Associated Press

LGBTQ Flag
Ludovic Bertron | Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 / wikimedia.org

More than 200 corporations have signed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that federal civil rights law bans job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The brief was announced Tuesday by a coalition of five LGBTQ rights groups.

It is being submitted to the Supreme Court this week ahead of oral arguments before the justices this fall on three cases that may determine whether gays, lesbians and transgender people are protected from discrimination by existing federal civil rights laws.

Stethoscope On Money
Public Domain Pictures

A church in western Michigan is helping to pay off more than $1.8 million in medical debt for families.

Grand Rapids First church in the Grand Rapids-area community of Wyoming is working with Rye, New York-based nonprofit RIP Medical Debt on the effort. Nearly 1,900 randomly selected families from Kent, Ottawa, Allegan and Ionia counties are getting letters informing them that the debts are being paid off.

Those involved in the effort say a donation of $15,000 from the church is allowing RIP to purchase the debt.

Natural gas flame photo
tOrange.biz

Regulators say Michigan's energy supply and delivery systems are adequate to meet demand, but improvements should be made after extreme winter weather led to electric and natural gas emergencies.

The state Public Service Commission this week submitted an initial 247-page energy assessment to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who requested it after the Jan. 30-31 polar vortex.

Governor Rick Snyder
Office of Gov. Rick Snyder / michigan.gov

Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is headed to Harvard University to teach, study and write on subjects related to state and local government.

Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government announced that Snyder begins work Monday as a senior research fellow. His fellowship is with the school's Taubman Center for State and Local Government.

Police car lights
Wikimedia | Matty Ring | CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia.org

Michigan law enforcement officials say they are stepping up traffic enforcement in an effort to curb impaired driving during a two-week period that includes Independence Day.

The campaign, which runs from Monday through July 14, includes additional patrols by local, county and state authorities. Officers are particularly watching for motorists under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Authorities say any form of impaired driving is illegal - and preventable.

Rep. Lynn Afendoulis photo
www.lynnafendoulis.com

First-term Michigan state Rep. Lynn Afendoulis has announced her candidacy for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District seat.

The Republican says she is running to ensure the continuation of America's revival, not to work "against it." The 60-year-old Grand Rapids Township resident spent 25 years working with and for Universal Forest Products and once was a newspaper reporter.

U.S. Representative Justin Amash is the only Republican member of Congress to accuse President Donald Trump of impeachable conduct.

A 63-year-old man has been charged with murder in the fatal shootings of two men in West Michigan. Jon Otis Barnett was ordered held on $10 million bond following a hearing Monday in Hastings. He faces assault and weapons charges as well, and authorities say he also tried to strangle his wife. Gordon Shane McNeill, a lawyer appointed to represent Barnett, declined to comment Tuesday.

Republican Party logo
wikipedia

Anti-government graffiti was painted on the Michigan Republican Party headquarters amid debate over a possible nationwide immigration sweep to deport people living the United States illegally.

State party officials say they discovered the graffiti, which included an expletive and the acronym "ICE" for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, on the front of the Lansing building Saturday evening. They reported it to Lansing police, who say it's believed to have been painted early Saturday.

car gasoline cap and money photo
flickr.com

  AAA Michigan says average gas prices statewide have risen about 7 cents from a week ago at about $2.70 per gallon.

The Dearborn-based auto club says Monday the average price for self-serve regular unleaded is about 20 cents less than a year ago.

AAA says the state's highest average was in Marquette at around $2.76. The lowest price was in the Jackson area at roughly $2.60 per gallon.

Prices in the Detroit area were about $2.74 per gallon, up about 3 cents from a week ago.

AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state.

Grand Rapids Police Department body camera
Courtesy photo, GRPD / grcity.us

A police officer seen on bodycam video repeatedly punching a man during an arrest in western Michigan has been fired.

The city of Grand Rapids confirmed Thursday that the officer notified the city manager that he was waiving his right to a discharge hearing.

The Grand Rapids Police Department earlier this month announced that its Internal Affairs Unit determined that the officer violated department policy during the March 17 traffic stop and should lose his job. Police note the officer cursed and struck the motorist dozens of times in the leg.

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