Southwest Michigan Today: Tuesday April 30, 2019

Apr 30, 2019

State Capitol - file photo
Credit Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

Lawmakers take action on the state budget this week. Amway begins another round of layoffs. Water levels are rising on the Great Lakes. WMU opens the NCAA men’s tennis tournament Friday at Illinois. 

(MPRN) Action on the state’s budget is expected to pick up this week. The state Senate Appropriations committee will consider and possibly vote on multiple budgets – including for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services. Those budgets moving through the Senate include large cuts to what Governor Gretchen Whitmer recommended in her proposed budget.

(MiBiz) Amway has started another round of layoffs. A company spokesperson tells MiBiz that the reductions affect what are called “key back office operations” at its corporate headquarters in Ada, east of Grand Rapids, and other locations around the world. The positions eliminated include legal, human resources, supply chain, finance and strategic planning. The company has not disclosed the number of jobs cut by the move. Last year Amway closed two plants in West Michigan. In December the company eliminated 45 management level positions, more than half of those came from the headquarters in Ada.

(WCMU) Forecasts say the Great Lakes will see above average water levels this year, continuing a trend that began in 2013. The forecast says water levels throughout the Great Lakes are currently more than a foot above average. Sabrina Jauernik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gaylord, says this year the high levels are a combination of more rainfall, and ice cover has prevented evaporation during the winter. Jauernik says she expects the lakes to continue to rise throughout the year. The forecast says lake Superior, Huron, and Michigan may rise at least three more inches by mid-May.

(Michigan Radio) Former Special Prosecutor Todd Flood is off the team handling the Flint water crisis criminal investigation. Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud says Flood did not “fully and properly” pursue discovery “from the onset of the investigation.” Under Flood 15 government officials were criminally charged. But seven cut plea deals with little or no penalty. The rest of the cases remain in limbo.

Western Michigan will open the NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament on Friday against Illinois. The Illini are hosting the four team regional. The University of California Berkley and Drake will also compete in Champagne on Friday and Saturday. The Broncos earned an automatic berth in the 64 team NCAA field by winning the Mid-American Conference men’s tennis tournament.