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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.

Lansing, MI – LANSING (MPRN) - State House Democrats approved a plan to give Michigan homeowners a 90-day reprieve when facing foreclosure. Democrats say the bill will benefit borrowers and lenders.

But House Republicans say the measure would flood courts with too many new lending disputes.

Democrat Andy Coulouris sponsored the plan. He says some lenders may not like the bill, but the reprieve will help protect home values, which benefits everyone in Michigan.

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 – EAST LANSING (WKAR) - The 94th annual Agriculture and Natural Resources Week is underway at Michigan State University. Programs focus on activities ranging from fishing, to pesticide education, to breeding rabbits.

Spokesperson Laura Probyn says there's an emphasis on helping farmers find new ways to sell what they produce. One example of that is cheese-making.

Lansing, MI – The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled the state attorney general cannot subpoena the records of a psychologist unless patients give their okay.

Psychologist Gerard Williams was accused of over-billing. The attorney general, acting on behalf of the state Department of Community Health, filed subpoenas seeking records related to 10 of Williams' patients.

Williams refused to turn over the files, saying his office contacted the patients, and none of them agreed to release their records.

East Lansing, MI – EAST LANSING (WKAR) - The Michigan State University men's tennis team is traveling to California for a series of matches next week, but before those matches, they'll spend some time in an unusual setting for tennis.

They'll visit San Quentin prison, where a tennis program has become part of the exercise and discipline regimen for inmates, some of whom are incarcerated for life.

Lansing, MI – Michigan's January jobless rate of 11.6% does not include people who gave up looking for work, or have part-time jobs. Those groups boosted Michigan's unemployed-and-under-employed rate to 18.7%

State and federal statistics show almost 352,000 people in Michigan had either given up looking for work in the past year, or were holding part-time positions while seeking full-time employment.

East Lansing, MI – EAST LANSING (WKAR) - The author of a book on General Motors says news that the auto maker's auditors have doubts about its future isn't surprising. William Holstein, author of the book, Why GM Matters, was in town for a book tour Thursday.

w.r. richards / WKAR

Classic soul, R & B, traditional blues and inspired originals from a Michigan favorite.

Originally aired 3/4/09

Audio Feature

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (MPRN) -- A group of property owners brought their case against Dow Chemical to the Michigan Supreme Court today. It's been almost six years since the property owners first went to court, claiming dioxin contamination made their homes unsafe, and reduced their property values.

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (MPRN) -- A group of property owners brought their case against Dow Chemical to the Michigan Supreme Court today. It's been almost six years since the property owners first went to court, claiming dioxin contamination made their homes unsafe, and reduced their property values.

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