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City of Grand Rapids

Judge Christina Elmore joins Kent Co. Circuit Court bench as the first African American woman

This week marks the beginning of Judge Christina Elmore’s first week as Kent County Circuit Court Judge. For the last two years, Elmore served as judge of the 61 st District Court where she handled misdemeanor cases, landlord and tenant actions and some civil case—and now her cases will involve dealing with more sensitive matters. “Now what I will be doing is child abuse and neglect cases as well as juvenile delinquency cases, and handling domestic relations cases which include divorces and...

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U-S lawmakers announced the creation of a bipartisan task force today to fight PFAS chemicals.

       A majority of the members on the task force are from Michigan.

       PFAS are a family of chemicals that have been found in things like certain types of fire-fighting foam and stain and water repellants. They have been linked to serious health concerns.

Congressman Dan Kildee is on the task force. He says Michigan – as the Great Lakes State - needs to take charge of this issue.

A man being sought following the shooting of a mid-Michigan police officer has been wounded during a shootout with other officers. State police Lt. David Kaiser said the 29-year-old suspect is in custody at a hospital. State police said the man was in a vehicle about 1 p.m. Tuesday in Shiawassee County when he shot at officers who returned fire. No officers were struck.

Federal prosecutors say three Michigan residents have been charged with conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State group. They say FBI agents arrested Muse Abdikadir Muse, Mohamud Abdikadir Muse and Mohamed Salat Haji on Monday, and prosecutors charged the Lansing residents in a complaint filed Tuesday. Prosecutors say all three defendants are naturalized U.S. citizens who were born in Kenya. It wasn't immediately clear if Muse Abdikadir Muse and Mohamud Abdikadir Muse are related. 

City of Grand Rapids

This week marks the beginning of Judge Christina Elmore’s first week as Kent County Circuit Court Judge. For the last two years, Elmore served as judge of the 61stDistrict Court where she handled misdemeanor cases, landlord and tenant actions and some civil case—and now her cases will involve dealing with more sensitive matters. 

“Now what I will be doing is child abuse and neglect cases as well as juvenile delinquency cases, and handling domestic relations cases which include divorces and paternity cases as well as personal protection orders.” 

A lame duck law adding new requirements for getting measures on the state ballot has been called into question.

One of the most controversial provisions puts a cap on how many signatures can be collected from each Congressional district. No more than 15 percent of the total signatures gathered can come from one congressional district.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has asked Attorney General Dana Nessel for a formal opinion in the constitutionality of this provision, and others.

Soon after the request, Nessel accepted.

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Updated at 10:10 p.m. ET

At least five people were killed when a man opened fire Wednesday afternoon in a bank in Sebring, Fla., according to officials.

At a brief news conference, Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund named 21-year-old Zephen Xaver, of Sebring, as the suspect. Xaver is in police custody.

The image of a Chinese schoolyard full of students doing calisthenics isn't new.

But these moves definitely are.

Dressed in a sleek black-on-black ensemble, school principal Zhang Pengfei leads his students in a synchronized routine that would turn heads in any dance club. In matching tracksuits, the kids at Xi Guan Primary School in Shanxi province shuffle their feet, pump their arms, and do the Charleston and the Running Man.

Do yourself a favor and watch both videos here immediately.

House Oversight Committee Democrats have launched an investigation into who got security clearances in President Trump's administration following the 2016 election, as well as how and why.

Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., outlined the goals of his inquiry in a letter to the White House on Wednesday.

Even in a normal year, taxes can be complicated and stressful — for taxpayers and IRS workers alike. But this year is shaping up to be worse than usual.

The IRS starts processing returns on Monday, implementing big changes in tax law while having to run on half the staff because of the ongoing government shutdown.

U-S lawmakers announced the creation of a bipartisan task force today to fight PFAS chemicals.

       A majority of the members on the task force are from Michigan.

       PFAS are a family of chemicals that have been found in things like certain types of fire-fighting foam and stain and water repellants. They have been linked to serious health concerns.

Congressman Dan Kildee is on the task force. He says Michigan – as the Great Lakes State - needs to take charge of this issue.

Jonas Mekas, an underground filmmaker whose influence looms as large as the archives he helped create, died Wednesday morning at the age of 96. The Lithuanian-born director, critic, archivist and poet died "peacefully at home, with family at his side," according to the Anthology Film Archives that he co-founded.

The organization did not specify the cause of his death.

About a year ago, Dr. Ako Jacintho of San Francisco returned home from traveling to find a letter from the state medical board waiting for him.

The letter explained that a patient he had treated died in 2012 from taking a toxic cocktail of methadone and Benadryl — and Jacintho was the doctor who wrote the patient's last prescription for methadone. He had two weeks to respond with a written summary of the care he had provided, and a certified copy of the patient's medical record. He faced fines of $1,000 per day if he didn't comply.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOOR SLAMMING)

Updated at 1:15 a.m. ET

President Trump said Wednesday night he won't be looking for an alternative place to give the State of the Union address. Earlier in the day, asked about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., insisting he could not speak on the House floor until a partial government shutdown is over, the president said, "We'll do something in the alternative."

Should the U.S. require its citizens to perform public service? Should its young women register for the draft?

A federal panel says it is working on answers to those questions — and is considering how the nation could implement a universal service program and whether it should be mandatory or optional.

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