Michigan Public Radio Network

Still no report on Straits anchor strike

May 3, 2019

INTERLOCHEN, MI (MPRN)--   Last August Enbridge Energy said it would release information to the public on an anchor strike to the Line 5 oil pipelines. 

But now, over eight months later, Enbridge hasn’t released it.

The Line 5 oil pipelines were struck by an anchor last April. At a hearing in Traverse City last August Enbridge’s Vice President committed to releasing all information the company had on it.

That has not yet happened.

The company said in a statement that it’s waiting for the U.S. Coast Guard to finish its investigation on the strike.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state Senate committee approved a budget provision to financially penalize communities with sanctuary city policies. 

The committee passed a corrections budget Wednesday. It added language to the budget that would withhold jail dollars for communities that enact or enforce policies that prevents law enforcement from cooperating with federal officials on immigration matters. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republican lawmakers have filed an appeal to the United State Supreme Court in a lawsuit that accuses them of unconstitutional gerrymandering. 

Last week a federal court said that the Legislature and governor must agree on new political district lines for Congressional and state elections by August.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (SHUR’-key) says he’s in the initial stages of carrying out the order.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan students may not get any additional snow days forgiven this year.

The state Senate unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would have forgiven four state declared emergency snow days. But after that vote, several Democrats voted to not give the bill immediate effect. It’s a procedural move which renders the bill useless because it would not take effect until well after the school year has ended.

INTERLOCHEN, MI (MPRN)--   A ban on deer baiting could spread to the Upper Peninsula for the 2019 hunting season. 

For the first time a deer tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in the U.P. last year, and that has prompted the recommendation. The deer was found in southern Dickinson County.

Chad Stewart is the deer specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He says the ban would not be across the entire U.P.

“We’re proposing just a small area sort of focused around that index case that we identified last year,” he says.

Bryan Mitchell / Special to Detroit News

MT. PLEASANT, MI (MPRN)--   Forecasts say the Great Lakes will see above-average water levels this year, continuing a trend that began in 2013.

The forecast says water levels throughout the Great Lakes are currently more than a foot above average.

Sabrina Jauernik is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gaylord. She says this year the high levels are a combination of more rainfall, and ice cover has prevented evaporation during the winter.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Action on the state’s budget is expected to pick up this week. 

The state Senate Appropriations committee will consider and possibly vote on multiple budgets – including for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Those budgets moving through the Senate include large cuts to what Governor Gretchen Whitmer recommended in her proposed budget. Including to the state Attorney General’s budget.


INTERLOCHEN, MI (MPRN)--   Judges say Michigan’s 1st Congressional District was gerrymandered and needs to be redrawn.

It stretches over most of northern Michigan and the entire Upper Peninsula.

Last November Republican U.S. Congressman Jack Bergman won re-election.

He got 56 percent of the vote in the district. Bergman declined to comment on the court’s decision, saying it’s pending litigation.

In their decision, judges said parts of Bay, Arenac and Iosco Counties were removed from the 1st and added to other districts. Those counties lean Democrat.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Some lawmakers in Lansing want to start a task force to curb the state’s lead exposure problem. 

Democratic Senator Adam Hollier is working on the legislation. He says one thing the task force would do is look at existing programs and see which ones can be broadened to include different types of help for things like lead paint removal.

But he says the ultimate goal is to put more money toward fixing the state’s lead problem.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republicans in the Legislature will challenge a federal court decision that struck down Michigan’s congressional and legislative district lines. 

The court says Republicans went too far in drawing districts to the benefit of Republican candidates.

The decision says the Legislature has until August to come up with new, fairer district lines.

The lines were approved by a Republican House, a Republican Senate, and a Republican governor. GOP leaders say, yes, they were in control, but they followed the rules.