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Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Secretary of State announces initiatives to help veterans

Caroline MacGregor
February 6, 2013 | WGVU   Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and state veterans advocates have announced initiatives aimed at helping more than 650-thousand veterans living in Michigan. WGVU’s Caroline MacGregor has more.

One of the proposals on the table to help returning military personnel and veterans who live in the state is a designation on their driver’s license or ID to link them with needed services.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says it’s time to do more to help those who have put their lives on the line to protect this country’s freedoms. Her office is partnering with the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and other organizations to make sure veterans know what resources are available to them.

The changes will be written into law, including one Johnson says will allow recently returned military veterans with large truck driving experience to skip the skills test portion of Michigan’s commercial driver license application process.

"When they come home, statistically there's a large percentage who are not able to find jobs right away so if you look at the CDO license, rather than them having to pay the money, which is expensive for them to go through school and they already, then why not let them get right into the job market - they already have the experience to be able to do the job safely."

Another initiative announced today calls for the creation of a new fundraising license plate. The department will work with the DMVA and service organizations to develop a design and determine which programs would receive revenue from sales of the plate.

In his recent State of the State address, Governor Rick Snyder revealed Michigan does a poor job of taking care of its veterans who rank last per capita when it comes to receiving federal dollars for veterans’ benefits. An executive order the governor signed becomes effective March 20th.   It essentially establishes the Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency within the DMVA to serve as a centralized, coordinating unit in state government to connect veterans to services and benefits.
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More WGVU News
Candidates enter West Michigan political races
  April 23, 2014  |  WGVU  The Tuesday deadline for Democratic and Republican candidates to file signatures to run for most state offices has come and gone. Two local candidates are entering West Michigan races.   
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Gilda's Club Grand Rapids attracting crowds and growing revenue
  April 23, 2014  |  WGVU  After four years Millions of laughs and now more than $1 million dollars have been raised by LaughFest supporting programs at Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids.   
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MAREC holds "crowdfunding" investment conference
  April 23, 2014  |  WGVU  During a conference at Grand Valley’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon, businesses and nonprofit organizations learned about "crowdfunding" - an investment strategy for entrepreneurs. WGVU’s Caroline MacGregor reports.    
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Michigan murderer who escaped scheduled for court
ionia MI  April 23, 2014  |  AP   A convicted murderer who escaped from a Michigan prison in February is scheduled for arraignment on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges   
Crews remove, destroy unexploded military shell
Battle Creek MI  April 23, 2014  |  AP  Bomb disposal crews responded to a Battle Creek home after a scrap business operator obtained an unexploded military shell.   
Snyder confirms Lincoln Park financial emergency
Lincoln Park MI  April 23, 2014  |  AP  - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has confirmed his earlier determination that a financial emergency exists in the Detroit suburb of Lincoln Park, giving the City Council seven days to pick a way out of the crisis.   
GM restructuring engineering in response to recall
Detroit MI  April 23, 2014  |  AP  General Motors is adding 35 product safety investigators as part of a larger restructuring in response to a series of safety recalls.    
Utility says it's committed to plant site reuse
  April 23, 2014  |  AP  Officials with Consumers Energy said they're committed to helping find a new use for the site of a coal-fired power plant in western Michigan that's scheduled to close in two years.   
Michigan to designate veterans on driver's license
  April 23, 2014  |  AP  Michigan will let its 680,000 military veterans get a special designation on their driver's licenses starting May 1.   
Michigan murderer arraigned in prison escape
  April 23, 2014  |  AP  A convicted murderer who broke out of a western Michigan prison in February has been arraigned on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges.   
Gov. Snyder and Senate leader not embracing Bolger’s union demands
  April 23, 2014  |  MPRN  State House Speaker Jase Bolger is the only Republican leader in Lansing demanding that unions contribute to Detroit’s bankruptcy settlement.   
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Earth Week effort uses four legged plant eaters to uproot invasives
Ottawa County MI  April 22, 2014  |  WGVU  On this Earth Day, there’s a special effort beginning in Ottawa County to deal with invasive species at the local level. As WGVU’s David Moore reports, the way they’re hoping to control two particular plants may surprise you.   
Muskegon Heights 2 million in debt since Mosaica took over
  April 22, 2014  |  WGVU  The Muskegon Heights Charter School District is scrambling to balance its budget in the wake of 2 million dollars in additional debt since a charter operator took over in 2012. WGVU’s Caroline MacGregor reports.   
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Music artists can register now for ArtPrize
  April 22, 2014  |  WGVU  St. Cecilia Music Center will continue its role as the Official ArtPrize Music Hub in 2014 - awarding prize money to musical entries with five different genre prizes. WGVU’s Caroline MacGregor has more.    
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Service centers to open to help after flooding
Evart MI  April 22, 2014  |  AP  State emergency officials say two service centers will open this week in Newaygo and Osceola counties to provide information and resources to residents affected by flooding.    
Raffle winner to visit top of Mackinac Bridge
Mackinaw City MI  April 22, 2014  |  AP  The Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association is sponsoring a fund-raising raffle with a rare prize: a climb to the top of the Mackinac Bridge.   
Coast Guard finishes lower Great Lakes icebreaking
Detroit MI  April 22, 2014  |  AP  The U.S. Coast Guard says it has wrapped up more than four months of icebreaking to open shipping lanes on the lower Great Lakes.   
Saginaw postpones anti-discrimination measure vote
Saginaw MI  April 22, 2014  |  AP  City Council in Saginaw has indefinitely postponed consideration of a proposed ordinance to guarantee city residents and visitors equal treatment in employment and public accommodations, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.    
New service animals area opening at Detroit Metro
Romulus MI  April 22, 2014  |  AP  Officials are set to show off a new spot at Detroit Metropolitan Airport where passengers can take their service animals.   
High court decides Michigan affirmative action issue
Washington DC  April 22, 2014  |  AP  The Supreme Court has upheld Michigan's ban on using race as a factor in college admissions.   
Judge rules for newspaper in mug shot dispute case
Detroit MI  April 22, 2014  |  AP  A judge says the federal government must turn over mug shots of criminal defendants to the Detroit Free Press.   
Michigan elections take shape at filing deadline
Lansing MI  April 22, 2014  |  AP   Leading candidates for top-of-the-ticket offices in Michigan such as governor and an open U.S. Senate seat are expected to face little or no opposition in the August primary.   
Experts tapped to help judge in Detroit bankruptcy
Detroit MI  April 22, 2014  |  AP   A judge overseeing Detroit's bankruptcy has selected experts from Boston and New York to advise him on the city's plan to get out of Chapter 9.   
91-year-old World War II veteran gets honor
Rochester Hills MI  April 22, 2014  |  AP   A 91-year-old World War II veteran in suburban Detroit has received a long-overdue honor.   
Backers, opponents of Michigan ban react to ruling
Detroit MI  April 22, 2014  |  AP   A woman who successfully sued the University of Michigan over racial preferences says the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold a state ban on using race in university admissions is a "great victory" for voters and the state.   
Police investigate report of West Michigan brawl involving 100
Muskegon MI  April 22, 2014  |  AP   Police say they're investigating following a report of a weekend brawl in Muskegon that may have involved about 100 people.   
Board sets room rates, names band facility
East Lansing MI  April 22, 2014  |  AP  The Board of Trustees at Michigan State University has voted to raise room-and-board rates for its dorms by 3.95 percent next academic year.    
Schuette praises high court ruling on admissions
  April 22, 2014  |  AP  Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is praising the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold the state's ban on using race in university admissions.   
SCOTUS upholds Michigan affirmative action amendment
  April 22, 2014  |  MPRN  The US Supreme Court has upheld Michigan’s ban on race- and gender-based affirmative action that was approved by voters eight years ago.   
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EAA debate heats up in Lansing, final vote possible this week
  April 22, 2014  |  MPRN  Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville hopes to hold a final vote this week on a bill to expand the state’s Education Achievement Authority. There’s still plenty of opposition to the legislation in Lansing.   
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Former VP Dick Cheney in Grand Rapids to talk about heart disease
  April 21, 2014  |  WGVU  Former Vice President Dick Cheney was in town Monday for a roundtable discussion with his cardiologist and other physicians before talking to the Economic Club of Grand Rapids. WGVU’s Caroline MacGregor reports.    
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Former reserve police officer arrested in connection with girl's murder
  April 21, 2014  |  WGVU  Police have arrested a former reserve police officer in connection with the murder of an 11-year-old Michigan girl. WGVU’s Caroline MacGregor reports.    
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Governor Snyder says improved transportation infrastructure "would create more jobs"
  April 21, 2014  |  WGVU  Michigan Governor Rick Snyder visited the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce Monday. He talked about job creation and expanding skilled trade training in the state. The governor explaining the state must continue to grow a business-friendly environment that includes a globally competitive workforce. The formula also includes improved infrastructure.   
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Michigan man to be sentenced in 1987 double-murder
Grand Haven MI  April 21, 2014  |  AP   A 51-year-old western Michigan man is expected to be sentenced to life in prison for the slayings of his sister and her husband in 1987 at their Holland-area home.    
Cheney to visit Grand Rapids, talk heart problems
Grand Rapids MI  April 21, 2014  |  AP   Former Vice President Dick Cheney plans to visit Grand Rapids with his cardiologist to discuss Cheney's history of heart problems.    
Beer honoring slain officer to benefit foundation
Kalamazoo MI  April 21, 2014  |  AP   A beer made in honor of a slain Kalamazoo police officer will benefit the foundation that bears his name.   
Hearing to decide if 4 face trial in mob attack
Detroit MI  April 21, 2014  |  AP   Four males ages 17 to 30 are returning to court for a hearing on whether they should stand trial for the severe beating of a suburban man who accidentally struck a 10-year-old with his pickup truck on Detroit's east side.   
1 of 4 waives key hearing in Detroit mob attack
Detroit MI  April 21, 2014  |  AP  A 17-year-old charged with attempted murder in the beating of a Detroit-area motorist has waived his right to a probable cause hearing and will move his case directly to trial court.   
Secretary of State Johnson starts re-election bid
Waterford Twp MI  April 21, 2014  |  AP  Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is formally launching her campaign for a second four-year term.   
Ash borer invasion costs park hundreds of trees
Cheyboygan MI  April 21, 2014  |  AP   State officials say they've removed about 400 dead ash trees from Aloha State Park in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula because of an infestation by emerald ash borer.   
Walk to Lansing protests exclusion of students
Detroit MI  April 21, 2014  |  AP  A group including students and teachers is marching from Detroit to Lansing to protest what they say is the harmful and unnecessary suspension or expulsion of school children for often-minor offenses.    
Charter school operator says its owed $2 million
  April 21, 2014  |  AP  The charter operator of the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System says the district owes it more than $2 million.    
School districts get leeway in making up snow days
  April 21, 2014  |  AP  Michigan is giving school districts more flexibility in making up for snow days this academic year.   
Michigan man sentenced in 1987 double-murder
  April 21, 2014  |  AP  A 51-year-old western Michigan man has been sentenced to life in prison for the slayings of his sister and her husband in 1987 at their Holland-area home.   
Peters files nominating petitions for U.S. Senate
  April 21, 2014  |  MPRN  By Rick Pluta Congressman Gary Peters has filed petition signatures to put his name on the ballot. Peters is a Democrat running to succeed retiring US Senator Carl Levin. Peters’ support for the federal healthcare law has been an issue in the campaign. Peters says that’s OK with him.   
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Ruth Johnson announces reelection bid for Secretary of State
  April 21, 2014  |  MPRN  By Jake Neher Ruth Johnson will seek another term as Michigan’s Secretary of State.   
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Billboard boosts effort to catch serial soiler
Ypsilanti MI  April 18, 2014  |  WGVU  A billboard along Interstate 94 is part of an effort to help catch a person who has been defecating on lides at an Ypsilanti playground over the last six months.    
Local team promotes national sexual assault awareness campaign
  April 18, 2014  |  WGVU  Someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes in the United States. Seven out of ten sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows, including a partner. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and as part of national campaign, a local effort is underway to fight this often silent epidemic. WGVU’s Caroline MacGregor reports.    
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WGVU-TV's West Michigan Week: Grand Rapids Juvenile Offense Index
  April 18, 2014  |  WGVU  Juvenile crime in Grand Rapids over the past seven years has declined 44-percent. WGVU-TV’s “West Michigan Week” takes a closer look at who’s committing the crimes and how the report aids in forming public policy.   
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Parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula get fresh snow
Ironwood MI  April 18, 2014  |  AP   Parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula got more than a foot of snow during spring storms this week, breaking at least one daily snowfall record.    
Lawmaker who mistakenly took tax break makes it up
Detroit MI  April 18, 2014  |  AP  A Michigan lawmaker who says she and her husband mistakenly took a property tax break on a rental property they own in suburban Detroit has paid $4,550 to Wayne County and a nonprofit to make up for the error.    
Battle Creek police review use-of-force policies
Battle Creek MI  April 18, 2014  |  AP   Battle Creek police plan to review their use-of-force policies following an arrest that led to a $31,000 settlement.    
Grant money increases for Michigan specialty crops
Washington DC  April 18, 2014  |  AP   Michigan could receive nearly $2 million in federal block grants for specialty crops as a result of the U.S. farm bill.    
University of Michigan moves on construction work
Ann Arbor MI  April 18, 2014  |  AP  The University of Michigan is moving forward with plans for a $135 million addition to its business school and other construction projects.   
Judge agrees to prevent removal of charity bins
Ypsilanti Twp MI  April 18, 2014  |  AP   A judge has agreed for now to prevent a Michigan township from forcing the removal of a Maryland-based nonprofit's outdoor clothing donation bins from the area.   
Judge sentences man whose daughter died in raid
Detroit MI  April 18, 2014  |  AP   A Detroit man whose daughter was accidentally killed by police during a raid has been sentenced to 40 to 60 years in prison for second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a teenager.   
Walk to Lansing protests exclusion of students
  April 18, 2014  |  AP  A dozen student "gladiators" are planning to lead a march from Detroit to Lansing to protest what they say is the harmful and unnecessary suspension or expulsion of school children for often-minor offenses.   
Bolger: Unions will have to put up cash to help settle Detroit bankruptcy
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Schauer files 27,000 signatures to get name on ballot
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