News

flickr.com

Michigan would ditch the state income tax, under legislation moving ahead in Lansing. 

The state treasurer and some democratic lawmakers warn the proposed income tax phase-out would put a one-point-one  billion dollar hole in in the budget during the first full year. They say public service programs would suffer as a result.  

Republican Representative Martin Howrylak is on the committee that O-K’d the rollback. He says he’s in favor of tax reform, but the bill is moving too fast.

Wikimedia Commons

Today we celebrate the birthday of Grand Rapids native son and  NASA astronaut Roger B. Chaffee. This year also marks the 50 year anniversary of his death. Chaffee was killed January 27, 1967 , along with Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Edward White, when a fire broke out during a launch pad test of the Apollo 1 command module.  We talk with Brother Guy Consolmagno, Director of the Vatican Observatory in Castel Gandolfo, Italy about the legacy of Chaffee and the place where science and religion meet.

 

A new report released Wednesday shows hundreds of the state’s bridges are falling apart, as Michigan’s infrastructure continues to be a growing concern. In their annual 2017 report they released Wednesday, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association says that over 1200 bridges in Michigan are “structurally deficient.” According to the report, structurally deficient “means one or more of the key bridge elements, such as the deck, superstructure or substructure, is considered to be in "poor" or worse condition.”

Michigan Capitol Building
Phillip Hofmeister via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

A Republican-led House panel has voted to cut Michigan's income tax and eliminate it over a number of decades despite "serious concerns" lodged by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Supporters say the bill approved 7-4 Wednesday would fulfill a nearly decade-old promise to reduce the 4.25 percent tax to 3.9 percent after it was raised to balance the budget.

Opponents say the tax cut would cost the state $680 million next budget year and $1.1 billion in the first full year at a time general funds are tightening.

American Heart Association

February is Heart health month.   The American Heart Association of West Michigan is once again encouraging people to make a difference in their lives by learning about and embracing healthy habits.

Today, Heart disease continues to be the number one killer of both men and women.  But those with the American Heart Association of West Michigan says things are changing for the better.

An environmental group is suing the Trump administration for delaying an endangered-species designation for the rusty patched bumblebee. The Natural Resources Defense Council says the U.S. Department of Interior broke the law by postponing the listing without public notice and comment. It was scheduled to take effect Feb. 10. But one day before that, the department put off the effective date until March 21 because of the administration's temporary freeze on new regulations.

Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula is experiencing a bear boom. The black bear population has risen 29 percent in the region since 2012 and almost 50 percent since 2000, according to wildlife management specialist Kevin Swanson of the Department of Natural Resources. Swanson says complaints about nuisance bears are increasing, especially in the Baldwin management unit, which extends from Muskegon County north to Leelanau County.

wiki commons

Michigan is ordering a Flint hospital to immediately fix conditions the state suspects pose on ongoing public health threat of Legionella bacteria.
 
The state Department of Health and Human Services issued the order Monday. It says there is reasonable belief that McLaren Flint's water system is a "nuisance, is in an unsanitary condition, and is a possible source of illness."
 

The Grand Rapids Police Department announced a new program where police officers will gift young victims of child abuse and neglect handmade blankets as a source of comfort. Nicknamed "cop-cuddlers," the blankets were handmade and stitched by River House residents and delivered to the Grand Rapids Police Department on Valentine’s Day. Police say they will distribute the blankets to victims they encounter in the line of duty, as officers are typically the first responders on the scene.

A second woman says that the Michigan State women's gymnastics coach was aware of complaints of assault by a sports doctor who treated female athletes. Coach Kathie Klages was suspended Monday. New allegations against her were disclosed Tuesday by a woman who is seeking to join more than two dozen in a lawsuit against Dr. Larry Nassar. 

Pages