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All this week, veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been in Washington D.C. to lobby for legislation aimed at reducing the numbers of veteran suicides.

Flickr - matthileo


After close to 10 years in office, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero enjoyed a first last night:  The chance to submit a city budget plan with a surplus. Despite being slightly in the black for fiscal year 2015, Bernero describes his $18 million spending plan as conservative and cautious.

Gay marriage in Michigan in legal limbo

Mar 24, 2014
Flickr - Kelly Kline

The legal status of same-sex marriage here in Michigan was taken for quite the ride over the weekend. Late Friday afternoon, Federal District Judge Bernard Friedman declared Michigan’s 2004 ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. By Saturday afternoon, the clerks in four Michigan counties – Washtenaw, Muskegon, Oakland and Ingham – issued hundreds of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s request to put the ruling on hold was granted by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. That temporary hold lasts until Wednesday.

Flickr - Adam Cohn

The bill to expand the Education Achievement Authority narrowly passed, 56-54, in the House. It wasn’t looking good, but they made some changes that got enough votes.

GM under scrutiny after botched recall

Mar 20, 2014
Flickr - Matthew Yaktine

General Motors officials continue efforts to navigate the fallout from its delayed recall of 1.6-million vehicles with faulty ignition switches. The flaw, which has been linked to 31 crashes and 12 deaths, has been traced to vehicles made as long ago as 2001.

Flickr - Phillip Taylor PT

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature two services from the Capital Area United Way: the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and their  2-1-1 support line.

From the capitol: wolf hunt, EAA, roads

Mar 14, 2014
Flickr - warriorwoman531

The controversy over wolf hunting continues in Michigan with new developments this week.

Last November and December, hunters killed 23 wolves in three parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. That was a little more than half the number allowed under the state's new wolf hunting rules. The wolf debate didn't end with the hunt, though.

Law enforcement acclimates to pursuing drugged driving

Mar 14, 2014
Flickr - neoporcupine


Drunk driving has been a public safety problem for years across the United States. A similar and growing threat is that of drugged driving. Some new law enforcement programs are targeting people who get behind the wheel under the influence of various drugs, sometimes in combination with alcohol.

    

On February 21, a campus-wide email was sent out by Paulette Granberry Russell, MSU’s Title IX Coordinator and director of its Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. In it, she stated that the university was “collaborating” with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. It was later revealed by local news outlets that MSU was in fact under a federal investigation for its policies and response to sexual assault claims.

Flickr - slightly everything


A deal to renew federal benefits for the country’s long-term unemployed continues to elude the U.S. Congress. However, supporters of the effort, which include Democrats and a growing number of Republicans, are hopeful of a breakthrough in the Senate this week. There, Senators are looking at two proposals, one from each party.

CMU professor from Lansing launches bid for Congress

Mar 7, 2014
Susan Grettenberger for Congress

Another Democrat has announced her candidacy to represent Lansing and East Lansing in Congress.

Susan Grettenberger is the director of Central Michigan University's Social Work Program and an associate professor in the department.  In a news release about her candidacy last week, the Lansing resident discussed "a theme of economic populism and giving voice to everyday Americans."

Breaking down the debate over juvenile lifers

Mar 6, 2014
Photo of prison blocks
Wikimedia Commons

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments today on what should be done with more than 350 prison inmates sentenced to life with no chance of parole as juveniles.  The Michigan case follows a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring life without parole sentences for minors violates the U.S. constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. 

Current State speaks with the Michigan Public Radio Network’s statehouse bureau chief, Rick Pluta.

New Prima Civitas chief seeks to enhance mission

Mar 6, 2014
Courtesy Prima Civitas

Since 2006, East Lansing's Prima Civitas has been a catalyst for economic and community development --initially in mid-Michigan and eventually across the state.  The non-profit brings together business owners, entrepreneurs and Michigan State University resources to spark economic growth.

WKAR/Joe Linstroth

The Michigan Political Leadership Program, or MPLP, is designed to promote diversity and dialogue in how our communities, our state, and our nation are run. It started in 1992 and is administered by the  Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University.

Every year, 24 people from across the state and across the political spectrum are chosen for the 10-month program. They develop skills to help them win elections, address the media and serve their constituents. The latest group has just started the program.

Flickr - Vlad Archic

There’s probably never been a time in history when there wasn’t war and conflict going on somewhere in the world, but amid the Arab Spring and the situation between Russia and Ukraine, right now seems like an especially good time to talk to an expert on international conflict.

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