Local News Archives

MI Unemployment Rate Up Slightly

Michigan’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.6 percent in September when more people entered the job market. Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives Director Jason Palmer attributed the increase Wednesday to more people seeking jobs. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget reported total employment rose by 11,000 over the month while the number of people unemployed increased by 4,000. It says the total employment gain for the month followed several monthly employment declines in the state during the middle of the year.The higher jobless rate was the first monthly increase for the state this year. The September rate was half a percentage point lower than the same month in 2015 and four-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 5.0 percent.. ...Read Full Story

Michigan Health Chief Is Target In Flint Criminal Probe

A lawyer says Michigan’s top public health official is a target in the criminal investigation of Flint’s water crisis. Nick Lyon, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services, received a letter in early September from investigators indicating he is a focus, his attorney Larry Willey said Tuesday. Eight current or former state employees and one Flint worker have been charged in Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s probe.. ...Read Full Story

State Spending On Private Students Up 51% In 3 Years

A new report says Michigan spent $86 million last academic year to help educate private students in kindergarten through 12th grades, a 51 percent increase from three years before. The figure was reported Tuesday by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan. It’s about $29 million more than was spent in the 2012-13 fiscal year. Michigan has a “shared time” arrangement that provides extra state aid to public schools that enroll nonpublic students in non-core, elective classes. The number of shared time students last year was 11,300, a fraction of
Michigan’s 1.4 million public students. There were 7,700 such students three years ago. Craig Thiel, senior research associate for the Citizens Research Council, says shared time instruction has seen “prodigious” growth at the same time public school enrollment is decreasing.. ...Read Full Story

Romney Addresses SWM Economic Club

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is sticking to his guns on the matter of Donald Trump. Speaking to the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Tuesday, Romney said Trump has “failings of a personal nature” that Romney can’t look past. The current nominee won’t get his vote.. ...Read Full Story

Southwestern Michigan College Receives Positive Audit

Southwestern Michigan College is on strong financial footing. That’s according to the college’s latest audit, which was presented to the board of trustees this week. The report released by Plante and Moran on Monday gives SMC the highest grade that can be awarded by an auditing firm. Board of Trustees Chair Thomas Jerdon says it shows the college has controlled costs, while still being affordable to students. The college has also received an AA bond rating. SMC says the audit was “outstanding.”. ...Read Full Story

Benton Harbor Mayor Urges Calm After Shooting

Community leaders in Benton Harbor are urging everyone to sit back and allow the investigation to be completed into the fatal shooting of a man by the department of public safety Tuesday. It happened in the early morning hours outside a home on Pavone when officers say the man fired shots at them while they were responding to a call. Neighbors have identified the man as 28-year-old Darius Wimberly. At a Tuesday afternoon  press conference, Mayor Marcus Muhammad said everyone should stay calm and not let anger govern their actions.. ...Read Full Story