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In Focus Today
7:10 pm
Wed September 30, 2009

MI House and the Senate continue to debate budgets as deadline looms

State Capitol, Lansing.
WKAR photo.

LANSING, MI – At the state Capitol, the House and the Senate continue to debate and vote on budgets with a midnight deadline only few hours away.

AUDIO:
With the deadline approaching, budget bills inched forward, and lawmakers began discussing the need for more revenue to avert spending cuts to scholarships, schools, local governments, and health care.

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In Michigan
6:50 pm
Wed September 30, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE (3:01 pm) MI House passes transportation bill

LANSING, MI – The Michigan House has passed a transportation spending bill that includes about $1.2 billion in cuts from the current year.

The bill passed 108-0, with two lawmakers excused. It now goes back to the Senate to await a vote giving it immediate effect.

The measure includes about $10 million in cuts to public transportation, including Amtrak.

The bill would give the transportation department $3.3 billion to spend overall in state and federal funds.

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In Michigan
6:48 pm
Wed September 30, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE (3:59 pm) Michigan governor issues temporary layoff notices

LANSING, MI – Gov. Jennifer Granholm has begun the process of preparing for a possible partial government shutdown.

The Democratic governor's administration told state employees Wednesday afternoon that they will be temporarily laid off at 12:01 a.m. Thursday unless an interim budget or final budget is in place or they are told to report to work.

Lawmakers are still trying to pass a few budget bills by Wednesday's midnight deadline.

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In Michigan
6:40 pm
Wed September 30, 2009

MSU's Farm Lane reopens

EAST LANSING, MI – Drivers on the Michigan State University campus are back on Farm Lane, 18 months after the start of a major construction project. The improved road now features a railroad bridge, wider lanes and two pedestrian walkways.

Emergency crews say the new underpass will enhance their response time. And students like freshman Lauren Cetnor say it will speed up their daily routines too.

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In Michigan
6:33 pm
Wed September 30, 2009

Lansing Schools' aim to boost attendance on "Count Day"

LANSING, MI – Lansing public schools officials are hoping a growing effort to get kids in classrooms on Wednesday was successful. The head count will help determine state funding for the cash-strapped district for the current school year.

At Lansing's Pattengill Middle School, principal Kirk Sulzman says attendance trends are encouraging.

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Top Stories
6:26 pm
Wed September 30, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE (5:00 pm) K-12 budget locks legislators in

LANSING, MI – The state Legislature is heading into the final hours of the fiscal year, and no budget deal has been reached. Both the House and the Senate have passed many targeted budgets. But as Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, a few budgets are keeping the Legislature in a holding pattern.

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In Michigan
6:19 pm
Wed September 30, 2009

Legislature heads into final day of fiscal year

LANSING, MI – The state House and Senate have only a few more hours to finalize a budget deal before the end of the fiscal year. But negotiations are progressing slowly.

AUDIO:

Fierce negotiations over the K-12 school budget, Medicaid and local government revenue sharing have slowed the final stages of a budget deal.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop says he's continuing to negotiate with Democratic House Speaker Andy Dillon.

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In Michigan
6:18 pm
Wed September 30, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE: Lawmakers hold closed door session on state budget; deadline looming

Lansing, MI – House Democrats are meeting in a closed-door caucus on the budget. House leaders have been unable to round up the votes for big spending cuts. Senate Republicans say they won't agree to new taxes to balance the budget. The deadline for finishing the budget is midnight.


WE'LL HAVE MORE on the state budget process later today. Check this website and listen to All Things Considered starting at 4 p.m. on 90.5 WKAR.

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In Michigan
6:18 pm
Wed September 30, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE: Michigan House approves a 30-day budget

The Michigan State Capitol in Lansing.
WKAR Photo

LANSING, MI – The Michigan House is voting on a temporary budget that would continue current spending levels for 30 days. That would buy lawmakers more time to reach a budget deal with the midnight deadline drawing closer. The Senate would also have to adopt the temporary plan. But Republican leaders want a temporary budget to cut spending.


WE'LL HAVE MORE on the state budget later today. Check this website, and listen to All Things Considered at 4 p.m. on 90.5 WKAR.

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In Michigan
6:17 pm
Wed September 30, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE: Gov asking for temp budget; House may restore Promise

LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm is calling on the state Senate to send her a temporary budget right away while the Legislature continues working toward tonight's midnight deadline. The House approved the budget this morning. It's waiting now on a procedural vote in the state Senate. Senate Republican leaders would prefer not to give the governor that kind of leverage in what they hope are the final hours of the budget debate.

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In Michigan
6:16 pm
Wed September 30, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE (12:40 pm): House approves Medicaid, higher education budgets

Lansing, MI – The state House has approved Medicaid and higher education budgets by very slim margins. Many Democrats oppose the pact made by House leaders, despite assurances that budget cuts to health care and scholarships will be restored.


WE'LL HAVE MORE on the state budget later today. Check this website and listen to All Things Considered starting at 4 p.m. on 90.5 WKAR.

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In Michigan
6:16 pm
Wed September 30, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE (2:05 pm): House, Senate adopt budgets with big cuts to college scholarships, Medicaid

Lansing, MI – At the state Capitol, the House and the Senate are adopting controversial budgets with big cuts to college scholarships and Medicaid. The budgets generally match reduction targets called for by Senate Republicans. But the Senate is not sending budgets to Governor Granholm because they are waiting on procedural votes that allow the budgets to take effect when the new fiscal year begins at midnight. Those votes require some support from Senate Democrats, who oppose the cuts.

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In Michigan
6:15 pm
Wed September 30, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE (4:15pm) K-12 budget locks legislators in

LANSING , MI – State lawmakers are heading into the final hours of the fiscal year. A stalemate over the K-12 education budget has stalled the process of reaching a deal.

Some Democrats in the House say the cuts to schools and early childhood education would hurt Michigan's future more than any other proposed cut. But House Appropriations chairman George Cushingberry says the state has to live within its means.

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WKAR Features
2:55 pm
Wed September 30, 2009

After long wait, a safer Farm Lane re-opens on MSU campus

East Lansing, MI – Michigan State University has long had a traffic problem related to the railroad tracks that cross the southern part of the campus. Every day, trains block north-south traffic at MSU, creating an annoying and potentially dangerous situation.

Now, those days are over.

Today Farm Lane reopens, with two new underpasses sending vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians under those train tracks.

AUDIO:

(sound of train passing overhead)

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Sports
11:56 am
Wed September 30, 2009

Coach Mark Dantonio discusses the MSU and Michigan rivalry

EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio discusses the rivalry on the gridiron with the University of Michigan. The Spartans come into the game on Saturday losing their last three contests by a combined 13 points. The Wolverines are undefeated at 4-0 coming into Spartan stadium. Michigan comes into East Lansing with a 19-10-2 overall record at Spartan Stadium and leads the all-time series 67-29-5 between the two schools.

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WKAR Features
9:45 am
Wed September 30, 2009

After long wait, a safer Farm Lane re-opens on MSU campus

A fire truck rushes beneath the Farm Lane railroad bridge on the first day the road re-opened for traffic.
WKAR Photo

East Lansing, MI – Michigan State University has long had a traffic problem related to the railroad tracks that cross the southern part of the campus. Every day, trains block north-south traffic at MSU, creating an annoying and potentially dangerous situation.

Now, those days are over.

Today Farm Lane reopens, with two new underpasses sending vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians under those train tracks.

AUDIO:

(sound of train passing overhead)

Read more
Top Stories
9:23 am
Wed September 30, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE: House voting on temporary budget

LANSING, MI – The state House is voting on a 30-day temporary budget that would continue current spending levels for 30 days. That would buy lawmakers more time to reach a budget deal with the midnight deadline drawing closer. The Senate would also have to adopt the temporary plan. But GOP leaders want a temporary budget to cut spending.

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Sports
7:04 am
Wed September 30, 2009

Dantonio says it's too early to judge Michigan St

EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio won more games in his first two seasons than any coach in school history.

Dantonio's third season, though, has started with a thud. The Spartans (1-3, 0-1 Big Ten) have lost three straight games.

Dantonio said Tuesday it's too early to write the story for their season, insisting how he, his staff and players respond to adversity will define them.

Michigan State will recharge its season if it can beat No. 23 Michigan (4-0, 1-0) on Saturday at home.


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Sports
7:02 am
Wed September 30, 2009

Comerica Park: Scene of law-enforcement exercise

DETROIT – The Tigers may still be battling to win the AL Central, but officials already are preparing for the possibility of a World Series in Detroit.

Law enforcement personnel were to descend from helicopters into Comerica Park on Tuesday morning as part of an exercise to prepare for a possible championship series.

Officials first delayed the exercise to Wednesday after rain Monday night forced a Tuesday doubleheader between the Tigers and second-place Minnesota Twins. The event later was delayed until an unspecified future date.

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In Michigan
6:55 am
Wed September 30, 2009

Stimulus argument delays budget deal

LANSING, MI – At the state Capitol, work on the budget is progressing slowly with a midnight deadline for getting the job done.

AUDIO:

Lawmakers labored into the night, but there is still not a single budget bill ready to be signed by Governor Granholm. The latest holdup is an argument over how much federal stimulus funds the state will tap to help pay for K-12 schools.

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In Michigan
6:46 am
Wed September 30, 2009

House votes to expand national marine sanctuary

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House has passed legislation expanding the boundary of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron.

The bill approved Tuesday extends the sanctuary's boundaries to include waters off Alcona, Alpena and Presque Isle counties in Michigan and east to the international boundary with Canada. It expands the area covered by the sanctuary to 3,722 square miles of water and 226 miles of shoreline, up from 448 square miles of water
and 115 miles of shoreline.

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Sports
6:04 am
Wed September 30, 2009

Central-leading Tigers beat Twins 6-5 to split DH

DETROIT – Justin Verlander kept the Detroit Tigers on top in the AL Central, pitching eight innings in a 6-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night that salvaged a split of their critical doubleheader.

Detroit increased its division lead to two over Minnesota, which won the day game 3-2 in 10 innings, with two games left in the series and five to go in the regular season.

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In Focus Today
6:55 pm
Tue September 29, 2009

Legislature to vote on budget cuts, defers talks on revenue

Michigan State Capitol, Lansing.
WKAR photo.

LANSING, MI – It's turning into a long day for lawmakers at the state Capitol. They're working toward finalizing a budget that includes big cuts to local governments, nursing homes and hospitals, and college scholarships. The Legislature is facing a deadline of Wednesday night to get a complete set of budget bills to Governor Granholm's desk.

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In Michigan
6:35 pm
Tue September 29, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE: Mich. House passes cut in aid to local libraries

LANSING, MI – The Michigan House has voted to cut state aid to local libraries by 40%.

Lawmakers have until midnight Wednesday to erase a $2.8 billion shortfall or there may be a partial shutdown of state government.

Aid to local libraries would drop from $10 million to $6 million under a budget bill approved 74-34 Tuesday by the Democratic-led House. The Republican-controlled Senate will vote on the bill next before it heads to Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

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In Michigan
6:34 pm
Tue September 29, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE: Michigan Senate OKs budget with welfare money

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Senate has approved a budget bill that avoids proposed cuts to Michigan's funding for welfare recipients.

Lawmakers are nearing a midnight Wednesday deadline to balance a $2.8 billion budget deficit.

A family of three receiving nearly $500 a month in welfare won't see a $30 per month cut in payments as proposed by Senate Republicans a few months ago.

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In Michigan
5:16 pm
Tue September 29, 2009

MI budget countdown continues

LANSING, MI – Lawmakers are preparing for a marathon session to vote on big spending cuts for budgets. The deadline for a budget deal is midnight on Wednesday.

So far the Legislature is sticking to the Republican plan to balance the budget with cuts alone.

Democrats were able to pass a tax increase during the budget crisis in 2007. And Republican House Minority Leader Kevin Elsenheimer says he thinks there are closed-door discussions going on for new taxes to fund some programs this year as well.

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Top Stories
5:15 pm
Tue September 29, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE: Senate Votes to Cut Aid to Local Governments

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Senate has voted to cut Michigan's tax revenue-sharing payments to local communities by 11% to help balance a $2.8 billion budget deficit.

Cities, townships and counties use the money to cover police, firefighters and other services.

Revenue sharing is one of the most contentious parts of the state budget before Wednesday's midnight deadline. The House could vote later Tuesday.

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In Michigan
4:14 pm
Tue September 29, 2009

Health officials launch RHIO electronic records exchange

Lansing, MI – Physicians and hospitals in Mid-Michigan will soon have the option of switching from paper to electronic medical records. Health officials have launched the Capital Area Regional Health Information Organization, called RHIO. Participating health care providers in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties will be able to share health records on a secure computer network.

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In Michigan
5:26 am
Tue September 29, 2009

Comerica Park: Scene of law-enforcement exercise

DETROIT – The Tigers may still be battling to win the AL Central, but officials already are preparing for the possibility of a World Series in Detroit.

Federal and local law-enforcement personnel will descend from helicopters into Comerica Park Tuesday morning as part of an exercise to prepare for a possible championship series.

Officials say Detroit SWAT and U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel will participate in the "fast-roping" exercise, in which agents descend into the ballpark on a thick rope from a helicopter.

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In Michigan
5:24 am
Tue September 29, 2009

State to release child welfare legal findings

LANSING, MI – A new study says Michigan needs to strengthen ways that parents are represented in child protection proceedings.

The study is to be released Tuesday by the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law. It calls for improving the system by which attorneys are appointed to represent parents, resources available to those attorneys and accountability to both the client and courts.

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