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Possible contamination forces Rockford East Middle school to shut off drinking water

Amid fears of contamination, Rockford East Middle School shut off all of their drinking water fountains Thursday until further notice. The source of potential toxic chemicals in the water comes from a former dump site used by Wolverine World Wide about a half mile northeast of the school. Rockford Public Schools Superintendent Michael Shibler says he made the decision to shut off the water at Rockford East Middle School after The Department of Environmental Quality, Kent County Health...

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Some lawmakers in Lansing want to get rid of the State Board of Education.

   Today’s committee meeting.

The resolution would do away with the state board, the Superintendent, and a Board for Public Community and Junior Colleges.

   Instead, there would be a governor-appointed Department of Education director.

Phil Power is with the think tank, Center for Michigan. He calls the current system dysfunctional.

“The system is systematically designed to fudge accountability.”   

michigan.gov

   Governor Rick Snyder says he stands by his testimony before a congressional committee regarding the Flint water crisis.

The Republican and Democratic leaders on the US House Oversight Committee have asked the governor to provide more details on when he became aware of an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in Genesee County.

   That’s because an aide to the governor testified in a criminal trial that he told the governor weeks earlier than when the governor said he knew.

pixabay.com

Michigan municipalities would be prohibited from levying local taxes on food and beverages under a bill advancing to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk for his expected signature.

No local government in Michigan is now considering such a tax. But lawmakers say it is possible, pointing to Philadelphia and Chicago as places with soda taxes. Similar taxes have been approved in San Francisco and Oakland, California.

The Republican-led Michigan Senate voted 30-5 Thursday to send the fast-tracked legislation to the governor.

Michigan capitol building
Michigan Senate / www.senate.michigan.gov

Michigan municipalities would be prohibited from levying local taxes on food and beverages under a bill advancing to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk for his expected signature. No local government in Michigan is now considering such a tax. But lawmakers say it is possible, pointing to Philadelphia and Chicago as places with soda taxes. Similar taxes have been approved in San Francisco and Oakland, California. 

gvsu.edu

West Michigan’s economy continued its positive growth pattern in September. WGVU breaks down the numbers in the recent Supply Management Research survey.

“This trend has continued through September and it appears right now to probably continue through the fall and possibly even into the next year.” That’s Brian G. Long, director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University. He explains there are two areas of strength. The first is a rebound in auto sales both new and used.

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Talk highlights community role in tackling inequality

Jun 24, 2015
Western Michigan University

“Particularly in the field of education, they talk about achievement gaps. What we really should be talking about are opportunity gaps.” 

 Dr. Timothy Ready is the director of the Lewis Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations at Western Michigan University.  “It shows up in education outcomes, it shows up in economic outcomes, it shows up in all kinds of fields.”   Ready's discussion looked at local data for Kalamazoo and Kent Counties; both of which experience greater inequalities across racial and economic lines – both also heavier in their respective city cores. 

Updated at 2:28 p.m. ET

Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev broke his silence Wednesday and apologized to the victims and the survivors of the deadly 2013 attack.

"I am sorry for the lives that I've taken, for the suffering that I've caused you, and the damage that I've done," he said Wednesday during his sentencing hearing.

It was Miguel de Cervantes' dying wish to be buried inside the walls of Madrid's Convento de las Trinitarias Descalzasthe Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians — where a dozen cloistered nuns still live today, nearly 400 years later.

The fossilized remains of a bizarre-looking reptile are giving scientists new insights into how turtles got their distinctive shells.

Some 240 million years ago, this early turtle-like creature lived in a large lake, in a fairly warm, subtropical climate. But it didn't have the kind of shell modern turtles have, says Hans-Dieter Sues, a curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Vietnam is having condom problems.

Hundreds of thousands of condoms sold there are substandard. They tear easily and don't offer reliable protection. While this might seem like a red flag, it's actually a sign of progress.

At The New Republic, Chloe Angyal pens a piece on the role of white womanhood in America's racial dynamics, and why she will "no longer be an excuse for violence."

The Confederate battle flag and three other symbols of the Confederacy were taken down Wednesday from the Capitol grounds in Montgomery, Ala., after their removal was ordered by Gov. Robert Bentley amid a growing backlash against the symbols following last week's racially motivated mass shooting at a black church in South Carolina.

This post was updated at 5 p.m. ET

Hillary Clinton's speech Tuesday at a historic black church in Missouri was mostly well-received by the audience, but three words angered some of the activists she was hoping to appeal to.

Clinton spoke to frequent applause about religion, racism, access to education, repairing communities and the shooting last week in Charleston, S.C.

The church where Clinton spoke, Christ the King United Church of Christ, is in Florissant, Mo., fewer than 5 miles from where the rioting and protesting happened in Ferguson.

Better communication with the families of kidnapped Americans — and a pledge that those relatives won't face criminal charges if they pay ransoms — are at the heart of an update to the U.S. federal hostage policy, released Wednesday.

When you hear the words "green brewery," you might picture gleaming solar panels or aerodynamic wind turbines. But the most valuable piece of technology at the $24 million headquarters of Smuttynose Brewing Co. on the seacoast of New Hampshire isn't quite as sexy.

"The place you have to start is the building envelope," says Smuttynose founder Peter Egelston.

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