Tag Archives: Michigan

Man Who Raped and Impregnated 12-Year-Old Now Has Joint Custody of Her Child

By . Published 10-10-2017 by The Anti-Media

Sanilac County, MI — A 27-year-old Michigan man who allegedly raped and impregnated a 12-year-old girl nine years ago has just been granted joint custody of the child, against the mother’s wishes.

The Detroit News reports that Sanilac County Circuit court Judge Gregory S. Ross granted the convicted sexual assailant, Christopher Mirasolo, joint legal custody after a DNA test established he was the father. The story was reportedly first highlighted on “The Steve Gruber Show,” a radio program based out of Lansing, Michigan. Continue reading

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Flint Residents Now Have to Pay for Water They Still Can’t Drink

State government ends program that helped residents of Flint, Michigan with their water bills after widespread lead poisoning was revealed

By Nika Knight, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-1-2017

“It’s been three years, and we still can’t drink the water.” (Photo: Steve Johnson/flickr/cc)

The state of Michigan has declared that Flint’s drinking water “meets all federal water quality standards,” ending a program Wednesday that reimbursed residents for most of their water costs in the wake of the lead crisis.

Yet Flint residents still can’t drink the water, and the announcement was met with outrage.

“They want to make it look like they’ve resolved this thing, that it’s fixed,” Tim Monahan, a carpenter who survived Legionnaires’ disease caused by the poisoned water supply, told the Washington Post. “It’s been three years, and we still can’t drink the water.” Continue reading

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On Verge of Trump Era, Republicans Push New Laws to ‘Chill Protest’ Nationwide

Republican legislators are proposing laws that would criminalize nonviolent protest in North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Washington, and Iowa

By Nika Knight, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-19-2017

Republican lawmakers around the country are pushing legislation that would criminalize and penalize nonviolent protest, apparently anticipating an upswell of civic engagement during the coming Trump administration.

Spencer Woodman reported at The Intercept Thursday on the anti-protest bills proposed in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, and North Dakota.

“Over the past few weeks, Republican legislators across the country have quietly introduced a number of proposals to criminalize and discourage peaceful protest,” Woodman wrote. Continue reading

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As Flint Suffers, Big Pharma Slammed for Lead Poison Drug Price Hike of 2,700%

Drug company Valeant described as ‘poster child for pharmaceutical greed’

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-14-2016

"While kids in Flint are poisoned by lead, Valeant charges $27,000 for the leading treatment," Sanders wrote. (Photo: Partha S. Sahana/flickr/cc)

“While kids in Flint are poisoned by lead, Valeant charges $27,000 for the leading treatment,” Sanders wrote. (Photo: Partha S. Sahana/flickr/cc)

Outrage is growing this week amid revelations that the pharmaceutical company Valeant raised the price for its critical lead-poisoning treatment by more than 2,700 percent in a single year.

Before Valeant took control of the medication, known as Calcium EDTA, in 2013, the average price for a package of vials was stable at $950, the medical news outlet STAT reported. But once the notorious pharmaceutical company bought it out in a multi-billion dollar deal, it swiftly boosted the price to $7,116 in January 2014 and to $26,927 by December of that year. Continue reading

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Snyder’s “Unconscionable” Use of Millions in Taxpayer Money for Criminal Defense Fees Questioned

“I can’t think of a clearer conflict of interest than the governor signing a contract to provide his own personal legal defense … without anybody providing oversight,” attorney said.

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-12=2016

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has been named in numerous lawsuits by Flint residents seeking justice for the lead-tainted water crisis. Image via CommonDreams.org.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has been named in numerous lawsuits by Flint residents seeking justice for the lead-tainted water crisis. Image via CommonDreams.org.

One resident of Flint, Michigan—a city still grappling with a lead-contamination crisis—is asking a grand jury to look into whether Gov. Rick Snyder illegally used $2 million in taxpayer money for his legal fees related to the disaster.

“After what has happened in this city, it’s just a slap in the face,” said 46-year-old Keri Webber, adding that she finds it “unacceptable and unconscionable” for city residents to “pa[y] for the defense of the very man at the center of the whole issue.” Continue reading

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Michigan Proposes Approval for Controversial Mine Near Sacred Tribal Sites

By Brian Bienkowski for Environmental Health News. Published 9-6-2016
Proposed mine site along the Menominee River. (Credit: Brian Bienkowski)

Proposed mine site along the Menominee River. (Credit: Brian Bienkowski)

The State of Michigan on Friday announced its intention to approve, over tribal protests, an open pit mine near burial and other culturally important sites in the Upper Peninsula.

The mine would provide an economic boost to the region and metals such as gold, zinc, copper and silver that fuel our tech- and gadget-driven lifestyle. But would come at the expense of land and water that is central to the existence of the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin. The decision comes as Native Americans across the country are unifying to buck the trend of development on off-reservation land.

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Detroit Schools Shuttered as Lawmakers ‘Illegally’ Withhold Teacher Pay

“Teachers are not volunteers. Why doesn’t the state of Michigan take responsibility for funding the schools?”

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-3-2016

Teachers say the bankruptcy claim is a "scare tactic to get terrible legislation passed through that will give us money now but screw us all over even harder in the long run." (Photo: DFT-Local 231/Twitter)

Teachers say the bankruptcy claim is a “scare tactic to get terrible legislation passed through that will give us money now but screw us all over even harder in the long run.” (Photo: DFT-Local 231/Twitter)

Ninety-four of 97 Detroit Public Schools (DPS) remained shuttered on Tuesday as the ongoing city-wide teacher “sickout” prompted calls for Michigan lawmakers to “stop playing political games and do the right thing for Detroit’s students, educators, and community.”

The Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) announced a second day of action after the city and state lawmakers failed to assure the union that teachers will be paid their full yearly salary.  Continue reading

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Disregarding Privacy, Court Rules Common Cell Surveillance Method is Legal

The court rejected an argument that collecting phone location data without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-14-2016

The panel referred to a 1979 ruling in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that the numbers dialed on a landline are not protected by the Fourth Amendment because the caller willingly gives that data to phone companies. (Photo: Graeme Peterson/flickr/cc)

The panel referred to a 1979 ruling in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that the numbers dialed on a landline are not protected by the Fourth Amendment because the caller willingly gives that data to phone companies. (Photo: Graeme Peterson/flickr/cc)

In a show of “complete disregard” for privacy, a federal appellate court on Wednesday ruled that the warrantless collection of cell phone location data is constitutional.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in United States v. Carpenter that law enforcement can legally request cell site location information (CSLI) without a warrant on the grounds that routing data, which is not as accurate as GPS coordinates, is not protected under the Fourth Amendment.

But as Jennifer Lynch, senior staff attorney with the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote in a blog post responding to the ruling, “The opinion shows a complete disregard for the sensitive and revealing nature of [CSLI] and a misguided response to the differences between the analog technologies addressed in old cases and the data-rich technologies of today.” Continue reading

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Search for Justice Heats Up As Attorneys Weigh Criminal Charges in Flint Crisis

Family of poisoned two-year-old files federal suit against top Michigan officials including Governor Rick Snyder

Written by Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-9-2016.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has been named in numerous lawsuits by Flint residents seeking justice for the lead-tainted water crisis. Image via CommonDreams.org.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has been named in numerous lawsuits by Flint residents seeking justice for the lead-tainted water crisis. Image via CommonDreams.org.

The search for justice for victims of the Flint water crisis is heating up this week after investigators announced that they are weighing criminal charges while a new lawsuit, filed on behalf of a poisoned child, implicates those officials at the very top.

During a press conference in Lansing on Tuesday, attorney Todd Flood, a former Wayne County assistant prosecutor who was tapped by the Michigan attorney general to lead the investigation, said they are considering charges including “gross negligence, involuntary manslaughter, and misconduct in office” against those responsible for the lead-tainted water.

Flood explained that even in the case where someone made an “honest mistake,” that individual could still be charged with breaking civil or criminal laws if they turned a “blind eye” on the problem, rather than work to protect potential victims, the Detroit Free Press reports.

In fact, a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court accuses Michigan’s top officials, including Governor Rick Snyder and former Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley, of “failing to act” despite knowledge of the dangerously high lead levels in the city’s water supply.

Flint resident Luke Waid filed the suit after learning that his two-year-old daughter is one of the thousands of children now suffering from lead poisoning after the city, under the control of the state-appointed emergency manager, switched its water source to the Flint River as a temporary cost-cutting measure.

Waid told the Free Press that his children “don’t have a voice of their own so I have to be their voice. I have to stand behind my children. If I didn’t feel so betrayed, I wouldn’t have brought it this far.” According to the suit, daughter Sophia “has experienced serious physical and emotional issues due to the contaminated water, including skin rashes, digestive problems, infections, excessive crying and irritability and the inability to sleep at night.”

“Even when these officials knew of a lead problem, they failed to act, thus resulting in an epidemic of lead poisoning,” said attorney Brian McKeen, managing partner of McKeen & Associates. This suit marks the first individual case on behalf of Flint residents, though it is one of a number that has been brought against Michigan officials in recent weeks.

Snyder and Earley have repeatedly tried to dodge any accountability for their roles in the crisis. Both have refused to testify before U.S. House officials about the situation.

Michigan attorney general Bill Schuette on Tuesday also called on lawmakers to amend the governor’s exemption from the state’s open-records law and thus force the release of all internal documents related to Flint water.

Michigan is one of just two states with a blanket exemption for the governor’s office to the Freedom of Information Act. Government accountability group Common Cause Michigan says that this has allowed Snyder to “hide” certain correspondence that might indicate that he or his staff knew more about Flint’s lead-tainted water than they have let on.

Last month, Snyder released his personal emails from 2014 and 2015 pertaining to Flint, but not the correspondence among his staff.

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Rejecting Snyder’s Claim, Experts Say Poisoning of Flint Blatant Racial Injustice

Meanwhile, research suggests Flint crisis ‘is not an isolated incident of poor public policies endangering the health of residents living in economically distressed communities.’

By Andrea Germanos and Deirdre Fulton, staff writers for Common Dreams. Published 1-22-2016

Photo: Jillian Hurley/Twitter

Photo: Jillian Hurley/Twitter

Experts are voicing strong disagreement with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who on Friday tried to argue that the lead poisoning plaguing the water of the majority-black city of Flint was “absolutely not” a case of environmental racism.

The Republican governor made the comment in an interview with MSNBC, adding that he’s “been devoted to helping” the city.

But that’s quite different from the way Paul Mohai, a professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, whose work focuses on racial and socioeconomic factors in pollution, see it. Continue reading

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