Michigan

A controversial item in the current budget is the focus of a lawsuit filed today (Tues).

When the budget was approved last October, the state allocated 2.5 million dollars to reimburse private schools for state requirements like fire drills, background checks, and keeping inhalers in the buildings.

The lawsuit – filed by numerous public school advocates against the state and Governor Rick Snyder - says that is unconstitutional and asks for a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from giving out any funds until the court completes a full review of the case.

odmp.org

Authorities say they believe a man killed his 59-year-old mother at a home in western Michigan before killing himself.

The Kent County sheriff's department says the body of Gloria Launiere was found inside the home in Courtland Township on Monday and 34-year-old David Applegate was found critically injured.

The department says he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Sheriff Lawrence Stelma says the deaths followed what appeared to be a domestic incident, but specifics were under investigation.

Pine trees at the Ottawa National Forest in Michigan.
Joseph O'Brien | Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / USDA Forest Service

Michigan officials are taking applications from owners of forest land who would like to enroll their property in a program that shields it permanently from development.

Michigan's Forest Legacy Program uses federal and matching funds to protect environmentally important woodlands in certain areas.

That could mean buying the property and converting it to public ownership.

Other arrangements involve leaving the land in private hands and paying the owner to make sure it stays protected.

Officials say a fuel pipeline running from the Chicago area to the Detroit area is now in service.

The Wolverine Pipe Line Company has announced that the first commercial volume for the Detroit Metro Access Pipeline shipped earlier this month. The roughly 34 miles of pipeline connects to an existing Wolverine pipeline to transport refined petroleum products.

Construction was completed in January and the final testing was conducted in February. Company president Saul Flota says the pipeline responds to a demand for gasoline and diesel fuel in the Detroit metropolitan area.

Wikimedia Commons / NOAA

It's almost boating season. But before you hit the water, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources advises getting some safety instruction.

A nationwide campaign called Spring Aboard - Take a Boating Education Course takes place next week.

wikipedia

Doctors, parents and public health experts gathered in Lansing with one simple message – vaccinate your children.

Monday marked the launch of the “I Vaccinate” campaign. It’s a multi-media advertising and educational campaign aimed at raising the state’s immunization rate.

Michigan is currently ranked 43rd in the nation for immunization rates among children 19 to 35 months.

Records show a Michigan State University doctor resigned in January after learning the school was considering her termination because she didn't disclose that USA Gymnastics was investigating Dr. Larry Nassar.

The Lansing State Journal reports that documents obtained from Brooke Lemmen's personnel file through the Freedom of Information Act reveal she also removed patient records at Nassar's request.

Nassar was a Michigan State and USA Gymnastics sports doctor.

flickr.com

The debate over publicizing A-to-F grades for every public school in Michigan is not entirely over, despite the surprise decision by top education officials to back off the proposal.

State Superintendent Brian Whiston will default to report cards without any letter grades, to replace color-coded marks that have been criticized.

But the caveat remains that the Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder could still decide that letter grades should be issued.

It will be a tough sell.

wikipedia

Transparency in state government was up for a vote Thursday in Lansing.

The state House approved a package of bills that would open up the governor’s office and the legislature to freedom of information requests.

Democratic Representative Jeremy Moss has been working on FOIA reform since last year. Moss says the vote shows their citizens want more transparency – and the Senate should approve them.

csus.edu

Diverse houses of worship across metro Detroit are seeking ways to become sanctuaries for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally and fearing deportation amid the Trump administration's immigration crackdown.

About 50 church leaders gathered last month in Dearborn to figure out how to become sanctuaries and understand the legal ramifications of the decision.

Many churches and synagogues have already declared their congregation as sanctuary houses of worship.

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