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Photo of child playing with car near window with lead paint
Kent County Health Department

City of Grand Rapids and Kent County partner to eliminate child lead exposure

Tabitha Williams’ experience with lead poisoning began eight years ago when her five-year-old daughter was admitted to the intensive care unit following some breathing complications. “I had lead in my soil, in my home, I was unaware of the issue of lead. I was unaware that lead still even existed as far still being toxic to our children. I thought that was something that was no longer here. I experienced my child in the ICU because of some of those conditions that I was unaware of my home.”...

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State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey has moved his answer from “no” to “maybe.” That’s in response to efforts to speed up the counting of absentee ballots on election night.

Local clerks have been flooded with absentee ballot requests since it became easier to vote absentee. Those votes aren’t counted until after polls have closed and all the other votes have been tallied. Local clerks say the surge in absentee voting could pose undue hardships on election workers and delay final results by many hours.

Hospital sign
wikipedia

A split Michigan Senate has approved changes to the process by which hospitals can do multi-million dollar construction or renovation projects. Senators also voted Wednesday to exempt hospitals from needing state regulatory approval to add psychiatric beds. The Republican-sponsored bills go to the House for consideration next. The legislation would change what's known as the certificate of need program, which is intended to ensure only needed health services are added in Michigan.

United States Census 2020 logo
Wikimedia Commons

The state of Michigan and nonprofits groups are launching a $16 million outreach campaign to push people to be counted in the 2020 census. Officials said Wednesday the census will take less than 10 minutes to complete once residents start getting invitations on March 12. They say the census is important because undercounting will mean communities get less federal funding for education, health care and other important programs. This is the first once-a-decade census in which most people will be encouraged to answer questions via the internet. They also can be counted by phone or mail.

Photo of child playing with car near window with lead paint
Kent County Health Department

Tabitha Williams’ experience with lead poisoning began eight years ago when her five-year-old daughter was admitted to the intensive care unit following some breathing complications. 

“I had lead in my soil, in my home, I was unaware of the issue of lead. I was unaware that lead still even existed as far still being toxic to our children. I thought that was something that was no longer here.   I experienced my child in the ICU because of some of those conditions that I was unaware of my home.”

Medicaid graphic
wikipedia

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration is asking for a quick court ruling on the legality of Michigan's Medicaid work requirements. The state hopes to avoid sending notices to more than 80,000 people who didn't comply in the first month of the rules. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services filed a motion Tuesday with U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington - 11 days after a federal appeals court affirmed Boasberg's decision to invalidate Arkansas' work requirements.

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State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey has moved his answer from “no” to “maybe.” That’s in response to efforts to speed up the counting of absentee ballots on election night.

Local clerks have been flooded with absentee ballot requests since it became easier to vote absentee. Those votes aren’t counted until after polls have closed and all the other votes have been tallied. Local clerks say the surge in absentee voting could pose undue hardships on election workers and delay final results by many hours.

Updated at 10:17 p.m. ET

Hours after the White House rejected the idea of appointing a coronavirus czar, President Trump on Wednesday put Vice President Pence in charge of the administration's response to the disease.

"We're doing really well, and Mike is going to be in charge," Trump said, noting that Pence's experience as governor of Indiana made him adept at working with state and local health authorities.

"This is not a czar," the president later added.

Kim Thomas felt drawn to being a home health aide after caring for her own ailing mother. Human dignity, she says, can be simple, like a bath and a favorite snack.

When Thomas first started visiting homes to care for patients, she made $7 an hour. That was in North Carolina about 16 years ago. Her pay inched up over time, to $10.50. To try to make ends meet, she sometimes would work through the night, dozing in patients' homes.

As fears spread of a wider coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., experts in global health pandemics as well as some of President Trump's leading political adversaries contend that the federal government's response may be lacking a key figure: a coronavirus czar.

Hospital sign
wikipedia

A split Michigan Senate has approved changes to the process by which hospitals can do multi-million dollar construction or renovation projects. Senators also voted Wednesday to exempt hospitals from needing state regulatory approval to add psychiatric beds. The Republican-sponsored bills go to the House for consideration next. The legislation would change what's known as the certificate of need program, which is intended to ensure only needed health services are added in Michigan.

United States Census 2020 logo
Wikimedia Commons

The state of Michigan and nonprofits groups are launching a $16 million outreach campaign to push people to be counted in the 2020 census. Officials said Wednesday the census will take less than 10 minutes to complete once residents start getting invitations on March 12. They say the census is important because undercounting will mean communities get less federal funding for education, health care and other important programs. This is the first once-a-decade census in which most people will be encouraged to answer questions via the internet. They also can be counted by phone or mail.

David Roback, a guitarist and songwriter best known for working alongside singer Hope Sandoval in the group Mazzy Star, has died. The news was confirmed to NPR in a press release from Roback's management sent on Tuesday evening. He was 61.

Kazuhisa Hashimoto, the man who invented the "Konami code" cheat that became pervasive in video gaming and pop culture, has died.

To use the code, players would press up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A and the Start button on the controller to make games easier. It was named after the popular Japanese gaming and entertainment company Konami, where Hashimoto worked.

Konami confirmed Hashimoto's death in an email to NPR and said in a tweet that it was saddened to hear the news. His age has been variously reported as 61 and 79.

The Trump campaign is opening field offices in swing states targeted directly at attracting black voters, a demographic the president has been aggressively courting in his re-election efforts.

The offices are planned for 15 cities with large African American communities and will be used for campaign events and activities, as well as meet-and-greets with surrogates.

Updated at 2:50 pm ET

Riots and mob violence have rocked neighborhoods for three nights in New Delhi — the Indian capital's worst sectarian tumult in decades. At least 20 people have been killed in the fighting, which follows months of mostly peaceful protests over a new citizenship law that excludes Muslim refugees.

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