Rick Pluta

The ACLU was in a Detroit courtroom today seeking an order to protect a group of Iraqi detainees from threats and coercion from immigration agents.

Enbridge Energy has submitted a report to the state on possible alternatives to continuing to run an oil and gas pipeline on the bottomlands of the Straits of Mackinac.

       Neither of the alternatives would shut down the line.

Shutting down the line is what environmental groups are calling for. Enbridge has proposed digging a tunnel 100 feet below the bottom of the straits, or encasing Line 5 in a trench covered with concrete and stone.

A new state rule requires local water systems to get rid of all their lead service lines over the next 20 years.

   These are the types of pipes that contributed to the Flint water crisis.

Governor Rick Snyder says a confusing federal lead and copper rule helped create the Flint crisis, and called for Michigan to adopt its own standard covering roughly 2,000 water systems.


   “So Michigan will now have its own rule that’s stricter than the federal standard.”

   The Legislature has sent Governor Rick Snyder the new state budget, which he is expected to sign.

The budget attempts to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.

A provision in the budget would require county health departments to favor family planning clinics that don’t also abortions. State law already forbids the direct use of public money funds for abortions.  

   But the Legislature’s gesture may be symbolic, says Governor Snyder’s press secretary, Anna Heaton.

   “We’re concerned that portions of the boilerplate language are unconstitutional.”

Service dogs
www.southwestanimalcarecenter.com / Southwest Animal Care Center

An adult testifying in court in a criminal case cannot bring an emotional support animal to the stand.  The Michigan Court of Appeals made that ruling in a decision released Friday.

A woman filed a rape complaint against a male acquaintance who disputed her version of events. When the trial came, a judge allowed a support dog and a handler holding a leash to be with her when she testified. That was over the objection of the defense.

Lou Anna Simon, Former President Michigan State University

Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon appears tomorrow for a command performance before a US Senate panel. This will be her first public comments since she stepped down in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal.

Simon will testify under subpoena. She faces questions on how Nassar was allowed to remain MSU’s medical staff and prey on hundreds of sports medicine patients over a 20-year period. Nassar survivors say their complaints were ignored by the university. S

enator Gary Peters of Michigan will sit in on the hearing, and says he has questions.

       Governor Rick Snyder wants an oil and gas pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac to eventually be de-commissioned.

       The governor said so speaking to reporters on Mackinac Island.

Former US House Speaker John Boehner says the Republican Party is no more.

   He said so at a conference on Mackinac Island.

   Boehner appeared before a conference of Michigan’s business and political leaders.

   He shared memories of being the House GOP leader and talked about trade policy. And when asked about the state of the Republican Party, Boehner said being a Republican these days is measured entirely by loyalty to President Trump.  

“There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump party. The Republican Party is taking a nap somewhere.” 


Environmental groups are using a large gathering of Michigan’s political and business leaders on Mackinac Island to pressure the state to shut down Enbridge Energy’s Line 5.

Protesters were at the ferry docks to greet attendees of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac conference.

Jim Lively is with a northern Michigan environmental group. He says the line under the straits serves as a shortcut for moving fuel between points in Canada with little benefit to Michigan.

“We don’t need a pipeline crossing at the straits. We don’t need that oil that’s Canadian oil.”

A campaign to amend the Michigan Constitution is asking a judge to order a state board to certify its question for the November ballot.

   The amendment would change how the state draws congressional and legislative district boundaries.

Republicans don’t like the proposal. And this week, the Republican chair of the Board of State Canvassers abruptly canceled a meeting to certify the campaign had gathered enough petition signatures to qualify for the ballot.