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Southwest Michigan Today: Thursday July 18, 2019


Cooling centers open in Kalamazoo as temperatures rise. Michigan’s jobless rate remains unchanged. A former WMU coach and administrator is remembered as a trailblazer in women’s athletics. 

Kalamazoo’s Public Safety Department says cooling centers will be available for people who need a place to get away from the heat over the next few days. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid 90’s, and the heat index will likely be more than 100 degrees. The First Congregational Church will be available from noon until 8:00p.m. Thursday and Friday. The Douglas Community Center will be open from noon until 5:00 Saturday afternoon for people who need to get away from the hot weather. The city of Portage recommends the Crossroads Mall for people without access to air conditioning. During extreme heat, it’s recommended that people limit outdoor activities, drink plenty of fluids, and check on elderly neighbors to see if they need assistance.

(MPRN) The Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on whether it was legal for the state Legislature to adopt citizen-led ballot initiatives last year and then quickly change them. State Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud argued against the “adopt and amend” move. She said the Legislature thwarted the will of the people who signed the initiatives. But Deputy Solicitor General Eric Restuccia said there’s nothing in the constitution that prevents the move. And there’s a solution if voters don’t like what the Legislature does. The state’s highest court hasn’t said whether it will issue an advisory opinion in the case.

(MPRN) Michigan’s official monthly jobless rate was unchanged last month. Numbers from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget show there were more unemployed people in June. But that was largely offset by how many people joined or rejoined the workforce with the hope of finding a job. Michigan still lags behind the national rate of employment increases, even though economists consider numbers like these to be statistically at or near full employment.

The first woman to hold a senior administrative position in Western Michigan University’s athletic department has died. Ruth Ann Meyer passed away on Monday she was 83 years old. Meyer was Assistant Athletic Director from 1965 to 72. During her more than 30 year career at the university, Meyer also coached the Bronco volleyball team and was a professor of Physical Education. In a news release, Western Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard says “Ruth Ann’s passion for life was the love for teaching and coaching.” Meyer was inducted into WMU’s athletics hall of fame in 1993.

(Michigan Radio) Highland Park is the latest Michigan city to face lead-in-water problems. The small Detroit enclave just finished testing tap water in 36 homes. Nine tested above the federal action level for lead. The city is advising residents to flush taps before drinking. Officials will hand out free water filters starting today. State environmental regulators say they’re looking into root causes. Including whether Highland Park's water supplier is properly treating water to prevent leaching from lead pipes.