Associated Press

Hilary Farrell

A police chief in western Michigan is urging members of the area's immigrant community to ignore fears of deportation if they become crime victims.

Grand Rapids police Chief David Rahinsky told a meeting at the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan on Monday that his department is "not concerned with your immigration status."

The Grand Rapids Press reports he says immigrants "do not need to be afraid to call us."

The comments come amid President Donald Trump's crackdown on immigration and uncertainty about how local police agencies might change how they work.

flickr.com

The 1963 civil rights march led in Detroit by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. will be re-enacted at the Michigan state Capitol in Lansing as part of Black History Month.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson will join other elected leaders and community officials Tuesday morning on the west side of the Capitol building.

The March for Freedom reenactment will proceed to the Richard H. Austin building where a program highlighting Michigan's role in the civil rights movement will be presented.

Martha Gilmore Parfet, the last surviving granddaughter of the founder of The Upjohn Co., has died. She was 91.

Parfet died Monday at her home in Hickory Corners in southwestern Michigan, following a brief illness. Her obituary was posted online by a Richland funeral home, Farley Estes & Dowdle.

Parfet's grandfather was W.E. Upjohn, founder of a Kalamazoo drug company that carried his name. It merged with another company in 1995 and now is part of Pfizer.

Michigan.gov

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.

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.

wikipedia

James Nichols, the brother of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols, has died following a lengthy illiness. He was 62.
 
     Debra Kranz of Kranz Funeral Home in Cass City, Michigan, said Thursday that Nichols died Tuesday in a Saginaw hospital.
 
     The Flint Journal reported he suffered from cancer.
 

pixababy

A Michigan county's practice of Christian-only prayers at public meetings has been declared unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.
 
     In a 2-1 decision Wednesday, the court ruled in favor of a Jackson County resident who was offended after he began attending county commissioner meetings in 2013 to discuss environmental issues.
 
     Peter Bormuth said he felt compelled to stand and participate in religion in order to speak to public officials. At one meeting, a commissioner turned his chair around when Bormuth complained about prayer.
 

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.

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.

Pages