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ICCF

Inner City Christian Federation securing affordable housing

Inner City Christian Federation has closed on the purchase of 177 properties with 150 of those single-family homes located in Greater Grand Rapids and Wyoming. As ICCF leadership explains the acquisition is one way to preserve affordable housing at a time when rents and home prices are quickly climbing. “We are excited to be a part of preserving the affordability of housing in our community.” Ryan VerWys is President and CEO of Inner City Christian Federation. “We know right now that folks...

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washingtonpost.com

John Conyers' resignation from the U.S. House amid sexual harassment allegations unlocks the seat he's held for more than a half-century.
 
     That could set off a free-for-all race to replace him, with at least three potential legacy candidates, including two Conyers' relatives and a son of a prominent former mayor.
 
     Gov. Rick Snyder will schedule special primary and general elections to fill the vacancy left by Conyers' resignation.
 

Governor Rick Snyder is personally lobbying lawmakers to adopt an overhaul of how local government pensions are managed.

Snyder is a CPA/investor turned politician, and he’s had his eye for a while on making sure local pension and retirement plans are better funded. The plan proposed by Snyder and the Legislature’s GOP leaders would allow the state to intervene if a local government has a retirement plan that’s under-funded with no plan to fix it.

   Snyder wants the Legislature to deal with the bills before its winter break.

Michigan could end up being the only state where legislators pass and reject laws without the public knowing about their personal finances. It's a distinction good government watchdogs say is an embarrassment that must be changed. Forty-seven states require lawmakers to file some type of financial disclosure that lists their occupation, income or business associations - information that indicates if a legislator might benefit personally from supporting or opposing legislation.

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

Parents could use tax-free savings accounts to pay for students' school-related expenses including extracurricular activities under legislation that has cleared a divided Michigan Senate. The Republican-led chamber approved the bills 23-14 Tuesday, with Democrats and some Republicans in opposition. The legislation goes to the House for consideration next. 

A judge has ordered a 62-year-old hunter safety instructor to stand trial on a lesser charge in the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy who was squirrel hunting in western Michigan. Roger Hoeker of Jenison was charged with involuntary manslaughter, but 78th District Court Judge H. Kevin Drake this week sent the case to circuit court on a charge of reckless discharge of a firearm. 

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The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will announce Thursday that it's going to crack down on hospitals, for the first time ever, to prevent an epidemic of back and arm injuries among nursing employees.

Nurses and nursing assistants suffer more of those debilitating injuries than any other occupation, and those injuries are caused mainly by moving and lifting patients.

The Senate handed President Obama a huge victory Wednesday afternoon, giving him final approval of legislation that enhances his power to negotiate trade deals.

The bill needed just 51 votes, but passed 60-38, making it look almost easy.

But earlier this month, the legislation granting Trade Promotion Authority seemed likely to die because of fierce opposition from many Democrats and some Republicans. Various legislative maneuvers were employed to set back the measure.

The director of the Office of Personnel Management underwent another grilling Wednesday, this time from members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Katherine Archuleta sat for more than three hours as lawmakers questioned her competence and her estimates of how many government workers may have had their data breached in the hacking of OPM's computers discovered this spring.

If you're searching for a place that has a big backyard for the kids, look no further.

The largest cattle ranch in the world, Anna Creek, is on the market in Australia. For context, the ranch is about the size of New Hampshire, according to Time magazine.

There's nothing like jamming a waxed piece of string between your tightest molars and sliding it back and forth. And who doesn't do that once a day, just as the dentist prescribes?

Email regrets? We've had a few. Google now has a solution for the dreaded "reply all" misfire and other e-disasters. With a few adjustments to Gmail settings, users have the option to withdraw a message sent in haste, in anger or from a bar.

From the Gmail help page:

To enable Undo Send:

  1. Click the gear in the top right.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Scroll down to "Undo Send" and click Enable.

Updated at 5:57 p.m. ET

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Wednesday that he's seeking the Republican presidential nomination, joining an already-crowded GOP field.

"My approach is different from most of the other people running for president," Jindal said in New Orleans hours after announcing his run on Twitter. "The United States of America was made great by people who get things done. Not lots of talk or entertaining speeches.

As a region, the Americas fare quite well in Gallup's new global index of personal well-being, but the U.S. fell from No. 12 to No. 23 worldwide. The top 10 includes Costa Rica, Belize, and Mexico.

Panama took the top spot for the second straight year in the Gallup-Healthways Country Well-Being report, with Costa Rica second. Switzerland was the top European country, in fourth. At No. 23, the U.S. is one spot behind Israel and one ahead of Canada.

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.

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