Cheyna Roth

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A jury is expected to begin deliberations Tuesday in the trial of former Michigan State University Dean William Strampel, who is accused of two felonies and two misdemeanors. 

Strampel was the dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at MSU. Prosecutors say he used his position as dean to try to get sexual favors from female students. They also say Strampel did not properly oversee Larry Nassar after an internal investigation. Nassar is the former MSU sports doctor who sexually assaulted his patients for years.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state department in charge of Michigan’s prisons is not happy with a proposed spending plan in the state Legislature. 

A spending plan for the Michigan Department of Corrections passed out of a state House committee last week. It would redirect millions of dollars that previous budgets had allocated for certain projects – like prison maintenance – to other priorities.

Chris Gautz is a spokesman for the department. He says this could cause funding problems within the department.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order to, in part, create a new Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission. 

This comes after tens of thousands of Michigan residents were falsely accused of unemployment insurance fraud due to a computer error.

Whitmer says the old system was not efficient. It combined workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance appeals.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Some Republicans in the state Senate have introduced bills that would drastically limit when a woman can get an abortion.

The bills would prevent an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. That’s usually at around six to eight weeks of gestation. There would be an exception where the life of the mother is at stake.

Republican Senator Ed McBroom is a bill sponsor. He says he’s been thinking about tying heartbeats to abortion for a long time.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republicans in the state Legislature are taking on Attorney General Dana Nessel over a law she says is unconstitutional. 

Lawmakers announced Wednesday that they’ve filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for not implementing a 2018 ballot petition law. The law adds additional requirements for collections of signatures to get a measure on the ballot.

Republican Representative Jim Lower sponsored the original bill that became law. He says there’s a lot of ambiguity over how much weight the AG’s opinion really has.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Soon minors in Michigan will no longer be able to use e-cigarettes. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bills Tuesday that effectively ban vaping for minors.

In a statement, Whitmer said she signed the bills with “significant reservations.”

That’s because the new laws would not put e-cigarettes under the umbrella of Michigan’s tobacco control laws. Instead the laws create new categories for e-cigarettes and products.

Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Opening statements and first witnesses were called Thursday in the criminal trial of the former dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University. 

Michigan Public Radio Network’s Cheyna Roth was in the courtroom for the case of People versus William Strampel.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A jury has been selected in the criminal trial of William Strampel. He’s the former dean of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University. 

Opening statements in the case will begin Thursday.

Attorneys took the morning and into part of the afternoon on Wednesday to pick the people who will decide if William Strampel is guilty or not of the charges against him.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (MPRN)--   State Representative Larry Inman (R-Grand Traverse County) was in federal court Tuesday for an arraignment on multiple criminal charges.

Chris Cooke, Inman’s attorney, told the federal magistrate that his client is not guilty of the three crimes he’s charged with. The charges include attempted extortion – which carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison. He’s also charged with soliciting a bribe and lying to the FBI.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The future of a ballot-signature law passed last year is unclear. 

Wednesday Attorney General Dana Nessel said that parts of the law that add requirements to the ballot signature process are unconstitutional. Now Republican lawmakers - and others - are working on their next steps.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey says he’s waiting to see if Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson actually follows through on the order before deciding what to do.

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