Electric power lines.
Pixabay | CC BY 2.0 /

Michigan utilities have met a target of generating one-tenth of the state’s electricity using wind, solar, and other renewable resources.

There’s a new goal, but that could be challenged this year in the Legislature.

An energy package adopted last year sets a new 15 percent goal. And a report by the Michigan Public Service Commission says utilities are well positioned to meet the target.

But the renewable mandate has its critics. They include Republican state Representative Gary Glenn. He chairs the House Energy Committee.

Rep. Brian Banks

A former state lawmaker will not face more jail time or probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor and agreeing to resign.

Former state Representative Brian Banks was sentenced Friday. Banks had eight prior felony convictions, but this time got off with a misdemeanor and a one-day jail sentence with credit for time served.

But Banks had to give up his metro Detroit state House seat as part of the deal.

Andrea Bitely of the state Attorney General’s office says Banks can’t run again – but not because of his criminal conviction.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is heading to Mexico for a three-day trade mission aimed at attracting job-creating investments and exploring new sales opportunities for Michigan companies.

Calley, members of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and about two dozen other business executives will leave Sunday.

They will take part in the Automotive Meetings Queretaro supply chain-oriented forum in Queretaro, Mexico.

Calley is expected to meet with automotive and aerospace companies and with executives from two Mexican firms that have operations in Michigan.

Movie Talk

Feb 17, 2017
film reels
DRs Kulturarvsprojekt via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 /

New movies opening this weekend include Matt Damon in the action film "The Great Wall", comedy "Fist Fight" starring Ice Cube, Charlie Day and Tracy Morgan, and the mystery thriller, "A Cure for Wellness." Ron VanTimmeren from Celebration! Cinema stops in to preview these and other movies during our weekly Movie Talk.

State Fire Marshal Julie Secontine is urging Michiganders to stay off the ice with unseasonably high temperatures forecast for the state. She says conditions are too dangerous and unpredictable for people and pets to venture onto ice-covered lakes, rivers and ponds. She says emergency personnel respond to numerous calls regarding adults, children and pets falling through the ice or stranded on floating ice cakes. 

Michigan civil rights officials say "systemic racism" going back decades is at the core of problems that caused a lead-contaminated water crisis in the majority black city of Flint. The Michigan Civil Rights Commission issued a 130-page report Friday following three public hearings and other meetings to determine whether residents faced discrimination or racial bias.

Police car bar lights
Edward Kimmel via Flickr | CC BY 2.0 /


The Grand Rapids Police Department announced Friday that they have reached an agreement with the Grand Rapids Police Officers Association on behalf of Police Officer Adam Ickes. Ickes was one of three officers who were reprimanded for not arresting Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Josh Kuiper for drunk driving. Officials say Kuiper was driving the wrong way on Union Avenue and hit a parked car and injuring a victim in the process. Instead of booking Kuiper for drunk driving and vehicular assault, Police gave Kuiper a ticket and drove him home.  

A Michigan lawmaker who left office in December under term limits has been named as the state's next lottery commissioner. Gov. Rick Snyder announced the appointment of Aric Nesbitt on Friday. He succeeds M. Scott Bowen, who took the job in 2008 and announced his resignation in October. 

Nesbitt, a Republican from Lawton who served three terms in the House, will make $145,000 a year. His appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. The lottery generated nearly $800 million for schools in 2015.

University to begin Mackinac Ravine restoration

Feb 17, 2017

Grand Valley State University is planning to start construction soon on the Mackinac Ravine to address erosion that could affect nearby buildings. the Allendale campus development has accelerated erosion at the ravine streambed, resulting in less soil at the slopes providing support.

After multiple Grand Rapids Latino run businesses shut down Thursday to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, an estimated 2000 protestors marched down Division Avenue on Grand Rapids south side Thursday evening to cap off the city’s “Day without Hispanics.” Catching up with her in full stride, Co-Organizer Allison Kohlberg says the march was all about Latinos getting the respect that they deserve for what they do for the community.