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Fewer teens get pregnant except for those 10-14

Teen pregnancies are on the decline in the state except among the youngest girls, a Department of Community Health (DCH) report shows. The most recent report from 2012 shows there was a slight increase from 2011 in pregnancies among those 10-14. After decades of steady decreases, the number increased from 94 to 105 reported teen pregnancies. The reduction of other unintended pregnancies could be a result of ...

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Race is a ‘chronic’ enforcement problem

A recent report by the American Civil Liberties Union shows marijuana laws are enforced unequally for Black and white Americans nationwide. “The War on Marijuana in Black and White” released in March reports that though the percentage of Blacks and whites who use marijuana is virtually identical, African Americans are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested. The 190-page report states, “There were 140,000 mor ...

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West coast ‘Black Commentator’ and social justice activist passes

Longtime editorial writer, poet and political organizer Carl Bloice was remembered by friends and comrades at a gathering in San Francisco last week. The West Coast writer succumbed suddenly to a years-long battle with cancer. Bloice was known for his many widely-published columns on U.S. and international issues. He was on the editorial board of the Black Commentator. ...

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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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