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Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

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*Michigan Capitol Confidential, an arm of the Mackinac Center, reports that, “For the first time since 2006, the Service Employees International Union is not deducting money from the Medicaid checks of the state's 59,000 home-based caregivers.  James Haveman, director of the Michigan Department of Community Health, confirmed that the money no longer is being taken from the checks.”

However, more than $34 million went to SEIU coffers under a scheme that had home-based care-givers, many of them relatives of the folks they were caring for, being represented against an employer, the state of Michigan, that didn’t actually employ them.

*Michigan ranks in the bottom half on the size of the average tax refund, reports governing.com. Only 14 states have lower average refund sizes than Michigan – and this data is from 2011.

*The famous Brown vs. Board of Education school desegregation ruling may have changed the nation in a previously unconsidered way: “A growing body of social science research is now reaching the conclusion that school desegregation should get some direct credit for the drop in black crime. Indeed, as courts have begun overturning these rulings over the past decade, we’ve seen an alarming uptick in crimes by young black men. It turns out that integrating schools wasn’t just a matter of turning them into melting pots or providing equal access to education. It was also an effective way of fighting inner-city crime.

*Sometimes, it’s possible to forget that Facebook is a money-making concern. It will find dollars where it can.

*A Detroit Tigers fan finds frustration and sadness in Justin Verlander’s new contract.

*Michigan changed its law last year and allowed adult motorcycle riders to cruise without helmets. The first year with the revised rules also happened to be a year when deaths in motorcycle accidents increased at a rate three times as high as deaths from other vehicle accidents. 

A proponent of optional helmets blamed the weather: “‘Michigan's fatality rate has a history of fluctuation,’ said Vince Consiglio, president of the motorcycle advocacy group ABATE of Michigan. ‘When you consider it was the hottest summer ever and there was a slight increase in registrations, we consider this a wash. Last year was an exceptional year for weather.’ Consiglio said more than half of all riders didn't have a permanent motorcycle license and there are parts of the state without proper safety training or classes.”

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