EAST LANSING, MI – A ranking Republican in the state House says legislative leaders in budget negotiations with Governor Granholm want to avoid a repeat of 2007's government shutdown.
State Representative Chuck Moss is vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee. He was in the Legislature during a five-hour shutdown in 2007 that resulted from a budget standoff. And he says it's critical to reach consensus to avoid a repeat predicament.
LANSING, (MI) – Every year, the Michigan State University Museum recognizes artists who sustain traditional arts practices in the state with the Michigan Heritage Awards, given at the Great Lakes Folk Festival.
This year, one of the winners is the state capitol building's master decorative painter and preservationist.
WKAR's Scott Pohl recently spent some time with Bill Finch at the building he's lovingly cared for since the early 1980's.
FORT WAYNE, IN – The Fort Wayne TinCaps scored six runs in the second inning and four runs in the third to blow open the finale of a four-game series, defeating the Lansing Lugnuts 12-6 last night at Parkview Field. The Lugnuts return home tonight to open up a four-game series with the Dayton Dragons at Oldsmobile Park.
DETROIT – Brandon Inge hit a two-run homer in a four-run second inning and Rick Porcello didn't give up a hit until the fifth, helping the Detroit Tigers coast to a 7-3 win against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.
The Tigers won three of four games in the series to stay atop the AL Central, heading into a matchup with the third-place Minnesota Twins.
LANSING, MI – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has tentatively agreed to raise rates for nearly 200,000 of its health insurance customers by an average of 22%, a significantly lower rate increase than originally sought.
The agreement reached Thursday with Attorney General Mike Cox is subject to approval by state regulators before it could take effect.
LANSING, MI – There was little progress reported Thursday in state budget talks. Governor Granholm had a conference call with the Legislature's Republican and Democratic leaders.
Governor Granholm and legislative leaders continue to trade ideas, but have apparently not made any more decisions on how to retire a deficit of $1.8 billion in the state's General Fund, and almost a billion dollars in the School Aid Fund.
LIVONIA, MI – The chief executive of an advanced battery company says a nearly $250 million grant from the federal government is a "kick-start" to opening three facilities near Detroit and making it possible to be competitive in the United States.
A123 Systems Inc. President and CEO David Vieau says the Watertown, Mass.-based company will develop lithium-ion battery technology for Chrysler Group LLC at new facilities in Livonia, Romulus and Brownstown Township.
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm held a conference call this morning with the Legislature's Republican and Democratic leaders to continue negotiations on the budget. The state's new fiscal year begins in eight weeks.
The state's facing a deficit of $1.8 billion in its General Fund. It would be almost a billion dollars bigger without federal stimulus money to help cover a shortfall in Michigan's School Aid Fund.
DETROIT, MI – Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm joined the Vice President in Detroit Wednesday as he announced more than $2 billion in automotive technology grants. Granholm says local lawmakers are responsible for gathering support in Washington for the funds. She says battery technology will be critical to the state's future economy:
"Michigan has put $700 million into battery credits, pack assembly, cell manufacturing, research and development and the integration with the vehicle," she said.
DETROIT, MI – The Obama administration says 11 Michigan manufacturers and research facilities will receive more than $1,000,000,000 of $2,400,000,000 in grants for development of the next generation of electric vehicles and batteries, more than any other state.
Michigan and Indiana combined will receive the largest portion of the grant money. Battery makers, along with General Motors, Ford, Chrysler LLC and Dow Chemical Company are receiving grants.
EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan's infant mortality rate and foster care population will go up if proposed state budget cuts to human services are passed. That's the view of advocacy groups who gathered Wednesday at the State Capitol.
Some are calling for an increase in the state beer tax to address the issue. Jack Kresnak is President of the group "Michigan's Children." He says a 5-cent hike on beer would raise $111-million:
DETROIT, MI – Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm says she would rather take in prisoners from California than those from Guantanamo Bay.
Granholm told reporters Wednesday she needs to hear from the Department of Homeland Security before making decisions about accepting Guantanamo detainees. Federal officials say a maximum security prison in Standish and the military penitentiary in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., are among possible locations to hold 229 foreign fighters now detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
LANSING, MI – State Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop says Governor Granholm should make her revenue proposals public.
Bishop says the governor gave legislative leaders in closed-door budget negotiations a list of ways she thinks the state could collect more money through taxes. Bishop says if the Senate's proposals for program cuts are public knowledge, the governor's revenue list should be as well.
LANSING, MI – Hundreds of people concerned about the future of the Library of Michigan rallied at the state capitol and the Michigan Historical Center Wednesday. They fear state budget cuts could shut down all or part of the state library.
Last month, Governor Granholm transferred responsibility for the library to the Department of Education. Under her executive order, much of the library's vast collection would be scattered over many physical locations.
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm will resume meeting Thursday with the legislature's Republican and Democratic leaders to try and resolve the state's $1.8 billion budget crisis. Little has changed since last week's exchange between the leaders - except that more people are going public with their complaints of the proposed budget cuts. There were two protests Wednesday at the state Capitol.
"Preserve our Michigan treasures. Save our libraries."
LANSING, MI – LANSING, MI (WKAR) - Virg Bernero and Carol Wood will face off in November for the mayor's office in Lansing. Only six points separated the two candidates after Tuesday's primary. WKAR's Rob South reports.
Turnout for yesterday's primary was low. Of the 9,600 votes cast, Virg Bernero got fewer than 44 percent. Carol Wood was only six points lower with 38 percent. Wood says she's still excited about the results.