February 24

2/24/20 – Democrats looking to the weekend and then Super Tuesday

-The focus for the Democratic race for the White House is now on South Carolina. Bernie Sanders celebrated a victory in the Nevada caucuses over the weekend. Candidates are now setting their sights on South Carolina, where they’ll be debating Tuesday night. Seven hopefuls will take the stage in Charleston. Super Tuesday is set on March 3rd where a number of states will hold a Primary. The Michigan Primary will take place Tuesday, March 10.
February 24

2/24/20 – Gas prices and weight limits impact motorists

-Gas prices in Michigan are up about 6 cents compared to last week. We are paying an average $2.47 a gallon. The most expensive gas price averages were found in Marquette and the least expensive  in Traverse City. Meanwhile spring weight limits are going into effect on seasonal roads today in parts of the state, including West Michigan. Projects that involve heavy loads will need to be postponed until after the weight restrictions or “frost laws” end. As frost melts beneath a paved road, the roadbed turns spongy because water is trapped between the pavement and the remaining ice layer […]
February 24

2/24/20 – 325 people being monitored in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports they are monitoring 325 people for a medium or low risk for the Coronavirus. All of the people being monitored have been to mainland China within the past two weeks or were passengers on a cruise ship with a confirmed Coronavirus case. No one is being quarantined because the state says that is because they were not deemed at high risk during the screening process.
February 24

2/24/20 – Bill to ban declawing cats introduced in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan legislator has introduced a bill that, if eventually passed and signed, would prohibit the declawing of cats unless it is for a clear medical or therapeutic reason. The Detroit News reported Friday that House Bill No. 5508 could make Michigan the second state to ban declawing cats, following New York. State Rep. Nate Shannon, a Sterling Heights Democrat, introduced the proposal on Thursday with the backing of at least 20 other lawmakers. Under the proposed bill, those who break the declawing law could be fined up to $1,000. Some pet owners declaw their cats […]
February 24

2/24/20 – Michigan panel to consider limits on ‘forever chemicals’

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan panel is preparing to consider proposed limits on some nonstick, water-resistant chemicals in drinking water. An oversight committee is expected to vote Thursday on regulations developed by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. They would set maximum levels of seven types of chemicals known as PFAS. The chemicals are used in a wide variety of industrial and consumer products and have been linked to numerous health problems. They’re called “forever chemicals” because they persist in the environment. The Environmental Rules Review Committee could approve or reject the proposed regulations or make changes. […]
February 24

2/24/20 – Michigan adds 600-acre expansion worth $2M to public lands

VANDERBILT, Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials say the state’s 108,000-acre Pigeon River Country State Forest is getting a nearly 600-acre addition. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently announced a land deal valued at more than $2 million that was finalized last month. It adds the Elk Forest at Black River, which is in Montmorency County, to the state’s public lands. The area is surrounded on three sides by existing state-managed land and includes public access to Walled Lake. The money for the property purchase came from matching funds from the state agency’s Land Exchange Facilitation Fund and a donation […]
February 21

2/21/20 – Fourth vaping-related death reported in Michigan

(Mlive) – An adult female has died from a vaping-related lung injury, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported on Thursday. It’s the fourth vaping-related death in Michigan. The state isn’t releasing further information about the death, citing confidentiality. “Although reports of new cases related to this outbreak have decreased in Michigan and across the country, new cases continue to be reported,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS. “We urge Michigan residents to refrain from vaping until a definite source or sources have been identified. Health care providers should remain […]
February 21

2/21/20 – Ice lacking on Great Lakes

(Mlive) – The satellite images show a big difference in ice cover from year to year. It’s been a warmer than average winter so far. It’s no surprise that ice cover on the Great Lakes should be lower than average. Right now there is only 15.5 percent of the entire Great Lakes water surface covered with ice. The long-term average ice cover on the Great Lakes is 55 percent. This winter will go down as one of the top ten lowest total ice cover winters. Right now it looks like it will come in around number 4 in low ice […]
February 21

2/21/20 – Kia recalls SUVs, vans; electrical problem can cause fires

DETROIT (AP) — Kia is joining its affiliate Hyundai in recalling thousands of vehicles in the U.S. because water can get into a brake computer, cause an electrical short and possibly a fire. The Kia recall covers nearly 229,000 Sedona minivans from the 2006 through 2010 model years. Also covered are Sorento SUVs from 2007 through 2009. Kia is telling owners to park their vehicles outside and away from structures and other vehicles until the problem can be fixed. The company says in government documents that moisture can get into the antilock brake control computer and cause an electrical short […]
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 – “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 – 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 – 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 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 […]
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.”