2.22.17:  Trump administration unveils changes in immigration enforcement policies.




WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has unveiled sweeping changes in immigration enforcement policies. Any immigrant who is in the U.S. illegally and is charged or convicted of any offense, will be considered an enforcement priority. That’s according to memos signed by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

Legal service organizations say immigrants have been rushing to prepare their applications to become U.S. citizens.


In Grand Rapids, Police Chief David Rehinsky held a meeting at the Hispanic Center and urged members of the local immigrant community to ignore fears of deportation if they become crime victims and to call them for help.  The Hispanic Center says it is important to educate people on what their rights are and stop the spread of misinformation.


2.22.17:  Flash flooding and an avalanche


(AP) – Northern California will get a bit of a break from heavy rain today but communities downstream from a reservoir near Medesto, are bracing for flash floods and evacuations.

In the San Jose area, at least 225 people were evacuated by boats when a neighborhood was flooded by a swollen creek.


In Nevada, another storm dumped record-breaking rain on Reno and heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada triggered an avalanche that buried a major highway near lake Tahoe.

2.22.17:  Kentucky ark attraction adding biblical truth exhibit




WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s massive biblical attraction the Ark Encounter is opening a new exhibit that promotes the message of the Bible.

The 510-foot wooden ark modeled after the biblical story of Noah opened in July. Since then, it has drawn large crowds to Grant County in northern Kentucky.

The new exhibit is called “Why The Bible Is True.” A release from the Ark Encounter says the new exhibit is composed of 11 scenes on the bow end of the ark.

Answers in Genesis, promotes a literal interpretation of the Bible’s Old Testament.

A ribbon cutting for the new display will be Friday at the Ark Encounter.


2.22.17:   Officials offer services as pipeline camp closes




Authorities in North Dakota are offering assistance and services to Dakota Access pipeline protesters as they close a longstanding encampment near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

Up to 300 people remain at the camp, down from thousands at the protest’s peak. The Army Corps of Engineers has ordered the camp closed at 2 p.m. Wednesday, citing the dangers of impending spring floods.

North Dakota state officials have set up a travel assistance center. They’re offering personal kits, water and snacks, health assessments, bus fare for protesters to travel home, and food and hotel vouchers.

They’re planning to start buses from the camp to Bismarck at 9 a.m. But law enforcement officials say they expect some protesters won’t leave without being arrested.


2.22.17:  Detroit mayor delivers annual State of the City address




DETROIT, Mich. (AP) — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan listed job training, affordable housing and rebuilding neighborhoods among his priorities during his fourth State of the City address.

Duggan on Tuesday detailed the transformation of services and finances in a city that exited bankruptcy in 2014. He said although the city’s basic services have been improved, a lot more must be done if a Detroit is built that includes everyone.

To boost job opportunities, he announced a new initiative, “Detroit at Work,” to help connect the city’s job seekers with employers.

The mayor also touted the Neighborhood Strategic Fund, which he says helps address critics’ concern over lack of development in communities versus a thriving downtown.

Another key effort, Duggan said, is preserving affordable housing. He said future projects will ensure such housing exists in all parts of Detroit.


2.22.17:  Michigan distributing $5.1M for distressed township, cities




LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder says $5.1 million is being distributed this year among 10 Michigan cities and one township under a program that benefits financially distressed local governments.

Municipalities are eligible if they are experiencing one or more of the conditions indicating “probable financial stress” as defined under Michigan’s Local Financial Stability and Choice Act.

The grants support projects, services or strategies such as infrastructure and public safety improvements that move a city, village or township toward financial stability.

Highland Park is receiving $800,000 for water system maintenance. Detroit will get more than $795,000 to replace and upgrade fire radios.

Other recipients include Allen Park, Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Highland Park, Inkster, Lincoln Park, Melvindale, River Rouge, Wayne and Royal Oak Township.


2.22.17:   Gov. Snyder still has concerns with income tax cut




LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder still has concerns about the fiscal implications of an income tax cut after House Republicans revised their legislation.

The Republican governor issued a statement Tuesday night saying he appreciates that House leaders took seriously his concerns. But he says he still has “a billion dollars’ worth of concerns because there has been no plan presented as to how this will affect residents and their communities statewide.”

Snyder notes that reducing the 4.25 percent income tax to 3.9 percent over four years would reduce revenues by $500 million in 2019 and more than $1 billion by 2022 — years when more money will be spent to improve roads and bridges.

House Republicans on Tuesday decided to phase in the tax cut over four years instead of implementing it one year. They also dropped their push to eliminate the tax over decades.


2.22.17:  Islanders get 3-1 win over Red Wings




DETROIT (AP) — Calvin de Haan was credited with a go-ahead goal that caromed off an opponent late in the second period and the New York Islanders went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 Tuesday night.

De Haan’s shot from above the left circle was stopped by Petr Mrazek, but the rebound went off Detroit defenseman Xavier Ouellet and the back of the goaltender’s left leg and into the net. John Tavares scored early in the third period to give the Islanders a two-goal lead and they coasted to the victory.

Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist, and Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for New York.

Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit and Mrazek finished with 19 saves.

The Islanders, in contention for a wild-card spot, began a stretch of nine straight road games by winning for the third time in four games and improved to 8-13-4 away from home.


2.21.17:  March for Freedom reenactment to start at state Capitol




LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The 1963 civil rights march led in Detroit by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. will be re-enacted at the Michigan state Capitol in Lansing as part of Black History Month.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson will join other elected leaders and community officials Tuesday morning on the west side of the Capitol building.

The March for Freedom reenactment will proceed to the Richard H. Austin building where a program highlighting Michigan’s role in the civil rights movement will be presented.

King visited Detroit on June 23, 1963, to lead tens of thousands of people in a freedom walk along Woodward Avenue and also previewed his “I Have a Dream” speech.


2.21.17:  Latino group organizing Saginaw forum on immigrant rights




SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A community forum is planned in Saginaw to discuss immigrant rights and activities since the presidential election.

The Tuesday evening meeting at the Union Civica Mexicana is organized by the Saginaw chapter of the Latino Leaders for the Enhancement of Advocacy and Development.

The scheduled keynote speaker is Aida Cuadrado, a Saginaw native and national reinvestment organizer for The Center for Community Change, based in Washington, D.C. She’s expected to talk about building and protecting communities as President Donald Trump has initiated a crackdown on illegal immigration and sought other restrictions on immigrants.

An immigration attorney also is expected to discuss the status of deportation cases.

Organization President Dalia Mendoza Smith says in a statement that gatherings like these are important to “combat the root cause of systemic racism.”