Around Michigan & State Government

Coverage from across Michigan and  the state Capitol with the Michigan Public Radio Network and Interlochen Public Radio.


Year-Round School
5:40 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Northern Michigan School District Could Switch To Year-Round Calendar

Credit Baldwin Community Schools

Summer vacation would be cut in half for students in Baldwin under a proposal for year-round school. Other breaks would be longer, however, amounting to the same number of school days in a year.

Baldwin Community Schools could make the switch next fall.

Superintendent Stiles Simmons says kids forget too much over the summer, especially math.

“That’s what we found here in Baldwin,” he says. “Our students are losing well over a month of knowledge and skills in the area of math due to the summer vacation.”

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Affirmative Action
5:23 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Supreme Court Upholds Michigan's Affirmative Action Ban

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:02 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Lee Bollinger, a former president at the University of Michigan, about Tuesday's ruling. Bollinger was president during two earlier landmark affirmative action cases.

Affirmative Action
10:30 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Supreme Court Upholds Michigan's Ban On Affirmative Action

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette speaks to reporters after arguing the case before the U.S. Supreme Court in October. He's with XIV Foundation CEO Jennifer Gratz, who was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the University of Michigan's affirmative action policy.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 12:54 pm

The Supreme Court has ruled that a Michigan ballot initiative to ban racial preferences in college admissions is constitutional, overturning a lower court decision.

In a 6-2 decision Tuesday, the justices said the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong to set aside the voter-approved ban as discriminatory.

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Election 2014
6:18 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Peters Files For Michigan U.S. Senate Race

Democratic U.S. Congressman Gary Peters.

Congressman Gary Peters has filed petition signatures to put his name on the ballot. Peters is a Democrat running to succeed retiring US Senator Carl Levin. Peters’ support for the federal healthcare law has been an issue in the campaign. Peters says that’s OK with him.

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Election 2014
6:10 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Ruth Johnson Announces Re-Election Bid For Secretary Of State

Johnson speaking with reporters at a campaign stop in Lansing on Monday.
Credit Jake Neher / Michigan Public Radio Network

Ruth Johnson will seek another term as Michigan’s Secretary of State.

Johnson made the announcement Monday and kicked off a four-stop campaign tour across the state. She says the Secretary of State’s office has become more efficient under her direction, largely because of technological improvements.

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11:45 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Detroit "Grand Bargain," EAA On To-Do List At State Capitol

The state Senate returns this week after three weeks away from Lansing.

Lawmakers have some high-profile issues to address between now and June. That’s when the Legislature breaks for two months in the summer.

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Cold Case
3:52 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Kalkaska Prosecutor: No New Trial For Man Convicted Of 1996 Murder

Jason Ryan (pictured left) of Davison was charged with the murder last month. Some say that means Jamie Lee Peterson (right) should get reconsideration on his life sentence. He has served 17 years in prison for the crime.
Credit MLaw Newsroom

The Kalkaska County prosecutor doesn't see a need for a new trial for a man convicted of a 1996 rape and murder. Prosecutor Mike Perreault's office has filed a response in the case of Jamie Lee Peterson.

A team of lawyers is trying to free Peterson on DNA evidence that appears to link another man, Jason Ryan, to the crime.

Perrault's office says that doesn't mean Peterson is innocent. It argues that the same evidence was available when Peterson's trial took place in 1998.

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Extreme Winter
2:24 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Governor Declares Emergency In Marquette Over Frozen Pipes

Workers dig for a water main that broke on Seventh Street in Marquette.
Credit Marquette Fire Department / Mining Journal

A winter of freezing pipes and broken infrastructure has hit one community in the Upper Peninsula hard enough to prompt Governor Rick Snyder to declare a state of emergency for the area Thursday morning.

The declaration paves the way for state aid in Marquette County, where water and sewer pipe damage has already cost the county $1.6 million dollars. Several local communities have run out of money to pay for repairs. Officials say they expect the situation to get worse before it gets better. 

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Michigan Healthcare
12:18 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Traverse Health Clinic Expands, Expects Increased Patient Demand

A clinic for the uninsured is expanding its office in Traverse City, and adding a new doctor.

The Traverse Health Clinic also has begun accepting Medicaid. It’s planning for a surge of new patients who could struggle to find a doctor in private practice.

The clinic surveyed area physicians in 2012, says Development Director Sherri Fenton
“The majority of them had indicated to us that they have a cap on the number of Medicaid patients that they take,” she says. “And that that cap would likely not be changing.”

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Michigan Business & Economy
12:09 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Michigan Jobless Rate Drops Slighly

Michigan’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in March to 7.5 percent.

This marks the seventh month in a row the rate has declined, and it’s the lowest it’s been since April of 2008. The jobless rate of seven and a half percent is a little more than a full percentage point below where it was at this time last year.

Most of the job gains over the past 12 months have been in the manufacturing, high-tech, and hotel-and-restaurant sectors. There were job losses in government and financial services.