Author Archives: Mike Horace

U.S. House urges Iran to free imprisoned Americans

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously approved a resolution calling for the release of three Americans who are imprisoned in Iran.

Among the Americans being held in Iran is Flint-native Amir Hekmati, who was arrested there nearly four years ago on charges of spying. He says he was in the country visiting family. Continue reading

Class assignment turns into effort to help journalists overseas

Press Uncuffed is offering supporters bracelets containing the engraved name of an imprisoned journalist.

Press Uncuffed is offering supporters bracelets containing the engraved name of an imprisoned journalist. Photo courtesy Press Uncuffed.

In the United States, freedom of the press is often taken for granted. But in other parts of the world, journalists are often imprisoned, or even killed, simply for reporting the news.

A new project aims to shine a light on some of these trouble spots for reporters worldwide. Continue reading

Michigan breaks top 10 list nationally for Medicare overpayments

moneyMore than 50 million Americans count on Medicare for health coverage, but there is growing concern Medicare is not doing enough to root out waste within the program.

According to data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in 2013, Michigan had $108 million in Medicare overpayments — a dramatic increase over previous years. Continue reading

Resolution calling on Iran to free Amir Hekmati moves forward in U.S. House

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

The U.S. House could soon consider a resolution calling for the release of a Flint-native who has been imprisoned in Iran since 2011.

Amir Hekmati was detained in Iran during a trip to visit his grandmother. He was accused and convicted of being an American spy — charges his family flatly denies. Continue reading

Lobbyists spend $37 million in 2014 trying to influence Michigan lawmakers

Capital_Building_LansingLobbyists were busy in Lansing last year. They spent more than 37-million dollars trying to influence state lawmakers, according to a new report.

The numbers were compiled by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, a non-partisan organization that tracks spending by lobbying firms. Continue reading

Constitutional amendment would allow tax credits for private school tuition

State Rep. Gary Glenn (R)

State Rep. Gary Glenn (R)

A proposed amendment to the state constitution would make it easier for some parents to send their children to private schools.

The amendment would allow tax credits for tuition expenses – for both private and public schools. It would leave in place a constitutional prohibition on vouchers – that is direct payments by the state to cover tuition costs. Continue reading

Study links deer to forest plant species changes

deerA recent study is linking changes in forest ecosystems in northern Michigan and Wisconsin to the eating habits of White-Tailed Deer.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It links at least 40 percent of plant species changes in the forests of northern Michigan and Wisconsin to White-Tailed Deer. Continue reading

Kildee reflects on State of the Union, efforts to free Amir

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Last night, President Barack Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union Address. In the first minute of the speech, he summed up his theme for the evening: “Tonight, we turn a page.”

Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee was in the House chamber during last night’s speech, and he joined us to speak about it. Continue reading

Benishek discusses new congress, priorities for next 2 years

Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Crystal Falls)

Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Crystal Falls)

Lawmakers returned to Washington this week for the start of the 114th Congress. We’ve been checking in with some Michigan lawmakers, to hear their priorities for the new term, and to hear their advice for the five new members of Michigan’s congressional delegation. Continue reading

Kildee reflects on new congress, lays out priorities for next 2 years

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

The 114th Congress got underway this week as lawmakers from around the country returned to Washington. We’ve been checking in with some Michigan lawmakers, to learn about their priorities for the new term, and to hear their advice for the five new members of Michigan’s congressional delegation. Continue reading

Kildee criticizes Keystone XL proposal

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted against final approval for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would stretch from Canada, through the Great Plains, to the Gulf of Mexico.

One Michigan congressman is happy about the outcome, because of what he says was an unfair tax break in the final proposal. Continue reading