“Prevailing wage” to be an issue before new Legislature

money-coinsIt’s looking like “prevailing wage” will be an issue in the Legislature’s new session. It deals with pay rates for construction workers on publicly funded projects. It’s an issue that divides Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature’s Republican leaders.
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Schuette joins blind man’s United States Supreme Court lawsuit

judgepic13The state Attorney General has filed a brief in a discrimination case that could be headed for the United States Supreme Court

This is the third brief Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed in the case going back to 2011.

Angelo Binno is legally blind. He is suing the American Bar Association for disability discrimination.

Binno says he was rejected from every law school he applied to because he couldn’t draw diagrams for the logic games portion of the L-SAT and scored too low on the test.

Megan Hawthorne is the deputy press secretary for Schuette’s office.

“The Attorney General, as a lawyer himself, just thinks it’s super important that just because someone has a seeing disability does not affect their ability to be a successful practicing attorney.”

The Attorney General for the state of Ohio also signed onto the brief.

Bandit Industries reaches $3 million settlement with EPA


A wood and waste equipment manufacturer in Mecosta County has reached a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency for violating the Clean Air Act.

The EPA fined Bandit Industries $3 million for the violation. Company officials say they’re disappointed in the penalty. Continue reading

Professors at CMU conducted a study on selfies

image1The study surveyed people who posted selfies on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. It found two common reasons.people post.

Patricia Williamson is an associate professor with the school of broadcast and cinematic arts at CMU. She started the study.

“The most common self disclosure goal people have is information storage and entertainment. The entertainment part is pretty simple, either they find it entertaining or they think other people will find it entertaining. The information storage is more about people posting selfies because they want to go back and see what they looked like at a certain time or what they were doing on a certain date. So that’s another self disclosure goal.”

Williamson says the study also shows a generational gap in selfie posting. Younger people tended to post on newer platforms like Snapchat. Older people tend to stick with the tried-and-true, Facebook.

Two foundations merge to create Parkinson’s Foundation

The Michigan Parkinsons Foundation says more than one million people in the U.S live with Parkinson’s disease. It’s most common in people over the age of 60, but it can be diagnosed as early as age 20.

Now two national foundations are merging,in order to help further research for a cure.

The National Parkinson’s Foundation and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation are joining forces. Under a new name, the Parkinson’s Foundation, the organization hopes to do more good more efficiently.

Officials said the organization’s goals for 2017 are to complete the merger, make resources for patients more accessible, and increase funding for research.

John Lehr is the Chief Executive Officer for the Parkinson’s Foundation. He said the Parkinson’s community supports the merger..

“I think the community is looking for there to be some consolidation, so that you can get efficiencies, you can have a uniformity of programs, that you can go to one website and get all the information that you need, and really just feel like you can turn to one organization that represents you and doing all the things you would want the organization to do.”

Lehr said the foundation will look to the community for their input on how the organization can better serve them.

Michigan a “no kill” state

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Dogs – and for many people – cats are known as man’s best friend. However, many pets in Michigan shelters are waiting for a best friend of their own.

In 2010, over 100-thousand animals in Michigan animals shelters were euthanized. The state now encourages shelters to choose alternatives methods, to work towards a “no kill” status, and avoid euthanizing healthy or treatable animals.

The state is encouraging animals shelters across Michigan to adopt the “no kill” philosophy.

Matthew Pepper is the President and CEO for the Michigan Humane Society. He said this is a way for shelters to balance their responsibilities to the animals and communities.

“So I think it came from the need to do better in shelters, the need to continue to evolve, which I think naturally would have happened anyways. But I think it’s a natural revolution to see what more we can do for the animals in our care.”

Pepper said community members can help by adopting pets from local shelters, volunteering, and advocating for responsible pet care and ownership.

24/7 PBS kids channel

If you’re feeling frazzled because yours kids favorite tv show went off, relax. On Monday, PBS is launching a new 24/7 kids channel.

The new channel, which is strictly for kids, will include shows like Daniel Tiger, Sesame Street, and Ready, Jet, Go!

Tanya Schripsema is the program director for CMU Public Television. She said the new channel will keep the same educational mission as the primary channel.

“It is very exciting for us to give children the opportunity to watch quality programming with their families,during the primetime hours, after school, and during the weekend.”

Schripsema said improved technology allows CMU Public TV to offer the new children’s channel AND CONTINUE to offer the main channel – with shows like Poldark, Masterpiece and Nova, that they’ve been running for nearly 50-years.

For information on the new TV offerings, you can contact CMU PUblic TV at 800-727-9268. Or go online to WCMU dot org for the full program schedule.

24/7 PBS Kids Program Schedule

Businesses create coalition against Line 5; congress introduces legislation to shut down pipeline

Mackinac Bridge

Nearly a dozen businesses from around the state, and country, formed a coalition this month opposing Enbridge’s line 5 under the straits of Mackinac.

Bell’s Brewery, Shepler’s Ferry, and national outdoor retailer Patagonia are among the businesses in the new Great Lakes Business Network. Continue reading

Budget experts and economists crunch numbers at the State Capitol

money-coinsBudget and economic experts predict a bright fiscal future in Michigan. The Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference met today (Thurs) at the State Capitol.

2018 is looking good. From a financial standpoint that is.

Economists predict more economic growth in the United States and in Michigan, but the growth will be slow.

Gabriel Ehrlich is the Director of the Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics at the University of Michigan. He says we can expect to see a slowdown in job growth in Michigan, but part of that is because the labor force is getting toward full employment.

“We don’t believe it’s at full employment but there are fewer unemployed workers on the sidelines just waiting for jobs. So we see job growth slowing down.”

2018 will also see about 330 (m) million dollars in so-called “one-time” funds, but it is not expected to be a recurring event.