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Michigan Rep. Winnie Brinks launches campaign for State Senate

Michigan State Representative Winnie Brinks is looking to extend her career in politics, officially announcing her run for the State Senate in the 29th district Thursday afternoon in East Grand Rapids. Rep. Brinks, a Democrat, is running for the seat currently occupied by Republican State Senator David Hildenbrand. “I’m just really gratified by all of the support that I have gotten," Rep. Brinks said. There are a lot of great folks here today, and feel like we have got a great chance with...

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ArtPrize / artprize.org

An international art competition in western Michigan is kicking off its ninth year.

ArtPrize Nine starts Wednesday in Grand Rapids and runs through Oct. 8.

In all, $500,000 in cash prizes will be awarded - including $200,000 for the public favorite and $200,000 for a winner picked by an expert jury.

The voting structure has been updated this year.

The first round narrows entries down to 20 chosen by the public and 20 by the jury.

File photo of Gov. Rick Snyder speaking in Grand Rapids in 2016.
Hilary Farrell / WGVU

Bills sent to Gov. Rick Snyder would let candidates solicit unlimited contributions for independent committees supporting their candidacies.

The Republican-led Legislature approved the legislation on party lines Tuesday.

Supporters say Michigan needs clarity after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized unfettered political spending by independent committees.

But opponents note the bills go further - imposing no limits on candidates' ability to direct wealthy individuals and groups to closely affiliated super PACs and to bypass normal donation caps.

Board holds off for now on LGBT discrimination declaration

Sep 19, 2017

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is holding off for now on deciding whether to declare that discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations is already unlawful under state law. The commission met Monday to consider the request after two months of public feedback.

Pexels | CC BY 2.0 / Pexels.com

There is a new five-year strategy for managing Michigan's parks and recreation system. The Department of Natural Resources says the plan was developed through discussions with other state agencies and groups representing various public interests. 

The DNR manages 103 state parks and recreation areas that together occupy more than 300,000 acres. The parks and recreation division also oversees the state's boating program, the state motorized and non-motorized trails system and 138 state forest campgrounds.

A man has been charged after fleeing a high-speed crash that killed a woman and critically injured her 5-year-old twin boys in the Grand Rapids area. Douglas Crystal was arraigned Monday on four charges, including reckless driving that caused a death. The Kent County sheriff's department says 33-year-old Meranda Baguss of Sand Lake was killed Friday night when Crystal's pickup smashed into her vehicle at a rural intersection in Courtland Township. Her sons are in critical condition. 

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The retail landscape has changed dramatically in recent years, and Toys R Us has been trying to maintain its foothold in the industry amid a heavy debt load and the rise of online shopping.

Late Monday, the largest U.S. toy chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Richmond, Va. The move had been expected.

Seventy-eight days, 14 hours and 40 minutes of pure pedaling around the globe gave Mark Beaumont a new world record Monday, besting the former record of 123 days.

"This has been, without doubt, the most punishing challenge I have ever put my body and mind through," Beaumont said upon completing the journey in Paris, reports the BBC. "The experience has been incredible, and I'm excited to share this journey for years to come."

Iraqi authorities have moved a group of more than 1,300 foreign women and children — the family members of suspected ISIS fighters — and a refugee agency is raising the alarm about their precarious situation and the specter of retribution.

"The families had been held in a camp in Kurdish-controlled territory while Iraq figures out what to do with them," NPR's Jane Arraf reports.

For the past nine days, Nancy Schneider has circled the date on her calendar, pinned up on the wall in her kitchen. She's tracking how long she and her husband have been without power since Hurricane Irma hit Florida.

Last Monday, two-thirds of the state — more than 6.5 million customers — were without power. Crews have worked aggressively since then to restore as many homes and businesses as possible but, more than a week after the storm came ashore, around 400,000 people are still without power.

Protests in St. Louis over a former police officer's acquittal in the shooting death of a black man continued Monday after a weekend capped by the arrests of more than 80 people.

The CIA has a favorite phrase: "We can neither confirm nor deny."

It was born as part of a strange Cold War drama, involving Howard Hughes, that now has a new twist.

Back in March 1968, a Soviet submarine and its nuclear missiles suffered a catastrophic accident and sank to the dark, chilly floor of the Pacific. All 98 sailors died.

Stanislav Petrov was a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Union's Air Defense Forces, and his job was to monitor his country's satellite system, which was looking for any possible nuclear weapons launches by the United States.

Open enrollment for Affordable Care Act insurance doesn't start for another six weeks. But the quirky insurance startup Oscar Health is launching an ad campaign Monday aimed at getting young people to enroll.

The company is boosting its ad spending after the Trump administration announced it would slash its ACA advertising budget by 90 percent.

At least three people died and 16 others were injured when a city transit bus and a tour bus crashed early Monday in the New York City borough of Queens.

"We've had a really tragic morning here in Flushing, Queens," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference with city leaders near the crash site.

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