Rick Pluta

A couple hundred volunteers showed up at the state Bureau of Elections today. They dropped off petitions to get a redistricting overhaul on the November ballot. 

People formed a line, and stood shoulder to shoulder as they passed 188 boxes containing petitions from the back of a truck to the front door of the elections bureau.

   The “Voters Not Politicians” proposal would create a 13-person independent redistricting commission, which would take the job of drawing congressional and legislative district lines from the Legislature.    

Top leaders at Michigan State University today offered apologies to victims of sexual assaults by a sports doctor who was on the faculty. They also created a 10 (m) million dollar fund to pay for counseling and

other services.

The 150 thousand dollar raise will go to a scholarship fund.

   Simon, who is resisting calls for her to step down, apologized to girls and woman who were abused by Doctor Larry Nassar.

“I am truly sorry for the abuse you suffered, the pain it’s caused, and the pain it continues to cause today.”

A medical school dean who supervised a Michigan State University sports doctor convicted of sexually abusing patients is stepping down.


   A lawyer for Michigan State University tells Attorney General Bill Schuette that no MSU officials knew about the predatory behavior of the gymnastics team doctor.

The letter says MSU officials first learned of allegations regarding Doctor Larry Nassar last year from newspaper reports. And it says any criminal behavior would have been referred to the proper law enforcement agency.

    But MSU will not provide a copy of its internal review with Schuette because, the letter says, there is no report to share.          

   Michigan has a growing number of inmates who are elderly, terminally ill, or otherwise medically frail.

   There is an effort underway to allow many of those felons to be released.

The state Department of Corrections says taxpayers spend millions of dollars on medical care for frail or dying inmates who no longer pose a risk to the public, but are not eligible for parole.

   But bills before the Legislature would allow felons who require advanced medical care to be paroled to a nursing home.

   Chris Gautz is with the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Governor Rick Snyder is personally lobbying lawmakers to adopt an overhaul of how local government pensions are managed.

Snyder is a CPA/investor turned politician, and he’s had his eye for a while on making sure local pension and retirement plans are better funded. The plan proposed by Snyder and the Legislature’s GOP leaders would allow the state to intervene if a local government has a retirement plan that’s under-funded with no plan to fix it.

   Snyder wants the Legislature to deal with the bills before its winter break.

The resignation of Detroit Congressman John Conyers leaves a vacancy that must be filled by a special election.


In his first day as a candidate for governor, Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley made criminal charges related to the Flint water crisis a campaign issue.

He was picking a fight with state Attorney General Bill Schuette, who is a rival for the Republican nomination.

The criminal charges target some high-ranking officials in Governor Rick Snyder’s administration. Calley has served as Snyder’s Number Two since 2011. He told The Detroit News there would be no criminal charges if Schuette wasn’t running for governor.

Enbridge Energy will replace a section of a controversial pipeline that runs beneath the Saint Clair River with a tunnel. It will also examine similar treatment for a section of Line Five that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac. It’s part of an interim deal between the state and the energy company.

The deal also calls for Enbridge to stop pumping oil and gas beneath the Straits of Mackinac when weather conditions would make it difficult to respond to a spill.

Relations between the company and the state have grown tense in recent months.

A federal appeals court has upheld an agreement between Michigan and Canada to build a second international bridge in Detroit. The 2012 deal was challenged in federal court by the Ambassador Bridge company. The private business owned by the Maroun family operates the only existing bridge across the Detroit River that connects the US and Canada. The Sixth Circuit US Court of Appeals dismissed all of the bridge company’s claims that the agreement violates federal and state laws, and the US Constitution. Construction on the new bridge is expected to begin next year.