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Flint charter school considers admissions lottery process

(Information from: The Flint Journal,

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The head of a charter school under construction in Flint says the admission process could include a lottery because of the high interest in enrollment.

Eric Lieske is the chief executive officer of the Flint Cultural Center Academy. He tells The Flint Journal that the academy may implement an admissions lottery for some or all grades.

The academy is accepting applications for children in kindergarten through fifth-grade until April 26.

Enrollment is expected to begin at about 300 students. The academy could expand to as many as 650 students after sixth, seventh and eighth grades are added in coming years.

The academy is receiving up to $35 million from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. It’s also part of the Microsoft Flagship Schools program, which helps with building design and technology.



Detroit students to compete in national debate championship

DETROIT (AP) — Two students from University Prep Academy High School in Detroit will compete in a national debate competition.

The public charter school system says Hailey Samuel and Tatianna McKenzie will represent the city at the Urban Debate Leagues National Championship April 12-15 at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The competition attracts dozens of teams from across the U.S.

This is the eighth consecutive year that University Prep Academy debate students will take part.

University Prep’s debate team won the #1 Sweepstakes award at the city championship as a full team. The system serves kindergarten through 12th grade students.


Program allows students to earn college credits at no cost

ALLEGAN, Mich. (AP) — High school students in a western Michigan county have the opportunity to earn diplomas and associate degrees or pre-apprenticeships with up to 62 college credits at no cost.

The state’s Talent and Economic Development Department says professors at Lake Michigan College travel to teach at the Early College Allegan County program in Allegan, southwest of Grand Rapids.

The 3-year program allows students to extend high school by one year. Upon completion, they are able to transfer credits earned from Lake Michigan College to a 4-year university, continue in their apprenticeships or join the workforce.

Early College Allegan County Dean Evy Houser says the program is huge for “underserved populations and first generation college students.”


Balloons may have caused “shooter” alert at U of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan says popping balloons may have sparked an “active shooter” alert at a building in the middle of campus.

In a statement late Saturday, the university says authorities received up to 20 calls about shots being fired at Mason Hall. The reports came during a nearby vigil for those killed in the mosque shootings in New Zealand.

Alerts issued by the school’s Department of Public Safety and Security around 5 p.m. told students who were near Mason Hall to “run, hide, fight.” About 40 minutes later, the university sent another alert saying there “does not appear to be an active threat to the community.”

Authorities confirmed there was “balloon popping activity” in the area where reports emerged about shots being fired. The school says there was no “malicious intent” behind the activity.


Once sanctuaries, houses of worship struggle with security

DETROIT (AP) — Houses of worship have traditionally been places of refuge where strangers are welcome.

But high-profile attacks in recent years on an African-American church in Charleston, a synagogue in Pittsburgh and now mosques in New Zealand have made many rethink whether those places are sanctuaries or targets.

At least 49 people died in the mosques attacks and the gunman suspected of attacking the two mosques in the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand’s modern history has identified himself as a white nationalist.

At the Islamic Center of Detroit, Imam Mohannad Hakeem says his sense is that people are fearful for their lives and their houses of worship.

In the parking lot, a police officer monitored the mosque from a squad car while a police chief greeted congregants inside.


R. Kelly case poses challenge: Separating artist from anthem

DETROIT (AP) — The dilemma of separating the sides of R. Kelly, who faces 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse, now confronts millions who listen to or perform his music.

It’s perhaps most acute when it comes to “I Believe I Can Fly.” The Grammy-winning ballad released in 1996 has made its way into movies and been performed in countless reality shows, church services, as well as school concerts and graduation ceremonies. Children are even singing it bilingually.

Motown Records alum Paul Riser Sr. wrote the orchestral parts for Kelly’s hit song and directed the backing musicians in Detroit in the mid-1990s. He says he’s troubled by the allegations and believes the victims, but the song’s inspirational message has a life beyond its creator.

Kelly has denied wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty.


33 dogs rescued from cages in garage in suburban Detroit

ROSEVILLE, Mich. (AP) — Police in suburban Detroit say 33 dogs have been rescued from a garage in a cemetery.

Roseville police say a 51-year-old woman residing in a home next to the garage told officers she was operating a rescue nearby before recently moving the dogs to the Roseville location. She said the garage was serving as temporary quarters for the dogs.

Police say they were alerted to the situation Saturday by a passer-by.

They say the dogs were held in various cages and needed immediate attention due to conditions at the garage.

Police didn’t identify the woman or say if she’ll face criminal charges.

The incident comes about a month after 53 dogs were removed from a box truck in the driveway of a home in nearby Sterling Heights.


Michigan ambulance services work to improve recruitment

(Information from: Livingston Daily Press & Argus,

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — Ambulance services in Michigan are increasing recruitment efforts as the emergency medical services industry faces a staff shortage.

The Livingston Daily Press & Argus reports that counties, universities and private companies are working together to reach out to high school and college students about the industry and offer training programs to get people interested.

The Michigan Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness says the number of students graduating from paramedic training in the state has dropped from 1,200 per year to 250 in the past three years.

Matthew Rose is a spokesman for Emergent Health Partners, an Ann Arbor-based nonprofit ambulance and health transportation services provider. He says the organization is increasing student outreach, offering a tuition reimbursement program and providing more training programs.



Trooper hurt after cruiser rear-ended on slippery I-94

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State Police say a trooper was hospitalized with minor injuries after another vehicle struck his cruiser on Interstate 94 near Battle Creek.

Police say the crash occurred about 4:15 a.m. Saturday while the trooper was parked on the shoulder investigating an earlier single vehicle crash.

Police say after the vehicle that struck the cruiser from behind, it spun out on the icy road and was struck by a semitrailer. The driver in the vehicle that struck the cruiser, a 30-year-old Galesburg woman, was taken to a Kalamazoo hospital with minor injuries.

The trooper’s name hasn’t been released.

The semitrailer driver wasn’t injured.


Michigan drinking water wells to be sampled for contaminants

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Samples are expected to be taken from about 49 residential drinking water wells in western Michigan to test for chemical contaminants.

Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality says the wells are along Trout Creek in Cascade Township and that the testing is part of its ongoing investigation of potential PFAS contamination sources near the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

Property owners are expected to be contacted by mail this month.

PFAS stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances which have been used in firefighting foam and other products. They can get into drinking water when products containing the chemicals are spilled onto the ground or in lakes or rivers.

The airport released a report last year that showed elevated levels of PFAS soil and groundwater at the facility near Grand Rapids.