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Kent County selected to participate in early childhood development initiative

Kent County has been selected as one of 29 communities across the country to participate in a national joint initiative focused on child development from birth to age 3. A project of the Chicago-based J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation, the Pritzker Children’s Initiative will focus on increasing the number of children who are developmentally on track by kindergarten. Annemarie Valdez is the CEO of First Steps Kent, the organization leading the local effort. “They (the Pritzker Family...

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A partisan split on a state election board has stalled a petition drive to outlaw prevailing wage rules in Michigan.

   A group of non-union builders wants to outlaw prevailing wage.

The petition drive takes aim at rules adopted by the state and many local governments. Those rules require contractors to pay union-scale wages on publicly funded projects.

   The elections panel deadlocked on whether to let the campaign move forward. Two Republicans voted yes. Two Democrats voting no.     

   Jeff Wiggins is with the petition campaign. He says this isn’t over.

Officials say alcohol- and drug-related crashes remain a significant problem in Michigan even though a new report shows overall traffic deaths decreased 3 percent last year. The Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center announced Thursday that Michigan traffic deaths remained above 1,000 for the second consecutive year in 2017.

Kent County has been selected as one of 29 communities across the country to participate in a national joint initiative focused on child development from birth to age 3. A project of the Chicago-based J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation, the Pritzker Children’s Initiative will focus on increasing the number of children who are developmentally on track by kindergarten.

Annemarie Valdez is the CEO of First Steps Kent, the organization leading the local effort.

Larry Nassar’s former boss may have also used medical procedures for sexual gratification. Nassar is the former Michigan State University doctor who will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for sexual assault.

Court documents reveal more women have come forward against former MSU dean William Strampel.

Strampel has already been charged with a felony and multiple misdemeanors. Prosecutors say he used his position at MSU to try and get sexual favors from female students.

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A series of events this weekend will enable Michigan residents to responsibly dispose of unused or expired opioid painkillers and other prescription drugs. The University of Michigan's Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network is coordinating the effort Saturday. The network has put together a free manual to help groups hold community medication take-back projects and provide a safe way to get rid of unused medications.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to approve a bipartisan bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired, despite warnings from Senate leaders that the bill is unlikely to receive a vote in the full Senate.

Benzodiazepines: America's 'Other Prescription Drug Problem'

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Drew was in his early 30s. His medical history included alcohol abuse, but he had been sober for several months when he became my patient.

His previous doctor had given him a prescription for Ativan, or lorazepam, which is frequently used to allay tremors and seizures from alcohol withdrawal.

Larry Nassar’s former boss may have also used medical procedures for sexual gratification. Nassar is the former Michigan State University doctor who will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for sexual assault.

Court documents reveal more women have come forward against former MSU dean William Strampel.

Strampel has already been charged with a felony and multiple misdemeanors. Prosecutors say he used his position at MSU to try and get sexual favors from female students.

CC0 License - Pixabay

A series of events this weekend will enable Michigan residents to responsibly dispose of unused or expired opioid painkillers and other prescription drugs. The University of Michigan's Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network is coordinating the effort Saturday. The network has put together a free manual to help groups hold community medication take-back projects and provide a safe way to get rid of unused medications.

A northern Michigan township has agreed to sell land where a large cross honors a famous Catholic missionary. Pere Marquette Township in Mason County lately has been criticized for spending public money on a religious symbol, a 40-foot memorial cross built in 1955 near Lake Michigan. The township and the memorial are named for Jacques Marquette, a 17th century missionary who explored the Great Lakes.

The township board agreed Tuesday to sell the property to a local group for $800, rejecting a $2,000 bid from the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Wisconsin.

A doctor says Legionnaires' disease didn't kill a man whose health is at the center of a Flint water criminal case against a state official. The opinion of Dr. Jeffrey Band is different than the cause of death offered by prosecutors. The Beaumont Hospital doctor testified Wednesday as a witness for Dr. Eden Wells, Michigan's medical executive.

The presidents of North Korea and South Korea are scheduled to meet this Friday, in a prelude to a summit in the works between North Korea's Kim Jong Un and President Trump to talk about North Korea's nuclear program.

The summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will be the third time the countries' top leaders have met since the Korean War. Trump's meeting with Kim is expected to occur next month.

Ford Motor Co. reported a $1.7 billion profit for the first quarter of 2018, but the company says it's planning big changes — such as phasing out all cars except for the Mustang and a crossover vehicle in the North American market, so it can focus on SUVs and trucks.

"Given declining consumer demand and product profitability, the company will not invest in next generations of traditional Ford sedans for North America," Ford said.

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Trump's embattled nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn from consideration for the post amid allegations he had fostered a hostile work environment and behaved improperly while serving as the top doctor leading the White House medical unit.

Even now, 10 years later, park ranger Andrea Moore remembers the familiar smell in the air that told her it was going to be a good hunt — a damp, sweet smell. It was a mix of rotting bark with an undercurrent of rebirth as trees begin to grow new leaves, while dead ones still litter the terrain.

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