DETROIT – State Superintendent Mike Flanagan wanted schools to rethink the way they educate children, and dozens of districts have responded so far to the Michigan Department of Education's Project Reimagine.
Yet the Detroit Free Press reports that it remains to be seen whether the ideas suggested are the type of bold plans that can help children learn while boosting the state's chances of winning a slice of federal stimulus money.
SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP, MI – The bloom could be off Michigan's $124 million per year blueberry industry after two destructive viruses infected bushes in three locations.
Particularly upsetting to scientists is where one of the outbreaks occurred -- Michigan State University's agricultural research station in Allegan County's Saugatuck Township, about four miles from Lake Michigan.
An outbreak of blueberry shock is forcing scientists to destroy plants that represent two decades and millions of dollars of research.
LANSING, MI – A Democratic lawmaker and candidate for governor will turn in legislation this week that would guarantee free tuition for in-state students attending public universities and community colleges. Smith says her plan would be an improvement on the Michigan Promise scholarship.
The Michigan Promise is a $4000 scholarship. That covers roughly the cost of two years at a community college.
LANSING, MI – The Lansing City Council is considering a set of changes to its rules tonight.The changes include moving public comment time to the end of the meeting. Supporters say the change will make the meetings shorter and more efficient.
ANN ARBOR, MI – The University of Michigan says it is investigating allegations that its football program regularly violates NCAA rules limiting how much time players can spend on training and practice.
In a statement issued to The Associated Press on Sunday, Michigan athletic director Bill Martin said the school believes it has followed "both the letter and intent of the NCAA rules" but will still investigate. Martin says the school has reached out to the Big 10 and the NCAA.
LANSING, MI – A mid-Michigan coalition of labor, faith and civil-rights leaders is getting behind comprehensive federal immigration reform.
Organizers of the Michigan coalition of Reform Immigration for America say an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants is the centerpiece of its agenda. Chris Michaelakis is with the United Food and Commercial Workers of Michigan:
DAYTON, OH – The Dayton Dragons handed the Lansing Lugnuts an 8-2 defeat on Sunday night at Fifth Third Field. The teams play the finale of their four-game series tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field.
LANSING, MI – House Speaker Andy Dillon has released a draft bill outlining his plan to save money by putting all public employees into a single insurance pool. The top Democrat in the state House says he expects hearings to begin on the plan next week.
LANSING, MI – A state lawmaker says Michigan could bring in a lot of revenue if it re-taps closed gas and oil wells.
Representative Mike Simpson says the state could work with oil companies that pump CO-2 into reserves to draw out the remaining fuel. One site he'd like to see tapped is beneath Pigeon River in the northern Lower Peninsula.
LANSING, MI – A bill approved this week by the state Senate would require Michigan boaters to clean their boats before putting them in the state's waterways.
AUDIO: The bill would threaten boat owners with a fine if they launch watercrafts with aquatic plants or animals attached. Lawmakers say the point of the legislation is to curb the threat of invasive species in Michigan's lakes and streams.
LANSING, MI – A 13-member board appointed mostly by the governor would play a key role in developing a statewide health care coverage plan for public employees pitched by the top Democrat in the Michigan Legislature.
House Speaker Andy Dillon introduced a draft version of a key part of his proposal Friday. It could be introduced and assigned to a special legislative committee as early as next week.
Dillon says up to $900 million a year could be saved with the plan.
EAST LANSING, MI – Author Steve Lopez will be in East Lansing Sunday and Monday to talk about his book "The Soloist". The book is the selected title for this year's "One Book, One Community" program, with East Lansing residents encouraged to join incoming Michigan State University freshmen in reading and discussion.
LANSING, MI – The state Senate has rejected Governor Granholm's plan to disband the Department of History, Arts and Libraries. The governor's plan would divvy the functions of the department among other state departments. She says it could save the state as much as $2 million.
But Senate Republicans say Michigan's historical perspective would be in jeopardy if museums such as the Michigan Historical Center were handed over to the Department of Natural Resources. State Senator Cameron Brown.
MASON, MI – The Ingham County Board of Commissioners is accepting applications until September 9 to fill a vacancy on the Board. Commissioner Marc Thomas from East Lansing has resigned because he's moving out of his district.
Board Chair Debbie De Leon says the Democratic caucus, which makes up the majority, will recommend an applicant for appointment.
"We will have an interview process with our Democratic caucus and the appointment will be made on September 22nd at our next Board meeting," she said.
LANSING, MI – Budget negotiations are stepping up with the start of the state's new fiscal year now less than six weeks away. Governor Granholm says she still believes a shutdown can be averted. But there are a lot of details and disagreements to be settled first.
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm says the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy will be remembered as a voice for the under-privileged. She says he knew how to forge deals with those who disagreed with him.
"He came from a family of privilege, but he used that position in a way to be the megaphone for children, and for the elderly, and for people with disabilities," she says. "It's a huge loss in the Senate. It's not just a huge loss for Massachusetts. It's a huge loss for the nation."
EAST LANSING, MI – The health of retail businesses in Michigan continues to be weak but is slowly gaining strength.
AUDIO: The Michigan Retailers Association says July was the best month for state retailers in a year. Overall, businesses with sales declines still outnumber those with increasing sales. But for the third straight month, the gap has narrowed.
James Hallan is the association's President and CEO.
WIXOM, MI – Ford plans to sell its vacant Wixom plant to manufacturers of solar panel and batteries. Legislative committees in Lansing heard testimony Wednesday from Wixom officials and representatives from the companies.
AUDIO: The green-technology manufacturers need the Legislature to create tax credits in order to receive federal funding as well to set up shop in Wixom. Those refundable tax credits would not be reflected in the budget until 2012.
MASON, MI – Ingham County Commissioners have voted against putting a county-wide millage proposal on the ballot. The millage would have guaranteed funding for the sheriff's department for the next five years.
AUDIO: The millage would have offset cuts to the sheriff's department and provided funding for road patrols in rural townships that don't have their own police department.
Last night, the proposal was rejected by a vote of 10 to 6.
SOUTHFIELD, MI – A Michigan judge is being sued by a woman who says she was forced to remove her Muslim headscarf in his courtroom.
Melanie Elturk, an attorney for the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, says the federal lawsuit against Wayne County Circuit Judge William Callahan will be filed Wednesday. The Michigan CAIR chapter is joining in the suit.