Michigan News

State lawmakers are back at the Capitol following their spring break. One job facing them is ending a standoff over money to help Macomb County deal with a giant sinkhole.

The sinkhole is as big as a football field and displaced two dozen families after an underground pipe collapsed on Christmas Eve in Fraser. Now, the disaster threatens to rupture sewer lines that could send a giant mess into Lake Saint Clair, which is part of the Great Lakes system.

The state House approved a $3 million dollar grant before the spring break. But the Senate wants the money to be a loan.

Fake news has become ubiquitous, and it's more sophisticated and thus harder to spot, say communications experts at the University of Michigan.

In response, they'll offer a free online course on Friday, "Fake News, Facts, and Alternative Facts" on the edX website, which universities use to offer free classes to the public.

Brian Weeks teaches communication studies.  He says it's good news that Google and Facebook are launching new tools to help people try to determine if something is true.  But he thinks the best strategy is citizen education.

Past and present public policies have a major impact on the disparities in child well-being in Michigan. That’s according to a report released Tuesday by the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Four more former patients, including a 14-year-old dancer, are suing former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar for sexual abuse.

They join more than 80 other women and girls who claim Nassar abused them under the guise of treatment.

In the lawsuit filed Monday, one woman says Nassar abused her around 1992 to 1993, when he was still in medical school at MSU. A spokesman for MSU confirmed Nassar graduated in 1993.

A Republican state lawmaker says Michigan should protect people’s internet privacy if the federal government won’t.

State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, has asked for bills that would restore privacy protections for people in Michigan. That’s after Congress voted to block a rule that would have required internet service providers to get customers’ permission before selling their data.    

“So now, if you go on an internet service provider, or if you go on a search engine, anything you look at can be retained and it can be sold,” Jones said.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the influenza-related deaths of two Michigan children.

Officials did not release any other additional information related to the deaths, other than one was a child in northern Michigan and the other child was in western Michigan.

In a statement, the department reiterated the importance of flu vaccinations for anyone older than six months of age.

The state House and Senate are playing volleyball with money to fix a sinkhole in Macomb County.

A House bill originally gave the city a three million dollar grant. It also approved millions of dollars for Flint.

The Senate changed Fraser’s $3 million grant to a $5 million dollar loan.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) said they did this in part to encourage other communities to maintain their infrastructure – instead of waiting for a crisis to get a handout from the state. 

A campaign committee controlled by Republican leaders is facing fines and questions over how it lost track of many thousands of dollars during the last election.

A growing number of Flint water customers are being told to pay past due bills, or risk having their service shut off.

The city is under pressure to get more water customers to pay up now that state subsidies have ended and the city faces mounting costs.

A few weeks ago, the city informed 18 delinquent customers that if they didn’t pay up, their water would be cut off.  According to city spokeswoman Kristin Moore, several paid the minimum amount due to keep their water service on.  But the rest will start losing their service next week.

Now that a judge has approved a legal settlement to replace lead pipes in Flint, the city is acting quickly to get the process moving.

Tuesday, U.S. District Judge David Lawson signed off on the deal under which the state of Michigan will set aside $97 million to pay for replacing 18,000 lead and galvanized service lines during the next three years. 

Last year, Flint removed nearly 800 lead and galvanized steel service lines. This year, the plan is to replace 6,000.         

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says city residents are ready.

One lawsuit filed over the Flint water crisis has ended with a landmark settlement.

Federal Judge David Lawson officially signed off on a four-year deal that lays out a series of remedies for Flint’s lead-tainted tap water, and its lingering impacts.

In the short term, that includes keeping bottled water distribution centers open, and expanding efforts to make sure residents have properly installed water filters.

In the longer run, there are strict requirements for frequent water testing, detailed reporting, and water treatment protocols.

A jury in Tennessee has found the owner of a Massachusetts lab that sold contaminated steroids not guilty of second degree murder.  

But the jury did find Barry Cadden guilty on multiple racketeering and mail fraud counts.  

Hundreds of people around the country were sickened when their doctors injected them with steroids produced by Cadden's compounding pharmacy.  The steroid medicine was tainted with a fungus. 

Dr. Larry Nassar has been found responsible for sexual assault, for the first time since this scandal erupted in the fall. 

Insects and diseases are posing a threat to Michigan's forests.

That's according to a report released yesterday by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The report, which is a part of the National Forest Health Monitoring Program, includes an analysis of issues that threaten Michigan's 20 million acres of forest land for 2016.

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers and local officials will try again this year to shut down a tax break that’s allowed big box stores to cut their property taxes.

 

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