News

Pages

In Michigan
6:39 pm
Thu October 15, 2009

Mich. OKs more tax incentives after running out

LANSING, MI – Michigan lawmakers are agreeing to award more tax incentives for economic development this year, as long as the state reports the number of jobs created and retained by companies getting the tax credits.

The state Senate today overwhelmingly approved a package of four bills after reaching a compromise with the House and Gov. Jennifer Granholm's administration. Granholm is expected to sign the legislation once the House finishes voting next week.

Read more
In Michigan
6:35 pm
Thu October 15, 2009

MI House passes bill aimed at collecting unpaid parking ticket fines

LANSING, MI – The state House has passed a bill that would lower the number of unpaid parking tickets drivers could have before they would not be able to renew their licenses. The number would go from six to three unpaid tickets.

State Representative Roy Schmidt says his hometown of Grand Rapids could use the half-million dollars it stands to collect in the first year under the legislation. And he says other cities could also use the money.

Read more
WKAR Features
10:30 am
Thu October 15, 2009

MSU's Dubai campus is looking for economic turnaround

East Lansing, MI – Michigan State University's campus in Dubai is now in its second year of operation. Once regarded as the most prosperous economy in the Middle East, there's been a downturn in the United Arab Emirates...including Dubai.

WKAR's Scott Pohl spoke this week with Brendan Mullen, MSU-Dubai's executive director, during a return visit to East Lansing.

Read more
In Michigan
7:27 pm
Wed October 14, 2009

MEDC legislation passes House

LANSING, MI – The state House and Senate may be close to approving more economic development tax credits designed to attract new businesses to Michigan.

The organization that hands out the incentives ran out of a year's worth of credits in six months. Lawmakers disagreed over whether to give the group more credits, and how to make sure they were being used wisely.

Read more
In Michigan
7:24 pm
Wed October 14, 2009

Speaker Dillon speaks out

LANSING, MI – State House Democrats and Senate Republicans don't appear to be close to reaching a deal over revenue. Their divide over how to generate more money to fill cuts made to the budget last month may be widening.

AUDIO:
Neither the House nor the Senate has plans to vote on the other's proposals for revenue. Democratic House Speaker Andy Dillon.

Read more
Top Stories
6:36 pm
Wed October 14, 2009

Michigan jobless rate is 15.3%

LANSING, MI – Michigan's jobless rate was virtually unchanged in September. It bumped up last month by one-tenth of a percentage point to 15.3%.

The state Department of Labor and Economic Growth say the most job losses were in retail and tourism. The numbers are seasonally adjusted, so they don't just reflect the end of the summer travel season. There was a slight increase in manufacturing jobs because workers were called back from short-term layoffs.

Read more
In Michigan
6:09 pm
Wed October 14, 2009

No thaw in Michigan budget talks

LANSING, MI – Governor Granhom will meet Thursday with legislative leaders after a sit-down Wednesday with the Senate Republican leader failed to yield a budget compromise.

Read more
Top Stories
2:39 pm
Wed October 14, 2009

BCBSM will consolidate employees in Lansing in 2011

Lansing mayor Virg Bernero (left) and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan president and CEO Daniel Loepp.
WKAR Photo

Lansing, MI – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has announced plans to consolidate 250 employees into the current Accident Fund Insurance Company building in downtown Lansing. The move is set to take place in two years.

AUDIO:

Read more
Top Stories
2:33 pm
Wed October 14, 2009

Michigan Unemployment Rate Up Slightly

LANSING, MI – Michigan's unemployment rate was virtually unchanged last month. The jobless rate rose 0.1% to 15.3%.

The U-S jobless rate also rose by 0.1% to 9.8%.

The state's jobless rate rose by 6.4% since September of last year.


Read more
In Focus Today
12:44 pm
Wed October 14, 2009

MSU-Dubai: Year Two

EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State University's campus in Dubai is now in its second year of operation.

Once regarded as the most prosperous economy in the middle east, there's been a downturn in the United Arab Emirates...including Dubai.

WKAR's Scott Pohl spoke this week with Brendan Mullan, executive director of MSU-Dubai, during a return visit to East Lansing.

Mullan says in year two, applications were up by 40%, and admissions rose by 34%...to about 100 students.

Read more
WKAR Features
6:16 am
Wed October 14, 2009

Regional cooperation is an issue in Lansing mayoral race

East Lansing mayor Victor Loomis (left) and Lansing mayor Virg Bernero.
WKAR Photo

Lansing, MI – On November 3, Lansing residents will choose between incumbent Virg Bernero and councilmember Carol Wood for their next mayor. In today's economy, the mayor of Lansing must be a regional leader who can forge partnerships with neighboring governments. Those agreements ensure residents receive vital services the city might not otherwise be able to deliver on its own.

AUDIO:

Read more
Sports
5:30 am
Wed October 14, 2009

Arenas leads Wizards over Pistons

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Gilbert Arenas, who was fined $25,000 by the NBA earlier in the day for not making himself available to the media, scored 24 points to lead the Washington Wizards to a
101-98 preseason victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

Antawn Jamison added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Wizards (2-2), who led 46-45 at halftime. Arenas scored 13 points in the third quarter as Washington opened a a 75-68 lead.

Will Bynum scored 23 points for the Pistons (3-1).

Read more
Sports
5:27 am
Wed October 14, 2009

Sabres find scoring touch in 6-2 win over Wings

BUFFALO, NY – Thomas Vanek scored twice and Derek Roy had three assists as part of a four-goal second period in leading the Buffalo Sabres to a 6-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.

Paul Gaustad and Patrick Kaleta had a goal and assist each, and Drew Stafford and Clarke MacArthur also scored for the Sabres (3-0-1), who along with Dallas (1-0-3) are the only NHL teams without a regulation loss this season.

Read more
Sports
5:25 am
Wed October 14, 2009

Michigan St. has banged-up backfield at midseason

EAST LANSING – The Michigan State football team has reached midseason with a banged-up backfield.

Running back Glenn Winston, the Spartans' second-leading rusher, is done for the season after injuring his right knee in last week's victory over Illinois.

That means more of the rushing burden will shift to freshman Larry Caper when the Spartans (3-3, 2-1 Big Ten) host Northwestern (4-2, 1-1) on Saturday.

Coach Mark Dantonio said Tuesday that Caper is capable of handling more of the load for the Michigan State offense.

Read more
In Michigan
7:21 pm
Tue October 13, 2009

Mich. investigating underage drinking at GOP event

LANSING, MI – The state Liquor Control Commission is looking into statements made in a college student's blog that underage drinking took place at candidates' parties during a recent gathering of Michigan Republicans on Mackinac Island.

Commission spokeswoman Andrea Miller said Tuesday an investigation has been opened.

The Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference was held Sept. 25 and 26.

Read more
In Michigan
7:17 pm
Tue October 13, 2009

MI regulators ask utility why money not refunded

LANSING, MI – State regulators are asking Consumers Energy Co. to show why it hasn't returned unspent funds to its Michigan customers.

The Michigan Public Service Commission on Tuesday directed the Jackson-based utility to file a response by Oct. 30 saying why it hasn't paid the refunds required under a 2005 order.

Consumers Energy spokesman Dan Bishop says the utility is studying the latest order.

Read more
Top Stories
6:38 pm
Tue October 13, 2009

GOP leader: No second shutdown

LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm and state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop are scheduled to meet Wednesday in an effort to end a budget standoff.

AUDIO:
The Senate Republican leader is refusing to send the Democratic governor half a dozen budget bills that are waiting on her signature. He says that's because she's threatening to veto major portions of the budgets to free enough money to restore cuts to college scholarships, Medicaid, and local governments.

Read more
In Michigan
6:36 pm
Tue October 13, 2009

Senate GOP and business groups talk tax reforms

LANSING, MI – Business groups are speaking out in support of a state Senate Republican plan to reform Michigan's tax structure and limit tax credits to generate new revenue.

AUDIO:
The Senate GOP plan would reduce the Michigan Business Tax over three years. Bringing down the cost of the MBT has been a high priority of Senate Republicans and business leaders. Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop.

Read more
In Michigan
6:11 pm
Tue October 13, 2009

State House Appropriations discusses horse race tracks

LANSING, MI – The state House Appropriations Committee began talking about the expansion of gambling in Michigan to draw more revenue to the state.

Representatives from the casino and gaming industry say the market could become too saturated if horse tracks are allowed to have casino-style gambling. They say casinos are competing for less business during the downturn in the economy.

And James Moffett from the Foundation for Traditional Values says there are moral issues to consider as well.

Read more
Top Stories
3:37 pm
Tue October 13, 2009

GOP leader: Governor risks over-stepping her power

LANSING, MI – The Republican leader of the state Senate says Governor Granholm will open herself to a constitutional challenge if she tries to use line-item vetoes to fund her budget priorities. Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop says the governor risks over-stepping her authority.

"The Legislature is here for a purpose, and that is to pass these budgets and do so in a timely and effective way," he says. "We passed a balanced budget and to usurp the powers of the Legislature here is unwarranted."

Read more
WKAR Features
2:21 pm
Tue October 13, 2009

Lansing voters consider economic development in Mayoral vote

Renovations continue on the future site of the Accident Fund Insurance Co. headquarters in downtown Lansing.
WKAR Photo

LANSING, MI – As Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero shoots for re-election, many voters consider whether his record on jobs and development is worthy of their vote. Many say the administration's economic agenda is just what the city needs. Others, including challenger Carol Wood, say the Mayor's attention-grabbing style shows there's less there than meets the eye.

Read more
In Michigan
7:10 am
Tue October 13, 2009

Governor threatens line-item veto to fund budget priorities

Lansing, MI – Governor Granholm says if the Legislature won't fund her budget priorities, she will use line-item vetoes to free more money for local governments, nursing homes, and college scholarships. She is trying to put pressure on lawmakers to agree to new revenue as a new budget deadline draws near. The Legislature is debating budget proposals this week. At the same time, people affected by the political gridlock in Lansing are growing frustrated with the uncertainty.

Read more
Sports
7:04 am
Tue October 13, 2009

Lions want wins, not rest for Stafford and Johnson

ALLEN PARK, MI – Lions coach Jim Schwartz says he will not take an upcoming bye into consideration when deciding if quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson will play
at Green Bay.

Schwartz said Monday "we're trying to win" when asked if he might rest Stafford and Johnson against the Packers because Detroit is off the following week.

Stafford did not play in Sunday's loss against Pittsburgh after injuring his right knee the previous week.

Read more
Sports
7:26 pm
Mon October 12, 2009

MSU womens basketball coach Suzy Merchant discusses upcoming season

East Lansing, MI – Entering her third season as head coach of the Michigan State woman's basketball program Suzy Merchant looks to build off a twenty-two win season a year ago which included a trip to the sweet sixteen.

The Michigan State lady Spartans return 9 players who started at least one game last season, their top six scorers return from a a squad that was an eyelash away from advancing to the elite eight last March.

Read more
In Michigan
7:08 pm
Mon October 12, 2009

Mich. governor signs law giving farm animals room

LANSING, MI – Gov. Jennifer Granholm has signed legislation requiring that farm animals confined in small cages have enough room to turn around and fully extend their limbs.

The bill signed Monday makes Michigan the second state to ban commonly used cages for egg-laying chickens, the fifth to ban common crates for veal calves and the seventh to ban certain stalls for pregnant pigs.

The cages for hens and stalls for pregnant pigs will go away in about 10 years. The veal crates will be banned in three years.

Read more
In Michigan
6:35 pm
Mon October 12, 2009

State reports 19,500 jobs saved or created by federal stimulus

LANSING, MI – The state is reporting that since February about 20,000 jobs have been created or retained as a result of federal stimulus money.

The numbers come from a quarterly report the state files with the federal government. Michigan has received nearly $3.7 billion under the Recovery Act.

Leslie Fritz is with the state agency overseeing the stimulus money. She says Michigan's experience is similar to what has happened in other states.

Read more
In Michigan
6:05 pm
Mon October 12, 2009

Wharton Center unveils completed renovations

East Lansing, MI – The Wharton Center for Performing Arts at Michigan State University held an open house Sunday to take the wraps off a major improvement project.

There's 24,000 square feet of new space, and another nine thousand square feet of space was renovated.

Wharton Center executive director Mike Brand says the project has taken about three years from its inception to its completion. He says new amenities will be the most notable to patrons.

Read more
In Michigan
3:37 pm
Mon October 12, 2009

Granholm says she will use vetoes to free up money

LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm says she will use her line item veto power to free up money in the state budget to restore proposed cuts to Medicaid, local governments, and college scholarships.

AUDIO:
Governor Granholm says payments to doctors and nursing homes that take Medicaid patients, local police and fire services, and the Michigan Promise scholarship are too crucial to endure the big cuts in budgets approved by the Legislature.

Read more
WKAR Features
2:31 pm
Mon October 12, 2009

Mayor's political fund draws criticism

Lansing City Hall.
WKAR Photo

Lansing, MI – The Director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network says a political fund set up by Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero could lead to accusations that the city has a "pay to play" system of awarding contracts. The City Administrative Account has collected about $200,000 since it was created when Bernero took office in 2006.

AUDIO:

Read more
In Michigan
10:26 am
Mon October 12, 2009

Crews to begin rebuilding collapsed I-75 overpass

HAZEL PARK, MI – Crews are to begin replacing an overpass destroyed nearly three months ago in a fiery tanker crash on Interstate 75 near Detroit.

Michigan Department of Transportation spokesman Rob Morosi tells The Detroit News workers are to get started this morning.

The $11.8 million project will close one lane of the two north- and southbound service drives and cause intermittent single-lane closures on both directions of I-75.

The state will be reimbursed for 90 percent of the costs through the federal Emergency Relief Fund.

Read more

Pages