Legislature divides over parenting

By KAREN HOPPER USHER
Capital News Service
LANSING – Michigan custody law should reflect the changing Michigan family. That’s the sentiment behind a bill in the House Committee on Families, Children and Seniors that would revise the Child Custody Act of 1970 which says parents have to be “advised” of joint custody as an option. Meanwhile, a resolution, passed by the committee, would raise awareness of parental alienation. Under the proposed “Michigan Shared Parenting Act,” courts would presume joint custody is in the best interest of the child, unless certain conditions are met. Those conditions would include the parents agreeing not to have joint custody or a judge believing the child would be “materially harmed” by joint custody.

Good Samaritan bill expected to be signed into law

By RAY WILBUR
Capital News Service
LANSING — Two pills and a night in December of 2014 changed the lives of one Michigan family and in turn spawned an effort to help families affected by drug overdose deaths across the state. Mason Mizwicki, 16, of Watervliet, died of a methadone overdose on New Year’s Day of 2015 after a party with friends. Mizwicki took two methadone pills that had been provided by a woman hosting the party. Methadone is an opioid medication administered to reduce withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to heroin. When he began having a seizure, his friends did nothing.

Hefty increase in beer tax proposed, criticized

By ANTHONY HARVEY
Capital News Service
LANSING – Critics say that a recent proposal to increase the tax on beer is unlikely to get much support from businesses. The bill comes as the craft beer industry is booming in Michigan. “I did not sign on to change horses in the midrace when I started my business,” said Matt Greff, owner and operator of Arbor Brewing Company in Ann Arbor. Greff said craft beer brewers and those trying to capture a piece of this market would be severely crippled by the tax. There is an existing tax climate when entrepreneurs start news businesses.

Bill would exterminate breed discrimination

By ALEXANDER SMITH
Capital News Service
LANSING – State lawmakers are considering a bill to eliminate dog breed discrimination by Michigan cities and towns. It would prohibit local governments from putting special regulations on particular breeds. Cities that ban dogs such as pit bulls or Rottweilers would have to find breed-neutral ways to regulate them, such as stricter leash laws for dogs above a certain weight or height. There are 29 cities that have restrictions on particular dog breeds according to the Best Friends Animal Society, which supports the bill sponsored by Sen. David Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township. Each focuses on pit bulls.

Ann Arbor gun-control resolution sparks discussion in Meridian Township

By Lauren N. Shields
The Meridian Times

The first time Nick Johnston shot a gun was when he was 3 years old. By the age of 12, Johnston started to learn how to take guns apart and put them back together. At age 16, he was able to start making guns for himself. Johnston, now 24, has his concealed pistol license (CPL) and is the vice president of his grandfather’s company, Ultimate Firearms in Okemos. Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, he is also the owner of Johnston Firearms in Okemos as well as an Alaskan hunting guide.