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.

A northern Michigan township has agreed to sell land where a large cross honors a famous Catholic missionary. Pere Marquette Township in Mason County lately has been criticized for spending public money on a religious symbol, a 40-foot memorial cross built in 1955 near Lake Michigan. The township and the memorial are named for Jacques Marquette, a 17th century missionary who explored the Great Lakes.

The township board agreed Tuesday to sell the property to a local group for $800, rejecting a $2,000 bid from the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Wisconsin.

A doctor says Legionnaires' disease didn't kill a man whose health is at the center of a Flint water criminal case against a state official. The opinion of Dr. Jeffrey Band is different than the cause of death offered by prosecutors. The Beaumont Hospital doctor testified Wednesday as a witness for Dr. Eden Wells, Michigan's medical executive.

A group is trying to stop Nestle Waters North America Inc. from pumping more western Michigan groundwater for its Ice Mountain brand.
     Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation says Wednesday that it's preparing a petition for a contested case against Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality, which approved Nestle's application to remove 400 gallons (1,514 liters) of water per minute from an Osceola Township aquifer.
     The group says the DEQ will get the administrative challenge within 60 days.

Four years is too long to go without clean drinking water. That was the message of a busload of Flint residents who marched in downtown Lansing today.

They carried signs that said things like “Declare Flint a disaster area.” Some carried a large coffin made out of cardboard that said R-I-P Lead Kills.

   About 100 people from Flint don’t want the state government to forget that – even years later – Flint is in trouble.

   Lela McGee-Harvey lives in Flint.


Field Notes in Philanthropy: What’s the Story?

Apr 25, 2018

Episode 3: What’s the Story?

We set out to talk about how and why journalists and the media struggle to cover the news of philanthropy. What we discovered is that it’s often a struggle to cover anything at all. Since the 2016 election, U.S. philanthropy has woken up to the idea that fact-based, independent journalism might need their help – as long as there’s a strict editorial firewall in place.

 Nina Sachdev, Communications Director for Media Impact Funders and Bruce DeBoskey, writer of the Denver Post nationally-syndicated column On Philanthropy, join the hosts to discuss a blossoming symbiotic relationship between the free press and the charitable sector.