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News

Senate democrats want to make changes to controversial legislation that came out of last year’s lame duck session.

       The new law – signed by former governor Rick Snyder just before he left office – would add restrictions to people trying to get a measure on the ballot.

The law adds a couple new requirements like a 100-word factual statement and requiring signature collectors indicate whether they are paid or a volunteer.

A teen at the center of a video confrontation with a Native American organizer of a march in Washington, D.C., says he did nothing to provoke anyone and sought to calm the situation. The student identified himself in an email Sunday evening as junior Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky. An official working with the family confirmed Sandmann's identity, speaking on condition of anonymity because the source didn't want to distract from the teen's statement.

GRPS college success program awarded grant

21 hours ago

 

$150,000 dollars was the grant recently given to Our Community’s Children, a joint partnership between Grand Rapids Publics Schools and the City of Grand Rapids. The funds, awarded by The Wege Foundation, will go towards operating the T2C Studio in the Grand Rapids Public Library. The studio was created through the To College Through College initiative two years ago. It exists to help students throughout the entire college process, focusing on first generation students of color. Shayla Young is the coordinator for the studio.

 

Michigan schools involved in safe driving program for teens

21 hours ago

  

Students at 62 Michigan high schools are participating in a program that's designed to make teenagers safer drivers. They were selected to participate in the peer-led Strive For a Safer Drive program that seeks to reduce traffic crashes involving teens. The program is a partnership between Ford Driving Skills for Life and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

A new effort is being made in Congress to designate the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore along Lake Michigan as a national park. A bill for the designation has been filed by Indiana Sens. Todd Young and Mike Braun and Rep. Pete Visclosky. The same proposal was approved by the House in 2017 but failed to get through the last Congress. The Senate didn't take a vote. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the federal government needs to let Michigan help federal employees who are still working but aren’t being paid.

Thousands of Michigan residents are currently furloughed without pay because of the partial government shutdown. Those that aren’t working can apply for state benefits. But there’s some confusion about whether the state can help people that are still working but not getting paid.

Picture of Flint water tower
flickr.com

Some people in Flint are upset over a parade of plea deals in the Flint water scandal, three years after authorities said the lead crisis would put officials in prison. 

No one is behind bars. Seven of 15 defendants have pleaded no contest to misdemeanors. Their records will be scrubbed if they cooperate with a prosecutor.

Flint was one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in U.S. history. The city pulled water from a river in 2014 and 2015 without treating it to reduce corrosion. Lead leached from pipes.

Two state Environmental Quality department employees have been fired and several others disciplined after an audit found nearly $34,000 was paid for unperformed work hours.

Michigan's auditor general also said in a report Friday that three of the BioWatch Unit workers improperly used state vehicles.

Investigators looked into activities of four employees and said they took extended lunch breaks and left work early. Personal stops also were made at retail stores and other locations while on state time. On occasion, state vehicles were parked overnight at homes.

Grand Rapids Women's March set for this weekend

Jan 18, 2019

 

  The day after President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration, women gathered in Washington D.C. and across the nation protesting a history of offensive statements toward women made by the president. It’s considered the largest single-day, national protest.

Raina Cook is the new organizer this year for the local women’s march. She says the goal this year is to get more people involved in the community and to be more inclusive to all women.

John Engler is officially out as interim president of Michigan State University – ahead of schedule.

       Engler’s resignation came after he said some survivors of Larry Nassar were “enjoying” the “spotlight”. Nassar is the former M-S-U sports doctor – who sexually abused his patients for decades.

     

After a year of criticism and protests against him, John Engler stepped down as interim president. He wanted his resignation to be effective January 23rd. The board had other plans.

Here’s trustee Brian Mosallam:

 

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