SW Michigan Today: Wednesday, June 27

Jun 27, 2018

Kalamazoo County health officials will participate in National HIV Testing Day on Wednesday, June 27. The county health department's clinical services supervisor, Penny Born RN, says the tests are for more than just people considered at high-risk for AIDS. She says all sexually active adults should be tested. There are an estimated 368 people in Kalamazoo County who are positive for HIV. The free, confidential tests are available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the county's Health and Community Services Department, 3299 Gull Road.

A former Kalamazoo Public Safety officer is suing the city for alleged discrimination. The Kalamazoo Gazette says Amir Khilliah was fired by the city in March. The department says Khilliah was guilty of misconduct related to a report on a traffic stop he made early this year. But Khilliah, who was born in Egypt, says his supervisor harassed and discriminated against him based on his race and ethnicity. He also says he was ordered to target black drivers for traffic tickets. A study in 2015 found that KDPS officers racially profiled people during traffic stops. Killiah filed the lawsuit in federal court on Monday. Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Karianne Thomas says she's aware of the suit but hasn't seen it and can't comment on it.

The Stryker Corporation plans to expand in Portage. And it's getting support from the state as well as the city. The Kalamazoo Gazette says City Council members approved a tax break for the $109 million project Tuesday night. Stryker says the expansion of its medical device manufacturing plant on East Centre Avenue will create 260 jobs. The Michigan Strategic Fund has also approved a $2.6 million state grant for the project.

Governor Rick Snyder has signed what he calls the "Marshall Plan for Talent." It will spend $100 millionon skilled trades training and career exploration programs. The money will come from the Michigan Higher Education Loan Authority. A Snyder spokeswoman says the plan includes partnerships between teachers and employers to change the way students prepare for careers. Some of the money will pay for counselors to help students find the right careers. It will also provide schools with new equipment and classes.

If you've been on Western Michigan University's main campus recently, university officials say you might want to consider getting a booster shot for whooping cough. They say a person who was on campus on June 18th and 19th came down with the disease also known as pertussis. Most kids and adults are vaccinated against whooping cough but that protection can fade over time. University officials say they're working with Kalamazoo County health officials to limit the spread of the airborne bacteria. They say anyone who thinks they may have been exposed should see their doctor.

A federal lawsuit says inmates at the Genesee County Jail were deliberately denied clean water during Flint's lead contamination crisis. The suit says county officials forced prisoners to either drink contaminated water or go without. An attorney handling the case says at least 300 inmates have come forward to complain about it. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department and other county officials could not be reached for comment.

You can stay in touch with WMUK news on FacebookTwitter, and by signing up for our eNewsletter.