Lansing, MI – LANSING, Mi (MPRN) - Environmental groups are preparing to battle Governor Granholm's proposal to scrap Michigan's wetlands protection program and turn it over to the federal government. They will meet at the state Capitol today to make their case to lawmakers.

Michigan is one of just two states to issue its own permits for developing on or near a marsh or stream.

Lansing, MI – LANSING, Mi (MPRN) - Law enforcement officials and judges are pushing Governor Granholm to continue funding mental health courts. The Governor has proposed cutting the funding from Michigan's 2010 budget.

The coalition says the court pilot programs offer irreplaceable treatment for mentally ill, nonviolent offenders, at a bargain to taxpayers who would otherwise pay for their incarceration.

Lansing, MI – LANSING (WKAR) - The Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation is denying the request of seven auto insurance companies who've asked permission to enact rate increases.

The state says those companies are using discriminatory tactics. The disapproved insurers include such names as Progressive and Michigan Millers.

Insurance regulator Ken Ross says those companies use credit scoring to determine how high to set their premiums.

East Lansing, MI – A local state representative is forming a taskforce to look at the feasibility of building a Magnetic Levitation, or MagLev, train system between Lansing and Detroit.

Brighton Republican Bill Rogers says the high-speed transportation system would be the first of its kind in the United States. Rogers says the MagLev rail system would revolutionize transportation in the state.

Rogers says the system he envisions would be privately funded and operated.

Lansing, MI – LANSING (AP) - Gov. Jennifer Granholm says she is "getting close" to a deal with Michigan's public universities to provide some tuition relief for students and families headed into next school year.

Granholm wants universities to freeze tuition rates in exchange for some of the federal stimulus money headed Michigan's way.

But the Democratic governor has run into opposition because she proposed a 3% cut to university state aid for the budget year that begins in October.

Lansing, MI – LANSING (AP) - The Senate Fiscal Agency says state coffers are taking an even bigger hit than expected as tax revenues fall.

According to the agency's February report released Wednesday, tax collections for the month fell almost $100 million short of earlier estimates.

SFA senior economist Jay Wortley says the decline was "much worse than expected."

The national recession has worsened Michigan's economic woes, pushing unemployment up to 11.6% and causing residents to cut back on spending, which hurts state revenues.

Lansing, MI – LANSING (MPRN) - The cost of visiting a state park or recreation area could go down next year for Michigan residents. House and Senate leaders say the Legislature will adopt a plan soon to dump the $24 annual windshield sticker and the $6 daily entry fee.

Instead, park users would pay $10 for a license plate that gives them access to state parks, recreation areas, and boat launch sites.

Lansing, MI – LANSING (MPRN) - A state commission has recommended a 10% rollback in the salaries of the governor and other executive branch officers, and 110 state lawmakers. It's now up to the Legislature to approve the recommendation of the State Officers Compensation Commission.

Lansing, MI – LANSING (MPRN) - Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich was in Lansing Tuesday. He testified before a state Senate committee on health care reform.

Gingrich has been working on health care reform since retiring from Congress. He says making everyone's medical records electronic is key to ensuring proper care. And he says people need to take more responsibility for their health by quitting smoking, eating well, exercising, and controlling chronic conditions.

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MSU Today

Russ White

Each month, MSU professors Charles Ballard and Matt Grossmann engage in a lively discussion of Michigan policy and current events. This Month on State of the State: k-12 education finance and policy with guest Kristi Bowman.


Russ White

Despite the projected continuation of lower commodity prices for farmers, Jim and Dianne Byrum remain very optimistic about the agricultural sector, especially in Michigan.

Jim, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association, and Dianne, partner and co-founder of Byrum and Fisk Advocacy Communications, recently joined me to discuss several  key agricultural issues that will be front and center in 2018.


From NPR News

The details of how North Korea will participate in the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea are still being worked out — but the two countries say their athletes will march together at the opening ceremony, under a unification flag.

The two countries will also form a unified women's hockey team to compete at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February, NPR's Elise Hu reports from Seoul. In addition, North Korea will send a cheering squad of 230 people to support athletes who make the trip.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a case with a surprise plot twist: The jurors were told that the accused was guilty of a triple murder — not by the prosecutor, but by the defense lawyer.

"There is no way reasonably possible that you can listen to the evidence and not come" to that conclusion, he said.

In an effort to avoid the death penalty, the defense lawyer refused to follow the instructions of his client, who contended he was innocent. The question before the justices is whether that violated the client's constitutional right to counsel.

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MSU in Concert Reaches Northern Michigan Listeners

Jan 12, 2018
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The WKAR original classical music series MSU in Concert can now be heard by music lovers in Michigan's northern lower peninsula! The weekly series featuring Michigan State University concert performances now airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on Classical Interlochen Public Radio (IPR).

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More than 1,000 Lansing School District kindergartners now have a PBS KIDS Playtime Pad! The final deliveries were made on Wednesday, December 20 under sunny skies and with hundreds of smiling, excited kindergartners seated on colored carpet squares.

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