State pushes to expand free pre-K programs

FREE PRE-K: The governor is pushing to expand free pre-K programs for 4-year-olds. We hear from the Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement and Potential, the Wayne Regional Education Service Agency and a Wyoming legislator who is enthusiastic about its potential benefits. By Sophia Ceru. FOR GREENVILLE, WKTV, DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.

Rep. Phil Skaggs, D-East Grand Rapids

Agencies, lawmakers act against child labor abuses

CHILD LABOR: Federal and state agencies have been taking action against employers who hire underage workers following news reports of child labor abuses at a Kentwood company and elsewhere. Pending legislation is intended to crack down on illegal child labor and protect whistleblowers. We hear from the lead sponsor from East Grand Rapids, Michigan Immigration Rights Center in Grand Rapids and federal and state labor agencies. The other sponsor is from Muskegon. For business and news sections. By Alex Walters. FOR CORP! GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, WKTV, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

MCAH works “behind the scenes” to end homelessness

Chronic homelessness is defined as living on the streets for 12 months out of the last 36. A number of shelters and organizations are finding their own ways to address the needs of these citizens in Lansing. One of the organizations is the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH). According to MCAH’s communications manager Amy Stephenson, MCAH works more “behind the scenes.”

Nicole White is the policy director BirthDetroit.

Measures, new birth center, take aim at disparities in maternal health care

IMPLICIT MATERNAL BIAS: New Senate legislation may allow Michigan to join 41 other states in licensing and reimbursing birth centers for their services. The proposal comes as a Detroit organization plans to open a Black-led birth center later this year. Sponsors are from Detroit, Lansing, Taylor and Redford Township. We hear from BirthDetroit, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. By Sophia Ceru. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

Manistique East Breakwater Light is on the National Register of Historic Places.

U.P.’s tight-knit Schoolcraft County a tourist hot spot with unique issues

SCHOOLCRAFT COUNTY PROFILE: When you ask residents of the UP’s Schoolcraft County to talk about their home, they usually first mention the scenic environment and how close they are to Lake Michigan. But the rural qualities they value present difficulties for the community that other, larger counties, something that affects the area’s concerns, solutions and political landscape. By Jack Armstrong, Wajeeha Kamal, Maya Moore and Sheatlyn Paulis. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, IRON MOUNTAIN, ST. IGNACE, SAULT STE. MARIE, CHEBOYGAN AND ALL POINTS.

Undocumented new mothers need health care coverage for 12 months, advocates say

POSTPARTUM: There’s a push to extend Medicaid coverage for undocumented immigrants from two months to 12 months after giving birth. The change in policy for the Maternity Outpatient Medical Services program would cost $6 to $10 million a year, says the Michigan League for Public Policy. The Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, with offices in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Ypsilanti and Detroit, and an NYU expert explain. By Theo Scheer. FOR DETROIT, WKTV, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

Grants help integrate newcomers into Michigan communities

NEWCOMERS: State grants will help nonprofits serve immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers integrate into their communities. The money comes from the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and the federal government. Farmworker Legal Services in Grand Rapids will use its grant to expand its education and oversight activities to the Upper Peninsula. Les Clays, also based in Grand Rapids, will provide “second step” support for immigrants coming from Africa to West Michigan. Other grants recipients include support for Burmese immigrants in Calhoun County and, Islamic Americans in Detroit, partnerships between Catholic churches and local immigrants in Northern Michigan, and Latin American immigrants in Allegan, Kent, Ottawa, and Van Buren counties. By Alex Walters. FOR MARQUETTE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, SAULT STE. MARIE, IRON MOUNTAIN, WKTV, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE, HOLLAND AND ALL POINTS.

Rep. Matthew Bierlein R-Vassar.

Proposal would restrict deepfake images depicting sexual content

DEEPFAKES: A Vassar lawmaker wants to crack down on deepfakes, which are photos or videos with digitally altered faces or bodies to appear to be someone else, usually used maliciously or to spread false information. The legislation raises First Amendment free speech questions. Cosponsors include representatives from Metro Detroit. An expert at Western Michigan University’s Cooley Law School discusses. By Sophia Ceru. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.