MARQUETTE, MI--   The vice chair of the Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees has resigned. 

Thomas Zurbuchen says he can’t complete his eight-year term because he’s been named associate administrator for NASA Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C.  His resignation is effective immediately.  Zurbuchen assumed his new duties on Monday. 

Zurbuchen oversees NASA's programs in astrophysics, planetary science, earth science and heliophysics.

Cheyna Roth

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   While most of the rallies these days are focused on presidential candidates, a different kind of rally took place Wednesday on the State Capitol lawn. Parents, lawmakers and advocates gathered to raise awareness for the needs of special education students. 

A recent package of bills banning the use of restraint and seclusion in classrooms except in cases of an emergency is making its way through the legislature. This legislation came from a recommendation by the Special Education Reform Task Force. Lt. Governor Brain Calley is the chair of the taskforce.   

MARQUETTE, MI--   Fraternity members from Michigan Tech and Lake Superior State University are pushing bathtubs for charity this weekend.

Tau Kappa Epsilon chapters from both schools are leaving Marquette early Saturday morning in a race to see who gets back to their respective city first.  The Tech brothers will push the customized tub about 100 miles, while the LSSU brothers have around 170 miles to travel. 

Tech is raising money through pledges for the Copper Country Humane Society, and Lake State is taking pledges to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  

MARQUETTE, MI--   A Michigan State University basketball player who played on several championship teams is in the U.P. to talk about bullying. 

Anthony Ianni was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 4 and was the victim of bullying as a child. He went to MSU and under coach Tom Izzo became the first known individual with autism to play Division I basketball.  Ianni was a member of the 2010 and 2012 Big Ten Champion and Tournament Championship teams, and the 2010 Final Four team.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI (AP)--   Lake Superior State University is studying whether to charge the same tuition rate to all students.

U.S. students now pay $5,412 per semester for 12 to 17 credits. The Sault Ste. Marie school might extend it to students from any country as a possible way to boost enrollment.

LSSU trustees have asked campus administrators to write a report on the financial impact.

Lake Superior State has more than 2,100 undergraduates with 88 percent coming from Michigan.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan's education board is set to vote on guidance to schools on creating an inclusive environment for LGBT students.  

The guidelines are voluntary but have spurred criticism from conservative lawmakers, particularly over restroom and bathroom policies for transgender students.

The State Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the guidance Wednesday, after receiving more than 13,000 public comments.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Northern Michigan University Center for Native American Studies has been awarded nearly $300,000 by the National Science Foundation for a program to enhance the Native 

American presence in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math—or STEM. 

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan's public universities collectively have the sixth-highest in-state tuition rates in the country, averaging $11,991, according to a new report. 

The study issued Tuesday by the Michigan League for Public Policy — a Lansing-based advocacy group for the poor — links rising tuition and student debt to decreased state higher education funding and state financial aid.

It says Michigan has cut university funding by more than $262 million since 2003, a 30 percent drop after adjusting for inflation.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan students improved in slightly more than half of the grades and subjects tested on newer, more rigorous standardized assessments, but their proficiency declined in other areas.

M-STEP results released Tuesday show that fewer than half of the students were proficient in 17 of 18 subject-grade tests.

State officials say there's work to be done, but they're pleased testing times dropped and results are being released four months earlier than last year — the first time the M-STEP was given.

EAST LANSING, MI--   Two Upper Peninsula tribal colleges are recipients of funding from a U.S. Department of Agriculture program. 

Bay Mills Community College and Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College are both getting $143,000. KBOCC will use the money to make campus improvements, while Bay Mills will purchase early learning and business equipment.