Southwest Michigan Today: Tuesday June 11, 2019

Jun 11, 2019

Credit Andrew Robins / WMUK-FM

Benton Harbor’s school board works on a plan to keep the district’s high school open. A legal challenge creates uncertainty over collecting petition signatures. Jury deliberations begin Tuesday for an MSU dean facing multiple charges. 

(Michigan Radio) Members of the school board for Benton Harbor Area Schools say they plan to meet with Governor Gretchen Whitmer Wednesday to try to save the city’s high school. The governor’s office says the district is $18-million in debt. She says closing the high school will save money and keep the entire district from dissolving. Benton Harbor school board members say the debt has been refinanced, and they believe the district has a plan that will allow the high school to remain open.

(MPRN) A state elections board began working Monday on new rules for how petition signatures are collected for citizen initiatives and ballot questions. That’s a response to a formal opinion from state Attorney General Dana Nessel. She says a law adopted last year that makes it more difficult for petition drives to succeed is unconstitutional. Republicans have filed a legal challenge to the opinion. Petition traditionally collect signatures during the warmer months of the year. There could be one or more drives in the field soon to try and enact stricter abortion laws.

(MPRN) A jury is expected to begin deliberations Tuesday in the trial of former Michigan State University Dean, William Strampel. Strampel was the dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at MSU. Strampel is accused of sexual assault, using his position to solicit sexual favors from female students, and failing to properly oversee Larry Nassar. Nassar is the former MSU sports doctor serving a de-facto life sentence for child pornography and sexually assaulting his patients. Strampel decided not to testify in his own defense at his trial. Attorneys for both sides will give their closing arguments before the jury is given instructions and allowed to start deliberating.

(MLive) A new report says about 56,000 people could go uncounted in Michigan during the U.S. Census next year. MLive says the study by the Urban Institute indicates many of those people would be minorities and young children. The organization says the Census could also "over-count" the number of white residents in the state. It says young kids and minorities are the most likely to be missed by census takers. And some black and Latino residents may be wary about participating in the Census.

In baseball, Battle Creek has won three straight and four of their last five games after a 6-2 win at Kenosha Monday night. The Bombers will host Kalamazoo Tuesday night at C.O. Brown Stadium.

The Growlers jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the second inning on their way to an 8-1 win over Traverse City Monday night. Kalamazoo and Battle Creek will play four games over three days this week. That includes a day/night double header Wednesday hosted by the Bombers. The Growlers will host Thursday night’s game at Homer Stryker Field.