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online commerce giants like Amazon are taking some of the blame for a retail slump at brick-and-mortar stores.
Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Amazon is in the process of hiring full-time warehouse workers for its distribution center currently under construction in Livonia.

In the past year, Amazon announced plans to build two warehouses in metro Detroit: the Livonia facility, and another in Romulus.

DTE

DTE Energy is disconnecting customers who refuse to have their old analog electric meters replaced with smart meters.  The smart meters use a radio frequency transmission to report real-time electricity use by the customer.

Bob Sitkauskas is in charge of DTE's advanced metering program. He says customers can still opt out of the advanced metering program, but keeping the old meter is out of the question.

"We're still going to replace the meter with one of our advanced meters," says Sitkauskas. "But we will shut the radio off for that (opt-out) customer."

Dana Nessel, wearing blue, speaks into a microphone.
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

A civil rights attorney announced her run for state Attorney General today.

Dana Nessel was an attorney for a same sex couple whose case went on to be part of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.

More recently, the Democrat is part of a task force with the Wayne County prosecutor’s office to investigate hate crimes against the LGBT community.

Nessel is a former prosecuting attorney. She says she isn’t worried about only being viewed as the LGBT candidate.

Grand Rapids City Manager Greg Sundstrom announced his retirement today.

Sundstrom has worked for the city since 1981 and has been city manager since 2009.

Courtesy of the Dawson family

On yesterday's Stateside, we heard about a young Flint man named Justin Dawson.

Tony Dawson is Justin's grandmother.

"He's 28 years old, but I would say mentally probably about seven or eight years old," she said. "He's always been a good boy. He did graduate from special ed classes – just way behind, way behind mentally."

chris atto / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Looking for new music from the Detroit area that's perfect for the dog days of summer?

Khalid Bhatti​, executive editor of Detroit Music Magazine, has your back. So does Paul Young, the magazine's founder and publisher.

Michigan Municipal League / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

After wrongly accusing tens of thousands of people in Michigan of cheating on their unemployment benefits, the state is refunding $21 million to those Michiganders.

Attorney Jennifer Lord said that number is just “a drop in the bucket” of what the state has taken from those people, while Director of the Talent Investment Agency Wanda Stokes said the agency would do better in communicating with citizens and handling unemployment claims.

Amidst all of this, Zach Gorchow of Gongwer News Service has noted a conspicuous silence from one very important voice: Governor Rick Snyder.

Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has wrongly accused tens of thousands of people of cheating on their unemployment claims.
Bytemarks / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state has admitted it made a whopping mistake when it accused tens of thousands of Michiganders of cheating on their unemployment benefits.

The Unemployment Insurance Agency reviewed 62,784 cases where people were accused of fraud and hit with penalties.

In some 44,000 of those cases, that accusation was completely false – no fraud took place.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint voters will have a wide array of choices in November's mayoral recall election.

The city clerk's office says 17 people filed to run against Mayor Karen Weaver, including a longtime Flint city council member, a man that filed a lawsuit in January to arrest President Donald Trump, and a man that goes by the nickname Cowboy.

bottom of chalkboard, with an eraser and chalk sitting on the ledge
User alkruse24 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Department of Education has announced it will reduce the overall score students need to receive on an English-proficiency test after an earlier change made it more difficult for students to transition out of English learner status.

Chinese Chrysler?

Aug 15, 2017
user fiatontheweb / creative commons

Yesterday morning I heard someone on an AM radio station say he had heard a crazy notion that Chrysler might be sold to the Chinese.

It was clear from his tone that he believed this was never going to happen.

Now, after a lifetime of covering the news, here’s something I’ve learned about business and politics. Whenever the movers and shakers start saying something can’t possibly happen, that usually means it most certainly could. Often it means that it is inevitable.

And sometimes, it even means that it’s happened already.

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

One of the toughest things about being a parent in Flint right now is the uncertainty. If your kid gets diagnosed with ADHD, or struggles in school, there’s a part of you that wonders: is it because of the lead exposure?  

voting booths
user eyspahn / Flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A grassroots group that wants to get an anti-gerrymandering proposal on the 2018 ballot is looking to make progress this week.

Voters Not Politicians is the non-partisan group in charge of the effort. It wants to change how the state draws its district lines.

The Board of State Canvassers will meet Thursday to approve or reject the form of the petition. It will look at things like font size and which portions of the constitution are referenced. This is meant to prevent lawsuits for improper format down the road.

RNC national chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Michigan Republican Party Chair Ron Weiser addressed the media for opening remarks, but the roundtable discussion was not made available to reporters.
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel hosted a roundtable discussion with African-American community leaders in Detroit on Monday.

McDaniel opened with a swift condemnation of white supremacy after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday.

“As chairman of the Republican party, I want to be perfectly clear,” McDaniel said. “That white supremacy, Neo-Nazi, KKK, and hate speech and bigotry is not welcome, and does not have a home in the Republican Party.”

Courtesy of the Dawson family

What happens to someone when they're found mentally incompetent to stand trial in Michigan? One Flint man's story offers some clues.

Justin Lee Dawson is severely developmentally disabled. Though Dawson is 28 years old, his family says he has the IQ of a six-year-old child.

Courtesy of Barbara Schmid

He’s been writing and singing about Michigan for a good many years, and on Tuesday night, Michigan will say thank you to Jay Stielstra.

Michigan Senator Rebekah Warren will present Stielstra with a state of Michigan legislative tribute for his contributions in conserving Michigan’s natural resources. She’ll do this during a show called “A Michigan Tribute to Jay Stielstra” at The Ark in Ann Arbor, where an all-star group of Michigan singers, musicians and actors will perform in his honor.

Emmanuel Smith / MrEintheD.com

The Next Idea

If you’re old enough, you might remember Schoolhouse Rock, a series of musical films that helped kids learn.

Emmanuel Smith is “Mr. E in the D,” and he’s updating that concept by using hip-hop to teach kids math.

MORGAN SPRINGER / Interlochen Public Radio

In Traverse City’s East Bay, on the busy hotel strip on U.S. 31, is Don’s Drive In. The pink and turquoise restaurant is known for its burgers and shakes and the fact that it’s kind of old school.


Craig Stanley / NBC News

White supremacist groups gathered in Charlottesville over the weekend, sparking violence and national outrage. Participants carried torches, guns, and Confederate and Nazi symbols, as white supremacists are wont to do, but some were also seen carrying shields adorned with… the Detroit Red Wings logo.

After just a few months in office, Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger has found herself in conflict with nearly every other branch of county government.

So she’s suing to clarify that she’s “the boss” of her office.

But Spranger now wants the entire Macomb Circuit Court to disqualify itself from deciding that case because of conflicts of interest.

Judge Kathryn Viviano today declined to do that. She disqualified herself, citing the “high and escalating” level of dispute between the clerk’s office and other county officials.

Michigan Radio added to its list of awards received in 2017 this weekend with recognition from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

Can a politician who breaks the law be forced to quit his job and be ordered not to run again?

That question could interrupt the Michigan Supreme Court’s summer recess.

statue of Robert E. Lee atop a horse
Public Domain

Seventy-two years ago today, for the first time ever, the Emperor of Japan spoke to his subjects on nationwide radio.  “Circumstances in the world conflict have proceeded in a manner not necessarily to our advantage,” he said. 

That was perhaps the greatest example of euphemism and circumlocution in history. What the emperor was really saying was “we have lost World War II, and we have no choice except to surrender.” I thought of this in the aftermath of the terrible events in Virginia, where a messed-up character obsessed with Nazis apparently drove his car into a group of people, killing one young woman and injuring many more people.

People at a peace vigil at State Capitol
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Peace vigils were held across the state Sunday in solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attack in Charlottesville.

More than two hundred people stood at the state capitol in Lansing. There were also vigils in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids.

Cop Car parked sideways in a driveway
Tyler Scott

The Mayor of Maumee, Ohio is hoping James A. Fields doesn’t give his town a bad name.

Fields is the man accused of driving his car into a crowd of people who were protesting a rally organized by white nationalists and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday.

Maumee Mayor Rich Carr says he didn’t like seeing what he called “all the hatred” in Charlottesville over the weekend; but it only got worse when it turned out Fields lived nearby.

Donald Trump tweet
@realDonaldTrump Twitter

As violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend, some of Michigan's lawmakers took to social media.  

Macomb County Circuit Court
Macomb County

A Macomb County Circuit Court judge could decide Monday whether a case against embattled county clerk Karen Spranger will move forward.

County officials have accused Spranger of lying about her address when she filed to run for office last year. If the case proceeds, a judge will decide whether there's enough evidence to legally disqualify Spranger from office.

"If the courts come back and say 'Nope, everything's fine,' then so be it -- she's the clerk, and we'll have to deal with the challenges we face or have been facing," Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said.

If you're a loyal watcher of the Today Show on NBC, you're probably familiar with weatherman Al Roker's catchphrase: "Here's what's happening in your neck of the woods."

That saying doesn't make much sense when you think about it, but it's probably one that you use or hear other people use.

Like a lot of sayings in our language, this one is pretty old and used to have a different meaning. When we talk about "neck of the woods" now, the neck is metaphorical and the woods are no longer required.


oil drill
creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Environmental officials are investigating an oil spill that fouled a suburban Detroit drainage ditch and left residents complaining of a petroleum smell.

Ryan Schwarb of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says the spill reported Wednesday traveled about 1,000 feet down the Teske Drain in Clinton Township. Absorbent booms were placed in the waterway to collect the oil.

Bruno Mars
Daniel Gregory / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Bruno Mars is donating $1 million from his Michigan concert to aid those affected by the Flint water crisis.

Mars told the audience Saturday at his show in Auburn Hills that he and tour promoter Live Nation are redirecting funds from the concert to The Community Foundation of Greater Flint, a charity.

In 2014, Flint switched water sources and failed to add corrosion-reducing phosphates, allowing lead from old pipes to leach into the water.

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