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The long legal tangle between the state's Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Matty MOROUN's bridge company was up again this week and again MDOT prevailed before the state Court of Appeals (COA).
In three consolidated dockets involving MDOT and Moroun's Detroit International Bridge Co. (DIBC), the COA today affirmed a previous order granting MDOT partial summary disposition and denied DIBC's request to set aside that order.
For the full article, see "MDOT Prevails Again In Gateway Legal Saga With Moroun", Inside MIRS Today, October 24, 2014.
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The Michigan Supreme Court this week denied a motion to reconsider its July 8 ruling that denied resentencing hearings for inmates serving life sentences without the possibility of parole for crimes they committed as minors.
The order released Wednesday upholds the court’s 4-3 decision in a case involving three prisoners given mandatory life sentences in connection with killings committed when they were 14, 15 and 16 years old, respectively.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that mandatory life sentencing schemes that fail to consider factors of youth are an unconstitutional form of cruel and unusual punishment, but the nation’s highest court did not say whether that decision should apply retroactively to inmates already behind bars.
Michigan has one of the highest numbers of "juvenile lifers" in the nation due to sentencing reforms made in the 1980s and '90s, and had required mandatory life in prison for both youthful killers and those who aided in the crime.
For the full article, see Jonathan Oosting, "Michigan Supreme Court rejects motion to reconsider 'juvenile lifers' ruling", MLive, October 24, 2014.
Despite meeting a deadline this week to fix a number of administrative issues, 11 Michigan charter school authorizers under threat of suspension by the Michigan Department of Education are not out of hot water yet.
The authorizers met a Wednesday deadline to make fixes on issues such as making sure transparency documents are posted on their schools' websites. MDE acknowledged Thursday those issues have been addressed
But Superintendent Mike Flanagan has made the academic performance of the schools run by these authorizers a key issue in deciding whether he will bar them next month from opening new schools. In letters and e-mails, the authorizers continue to squabble with MDE over how their schools' academic performance should be judged.
The authorizers' argument? Judging a charter school authorizer by lumping all their schools together and getting an average academic ranking will force Michigan's authorizers — about 40 in all — to stop serving the state's poor and minority students, several authorizers said.
For the full article, see David Jesse, Lori Higgins and Jennifer Dixon, "Academic Performance Still At Issue for Charter School Authorizers", Detroit Free Press, October 24, 2014.
By 2060, the chance that two randomly selected Michiganders will be of different racial or ethnic backgrounds will increase from 39% to 60%, according to a USA Today Diversity Index, which analyzed census data and demographic trends. In that time, the state's Hispanic population will more than double, its African-American and Asian populations will increase, and six times as many Michiganders will identify themselves as multiracial, according to projections by USA Today.
Yet, even as the state becomes more diverse, its population will not grow as fast as populations in many other states, and Michigan's political clout in the U.S. Congress is likely to diminish. Other states, particularly in the South and Southwest, will benefit from larger and faster-growing numbers of Hispanic Americans. After the 1960 census, Michigan had 19 congressional districts. If trends continue, Michigan could lose another congressional seat, dropping from 14 members in the U.S. House of Representatives to 13 after the 2020 census., demographers predict. By 2060, the state's congressional districts could drop to 12, according to an analysis by the Institute for Southern Studies.
If annual birth and migration trends continue, Michigan is expected to drop to 10th largest by year's end as North Carolina's gains outpace Michigan's. Over the next decade, it is likely that Virginia will push Michigan out of the top 10, according to Kurt Metzger, founder of Data Driven Detroit, a nonprofit data analysis firm, and the mayor of Pleasant Ridge.
For the full article, see Patricia Montemurri and Kristi Tanner, "By 2060, a much more multiracial Michigan will emerge", Detroit Free Press, October 24, 2014.
There are about 210,000 Michiganders with roots in the Middle East, according to the U.S. census. While California and New York have higher numbers of people with ancestry in the Middle East, Michigan has the highest percentage of residents with roots there.
For the full article, see Niraj Warikoo, "A quarter million Michiganders have roots in Middle East", Detroit Free Press, October 24, 2014.
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