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.

An absentee ballot in an envelope.
Nadya Peek / Flickr

Replacement absentee ballots were sent out to hundreds of voters in Kalamazoo County this week after a mistake was discovered on the original forms.

MLive reported that ballots sent to voters in four Schoolcraft Township precincts and one Portage precinct listed candidates running for Michigan’s 63rd House of Representatives district race instead of the 61st district.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A Detroit group called Citizens for Detroit's Future announced Wednesday that they will sponsor a ballot initiative to change the city’s charter to add three independent seats to Detroit’s election commission.

Citizens for Detroit's Future has noticed conflicts of interest among its current election commission officers. The commission is currently made up of the city clerk, the city council president, and a city lawyer appointed by the Detroit mayor—all people who either hold an elected office or were appointed by an elected official. Tom Barrow, president of Citizens for Detroit's Future, says this makes the current commissioners unable to hold an impartial review of the city's elections.

nizz7 / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

A southeast Michigan woman who says she was forced to give birth in a jail cell in 2016 is now suing Macomb County and 10 other parties.

Jessica Preston was eight months into a potentially high-risk pregnancy when she was arrested for a traffic violation in the spring of 2016. Unable to pay her bond, she awaited trial in the Macomb County jail.

Medical marijuana sign
Neeta Lind / Flickr - http://j.mp/1spglc0

The first seven medical marijuana licenses were granted to marijuana business in Michigan last week. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs approved four growing licenses, one transporter, one processing center, and one provisioning center.

Michigan State Police

Southwest Michigan resident Melissa McMillan is suing a former Covert Township policeman she says sexually assaulted her in a hotel room while she was intoxicated, as well as the city and the county sheriff’s department.

Matt Cornock / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Residents of a Ferndale public housing building have decided to unionize after learning last month that the Ferndale Housing Commission is applying for the Rental Assistance Demonstration program.

RAD is a program run through the Department of Housing and Urban Development that allows public housing to get money for repairs through private investment. Under RAD, public housing units become Section 8 properties — privately owned, but still rent-subsidized by the government for those who qualify.

Emergency room hospital
Pixabay

After 15 months of bargaining, nurses at McLaren Lapeer Region hospital voted yesterday to give their leaders the ability to authorize a strike.

Hospital administrators had previously given the McLaren Lapeer RN Staff Council bargaining team their “last, best, and final offer.” According to union president Tom Hall, this meant the group had to bring the offer back to their members for a vote, regardless of whether the bargaining team agreed with it.

Union members voted the contract proposal down.

Moshe Reuveni / Flickr

Catholic non-profit Opus Bono Sacerdotii has begun fundraising for Lansing-area priest Father Jonathan Wehrle’s legal and living expenses following last year’s allegations that Wehrle embezzled over $5,000,000 from his church.

According to the accusations, Wehrle—who founded St. Martha Parish in Okemos in 1988—used church money for personal expenses from 1991 to 2017. He now faces federal embezzlement charges, as well as a separate civil suit raised by an insurer for the Catholic Diocese of Lansing.

William Strampel
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

William Strampel, former Michigan State University dean of osteopathic medicine, has one more day to decide if he wants to retire from Michigan State with full benefits. His other option is to allow the university to move forward in their efforts to revoke his tenure— a lengthy process during which he’ll receive his full salary.  

Yousef Rabhi / housedems.com/rabhi

Universal healthcare might be on its way to Michigan’s ballots now that State Representative Yousef Rabhi officially announced his proposal Monday morning to secure single-payer coverage in the state.

user meddygarnet / Flickr

The University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council's contract with Michigan Medicine is expected to expire Saturday night without a new one in place.

In the absence of a new contract, the nurses will continue to operate under the general terms of the expired one until an agreement is reached. 

Joe Ross / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan's police and firefighter unions will no longer be mandatory for employees to join after the United States Supreme Court decided Wednesday that the practice was unconstitutional.

Maya Goldman

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees announced today they hope to select the university’s next president in June 2019.

Doctor's stethoscope
Pixabay.com

The Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation says Michigan's new Medicaid work requirements will affect the nearly 700,000 people dependent on the Healthy Michigan Plan for health insurance once they go into effect in January 2020.

Unless they receive an exemption, people will be required to work an average of 80 hours a month to receive the health insurance services. Activities such as full-time school and drug treatment programs also qualify as work under the policy.

The University of Michigan's Comprehensive Cancer Center
Michigan Medicine

The University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council, currently engaged in contract negotiation with Michigan Medicine, announced Monday morning that it will hold an informational picket on July 14 if they haven't yet reached an agreement at that point.

The announcement of the picket comes less than a week after the union filed an unfair labor practice charge against the health system for prohibiting the nurses from wearing certain shirts advocacting for the union while on their shift.

The University of Michigan Union
Wikimedia Commons

The Lecturers' Employee Organization at the University of Michigan has reached an agreement with the school on a new contract after bargaining since October.

The new contract came after university regents held their June meeting.The budget allowed for an agreement that includes higher pay, increased job security, and better health benefits for 1,700 lecturers employed by the university on its three campuses.

Don...The UpNorth Memories Guy... Harrison / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Want to buy an abandoned psychiatric hospital in Michigan? It might only cost you one dollar.

 

At least, that was the price tag for the dilapidated site of the once-sprawling Eloise Hospital Complex located in and owned by Wayne County. The site was purchased by Southfield-based Morgan Development Thursday after about a year of discussion.

 

Aminimanda / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Summer in Traverse City is officially underway. But while tourists head up north to enjoy the sights, locals are struggling to find housing.

As it turns out, this is a problem all across northwest lower Michigan, and to a lesser extent, throughout the state as a whole.

Adrian Clark / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The marketplace increase for Michigan health insurance premiums in 2019 is expected to be $1,520, according to a report released by the Center for American Progress Tuesday morning.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel at podium
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan filed a response Friday to a lawsuit claiming its policies hinder free speech.

The lawsuit was filed in May by First Amendment watchdog group Speech First -- the first lawsuit the group has filed since its formation earlier this year. It calls out the university’s definitions of bullying and harassment for being too broad, as well as the school’s Bias Response Team, which they say could make students hesitant to share controversial opinions.

Vote Here sign
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s voting age could be lowered to 16 if lawmakers pass a bill that was introduced this week.

This bill, sponsored by Senator David Knezek and Representative Yousef Rabhi, follows an outpouring of teen advocacy after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida in February. The legislators hope to give teenagers a voice in the political process-- after all, they say, the political process impacts 16 year olds.

The University of Michigan Union
Wikimedia Commons

The University of Michigan announced Monday that it had updated its Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities to provide narrower definitions of “bullying” and “harassment.”

This came on the same day the United States Department of Justice expressed their interest in a free speech lawsuit against the University of Michigan.

One of the anchors used to hold Line 5 in place under the Straits of Mackinac.
Screen shot of a Ballard Marine inspection video / Enbridge Energy

Enbridge Energy will release a report on their controversial Line 5 pipeline this Friday at the request of Governor Snyder.  

Enbridge is expected to recommend replacing the existing Line 5 with tunneled pipelines, much to the dismay of experts and attorneys across the state.

The 65-year-old pipeline runs beneath the Mackinac Straits. It transports natural gas liquids to refineries in the Upper Peninsula and Canada, where the gas is turned into propane.

The Old Main building at Wayne State University
Wikimedia Commons

Wayne State University announced Wednesday night that the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease was found in the cooling towers on three campus buildings and in the bathrooms of three others.

The university tested 16 buildings after an employee who works in the Faculty Administration Building was diagnosed with Legionnaires’— a severe form of pneumonia that can be caused by breathing in water droplets containing the legionella bacteria.

michigan state university sign
Branislav Ondrasik / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan State University will roll out a new introductory math sequence this fall.

In the past, students who needed extra review before jumping into college-level math courses could take the university's online remedial math class, MTH 1825. The course did not count towards an undergraduate degree and had high failure rates.

Lizzie Gapa / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Detroit Health Department is now bringing sexual health right to residents’ doorsteps with a new free mail-order condom program.

Any resident of Detroit, Hamtramck, or Highland Park can fill out a form on the Department’s website with their postal address and basic information. A few days later, a plain brown envelope containing 12 condoms will appear in their mail. Residents can reorder condoms as many times as they need.

A chain-link fence and barbed wire
Max Pixel

Michigan is projecting a continued decrease of its prisoner population this year, and with that comes a decrease in prisons.

The state House and Senate budget committees both recommended a prison closure for the 2018-2019 fiscal year Tuesday.

Governor Snyder’s original budget proposal, submitted in February, did not include the prison closure. However, as the number of prisoners in the state continued to fall throughout the year, the legislature determined the Michigan Department of Corrections could safely close a prison.  

Students sitting at desks in a classroom with a teacher at the front of the room
NeONBRAND / Pixabay

Standardized testing may become less standardized for Michigan students.

The Michigan Department of Education recently asked federal department to allow up to 5 percent of Michigan school districts to create what they are calling "locally-determined innovative assessment systems."

In their proposal, the department says qualifying districts could essentially create their own test, and then choose to use these new systems in place of the statewide assessment, the M-STEP.

http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Veterans in Michigan will now have an easier time purchasing and financing single-family homes using Veterans Association mortgage assistance.

Since 1978, the majority of new single-family homes in Michigan have actually been classified as "site condominiums."

This classification allows developers to build neighborhoods faster and more efficiently. However, because of certain VA regulations on condos, it also creates significant barriers for veterans who want to use VA loans to purchase a home.

Michigan Capitol Building
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Defendants in the state of Michigan will now be required to listen to their victims' impact statements according to a bill approved by Governor Snyder Wednesday.

Impact statements are often the only opportunity a victim has to share their experiences in a legal setting.

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