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Gov. Rick Snyder exits a Michigan State Police helicopter after a tour of flooded parts of Isabella and Midland counties.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Snyder says it’s important for Michiganders to “rally together” in the wake of flooding in Isabella and Midland counties.

More than seven inches of rain Thursday caused rivers to burst from their banks, inundate neighborhoods and wash out roads.

This morning, the governor spent time inspecting the flood damage on the ground and from the air. Snyder saw many parts of the region are still underwater.

Matty Moroun, the billionaire owner of the Ambassador Bridge across the Detroit River, turned 90 earlier this month. I don’t know how he celebrated, but I do know something happened last week that may well have ruined his birthday.

Michigan Radio was recognized this past weekend with two awards from the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI). The station received a First Place award in the Large Newsroom-Nationally Edited Continuing Coverage category for the station’s on-going reporting about the Flint water crisis. Michigan Radio was among the first news organizations to report about contaminated drinking water in Flint and has been bringing this story to listeners across the state and the nation from the very beginning.

Out of the 38 under-performing schools that could be closed in Michigan, 25 of them are located in Metro Detroit.
Motown31 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Friday marks the last day of the Education Achievement Authority, Michigan's controversial state-run turnaround district. 

The EAA's 15 schools will stay open, but they'll be absorbed back into the Detroit Public Schools Community District. Sonya Mays, treasurer for the DPSCD school board, says the district is working with the EAA to make it a smooth transition for students. 

A recall petition for Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A recall petition targeting Flint’s mayor reaches a milestone this week.

Recall organizer Arthur Woodson declined to comment last week on the status of the campaign. However, in the past Woodson has said volunteers have collected more than 6,000 signatures since a judge cleared the way for recall petition process to begin in April.

Flint Mayor Weaver, Lansing Mayor Bernaro, and Ret. Brig. Gen. Michael McDaniel stand next to the lead pipe.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Flint’s pipe replacement program faces a critical deadline at the end of this week.

By Friday, Flint needs to replace its 2,037th lead or galvanized service line.

That would be approximately 7% of the estimated number of suspect pipes tied to the city’s lead tainted tap water crisis.

The mandated 7% threshold is part of the federal Lead and Copper Rule.  

IRA GELB / CREATIVE COMMONS

In recent years, we've heard a lot more reports about law enforcement cracking down on human trafficking. In Michigan, a researcher is discovering that finding victims of human trafficking is different from finding help for those victims.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A federal judge will hold an emergency hearing Monday morning in Detroit, where the ACLU is asking him to temporarily block the deportations of all Iraqi nationals facing removal in the U.S.

This all started a few months ago, when Iraq agreed to accept Iraqi nationals the U.S. wants to deport. For years it had refused to issue travel documents to those individuals.

Then, earlier this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement rounded up 114 Iraqis living in metro Detroit. Another 85 were taken into custody in other states.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The small town of Zeeland could be the latest in Michigan to restructure its police department.

The city has a new fact-finding committee to look at options for the department. The current police chief is set to retire in about a month.

Mayor Kevin Klynstra says the city may be able to save money by making changes to the department.

A car sits in the flooded parking lot of Midland's downtown farmers' market.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

As floodwaters begin to recede, government officials are assessing the damage in Midland and Isabella counties. 

Storms dumped more than seven inches of rain on parts of mid-Michigan last week, flooding homes and washing out roads.

“In Midland County alone, there’s been 116 roads affected,” says Mark Bone, president of the Midland County Board of Commissioners. “There’s a lot of roads out there we’re still gathering the information, but there’s a lot of damage.”

Getting to work or school is going to be a problem in the areas affected by the flooding.

ADAM J.W.C. / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

AAA is predicting nearly one and a half million Michiganders will travel more than 50 miles during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday weekend.

AAA-Michigan spokeswoman Susan Hiltz credits various factors, including an extra-long holiday weekend this year.

“The last time we had travel volume this big was about 15 years ago,” says Hiltz, “So it’s definitely big news for our state and great news for the travel industry.”

But Hiltz cautions more people traveling means Michigan’s highways will be bulging during the Independence Day holiday weekend.

A very large leather-vested man with a bald head and full beard gets in the face of a much smaller man, also bald, wearing glasses and a red handkerchief around his neck.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

A northern Michigan town is divided over a local official's Islamophobic Facebook posts.

Jeff Sieting is the village president of Kalkaska.

He's come under fire for a series of Facebook posts that call for violence against Muslims and other minority groups.

About 100 protestors calling for Sieting’s removal gathered in downtown Kalkaska last night.

illustration of trail
City of Detroit

Cyclists and pedestrians will soon have an easier time getting around Detroit.

What was once abandoned railroad track will become 7.5 miles of paved trails for biking and walking. The city used $4.3 million in state grants to purchase 76 acres of land from the Conrail railroad company.

The new trail will help fill the biggest gap in the city’s Inner Circle Greenway, a 26-mile loop of bike lanes and trails encircling the city. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

  LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder says a major automotive supplier could expand its operations in Michigan and an Italian biotech company is considering Michigan as a place to which to locate in the U.S.

Snyder is wrapping up a weeklong trade trip to Europe. He met with business executives in France, Germany and Italy - both to touch base with those whose companies already have a presence in Michigan and to explore potential new opportunities.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder's administration agreed that he would publicly oppose many future labor-relations bills in a bid to secure Democratic votes in the Michigan House for economic development tax incentives.

A Republican legislative official and a Snyder administration official who told The Associated Press about the agreement spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the private meetings.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) - Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has declared a state of disaster in two central Michigan counties after severe weather led to widespread damage and flooding.

Calley issued the declaration Friday for Isabella and Midland counties. It provides state resources to assist local response and recovery efforts.

Hundreds of homes, businesses and roads have been affected by flooding from heavy overnight rain.

The Mount Pleasant Morning Sun reports motorists were being advised to stay off roads in Isabella County.

Courtesy of the Mika family

SHINGTON (AP) - Another victim of the mass shooting that critically injured a congressman is out of the hospital.

The family of Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika says he was released Friday from George Washington University Hospital.

Mika was among five people hit by gunfire multiple times in his chest and arm in the attack on a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, on June 14. The others were U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, two U.S. Capitol Police officers and a congressional aide.

Former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar, wearing orange jumpsuit, in court Friday.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar will stand trial for allegedly sexually assaulting six women and girls, all of whom were 15 years old or younger at the time. He’s accused of using his fingers to penetrate them vaginally and anally, without gloves or consent, under the guise of medical treatment.

As a respected MSU professor and a former Olympic gymnastics team doctor, the prosecution argues he used his reputation to make his alleged victims believe this was legitimate treatment.

The Detroit neighborhood of Delray
wikimedia user Notorious4life / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The city of Detroit will get $48 million in a deal with the state related to construction of a new bridge to Canada.

The city is selling the state land in the Delray neighborhood, where the Gordie Howe International Bridge will be built.

Mayor Mike Duggan wants the money to go to a neighborhood improvement fund, job training for city residents, and air and health monitoring in southwest Detroit.

Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Rick Snyder wanted a tax incentive package to lure big employers. A majority of Republicans and Democrats like the idea. But then, Speaker of the House Tom Leonard yanked the legislation because of a rumor the governor had cut a deal with Democrats for their support.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint City Council is defying state and federal government officials, as well as the city’s mayor, and is putting off a vote on a drinking water contract for another two weeks.

Enbridge Energy's Line 5 oil and liquid natural gas pipelines run under Lake Michigan at the Straits of Mackinac.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan recently terminated its contract with an independent contractor that was analyzing any potential risk posed by Enbridge Energy’s 64-year-old Line 5 pipeline.

Firing that contractor leaves a lot of unanswered questions. The state says the company, Det Norske Veritas, a Norwegian firm, failed to follow conflict of interest rules. An employee of the firm was working on the state’s request for a risk analysis of the 64-year-old pipeline and then also did work for Enbridge.

The Ford Focus
Ford Motor Company

In the rhetorical battle between President Donald Trump and Ford Motor’s investors, the president is losing.

The Blue Oval is moving American production of the Focus to China – presumably because shipping it to Mexico from Michigan wasn’t sufficiently controversial.

For the first time, a Detroit automaker will, quote, “globally source” an established model and use Chinese labor to assemble it for sale to American consumers. Let the tweet storm commence – or not, as it turns out.

Children walking down a path together
public domain

Negotiations will continue through the summer on legislation to change the rules on how child custody is determined in divorces.

State Rep. Jim Runestad’s (R-White Lake) bill would make equal custody the default position in divorces. He says, right now, judges have too much discretion and the proof of that is wide disparities between counties in how custody is granted.

“It’s a horrible, horrible system for kids and it’s got to change,” he says.

Runestad says the current system invites conflict between parents vying to win custody.

The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio file photo

The legislature has passed a state budget, and it’s headed to Governor Snyder’s desk for approval.

Stateside talked to two reporters covering the capitol and Lansing to go over some of the Highlights in the budget. Kyle Melinn is the editor of MIRS, a news service that covers state government. Rick Pluta is the Captol bureau chief for Michigan Radio.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Nearly every week you'll hear something about the Federal Reserve Bank. But how often do you think of the Fed and how it affects your local economy?

Courtesy of Illinois Department of Natural Resources

A live Asian carp was found about nine miles from Lake Michigan, according to state and federal officials.

The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee announced that the silver carp was captured Thursday morning by a commercial fisherman.

The 28-inch, nine-pound fish was found in a Chicago waterway, beyond the electric barrier 37 miles southwest of the city that is meant to keep the invasive species from the Great Lakes.

“This was a matter of millimeters,” says Dr. Donald Scholten, Hurvley Medical Center trauma surgeon, of how close the knife came to slashing arteries in Lt. Jeff Neville's neck.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A Flint airport police officer injured in a suspected terrorist attack this week is expected to go home after spending the weekend recovering at a local hospital.

Lt. Jeff Neville was stabbed in the neck at Flint’s Bishop International Airport Wednesday morning.    Investigators say 49-year-old Amor Ftouhi used a knife he purchased as he travelled from his home in Montreal to Flint.  

Years ago, when the baby boomers completely dominated the culture, someone once said that we’d know their influence was finally ending when magazines had cover stories on designer funeral homes. Well, we aren’t there yet.

Larry Nassar in the court room on Friday, June 23.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Kate Wells is at today's hearing for Larry Nassar. She'll be live-tweeting from the court room. As a warning, some of these tweets may describe sensitive or explicit situations.

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