Grand Rapids recycling program hoping to get support from minority run businesses

Grand Rapids officials are trying to breathe new life into an underperforming recycling program by reaching out to minority run businesses for help. Hopes were high for the "mygrcitypoints program” when it began in 2011, and the premise seemed promising--residents of Grand Rapids would earn “points” when the recycled, and could then use those points to receive discounts at local participating businesses. The process would not only promote city sustainability, but also stimulate local economic...

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Open Clip Art Library via Wikimedia | Public Domain image /

2 reports recommend ways to boost recycling in Michigan

Another tax incentive for Michigan businesses passed the state Senate today  and is on its way to the House.

   Tax cuts, be they for businesses or individuals, have been a hot topic in Lansing all session. The latest would let big businesses keep a portion of their employees’ income tax. So, some of the tax you would normally pay to the government would instead go to your employer.

Republican Senator Jim Stamas  is a bill sponsor. He says the legislation will provide more jobs and help Michigan citizens.



The Michigan Senate has approved a $5 million state loan to help repair a sinkhole in suburban Detroit and has voted to allot $100 million in federal funding to address Flint's water crisis.
     The mid-year budget bill cleared the Republican-controlled chamber 36-1 Wednesday. The House authorized a $3 million infrastructure grant for Macomb County to make sinkhole repairs. But Senate Republicans instead backed a $5 million interest-free loan, saying it's up to local governments to maintain their infrastructure. Democrats and some Republicans opposed the switch.

State Supreme Court Justice Robert Young plans to retire at the end of next month, if not sooner. His plan is to return to his former law firm.

Justice Young went from being an insurance attorney to a judge on the state Court of Appeals, and then to the Michigan Supreme Court, most of the time as part of a Republican majority. He was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1999 by Governor John Engler, and is now the senior justice.

Federal authorities intend to search the government-provided storage area of a Michigan lawmaker whose home and office were searched this week as part of an FBI and state police investigation.
     Senate spokeswoman Amber McCann said Wednesday the chamber's lawyer received a letter of intent that law enforcement officials plan to search the storage of Sen. Bert Johnson, a Democrat from Highland Park. Senators each have designated space in a building near the Capitol where they can keep records, boxes and other materials.

Federal scientists have made a potentially important discovery about the invasive sea lamprey, a longtime enemy of Great Lakes fish.
     Experiments show the rate at which lampreys grow from larvae to adults may help determine whether they'll be male or female.
     Scientists say lampreys appear to grow more slowly in waterways with poor food supplies. Lampreys spawned there are more likely to be males than those spawned in environments with plentiful food, where they grow faster.

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A federal judge levied two punishments over the "Bridgegate" tale of political retaliation in New Jersey Wednesday, sentencing former Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni to two years in prison and Bridget Kelly, Christie's former deputy chief of staff, to 18 months.

The sentencing comes months after Baroni and Kelly were found guilty of crimes that included conspiracy and fraud.

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Two anti-abortion rights activists who covertly recorded themselves discussing fetal tissue with Planned Parenthood staff are facing felony charges in California, for allegedly violating state law by filming people without their permission.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt on Tuesday, saying the state "will not tolerate the criminal recording of confidential conversations."

Lawmakers from both parties are increasingly convinced that the United States Senate is on a collision course that will permanently change the dynamics of the chamber — and the United States Supreme Court.

There's a growing bipartisan sadness and resignation about next week's showdown over the rules that govern high court nominations. But that doesn't mean there's any serious attempt from either party to avoid it.

Updated 6:45 p.m. ET

In Washington, D.C., U.S. Capitol Police have identified a suspect in Wednesday's incident in which a driver "nearly struck" police officers and shots were fired.

Capitol Police communications director Eva Malecki identifies the suspect as Taleah Everett, 20, who appears to have no fixed address.

Malecki says the officers observed an "erratic and aggressive" driver near the Capitol on Independence Avenue at 9:22 a.m. ET and tried to carry out a traffic stop.

After seven years of trying, Republicans failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act last week.

That doesn't mean the health care drama is over, though. House Speaker Paul Ryan this week told donors that the party is "going to keep getting at this thing," according to The Washington Post.

But whatever Ryan and his colleagues manage to do, plenty could still change in the Affordable Care Act. Last week's failed bill, after all, was only one part of the GOP's plan.

When it broadcasts the Winter Olympics from South Korea next year, NBC will do so with live programming across the U.S., bringing an end to the network's decades-old strategy of delaying coverage according to U.S. time zones.

Code Switch's Adrian Florido has been covering the new sanctuary movement for us. For this episode, he spoke to key players to understand why hundreds of churches are ready to start a public fight with the current administration to prevent deportations of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

He also looks at why the movement has to wrestle with important questions: Who controls the story and the message? How much say does an individual or family have in how a sanctuary church leverages their story?

Hillary Clinton criticized the lack of diversity in the Trump White House and the ill-fated Republican health care proposal in what were her most political public remarks since losing the November presidential election to Donald Trump.

Clinton made her observations in an address to the Professional BusinessWomen of California in San Francisco on Tuesday night. "There's no place I'd rather be than here with you," she told the gathering, adding, "other than the White House."

Bob Dylan will be accepting his Nobel Prize in literature this weekend, according to the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy. In a blog post Tuesday, Sara Danius announced the "good news" that members of the academy will be meeting with Dylan when he makes a tour stop in Stockholm.