Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Many fruit and vegetable farms follow strict food safety standards. But the law doesn’t require them to. Right now the government has almost no say in how produce is produced.

That’s set to change, as the nation’s first rules on safer fruit and veggie growing could be approved this fall. The law exempts some very small farms. But the state says it wants to help all interested growers meet the standards.

Bake Sale Bill Goes to Snyder

May 19, 2015
Lcarsdata / Wikipedia

Legislation to allow students to fundraise in school by selling sweets is headed to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk. Student groups have complained new federal guidelines have hindered their ability to hold bake sales.

Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency says it wants to hear from the public on plans to clean PCBs out of the Kalamazoo River. It’s holding a public meeting tonight at 6 at the Kalamazoo Nature Center.


(MPRN-Detroit) Gov. Rick Snyder outlined a public safety agenda on Monday that includes parole and sentencing reforms, job training for inmates, and more help finding a job once they’re released from prison. 

The Battle Creek Public Schools board voted Monday to keep the doors open at LaMora Park, but also decided to shutter Coburn in the face of declining enrollment and an anticipated budget shortfall. But the future of Coburn's building may be brighter than expected: Superintendent Linda Hicks said Community Action has expressed interest in leasing the space once the school is closed to provide Head Start services for local children. (Battle Creek Enquirer)

LANSING — His website essentially has been taken down. His phone number goes straight to voice mail. And embattled state Sen. Virgil Smith isn't expected back to Lansing this week. The Detroit Democrat is facing three felonies and a misdemeanor in connection with a non-fatal shooting involving his ex-wife — specifically, her Mercedes —outside of his Detroit home more than a week ago. (Detroit Free Press)

Walker-based retailer Meijer Inc. and its distribution arm Meijer Distribution Inc. have filed a class-action lawsuit against Indian generic drug manufacturer Ranbaxy Inc. alleging that the company fraudulently worked to keep other firms’ drugs out of the marketplace, driving up costs. (MiBiz)

A portion of the I-94 business loop in Battle Creek will be named for Detective LaVern Brann. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation Monday renaming the highway the Detective LaVern S. Brann Memorial Highway. (Battle Creek Enquirer)

Lansing - Gov. Rick Snyder's administration is open to simultaneously bargaining with most state-worker unions, but the two sides will have to work out disagreements that scrapped the process two years ago. (Lansing State Journal)

Detroit - General Motors Ignition Compensation Fund has approved settlement offers with families of 104 people killed in accidents caused by the company's defective ignition switches, an increase of four from the week before (Detroit Free Press)

The lab's humanoid robot JD
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Chad Edwards started the Communication and Social Robotics Lab at WMU with his wife and colleague Autumn. They have four robots in the lab.

Wikimedia Commons

On WestSouthwest, a partnership to "change the culture" of education in Southwest Michigan and the "Family Man" columnist on being patronized as a "stay at home dad." 


Wikimedia Commons

Writer Jef Otte chronicles his experiences as a stay at home dad for the magazine FYI of Southwest Michigan. In his most recent “Family Man” column, Otte writes about the condescension he feels sometimes from women. Otte calls this experience being “Momdescended.” 

Wikimedia Commons

The Chief Operating Officer of the United Way for the Greater Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region says a public-private partnership is a long-term effort to improve education. Chris Sargent says United4Change will require constant evaluation, making changes to the program and employing best practices. 

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hand down a ruling that may decide whether thousands of Michiganders can afford health insurance. The court could strike down insurance subsidies offered under the federal health care law. 

Citing the recent beating of a black Detroit man by a white Inkster police officer, and simmering tensions in cities such as Ferguson and Baltimore, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters called for a national commission to ease the country's law enforcement woes and help ensure justice. (Detroit Free Press)

Lansing — Smokers and drinkers paid more taxes last year than Michigan companies paid in net business income taxes — a new development that's likely to inflame a raging legislative debate about the fairness of the state's tax code. (Detroit News)

When Rolf Peterson landed on Isle Royale this year for the annual tracking of gray wolves, he flew over the remote island in Lake Superior for hours, day after day — but saw none. Fifteen days passed before Peterson and his research crew spotted three resident wolves on the island, Michigan's only national park. They were the only three spotted this season — down from nine wolves the previous season, and the fewest in a 57-year study. (Detroit News)

About a month after school board members decided to delay a vote on closing elementary schools, Battle Creek Public Schools Superintendent Linda Hicks’ recommendation to shutter LaMora Park and Coburn remains unchanged. The Battle Creek Public Schools board is expected to make a decision Monday on closing elementary schools. (Battle Creek Enquirer)

Heyns Steps Down as State's Prison Director

May 15, 2015

Heyns has served as Michigan Department of Corrections Director for four years. The agency has faced questions over a controversial Aramark food contract and an Ionia prison break. (Detroit News)

Lawmakers: Economic Growth Could Help Fix Roads

May 15, 2015
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

Economists say Michigan has more than a $200 million budget surplus this year. They say revenues will continue to grow in the coming years as the economy improves. Republican state lawmakers say that supports their plan to use projected growth in the state budget to fix Michigan’s roads.

But state Budget Director John Roberts says it’s still too early to tell how much money will be available long-term.

About Half of Michigan's Lost Jobs Have Returned

May 15, 2015

The state lost about 400,000 jobs between 2000 and 2009. (Mlive)

Coal-Fired Ship Has Met Terms of EPA Deal

May 15, 2015

The S.S. Badger travels across Lake Michigan about 450 times in its half-year season. It had been dumping several hundred tons of coal ash into the lake each year. (Detroit Free Press)

Photograph via Adam Fagen (Flickr)

Most people in West Michigan know that when it comes to craft beer, we’re pretty lucky. But on the national level, there’s a dark side to the craft boom. Some see the industry as very much a boys’ club, meaning women in craft brewing  have to deal with female stereotypes and stigmas every day.

Adam Schuitema

Haymaker is a fictional town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula created by Grand Rapids author Adam Schuitema. Haymaker is also the title of Schuitema’s newest book, published in April 2015 by Switchgrass Books. And, haymaker also refers to a forceful blow. All apply to the story.

Steve Snodgrass

Each year, the Stulberg International String Competition  receives applications from hundreds of violinists, violists, cellists and bassists, all age 19 and under. These applications are reviewed and are narrowed down to just 12 finalists, who travel from all corners of the continent to perform not only for prizes, but for the experience and the opportunity to meet other top players of their generation.

Three employees of The Arc of Calhoun County have been placed on administrative leave. A May 6 statement on behalf of the organization’s board of trustees announced Kim Hommerding, executive director; Loretta Fuller, finance director; and program coordinator Chuck Lamson are on administrative leave for “an unknown amount of time.” The reasoning for the move has not been disclosed by the organization or its board of trustees. (Battle Creek Enquirer)

PORTAGE, MI — The man shot and killed by Kalamazoo-area police Thursday was wanted on a warrant and was considered "possibly violent and armed," Michigan State Police Lt. Dale Hinz said. The man was seen holding a "high-capacity, military-type weapon" while he was the passenger in a vehicle being chased by police, Hinz said. (Kalamazoo Gazette)

Drought predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show Michigan could be facing a dry summer. Experts say lower than average precipitation could develop into a moderate drought in August. (WCMU)