Southwest Michigan Today: Monday May 6, 2019

May 6, 2019

Michigan House - file photo
Credit Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

Members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation move to give Iraqis scheduled to deportation a chance to argue for staying. New elder abuse legislation could move this week in Lansing. A man from Clawson and woman from Portage finish first in the Kalamazoo Marathon. 

(WDET) Several members of Congress from Metro Detroit say they plan to introduce legislation this week that would keep some Iraqis scheduled for deportation in the U.S. Last year a federal judge in Detroit ruled that about 1,400 Iraqis already ordered to be deported – most of them Christians – should be given the chance to argue in immigration court that they should stay in the U.S. because they could face torture or death if returned to their native home. But an appeals court overturned the judge’s order. Now a half-dozen members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation are introducing legislation to prevent Iraqis from being detained or deported for two years.

(MPRN) A bipartisan bill package in the state Legislature would create new laws on elder abuse crimes. The bills are expected to be voted out of a House committee this week. Some bills would increase the penalties for assaulting or restraining an elderly person or a vulnerable adult. Other bills would expand the state’s felony embezzlement laws to include vulnerable adults. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has also started a task force aimed at curbing elder abuse.

(WCMU) New legislation in the state house would ban the practice of trying to change someone's sexual orientation through therapy. 16 states already ban the practice, and the American Psychiatric Association has voiced opposition since 1998, saying no credible evidence exists that any mental health intervention can reliably and safely change sexual orientation. Democratic State Representative Yousef Rabhi introduced the measure. He says there are some mental health professionals who still provide conversion therapy. Rahbi says his bill would discipline those professionals. Rabhi says similar legislation has been introduced in previous sessions. He says there is strong Democratic support, but Republicans have traditionally opposed banning the practice.

(Interlochen Public Radio) American Transmission Company is replacing some electrical cables in the Straits of Mackinac. Last year they were severed and leaked coolant oil. A state proposal would put new cables in a tunnel with the Line 5 oil pipelines. A representative for ATC says that plan is risky and hasn’t been vetted. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said she is open to a tunnel in the Straits.

(WDET) Several Democratic presidential candidates are barnstorming through Michigan. Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris told a crowd of thousands in Detroit that Democrats need to do a better job of targeting voters of color in the Midwest. Democrats are focused on Midwest states, including Michigan, that helped elect President Donald Trump in 2016. Some Democrats have pointed to Joe Biden as a candidate who could win back working class voters in the Midwest. But Harris told a mostly African-American crowd at a NAACP dinner that the definition leaves people of color who she says “helped build cities like Detroit.” Harris says if elected she would bridge a divide caused by a president who “wants to make America hate again.”

A 24 year old Clawson man was the winner of Sunday’s Kalamazoo Marathon. Ryan Holtz finished the race in two hours, 45 minutes, 36 seconds. Michelle Magagna of Portage was the winner in the women’s division. She ran the 26.2 miles in two hours, 55 minutes, 23 seconds. That was the fourth fastest time overall.

In baseball, three runs in the eighth inning gave Western Michigan a 7-6 win over Eastern Michigan Sunday. The Broncos swept the weekend series from the Eagles. Western will play at Pittsburgh Tuesday.