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Innocent man freed after 25 years in prison

Brooklyn, N.Y., District Attorney Kenneth P. Thompson on April 8 dismissed murder charges against Jonathan Fleming, who spent 25 years in prison, serving time for a crime that occurred in New York although he had solid alibi that he was in Florida at the time. “Today’s actions follow a careful and thorough review of this case and based on key alibi facts that place Fleming in Florida at the time of the murd ...

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National ‘STEM’ expert: 21st century doctors must also know the arts

When Dr. Freeman Hrabowski III was only 15 years old, he was in college. He graduated at the age of 19 with high honors in mathematics from what was then Hampton Institute. He went on to receive a master’s in mathematics and then a doctorate degree in higher education, administration and statistics at the age of 24. ...

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Snow delays spring corn planting, asparagus harvest

Farmers may be off to a late start this year after snowfall and low temperatures put them behind schedule. There is good news and bad news associated with the snow. The heavy snow insulated the ground, protecting micro-organisms that are good for corn. But the high water remaining in fields could strain the industry, said corn grower Scott Lonier, owner of Lonier Farms near Lansing. “We are at the mercy of ...

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Legislation paves way for more pipelines

On April 1, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signed four bills into law, which allow and incentivize natural gas and oil companies to build more pipelines, ostensibly to capture carbon dioxide emissions from existing and natural gas wells. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the leading cause of global climate change, occur naturally during the process of extracting fossil fuels. The four laws provide for tax incentives t ...

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Grand Rapids resident aims to bring Black-owned businesses out of the shadows

An ambitious and energetic entrepreneur, Jamiel Robinson looks at areas like Eastown, East Hills and the Wealthy Street district and wants the same for the Southtown area and other minority neighborhoods in Grand Rapids. He envisions vibrant business districts catering to the city’s African American residents, where they can shop, eat, work and live in thriving urban communities. ...

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Contracts and the Constitution

A Pontiac lawsuit, which could have far-reaching implications throughout Michigan, was heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati last week. The case was brought by city retirees who had their healthcare benefits slashed by then-Emergency Manager Louis Schimmel in December 2011. A federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of retirees in June 2012. Among other allegations, it was claime ...

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Armed angry white males: Domestic terrorists

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them… And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” — Senator Barack Obama April ...

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Undocumented immigrants face higher tuition at some Michigan colleges and universities

A college acceptance letter isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. For many undocumented immigrants in Michigan and their children, the application process is just one hurdle on the road to a college education. “They’ve invested so much in their education, but when (it’s time to go) to college, that’s when the road closes on them,” said Jose Franco, founder of One Michigan, a Detroit-based group that works ...

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Preparation for trades could count toward graduation under proposed legislation

High school students could learn algebra while working with metal under legislation pending in the Senate. The bills sponsored by Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, and Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare, would give students more flexibility in classes they could take in high school. They could take an agricultural science or anatomy class in place of the traditional second year science class, swap a foreign language class ...

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