Michigan Public Radio Network

Carp DNA found closer to Lake Michigan

May 21, 2019

ANN ARBOR, MI (MPRN)--   There's another warning sign that invasive Asian carp could be getting closer to Lake Michigan. 

Environmental DNA of two species of Asian carp has been found in Lake Calumet, near Lake Michigan.

Molly Flanagan is with the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

She says environmental DNA comes from things like fish scales, but not necessarily the actual fish.

Twitter battle continues between Amash and Trump

May 21, 2019

DETROIT, MI (MPRN)--   A war of Tweets continues between President Trump and a Michigan Congressman who accuses the President of committing impeachable offenses. 

Michigan Republican Justin Amash is the first GOP member of Congress to publicly accuse Trump of obstructing justice.

Over the weekend Amash tweeted that Attorney General Barr deliberately misled the public about the Mueller report and that the President had engaged in impeachable conduct.


LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   An international trade war could reduce how much money Michigan has to spend on roads, schools, and health care.

That’s the word from economists who testified Friday before a state budget panel.

The panel’s job is to determine how much revenue is available as the governor and the Legislature put together the state budget. The picture is stable at the moment as the economy hums and employment is high. 

But the panel has warned a trade war between the US and China could disrupt the economy.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state Legislature’s GOP leaders say they will delay sending bills to Governor Gretchen Whitmer to change Michigan’s auto insurance system.

Whitmer says she’d veto the plans.

Republicans were poised to send the bills to Whitmer’s desk despite her vow to reject them, but GOP leaders say they’re still hopeful a deal can be reached that’s acceptable to all sides.

Whitmer says she’s willing to bargain with Republicans on a plan to reduce auto insurance premiums. But she says reducing coverage is not the answer.

Jan-Michael Stump / Traverse City Record-Eagle/AP

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   State Representative Larry Inman says he will not resign his seat as he faces federal charges of soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for votes by fellow lawmakers.

Inman is a Republican from Willamsburg just outside Traverse City.

He is accused of soliciting campaign donations in a failed effort to get money for Republicans who agreed to vote against repealing Michigan’s prevailing wage laws. Inman is also accused of lying to the FBI.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   House Speaker Lee Chatfield says he has asked state Representative Larry Inman to resign. 

Inman—a Republican from Traverse City—was indicted this week on federal charges, including attempted extortion and soliciting a bribe.

Chatfield says Inman’s actions are not what the people of Michigan deserve.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republicans in the state Legislature have set the stage for a showdown with Governor Gretchen Whitmer over bills to outlaw an abortion procedure. 

Republican called votes in the House and the Senate on bills to ban the dilation-and-evacuation procedure.

Democrats, including state Representative Mari Manoogian, voted “no.”

“Decisions about women’s health care should be made by women and their physicians, not politicians.”

Enbridge releases Line 5 images

May 15, 2019

INTERLOCHEN, MI (MPRN)--   Newly released video and photos show damage to the Line 5 oil pipelines in the straits of Mackinac.

The damage was from an anchor strike last year.

The photos and videos show gashes and scrapes along both pipelines. Enbridge says they found three dents from the anchor strike—the longest more than 23 inches.

Enbridge spokesman Ryan Duffy wouldn’t talk on tape but said the damage has “all been repaired at this point."

They say the anchor strike is being investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard and is considered to be “confidential.”

OSCEOLA TOWNSHIP, MI (MPRN)--   Federal scientists are in Osceola County to monitor water levels affected by water withdrawals from Nestle Water North America—a move environmental groups say should have happened months ago. 

The U.S. Geological Survey has begun monitoring water levels at Nestle’s wells in Osceola Township. Nestle says they requested that the USGS come in to understand long-term water availability and environmental uses.

Some environmental groups say Nestle should have made the request long ago.

ANN ARBOR, MI (MPRN)--   Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Barcena is on a campaign swing of sorts through Michigan this week. 

Barcena is rounding up support for ratification of the USMCA. That’s a newly renegotiated version of NAFTA.

Barcena says she’s trying to convince members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation that Mexico’s government is serious about major labor reforms. She says those reforms will open the door for truly democratic unions in the country.