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Wait times are decreasing at local Secretary of State offices due to new technology, but many people may not know it.  At least two more offices in Grand Rapids now offer what’s called “My-Time-Line”. We  spoke with Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.

“It’s important for government to realize that the public’s time is just as important as anybody else’s and we need to continue to address that and make so it people don’t have to wait in line any longer than absolutely necessary.”

The Michigan House has voted to form a committee to investigate two embattled lawmakers who had an extramarital relationship.
 
In a resounding voice vote, the House late Wednesday backed the panel's creation. House Speaker Kevin Cotter says he wanted to act in case an investigation turns up wrongdoing because the House isn't back in session until after Labor Day.
 
He says the move keeps "all options open" and will let the committee meet earlier if he appoints members.
 

Seventeen firefighters have been sent by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to help battle wildfires in the western U.S.
 
The department said in a news release Wednesday that the firefighters were sent to California, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon. They'll serve in areas including fire-line management and public information.

In July, 14 firefighters from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources helped in fire suppression operations in Alaska and Manitoba in Canada.
 

A prosecutor says a southwestern Michigan man won't face reckless driving charges after police say he posted videos online of himself driving up to 160 mph on an area highway.
 
TV station WWMT aired videos of the man driving on U.S. highway 131 that were posted on a Facebook page.
 
Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting says in a statement there are no witnesses and the videos likely couldn't be admitted as evidence in court. He says that without more evidence the driver only could face traffic citations for careless driving, a civil infraction.
 

Outdated crimes such as accepting a duel and cursing in front of women or children would no longer be on Michigan's books under bills advancing in the Legislature.
 
     The House on Wednesday began voting to repeal 75 laws that legislators say no longer serve a purpose or have been made redundant by newer statutes. The archaic and apparently unenforced laws include prohibitions against ads related to sexually transmitted diseases and accepting a challenge to a duel.
 

Michigan’s monthly jobless rate has dropped to five-point-three percent. That’s the lowest it’s been in 14 years, and it matches the national average. But the drop this month is due mostly to fewer people out looking for work. The state’s unemployment rate was one and seven-tenths of a percentage point higher at this time last year. The rate of unemployment and under-employment is more than twice the official jobless rate. When part-timers who want to be full-time, as well as people who’ve quit looking for work are counted, the rate goes up to 12-point-four percent.

The state Court of Appeals says Michigan State University must release the names of student-athletes who may be suspects in criminal cases.

Michigan attorney general endorses Jeb Bush for president

Aug 19, 2015

Michigan's Republican attorney general is backing Jeb Bush for president.

city of Grand Rapids logo
Courtesy photo / grcity.us

 Proposed language changes meant to make Grand Rapids city code more inclusive left some feeling excluded instead. 

The changes would repeal otherwise outdated portions of two city anti-discrimination policies. New language was introduced for both by the city’s Diversity and Inclusion Department this week.

Alex Thomas is with the department. He says it includes changing ‘handicapped’ to ‘disabled’ or ‘disability,’ swapping ‘gender orientation’ for ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity,’ and updating various department titles.

www.outsidethebeltway.com

A published report says former members of Michigan's congressional delegation are sitting on more than $3.5 million in surplus campaign cash. The Detroit News reports that includes former Republican Congressman Dave Camp, who has $2.1 million idling in his campaign accounts.

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