Legalized pot in Michigan, roadwork standoff ends, ICE delays deportation: Your Friday morning briefing

Cannabea Cookie from a Detroit dispensary.

“Morning Briefing” is a new feature in Motor City Muckraker to keep you informed as we add award-winning reporters to our independent newsroom that soon will be a nonprofit watchdog. Your donations are key to our ability to produce more vigorous, meaningful, nonpartisan journalism at a time when news rooms are cutting back on impactful, investigative stories.

These are the top stories you’re waking up to:

Voters support legalizing marijuana, making voting easier

Voters overwhelmingly support ballot initiatives that would legalize marijuana for recreational use and make voting easier, according to a new Free Press poll.

The survey of 600 active and likely voters showed the marijuana proposal leading 55%-41%. About 3% were undecided.

Of those surveyed, 70% said they support Promote the Vote, which would permit no-reason absentee voting, same-day voter registration and straight-ticket voting. A quarter of those surveyed opposed the proposal, and 6% were undecided.

The election is in November.

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Roadwork resumes after 3-week labor standoff

Roadwork is expected to resume on 164 projects that were stalled for three weeks amid a standoff over a labor dispute.

A short-term agreement has been inked between Operating Engineers 324 and the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, Gov. Snyder said Thursday.

“This is great news, and I appreciate that both sides were able to see how important the work they do is to the safety and quality of life for all Michiganders,” Snyder said in a statement.

“The vital work of getting Michigan’s roads repaired should not have stalled, but the important thing now is that projects will be getting back on track. A long-term solution to the contract negotiations still needs to be worked out, but that can and should be done after this construction season is completed.”

When the short-term deal ends this winter, the union and contractors association will tap professional mediators to help negotiate a new contract.

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Deaf, disabled immigrant in Detroit can stay in U.S. for a year

A deaf and disabled immigrant from Nigeria will be allowed to stay in the U.S. for at least another year following public outrage about his imminent deportation.

“After a thorough review of Mr. Anwana’s case, in conjunction with his request for a stay of removal, ICE has granted his request for a period of one year,” Khaalid Walls, spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told the Free Press on Thursday. “A stay of removal is among the discretionary actions that a field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations may exercise on a case by case basis.”

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Francis Anwana, 48, has lived in the U.S. since he was 13, but ICE officials were planning to deport him to his native country.

Anwana, who lived in Detroit, is deaf, can’t speak and has cognitive impairments. Some feared his deportation would result in his death in Nigeria.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.