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Politics & Government

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

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Brother O'Mara
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Lansing casino project misses deadline

An Indian tribe looking to build a new Lansing casino is missing a self-imposed deadline. The Sault Sainte Marie tribe of Chippewa Indians had planned to ask the federal government to take property next to Lansing’s downtown convention center into trust this summer. That would allow the tribe to use the land for a casino. But tribal chairman Aaron Payment says there are still engineering and other issues that have not been ironed out.  He hopes to have a plan ready in 90 days. The Lansing casino project is expected to face legal challenges from the state government, as well as from other casino-operating tribes in Michigan.  

Emergency Manager law up to State Supreme Court

It’s now up to the Michigan Supreme Court to determine the fate of a ballot challenge to the state’s emergency manager law. Attorneys argued for 90 minutes this morning on whether the referendum should go on the November ballot. Opponents of the referendum say a technical error in the size of some of the print on petitions should block the question. The referendum campaign says it complied with every aspect of the law. But it says, regardless, a technicality should not keep the question from voters.

Belle Isle upgrades

Mayor Dave Bing is trying to clear the air about an apparent dispute over what’s going to happen with Detroit’s Belle Isle. “Detroit and the state have a consent agreement.  A provision in it talks about Detroit leasing Belle Isle to the state parks system to make needed upgrades on the island. Bing said this week that he’d rejected the state’s initial offer of a 99-year lease, criticizing it as a bad deal. But he says the two sides are still negotiating, and he’s confident a deal will get done. Detroit Economic Growth Corporation head George Jackson is leading negotiations for the city. He says “everything is on the table”—including a possible entrance fee. A spokeswoman for Governor Snyder says he's committed to working with Detroit to improve Belle Isle,” Sarah Cwiek reports.