Social media games won't count as gambling in Michigan

May 24, 2017

Social media games on the internet would not be considered gambling in Michigan under a bill signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder. An analysis of Senate Bill 202 says some businesses have used free online games to promote themselves. 

The games typically are free and offer additional plays instead of prizes. The new law doesn't cover fantasy sports. Casinos in Detroit were in favor of the legislation, along with the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Casinos use the games to attract new customers.

The governor signed the bill Tuesday.

Grand Rapids Police Department body camera
Courtesy photo, GRPD /

Michigan lawmakers are looking to create guidelines for body camera footage obtained by law enforcement officers. The state House passed a bill Tuesday that would require police departments to have written policies on using body cameras and maintaining and handling recordings. It would prohibit certain footage from being obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. 

Pope Francis
Wikimedia | Malacañang Photo Bureau

Since President Eisenhower every U.S. President has met with the Pope. President Donald Trump and Pope Francis meet Wednesday for the first time in a Vatican City ceremony.

What are the expectations heading into this appointment? WGVU spoke with the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.

About 20 students and staff members at a western Michigan school have been treated for breathing problems caused by an unknown irritant.
     The Muskegon Chronicle and WOOD-TV report hazardous materials teams were inside Muskegon Catholic Central on Tuesday trying to determine the cause of the irritant. Classes have been cancelled for the day.
     Authorities say there is no evidence of foul play, and those treated at and released from hospitals weren't considered to be critical. Reported symptoms included shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says the state will receive nearly $400,000 from an $18.5 million settlement with Target Corp. to resolve a multi-state probe into the discounter's pre-Christmas data breach in 2013.
     Target's breach affected more than 41 million customer payment card accounts and exposed contact information for more than 60 million customers. The breach forced Target to overhaul its security system. The company offered free credit reports for potentially affected shoppers.


   A showdown is brewing in Lansing over the fate of teacher retirements. 

Teachers can currently choose between a full 401(k) type plan or a hybrid 401(k) and pension plan. Governor Rick Snyder and other advocates of the current system say the liabilities are on their way to getting paid off and the hybrid plan is better for teacher’s retirements.

   But Republicans in the House and Senate have made closing the pension system to all new hires a top priority this year.

   Republican Representative Thomas Albert says their plan will attract new teachers.

Michigan State House Minority Leader Sam Singh along with a number of other Democrats held press conferences across Michigan this week to introduce a “Health Care Bill of Rights” to resist Congressional Republican health care cuts that have already passed in the U.S. House.

Tyson Place Animal Rescue is dedicated to assisting terminally ill people find homes for their pets--many who otherwise would be sent to animal control to be euthanized after their owners passing. WGVU speaks with founder Jill Banek Albrecht about the animal rescue and the gratitude terminally ill patients express knowing their their pets are going to a good home. 

Republican bills close pension to new hires, provide 401k

May 23, 2017

Republicans who control the Michigan Legislature have introduced long-expected legislation to close the school employees' pension system to new hires and provide them a 401(k) only. The bills proposed Tuesday in the House and Senate are identical. They would affect teachers and others hired after Sept. 30 and are modeled after a plan that has been offered to state employees hired since 1997.

Wikimedia | Tom Arthur | CC BY 2.0

Legislation up for a vote in the Michigan Senate would double the fee for losing candidates to file recount petitions if they are down by more than 5 percentage points. The bill is a response to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's recount last fall despite her winning 1 percent of the vote.