11/22/17 – Navy says 8 people recovered in good condition
TOKYO (AP) — The U.S. Navy says eight people who were recovered from the crash of a transport aircraft in the Pacific are in good condition and the search continues for three other missing personnel.
The Navy says in a tweet that the eight are on board the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.
Their C-2 “Greyhound” transport plane crashed while on its way to the carrier on Wednesday in the Philippine Sea, where the U.S. and Japanese navies are holding exercises.
11/22/17 – Zimbabwe’s new leader to be sworn in Friday
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The Zimbabwe ruling party’s chief whip says new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the 60,000-seat National Sports Stadium on the outskirts of the capital, Harare.
Lovemore Matuke tells the state-run broadcaster that until then Mnangagwa will not be speaking to the media.
Singing and cheering crowds are gathering at a military air base in Harare for Mnangagwa’s arrival. He fled the country shortly after his firing earlier this month by Robert Mugabe, who resigned Tuesday amid impeachment proceedings.
Mnangagwa is expected to go to ruling party headquarters for a briefing upon his arrival. He will be just the second president in Zimbabwe’s history. Mugabe ruled for 37 years.
Signs in the welcoming crowd read “Welcome back, our hero” and “True to your word, you’re back. Welcome.”
A man in the crowd, Godwin Nyarugwa, says he is “very ecstatic” and that “we need change in this country, change in everything.”
11/22/17 – Thanksgiving travel will be up
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — More than 1.6 million Michigan residents will travel 50 miles or more for turkey and all the trimmings.
The Thanksgiving projection comes from AAA Michigan, the leisure travel organization. The group says it’s roughly a 3.5 percent increase over 2016 and the most travelers since 2007.
The Thanksgiving travel period is considered Wednesday through Sunday. Driving is the most popular mode of travel. Michigan’s average gas prices are up about 50 cents per gallon compared to a year ago.
Vicky Evans, assistant vice president in travel sales, says the end-of-year holiday season could be the busiest in more than a decade. She says there’s confidence among consumers because of a stable economy.
11/22/17 – Great Lakes cleanup
DETROIT (AP) — A wide-ranging Great Lakes cleanup program would receive $300 million next year under a spending bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The measure cleared the committee this week and now goes to the full Senate.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative focuses on the region’s most longstanding environmental problems, such as toxic pollution, farm and urban runoff, invasive species and declining wildlife habitat.
President Donald Trump’s budget called for eliminating the program’s funding. But lawmakers in both parties from the Great Lakes region fought to retain the $300 million it has received most years since 2010.
Todd Ambs of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition says he’s happy about the funding, but worried that the bill cuts spending for the Environmental Protection Agency and other departments that administer the program.
11/21/17 – Court-ordered talks lead to breakthrough on Flint water
DETROIT (AP) — The Flint City Council is expected to support a 30-year agreement to get drinking water from a regional agency after an afternoon of court-ordered negotiations.
The deal means the Great Lakes Water Authority would continue to serve Flint. It has been providing water since fall 2015 when Gov. Rick Snyder acknowledged a lead crisis related to the city’s use of the Flint River.
The council is expected to vote Tuesday night. Mayor Karen Weaver already is on board.
Under the deal, a Flint resident would be appointed to the governing board of the Great Lakes Water Authority. The city would also be relieved of debt payments owed to the Karegnondi Water Authority.
All sides worked with a mediator Monday under orders by Detroit federal Judge David Lawson.
11/21/17 – Big Mac Bridge walk still on Labor Day
MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (AP) — The annual Mackinac Bridge Walk will remain a Labor Day tradition.
The Mackinac Bridge Authority says the date won’t change. But officials still haven’t determined details about how the 5-mile walk will take place.
With terrorists increasingly using cars and trucks as weapons, the bridge was closed to most vehicles during this year’s walk. Only about 25,000 people took part. Many were turned away because they couldn’t get in position before the walk ended.
The state Transportation Department transported people by bus to St. Ignace from Mackinaw City. People then walked to the southern end of the bridge.
The bridge authority is asking Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island and St. Ignace to help cover the costs. The topic will be discussed at a February meeting.
11/21/17 – Snowmobile Permits
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — With winter weather on its way, state officials urge snowmobilers to buy permits that will enable them to use Michigan’s vast trail network.
Michigan has more than 6,000 miles of designated trails. Snowmobilers also can use thousands more miles of public roads and lands.
The state’s snowmobile program is funded entirely with revenue from trail permits and registration fees.
Snowmobiles must be registered with the secretary of state unless they are used only on private property.
Trail permits cost $48. They’re available online through the Department of Natural Resources or in person at DNR customer service centers. The Michigan Snowmobile Association also offers them.
Upper Peninsula trails coordinator Ron Yesney says the permits help fund grooming, signage, maintenance and other services that keep the trails in order.
11/21/17 – Huge gas line fire forces evacuations
ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities in suburban Detroit called for evacuations following a massive gas line fire.
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office says the fire broke out Monday night in Orion Township, about 30 miles north of Detroit. Township Fire Chief John Pender says the blaze occurred on vacant land.
Consumers Energy spokesman Roger Morgenstern says the fire eventually burned itself out. Video posted on Facebook by police in nearby Auburn Hills showed flames shooting several dozen feet into the night sky.
Morgenstern says the blaze occurred after a gas transmission line ruptured, but the specific cause of the fire is unknown.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard says the office’s phone lines, including 911, were down as a result of the fire. Bouchard says no injuries have been reported.
11/21/17 – Ikea Recall-Dressers
NEW YORK (AP) — Ikea has relaunched the recall of 29 million chests and dressers following the death of an eighth child.
CEO Lars Petersson said the company wants to increase awareness of the recall for several types of chest and dressers that can easily tip over if not anchored to a wall.
The death of a California toddler, who was found trapped underneath an Ikea Malm dresser in May, has raised questions about whether Ikea has effectively spread the word about the recall, which was first announced in June 2016.
Petersson said Ikea has had an “extensive communication” campaign through social media and its website. The Swedish company emailed 13 million people about the recall two months ago, he said.
11/21/17 – Airborne Deer-Fatal Crash
CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a western Michigan woman died after a car hit a deer, it flew into the air and struck the windshield of her vehicle.
Kent County sheriff’s officials say 49-year-old Susan Fries of Ada Township died Monday evening in Cascade Township after the deer broke through her vehicle’s windshield. The animal was first struck by a car going the other direction, sending it airborne.
The driver of the first vehicle to hit the deer, a 23-year-old Lowell resident, wasn’t hurt.
11/20/17 – Statewide average gas prices fall 11 cents
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says gas prices statewide have fallen by about 11 cents per gallon in the past week ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Dearborn-based auto club says early Monday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was about $2.63 per gallon. That’s about 51 cents more than at the same point last year.
Michigan’s lowest average price was about $2.52 per gallon in the Lansing and East Lansing areas. The highest was about $2.71 per gallon in the Ann Arbor area.
The Detroit-area’s average fell about 8 cents to $2.67 per gallon.
The decline comes as AAA projects more than 1.6 million people from Michigan will travel around the Thanksgiving holiday.
AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state.
11/20/17 – White House open to striking health provision from tax bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says it’s willing to strike a health-care provision from the Senate tax-cut bill if the provision becomes an impediment to passing one of President Donald Trump’s top priorities.
The provision would repeal a requirement that everyone in the U.S. have health insurance or pay a fine.
Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, says the White House would like to repeal the health care requirement and still have a good tax bill.
But he told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that “we’re OK” with removing it if keeping it becomes an impediment to passing the legislation.
11/20/17 – 46-year-old woman dies in fire at Kalamazoo motel
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A woman has died in a fire at a western Michigan motel.
The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office says 46-year-old Aimee Sue Lambert died in the fire Saturday morning at the Comstock Motor Court Motel in Kalamazoo.
It says she was found dead inside the unit where the fire was reported about 2:45 a.m.
Damage to the motel was limited to that unit.
No other injuries were reported.
11/20/17 – Tribute room at Michigan airport honors President Ford
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Visitors to Gerald R. Ford International Airport in western Michigan now have a new place to remember President Gerald Ford and learn about his legacy.
The airport and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation officials joined Ford’s son, Steve Ford, and others last month for an official opening of the President Gerald R. Ford Tribute Room at the Grand Rapids airport. Steve Ford says his father would’ve been “extremely proud.”
The airport worked with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation to incorporate an exhibit space. It’s located before going through security and is open around the clock. Exhibits include photos, an aircraft carrier model, displays and rotating historical pieces.
Ford, who died in 2006, was a Grand Rapids congressman before becoming vice president and then president following Richard Nixon’s 1974 resignation.
11/20/17 – Anti-gerrymandering group defies odds with 2018 ballot drive
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An all-volunteer group of activists has defied the odds by collecting hundreds of thousands of voter signatures for a 2018 initiative to overhaul redistricting in Michigan — without having to pay a dime for a signature.
It’s a rarity in state politics outside of anti-abortion ballot drives, which have had a large base of support within churches.
Voters Not Politicians, a ballot committee opposed to the partisan gerrymandering of congressional and legislative districts, is poised to turn in roughly 400,000 signatures by year’s end. About 315,000 valid ones are needed.
The Legislature and governor now control the once-a-decade redistricting process, which has led to seats that are drawn to guarantee as many comfortable, uncompetitive districts as possible.
Under the proposed constitutional amendment, a commission of citizens would handle redistricting.
11/20/17 – Group to submit signatures to legalize marijuana
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A ballot committee proposing to legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes in Michigan is set to submit more than 360,000 voter signatures in a bid for a statewide vote in 2018.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will turn in the signatures to state election officials in Lansing on Monday.
Michigan already allows for the use of marijuana for medical reasons. The proposal would make it the ninth state to legalize the drug for recreational use.
Adults 21 and older could possess up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants at home. A 10 percent tax on marijuana would be assessed.
The ballot group needs roughly 252,000 valid signatures.
The state is expected to take a couple months reviewing the petitions.
11/17/17 – Calls for Harassment Training on Capitol Hill for Capitol Hill
Two members of congress are speaking out against sexual harassment – on Capitol Hill. Democrat Senators Kristen Gillibrand and Rep. Jackie Speier introduced a bill to require more transparency and better reporting of incidents in Washington DC. It would also require annual training for members of Congress and their staff.
Several members of congress have expressed concern after stories are emerging about harassment by Representatives and Senators sometimes within the hallowed halls of Congress.
Gillibrand, who represents the district formerly held by Hillary Clinton, has also garnered attention after stating in a newspaper interview that Bill Clinton should have resigned after the disclosure of an extra-marital affair with intern Monica Lewinski.
11/17/17 HS Principle Resigns Over Harassment Allegations
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A southwestern Michigan high school principal who is facing a federal sexual harassment lawsuit has resigned. The resignation of Rodney Prewitt as principal of Loy Norrix High School was announced at a Thursday meeting of the Kalamazoo Public Schools’ board. It comes less than a month after he was placed on paid administrative leave pending a district investigation.
11/17/17 – $20 Mil Flint Water Loan Forgiven
The state, with your tax dollars, has forgiven 20 million dollars in loans to Flint. The money was connected to Flint’s Drinking Water Revolving Fund debt, cash that was supposed to be used to upgrade Flint’s water treatment plant. It comes on the same day Flint leaders were to vote on a long term plan on where they’ll buy their water.
11/17/17 Hep A Outbreak Spreads into West MI
If you are currently in a ministry that has contact with people who engage in high risk behaviors, are homeless or use illicit drugs you need to be aware; a Hepatitis A outbreak in southeast Michigan is believed to have now spread into Calhoun County. Figures from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services show 19 people have died of the disease and 500 cases have shown up since the outbreak began in August of last year.
11/16/17 – Museum of the Bible, opens in DC
WASHINGTON (AP) — The long-awaited Museum of the Bible is opening in Washington.
The $500 million museum traces the history and extensive influence of the Bible. The building includes restaurants, a theater and clear views of the Washington Monument and Capitol.
The project is largely funded by the conservative Christian owners of the Hobby Lobby crafts chain. Hobby Lobby president Steve Green says the aim is to educate not evangelize. But skeptics call the project a Christian ministry disguised as a museum.
Green has amassed a collection of biblical artifacts. He paid a $3 million fine this year after federal prosecutors say he was caught up in an antiquities smuggling ring. Museum officials say the items involved were never destined for the museum.
The Museum of the Bible opens Friday. Admission is free.
11/16/17 – Michigan unemployment rate
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s unemployment rate rose by two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.5 percent in October as the number of people in the state’s workforce saw a slight decline of about 2,000.
Figures released Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget show Michigan’s October unemployment rate was four-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate but a half percentage point below the state’s October 2016 rate of 5.0 percent.
Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives Director Jason Palmer says that 10 months into 2017 the state’s jobless rate has declined moderately from 2016, while payroll job gains remain steady.
The department says October’s jobless rate increase was the third consecutive monthly rate gain since Michigan’s unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent in July.
11/16/17 – Grand Rapids city staff won’t ask about immigration status
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan city has adopted a new policy that says city officials and staff won’t ask residents about their immigration status.
The Grand Rapids Press reports that the Grand Rapids City Commission adopted the policy Tuesday.
The ordinance was drafted over the last year by the Community Relations Commission, the city’s diversity and inclusion manager, local police and the city’s lawyers.
The policy doesn’t bar police officers from asking about immigration status. But the policy says police must follow the Grand Rapids Police Department’s Impartial Policing Policy, which prohibits racial profiling but doesn’t explicitly stop officers from inquiring about immigration status.
Police Chief David Rahinsky says the department doesn’t ask about immigration status. But he says the policy doesn’t stop Kent County, the Michigan State Police or federal authorities from enforcing federal immigration laws.
11/16/17 – GM says next-gen electric cars will cost less, go farther
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is telling investors its next generation of electric vehicles will cost the company 30 percent less than current ones, making them profitable after the new version debuts in 2021.
CEO Mary Barra made the forecast at an investor conference Wednesday. She expects to cut battery cell cost from $145 per kilowatt hour of electricity to under $100, yet produce a range of over 300 miles. The company also plans to reduce manufacturing costs and gain sales as electric vehicle demand rises worldwide.
GM has pledged to roll out 20 new zero-emissions vehicles by 2023 with two new ones coming in 18 months. Currently most automakers lose money on electric vehicles.
Barra says GM generates enough capital to finance electric and autonomous vehicle research as well as traditional vehicles.
11/16/17 – Cornerstone University-President
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Cornerstone University officials say longtime President Joseph Stowell will step down from the Christian university in 2019.
School officials announced Wednesday that Stowell, who’s led the Grand Rapids school since 2008, informed its trustees of his plans earlier this fall. He’ll step down when his contract expires in May 2019.
The trustees voted unanimously for Stowell to serve in the role of chancellor once his successor is chosen.
Stowell says that role will allow him to serve the school’s next president by representing the university in various venues and helping with fundraising activities.
The university has about 1,200 undergraduates and a total population of about 2,500 students that includes graduate and seminary students.
11/16/17 – Thanksgiving Travel-Michigan
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA projects that more than 1.6 million people from Michigan will travel this month for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The auto club released its annual forecast on Thursday for people traveling 50 miles (80 kilometers) or more, saying that’s up 3.5 percent from last year. AAA says it would be the eighth consecutive year of growth for Thanksgiving travel in Michigan.
Nearly 90 percent of travelers plan to go by personal vehicle. Those motorists are expected to see higher gas prices than last year, since Michigan’s current average of $2.70 is 67 cents higher than last year’s average. Most others will travel by air or train.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting by research firm IHS Markit. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Nov. 22 through Nov. 26.
11/15/17 – Amber Alert Cancelled – Suspect Still At Large
Grand Rapids police report they have located the three children taken from the Muskegon area last night. Investigators got a tip that the suspects vehicle was found parked outside a home on McReynolds Avenue on the northwest side of town.
22-year old Jaraun Render has not been located. He’s believed to have taken the children following a shooting last night in Muskegon. Police say Render was involved in the shooting that left 19-year old Linda Jamerson in critical condition. She’s the mother of the three children, two of whom are believed to have been fathered by Render.
Render faces assault with intent to murder as well as felony firearms charges related to the incident last night.
11/15/17 – MSP Amber Alert For 3 Endangered Children
An amber alert has been issued for three children believed to have been taken after a shooting in Muskegon. Police are looking for 22-year old Jaraun Render, who is believed to be driving a 1997 Maroon Chevy Suburban with an unknown license plate. Render is a suspect in the shooting that left two people injured, one critically.
Three children, all under the age of three, are believed to be in the vehicle. The children are three year old Lamir Jamerson, two-year old Jaraun Render Jr. and one-year old Jariah Render.
The children’s mother, 19-year old Linda Jamerson, was shot and is listed in critical condition.
Please do not approach but call authorities if you encounter Render or the vehicle. Please contact 911 if you spot the vehicle.
11/15/17 – W. Michigan district ends Bible talks
HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan school district has ended a teacher’s faith-based discussions with elementary school students following complaints by a civil rights group.
Hudsonville Public Schools’ assistant superintendent, Scott Smith, says the district didn’t know a fifth-grade teacher had been meeting with students for lunchtime Bible studies until the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists contacted the district on Nov. 6.
Smith says officials met with the Alward Elementary School teacher the same day and ended his talks. Smith tells MLive.com the teacher “thought it was okay because it was occurring during a non-instructional time.”
Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists spokesman Mitch Kahle says “every public-school teacher, principal, and superintendent should know that they are prohibited from engaging in any activity with students that involves religious beliefs, rituals, or doctrines.”
11/15/17 – Hunters hitting the woods
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Hunters are flocking to Michigan woods and fields for what wildlife biologists say should be a productive firearms deer season.
The season runs from Wednesday through Nov. 30.
Chad Stewart of the Department of Natural Resources says relatively mild weather over the past year is a good sign for deer fitness and fawn survival. He says hunter success rates should be as good as those of 2016, or even slightly better.
Stewart says deer numbers are rebounding in parts of the Upper Peninsula after recent harsh winters. But because they remain low in some areas, a few additional U.P. management units will be open to antlerless hunting.
A bigger harvest also is expected in the northern Lower Peninsula.
An online tool at www.mi.gov/mihunt can help locate good deer hunting spots.
11/15/17 – Caregiver sentenced
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A caregiver has been sentenced to six months behind bars in the death of an 85-year-old woman who was found in cold weather outside an assisted living center in western Michigan.
WOOD-TV reports Yahira Zamora learned her punishment at a Tuesday hearing. She earlier pleaded no contest to second-degree vulnerable adult abuse. Authorities say she reset a door alarm without determining whether anyone was outside Crystal Springs Assisted Living Center in Kent County’s Gaines Township.
Denise Filcek earlier entered a plea to a charge of intentionally placing false information on a chart involving medical records. Authorities say she was responsible for making bed checks, but she says she didn’t check everyone. She’s awaiting sentencing.
A resident with dementia, Kathryn Brackett, wandered outside and was found dead on Oct. 27, 2016.
11/15/17 – Republican governors gather
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republicans who control two-thirds of the nation’s governorships are gathering in America’s largest red state, in part to strategize about how to maintain their political dominance.
Vice President Mike Pence will be the keynote speaker during the two-day gathering of the Republican Governors Association, which kicks off Wednesday in Austin, Texas.
11/15/17 – Northern California gunman kills 4, wounds 10 in rampage
RANCHO TEHAMA RESERVE, Calif. (AP) — The gunman behind a rampage in Northern California was out on bail after being charged with stabbing a neighbor and had been the subject of a domestic violence call the day before.
Neighbors also said they repeatedly reported to police that he had been firing off hundreds of rounds of ammunition day and night.
Yet Kevin Neal was free and able to use a semiautomatic rifle and two handguns Tuesday to shoot 14 people, killing four, before he died in a shootout with police.
Police have declined to identify the shooter but confirmed the same man was charged with the stabbing in January. The district attorney told the Sacramento Bee the man in that case is Kevin Neal.
11/15/17 – Zuma hopes Zimbabwe army will respect law
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — South Africa’s president says he hopes Zimbabwe’s military will respect the constitution “so the situation will not go beyond the situation where it is now.”
President Jacob Zuma addressed the nation on television not long after speaking with Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. Zuma said Mugabe is “fine” but confined to his home after the army appeared to take control.
Zuma says he hopes the situation in the neighboring country “is going to be controlled.” His office has said he is sending his defense and security ministers to meet with Mugabe and Zimbabwe’s army.
11/14/17 – Threat Closes W MI Church
A West Michigan church appears to have been a “target” according to local police. The Westminster Presbyterian Church off of Jefferson was found on a “target list” inside a bag dropped off in the Detroit area. Police say they don’t believe the church is in imminent danger but the church closed several of their ministries today but do expect to open tomorrow. Police say they were concerned because the bag also contained a handgun, a map with several churches and mosques circled.
Police and the FBI are continuing their investigation.
11/14/17 – Mona Shores to look for new school superintendent
NORTON SHORES, MI (Mlive) – Mona Shores Public Schools superintendent Greg Helmer, who has been the subject of scrutiny after he was reprimanded for retaliating against an employee and was placed on paid administrative leave last week, has resigned.
Mona Shores School Board President Stan Miller announced Helmer’s resignation on Monday, Nov. 13 at the board’s regular meeting. Helmer’s resignation will take effect on Tuesday, Nov. 14.
Bill O’Brien, director of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessments, has been appointed as interim superintendent.
11/14/17 – Amtrak adds more trains
(Mlive) -Amtrak is expecting a jump in ridership and is adding more trains Thanksgiving weekend. They will add 10 trains for the holiday week to accommodate the extra demand & tickets range from $8.50 to $100 dollars, depending on where you want to go. The trains stop at 26 locations along various routes, including Chicago, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Jackson, Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Flint and Detroit.
11/14/17 – Gov’t approves first-ever med with digital tracking system
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug in the United States with a digital ingestion tracking system in an unprecedented step to ensure that patients with mental disorders take the medicine prescribed for them.
The drug Abilify MyCite was developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Abilify was first approved by the FDA in 2002 to treat schizophrenia, and the ingestible sensor, made by Proteus Digital health, was initially approved for marketing in 2012. The agency says the digitally enhanced medication “works by sending a message from the pill’s sensor to a wearable patch.”
Dr. Mitchell Mathis of the FDA says officials support “use of new technology in prescription drugs and is committed to working with companies to understand how the new technology might benefit patients and prescribers.”
11/14/17 – Enbridge update causes concern
(Mlive) -Enbridge Inc. provided state officials with a progress update on repair work being done along the Line 5 oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. The latest report expands the number of coating gaps found along the pipeline. Gov. Snyder is calling for a thorough review of the condition of the 64-year-old pipeline. He says the new information does not indicate any imminent danger for the Great Lakes, but does cause significant concern for the long term.
The update sent to the state Monday shows the majority of 48 areas inspected have coating gaps.
Enbridge has come under fire amid recent revelations that it knew about damage to the pipeline’s protective coating in 2014, but did not disclose that information until this summer.
Concerns about a lack of transparency on Enbridge’s part — combined with the sobering thought of a what an underwater oil spill could mean for the Straits and Great Lakes in general — has earned the company critics among activists and government officials alike.
11/13/17 – Bills proposed to protect Michigan domestic violence victims
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan legislators are proposing new laws designed to better protect victims of domestic violence and stalking.
Bills introduced this past week would create an address confidentiality program, which supporters say exists in 37 states. Those subject to personal protection orders would have to relinquish their guns. Other measures are aimed at addressing housing- or job-related factors that keep victims with their abusers.
The bills were in the works before the recent mass shooting at a Texas church. But proponents say the massacre, which appeared to stem from a domestic dispute and was perpetrated by a man with a history of domestic violence, is a reminder of the severe consequences of not stopping abuse and holding abusers accountable.
11/13/17 – Deadly Earthquake
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian state media say that a powerful earthquake that shook the Iran-Iraq border late on Sunday has killed more than 140 people and injured 860 in Iran alone.
The Baghdad government has not immediately given word on damage or casualties in that country.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.3 quake was centered outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja. It struck at a depth of 23.2 kilometers (14.4 miles), a shallow depth that can have broader damage. Magnitude 7 earthquakes are capable of widespread, heavy damage.
The quake was felt as far west as the Mediterranean coast. Its worst damage appeared to be in Iran’s western Kermanshah province, which sits in the Zagros Mountains that divide Iran and Iraq.
11/13/17 – Gas Prices-Michigan
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says gas prices statewide have risen by about 2 cents per gallon in the past week.
The Dearborn-based auto club says early Monday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was about $2.74 per gallon. That’s about 67 cents more than at the same point last year.
Michigan’s lowest average price was about $2.70 per gallon in the Lansing and East Lansing areas. The highest was about $2.78 per gallon in the Marquette area. It’s the third consecutive week that the Marquette area had the highest reported average price.
The Detroit-area’s average fell about 3 cents to $2.75 per gallon.
AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state.
11/10/17 – Body of Wyoming woman found
WYOMING, MI (Mlive) – Police on Thursday, Nov. 9, recovered the body of Ana Carrillo, the mother of three who has been missing since Sept. 3.
The recovery comes while her ex-boyfriend, Andrew Hudson, 38, charged with open murder, was undergoing a probable-cause hearing in Wyoming District Court.
Police have been searching near Veterans Memorial Drive for the last two days, possibly receiving information from Hudson, who reportedly was in an unmarked patrol car during a search on Wednesday.
Wyoming Police Chief James Carmody said police acted on information to find the body at an undisclosed location.
Carmody said he believed investigators built a strong case without having a body. This helps the case but mostly helps the victim’s family, he said.
11/10/17 – 4 year-old boy passes
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Police say a 4-year-old boy has died after being wounded in a shooting that left his estranged parents dead in southwestern Michigan.
Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Assistant Chief Vernon Coakley said the shooting Thursday morning outside a home killed Julina G. Gibson and Nicholas A. Mitchell and left the child in critical condition.
Coakley told the Kalamazoo Gazette the boy, Nicholas J. Mitchell, died later Thursday at a hospital.
Police haven’t released details, but described the shooting as a murder-suicide.
Gibson’s mother, Linda Newkirk, told reporters the shooting occurred while Nicholas A. Mitchell was dropping off the child after an overnight visit. Newkirk said he shot the boy and Gibson before shooting himself.
Newkirk said her daughter and Mitchell had been arguing about visitation of the boy.
11/10/17 – Snyder OKs budget bill that funds rape kit tracking system
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law more than $50 million in additional federal and state spending to implement a sexual assault evidence kit tracking system, fight opioid addiction and boost other budget priorities.
The supplemental budget bill enacted Thursday reimburses costs incurred by the National Guard to aid in hurricane relief. It also restores about $3 million in spending Snyder previously vetoed.
Reinstated spending will fund a study of the potential of genomic testing to identify people with a propensity for addiction to painkillers. There’s also money for a new playscape at a state park, a Muskegon charter school and to train grocers and others to prepare, clean and sanitize equipment used to serve draft beer.
Snyder says having a statewide rape evidence kit tracking system is “long overdue.”
11/9/17 – Veterans Day activities
-We are getting closer to Veterans Day and a number of communities will hold special services and parades, including the following:
American Legion Post 179 on Wilson Ave., is hosting a variety of events. Thursday they will host a military vehicle and uniform display and host 2 school programs for the Civil War through Desert Storm. Friday the post will celebrate the Marine Corps 242nd birthday . Saturday there will be a remembrance ceremony at 11 a.m.
The Walker Ice and Fitness Center on Remembrance Road is accepting donations now through Nov. 15th. They are collecting items for area veterans’ homes such as food, clothing, hygiene products, batteries and more.
Grand Rapids Veterans Day Parade will be Saturday 11 a.m. from Lyon-Monroe-Division to Fulton and end at Veterans Memorial Park.
Veterans Day 5 Run will be held Saturday, 8 a.m. at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and will benefit the Veterans Life Enrichment Fund.
Holland High School 80th Annual Veterans Day observance will be held Friday, 10:15 in the Dutch Dome on the Holland High School campus along Van Raalte Avenue.
The city of Wyoming Annual Veterans Day Ceremony will be Friday 6pm at Veterans Memorial Garden on DeHoop.
Building Hope Veterans Day Celebration will be held near Byron Center at Tanger Outlets, Saturday 11 a.m.
American House Jenison Pinning Ceremony will be held Friday 2 p.m. at American House Jenison on cottonwood Drive.
The Kalamazoo County Veterans Day Ceremony will be 2 p.m. at the Rose Park Veterans Memorial at West Michigan Avenue and Kings Highway. Featured speaker will be Mike Quinn, chairman of the Kalamazoo County Veterans Affairs Committee and U.S. Marine Corps veterans.
Western Michigan University also has a week of activities and programs for Veterans Day. For more information, visit the WMU Office of Military and Veterans Affairs at wmich.edu/military or WMU News at wmich.edu/news.
11/9/17 – Pence, Abbott attend vigil for victims of church shooting
SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at a memorial service for the victims of Sunday’s massacre at a small-town Texas church.
Pence told the crowd Wednesday evening that the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs was the worst mass shooting at a church in American history and called the gunman “deranged.”
Abbott began the service by praying “for healing and for help.” He also proclaimed Tuesday a statewide day of prayer.
Authorities say Devin Patrick Kelley killed 26 in the attack, including the unborn baby of one of the women slain.
Apple released a statement saying it has offered the FBI technical advice after learning the bureau was trying to access Kelley’s cellphone. The company says the FBI has not requested its assistance.
11/9/17 – 26 go to hospital after Battle Creek carbon monoxide leak
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — Twenty-six people have been treated at a hospital after Battle Creek firefighters found high levels of carbon monoxide at an addiction treatment center.
When firefighters arrived Wednesday morning at the A Forever Recovery center, monitors they carried showed readings of 250 to 300 parts per million of the toxic gas, compared to acceptable levels of 30 to 40 ppm.
The Battle Creek Enquirer reports people were evacuated to a nearby building and 16 were transported soon thereafter to a hospital, while 10 others sought treatment later in the day. Twenty-four patients were released after treatment, and the hospital said two others were in good condition.
Officials said the leak was caused by a faulty furnace.
11/9/17 – Michigan Senate OKs concealed guns in schools, churches
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — People could legally carry concealed guns inside schools, churches and other pistol-free zones under hotly contested legislation advancing in Michigan.
The Republican-controlled Senate approved the bills Wednesday, days after a gunman killed more than two dozen people at a Texas church.
Michigan prohibits concealed pistol license holders from carrying in nine types of buildings, including bars. The legislation would let privately owned entities continue to keep their premises gun-free. But it would legalize the right to carry in public buildings such as schools if gun owners receive extra training.
Those licensed to carry would be barred from openly carrying their weapon.
The bills go to the Republican-led House for consideration.
Gov. Rick Snyder, isn’t weighing in publicly on the legislation. But in 2012, he vetoed a similar bill.
11/9/17 – Shoemaker spending millions to deal with toxic dump sites
ROCKFORD, Mich. (AP) — A shoe manufacturer says it expects to spend about $3 million this year dealing with toxic chemicals at former dump sites in western Michigan.
The update from Rockford-based Wolverine World Wide came in a conference call with analysts Wednesday after the company reported third-quarter earnings. Wolverine has committed to testing wells, providing bottled water to residents and in some cases offering home filtration systems.
Company President and CEO Blake Krueger says the contamination affects “our families, our friends and our neighbors and we’ve been as proactive as possible and conservative and transparent.”
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is overseeing Wolverine’s investigation into groundwater contamination by perfluorinated chemicals from a former Rockford tannery that was demolished in 2010. The chemicals were in a substance Wolverine used to waterproof shoes.
11/8/17 – Election Night Support for Schools and Transportation
Last night’s election results show support for local schools and a major transportation issue in West Michigan.
You can find results for Kent County elections here: Kent County
You can find results for Ottawa County elections here: Ottawa County
11/8/17 – New Laws Could Allow Guns in Schools/Churches in Michigan
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan legislative committee has voted to let people with extra training carry guns inside churches, schools and other places now off limits.
The bills were approved Tuesday, two days after a gunman killed 26 people at a Texas church. The full Senate plans to vote as early as Wednesday. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed legislation in 2012 that would have allowed concealed pistol license holders with additional training to carry in gun-free zones.
Proponents say the zones are a “target-rich environment” for mass shooters. Critics say authorizing guns in the areas would make those places less safe.
Under Michigan law, it is illegal for the nearly 618,000 people with concealed weapon permits to carry in designated gun-free zones such as schools, day care centers, taverns and casinos.
11/8/17 – Health Insurance Premiums in Dispute
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a case that will determine whether more than $550 million will be returned to school employees who had money deducted for retiree health care.
Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration wants to keep the money but so far has lost in lower courts. His office says the money is necessary for the long-term stability of health insurance benefits.
School employees had 3 percent of their pay deducted for about two years under a law signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, but the law was declared unconstitutional. Snyder in 2012 signed a new law that has survived court challenges.
Lawyers for the administration say the money could keep the retiree health care program on firm footing. It’s now in escrow.
11/7/17 – President Promotes Promises
President Donald Trump is hinting at a surprise announcement as he prepares to depart South Korea.
Trump says during a toast at a state dinner being held in his honor in Seoul Tuesday that, “we’re going to have an exciting day tomorrow for many reasons” that “people will find out.”
Trump is also telling attendees that the partnership between the U.S. and South Korea has never been stronger, as the threat of the North and its nuclear program looms.
Trump says: “we’ve been proud to stand by your side for many decades as an unwavering friend and a loyal ally.” And he says South Korea has “never had a time where this ally has been more loyal or stood by your side more than right now.”
11/7/17 – Election Day in West Michigan
Voters in multiple counties will see something new when they go to vote today. New tabulator machines will be used in eight counties including Kent and Kalamazoo. A number of counties, including Ottawa and Muskegon, began using new tabulators that will send results to election officials when polls close.
Kent County voters will choose new commissioners or council members in Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood, Lowell and Walker. Voters in Kentwood and Walker will also choose a new mayor.
Grand Rapids voters will also decide on several critical spending proposals. They include the Grand Rapids Library, the interurban transit millage, public schools operating millage.
Greenville and Wyoming residents will decide on spending for their public schools.
There are many more Mayoral races in Ottawa County. Voters in Coopersville, Ferrysberg, Grand Haven and Holland will choose new council leadership.
To find out more information on poll location, ballot issues and candidates visit –
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. today.
11/7/17 – Town Trolling for Ticket Revenue
You might want to make sure you bring enough quarters for the meters if you have to travel out east.
The city of Lancaster Pennsylvania had a computer glitch that prevented them from sending out past due notices on parking violations in time so the city is out an estimated quarter million dollars in fines.
City spokespersons say the problem took several months to locate and correct so over nine thousand tickets past the state’s statute of limitations on enforcement. Now, they’re cracking down more on violators.
What You Can Do If Your Personal Information Was Compromised
An estimated 143 million Americans may have had their personal information compromised due to a breach at Equifax. The company is one of the three largest credit bureaus used to determine credit worthiness. Equifax has set up this website to address the problem: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com
- Once you are at the website click on the link “Potential Impact”
- On this web page you’ll see a large red button that says, “Check Potential Impact” – click on that link and follow the directions.
If you do find that your information may have been compromised, contact Equifax. They are offering a free year of credit monitoring but do remember you are free to choose another monitoring service.