MI’s defense of same-sex marriage ban delivered to Supreme Court

Supreme court

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office has delivered the state’s defense of its same-sex marriage ban to the US Supreme Court.

The state’s 59-page brief focuses largely on states’ rights. The attorney general argues the case is not specifically about marriage, but who gets to decide the question.

From the brief’s summation:

“This case is not about the best definition of marriage or any stereotypes about families. Families
come in all types, and parents of all types—married or single, gay or straight—love their children. This case is about whether the Fourteenth Amendment imposes a single marriage view on all states such that the people have no right to decide. It does not.”

The brief says the US Constitution is silent on the issue, so the decision on defining who can get married is left to states or their voters. The brief says Michigan voters made a reasonable choice when they approved the ban in 2004, and only they should be allowed to reverse it.

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are the lesbian couple challenging the ban. They say it violates their equal protection rights and the equal protections rights of the children they are raising together, but cannot jointly adopt.

Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee will also defend marriage bans when the Supreme Court hears arguments in the case next month.

14th annual environmental summit taking place at LSSU

Soo_Locks-Sault-Ste_Marie

Residents of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Ontario are invited to come to Lake Superior State University for the 14th annual Environmental Summit. The free summit is designed to show residents what scientists and students from LSSU have been doing on the St. Mary’s River. It will also give residents a chance to learn how to care for the river.

Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 27 at the Cisler Center, residents will be able to interact with local organizations to better understand the river’s ecology. One organization is the Aquatic Research Laboratory, who will be providing information on the salmon fish hatchery on the river.

Students from LSSU will also have a chance to speak on the river and showcase their research.

Dr. Sheri Glowinski is an assistant professor of Biology Sciences at Lake Superior State University. She is also the coordinator for the Michigan side of the Bi-national Public Advisory Council. Both organizations are sponsoring the event.

“(It’s important) for the community to understand the major environmental issues that are facing the St. Mary’s watershed.”

Glowinski has set up this entire event and is excited to get the public educated about the St. Mary’s river.

Following the summit is a Health and Harvest Fair, where farms and other health related organizations will be presenting on healthy eating.

Straits raptor counters say they are seeing more birds of prey

Bald Eagle sighted in Charlevoix County. Courtesy photo.

Bald Eagle sighted in Charlevoix County. Courtesy photo.

Robins might be the traditional harbinger of spring in Michigan, but officials say birds of prey are also coming through the state right now.

Bird counters are keeping track of how many raptors are going through the Straits area. Continue reading

MDOT continues to keep travelers safe with Mi Drive App’s first update

Looking to drive around Michigan? There’s an app for that The Michigan Department of Transportation has updated its MI Drive app.

Jeff Cranson, MDOT Director of Communications said the app uses cameras to notify users in real time. Users are also able to save their favorite cameras.

“Everything we do is about safe travel and trying to help people avoid congestion, avoid construction zones, anything that causes backups because it’s in backups that people get impatient and do things that can lead to crashes,” Cranson said.

Cranson said he hopes to see more cameras in rural areas.

The MI Drive App was originally released in November. The new version has faster loading speed and new map layers.

Cransons said it also helps cut down on pollution as well.

“It’s about the environment because any time you can avoid congestion and sitting stalled in traffic, you’re not idling, and you’re conserving fuel and cutting down on emissions too,” he said.

Transportation officials say they plan to continue updating the app as it receives feedback.

State Transportation Director Kirk Steudle said the app has some 38,000 downloads.

ON THE WEB:
Mi Drive App

www.michigan.gov/drive

Consumer’s Energy working to fix outages in NW lower Michigan

power linePower outages are affecting several northern mid-Michigan counties today.

More than 4,500 people are without power in Wexford, Missaukee, Osceola, and Clare counties.

Cadillac Schools is sending students home early due to power outages in multiple buildings.

A Consumer’s Energy spokesperson said restoration work should be completed by mid afternoon.

ON THE WEB
Consumer’s Energy outage map
http://www.consumersenergy.com/outagemap

Newest archived Michigan death certificates available online

James Vernor certificate courtesy Image.

James Vernor certificate courtesy Image.

Death may not sound like an intriguing topic to everyone, but Michigan archivists said death certificates are filled with clues about not only family history, but also family health.

Periodically, archivists in the state post death certificates online for public access.

The Archives of Michigan has recently made certificates from the 1920s through the 1930s available to the public. Continue reading

Home heating representatives say homeowners are using dangerous methods to stay warm

According to data from the U.S. Fire Association, 130 people died in residential fires in Michigan last year.

Even though it’s officially spring, officials said homeowners are still struggling with heating their homes.
Continue reading

100,000 people in Michigan deal with vision impairment

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A new report from The Vision Council shows that an increasing number of people with vision problems is costing the U.S. billions of dollars in health care and lost productivity.

One in twenty-eight Americans have vision impairment.
Continue reading