Cheyna Roth

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   One year. That’s how long the former dean of Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine was sentenced to spend in jail. 

William Strampel was sentenced Wednesday for two misdemeanors and one felony. He was convicted of a felony for using his position as dean to try to get sexual favors from female students.

During sentencing, Strampel’s attorney argued that Strampel has multiple women on his side – and his good characteristics should not be ignored.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A new bill in the state Legislature would ban the manufacturing and sale of personal care products with microbeads. 

The small plastic beads are already banned in some products at the federal level.

Democratic Representative Laurie Pohutsky says it’s important for Michigan’s waterways that microbeads are kept out. That’s because when they’re in products and washed down the drain they can get into lakes and rivers.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state lawmaker says Michigan needs to improve the pay of direct care workers across the state. 

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Cheyna Roth says those are people who provide in home healthcare for the sick, disabled, and elderly.

Democratic Senator Jeff Irwin proposed an amendment to the state Senate’s version of the budget a couple months ago. It would, in total, set aside enough money to ensure that all direct care workers are paid $15 an hour.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan now has a cybercrime support and recovery hotline. Kent County residents can dial 211 if they are the victim of cybercrime and be connected to resources to help them figure out the next steps.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way and Cybercrime Support Network launched the new hotline Tuesday. It’s the first in Michigan, but more could be on the way. The plan is to expand the program to about a dozen other counties by the end of next year.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A former Detroit superstar will now have a portion of the freeway named in her honor. The Aretha Franklin Memorial Highway will run along a section of the M-10 freeway, between Livernois and I-94 in Detroit. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the law Monday. Franklin died last August at age 76. The bill signing happened on a pink Cadillac in downtown Detroit. Whitmer called Franklin an “American icon” and said her musical contributions helped shape the state.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on whether it was legal for the state Legislature to adopt citizen-led ballot initiatives last year, then quickly change them. 

State Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud argued against the “adopt and amend” move. She said the Legislature thwarted the will of the people who signed the initiatives.

“This would create a permanent escape route for the Legislature, for the people to never get their voice through initiative power.”

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Lawyers from the state Attorney General’s Office will be in front of the Michigan Supreme Court Wednesday. The twist? They’ll be arguing both sides of the same issue. 

The Attorney General’s office says this move is part of its dual role. The office represents both the people of Michigan as well as the state.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined 20 other attorneys general from across the US to ask a court to force the federal government to keep children safe in immigration detention centers. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Supreme Court is unsure if it can weigh in on the method used to change Michigan’s minimum wage and earned sick time laws, and it wants Attorney General Dana Nessel to weigh in. 

Last year the state Legislature adopted two ballot measures. The measures increased the state’s minimum wage and required certain employers offer paid earned sick time.

The Republican-led Legislature quickly made major changes to those measures in the same Legislative session. That brought up the question of whether that “adopt and amend” move was okay.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Supreme Court says the Legislature should look into a state statute that may conflict with the legal age of sexual consent.

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Cheyna Roth says the conflict involves the age of consent. The overarching criminal statute says the age of consent in Michigan is 16, but a separate statute criminalizing child sexually abusive activity and child sexually abusive material prohibits certain sexual acts involving a minor. It defines minor as a person under 18 years old.