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Governor to give final State of the State Tuesday

Governor Rick Snyder gives his final State of the State address tomorrow. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have lists of issues they want the governor to talk about. Speaker of the House Tom Leonard wants Snyder to address mental health reform. But Leonard says it’s also important for the governor to stress the accomplishments of the Republican Party. “I think he needs to remind the citizens of the state of Michigan how far we have come along over the past seven years as well.” Leonard’s...

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After 33 years of public service, Grand Rapids City Clerk Darlene O’Neal is stepping down from her post this February. Beginning her career as a typist in the Housing Inspections Department in 1985, O’Neal rose through the ranks at City Hall before being appointed as Grand Rapids City Clerk in 2014. WGVU’s spoke with O’Neal about how Grand Rapids has changed in her 33 years of public service, and what she plans on doing once she leaves City Hall for good.

A new campaign wants to put a voters’ bill of rights into the state constitution.

Backers plan to launch a petition drive to place the question on the November ballot.

   The amendment would allow early voting. It would let people vote absentee without having to give a reason. And it would guarantee the right to vote for one party with a single mark on the ballot.

   Judy Karendjeff  is with the League of Women Voters. She says many of these have been proposed in the Legislature, but never enacted under Republican majorities.

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Governor Rick Snyder gives his final State of the State address tomorrow. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have lists of issues they want the governor to talk about.

Speaker of the House Tom Leonard wants Snyder to address mental health reform.

   But Leonard says it’s also important for the governor to stress the accomplishments of the Republican Party.

  

“I think he needs to remind the citizens of the state of Michigan how far we have come along over the past seven years as well.”

Three key members of the board that oversees USA Gymnastics have resigned. The Indianapolis-based group trains Olympians, including many who said they were sexually assaulted by a team doctor, Larry Nassar. The resignations of chairman Paul Parilla, vice chairman Jay Binder and treasurer Bitsy Kelley were announced Monday while Nassar victims spoke for a fifth day at a Michigan court hearing.

USA Gymnastics President Kerry Perry says the resignations "will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change."

Good news for Michigan residents—the government shutdown won’t have that much of an impact on the state. That’s according to a study released Monday by WalletHub.com. The financial services website’s “2018 Government Shutdown Report: Most & Least Affected States” found that Michigan is the second-least affected by the shutdown, just behind neighboring Minnesota.

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Efforts to make a show of North Korean and South Korean unity at the next Olympics are drawing a backlash in South Korea. In Seoul, protesters Monday set fire to the North Korean flag and a photo of Kim Jong Un. The South Korean president's approval rating has dropped in recent days as well.

"We oppose, we oppose, we oppose," shouted demonstrators at Seoul Station, the rail and subway station in the center of the capital. They showed up to confront a North Korean advance team that had arrived to scout out Olympic venues.

Leaders in Washington continue negotiations to end a partial government shutdown, and they're getting their own messages out about how we got here. As NPR's Ron Elving writes, each party is accusing the other of being out of touch with Americans — and they're both probably right.

So we asked you what you want them to know.

Good news for Michigan residents—the government shutdown won’t have that much of an impact on the state. That’s according to a study released Monday by WalletHub.com. The financial services website’s “2018 Government Shutdown Report: Most & Least Affected States” found that Michigan is the second-least affected by the shutdown, just behind neighboring Minnesota.

The Economist | via AP images / economist.com

Pre-registration has opened for a registry of Flint residents exposed to lead during the water crisis that has plagued the city. Michigan State University is using federal funds to help establish the voluntary registry. It will connect people to programs designed to minimize health problems.

Brian Breslin will not seek re-election this year as a Michigan State University trustee. Sarah Anderson, spokeswoman for the Michigan Republican Party, says Breslin has informed party officials. Voters choose candidates who are nominated by political parties.

Kid Rock has donated about $122,000 from sales of merchandise promoting his potential U.S. Senate campaign to a voter-registration organization. The Detroit-area rocker, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, teased the public for months. At a September concert, he was introduced as Michigan's "next senator." In October, he confirmed he wasn't running.

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump promised abortion opponents four specific actions to "advance the rights of unborn children and their mothers."

One year into his presidency, three of those items remain undone. Nevertheless, opponents of abortion have made significant progress in changing the direction of federal and state policies.

Scientists at Michigan State University are leading a $2.5 million grant to help improve agricultural consumption of water and energy. The funding from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is meant to better manage the resources and define more sustainable ways for irrigated agriculture to meet current and future food demand.

An advisory panel is calling for stepped-up efforts to prevent the spread of a deadly disease among Michigan deer.

The Chronic Wasting Disease Working Group recently presented a set of recommendations to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, a policymaking group whose members are appointed by the governor. The commission assembled experts from around the U.S. to review the latest science and management developments on the disease.

Women's March: Hundreds protest in Grand Rapids

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One year after millions of people turned out for the Women’s March in Washington, cities across the country hosted their own demonstrations including Grand Rapids. Nearly 1000 women and men walked around the square block that houses Rosa Parks Circle to protest a variety of issues facing women on Sunday. While some said they were there to protest President Donald Trump and the comments he made during his campaign about greeting women by grabbing their genitalia, others said they were there as part of the #metoo movement.

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