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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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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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