Local News Archives

Judge Halts State Aid Payment To Private Schools

From the Associated Press — A judge has extended a freeze on $2.5 million in state aid for Michigan private schools. Judge Cynthia Stephens signed an injunction Tuesday after reviewing the possible impact of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. The American Civil Liberties Union and public-school groups are challenging the appropriation to private schools for fire drills, inspections and other state requirements. They say it violates the Michigan Constitution’s ban on aid for private schools. The Supreme Court recently said it was illegal for Missouri to deny a grant for
a church preschool playground. Stephens says the Michigan case is a different matter that’s not focused on religion. She notes the state Constitution prohibits public money for any private school. Dan Korobkin of the ACLU of Michigan says, “Our constitution could not be
clearer.”. ...Read Full Story

SWMI Housing Market Remains Hot For Sellers

It continues to be a red-hot sellers market for existing homes in the area. The Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors reports June sales tied the record set in June 2006 with 388 homes sold, which was up 11% from the same time last year. Inventory was down by 17%, making the jump in the number of homes sold significant. Prices were steady with May, going up just a half-percent for the average selling price compared both to May and June 2016. The average stands at just over $225,000. The association calls the market “robust,” noting there is just a 6.5-month supply of homes on the market. Another record low was set for sales of bank-owned or foreclosed homes as a percentage of all transactions, which has fallen to 5%, breaking May’s record of 6%.. ...Read Full Story

Woman’s E-Mail Sparks Conversation On Workplace Mental Health

A Michigan woman’s story of using her sick days to cope with anxiety recently went viral after an exchange with the company’s chief executive, and one expert is calling it a model for how to talk about mental health in the workplace. Kevin Fischer, with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, tells us the conversation is moving in the right direction, and it could shift the societal understanding of mental illness.. ...Read Full Story

Foxconn Building Plant In Wisconsin

It looks like southwest Michigan won’t be getting a Foxconn plant anytime soon. There had been word the company was considering the region for a new plant to make smartphone displays, with Moody on the Market reporting a Foxconn corporate jet landing at the Southwest Michigan Regional Airport last month. Also, Congressman Fred Upton sent a letter to the Taiwanese company last week extolling the virtues of southwest Michigan and also pointing to tax incentives the state legislature recently approved. Nevertheless, word came Wednesday Foxconn has chosen southeastern Wisconsin to be the site of its new plant. The $10 billion facility is expected to create about 3,000 jobs there. The Trump administration says the plant could eventually lead to thousands of additional jobs in nearby states, including Michigan.. ...Read Full Story

Governor Approves “Good Jobs” Plan

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a package of bills that provide incentives to large companies that create more than 250 jobs in the state. The jobs also have to pay at least the regional average wage. Standing at the site of a former landfill in Oakland County Wednesday, the governor said while the legislation is focused on large companies, he doesn’t want to look past small business.. ...Read Full Story