May 24

5/24/19 – Your Auto Insurance Rates May Be Going Down

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s Legislature was poised Friday to pass a bill that would cut the country’s highest auto insurance premiums by letting drivers forego a one-of-a-kind requirement to buy unlimited medical coverage for crash injuries. The pending votes followed the announcement of an agreement between Republican legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. She said the legislation would guarantee rate reductions for every motorist and offer choice among personal injury protection, or PIP, levels. PIP, on average, makes up half of car premiums. The measure also would prohibit the use of several non-driving factors in setting rates and […]
May 24

5/24/19 – SpaceX launches 60 little satellites, with many more to come

The recycled Falcon rocket blasted off late Thursday night. The first-stage booster landed on an ocean platform following liftoff, as the tightly packed cluster of satellites continued upward. Musk said Friday all 60 flat-panel satellites were deployed and online a few hundred miles (kilometers) above Earth. Each weighs 500 pounds (227 kilograms) and has a single solar panel and a krypton-powered thruster for raising and maintaining altitude. The satellites have the capability of automatically dodging sizable pieces of space junk. The orbiting constellation — named Starlink — will grow in the next few years, Musk said. Twelve launches of 60 […]
May 24

5/24/19 – Close to 780 Million to be Spent Combating Asian Carp

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ commanding officer has endorsed a $778 million plan for upgrading a lock-and-dam complex near Chicago to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes. Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite signed the final report Thursday. It now goes to Congress, which would need to give authorization and funding for the project to proceed. The plan focuses on the Brandon Road Lock and Dam on the Des Plaines River near Joliet, Illinois. It’s considered a chokepoint where Asian carp and other invasive species could be prevented from migrating into Lake Michigan. The […]
May 23

5/23/19 – Deadly tornado in Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A tornado caused heavy damage in Missouri’s capital city as severe weather swept across the state overnight, causing at least three deaths and injuring nearly two dozen people as homes and businesses were ripped apart. The National Weather Service confirmed that the large and destructive tornado moved over Jefferson City shortly before midnight on Wednesday. “Across the state, Missouri’s first responders once again responded quickly and with strong coordination as much of the state dealt with extremely dangerous conditions that left people injured, trapped in homes, and tragically led to the death of three people,” […]
May 23

5/23/19 – Lame-duck ballot drive law is unconstitutional

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s attorney general says a lame-duck law making it harder to put proposals on the statewide ballot is unconstitutional. Democrat Dana Nessel’s opinion Wednesday binds state officials unless it is reversed by a court. A legal fight is expected. The law was enacted by Republicans in December’s post-election session, and followed their unprecedented maneuver to weaken minimum wage increases and paid sick time requirements that began as ballot initiatives. The law imposes a geographic requirement on groups trying to gather hundreds of thousands of voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. No more than 15% of […]
May 23

5/23/19 – Michigan Supreme Court enters Flint water litigation

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court says it will hear arguments in the months ahead in a major Flint water lawsuit. The court on Wednesday told lawyers to file briefs about a bushel of issues. They include whether Flint residents who consumed lead-contaminated water can claim a “violation of bodily integrity” under the Michigan Constitution. The Supreme Court also will consider arguments about the timeliness of the lawsuit, a key procedural step in Michigan. In a 2-1 decision, the state appeals court last year ruled in favor of residents at an early stage of the case. The lawsuit […]
May 23

5/23/19 – US officials: Plan may send up to 10,000 troops to Mideast

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon on Thursday will present plans to the White House to send up to 10,000 more troops to the Middle East, in a move to beef up defenses against potential Iranian threats, U.S. officials said Wednesday. The officials said no final decision has been made yet, and it’s not clear if the White House would approve sending all or just some of the requested forces. Officials said the move is not in response to any new threat from Iran, but is aimed at reinforcing security in the region. They said the troops would be defensive forces, […]
May 23

5/23/19 – Red Nose Day

Red Nose Day is a campaign with the mission to end child poverty by funding programs that keep children safe, healthy, and educated. Their web site says that through the power of entertainment, we bring people together to laugh and have fun, all while raising life-changing cash for the children that need it the most. Since our debut in 2015, we have raised over $150 million and have positively impacted over 16 million children in America, and around the world. Those who want to get involved can buy a Red Nose at the official retailer, Walgreens.
May 22

5/22/19 – Another day of tornadoes in Midwest, but St. Louis spared

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A dangerous storm system in the Midwest produced dozens of tornadoes for the second consecutive day Tuesday, demolishing a racetrack grandstand and damaging buildings in a wild animal park in Missouri but sparing St. Louis, the biggest city in its path. Two deaths, both in Missouri, were blamed on the severe weather that started in the Southern Plains Monday night and moved to the northeast. Missouri and parts of Illinois and Arkansas were in the crosshairs Tuesday. By Wednesday, the storm will move into Great Lakes region, where it will weaken. But another storm system was […]
May 21

5/21/19 – Rockford Native, West Catholic HS Grad Achieves Service Promotion

MILLINGTON, Tenn. – Rockford, Michigan native and Navy sailor, Jenny Frasco earned promotion to Navy lieutenant commander at Naval Medical Logistics Command (NMLC), May 1. Frasco is a 1989 graduate of West Catholic High School in Grand Rapids and has received degrees from Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University, University of Michigan (Flint), and has been admitted to Central Michigan University to pursue a doctorate of health administration. Frasco views this promotion as an opportunity. “It’s an opportunity to bring out of the box thinking, creative concepts and ambitions in order to influence change,” said Frasco. “It means the […]
May 21

5/21/19 – Alabama Public Television airs rerun instead of news ‘Arthur’ episode

(WPMI) — According to AL.com, Alabama Public Television chose not to air PBS’s Arthur episode that featured a same-sex marriage. The episode originally aired May 13 and included Arthur and his friends attending their teacher’s same-sex marriage in “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone.” Instead of running the episode, APT opted to air a rerun. APT’s Director of Programming Mike Mckenzie told AL.com that the APT was notified in mid-April of the episode and decided to show a re-run. Mckenzie told AL.com that APT has no plans to air the episode in the future. “Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television […]
May 21

5/21/19 – Billionaire starts ballot drive to cut Michigan car premiums

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert is starting a ballot drive as a “failsafe” in case Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer don’t enact legislation to cut the country’s highest auto insurance premiums. Quicken Loans vice president of government affairs Jared Fleisher said Monday that a ballot committee, Citizens for Lower Auto Insurance Rates, will be created this week. If Gilbert’s group gathers enough voter signatures, the Legislature could approve the initiative and sidestep a veto. The House and Senate have passed differing bills that Whitmer has criticized, though negotiations are ongoing. Fleisher says it’d be […]
May 21

5/21/19 – Risks, rewards accompany speedier cleanup of closed nukes

Federal regulators are reviewing plans to sell retiring nuclear reactors to a nuclear waste management company for accelerated decommissioning. Holtec International says it could finish cleanup and demolition of the plants in eight years, rather than 60-year plans offered by their current owners. Entergy Corp.’s Pilgrim nuclear plant in Plymouth, Massachusetts, is scheduled to close next week. The other facilities in Michigan, New Jersey and New York have either closed or are expected to in the next few years. State officials, environmental groups and nuclear watchdogs say they support faster decommissioning but have raised concerns whether Holtec has the financial […]
May 21

5/21/19 – Tornado confirmed near Tulsa airport; water closes highway

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A powerful storm system spawned a confirmed tornado Tuesday morning near Tulsa International Airport, after shutting down an interstate highway and prompting water rescues elsewhere in the state. More tornadoes, along with hail and damaging winds were predicted as the storms moved to the east. In Tulsa, forecasters confirmed a tornado near the airport at about 6:30 a.m. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, but tornado warnings remained in effect in many parts of the state. Many flights were canceled or delayed at the Tulsa airport because of the storms. Along with severe […]
May 20

5/20/19 – Ford is cutting 7,000 white-collar jobs

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is cutting about 7,000 white-collar jobs, which would make up 10% of its global workforce. The company has said it was undertaking a major restructuring, and on Monday said that it will have trimmed thousands of jobs by August. The company said that the plan will save about $600 million per year by eliminating bureaucracy and increasing the number of workers reporting to each manager. In the U.S. about 2,300 jobs will be cut through buyouts and layoffs. About 1,500 already have happened. About 500 workers will be let go this week. In a memo to […]
May 20

5/20/19 – Sharp increase in US states’ use of drones

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — In Utah, drones are hovering near avalanches to watch roaring snow. In North Carolina, they’re searching for the nests of endangered birds. In Kansas, they could soon be identifying sick cows through heat signatures. Public transportation agencies are using drones in nearly every state, according to a survey obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its release Monday. The report from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials shows a sharp increase in their use over the last few years, reflecting the rapid adoption of the technology by governments as well as hobbyists. […]
May 20

5/20/19 – Regulators order river cleanup near former Michigan tannery

ROCKFORD, Mich. (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is ordering a former tannery to dig contaminated sediment and excavate soil from areas in western Michigan after finding high pollution levels where the shoemaker once operated. The Grand Rapids Press reports that the EPA sent a letter last month listing several cleanup steps federal regulators want Wolverine World Wide to take this summer. The agency has ordered Wolverine to dredge the Rogue River and excavate along the White Pine Trail in Rockford. The EPA says Wolverine must place signs notifying the public of potential hazards near the river this month. Federal […]
May 20

5/20/19 – AAA: Michigan gas prices rise 7 cents to $2.87 per gallon

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says average gas prices statewide are up about 7 cents from a week ago to about $2.87 per gallon. The Dearborn-based auto club says Monday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded is about 13 cents less than a year ago. AAA notes that prices in Michigan have fluctuated in recent weeks, but they’ll likely rise this week during the run-up to the Memorial Day holiday. The state’s highest average was about $2.92 a gallon in the Benton Harbor area. The lowest was about $2.84 in the Traverse City and Marquette areas. Prices in […]
May 20

5/20/19 – Severe thunderstorms spawn weak tornado in western Michigan

HASTINGS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say severe thunderstorms that moved across Michigan spawned a weak tornado in western Michigan that damaged barns and knocked down trees. The National Weather Service says the tornado Sunday evening in Barry County was rated EF-0 and was on the ground for about three minutes. The weather service estimates that top winds from the tornado approached 80 mph (129 kph). No injuries were reported in the area. Sunday’s storms brought high winds, heavy rains and road flooding across the state. Scattered power outages were reported. Trees were knocked down by winds in southwestern Michigan.
May 15

5/15/19 – Priority Health Promotes Skin Cancer Prevention through “Sun Smart” Campaign

(AP) – Michigan-based health insurer, Priority Health, launches its Sun Smart campaign to educate and encourage Michigan residents to make smart sun choices by providing sun protection solutions this summer. “Skin cancer is one of the most common, yet most preventable forms of cancer,” said Dr. James Forshee, chief medical officer at Priority Health. “After a long and cold winter, Michiganders are eager to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. The Sun Smart campaign encourages community members to enjoy the weather while making smart choices to protect their skin.” As part of the campaign, which runs through Labor Day, Priority […]
May 14

5/14/19 – Cancelled – AMBER ALERT – Kentwood Girl Taken From Home

UPDATE – Kentwood Police say Faith has been located and is safe.  The child is currently in the care of other family members.  Thank you for your assistance in helping to locate the child and mother. ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- Kentwood, MI.   The Kentwood Police Department has issued an Amber Alert for a 4-year-old named Faith Cyndora Martinez.  Faith is a light-skinned, black female. She is approximately 3 feet tall , and weights about 40 lbs. She has long curly brown hair and brown eyes.  Faith was last seen with her mother, Pettra Aliesha Yahya. Yahya is a 30-year-old, black female. Yahya has […]