8.4.15:  Senate blocks GOP bill to end Planned Parenthood fed funds


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has blocked a Republican effort to shut off federal funds for Planned Parenthood.

Monday’s vote followed the release of videos secretly recorded , which shows Planned Parenthood officials discussing how much researchers should pay for organs from aborted fetuses. The organization says the videos were highly edited, that it donates tissue to medical researchers and doesn’t profit.

The vote was 53-46 to end Democrats’ delaying tactics. That was seven short of the 60 votes the Republicans needed to proceed to a defunding vote.

Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, says the vote was disappointing. He says the videos showed that Planned Parenthood is actually about preventing people from becoming parents “by killing their children, by selling their body parts.”

But the Rev. Harry Knox, president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, disagrees.


8.4.15:  Hogweed that can blind humans found in Calhoun County


PENNFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Health officials in Calhoun County are advising caution after the dangerous giant hogweed plant was spotted in the county.

The Calhoun County Public Health Department said Monday that the plant was found in Pennfield Township, and was removed from the site.

The sap on the plant’s leaves, roots, flower heads, seeds and stem hairs can cause permanent blindness if it gets in the eyes. The sap can also cause blistering and scarring if it gets on bare skin.

Health officials say to wash skin if it comes in contact with the plant and immediately flush eyes with water, and promptly seek medical attention.

The plant can grow to 18 feet tall, has a green stem with bristles and dark red or purple spots, and has a white flower.



8.4.15:  Kalamazoo, Battle Creek airport gets $3.3M federal grant


PORTAGE, Mich. (AP) — The Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport is getting a federal grant worth roughly $3.3 million to help with projects.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation was announced Monday by U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters. Work supported by the grant includes rehabilitation of the airport’s runway, an extension of its taxiway and installation of taxiway lighting.

Stabenow said in a news release that the grant would make traveling to and from western Michigan “safer and more efficient.” Peters said it would boost economic development.



8.4.15:  Flip on our porch light and get to know your neighbors



It is the first Tuesday in August and that means it’s National Night Out.

It was designed to be a community-police awareness raising event.

It is an opportunity to flip on your porch light tonight and stay out a bit longer to get to know your neighbors better.

Several community neighborhood groups are organizing events this afternoon and evening to encourage building positive relationships.

8.4.15:  Several voters head to the polls for Primary Election Day


It is Election Day.

Several communities have issues on the ballot that voters will consider today.

Grand Rapids is deciding on a new mayor and there are 4 candidates.  The 4 include: Rosalynn Bliss, Robert Dean, John George and Willard Lee.  If one candidate wins over 50% of the votes they will become the next mayor but if not, the top two vote-getters will face each other in November.

Click here for more Election related information.

8.4.15:  Some may not get power back til Thursday



Consumers Energy says crews from other states have come to help Michigan workers get power restored to customers after storms rolled through Sunday night.

Most should have power restored by late Wednesday but others in the harder hit area may have to wait until Thursday.


As of this morning there were still a handful in Ottawa County without service , 11-hundred in Kent County and 700 in Muskegon County.


The National Weather Service says the storms spawned at least one tornado in Michigan.

A twister hit the Huron County town of Owendale Sunday evening.

8.4.15:  Father and daughter killed by collapsing tent


LANCASTER, N.H. (AP) — Safety officials in New Hampshire are investigating the collapse of a circus tent during a severe storm that killed a father and daughter and injured about 22 others. Authorities are looking at how the tent was put up at the Lancaster Fairgrounds, about 90 miles north of Concord. They’re also talking to witnesses. Heidi Medeiros says it suddenly went dark and she heard someone scream, “Get out, get out.” The storm early yesterday evening was packing 60 mile-an-hour wind gusts and hail.


















8.4.15:  Lions start camp and remember former player


DETROIT (AP) — Mel Farr, the Detroit Lions’ running back who rushed for over 3,000 yards in seven NFL seasons, has died. He was 70.

A Lions spokesman said Farr’s son confirmed his father died on Monday.

Farr spent his entire NFL career with Detroit, from 1967-73. He was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1967, when he ran for 860 yards in 13 games.

He ran for 717 yards in 1970, helping the Lions go 10-4 in the regular season. They reached the playoffs that season for the first time since 1957.

Farr finished his pro career with 3,072 yards on 739 carries.

Farr played college football at UCLA, and he finished seventh in the voting for the 1966 Heisman Trophy.


Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions have started training camp.


Lions defensive tackle Haloti Ngata missed the team’s first practice of training camp Monday with a strained hamstring.

Ngata, acquired by the Lions in a trade when Ndamukong Suh left via free agency this offseason, was put on the active/non-football injury list. He was on the field with his teammates but wore a hat instead of a helmet. He did not talk to reporters as he left the field after practice.


8.3.15:   Flags lowered to honor former Sen. Harry Gast



LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered that flags in the state Capitol complex be lowered in honor of former state Sen. Harry Gast.

Gast died Thursday at age 94.

Snyder says U.S. and Michigan flags will be lowered to half-staff on Monday.

Gast, a Republican from St. Joseph, served 32 years in the Legislature before leaving in 2002. He was Senate Appropriations Committee chairman for 18 years.

Snyder says Gast “reminds us all of the value of public service” and embodied “citizenship and problem-solving.”




8.3.15:  Power should be restored by later tonight


Restoration efforts are ramping up in the wake of Sunday’s powerful storms.

At one point more than 130,000 Consumers Energy customers were impacted by Sunday’s severe weather.

Crews have been busy assessing damage and making initial repairs where possible.  They have mobilized all available crews to get the power restored as quickly and safely as they can.

Storm damage appeared to be greatest in Northwest Michigan, especially in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties.

Early this morning there were still 11,000 in Kent County, 4,700 in Muskegon County, and 2,700 in Ottawa County without service.

Crews are hoping to get all power restored by later tonight.