11/26/15: Attracting Business to Michigan / Governor Snyder & DPS / WSU Growth

Thursday, on a special Thanksgiving edition of MiWeek:

  • We hear from a CEO and an economic development expert on what Michigan needs to do to attract more businesses to the state
  • An interview with Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson
  • Governor Snyder defends and explains his plan for Detroit Public Schools
  • A look at Michigan’s role in the upcoming Presidential primaries.

Watch it Now >

11/19/15: Governor Bans Syrian Refugees / Flint Water Fallout

Host Christy McDonald and contributors Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson discuss the issues making news across the state.

  • Governor Bans Syrian Refugees – In light of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, Governor Snyder has suspended the acceptance of Syrian refugees into Michigan, citing safety concerns. The MiWeek team debates the Governor’s stance and talks about the attack’s impact on security in the United States, as well as on the presidential race.
  • Flint Water Fallout – There’s more fallout from the Flint water situation. Residents have filed suit, the head of the city’s Public Works resigned, and doctors’ offices are flooded with parents worried about their children’s lead levels. The MiWeek team looks at these latest developments.
  • Stephen’s Childhood Home Project – MiWeek contributor Stephen Henderson is embarking on a project to renovate his abandoned childhood home in Detroit and make it a home for a literary professor at Marygrove College. The MiWeek team talks about the impact of his project in the neighborhood.

Watch the full episode:

11/12/15: Michigan Business Climate / Business Tax Reform & University Funding / Property Tax Collection / Straight Ticket Voting

In case you missed it, host Christy McDonald and weekly contributors Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson were on the road at the Business Leaders for Michigan CEO Summit. Where do we stand when it comes to attracting business and investment to Michigan? Will we ever become a top 10 state? The MiWeek team tackled this and more on the latest edition:

  • Michigan’s Business Climate – Business Leaders for Michigan President & CEO Doug Rothwell joins the MiWeek team on the set to talk about Michigan’s current business climate. They discuss what it will take to make Michigan a top ten state for jobs and personal income.
  • Business Tax Reform & University Funding – The MiWeek team continued the discussion of growing Michigan’s economy. They talk about the areas that will impact the growth, including business tax reform and state funding for universities.
  • Property Tax Collection – A new report shows Detroit still has a high property tax delinquency rate compared to other major cities. The MiWeek team discussed the property tax system and whether Detroit properties are being over-assessed.
  • Straight ticket Voting – Now that the long-awaited roads funding deal in done, state lawmakers are going at it on another topic: Straight Ticket Voting. Should the automatic check box for voting a straight party ticket be taken off state ballots? The MiWeek team looked at this latest Lansing debate.

Watch the full episode here:

11/5/15: Roads Funding Deal / Courser & Gamrat / Southfield Mayor / GOP Infighting

Tonight on MiWeek, host Christy McDonald talks with Nolan Finley and guest contributor Nancy Kaffer about the stories making news across the state and country.

  • Roads Funding Deal – Lansing lawmakers finally reach a deal on how to fund road and bridge repairs. Is it a good or bad deal for Michigan drivers? How will the new bill really impact road fixes?
  • Courser & Gamrat – Voters overwhelmingly say no to disgraced Republican lawmakers Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat after they tried to win their seats back. What’s ahead for this couple?
  • Southfield Mayor – After a campaign marred by homophobic and racial attacks, Southfield has a new mayor, Ken Siver.
  • GOP Infighting – The last GOP debate seems to have set off a storm of controversy among Republican Presidential candidates. The MiWeek team analyzes the fighting going in within the party.

Watch it now:

10/29/15: Transportation in Michigan / Lansing Round-Up / Headlines

Tonight the MiWeek team takes a closer look at the stories making news across the state:

  • Transportation in Michigan – Christy takes an in-depth look at transportation in Detroit and the region in a special video report. Plus, what’s the future of mass transit in the city and state?
  • Lansing Round-Up – There’s a lot going on in Lansing and it all involves money. From roads funding to bailing out Detroit Public Schools, the MiWeek team looks at the priorities and issues facing state legislators.
  • Headlines – Christy, Nolan, and Stephen discuss the headline(s) that captured their attention this week.

Watch the full episode here:

10/22/15: Governor Snyder Shares Detroit Public Schools Plan

Tonight on MiWeek, Governor Rick Snyder joins the MiWeek team to discuss his new education proposal that he outlined Monday, which includes creating a new Detroit School District devoted solely to teaching the 47,000 students while the current district will exist to address the mounting debt situation.

Host Christy McDonald and contributors Stephen Henderson and Ingrid Jacques will ask Governor Snyder candid questions about his new proposal, its potential impact on Detroit students and what all this means to the existing school district.

Watch the full episode here:

You can also catch us at 7:30 p.m. on WTVS – Detroit Public Television.


Gov. Snyder Delivers Detroit Schools Update Monday – Watch Live

Monday, October 19, 10:15am ET

Gov. Rick Snyder will provide an update at a media roundtable regarding details and next steps on a Detroit education plan.


10/15/15: Roads Impasse / Democratic Debate / Great Lakes Microbeads / The Big Game

Tonight, the MiWeek team takes a look at the issues making headlines across the state:

  • Roads Impasse – Despite a pledge by lawmakers to get a roads funding deal passed quickly, the negotiations have stalled. The MiWeeek team discusses about the sticking point and whether it can be resolved.
  • Democratic Debate – The Democratic candidates for president have their first televised debate. The MiWeek team debates who came out on top.
  • Great Lakes Microbeads – The state is debating whether to ban personal care products that contain microbeads, because of the severe threat they pose to the Great Lakes.
  • The Big Game – Everyone will be talking about the Big Game this weekend in Ann Arbor – and the Lions’ losing streak. The MiWeek team gets in on the conversation.

Watch the preview here:

For the full discussion, join us tonight at 7:30 on WTVS – Detroit Public Television.

10/8/15: Gun Debate / Mayor Duggan & DPS / Flint Water Follow-Up

Tonight, the MiWeek team takes a look at the stories making news across the state and nation:

  • Mayor Duggan and Detroit Public Schools – Mayor Duggan doesn’t want to run DPS, but he has a stake in improving the school system so that he can repopulate neighborhoods with families. The MiWeek team talks about the Mayor’s school reform plan.
  • Flint Water Follow-Up – In wake of the elevated lead levels in Flint water, the state is distributing water filters and conducting water tests. The MiWeek team examines whether the Governor’s action plan goes far enough.
  • Gun Debate – As the debate over gun control intensifies in light of the mass shooting on an Oregon college campus, Michigan’s open carry law is coming under scrutiny. The MiWeek team debates whether guns should be carried openly in Michigan schools.


Watch the full episode here:

Gov. Rick Snyder: Move back to Detroit water provides best protection for public health in Flint

FLINT, Mich. – Flint families and children will be better protected by reconnecting with the Great Lakes Water Authority as the source of the city’s drinking water until the Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline is completed, Gov. Rick Snyder said.

Snyder said Thursday that he will request the state Legislature to provide half, or $6 million, of the $12 million needed to reconnect with the authority through next summer, when the KWA is expected to be completed. The Flint city government will provide $2 million and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has committed $4 million.

“All Flint residents need clean, safe drinking water,” Snyder said. “The technical experts helping the city on its water advisory all agree this move back to the Great Lakes Water Authority provides the best public health protection for children and families. This effort today is the result of people coming together to solve a problem. I appreciate Detroit’s willingness to reconnect with Flint, the Mott Foundation’s generous commitment, and the dedication of all parties to come together to protect Flint families and children.”

Flint city leaders requested the state’s help to fund the reconnection and to assist with health and infrastructure issues. Flint’s move to the Great Lakes Water Authority is expected to cost about $1.3 million per month until the Karegnondi Water Authority is completed next summer.

“It’s heartening to know so many people are working at so many levels to bring safe, clean water back to Flint,” Mott Foundation President Ridgway White said. “We believe this transitional solution is the right and necessary thing to do, and we’re glad we could help the state and the city make it happen.”

The move to Detroit water, which is expected to carry, carries many public health benefits. As large bodies of water, the Great Lakes are naturally prone to fewer problems from large rain events and other runoff issues that can sometimes be present in shallower rivers. Additionally, the Great Lakes Water Authority water already has additional corrosion control, using phosphates to help coat the insides of pipes and limit lead from leaching into the water.

However, reconnecting with the authority will not completely resolve the city’s problem with lead service lines or aging infrastructure. It will take time for pipes in Flint to become coated with the phosphate corrosion control. Additionally, some households in the city could experience lead in their drinking water until all lead pipes and plumbing are replaced.

“Reconnecting to Detroit is the fastest way to deliver clean, safe water to Flint and stabilize the infrastructure system,” Flint Mayor Dayne Walling said. “I appreciate the state, the Mott Foundation, Detroit, and the county’s participation in a solution for Flint’s water problems. The health and safety of Flint’s families, children and seniors is my top priority, and reconnecting to Detroit is a major step that the city could not take alone given budget constraints.”

To best protect public health, Snyder said state and local authorities will continue to carry out steps outlined on Oct. 2 in a comprehensive action plan, including continued testing, the use of faucet filters and providing residents with accurate information about steps to eliminate lead exposure. The Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services today also committed an additional $3.5 million for water filters, free lead testing through the state laboratory for Flint water customers, and hiring additional staff to conduct health exposure monitoring for lead in drinking water.

Free filters are available for current MDHHS clients at the 125 E. Union St. or 4809 Clio Road MDHHS office locations. For residents who are not currently enrolled in MDHHS assistance programs, free filters are available at the Genesee County Community Action Resource Department offices at 2727 Lippincott and 601 North Saginaw in Flint. Staff will be at all four locations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, to distribute filters and assist residents who have questions about proper installation. At the Lippincott location only, extended hours will be offered this weekend, including until 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Other good practices for residents concerned about lead include turning on the cold water tap and running the water until it’s as cold as it will go. Additionally, only use cold water for cooking, drinking and especially mixing baby formula.

School test results released; more investigation planned

The state today also released the first results from its lead screening program in schools and homes. Of 37 total samples taken at 13 buildings, four samples spread over three buildings exceeded the federal action level of 15 parts per billion.

However, this sampling provides only an initial screen, and the state is committing to further testing water and inspecting plumbing at these schools. Until testing is complete, schools are advised to continue using bottled water and filtration as a precaution to protect children.

In addition, free testing is still available for any other Flint school, including daycares and Head Starts. Free testing is also available for any Flint resident.

Additional information, including more detailed lead screening results, is available at www.michigan.gov/flintwater.