Michigan

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Groups wanting to expand access to voting and boost Michigan's renewable energy requirement have seen the form of their ballot initiatives approved by the state elections board.

Promote the Vote wants to amend the state constitution to allow no-reason absentee voting, let people register to vote closer to Election Day and automatically register citizens when they do business at the secretary of state's office.

Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan is proposing to raise the renewable energy standard to 30 percent by 2030. It's now 15 percent by the end of 2021.

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President Donald Trump is looking for advice from a range of lawmakers as he considers whether to impose trade sanctions on aluminum and steel imports.

The president is meeting at the White House with nearly 20 lawmakers, including a number of senators representing Rust Belt states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.

Trump says the administration is "considering all options" but he's considering issuing "tariffs and/or quotas."

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State auditors say Michigan could do a better job of identifying veterans who might be eligible for federal benefits. 

The audit released Friday says the state could save money if veterans on Medicaid switched to health programs run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Since 2015, Michigan's Veterans Affairs Agency is supposed to be working with another state department to identify Medicaid recipients, but the agency hasn't received the data.

Officials blamed it on staff turnover and other issues. The agency hopes to get the information early this year.

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Gov. Rick Snyder is seeking to boost base funding for most of Michigan's public schools by the largest dollar amount in more than 15 years. Snyder on Wednesday will ask lawmakers for a $240 per-pupil increase for school districts that get the minimum grant - a 3.1 percent boost for more than 75 percent of traditional schools and all charters. Higher-funded schools would get $120 more, a 1.4 percent increase.

Snyder also is proposing to shift $325 million in general funds to road repairs, more than double what's called for under law.

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Dr. Larry Nassar has been sentenced to decades in prison for sexual abuses. Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon resigned shortly thereafter. In her place, MSU’s board of trustees unanimously voted in Former Michigan Gov. John Engler. All of this as the Michigan Attorney General begins an investigation into what MSU new about Dr. Nassar’s conduct. WGVU spoke one-on-one with Attorney General Bill Schuette.

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As Congress works on its 2018 Farm Bill one consideration is making food assistance recipients work. Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited Grand Rapids’ Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery meeting with local farmers. This is where Perdue was asked about what could be in store for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.

Perdue made it clear the Trump administration and a Republican Congress won’t eliminate the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, rather there’s a need for the nutrition program to, as Pedue put it, work for Americans.

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Handlers of Woody the Woodchuck, billed as Michigan's official groundhog, say she's predicting six more weeks of winter.

They say if she emerges from her house at the Howell Conference and Nature Center and stays out for 30 seconds or longer she's indicating an early spring; if she doesn't come out or runs back into her house before the 30 seconds are up, she is forecasting six more weeks of winter.

On Friday, which is Groundhog Day, she didn't come out of her house during an event at the nature center in Livingston County's Marion Township.

Eaton County Bailiffs tackled Randall Margraves Friday morning in a Charlotte courtroom.

After two of his daughters spoke, the father, Randall Margraves, asked the judge for "five minutes" in a locked room with Nassar. The judge said she could not do that. Margraves then asked for one minute, but the judge said she also couldn't allow it. He then rushed at Nassar.

Two of his daughters had given statements to the court. They said their other sister also had been molested by Nassar.

Crying could be hurt in the courtroom as Nassar was escorted out.

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A Polish-born doctor who legally came to the U.S. as a child has been released from a Michigan jail following his arrest by immigration agents over misdemeanor convictions 25 years ago.

Authorities say Lukasz Niec posted a $10,000 bond on Thursday and was released from jail in Battle Creek. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say Niec was arrested Jan. 16 for "administrative immigration violations."

The agency says the 43-year-old Kalamazoo doctor can be deported for the 1992 convictions dating to when he was in high school.

More than 65,000 veterans call West Michigan home. Within Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon and Allegan Counties, 77 percent are without a bachelor's degree.

Grand Valley State University is working to change those figures celebrating the opening of its Veterans Upward Bound Center. This is where veteran students can find assistance working toward completing their postsecondary educations.

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