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Kent County selected to participate in early childhood development initiative

Kent County has been selected as one of 29 communities across the country to participate in a national joint initiative focused on child development from birth to age 3. A project of the Chicago-based J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation, the Pritzker Children’s Initiative will focus on increasing the number of children who are developmentally on track by kindergarten. Annemarie Valdez is the CEO of First Steps Kent, the organization leading the local effort. “They (the Pritzker Family...

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A partisan split on a state election board has stalled a petition drive to outlaw prevailing wage rules in Michigan.

   A group of non-union builders wants to outlaw prevailing wage.

The petition drive takes aim at rules adopted by the state and many local governments. Those rules require contractors to pay union-scale wages on publicly funded projects.

   The elections panel deadlocked on whether to let the campaign move forward. Two Republicans voted yes. Two Democrats voting no.     

   Jeff Wiggins is with the petition campaign. He says this isn’t over.

Officials say alcohol- and drug-related crashes remain a significant problem in Michigan even though a new report shows overall traffic deaths decreased 3 percent last year. The Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center announced Thursday that Michigan traffic deaths remained above 1,000 for the second consecutive year in 2017.

Kent County has been selected as one of 29 communities across the country to participate in a national joint initiative focused on child development from birth to age 3. A project of the Chicago-based J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation, the Pritzker Children’s Initiative will focus on increasing the number of children who are developmentally on track by kindergarten.

Annemarie Valdez is the CEO of First Steps Kent, the organization leading the local effort.

Larry Nassar’s former boss may have also used medical procedures for sexual gratification. Nassar is the former Michigan State University doctor who will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for sexual assault.

Court documents reveal more women have come forward against former MSU dean William Strampel.

Strampel has already been charged with a felony and multiple misdemeanors. Prosecutors say he used his position at MSU to try and get sexual favors from female students.

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A series of events this weekend will enable Michigan residents to responsibly dispose of unused or expired opioid painkillers and other prescription drugs. The University of Michigan's Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network is coordinating the effort Saturday. The network has put together a free manual to help groups hold community medication take-back projects and provide a safe way to get rid of unused medications.

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South Koreans have painstakingly planned out the details ahead of North Korea's Kim Jong Un and South Korea's Moon Jae-in's summit at their shared border Friday, the culmination of a flurry of diplomacy over the past few months.

There are now well over 1,000 colleges and universities that don't require SAT or ACT scores in deciding whom to admit, a number that's growing every year. And a new study finds that scores on those tests are of little value in predicting students' performance in college, and raises the question: Should those tests be required at all?

European law enforcement agencies say they've arrested the administrators of a website that allowed users to pay to knock selected websites offline.

The site Webstresser.org let paying customers — for as little as 15 euros a month, according to the European law enforcement agency Europol — launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to shut down websites or Internet users.

President Trump's longtime attorney, Michael Cohen, will invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in a civil lawsuit brought by adult entertainer Stormy Daniels — a move that would prevent him revealing anything that could be used later by federal prosecutors.

"Based on the advice of counsel, I will assert my 5th Amendment rights in connection with all proceedings in this case due to the ongoing criminal investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York," Cohen wrote in the filing in Los Angeles federal court.

As the wave of teacher walkouts moves to Arizona and Colorado this week, an NPR/Ipsos poll shows strong support among Americans for improving teachers' pay and for their right to strike.

Updated at 2:54 p.m. ET

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt faced withering criticism from congressional Democrats on Thursday, with one lawmaker calling him "unfit to hold public office." But Republican members of Congress — especially those representing states with large fossil fuel industries — rallied to Pruitt's defense.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

Boston's "Yawkey Way" will be renamed "Jersey Street."

The Boston Red Sox have won their bid to change the name of the tiny, two-block street outside Fenway Park. Team owners say the change is needed to distance themselves from a history marred by racism under the late, former owner Tom Yawkey, who was known for his philanthropy, but also for his historically racist ball club.

The Boston Public Improvement Commission voted unanimously Thursday to approve the name change.

Editor's note: This report contains language and an image some may find offensive or upsetting.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, opening Thursday, stands high on a hillside overlooking downtown Montgomery, Ala. Beyond the buildings you can see the winding Alabama River and hear the distant whistle of a train — the nexus that made the city a hub for the domestic slave trade.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported an unusual discovery on Monday. The founder, editor and columnist of a website that bills itself as a resource for student loan news does not exist.

When a consumer has a complaint about a bank, whether it's dealing with a mortgage or a credit card, right now there's a place to lodge that complaint online.

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