Cheyna Roth

A statewide conference on making Michigan a hospitable place for immigrants was held in Lansing Monday.

It’s part of the nationwide Welcome Week, which seeks to bring together immigrants and U.S born people in “a spirit of unity.”

This was the third annual statewide Welcoming Michigan conference. It brought together nonprofits, local government leaders, students and others to share tips and strategies for making Michigan communities more welcoming to immigrants.

Shirin Kambin-Timns is the coordinator for the Refugee and Immigrant Resource Collaborative.

Ken Lunde via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 /

A man who was once hospitalized for depression cannot legally buy a gun in Michigan – at least not without a court fight.

That’s the decision handed down recently by a federal appeals court.

Southern Michigan resident Clifford Tyler was turned away by a gun dealer after a background check revealed his history of being hospitalized for depression.

Tyler is seventy-four years-old, and his hospitalization was more than 30 years ago following a divorce. He says he has not had any mental health concerns since.

Files paperwork
Pixabay | CC BY 3.0 /

The Freedom of Information Act could be changing in Michigan.

A House committee approved a bill Thursday that would prevent public bodies like the government from suing someone that requests information through a FOIA request.

The bill is part of a larger attempt by lawmakers to make FOIA more transparent.

It comes after The Daily News in Greenville was sued when it asked Montcalm County during the August primaries for personnel files of some county sheriff candidates. This bill would prevent a lawsuit like this from ever occurring. 

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The State Board of Education voted Wednesday to adopt voluntary guidelines to help schools with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students.

The policies are intended to help schools create a safe and supportive learning environment for LGBTQ individuals.

The guidance was voted on after more than three hours of public comment.

Approximately 60 people were given three minutes to share their thoughts on the issue. Commenters ranged from school principals and students to state legislators and medical professionals.

Michigan capitol building
Smpage09 via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 /

Big changes may be on the horizon for medical marijuana in Michigan.

The State House voted Wednesday in favor of a package of bills that would legalize edibles and require medical marijuana clinics be licensed and pay sales tax.

The bills have already made their way through the Senate and are now on their way to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk for consideration.

The bills would require medical marijuana clinics be licensed and pay sales tax. The bills would also legalize non-smokeable forms of marijuana like edibles and oils.

Trosmisiek via Wikimedia | Public Domain image

State lawmakers want to make sure your city won’t tax or ban plastic grocery and retail bags.

A State House committee heard testimony Tuesday about a bill that would prevent cities from banning or taxing plastic bags.

The bill has already been passed by the State Senate and is waiting for a decision from the House.

No city in Michigan actively bans or taxes the use of plastic bags right now. A Washtenaw County 10-cent fee on plastic bags at retailers is scheduled to begin on Earth Day in 2017.

Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

A higher minimum wage was the demand of protestors at the State Capitol Monday.

They want Governor Rick Snyder and the legislature to boost the state wage from $8.50 an hour, to $15.00 an hour. They called the current minimum wage a ‘slave wage.’

Velma Cornelius is a child care worker. She says she makes $9.50 an hour and has been working to increase the minimum wage for the last seven years.

“Because you can’t raise no shorty on nine-forty,” she said. “And you can’t survive, off of ten-forty-five.”

Creative Commons photo of Bill Clinton.
Jake Wellington via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 /

Former President Bill Clinton was a crowd-stopper as he marched in Detroit’s Labor Day Parade on behalf of his wife’s presidential campaign.

The parade was often delayed as Clinton was stopped for selfies. He would stop to chat, show off a Detroit-made Shinola watch he was sporting on his wrist, and pose with clusters of fans as aides tried to keep the president’s group on the move.

Union carpenter Tim Zamecki got in a few words with the former president, and was clearly emotional about it.

Green Party Presidential running mates Dr. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka at a Michigan campaign event in September.
Cheyna Roth

While Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump may have taken up most of Detroit’s attention on Saturday, another candidate was trying to shore up votes for Election Day.

Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein held a rally in the Eastern Marketplace with her running mate Ajamu Baraka.

This was their first joint appearance since the Green Party convention in August.

Pixabay | CC BY 2.0 /

Seven schools have been released from the state’s list of lowest-performing schools. But 124 schools remain.

The Michigan School Reform Office released a list of the bottom five percent of schools based on academic performance Thursday.

Thirty-one schools were named so-called priority schools for the first time. The rest have been on the list before.

Most of the schools on the list come from Detroit, but also include schools in Benton Harbor, Flint, Grand Rapids, and the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan.