Cheyna Roth

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Michigan schools need to spend more money helping students with special needs. 

That’s the finding of a study commissioned by the state legislature in 2015.

The findings were presented to the Board of Education Tuesday, the same day the Board discussed a statewide initiative to make Michigan a Top 10 performing state within the next 10 years.

John Austin is the president of the State Board of Education. He says the legislature and governor need to step up to make changes in the school financial system.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is offering new ways to pay for child support.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is offering an easier way for parents to make child support payments.  Child support can now be paid in cash at any Family Dollar or 7-11 across the United States.

Erin Frisch is the director of the Office of Child Support.

 

“We look at this as a good opportunity for another way, convenient, easy way, for parents to support their children in Michigan and anywhere in the country, actually.”

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Some help is on the way for Michigan’s homeless, as areas of Lansing, Detroit and Berrien County receive funding to fight chronic homelessness. 

The federal government is giving Michigan $4.5 million to help treat the underlying factors of homelessness, like mental health and substance abuse.

Bob Wheaton is the spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the agency that received the grant. He says the grant is meant to do more than just find homes for people.

Charities and the homeless can no longer ask for money from people stopped in their cars.

Sit at enough stoplights, and chances are you will eventually have a person walk up to your car and ask for money. Firefighters do it for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The Knights of Columbus does it. Sometimes they give you little paper flowers. My favorite is when they give you Tootsie Rolls.

But Attorney General Bill Scheutte says asking for money from a person in a motor vehicle is a civil infraction unless you are selling something.

Hilary Farrell

Michigan crime victims will soon have an easier time keeping track of offenders.

MI-VINE is a notification system for victims of crimes.

It sends victims texts, emails, or phone calls giving them updates about their case or telling them if there is a change in the offender’s location.

Victims currently have to re-register if an offender is moved from jail to prison. That's something a lot of victims don’t realize.

The Crime Victims Service Commission is working to make sure victims only have to register one time. 

Former Ingham County prosecutor Stuart Dunnings has pleaded guilty to two prostitution releated charges.

Stuart Dunnings was facing 14 misdemeanors and one 15-year felony. The charges ranged from soliciting prostitutes to encouraging a woman to become a prostitute. Dunnings pleded guilty to felony misconduct in office and one misdemeanor for solicitation. He faces up to five years in prison. All his other charges in all other counties are being dismissed as a part of the deal.

The investigation into Flint’s water is far from over. Attorney General Bill Schutte announced 18 new charges for six state officials Friday during a press conference.

Charges range from misdemeanor Willful Neglect of Duty, to felony Tampering with Evidence. Among those charged is Liane Shekter-Smith, a former high-ranking official with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). Shekter-Smith served as the official in charge of keeping the state’s drinking water safe. Schuette says Shekter-Smith and two men she supervised failed in their duties.

Cheyna Roth

During his speech at the Republican National Convention, Indiana Governor Mike Pence joked that most people probably don’t know him. 

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The Firekeepers Human Trafficking Awareness Program is continuing its efforts to raise human trafficking awareness.

Over the past year, the program has been working to combat human trafficking in its casino and hotel.

The program provides training to employees on how to spot and report possible human trafficking.

Two directors of the program met with the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission to discuss their continued efforts.

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A Native American tribe in west Michigan has agreed to share revenue from its casino with the state as part of a dispute over online Lottery games.

The Gun Lake tribe says the state broke a treaty when it started online lottery games. As a result, the tribe stopped half of its revenue sharing payments.

Instead of sending the usual payments to the state, the tribe put them in an escrow account that will now be divided between the two.

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