News

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   This week lawmakers in Lansing plan to move legislation aimed at improving the state’s sexual assault laws. 

It comes after weeks of discussion on more than 30 bills.

The bills would do things like require sexual assault and dating violence be taught during sex education in high school and increase penalties for people that are required to report suspected child abuse, but don’t.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A question to boost Michigan’s minimum wage to 12 dollars an hour could be headed to the November ballot. 

The campaign to raise Michigan’s minimum wage says it’s gathered enough petition signatures to force the Legislature to vote on the question, or it goes to voters in November. The initiative would also eliminate the lower minimum wage for restaurant servers and others who work for tips.

Tracy Pease is a server who says women who work for tips are more likely to face sexual harassment on the job.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A bill in the state House would block insurance companies from increasing car insurance premiums on drivers who have made claims for damage caused by Michigan’s failing roads. 

Lawmakers behind the bill say the state’s roads have been underfunded and poorly maintained, and residents shouldn’t be punished for driving on them.

Democratic State Representative John Chirkun is the bill’s sponsor. He says he’s heard from constituents who have needed thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs because of the state’s roads.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The following statement was released Monday night by Scott Balko, Operating Room RN and President of the UPHS Marquette Staff Council/MNA: 

“On May 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, nurses will meet with Duke LifePoint managers in a last-ditch effort to reach a tentative contract agreement. After more than a year of negotiations, including three outstanding unfair labor practice charges, we are disappointed that administrators still seem unprepared to make specific proposals at the bargaining table. 

IRON MOUNTAIN, MI--   Bellin Health has terminated an asset purchase agreement for Dickinson County Healthcare System. 

When the hospitals signed the original letter of intent in December the purchase price was expected to be between $40 million and $50 million. DCHS officials say although they took steps to reduce expenses and implement cost-saving measures, the hospital suffered significant unpredicted losses. Those losses drove up the asset purchase price.

ESCANABA, MI--   Two “Super Scoopers” practiced drops at the Delta County Airport Tuesday. 

The Canadair CL-415 is designed and built as a water bomber for aerial firefighting. It can scoop up to 1,600 gallons of water from a nearby source and drop it on a fire. There are only four such aircraft in the U.S.

Due to spring wildfire season the Forest Service has the tankers, a helicopter, and an air attack plane stationed at the airport. At 9 a.m. the tankers conducted proficiency tests, which included scooping water from Lake Michigan and dropping it at the airport.

Matthew Conboy one of three 'creatives' in town as part of the Marquette Creative Residency-A Home for Creatives on the Superior Coast, spoke with Hans Ahlstrom about the residency and his project- Start with Art, which provides an original piec of art to newborns.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Environmental groups want Governor Rick Snyder to say “no” to legislation on his desk.  

They’re concerned about bills that would change some oversight requirements for state mines.

Sean Hammond is with the Michigan Environmental Council. He says they’re especially worried about a bill that would let mines amend their permits without a public hearing. Instead, the mine would just have to give written notification to the Department of Environmental Quality. Hammond says the mines need to be accountable to the public.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A group opposed to legalizing marijuana in Michigan is now asking the Legislature to adopt an initiative to do just that, saying it’s pretty much a sure thing at this point. 

Opponents actually want lawmakers to approve the measure because if they do, changes can be made to the law with simple majorities. But if voters adopt it, amendments will require super-majorities.

Mark Fisk with the opposition campaign says changes are needed.              

WELLS TOWNSHIP, MI--   Authorities continue to investigate a fire that destroyed a motel in Wells Township. 

Escanaba Public Safety was called Friday afternoon to the 6300 block of North 11th Street and found the multi-unit motel fully engulfed.

Officers and members of the Escanaba Township Fire Department were on the scene for two hours, battling the blaze. They were initially hindered by a downed, live power line, but utility workers were able to disconnect the power.

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