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Michigan Rep. Winnie Brinks launches campaign for State Senate

Michigan State Representative Winnie Brinks is looking to extend her career in politics, officially announcing her run for the State Senate in the 29th district Thursday afternoon in East Grand Rapids. Rep. Brinks, a Democrat, is running for the seat currently occupied by Republican State Senator David Hildenbrand. “I’m just really gratified by all of the support that I have gotten," Rep. Brinks said. There are a lot of great folks here today, and feel like we have got a great chance with...

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ArtPrize / artprize.org

An international art competition in western Michigan is kicking off its ninth year.

ArtPrize Nine starts Wednesday in Grand Rapids and runs through Oct. 8.

In all, $500,000 in cash prizes will be awarded - including $200,000 for the public favorite and $200,000 for a winner picked by an expert jury.

The voting structure has been updated this year.

The first round narrows entries down to 20 chosen by the public and 20 by the jury.

File photo of Gov. Rick Snyder speaking in Grand Rapids in 2016.
Hilary Farrell / WGVU

Bills sent to Gov. Rick Snyder would let candidates solicit unlimited contributions for independent committees supporting their candidacies.

The Republican-led Legislature approved the legislation on party lines Tuesday.

Supporters say Michigan needs clarity after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized unfettered political spending by independent committees.

But opponents note the bills go further - imposing no limits on candidates' ability to direct wealthy individuals and groups to closely affiliated super PACs and to bypass normal donation caps.

Board holds off for now on LGBT discrimination declaration

Sep 19, 2017

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is holding off for now on deciding whether to declare that discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations is already unlawful under state law. The commission met Monday to consider the request after two months of public feedback.

Pexels | CC BY 2.0 / Pexels.com

There is a new five-year strategy for managing Michigan's parks and recreation system. The Department of Natural Resources says the plan was developed through discussions with other state agencies and groups representing various public interests. 

The DNR manages 103 state parks and recreation areas that together occupy more than 300,000 acres. The parks and recreation division also oversees the state's boating program, the state motorized and non-motorized trails system and 138 state forest campgrounds.

A man has been charged after fleeing a high-speed crash that killed a woman and critically injured her 5-year-old twin boys in the Grand Rapids area. Douglas Crystal was arraigned Monday on four charges, including reckless driving that caused a death. The Kent County sheriff's department says 33-year-old Meranda Baguss of Sand Lake was killed Friday night when Crystal's pickup smashed into her vehicle at a rural intersection in Courtland Township. Her sons are in critical condition. 

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Pexels | CC BY 2.0 / Pexels.com

There is a new five-year strategy for managing Michigan's parks and recreation system. The Department of Natural Resources says the plan was developed through discussions with other state agencies and groups representing various public interests. 

The DNR manages 103 state parks and recreation areas that together occupy more than 300,000 acres. The parks and recreation division also oversees the state's boating program, the state motorized and non-motorized trails system and 138 state forest campgrounds.

A man has been charged after fleeing a high-speed crash that killed a woman and critically injured her 5-year-old twin boys in the Grand Rapids area. Douglas Crystal was arraigned Monday on four charges, including reckless driving that caused a death. The Kent County sheriff's department says 33-year-old Meranda Baguss of Sand Lake was killed Friday night when Crystal's pickup smashed into her vehicle at a rural intersection in Courtland Township. Her sons are in critical condition. 

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

President Trump delivered a stern warning to North Korea's leader at the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday.

Updated at 5:30 a.m. ET Wednesday

Even though Maria has weakened to a Category 4 storm, it remains a dangerous hurricane. Maria's maximum sustained winds are near 155 mph. The National Hurricane Center says the storm should keep that intensity until it makes landfall. Puerto Rico has long been spared from a direct hit by a hurricane.

Updated at 2:20 a.m. ET Wednesday

Sarah Dudas doesn't mind shucking an oyster or a clam in the name of science.

But sit down with her and a plate of oysters on the half-shell or a bucket of steamed Manila clams, and she'll probably point out a bivalve's gonads or remark on its fertility.

There are more nonwhite teachers than there used to be. But the nation's teaching force still doesn't look like America. One former education school dean is out to change that.

New research shows that the number of K-12 teachers who belong to minority groups has doubled since the 1980s, growing at a faster rate than the profession as a whole. But big gaps persist, with around 80 percent of teachers identifying as white.

Mélisande Short-Colomb knew her family had been enslaved. But until recently, she didn't know that they were enslaved, and later sold, by Georgetown University.

She found out about that part of her history when she got a message from a genealogist for the Georgetown Memory Project, which is dedicated to finding the descendents of the 272 people sold by the university in 1838.

The dollar is down nearly 10 percent since the beginning of the year. That's bad news if you're a tourist traveling to Europe, but great news if your U.S. company sells goods overseas.

The greenback's tumble against a basket of currencies reflects both positive and negative trends, analysts say.

The biggest factor in the dollar's decline is doubts among currency investors that the Trump administration will be able to put in place pro-growth policies, says Jens Nordvig, CEO of Exante Data, a financial advisory firm.

Another hurricane, another health care horror story.

At least that's how it looked when eight patients died at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida. The facility lost its air conditioning several days after Hurricane Irma struck.

That event conjured memories of the scores of elderly who died in Louisiana hospitals and nursing homes following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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