January 21

1/21/20 – Impeachment trial to begin with rules fight

(AP) – President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is set to unfold at the Capitol. On the eve of the trial, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed a condensed, two-day calendar for each side’s opening arguments.  Each side will get 24 hours over two days to make their opening statements.  Also under the proposal, House evidence can’t be admitted without a vote. The rules package will be one of the first orders of business when senators convene about midday Tuesday. Pres. Trump’s lawyers are seeking swift acquittal. The first several days of the trial are expected to be tangled in procedural […]
January 21

1/21/20 – Man ‘upset with police’ allegedly rams Ottawa County sheriff’s cruiser

HOLLAND, MI –(Mlive) –  A 60-year-old man was arrested Monday evening after he allegedly rammed a sheriff’s cruiser with his vehicle. According to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, the man confessed to rear-ending the deputy’s vehicle because he was “upset with police” after an incident earlier in the evening. In that incident, a different deputy responded to a “civil disagreement” involving the man at a local business, the sheriff’s office reports. The ramming incident unfolded around 6:45 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, at the intersection of James Street and 136th Avenue in Holland Township. A deputy was stopped at a red […]
January 21

1/21/20 – Michigan’s second international dark sky park makes its debut

CASS COUNTY, MICH. — (Mlive) – A county park in southwestern Michigan has been recognized as an exemplary place for taking in the night sky. Dr. T.K. Lawless Park in Cass County was recently designated as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association, an exceptional distinction given to locations that offer unspoiled night-sky viewing. The 860-acre park, nine miles east of Cassopolis, is only the second park in Michigan to be honored with the distinction. In 2011, the Headlands International Dark Sky Park in Mackinaw City became the first such park in the state, and one of […]
January 21

1/21/20 – Michigan state park fees will rise $1 starting in March

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An annual fee that allows unlimited access to Michigan’s state parks is rising by $1. Starting March 1, it will cost $12 for the Recreation Passport when it’s bought with one’s license plate registration renewal. It’s the first fee increase in seven years. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources attributes the fee change to a provision in the law that ensures the funding source keeps pace with inflation. The fee will be $17 when a passport is purchased at state parks, DNR customer service centers or at a secretary of state branch outside the vehicle registration […]
January 21

1/21/20 – Michigan spends $4.6 million to swap parolee ankle bracelets

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A technology change is forcing Michigan’s corrections department to spend about $4.6 million to fit more than 4,000 parolees and others under state supervision with new ankle monitors. Michigan Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Chris Gautz says the change is necessary because the 3G-enabled monitors won’t work because Verizon is upgrading its network from 3G to 4G. He says the process of swapping out devices for those wearing the ankle bracelets is expected to take about 45 days. The bracelets that track the movements of parolees and others under state supervision are worn by people […]
January 20

1/20/20 – Washington Prepares for Trial of the President

The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will resume this week and may start with a fight over the ground rules. By then, both sides will have submitted briefs. And four Democratic presidential candidates will have been forced back to Washington from the early nominating states to join every other senator in silence on the Senate floor. Trump’s lawyers on Sunday previewed their impeachment defense with the questionable assertion that the charges against him are invalid, adopting a position rejected by Democrats as “nonsense.” Democrats say Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress over his pressure on Ukraine for political […]
January 20

1/20/20 – Roads a Priority – Funding is the Issue

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — There is a ray of good news as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer prepares to renew her push for major new spending to fix Michigan’s roads and bridges: Republican legislative leaders say addressing the funding is a priority for them, too. But beyond that, uncertainty abounds over whether the Democratic governor and a tax-averse Legislature can agree on a plan. Whitmer is expected to make roads a focus in her Jan. 29 State of the State speech after Republicans last year rejected a proposed 45-cents-a-gallon fuel tax hike. Details will follow, before she presents her budget on Feb. […]
January 20

1/20/20 – Martin Luther King holiday: Faith, politics mix this holiday

The nation is marking the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on the holiday memorializing the civil rights leader. Monday’s holiday in King’s name comes against the backdrop of a presidential election year. In Atlanta, Monday’s commemorations could draw attention to the continuing leadership role of the clergy in African American politics. U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Georgia Republican appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp, plans to attend Monday’s tribute at Ebenezer Baptist Church, which King and his father both led. And in an early tribute to King, Vice President Mike Pence spoke Sunday in Memphis, Tennessee, at a church service […]
January 17

1/17/20 – Google Attains a New Status

Google has reached a new milestone for a company that seems to thrive on setting new goals. The Silicone Valley company joins only three other technology companies in attaining a one trillion dollar market cap.  Only Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are in that stratosphere. The company founded in 1998 has seen phenomenal growth, first going public in 2004. Today, the company is synonymous with searching on the internet. The company has not been without detractors as well as problems.  This past year has seen more concern over data sharing, politicians and businesses having access to information on targeted audiences, as […]
January 17

1/17/20 – W MI Man Charged With Felonies in Hit and Run

A West Michigan man faces felony charges after allegedly being drunk when he ignored a bus flashing lights and struck a young teen before fleeing the scene. 22-year old Matthew Dean Potter of Twin Lakes has been charged with driving under the influence causing injury and leaving the scene of a serious injury. Potter was allegedly driving while drunk after several witnesses reported to police they had seen him drinking in the early morning hours.  Police say tips led them to Potter, who appeared in a Muskegon County Courtoom on Thursday. The 14-year old teen who was struck suffered two […]
January 17

1/17/20 – Victims Families Demand Admission of Responsibility, Justice

Iran took several days before admitting they were responsible for the downing of the Ukraine Airline Flight 752.  This was after multiple countries sited the country’s military for firing missiles at the plane.  The country says they believed it was a military flight.  They blamed it on human error. Now, the governments of countries that lost citizens when Iran shot down the plane are demanding Tehran accept “full responsibility” and pay compensation to the victims’ families. The foreign ministers of Canada, the U.K., Afghanistan, Sweden and Ukraine issued the statement on Thursday after meeting at the Canadian High Commission. All […]
January 16

1/16/20 – Power out after Kent County crash

WYOMING, MI –(Mlive) – About 1,500 Consumers Energy customers are without power Thursday, Jan. 16. The outages are near the scene of an overnight crash at 54th Street SW and South Division Avenue. The crash was reported around 2 a.m. Police remain on the scene. Consumers Energy expects to have power restored by mid morning.
January 16

1/16/20 – Muskegon agrees to hire sharpshooters to kill up to 30 deer

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A Lake Michigan community has voted to spend $20,000 to kill as many as 30 deer at two parks in western Michigan. The unanimous vote by the Muskegon City Commission is an effort to control growing herds, although there are different opinions among residents. The Muskegon Chronicle reports the cull by sharpshooters must be completed by March 31. Residents in favor of a special kill have talked about damage to vegetation and concerns about tick-borne illnesses. Some critics say the deer should be considered a community asset.
January 16

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 15

1/15/20 – House Votes to Send Articles of Impeachment to Senate

The U.S. House has voted to send two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate. The House also approved the chamber’s prosecutors for what will be only the third Senate impeachment trial in American history. The nearly party-line vote on Wednesday moves Trump’s impeachment from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic-run House to the Republican-majority Senate. Trump expects acquittal in the Senate. Seven Democrats were named as House Managers who will present the case to the Senate. The vote was 228-193 to send the articles to the Senate.  No GOP members broke from the party.  Former Republican Congressman Justin […]
January 15

1/15/20 – Suspect arrested in hit-and-run crash at bus stop that seriously injured student

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MI –(Mlive) –  State police on Wednesday, Jan. 15, arrested a man suspected of hitting Reeths-Puffer students with his vehicle and fleeing the scene. One student suffered two broken legs in the crash Tuesday, Jan. 14, at a bus stop on Russell Road. His sister was also hit but her injuries were not serious. The crash happened around 6:30 a.m., while students waited for the school bus. State police troopers worked through the day and overnight to identify a possible suspect. Early today, police found his vehicle and determined that damage was consistent with the crash, Lt. David […]
January 15

1/15/20 – Bill to create Michigan mental health hotline is approved

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is poised to create a permanent statewide mental health hotline under legislation going to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The Legislature took a final vote on the bill Tuesday. The telephone referral system would be available 24 hours a day, seven days of week and would refer people experiencing a mental health crisis to service providers. A spending law approved in 2018 included $3 million to develop, operate and maintain a hotline pilot program. The new legislation is intended as a way to expand that program statewide. A spokeswoman says Whitmer will review the bill.
January 15

1/15/20 – Task force urges overhaul of Michigan jail, pretrial system

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A task force says Michigan should reclassify many traffic offenses as civil infractions, release more defendants before trial without requiring them to pay money and take other steps to reduce jail populations that tripled in under 40 years. The 21-member group was created by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with support from Republican legislative leaders. It delivered its findings and 18 recommendations to lawmakers Tuesday. Suggestions include giving police more discretion to issue appearance tickets instead of arresting people, shortening the time people spend in jail between their arrest and arraignment, and reducing maximum probation terms for […]
January 15

1/15/20 – Michigan sues 3M, DuPont over ‘forever’ chemicals in water

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is suing 3M, DuPont and other companies for financial damages from contamination caused by potentially harmful “forever” chemicals that are turning up in drinking water across the state. The lawsuit filed Tuesday in state court alleges that 17 defendants deliberately concealed the dangers of a class of substances known collectively as PFAS. 3M made the chemicals starting in the 1950s and stopped in 2002. They were used in Scotchgard, fire retardants, nonstick cookware and other products.
January 14

1/14/20 – 3 new flights are being offered out of Grand Rapids

(GRAND RAPIDS,MI) – Allegiant announces service from Grand Rapids to Los Angeles, Boston and Austin, Texas. To celebrate, the company  is offering one-way fares on the new routes as low as $33. Drew Wells, Allegiant vice president of planning and revenue says they are very excited to expand in Grand Rapids by offering service to three of the most in-demand travel destinations in the country. New seasonal service from Gerald R. Ford Airport includes: Los Angeles, California via Los Angeles International Airport, beginning June 5, 2020. Boston, Massachusetts via Boston Logan International Airport, beginning May 7, 2020. Austin, Texas via […]
January 2

1/2/20 – January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Safety is working to increase awareness of the issue and offer suggestions to help reduce the number of preventable birth defect cases. This year’s campaign theme, “Best for You. Best for Baby” aims to raise awareness of the roughly 1 in 33 birth defects cases occurring in Michigan each year. Follow these five tips to increase your chances of having a healthy baby: Take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. Folic acid is very important because it can help prevent some major birth defects […]
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.”