Associated Press

A Michigan tattoo parlor is inking customers with "women empowerment" designs as part of International Women's Day.
     All proceeds from the $50-$100 tattoos at Lovely Monkey Tattoo on Wednesday are going to the Ann Arbor chapter of Planned Parenthood.
     Designs include "Nevertheless, She Persisted" and "Non-Compliant (NC)" among others.
     Nicole Kruszka  got a tattoo on her lower arm/wrist area of the phases of the moon. The 30-year-old graduate student from Detroit has six tattoos, but hadn't gotten a new one since 2011.

Mayor Mike Duggan's office says five people have been killed and four others hurt in an apartment building fire on Detroit's east side.
     Spokesman John Roach says no other details about the blaze Wednesday afternoon were immediately available, but WWJ-AM reports that strong winds sweeping through southeastern Michigan may have helped spread the flames.
     The injured suffered burns and smoke inhalation. They were taken to a hospital. Their conditions were not immediately available.
     A cause of the fire is under investigation.

The head of Flint's water pipe replacement program says the city hopes to finish the project in 2019.
     Retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael McDaniel coordinates the FAST Start initiative to replace lines that leached lead into homes and businesses. He made his comments during the first day of a three-day water infrastructure conference in Flint.
     He says they hope to replace pipes to 6,000 homes this year. The city has said at least 30,000 homes may have service lines that need replacement. Residents still are being urged to use water filters.

Wikimedia Commons

A bill that would keep bids secret until the state government awards a contract is nearing final approval in Michigan's Legislature.

Supporters say the legislation up for a vote in the House this week would prevent firms from using the Freedom of Information Act to access the bid information of competitors in order to win a state contract.

Companies' trade secrets and other financial and propriety information would be fully exempt from disclosure.

A former Michigan State Police trooper who allegedly pocketed more than $170,000 in vehicle fees has been sentenced to jail time.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's office says 31-year-old Seth Swanson of Royal Oak learned his punishment on Tuesday in Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac. Swanson in January pleaded guilty as charged to one felony count of embezzlement by a public official and one felony count of uttering and publishing false Secretary of State documents.

wiki commons

The crisis in Flint over lead-tainted drinking water will be discussed during a 3-day water infrastructure conference.

The event starts Tuesday in Flint and is to focus on the need for reinvestment in municipal water and sewer systems, improving water quality and other aspects of an aging infrastructure.

Organizers say lessons learned from Flint and new technologies will be presented.

Flint was under state control when it switched in 2014 from Detroit's water system to the Flint River to save money.

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A university in Detroit is readying itself for an accreditation process that would assure the quality of the school.
     The Detroit News reports that Wayne State University will be evaluated by the Higher Learning Commission this week, and is one of five Michigan universities receiving the evaluation this month. Two Michigan colleges will also receive the evaluation.

wiki commons

Construction has started on a solar power project at Michigan State University.
     The East Lansing school says carports with solar arrays are being built at five parking lots. They'll cover most of the parking spaces in each lot and provide partial protection for vehicles from inclement weather.
     The project will be owned by South Bend, Indiana-based Inovateus Solar and British Columbia, Canada-based Alterra Power. The number of parking spots isn't being affected. The school says the carports will be tall enough to cover RVs used for pregame tailgating.

GM Logo
General Motors /

General Motors Co. is laying off 1,100 workers at an assembly plant in Michigan. GM says it's ending the third shift at its Lansing Delta Township plant because one of its products - the GMC Acadia SUV - is moving to Spring Hill, Tennessee.

The Lansing plant will still have two shifts building the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse SUVs.

Lansing's last day as a three-shift plant will be May 12.

GM announced last spring that it would make the new Acadia in Tennessee.

It has added a third shift and around 800 jobs to its plant in Spring Hill.

Lake Michigan
3bylunch via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 /

A group representing Great Lakes region mayors in the U.S. and Canada is sounding the alarm against potentially drastic cuts to an ecological recovery initiative for the Great Lakes.

The Trump administration's potential cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative were reported by the Detroit Free Press last week.

They would slash annual funding for the $300 million program to $10 million.

The initiative combats invasive species, curbs nutrient-fueled algae blooms, cleans up toxic messes and restores sensitive fish and wildlife habitat.