Items of potential interest to government documents librarians or government information managers in Michigan. For more information contact Jon Harrison at email@example.com.
Ever wonder how much your child's teacher earns?
Or how much the city spent to repave your street?
Or whether your neighbor has ever been cited for not keeping up his property?
The answers to these questions are found in records owned by the public, which are supposed to be there for the asking. But accessing those records is often more difficult than it needs to be.
The Michigan Freedom of Information Act was passed in 1976 as a way to ensure public access to government records. Many states and the federal government took up the cause of expanding transparency after the Watergate scandal.
Most government records in Michigan are considered public, unless specifically exempted by the law, which provides access to things like salaries and vendor payments, meeting minutes and agendas, mug shots and criminal records.
Earlier this month, Gov. Rick Snyder signed the most sweeping update to Michigan's law since it was passed nearly four decades ago, though people who follow it closely offer mixed reviews of the changes.
For the full article, see John Wisely, "A how-to guide to Michigan's Freedom of Information Act", Detroit Free Press, January 24, 2015.
For another, see John Wisely, "Not all government records are open to the public", Detroit Free Press, January 24, 2015.
Stephen Henderson, "One step forward, but FOIA still needs fixes", Detroit Free Press, January 24, 2015.
John Wisely, "Experts take wait-and-see approach to new FOIA law", Detroit Free Press, January 24, 2015.
Children in Michigan’s high-poverty districts – including Grand Rapids Public Schools – are more likely than students in affluent areas to have first-year teachers who are paid lower wages, according to new federal data.
The data, which examined select high-poverty districts, shows that 5.8 percent of teachers at GRPS were in their first year.
Cited report : Educator Equity Profile, Michigan, Based on 2011-2012 Data, U.S. Department of Education.
For the full article, see Brian McVicar, "New federal report shows how GRPS, high-poverty schools stack up to affluent districts", MLive, January 24, 2015.
Gov. Rick Snyder hopes to resuscitate legislation that would protect gay and transgender residents from discrimination, while LGBT advocates explore asking voters to pass the bill since it’s unlikely to clear the GOP-led Legislature.
In his State of the State speech, the Republican governor called for continued discussion over amending Michigan’s civil rights law to prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents in employment, housing and places open to the public.
“Let’s show that we can deal with issues of discrimination in our state,” Snyder said, drawing applause from Democrats and some Republicans.
But after Tuesday’s address, new GOP House Speaker Kevin Cotter of Mount Pleasant told reporters that he sees no need for more debate after the business-backed legislation stalled in November without a vote.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to take up constitutional challenges to a gay marriage ban in Michigan, however, may intensify pressure on lawmakers from both the LGBT community and social conservatives.
For the full article, see David Eggert, "Gay marriage may affect discrimination, religion bills", Detroit News, January 24, 2015.
Super Bowl XVI is held at the Pontiac Silverdome.
Ray Wersching kicked four field goals and Joe Montana's controlled passing helped the San Francisco 49ers win their first NFL championship with a 26-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. The game was held at the Pontiac Silverdome, 25 miles from downtown Detroit. It was the first time a Super Bowl was held in a cold-weather climate; the previous 15 games had been held in warm climates.
Source : Today in Michigan History courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.
On Jan. 24, 1938, the Upper Peninsula was hit by a colossal winter storm. How deep were the snow drifts? Look at the telephone pole on the left!
Two people died in Ironwood after 32 inches of snow fell as a result of 30 hours of snow and gale-force winds. Students and workers were trapped at their schools and places of employment because of snowdrifts towering as high as 18 feet tall. Students in Ironwood slept on exercise mats in the gym for four days since buses could not operate in drifting snow.
A fire broke out at the Opera House and Masonic Temple in Marquette and traffic ceased in the city for three days.
Michigan Every Day
Marquette’s Opera House & the 1938 Fire and Blizzard posted in My Marquette by Tyler R. Tichelaar.
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