Around Michigan & State Government

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


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.

Election 2014
12:01 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Schauer: Education Plan "Top Priority"

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer and running mate Lisa Brown announced their education plan Wednesday in Lansing.
Credit Jake Neher / Michigan Public Radio Network

The Democrat likely to challenge Gov. Rick Snyder in November says improving public schools would be his top priority in office.

Former Congressman Mark Schauer and his running mate, Lisa Brown, unveiled their education plan Wednesday in Lansing.

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Paying for College
3:41 am
Wed April 16, 2014

How One Michigan City Is Sending Kids To College Tuition-Free

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 4:33 pm

Paying for college presents a tremendous hurdle to many families, from wading through paperwork and navigating financial aid to understanding the long-term implications of college debt.

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Adoption & Marriage
10:47 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Gay Couple Wants State To Recognize Marriage, “For Our 13 Kids”

Plaintiffs Clint McCormack (front), Bryan Reamer (back), and some of their 13 children. One child's face has been obscured because she is in foster care.
Credit Jake Neher

The ACLU of Michigan is suing the state to force it to recognize the marriages of about 300 same-sex couples who got married last month.

Clint McCormack and Bryan Reamer are one of eight couples named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed Monday.

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Auto Industry
7:20 am
Tue April 15, 2014

2 Senior Executives Leave General Motors



NPR's business news begins with another shakeup at GM.


GREENE: General Motors announced yesterday that two of its senior executives have left the company. The departures of the senior vice president for communications and for human resources follow in the heels of strong criticism of the company's handling of February's recall of nearly 2.6 million cars.

Student Teachers
5:52 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Tougher Teacher Certification Test Sparks Debate

Credit The U.S. Census Bureau

University students who are looking to teach in Michigan will be tested as a step toward teacher certification this Saturday.

The new, more rigorous test has sparked debate. It was first administered in October. The pass rates fell from 82 percent to 26 percent.

Education majors have to pass this exam to become student teachers.

The state superintendent said the change helps put the best teachers in the classroom. He says increasing the required test scores will help with that goal.

There are mixed reviews in northern Michigan.

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Michigan Education
5:01 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Michigan Lawmakers Move Forward On Teacher Evaluation Reform

There could be movement soon on bipartisan legislation that would revamp teacher evaluations in Michigan. A number of groups that did not previously support the bills now say they’re on board.

Education advocates, bill sponsors, and lobbyists have been meeting this week to hammer out changes to the legislation.

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