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In Michigan
6:11 pm
Tue September 22, 2009

Vets' budget deal approved by committee

LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm's million-dollar cut to veterans groups would be continued in the new fiscal year under a compromise adopted by a House and Senate budget committee.

The organizations help veterans and service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan connect with services and collect benefits. The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and nine other service organizations have already laid off about a dozen people who assist veterans.

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In Michigan
5:14 pm
Tue September 22, 2009

House, Senate hope to have agreement on most of the budget today

The Michigan State Capitol in Lansing.
WKAR Photo

Lansing, MI – Michigan lawmakers are negotiating toward a budget deal with the deadline now eight days away. Legislative leaders say they hope to have agreements on most of the 15 bills that make up the budget by the end of today.

AUDIO:

House and Senate conference committees are negotiating details of spending plans that will have to be voted up or down later this week.

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In Michigan
4:41 pm
Tue September 22, 2009

Conference committees: to balance or not to balance

LANSING, MI – State lawmakers failed to meet a self-imposed 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline to have a budget deal finalized. House Speaker Andy Dillon and Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop set the deadline for more than a dozen committees hashing out spending agreements for state departments.

AUDIO:
Most of the committees postponed their meetings. Some of the toughest budgets deal with controversial issues such as Medicaid and the Michigan Promise college scholarship.

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In Michigan
12:34 pm
Tue September 22, 2009

Advocates call for juvenile justice reform

Lansing, MI – Criminal justice advocates are calling on state lawmakers to pass reform legislation they say will treat juvenile offenders more fairly.

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Michigan first developed its juvenile justice system a century ago, at a time when advocates say the courts recognized the developmental differences between children and adults.

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Sports
11:32 am
Tue September 22, 2009

Ex-Spartan Burress gets 2 years in gun case

NEW YORK – Former Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress has been sentenced to two years in prison
after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh at a nightclub and later reaching a plea deal on weapons charges.

The former New York Giants wide receiver and Michigan State University player was sentenced Tuesday in Manhattan's state Supreme Court. He will be supervised for two
years after his release.

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Arts & Culture
6:01 am
Tue September 22, 2009

Met Opera opens to boos with muddled new 'Tosca'

NEW YORK – Opening night at New York City's Metropolitan Opera featured a new production of Puccini's beloved "Tosca," a starry cast, music director James Levine in the pit - and from the audience, the loudest and most sustained booing in memory.

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In Michigan
5:33 am
Tue September 22, 2009

MSU finds 16,000-year-old sand dune on campus

EAST LANSING, MI – Researchers have found an undisturbed 16,000-year-old sand dune on the campus of Michigan State University.

It's far from the water, and researchers say it was left behind when the ice sheets were melting away as the climate warmed.

The university said Monday the find is underneath a grove of pine trees between Demonstration Hall and Munn Ice Arena.

Michigan State geography professor Alan Arbogast says it's the first time he's seen an inland sand dune so far south.

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Sports
5:18 am
Tue September 22, 2009

Rangers use 3-goal 1st period to top Red Wings 4-2

NEW YORK – Newcomers Vinny Prospal and Enver Lisin scored on the power play in New York's three-goal first period, and the Rangers held on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 on Monday night in star forward Marian Gaborik's pre-season debut.

Prospal, Lisin - off a beautiful feed from Gaborik - and Ryan Callahan scored in a span of 5 minutes, 12 seconds to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead against beleaguered goalie Daniel Larsson.

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In Michigan
6:30 pm
Mon September 21, 2009

Detroit unveils vaccination plan for swine flu

DETROIT, MI – Detroit and state health officials have released a plan to prevent and control swine flu in Michigan's largest city.

Detroit is expected to get a limited supply of the H1N1 virus vaccine in October.

Authorities say the first round of vaccine will go to pregnant women, children between 6 months and 4 years old, and their caregivers, parents and siblings. It also will go to anyone between 5 and 18 with underlying illnesses.

Clinics will be held in Detroit Public Schools for students in that group.

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In Michigan
6:26 pm
Mon September 21, 2009

Loomis Supports Continuation Budget

EAST LANSING, MI – East Lansing Mayor Vic Loomis says he'd support a temporary state budget if lawmakers can't reach a final deal before October 1. Loomis and other elected leaders are worried about a Senate plan that owuld impose $163-million in shared revenue cuts.

Cities rely heavily on that funding to pay for vital services such as police and fire support. Loomis says East Lansing has a balanced budget and cash reserves because it protects basic needs.

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In Michigan
6:18 pm
Mon September 21, 2009

Legislative leaders hope to get budget to governor this week

LANSING, MI – At the state Capitol, legislative leaders hope this is the week they seal a budget deal, and send it to Governor Granholm. The deadline for wrapping up the budget is now nine days away.

Lawmakers spent the weekend trying to find a consensus on at least one-point-two (b) billion dollars in cuts.

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In Michigan
6:06 pm
Mon September 21, 2009

Dillon and Bishop speak with Detroit Economic Club

DETROIT, MI – State House Speaker Andy Dillon and Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop are confident the Legislature will reach a budget deal with Governor Granholm before the October 1st deadline. The legislative leaders appeared together Monday in Detroit.

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In Michigan
4:44 pm
Mon September 21, 2009

Schuette launches AG campaign

LANSING, MI – The election is still a year away but the race for Michigan's Attorney General's office is heating up. Former Michigan congressman Bill Schuette is formally launching his campaign for state Attorney General this week with stops in Midland, Southfield, Grand Rapids and Lansing.

Schuette says Michigan's next attorney general must protect people and support law enforcement.

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WKAR Features
12:53 pm
Mon September 21, 2009

Budget talks continue with deadline looming

The Michigan State Capitol in Lansing.
WKAR Photo

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In Michigan
9:19 am
Mon September 21, 2009

Lansing teachers appear supportive of new contract

LANSING, MI – Lansing teachers appear supportive of a tentative new two-year contract with the district.

Hundreds of teachers gathered Sunday afternoon at Everett High School for their first look at the document. The deal includes consecutive yearly pay increases of one-half percent for most members. Union leaders call salary and benefit provisions "concessionary" but realistic considering state and local deficits.

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Sports
6:30 am
Mon September 21, 2009

Tigers beat Twins, increase lead to 3 games

MINNEAPOLIS – Placido Polanco drove in three runs, Detroit's bullpen pitched four shutout innings and the Tigers avoided a three-game sweep with a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Twins
on Sunday to increase their AL Central lead to three games.

Ryan Raburn homered for slumping Detroit, which won for the second time in six games and fourth in 13.

Minnesota, which had won six straight, got two hits from Joe Mauer, who increased his batting average to a major league-best .374.

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Sports
6:28 am
Mon September 21, 2009

Streaks alive: Favre and Vikings beat Lions 27-13

DETROIT – Brett Favre set an NFL record with his 271st straight start in the regular season, then threw two touchdown passes to help the Minnesota Vikings beat the Detroit Lions 27-13 on Sunday.

Adrian Peterson's 27-yard TD run midway through the third quarter gave Minnesota (2-0) its first lead and he finished with 92 yards rushing.

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In Michigan
6:16 am
Mon September 21, 2009

Governments brace for possible property tax loss

DETROIT – Governments and schools across Michigan are bracing for the possible loss of millions of dollars in tax revenue as General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC argue that they should pay less in property taxes.

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In Michigan
6:14 am
Mon September 21, 2009

Schuette announces run for Mich. attorney general

LANSING, MI – Former Michigan congressman Bill Schuette is officially jumping into the 2010 state attorney general's race.

The Republican is announcing his candidacy Monday at stops in Midland, Southfield, Lansing and Grand Rapids.

The Midland resident has served in the U.S. House and Michigan Senate. He also has directed the state Agriculture Department and been a judge on the state appeals court.

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In Michigan
6:18 pm
Fri September 18, 2009

Lansing braces for possible revenue sharing cuts

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero decries possible state revenue sharing cuts during a press conference at a city fire station.
WKAR Photo

Lansing, MI – Lansing mayor Virg Bernero is blasting state lawmakers for not resolving a state budget that he fears could bring huge cuts in shared revenue payments to the city.

AUDIO:

If the legislature approves proposed revenue sharing cuts, Lansing officials say the city could lose more than $2 million this fiscal year. That's nearly two percent of its entire budget.

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In Michigan
6:16 pm
Fri September 18, 2009

Man accused of Owosso killings was in fatal crash

DETROIT, MI – Records show a trucker charged with fatally shooting two people in Owosso, including an anti-abortion activist, was in a crash that killed two teens in Iowa nearly five years ago.

Harlan Drake was not ticketed in the 2004 wreck in Ottumwa, Iowa. State police records say his truck was northbound on U.S. 63 when it hit a southbound car turning left off the highway.

The crash report says the teen driver didn't yield to Drake. Two passengers, ages 16 and 15, were killed.

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In Michigan
6:10 pm
Fri September 18, 2009

Ingham Commission filling seat

MASON, MI – Democrats on the Ingham County Board of Commissioners have picked Shelby Bupp to fill a vacancy on the panel.

Candidates for the post were interviewed at a party caucus meeting Thursday, and Bupp reportedly was a consensus choice. Democrats hold a large majority of seats on the Board.

A formal vote is expected at next Tuesday's commission meeting.

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In Michigan
5:43 pm
Fri September 18, 2009

State Rep says it's time to start trusting

LANSING, MI – A member of the state House Appropriations Committee says his fellow Democrats have many concerns about big budget-cutting targets set by House Speaker Andy Dillon with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop.

But Representative Fred Durhal says it's time for lawmakers to start trusting each other. And he says that includes trusting that the Senate will be open to vote for new revenue if the House is open to deep cuts.

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In Michigan
5:14 pm
Fri September 18, 2009

DCH director urges people to get flu shots

LANSING, MI – Michigan Department of Community Health Director Janet Olszewski delivers Governor Granholm's radio address this week. She says the threat of an H1N1 flu pandemic makes it particularly important for people to get a seasonal flu shot.

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In Michigan
4:44 pm
Fri September 18, 2009

Michigan still has highest jobless rate

EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan's jobless rate of 15.2% is again the highest in the nation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the state rankings Friday morning.

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In Michigan
4:23 pm
Fri September 18, 2009

Report: Lansing teachers will review new contract with LSD

LANSING, MI – Lansing teachers will reportedly start reviewing a new tentative contract this weekend. The Lansing State Journal reports a tentative agreement was reached earlier this week. Teachers are scheduled to review it Sunday and Tuesday at Everett High School.

According to the report, Lansing Schools Education Association President Jerry Swartz says the deal "reflects the current economic climate." He did not disclose any details of the agreement, but said both sides "worked hard to make sure the district was stable."

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In Michigan
7:16 am
Fri September 18, 2009

Ex-Detroit mayor loses at Mich. appeals court

DETROIT – Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has struck out in an attempt to stop his monthly restitution payments to the city.

Lawyer Michael Alan Schwartz says Kilpatrick's plea agreement called for $1 million due in five years, not large monthly payments as ordered by a Wayne County judge. He says it's unfair.

But the Michigan Court of Appeals, in a one-sentence order, said Thursday it would not take the case.

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In Michigan
7:04 am
Fri September 18, 2009

Group sues to get election proposal on Nov. ballot

DETROIT – A judge has scheduled a hearing on a lawsuit aimed at forcing the Detroit city clerk to place a proposal to elect council members by district on the Nov. 3 ballot.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Wayne County Circuit Court by Detroiters for City Council by Districts. It says Clerk Janice Winfrey "has been hampered" by the current city council, which refuses to draft ballot language for the proposal.

Judge Virgil Smith hears the case at 11 a.m. Friday.

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In Michigan
7:03 am
Fri September 18, 2009

Senate OKs more than $18M for Michigan projects

DETROIT – A federal spending bill includes $18 million for 14 Michigan projects, including $5 million for a commuter rail line serving Detroit, Detroit Metropolitan Airport and Ann Arbor.

The bill for fiscal 2010 covers the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development departments.

Democratic Michigan U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin say the next-largest appropriation is $3 million to replace the bridge carrying Wadhams Road over the Black River in St. Clair County.

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In Michigan
5:47 am
Fri September 18, 2009

Budget cuts force Detroit office closings Friday

DETROIT – Several city offices are closing with the first of Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's 26 budget-mandated unpaid furlough days for nonunion workers and appointees.

Bing's office says Friday's closings include administrative hearings, the Detroit Building Authority, Cable Communications Commission, Environmental Affairs, Targeted Business Development, and Jobs and Business Development.

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