Category Archives: Transportation

Snyder signs new budget, remains optimistic about road deal

Governor Rick Snyder has signed the new 54-billion dollar state budget. It has money for roads, schools, prisons, and healthcare. But a solution on funding road repairs remains elusive.

Governor Snyder says voters sent a message when they rejected Proposal One last month, and that was for the state to come up with the money to fix roads. The new budget has some stop-gap funding, but falls far short of the 1.2 billion dollars in new revenue that he’s called for. Continue reading

Proposal in Lansing would add emergency contacts to state IDs

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A measure in Lansing would allow for encrypted emergency contact information on your driver’s license or state ID.

The information could include the name, address, and phone number of your chosen contact person. Continue reading

$1 billion dollar road funding proposal clears state House

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A plan to boost road funding by about a billion dollars a year has cleared the state House. The Republican proposal relies mostly on shifting existing funds in the state budget instead of significantly raising taxes.

State House Speaker Kevin Cotter unveiled the plan after the historic failure of Proposal One. He says voters want the Legislature to prioritize existing revenues to help fix the roads. Continue reading

Bill allowing ‘pedal pubs’ in Michigan moving through the Legislature

Great Lakes Pub Cruiser

Great Lakes Pub Cruiser

Michigan would allow people to drink alcohol on so-called “pedal pubs” under bills making their way through the Legislature.

A state House panel on Tuesday approved regulating the four-wheel pedal-powered vehicles, which allow people to drink alcohol while cycling between destinations. Continue reading

State House nearing vote on road funding proposal

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Republican leaders in the state House hope to hold a vote Wednesday on their proposal to boost road funding by about $1 billion a year.

New money for roads would mostly come from projected revenue increases over the next few years and by shifting existing funds in the state budget. Continue reading

National Trail Day has communities planning events and talking about a proposed trail

Picture courtesy of the DNR

Picture courtesy of the DNR

Communities around the state are planning events for National Trail Day on Saturday.

One trail that’s not built yet has been gathering some attention. It’s a ten-thousand mile trail around the Great Lakes. Continue reading

New K-12 budget includes early literacy funding

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The Legislature has approved budgets for the coming fiscal year.

The K-through-12 schools budget was enthusiastically endorsed by Republicans and Democrats. Every school district in the state will see a funding bump of $70 to $140 per student under the new K-through-12 budget the Legislature just sent to Governor Rick Snyder. Continue reading

Lawmakers eye electric vehicles for road money

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Republican state lawmakers are looking to drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles as a potential source of more road funds. But environmental groups say now is not the time to make alternative fuel cars more expensive.

Electric and hybrid vehicles are already more expensive than fossil-fuel-powered cars and trucks, which also means higher sales taxes and registration fees. Continue reading

House committee begins road funding hearings

A special state House committee has begun deliberations on how to find more than $1 billion for roads and transportation. That’s after voters overwhelmingly said “no” to the Legislature’s last plan on the May ballot.

House Republican leaders say they want a solution in hand in less than a month. They say the plan is to search for savings and efficiencies before tackling the tougher questions about raising revenue. Continue reading

Snyder, lawmakers sort through Proposal 1 wreckage

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Voters said no Tuesday to Proposal One by a margin of almost four-to-one. But, as unhappy as people were with the ballot question, they’re still unhappy with the state of Michigan’s roads. So Governor Rick Snyder and lawmakers say they’ll go back to work on finding money for roads – and they will heed the lessons of Proposal One. Continue reading

Voters reject Snyder road funding ballot proposal

voters-turn-out-for-michigan-primary-elections-c238bfa5496bdcccMichigan voters have soundly rejected Proposal One — Governor Rick Snyder’s two (b) billion dollar plan to fund road repairs without siphoning money from schools and local governments.

The loss sends the governor and the Legislature back to the bargaining table because almost everyone still agrees the roads are bad.
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Voters to decide fate of Proposal One and road funding

rick-snyder-mugjpg-446cf7790e6a2ea6Since January, Governor Rick Snyder has been traveling the state with his rock collection – more accurately, hunks of concrete, asphalt, and brick from crumbling roads and bridges.

“This is a piece of Michigan road,” he says he holds up a chunk of concrete twice as big as his fist. “This is the kind of thing that can fall on your vehicle or go through your windshield. That’s scary folks.”
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Paws for Freedom: one dog’s rescue story from Iran to Saginaw

Captain
Pets take on roles; they’re family members, best friends and sometimes – targets.

Captain has been all three. Today he lives with a family in Saginaw. He was adopted out of Iran. A place where dogs have been outlawed for over thirty years.

Jeff Popovich tells us about Captain, his new family and his remarkable journey:

Despite missing a leg, Captain runs effortlessly to greet, Reza Saffarian.

Saffarian is an Iranian-born American citizen who adopted Captain from his home country two years ago.

He said, “We are just happy to be able to help an animal that had probably been put down overseas if that was not, you know if that was not for the circumstances.”

Dogs have been outlawed in Iran since the Iranian revolution in the late 1970s.

It wasn’t until 2004 the country’s first ever animal shelter was founded. It’s called Vafa. That means loyalty in Farsi, the official Persian language in Iran.

Saffarian said animal activist groups like Vafa have been busy trying to improve the fate of dogs in Iran.

He said, “They were instrumental in identifying these dogs and bringing them in, and sheltering these animals.”

The shelter adopts dogs to safe homes in other countries through their website.

Saffarian said, “We were able to look on their website, read the stories of these dogs, and be able to hook up some of these dogs and he was one of those few, and I think they would tell you that, he was one of the few fortunate dogs to be able to get adopted out of nearly 500 dogs.”

Saffarian decided on Captain because he says he felt the dog would be overlooked by other families looking to adopt because he is missing a leg.

He got in touch with the Vafa representative who handles adoptions to the US.

A few weeks later Captain was on a plane to Boston.

Once he was in the US, his journey continued to Saginaw through a volunteer group called The Liberty Train.

That’s an all volunteer organization dedicated to rescuing and transporting animals to homes across the country.

Laura Harper is transport coordinator and founder of The Liberty Train.

She said, “We get drivers to pick up a dog at one location then they transport them to the next location and pass them off to the next driver and so on and so forth until they get where they’re going.”

Harper said it’s a humbling experience working with so many people that are so willing to help.

She said, “When I get to the end of the week and I know that I’ve got wonderful people like Team Iran and Team US/Canada or the Vafa shelter and all the other rescues that we work with it fills my heart. It keeps me going knowing that there are good people out there.”

Back in Saginaw, Reza Saffarian said he’s grateful to all the people who were involved in Captain’s rescue and transport.

When Captain arrived, the Saffarians were concerned about his stump. It had not been properly amputated when he was still in Iran.

Saffarian said, “So we put him through a surgery shortly after we got him, and ever since I think he has…his life has taken for the better.”

Since his rescue, Captain has adapted to the English language.

He’s also picked up on things that American dogs take for granted, like climbing stairs and even playing with toys.

Saffarian said, “We are delighted…we are really delighted. And I think somehow he appreciates that too you know you saw how he comes to the door and greets us, and how he sticks by me. I think he understands that maybe he is somewhat lucky.”

Captain went from being a target on the streets of Iran to a full fledged Saffarian family member.

Aside from being one lucky dog, Captain’s journey is one example that possibilities are endless.

ON THE WEB

Vafa Animal Shelter
http://vafashelter.com/main/


The Liberty Train
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Liberty-Train-and-Rescue/161898060592344

Senate adopts no-fault overhaul

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The Michigan Senate has taken a first step toward overhauling the state’s auto no-fault system. The measures are aimed at making rates more affordable – especially in urban areas — by containing costs for insurance companies.
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