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Prevailing wage ban stalls on path to the Legislature

The Michigan Supreme Court has called a halt to a petition campaign to repeal wage protections for workers on government-funded construction projects. The court order came less than an hour before a state board was supposed to send the question to the Legislature. The stay allows time for a legal drama to play out at the state Supreme Court. Construction worker unions say petition circulators broke the rules, and that should disqualify the initiative. Steve Claywell is with the Michigan...

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In a unanimous vote Tuesday evening, The Muskegon Board of Education approved over 1.6 million in total budget cuts for the next school year in order to balance its budget. Among the budget cuts is the elimination of a handful of school staff, including four high school teachers and two middle school teachers.

Cindy Larson is the president of the Muskegon Board of Education. She says the cuts will ultimately be a benefit to the students.

“We’re going to (cut staff) in order to provide programs," Larson said. "But nothing will be taken away from your kids.”

A man who authorities say posed as an ambulance medic for an evening in western Michigan and helped with patients has been sentenced to nine months in jail.

The Grand Rapids Press reports 42-year-old Anthony Mario Fortuna learned his punishment Tuesday in Grand Rapids for impersonating a medical services employee. Fortuna apologized, saying he was "totally out of line."

Public comment is being sought on a draft of a conservation plan expected to help reverse eastern monarch butterfly population declines.

Michigan's Department of Natural Resources says the Mid-America Monarch Conservation Strategy builds on existing efforts by state, federal, and local agencies and private organizations and individuals.

Monarch butterflies found east of the Rocky Mountains have declined by more than 80 percent over the past 20 years primarily due to habitat loss, including reduced milkweed required for reproduction and fewer nectar plants. T

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and lawmakers will have hundreds of millions of dollars more to budget than they expected at the turn of the year.

Legislative economists are projecting that tax collections for the current fiscal year are up by between $250 million and $340 million from estimates from January. Revenues are between $144 million and $190 million above the past estimate for the next budget year.

Michigan will continue paying a company for prison food and to use its software while transitioning back to having state workers run prison kitchens.

A state subcommittee on Tuesday approved a new $35 million one-year contract for Trinity Services Group. The full State Administrative Board is expected to vote next week.

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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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