A roundup of news from around the state, provided by our partners at Capital News Service. Follow the links for the full stories.
Lawmakers seek to ease restrictions on historic districts: Some state lawmakers are seeking to give people living in Historic Districts a bigger say on regulations that determine what they can do to their homes. There are 78 historic districts in Michigan including in Cadillac, Grand Rapids, Holland, Manistee, Three Rivers and Traverse City.
Michigan prepares for Syrian refugees: Michigan nonprofit organizations are preparing for an influx of Syrian refugees after the U.S. Senate declined to approve a bill to bar them from the country. That includes holding meetings with refugees and community members to dispell misconceptions. About 11 Michigan cities and counties are working on their resettlement, including Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo County, Detroit and Clinton County.
Inmates sentenced to life in prison as juveniles get chance at new sentence parole: About 350 Michigan inmates serving life sentences for crimes committed as juveniles could get a chance at parole under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The recent ruling came too late for one inmate convicted in 1988 of killing a Cheboygan man and who killed himself when he thought parole impossible, according to a longtime friend.
Lawmakers seek permanent ban on funding Planned Parenthood: Some state lawmakers are trying to transform last year’s ban on state funding for abortion providers into a state law permanently preventing it.
Policies, social realities may be behind water, air disasters: Flint’s water crisis and Detroit’s air quality problems both represent environmental challenges faced by low-income urban communities with large minority populations, some experts say. We hear from the Sierra Club, an MSU engineering professor and Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice.
Dogowners can sue for emotional distress, judge rules: A federal judge has cleared the way for the owners of a dog shot by a Corrections Department investigator to collect emotional distress, mental anguish and punitive damages from the state if they win at a jury trial scheduled to begin Feb. 16. The investigator went to the wrong house in Flint in search of a fugitive when he shot Clohe, a 15-year-old pit bull mix in the face. She lost part of her tongue and tooth and underwent three operations.