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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

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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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It was Miguel de Cervantes' dying wish to be buried inside the walls of Madrid's Convento de las Trinitarias Descalzasthe Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians — where a dozen cloistered nuns still live today, nearly 400 years later.

The fossilized remains of a bizarre-looking reptile are giving scientists new insights into how turtles got their distinctive shells.

Some 240 million years ago, this early turtle-like creature lived in a large lake, in a fairly warm, subtropical climate. But it didn't have the kind of shell modern turtles have, says Hans-Dieter Sues, a curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Vietnam is having condom problems.

Hundreds of thousands of condoms sold there are substandard. They tear easily and don't offer reliable protection. While this might seem like a red flag, it's actually a sign of progress.

At The New Republic, Chloe Angyal pens a piece on the role of white womanhood in America's racial dynamics, and why she will "no longer be an excuse for violence."

The Confederate battle flag and three other symbols of the Confederacy were taken down Wednesday from the Capitol grounds in Montgomery, Ala., after their removal was ordered by Gov. Robert Bentley amid a growing backlash against the symbols following last week's racially motivated mass shooting at a black church in South Carolina.

This post was updated at 5 p.m. ET

Hillary Clinton's speech Tuesday at a historic black church in Missouri was mostly well-received by the audience, but three words angered some of the activists she was hoping to appeal to.

Clinton spoke to frequent applause about religion, racism, access to education, repairing communities and the shooting last week in Charleston, S.C.

The church where Clinton spoke, Christ the King United Church of Christ, is in Florissant, Mo., fewer than 5 miles from where the rioting and protesting happened in Ferguson.

Better communication with the families of kidnapped Americans — and a pledge that those relatives won't face criminal charges if they pay ransoms — are at the heart of an update to the U.S. federal hostage policy, released Wednesday.

When you hear the words "green brewery," you might picture gleaming solar panels or aerodynamic wind turbines. But the most valuable piece of technology at the $24 million headquarters of Smuttynose Brewing Co. on the seacoast of New Hampshire isn't quite as sexy.

"The place you have to start is the building envelope," says Smuttynose founder Peter Egelston.

While the debate over whether to label foods containing GMO ingredients plays out across the country, another engineered food has long been waiting to hit grocery stores: genetically modified salmon.

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