Monday State News Summary
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 05:28:16 EST
About 100 people were evacuated from their homes along the Buck Creek in Wyoming
because of flooding. WOOD TV reports the head of Kent County emergency
management, Jack Stewart, says the flooding in metro Grand Rapids is almost as bad
as in 2013. The Grand River crested in Grand Rapids Sunday at 20-point-67 feet,
according to the National Weather Service. Flood stage is 18 feet. Stewart says they'll
be focusing on damage assessment over the next few days.
The Kent County Health Department has issued a no contact advisory for the Grand
River because of possible contamination.
In Berrien County, officials are working to evaluate the aftermath of widespread
flooding. One shelter remains open at Berrien Springs Middle School. Citizens and
business owners are encouraged to report personal property damage.

The body of a man was found in Kalamazoo floodwaters on Sunday. The Department
of Public Safety says someone saw the body near a viaduct for trains to cross the
Kalamazoo River. They say the man's car was found under water in the area. No word
yet on how the man died.

In Livonia -- the boil water advisory has been lifted. City officials making the
announcement Sunday -- after telling residents to boil their water due to a water main
break last Thursday.

A former state lawmaker is being remembered as a quirky and unfiltered character.
Burton Leland, who also served as a Wayne County Commissioner, has passed away
at the age of 69. Leland was first elected to the state house in 1980, later serving on
the state senate. He was elected to the Wayne County Commission in 2006. Leland
was the father of Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland.

Several sex assault survivors will join lawmakers today in pushing for new legislation
designed to combat sexual assault. Senator Margaret O'Brien of Portage will be
announcing a legislation package that calls for increased protections for survivors
under the law including a mandate that college coaches report sex assaults to Child
Protective Services and an increase in the statute of limitations for civil cases tied to
sex assaults. Among the survivors who are supporting the legislation is Rachel
Denhollander, who was the first victim of former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar to
speak up. Former Olympic gymnast Jordyn Wieber is also expected at the news
conference slated for 4 o'clock this (MON) afternoon.

A group of state lawmakers has introduced legislation to amend the Michigan
constitution and form a unicameral legislature. The proposal calls for lawmakers to be
elected to two-year terms in 110 districts throughout the state. Candidates would have
no party affiliation. Representative Phil Phelps of Flushing says people are often
frustrated and confused by the back and forth nature of the current system and a
unicameral legislature would eliminate delays in resolving issues. The legislation has
been sent to the House Committee on Government Relations for consideration.
Currently, Nebraska is the only state to have a unicameral legislature.

A new State of the State survey from Michigan State University shows residents were
more upbeat about the economy than about their politicians. The survey conducted by
the MSU Institute for Public Policy and Social Research shows 60-percent of those
polled were optimistic about their current household finances and predicted they'd be
better off a year from now. 58-percent called their finances excellent or good, while 46-
percent said they were better off economically than a year ago. Despite the positive
attitudes about the economy, less than 30-percent of those surveyed had a positive
rating of President Donald Trump and Governor Snyder. Governor Snyder's favorable
ratings dropped after the Flint water crisis. President Trump's favorable rating were
lower than President Clinton and President Obama, but higher than President George
W. Bush's last two years in office. The survey involved nearly one-thousand people.

A new "No Bag" policy begins today at Ionia Middle School. The principal of the school
outlined the new policy to parents following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida
earlier this month. The policy says students must place backpacks and other bags and
purses in their lockers in the morning and leave them until the end of the school day.
Administrators say they decided on the new policy as a result of an examination of
safety procedures following the Florida shooting in which 17 people were killed.

Executives from nine Michigan companies are in Mexico this week looking to bring new
business to the state. Among the companies represented on the trade mission are
Extol Incorporated from Zeeland, Challenger Communications in Albion and National
Filters in Harbor Beach. Executives will be involved in business-to-business meetings
with prospective partners in Mexico City and Monterrey. The trip is part of the
International Trade Program at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The
program has led to more than two billion dollars in sales and more than 95-hundred
jobs in the six years it has been in place.

Lottery fever is growing in Michigan. Jackpots for the Mega Millions and Powerball
games have grown to a total of 515-million dollars. Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot is
222 million dollars. The Powerball for Wednesday's drawing is worth 293 million.

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