February 20

2/20/20 – Judge approves Wolverine PFAS water settlement

ROCKFORD, MI — A federal judge has approved a $69.5 million settlement in the lawsuit between the government and Wolverine World Wide to pay for public water extensions in areas affected by PFAS contamination. Judge Janet Neff with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan signed an order Wednesday, Feb. 19 that approves a consent decree between the Rockford global footwear company and state and local governments. “I am pleased that the Court acted so quickly to enter the Consent Decree – this enables a push for construction to begin this spring to bring relief to residents […]
February 20

2/20/20 – Kalamazoo school board chooses Chicago administrator as next superintendent

KALAMAZOO, MI — (Mlive) – District leaders named the new superintendent for Kalamazoo Public Schools. Rita Raichoudhuri, 39, was chosen as superintendent unanimously by the Board of Education Wednesday, Feb. 19, after a six-month search process. Raichoudhuri is currently the executive director of early college and career education at Chicago Public Schools. The board said Raichoudhuri was detail-oriented and is an advocate for children. They applauded her work in career and technical education and experience in teaching. During her interview Monday, Raichoudhuri spoke about strengthening career and technical education programs, making decisions collaboratively with the board and other leaders, her […]
February 20

2/20/20 – Boil-water advisory lifted in Battle Creek, neighboring areas

BATTLE CREEK, MI –(Mlive) –  A boil-water advisory has been lifted for customers of Battle Creek’s water system. The advisory affected the cities of Battle Creek and Springfield and townships of Bedford, Emmett, Leroy and Pennfield. Battle Creek officials said early Thursday, Feb. 20, that it was safe to drink city water. The advisory was issued after a 16-inch water main broke Tuesday, Feb. 18, near McCamly Street and Dickman Road. A short-term loss in water pressure raised concerns of possible contamination. Tests showed no bacteria in the water system. The city said that discolored water, caused by sediments being […]
February 19

2/19/20 – GRPS School Choice Expo

-Grand Rapids Public Schools will hold another School Choice Expo on Thursday Feb. 20th. The Expo and Snow Spectacular is being held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Cesar Chavez Elementary. The event is free and a family-friendly event offering GRPS students and their families the opportunity to learn about school choices. Many parents and students may not be award of the number of Theme Schools available. Children’s activities and a free dinner will also be available.
February 19

2/19/20 – “Boil Water Advisory” for Battle Creek

-Battle Creek water customers are under a boil water advisory notice due to a water main break. A significant leak impacted the water main behind the former Kmart near Capital Avenue. The break caused water pressure to decrease to levels that could allow contamination to enter the water system. As a safeguard,  the City of Battle Creek is advising customers to boil water before consuming it.  This includes the entire city of Battle Creek, Springfield and the townships of Bedford, Emmett, Leroy and Pennfield.
February 19

2/19/20 – Man killed in Kent County crash

KENT COUNTY, MI –(Mlive) –  A Comstock Park man was killed Tuesday, Feb. 18, in a two-vehicle crash in Alpine Township. The 52-year-old man’s name was not released pending notification of family. The crash happened around 8 p.m. on Alpine Avenue NE at Seven Mile Road. The man was driving west on Seven Mile when his car was hit by a vehicle going north on Alpine, state police said. He was unresponsive and trapped in his vehicle by rescuers. Once he was freed, he was pronounced dead at the scene. The other driver was a 38-year-old woman. State police did […]
February 19

2/19/20 – Panel to parse foreign policy and presidential election

DETROIT (AP) — Former presidential advisers and officials are expected to gather in Detroit next week to discuss the foreign policy challenges that will face whomever wins this year’s U.S. presidential election. The Election 2020 U.S. Foreign Policy Forum is scheduled for next Monday at Wayne State University. The panel is being presented by the school and Council on Foreign Relations. Confirmed attendees include former advisers or cabinet members during the Obama and both Bush administrations. Issues expected to be hashed out during what’s billed as a nonpartisan conversation include the new North American trade agreement and the U.S. trade […]
February 18

2/18/20 – Former UAW President Owen Bieber dies aged 90

(AP) – Owen Bieber, who led the United Auto Workers union from the auto industry’s dark days of the early 1980s to the prosperity of the mid-1990s, has died. He was 90. Bieber shepherded the UAW through a recession, the Reagan era, industry downsizing and rapidly expanding global competition. Under Bieber, the UAW also actively supported the Solidarity labor movement, which challenged Poland’s Communist government, and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. Bieber is survived by his wife, five children, 19 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
February 18

2/18/20 – School board grills three finalists for Grand Rapids superintendent

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – (Mlive) – Grand Rapids Public Schools is one step away from naming a new superintendent. The school board interviewed the final three candidates for the position on Monday, Feb. 17: Darrin Slade, Erick D. Pruitt, and Leadriane Roby. “I think we have some really good talent,” said school board president Kristian Grant. “I’m excited about what we’ve continued to see and hear from the three finalists.” The three finalists were selected from five candidates interviewed Feb. 8. Each candidate was asked the same 17 questions Monday during hour-long interviews. Prior to the interviews, the candidates gave 15-minute presentations. […]
February 18

2/18/20 – Boy Scouts file for Chapter 11

(AP) – The Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy protection as it faces a barrage of new abuse lawsuits. The filing Tuesday in Wilmington, Delaware, is an attempt to work out a potentially mammoth compensation plan for abuse victims that will allow the 110-year-old organization to carry on. It could be one of the biggest, most complex bankruptcies ever seen. Scores of lawyers are seeking settlements on behalf of several thousand men . The organization could be forced to sell off some of its vast property holdings to raise money for a compensation fund that could surpass $1 […]
February 18

2/18/20 – Pier 1 files for bankruptcy protection amid online challenge

(AP) – Home goods retailer Pier 1 Imports Inc. is filing for bankruptcy protection. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company, which was founded in 1962, has recently struggled with increased competition from online retailers such as Wayfair. Pier 1 said Monday it will pursue a sale, with a March 23 deadline to submit bids. In the meantime, the company says lenders have committed approximately $256 million in debtor-in-possession financing so it can still operate during the Chapter 11 proceedings. Last month, Pier 1 announced it would close 450 stores, including all its stores in Canada. The company is also closing two […]
February 17

2/17/20 – LaughFest Central opens today

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., – The tenth Annual Gilda’s LaughFest announced their hours for LaughFest Central.  Opening Monday, Febrary 17 at 10 a.m. at 120 Ionia Ave. SW, Suite 102, this site will serve as the LaughFest headquarters for all LaughFest information, including purchase of tickets and merchandise. During the 10-day festival, LaughFest 2020 will include more than 150 free and ticketed shows.  Over 100 artists will be featured at more than 40 venues in Grand Rapids, Holland, Lowell and Wayland’s Gun Lake Casino. LaughFest is also bringing back another World Record attempt and this time for the largest gathering of […]
February 17

2/17/20 – Presidents Day 2020: What’s open and closed, post office, Secretary of State, UPS, banks

(Mlive) – Presidents Day falls every year on the third Monday in February. In 2020, that is Feb.17. The federal holiday was originally established in 1885 to recognize President George Washington’s birthday. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 made sure the celebration took place on Mondays. The holiday evolved to celebrate all presidents. Even though four presidents were born in February – Washington, William Henry Harrison, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan – the holiday never falls on any of their actual birthdays. Here’s what’s open and closed on Presidents Day 2020. Secretary of State offices: All Michigan Secretary of State offices […]
February 17

2/17/20 – Michigan aerospace companies seek new markets in Mexico

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Leaders of seven Michigan companies with ties to the aerospace industry are joining state officials on a trip to Mexico in search of new export opportunities. They’ll take part in a three-day program beginning Tuesday that’s designed to match potential buyers, partners and distributors. The Mexican aerospace market has provided customers for Michigan companies, particularly small and medium-sized manufacturers of products not available in Mexico. The Pure Michigan Business Connect program has helped dozens of equipment makers and suppliers line up deals in Mexico, generating more than $25 million since 2013.
February 17

2/17/20 – Michigan official: Election Day should be a worker holiday

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is urging businesses to give their workers the day off on Election Day by making it a company holiday. Benson says she’s encouraging Michigan companies to give employees the day off work on Nov. 3, so they can vote and work as poll workers. MLive.com reports that Benson praised Wayne State University for recently announcing such a move. Democratic State Rep. Darrin Camilleri of Brownstown has a bill pending before the state legislature that would make regularly-scheduled election days in May, August and November state holidays.
February 17

2/17/20 – GM plans to pull out of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says it’s pulling out of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand as part of a strategy to exit markets that don’t produce adequate returns on investments, dismaying officials concerned over job losses. Australia’s minister for Industry, Science and Technology said Monday that it was “disappointing” that the company only advised the government about the decision just before it’s announcement Sunday that it would wind down sales, engineering and design operations for its historic Holden brand in Australia and New Zealand in 2021. GM also plans to sell its Rayong factory in Thailand to China’s Great Wall […]
February 14

2/14/20 – No ‘Plan B’ for Olympics; questions over Chinese presence

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo Olympic organizers and the International Olympic Committee say there’s “no case for any contingency plans or cancelling” the 2020 Games because of the fast spreading virus that has caused one death in Japan and about 1,400 in mainland China. A full Chinese delegation is expected when the Olympics open in just over five months. But officials were unclear if Chinese athletes will be able to participate in the remaining 19 test events in Japan. The head of the IOC inspection team heading a two-day visit to Tokyo says he believes many of China’s Olympic athletes are […]
February 14

2/14/20 – Someone’s Getting Seniors Personal Information

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government watchdog plans to launch a nationwide probe into how telemarketers may be getting hold of seniors’ personal Medicare information, a red flag for potential fraud and waste. An official with the Health and Human Services inspector general’s office tells The Associated Press that the audit will be announced next week. It follows a narrower probe which found that an electronic system designed for pharmacies to verify Medicare coverage was being used for what appeared to be inappropriate searches. Investigators say sensitive information can get out even when a Medicare beneficiary thinks he or she is […]
February 14

2/14/20 – PFAS Levels Safe But Residents Still Concerned

Despite tests that demonstrate PFAS levels are safe in Portage, some residents are not convinced. State and county health experts met with residents last night to discuss the tests around a monitoring well where higher than normal PFAS results were found.  While wells were found to have safe levels for PFAS, well below safety recommendations, some residents were concerned for both their health and property values. Some residents wanted more regular testing in order to monitor the expansion of any possible contamination zone.  They feel the recommended action wasn’t strong enough to notify them of any potential ground contamination. Several […]
February 13

2/13/20 – Schools closed due to illness and slippery roads

-A number of area schools are closed today, some due to illness and others because of slippery roads. Muskegon Public Schools have many students out sick and they will close Thursday and reopen on Tuesday after their scheduled winter break. Other area schools that are closed today are mainly in Kalamazoo County, including Kalamazoo Public and Christian schools. Yesterday was the second student “count day” for the state of Michigan.  Students that show up represent money that their public school district will receive from the state.  Many districts had students out due to illness.
February 12

2/12/20 – Census Bureau to kick off census promotion

The state of the 2020 census is just a month away for most U.S. residents. The Census Bureau director is going to Capitol Hill to update lawmakers about the agency’s readiness. They want to make sure there are enough workers and that residents are encouraged to participate. Michigan will kick off its census promotion today.  78% of Michiganders filled out information the last time around and they are hoping to up that number. This will be the first on-line census or you can fill out the census by phone or through the mail. The U.S. Census Bureau is trying to […]
January 16

Expired: 1/16/20 – Retailers Welcome Phase One Trade Deal With China But Say Remaining Tariffs Must End

(AP) – The National Retail Federation today welcomed the signing of a “phase one” trade agreement between the United States and China but said work remains to be done to end the trade war between the two countries. “NRF strongly supports the administration’s efforts to address China’s unfair trading practices but we hope this is the first step toward eliminating all of the tariffs imposed over the past two years,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The trade war won’t be over until all of these tariffs are gone. We are glad to see the phase one deal signed, […]
January 1

1/1/20 – Time To Go, ‘Ok, Boomer?”

Lake Superior State is out with its 45th annual list of words or phrases that should be retired. At the top of the list: quid pro quo. The Latin phrase got new life during the impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump. The school each year invites the public to nominate words and phrases that seem tired or annoying through everyday speech, news coverage and more. The latest list has more than a dozen, including “artisanal,” “influencer,” “living my best life” and “chirp.” And in a baby boomer revolt, it’s apparently time to scratch “OK, boomer.”