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Study: Grand Rapids is #1 place in US to live a 'balanced lifestyle'

Grand Rapids is the best city in the country to live a balanced lifestyle. That’s according to a study just released by MagnifyMoney.com, a personal finance website. To determine where people are most likely to find balance in the US, researchers compared seven measures in the 50 biggest metropolitan areas in the country: Average commute times, how much of their incomes residents spend on housing, how many hours people work compared to how much they earn, local income inequality, how many...

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A Michigan man charged with animal cruelty after about 70 cows were found dead on his properties is awaiting sentencing after reaching a plea agreement in the case. The Ann Arbor News reports 61-year-old Keith E. Huck Jr. of Livingston County's Cohoctah Township is scheduled to return to court on March 12 to learn his punishment. He faces up to 93 days in jail.

Dim light may actually make you dim, researchers say

7 minutes ago

If the perpetual grey skies in winter leave some people feeling cloudy headed, there may be a scientific reason.  A new study released by Michigan State University neuroscientists has concluded that spending too much time in dim light actually changes the brain's structure and hurts one's ability to remember and learn.

Dr. Tony Nunez, is and co-investigator on the study. He says, his team of researchers studied the brains of Nile grass rats (which, like humans, are diurnal and sleep at night) after exposing them to dim light for four weeks.

Michigan State University faculty members want the school’s Board of Trustees to resign. The Faculty Senate held its vote of no confidence in the board today.

The vote was called for soon after the board appointed former governor John Engler as interim president. Former president Lou Anna Simon resigned amidst fallout over how the school handles sexual assault cases.

The vote is largely symbolic. The board will not be required to resign or forced out.

A ballot campaign will begin gathering signatures to add a voting rights amendment to the state constitution.

If the effort gathers enough signatures, the question will go on the November ballot for voters to decide.

The amendment would make it easier to cast an early ballot, or vote absentee. It would preserve the right to easily cast a straight-party ballot with a single mark.

The effort is backed by the ACLU, the Detroit Branch of the N-double-A-C-P, and the League of Women Voters. Kary Moss is with the ACLU.

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People convicted of crimes would have to listen to victim statements at their sentencing hearings – if a bill making its way through the state Legislature becomes law.

Last December, Jeffrey Willis was sentenced for murdering a woman while she was out jogging. He asked to leave the courtroom before the victim’s family gave their impact statements. The judge agreed.

Republican Representative Holly Hughes is a bill sponsor. She says Willis never should have been allowed to leave the courtroom.

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We are reporting today on the Supreme Court's 6-3 decision to uphold the nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act. One of the three justices who opposed the ruling was Justice Antonin Scalia, who issued a strong dissent.

Here are some highlights:

'SCOTUSCare'

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies

Jun 25, 2015

The Affordable Care Act survived its second Supreme Court test in three years, raising odds for its survival but by no means ending the legal and political assaults on it five years after it became law.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed the Obama administration a major victory on health care, ruling 6-3 that nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act are legal.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," the court's majority said in the opinion, which was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. But they acknowledged that "petitioners' arguments about the plain meaning ... are strong."

In the Medieval era, kings and queens hosted feasts adorned with surprisingly complex edible sculptures depicting humans and animals alike. Outside the castle walls, of course, people struggled to put enough food on the table — much less, worry about its presentation afterward. But in the modern United States, food sculpture is the art of the people. Nowhere is this truer than the butter sculptures so common at Midwestern state fairs.

The giant ostrich-like rhea, despite its largely useless vestigial wings, seems to be something of a flight risk.

Last year, we brought you the story of one of the birds — native to South America — that escaped from a farm in the U.K., startling cyclists and otherwise wreaking mayhem in the English countryside.

For the past 20 years, doctors have recommended that dialysis patients have a simple operation to make it safer and easier to connect to a machine that cleans their blood.

Islamic State fighters, who were ousted from the Kurdish border town of Kobani in January, have launched an offensive to recapture the Syrian city — setting off car bombs as a prelude to an attack, NPR's Deborah Amos reports.

Mourners will gather in South Carolina on Thursday for the funerals of the Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton and Ethel Lance, two of the nine people who were killed during a Bible study meeting in Charleston last week.

Both Coleman-Singleton, 45, and Lance, 70, were integral members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where police say a white gunman attacked last week with the stated intention of killing black people. The case is being investigated as a hate crime.

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