WGVU Top Story
Obese people risk paying higher insurance premiums
January 31, 2013 | WGVU “We are not doing well at all, diabetes rates are too high, obesity rates are too high and it can only change by people who are listening saying to themselves, hey, I have got to get rid of this chronic condition that I can do that by exercising and getting a better diet." Department
of Community Health Director Jim Haveman weighing in on the issue of obesity
and looming higher insurance premiums for those who don’t try to overcome their
battle of the bulge. The U.S. health care reform law of 2010 includes a provision
that allows employers to charge obese workers 30 to 50 percent more for health
insurance if they fail to participate in a qualified wellness program. Haveman
says almost two-thirds of Michigan adults have problems keeping their weight
down and more than 30 percent are obese. “Do you know there are thousands of people who quit smoking each year, there's thousands that go on diets to lose weight but as a general population we are still too enamored by the advertising we see, by the fast food.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows obesity rates among adults in
13 states could rise by more than 60% by 2030. The consequences of obesity
putting a strain dollar wise on the health care system are tangible. Blue Cross
Blue Shield of Michigan now covers about 40 percent of the state’s population. Companies
with more than 50 employees will have to provide insurance that meet federal requirements
and make it mandatory for obese workers to enroll in a health loss or wellness
program. Obese employees who don’t comply will pay higher insurance premiums while
companies will pay a penalty. Ron Palmer, CEO of Grand Valley’s Health Plan, is
in favor of the new law.
“I think it's a great idea - I think it's very important that this get addressed because we are finding out more about obesity being linked to sedentary lifestyles that are really problematic in terms of your health.”
discriminate based on pre-existing conditions or gender - a problem with some
insurance providers that view obesity as pre-existing condition. As far as
discrimination against obese people, smokers pay up to 50 percent more for
individual insurance policies and those who sign up for their employer’s
insurance can avoid tobacco penalties only if they enroll in programs designed to
help them kick the habit. “Well, I think my response is that for the vast majority of those people is that they can put themselves into programs that will help them reduce their obesity. Now there are some people who don't have those opportunities because of genetic conditions but for the vast majority of people really have the ability to control their weight.”
not surprised restaurants with 20 or more locations will have to list calorie
content and other nutritional information or they too will pay a penalty.
Officer contests firing after videotaped beating of motorist
Inkster, MI April 17, 2015 | WGVU A white police officer who was fired following the videotaped beating a black motorist during a suburban Detroit traffic stop says his firing wasn't based on the facts.
Michigan State Police hosting seminar to recruit women
Lansing MI April 17, 2015 | WGVU The Michigan State Police is holding a seminar for women in an effort to increase its number of female recruits.
Michigan's Capitol dome getting overhaul amid $6.4M project
Lansing MI April 17, 2015 | WGVU Michigan's Capitol dome in Lansing is getting an overhaul as part of a $6.4 million project.
Conviction stands for man who found cop's gun in restroom
Kalkaska, MI April 17, 2015 | WGVU The Michigan appeals court has affirmed the conviction of a northern Michigan man who kept a state trooper's gun that was found in a grocery store restroom.
Public's help sought to list Michigan reptiles, amphibians
Lansing MI April 17, 2015 | WGVU Wildlife experts are putting together Michigan's first statewide inventory of reptiles and amphibians and want the public's help.
ArtPrize whale sculpture to leave Bay County this summer
Bay City MI April 17, 2015 | WGVU A 1,000-pound whale sculpture created for the 2014 ArtPrize competition will stay in Bay County for the next few months before heading north.
Police arrest 8 affirmative action protesters at U-M regents
Ann Arbor MI April 17, 2015 | WGVU Police have arrested eight people during a protest at a University of Michigan Board of Regents meeting over the level of minority enrollment.
State Online Testing Started This Week:The Verdict?
Grand Rapids MI April 17, 2015 | WGVU Michigan schools kicked off new, online standardized testing this week. State officials say so far, no widespread failures or network outages have been reported. We talked with a local schools superintendent and found out the new test is not without its challenges.
Michigan House votes to eliminate February elections
LANSING, Mich. April 17, 2015 | WGVU Michigan would no longer hold elections in February under legislation moving forward in Lansing.
Auto suppliers speak against Dieseltec post
April 17, 2015 | WGVU At least two companies have distanced themselves from Grandville-based Dieseltec after the repair shop's comments against homosexuality ignited on social media.
Holland councilman makes bid for mayor
April 17, 2015 | WGVU A longtime Holland City Council member has announced his campaign for Mayor.
GRPD: 64 tickets at Michigan/Fuller intersection
April 17, 2015 | WGVU Grand Rapids police issued 64 traffic tickets this past week near Michigan Street Northeast and Fuller Avenue.
Bill would create GPS pilot to track state government cars
LANSING, Mich. April 17, 2015 | AP A bill advancing in Michigan's Legislature would create a GPS pilot program to track state government vehicles.
AG seeks reveal of prisoner names in prison sex abuse suit
LANSING, Mich. April 17, 2015 | AP Michigan's attorney general is arguing that the names should be revealed of three male prison inmates who say in lawsuits against the state Corrections department that they were sexually assaulted.
Gov. Snyder orders flags lowered for former state Rep. Nitz
LANSING, Mich. April 17, 2015 | AP Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered U.S. flags within the capitol complex to be flown at half-staff in remembrance of former Rep. Neal Nitz. He was 61.
Lawmaker proposes state registry of homeschooled children
LANSING, Mich. April 17, 2015 | AP Michigan legislation is planned to create a registry of homeschooled children following the deaths of two Detroit children found in a freezer.
National Guard training exercise starts this weekend
GRAYLING, Mich. April 17, 2015 | AP A Michigan National Guard training exercise takes place starting this weekend at Camp Grayling, Rockport State Recreation Area and in Mackinaw City.
Governor Snyder says he’s glad to see action on no-fault
April 17, 2015 | MPRN Governor Rick Snyder says he was surprised this week when the state Senate adopted an overhaul of Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance law. The governor says he was pleased to see action on the issue.
Frederik Meijer preview: Japanese garden, sculptures and music
April 16, 2015 | WGVU The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park celebrates its 20th season this year, with the addition of a new eight-acre Japanese garden, sculptures and multiple musical acts.
Bill would let Michigan have risk-based bridge inspections
Lansing MI April 16, 2015 | WGVU The Michigan Legislature is preparing to consider legislation responding to a recent audit that found some state bridge inspections weren't always completed on time or thoroughly.
Zombies, Spartans battle in campus game
East Lansing MI April 16, 2015 | WGVU Michigan State University students are competing this week in a zombie apocalypse version of tag.
Statewide tornado drill taking place across Michigan
Lansing MI April 16, 2015 | WGVU Michigan residents are participating in a statewide tornado drill.
Spring turkey hunt licenses still available in Michigan
Lansing MI April 16, 2015 | WGVU State officials say licenses are still available to hunt wild turkeys in Michigan this spring.
Boy found in basement after search could testify in hearing
Detroit, MI April 16, 2015 | WGVU More testimony is expected at a hearing in the case of a Detroit father and stepmother accused of torture and abuse after the man's son was found in their basement following an 11-day search by police.
Grandville shop's pro-gun, anti-gay message traversing social media
April 16, 2015 | WGVU A West Michigan auto repair owner faces backlash - and support - after making his negative stance on same-sex relationships clear on social media this week.
Severe Weather Awareness: Are You Ready?
Grand Rapids MI April 16, 2015 | WGVU This week is severe weather awareness week and Kent County officials want you to be ready. And while “this week” calls attention to being prepared, the potential for severe weather in West Michigan is just beginning.
Auto shop owner stands by controversial social media post
April 16, 2015 | WGVU A West Michigan auto repair owner’s statement on a business social media account against same-sex relationships gains traction, and threats, online.
Michigan Senate OKs STEM endorsement on high school diplomas
LANSING, Mich. April 16, 2015 | AP High school students could be awarded a special endorsement on their diploma if they earn enough credits in science, technology, engineering and math under bills advancing in the Michigan Legislature.
Report: Specialty courts are keeping people out of trouble
DETROIT April 16, 2015 | AP Judges are praising the results of Michigan's specialty courts, which have given thousands of people, especially veterans, a chance to turn their lives around.
Senate adopts no-fault overhaul
LANSING, Mich April 16, 2015 | MPRN Republicans in the Michigan Senate have taken an early step toward overhauling Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system.
Snyder orders flags flown at half-staff in Lincoln's honor
Lansing MI April 15, 2015 | WGVU Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is calling for U.S. flags displayed on state property to be flown at half-staff Wednesday in remembrance of former President Abraham Lincoln.
Agency awards $1.5M in grants to 10 Michigan organizations
Lansing MI April 15, 2015 | WGVU The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded more than $1.5 million in federal grants to 10 Michigan organizations dedicated to helping residents with housing needs.
DeZwaan Windmill celebrates golden anniversary in Holland
Holland MI April 15, 2015 | WGVU A celebration is taking place this weekend for a 200-year-old Dutch windmill that has been in Holland for 50 years.
Bill seeks insurance coverage of hearing aids for children
Lansing MI April 15, 2015 | WGVU A lawmaker and Miss Michigan are teaming up to back legislation requiring health insurers to cover hearing aids for those 21 and younger.
Officials approve $1.5M Grand River grant application
April 15, 2015 | WGVU A $1.5 million grant may help return the rapids to the Grand River.
Pennock Healthcare System merges with Spectrum Health
April 15, 2015 | WGVU Hastings’ Pennock Healthcare System is merging with Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health. Beginning May 1st the deal will be official when the hospital’s name is officially changed to Spectrum Health Pennock.
State’s jobless rate drops to 5.6 percent
April 15, 2015 | MPRN Michigan’s jobless rate has dropped to five-point-six percent, bringing it very close to the national average.
Eastern Michigan University set to host teacher job fair
Ypsilanti MI April 14, 2015 | WGVU Eastern Michigan University is getting ready to host a major annual job fair for teachers.
Hearing to resume in case of Detroit boy found in basement
Detroit, MI April 14, 2015 | WGVU A judge plans to hear more testimony in the case of a Detroit couple accused of torturing a boy through physical abuse, rigorous workouts and limited meals.
Officials encourage steps to prevent spread of oak wilt
Lansing MI April 14, 2015 | WGVU Officials are urging Michigan residents to take steps to prevent the spread of oak wilt.
Lynne Cheney to speak at event commemorating Betty Ford
Grand Rapids MI April 14, 2015 | WGVU Lynne Cheney is scheduled to speak at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation's commemoration of the 97th anniversary of Betty Ford's birth.
Woman wounded in accidental shooting after target practice
Pennfield Twp., MI April 14, 2015 | WGVU Authorities say a woman was critically wounded after being accidentally shot by a 13-year-old boy after they were target shooting near Battle Creek.
Renowned Spoken Word Poet Visits Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids MI April 14, 2015 | WGVU A renowned poet and spoken word artist is in Grand Rapids tonight.
As part of the Aquinas College Contemporary Writers Series, Sarah Kay will be speaking. Kay has traveled the globe with her poetry and now uses it as a literacy tool.
Dick, Lynne Cheney share memories of Betty Ford
April 14, 2015 | WGVU Former Vice President and Second Lady Dick and Dr. Lynne Cheney shared memories of the Ford family in a visit to Grand Rapids honoring what would've been Betty Ford's 97th birthday.
City of Holland Mayor won't seek re-election
April 14, 2015 | WGVU Holland Mayor, Kurt Dykstra, announced Tuesday that he will not seek a fourth term in office.
Officials encourage steps to prevent spread of oak wilt
LANSING, Mich. April 14, 2015 | AP Officials are urging Michigan residents to take steps to prevent the spread of oak wilt.
Statewide tornado drill planned for Thursday in Michigan
LANSING, Mich. April 14, 2015 | AP State police and emergency management officials are asking Michigan residents to participate in a statewide tornado drill this week.Statewide tornado drill planned for Thursday in Michigan.Statewide tornado drill planned for Thursday in Michigan.
Stabenow, Peters oppose Canadian nuke waste disposal plan
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. April 14, 2015 | AP U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters of Michigan have introduced a resolution urging the Obama administration to fight a Canadian plan to bury nuclear waste underground less than a mile from Lake Huron.
Snyder marks merger of Michigan's social services agencies
LANSING, Mich. April 14, 2015 | AP Gov. Rick Snyder says combining two of Michigan's largest agencies will help focus on improving outcomes for recipients of government assistance.
New emergency managers named for 2 Michigan school districts
LANSING, Mich. April 14, 2015 | AP Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed new emergency managers for school districts in Highland Park and Muskegon Heights.
Vehicle, trailer fire forces closure of Ambassador Bridge
DETROIT April 14, 2015 | AP Authorities say a vehicle fire has shut down traffic on the bridge that connects Detroit with the Canadian city of Windsor.
Settlement upholds academic dishonesty against GVSU students
ALLENDALE, Mich. April 14, 2015 | AP Findings of academic dishonesty are being upheld against two former Grand Valley State University students as part of a lawsuit settlement.
Anti-fracking campaign expects to launch next month
April 14, 2015 | MPRN Opponents of the drilling method known as “fracking” plan to launch a petition drive next month. This will be the group’s third attempt to outlaw fracking.
Authorities: Michigan traffic deaths less than 900 in 2014
Lansing MI April 13, 2015 | WGVU Authorities say Michigan traffic deaths totaled less than 900 last year for the first time since 2011.
Michigan arts group awarding $128K to 53 organizations
Lansing MI April 13, 2015 | WGVU The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs is awarding nearly $128,000 in grants to 53 groups working on arts and culture projects in Michigan.
Efforts take place to bring more visitors to state Capitol
Lansing MI April 13, 2015 | WGVU Efforts are taking place in Lansing to bring more visitors to the state Capitol building and the Michigan Library & Historical Museum.
Michigan schools starting new online standardized testing
Lansing MI April 13, 2015 | WGVU Michigan schools are starting new online standardized testing this week.
2 brothers scheduled to stand trial in 1989 Michigan slaying
White Cloud, MI April 13, 2015 | WGVU Two western Michigan brothers are scheduled to stand trial in the slaying of an 18-year-old woman in 1989.
Vacant factory destroyed in overnight fire in Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids MI April 13, 2015 | WGVU Authorities are investigating after an overnight fire destroyed a vacant factory on the northeast side of Grand Rapids.
AAA Michigan: Gas prices fall 10 cents in past week to $2.31
Dearborn, MI April 13, 2015 | WGVU AAA Michigan reports statewide gas prices have decreased by about 10 cents a gallon within the past week.
Officials could remove Grand Rapids skateboard ban
April 13, 2015 | WGVU A ban on skateboards in downtown Grand Rapids could be repealed.
State criticized in latest report on child welfare reforms
DETROIT April 13, 2015 | WGVU A judge says the state of Michigan still has "serious problems" in collecting statistics that are crucial to improving foster care, child welfare and other programs for kids.
Coast Guard video shows copter using rotors to free boaters
PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. April 13, 2015 | WGVU The U.S. Coast Guard has released a video of a helicopter crew using the wind from the rotor blades to clear a path through the ice for two men who got stuck in Lake Michigan while fishing.
U.S. Attorney talks faith's role in communities
April 13, 2015 | WGVU The U.S. Attorney for West Michigan speaks in Holland on Tuesday afternoon.
School districts say energy overhaul could cost them millions
April 13, 2015 | MPRN A state law allows some Michigan businesses, school districts, and households to shop for their electric company instead of relying on their region’s utility. That policy was the center of a hearing Monday as lawmakers debate overhauling the state’s energy policies.