Paulette Parker | Michigan Radio
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Paulette Parker

Reporter / Producer

Paulette is a reporter and producer for Michigan Radio. She started as a newsroom intern at the station in 2014 and has taken on various roles in that time, including filling in as an on-air host.

Before working at Michigan Radio, she was the news editor of The Washtenaw Voice at Washtenaw Community College. She has an associate degree in journalism from WCC. And she is currently a senior at Eastern Michigan University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in media studies and journalism. She’s a proud news junkie.

When she isn’t producing content for Michigan Radio listeners, she enjoys writing and spending time with her two young daughters.

Utility Bill
Flickr

The city of Ferndale is giving federal employees a break on their bills during the partial government shut down.

Furloughed or unpaid workers can defer their city payments, including water and utility bills, taxes, and parking costs.

sugar in measuring spoon
Flickr

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has settled a lawsuit against Bay City’s Michigan Sugar Company.

The MDEQ filed a lawsuit against Michigan Sugar Company in August of 2017. The lawsuit claimed the company’s sugar beet processing plant violated air and water quality regulations.

kitchen sink
Creative Commons

A boil water advisory issued last weekend for parts of Downtown Detroit has been lifted.

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department said on its website:

Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

A report released Monday details ways to make water more accessible and affordable in the city of Detroit.

The 100-page report outlines the health, social and environmental impacts of water shutoffs in the city.

foreclosure sign
BasicGov / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Federal workers who live in Wayne County can get help with their delinquent property taxes.

The Wayne County Treasurer's office is offering extensions to residents affected by the partial government shutdown.

Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree said the extension is normally for low-income residents, but his office realizes many people could be missing paychecks if the shutdown continues.

University of Michigan near Rackham and Michigan League
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan will pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit with a former university employee who says she was wrongfully terminated.

That's according to the confidential settlement agreement, which was recently obtained by MLive through a Freedom of Information Act records request.

Birth control pills.
Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Last year the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued rules that employers could opt out of covering birth control for their employees. The rules are set to take effect later this month.

Attorney General Dana Nessel announced on Monday that Michigan is joining a list of states challenging that exemption.

Yumi Kimura / Wikimedia Commons

The murder rate in the city of Detroit continued to fall in 2018.

The city recorded 261 murders last year. That was a rate of about 39 per 100,000 residents.

That tally was down about 2 percent from 267 homicides in 2017. In 2016, there were 305 murders in the city.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said in an interview with The Detroit News that he is happy homicides have “continually trended down.”

a gas pump
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gas prices are down as Michigan residents get ready to travel for the holidays. Prices at the pump are at a two-year low for a holiday season.

Nancy Cain is a spokesperson for AAA Michigan. She says prices shouldn't change much over the next couple of weeks.

“They might even still come down a bit. So if you’re driving and you see a good price, you know, look for it and if you see it fill up,” Cain said.

Cain says lower crude oil prices have contributed to the drop in gas prices.

Former MSU President Lou Anna Simon
File photo / MSU

Former MSU President Lou Anna Simon has been charged with lying to police.

The Lansing State Journal reports Simon was charged today in Eaton County District Court with two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts. She is the third person charged by the Attorney General’s Office as part of its investigation of the university related to Larry Nassar.

shelf of wine bottles
Flickr user Geoffrey Fairchild / Flickr

It's about to get much easier for Michigan consumers to receive their favorite wines on their doorstep.

A recent federal court ruling has lifted a statewide ban on shipments from out-of-state wine retailers.

CAIR

The Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan is part of a lawsuit filed Wednesday challenging practices used to monitor passengers in U.S. airports.

The lawsuit aims to have the no-fly list, watch list, and the new 'Quiet Skies' program declared unconstitutional.

Doctor's stethoscope
Pixabay.com

Detroit Medical Center now says it won't terminate its century-old partnership with Wayne State University.

Detroit Medical Center and the Wayne State University Physician Group announced Monday they will extend their partnership for six months.

This comes after Tenet Healthcare, the Dallas-based parent company of DMC, announced last week that it would end its contract with the school.

Under the partnership, doctors from DMC teach at Wayne State, and the medical school uses the hospital system's facilities.

Picture of Michigan State University marker on campus
Michigan State University

The effects of the Larry Nassar saga at Michigan State University are being felt as far as Wall Street.

The Wall Street rating firm Moody's Investor Services has downgraded MSU's long-term debt rating.

That's due to worries over the potential financial ramifications of a number of lawsuits the school is currently facing.

The action dropped MSU from an Aa1 rating to an Aa2 rating on roughly $975 million in debt.

Aa2 is the third highest credit rating that Moody’s assigns to fixed-income securities like bonds.

The Michigan Senate in Lansing.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio file photo

Legislation meant to prevent victims of sex crimes from attending school with their attackers is one step closer to the governor's desk.

Keyboard with a"Jobs" button
Got Credit / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A summer jobs program is providing kids in Detroit with more than just a paycheck.

That's according to researchers at the University of Michigan. They found the "Grow Detroit's Young Talent" program also boosts participants' academic performance.

The program gives Detroit youth a variety of summer employment opportunities including child care, counseling younger peers, volunteering with seniors, and clerical work.

blacklegged tick
Scott Bauer / USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

Washtenaw and Livingston counties have been named "known risks" for ticks infected with Lyme disease.

That's according to an assessment by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Erik Foster is a state medical entomologist. He says the counties got this label due to residents being diagnosed with Lyme disease after tick bites.

“It’s really important knowing that the ticks are now in the area,” he said.

Foster says adult deer ticks – which are the size of an apple seed – are currently the main threat to residents.

UAW sign.
UAW

Union leaders announced today that they're teaming up to support graduate student workers at universities across the country.

Graduate Assistants at some universities complain they have voted to unionize, but the results of those elections are being ignored by school administrations.

Randi Weingarten is president of the American Federation of Teachers - which is part of the organizing effort.

Protesters against Richard Spencer at MSU
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

White supremacist Richard Spencer might not be visiting the University of Michigan anytime soon.

He announced an indefinite halt to his national college tour Sunday in a video posted on YouTube.

Spencer blames violence between his supporters and protestors at his Michigan State University event last week, where more than a dozen arrests were made.

bottom of chalkboard, with an eraser and chalk sitting on the ledge
User alkruse24 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The only Michigan school district left under emergency management will transition back to local control.

A multi-million dollar deficit prompted a state takeover of Highland Park Public Schools in 2012.

Now the district and the Michigan Department of Treasury are reviewing options to transition to a form of local governance.

Emergency Manager Kevin Smith was appointed in January of 2014. His term ends in April.

Smith has drafted a District Educational Strategic Plan 2018-2023, which he expects to share with stakeholders early this month.

Larry Nassar
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Holt Public Schools says it's planning an investigation and remedial action, after at least one victim of former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar says she was assaulted on Holt school property.

Abigail Mealy says she started seeing Nassar for treatment after an injury left her with severe back pain. She was among more than 150 women and girls who addressed Nassar during his week-long sentencing hearing.

Surgery tools
Stanford EdTech / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A federal judge has dismissed a sex charge against two Detroit-area doctors accused of performing female genital mutilation on young girls.

Doctors Jumana Nagarwala and Fakhruddin Attar are charged with six federal counts, including conspiracy to commit female genital cutting.

The charges are related to a procedure performed on two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota in February 2017.

But U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman ruled Sunday that the pair did not commit conspiracy to transport a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

money
MIkolay Frolochkin / pixabay

The owner of multiple Southeast Michigan towing companies pleaded guilty Wednesday to paying bribes to a Macomb County official to in order to get a municipal towing contract.

Gasper Fiore pleaded guilty to conspiracy. He admitted to paying $7,000 to Dean Reynolds, a trustee in Macomb County's Clinton Township.

Telephone
user mconnors / morgueFile

A spike in hepatitis A cases has prompted the Genesee County Health Department to start a telephone hotline to keep residents up-to-date.

The hotline provides information like symptoms of the infection, how it's transmitted, and where to get vaccines.

person writing on paper
LucasTheExperience / Flickr

Organizers of a ballot drive want voters to decide if Michigan should have a part-time legislature.

And they're making a push for signatures to get it on the 2018 ballot.

Andy Levin
Andy Levin campaign

Representative Sandy Levin's 9th Congressional District seat could stay in the family when he retires in 2019.

Sandy Levin's son, Andy Levin, announced his bid Wednesday to succeed his father in Washington, D.C.

The Democrat is an entrepreneur and former head of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic growth.

Levin says he's witnessed four decades of trickle-down economics, which has concentrated all the wealth in the top one percent in the country.

The unfinished Wayne County jail project at Gratiot near Downtown Detroit.
Wayne County / via Wayne County

Wayne County announced Friday it's scrapping plans to complete construction on its stalled jail project on Gratiot Avenue near Greektown.

It will instead pursue Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert's offer to build a brand new, $380 million criminal justice center at a different location in Detroit.

Chicago-based Walsh Construction was the lone bidder to submit a proposal to complete the roughly $400 million Gratiot project.

Dan Gilbert's Rock Ventures offered to build a jail at a new location in Detroit in exchange for the current jail site.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
Courtesy https://debbiedingell.house.gov/about/full-bio

Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell is speaking out about the allegations of sexual harassment against fellow Democratic Rep. John Conyers.

Conyers denies claims of inappropriate behavior, but has acknowledged he settled a sexual harassment complaint using his House office fund in 2015.

aerial photo of the Great Lakes
National Oceanic and And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

The Great Lakes Commission and Lawrence Technological University are teaming up to protect the Great Lakes by changing the way cities think about rain water.

They want to explore new ways communities can handle storm water to prevent things like flooding and sewage overflow into the lakes.

Michael Polich is a program specialist with the Great Lakes Commission. He says cities often view alternate storm water technologies as different and untested, making them hesitant to implement new ideas.

Gov. Snyder attended a ribbon cutting Monday to celebrate the opening of the Flex Routes along the US-23 corridor
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

The dreaded commute on US-23 between Ann Arbor and Brighton is about to get a little easier.

 Overflow lanes, known as Flex Routes, will open for traffic Wednesday. They run along the left shoulder in both directions of U-S 23, between M-14 and M-36. Governor Snyder attended a press conference today to discuss the completion of the roughly $90 million project. "This has been a major bottleneck in our state for some time, in terms of the congestion," he said. The Flex Routes will be open for traffic daily from 6 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. They will also be used as auxiliary lanes during off hours in the event of accidents or heavier-than-normal traffic.

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