperate in order to see positive change in the state.

Gretchen Whitmer and Bill Schuette

With less than a week to go before Election Day, Michigan's major-party candidates for governor answered questions about their plans for the state at the Detroit Economic Club Wednesday afternoon.  

At the event, Republican candidate Bill Schuette and Democratic candidate Gretchen Whitmer discussed their ideas for improving Michigan's education, roads, and healthcare programs. They also talked about climate change and tax plans.

Potholes on a road in Ann Arbor.
Daniel Hensel / Michigan Radio

Outgoing director of the Michigan Department of Transportation Kirk Steudle thinks that neither of Michigan's major-party candidates for governor has a solid plan for fixing the roads.

Steudle says Republican candidate Bill Schuette's idea of auditing MDOT to find extra cash has been done before – many times -- and it's never really been successful.

In fact, he says that in the last three years, M-DOT has undergone 26 audits in 23 different areas of the department.

MDEQ map
Department of Environmental Quality

A site that was once home to a Lacks Enterprises plating shop is being investigated for PFAS contamination.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality opened its investigation of the area, which is in Cascade Township near Grand Rapids, on October 19th. It’s now one of more than 30 sites being investigated for PFAS contamination in the state.

Some commonly found PFAS chemicals have been associated with an increased risk of some kinds of cancer.

Yousef Rabhi / housedems.com/rabhi

State Representative Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) wants all of Michigan's energy to come from renewable sources by 2050. He proposed a bill that would codify this plan to the Legislature last week.  

Rabhi says he has always been passionate about the environment. He says this bill has been in the works for a while now.

But Rabhi says it was the recent United Nations report on the accelerated timeline of climate change that made him introduce the bill last week.

Two children sitting at a table
Public Domain

Children's Protective Services is making changes to its investigation protocol after state audit, released last month, unveiled multiple serious issues and errors in CPS investigations between 2014 and 2016.

Stacie Bladen is the deputy director for programs and policies in child welfare at the agency. She said CPS has about 1500 staff in the field. And for the most part, Bladen thinks they're very committed to their work.

MDHHS
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Applications for energy assistance in Michigan will be open all year round starting Monday, October 1.

Until now, people could only apply for the assistance between November and May -- the state's designated energy crisis season.

Larry Nassar
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Republican Party released a pair of ads in recent days in support of gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette, highlighting his role in the prosecution of serial sexual abuser Larry Nassar.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder's office may ask the National Guard to finish roadwork that's been halted since the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association locked out members of the operating engineers union in early September.

Chelsea High School Student Council Cabinet
Adam Schilt

This year, Chelsea High School is trading in a homecoming queen's crown for medals of honor.

school buses
Juhamanninen / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

A 2006 state law says Michigan public schools must start after Labor Day. But this year, a record number of school districts received waivers to start before the holiday -- and tourism officials in the state aren't happy.

Francis Anwana
Diane Newman

Immigration and customs enforcement officials said Friday morning they will delay the deportation of disabled Nigerian man Francis Anwana.

head shot of Bill Gelineau
Bill Gelineau

Bill Gelineau, Michigan’s Libertarian nominee for governor, says Michigan's education system needs to start focusing on the individual needs of students.

Michigan is currently ranked 35 out of 50 states when it comes to 4th grade students’ reading skills and other performance metrics. Only 44% of Michigan’s third graders passed the English Language Arts portion of the M-STEP standardized test this year.

The Michigan Union
Wikimedia Commons

Virginia-based immigration lawyer Hassan Ahmad is suing the University of Michigan to try and get access to papers donated to the school's archive by anti-immigration proponent John Tanton.

The case was dismissed from claims court in December, but arguments were heard in the Michigan Court of Appeals on Wednesday.

Half of Tanton’s papers are available for public consumption. But 11 boxes of his records have been sealed until 2035 at his request.

Flickr user Still Burning / Flickr Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Tuesday morning, the Michigan Department of Corrections announced plans to close the Ojibway Correctional Facility in December.

The DOC decided to close another prison back in June. This is the second facility to close this year due to a falling prisoner populations in the state.

There are currently fewer than 800 prisoners at Ojibway, and they'll be moved into other prisons over the course of the next few months. 

Road in need of repair.
Peter Ito / Flickr

Michigan decided last week to collect sales tax from online businesses -- which could increase the state's tax revenue by almost $250 million in the next three years.

But the question now is what to do with that extra money.

Water faucet
user william_warby / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Low-income households across metro Detroit can't afford their water bills, and new research from the University of Michigan says there’s now an affordability gap: people are paying more for water than they can actually afford.

flint symbol
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This post was updated August 13 at 9:45am with additional information from the MDEQ. 

Tax forms
flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Department of Treasury announced earlier this month that online retailers with no physical presence in Michigan will have to pay the state's sales tax starting October 1st.

The decision follows a Supreme Court case from this past June that upheld South Dakota's right to charge online shops for sales taxes. Michigan will adopt the same taxing model that South Dakota uses for their online retailers, meaning that the tax will apply to businesses who sold more than $100,000 worth of goods or made over 200 transactions in the state in the past year.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Detroit area usually gets more than three inches of rain in July. This year, that number was closer to one inch.

This has been a dry summer all over the state. Most of the Lower Peninsula is experiencing drier-than-normal weather and some parts of the state are even in the midst of a drought. According to the United States Drought Monitor, this is Michigan's third unusually dry year in a row, making this look like a new normal.

detroit police car
Facebook / Detroit Police Most Wanted Fugitives

Several police commissioners in Detroit are concerned that officers won't be able to get into the city fast enough in the event of an emergency.

That's because about 70 percent of Detroit police officers currently don't live in – or near – the city.

Police commission chair Willie Bell says he's known about the problem since he became a commissioner in 2014. It’s partially due to a 1999 state law that prevents cities from requiring municipal employees to live where they work.

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