Southwest Michigan Today: Wednesday May 15, 2019

May 15, 2019

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

A Kalamazoo County Commissioner is running for state House next year. Governor Whitmer vows to veto bills banning an abortion procedure. Photos and videos show the damage done by an anchor strike to the Line 5 pipelines. 

Kalamazoo County Commissioner Tracy Hall has her eyes on the State House. Hall officially announced her campaign Tuesday in the 60th District that includes Kalamazoo. Hall is a Democrat. She's running to replace fellow Democrat Jon Hoadley, who’s term-limited next year and plans to run for Congress. Hall teaches at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Western Michigan University. She was elected to the Kalamazoo County Commission in 2016 and is now its vice-chairwoman.

(MPRN) Republicans in the state Legislature have set the stage for a showdown with Governor Gretchen Whitmer over bills to outlaw an abortion procedure. Republican called votes in the House and the Senate on bills to ban the dilation-and-evacuation procedure. Democrats voted against the legislation, and Governor Whitmer says the bills will be vetoed if any reach her desk. Michigan’s political drama over abortion is playing out as Republicans across the country are proposing and adopting similar bills in hopes of putting the abortion question back before the United States Supreme Court.

(Interlochen Public Radio) Images of the damage done to the Line 5 oil pipelines have gone public. Enbridge says they identified several dents along the pipelines from an anchor strike last April. They say the longest one was over 23 inches. Photos and video also show gashes and scrapes to Line 5’s coating. Enbridge said information about the anchor strike was confidential until the U.S. Coast Guard finished their investigation. But U.S. Senator Gary Peters released it after they said it wouldn’t impact their case.

(WCMU) Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are warning that high water levels on the Great Lakes could be harmful to an endangered Michigan bird. Great Lakes water levels have been high this year Lakes Erie and Superior are expected to hit or have already broken recorded highs. According to officials that could be trouble for the endangered Piping Plover a bird that lives along the shores of the Great Lakes.

(Interlochen Public Radio) Housing discrimination cases against Bay View Association near Petoskey have been settled. Two lawsuits and a complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development claim that Bay View is discriminating against non-Christian home owners. In a statement all parties say Bay View is “committed to non-discrimination while continuing true to its identity and heritage.” The cases were settled during mediation Friday. The parties are holding off on sharing details until final documents are signed.

(Michigan Radio) A jury has sided with the city of Flint in a whistleblower lawsuit. Former city administrator Natasha Henderson sued the city after she was fired. She claimed she was fired after asking questions about the mayor’s political fund. The jury disagreed. Mayor Karen Weaver welcomed the verdict.