Lansing, MI – Volunteers in Lansing are forming a new labor advocacy organization that aims to help workers protect themselves from abusive practices on the job.
Members of the Lansing Workers Center say one of their top priorities is to prevent wage theft -- instances when an employer illegally withholds a worker's pay or benefits. They say they're willing to negotiate with companies, but add they'll also use embarrassment tactics and litigation if necessary.
LANSING, MI – Librarians opposed to Gov. Jennifer Granholm's plan to dismantle the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries will rally Thursday near the state Capitol in Lansing on the eve of a deadline to kill the measure.
They tell The Grand Rapids Press that dispersing the department's functions among a half-dozen other state agencies makes questionable financial sense while dealing a heavy blow to invaluable public resources.
Grand Rapids Public Library Director Marcia Warner says the moves would create lots of new expenses.
LANSING, MI – The chairmen of the state Senate and House education committees will meet with the school board this week in Lansing. They are expected to pitch their ideas for major statewide education reform.
The meeting won't produce any decisions or votes on reform, but it will kick off a process to find middle ground on the House and Senate plans.
House Education committee chairman Tim Melton says, "It's just to lay out our visions and see where they stand on some of this stuff."
ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Brandon Inge hit a grand slam in the ninth inning and the Detroit Tigers picked apart Tampa Bay's bullpen and beat the Rays 5-3 Sunday for a three-game sweep.
After Rays starter Wade Davis pitched seven sharp innings in his major league debut, Detroit rallied against four relievers in the ninth. Inge capped the comeback, connecting with one out against Russ Springer (0-3) for his fifth career slam.
Edwin Jackson (12-6) allowed three runs and six hits in eight innings. Brandon Lyon pitched the ninth for his third save.
East Lansing, MI – In front of the second largest opening game crowd in Spartan Stadium history, Michigan State opened up their season in grand fashion with a 44-3 victory over Montana State.
Starting quarterback Kirk Cousins was very productive going 10-17 for 183 yards and 3 touchdowns. Back up for this game Kieth Nichol made his presence felt as well going 9-18 for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns.
LANSING, MI – A report released Friday says there is a long-term trend of lower unemployment among African-Americans in Michigan. But it says there is a growing disparity in the earnings of black workers compared to white workers.
The Michigan League for Human Services examined employment and wage data going back to 1979. It found inflation-adjusted wages have declined overall. But the decline was 6% for white workers, while it was almost 25% for black workers.
LANSING, MI – The top Democrat in the Michigan Legislature continues to take heat from labor unions over his proposal to consolidate public employee health benefit plans across the state.
House Speaker Andy Dillon says the health care plan could save taxpayers about $900 million a year once fully implemented, mostly by cutting administrative costs and increasing buying power through pooling. But unions representing public employees consider the proposal an assault on collective bargaining and say it could lead to reduced benefits for workers.
DELTA TWP, MICHIGAN – United States House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was in Lansing today to talk with labor and union leaders about the national healthcare proposals. The Maryland Democrat toured General Motor's Delta Assembly plant before sitting down with plant officials to discuss what healthcare changes would benefit GM and its workers.
Hoyer says the national healthcare proposals being debated in Washington would make American companies more globally competitive.
UNDATED – Longtime broadcaster Ernie Harwell, who spent 42 of his 55 years as a broadcaster calling Detroit Tigers games, has been diagnosed with an incurable cancer, several media outlets reported Thursday.
The 91-year-old Harwell, who was in the Tigers' broadcast booth from 1960 until he retired in 2002, remains upbeat after an inoperable tumor was found in the area of the bile duct.
ORCHARD PARK, NY – Lions rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford closed the pre-season much like he opened it: by showing plenty of promise but little finish.
The same goes for the Buffalo Bills offense, which could certainly use a healthy Terrell Owens to help it find the end zone following a 17-6 loss to Detroit in each team's pre-season finale Thursday night.
DETROIT – Placido Polanco hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to give the Detroit Tigers a 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.
The Tigers completed a three-game sweep and increased their lead in the AL Central to five games over the idle Twins.
Ryan Raburn led off the Detroit 10th with a double. Rafael Perez (4-3) then intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera and issued an unintentional free pass to Magglio Ordonez. Polanco followed with a fly ball to center and Raburn scored standing up.
East Lansing, MI – Welcome to the first installment of Predictions of Earle. Sports Talk AM 870 host Earle Robinson previews the upcoming football season for Michigan State as well as their opening game against Montana State. Earle will also give his fearless predictions on who will finish where in the Big Ten Conference.
Lansing, MI – The Michigan Grocers Association is encouraging its members to take advantage of a state tax credit program that offers an incentive to locate or expand their businesses in underserved communities.
Michigan's grocery tax credit program has been on the books for more than a year, but it's taken time to compile information on where the tax can be best applied.
Lansing, MI – Lansing school officials are celebrating what they call a "nearly perfect" score in meeting performance goals for the 2008-2009 school year. Thirty-one out of 33 Lansing schools made Adequate Yearly Progress under the federal No Child Left Behind law. That includes two of Lansing's three high schools - Everett and Sexton. All three have consistently failed for the last five years.
LANSING, MI – For the first time in five years, two of Lansing's high school have achieved federal Adequate Yearly Progress. Everett and Sexton High Schools have met standards required by the No Child Left Behind law.
Twenty-five of the district's 26 elementary schools and all four middle schools also earned AYP status.
School Board President Hugh Clarke says he's elated.
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm and the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Legislature met for most of the day to try and come closer to a budget deal. They are trying to retire an almost $3 billion deficit, which represents almost 15% of the budget.
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm and the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Legislature met for most of the day to try and come closer to a budget deal. They are trying to retire an almost $3 billion deficit, which represents almost 15 percent of the budget.
ROCHESTER, MI – ROCHESTER, Mich. (AP) - Oakland University has canceled classes indefinitely because of a professors strike.
Thursday was supposed to be the opening of the fall semester for about 18,000 students at the southeastern Michigan school. But the Oakland University chapter of the American Association of University Professors authorized a strike Wednesday night.
Contract talks under way for months have failed to produce a deal.
DETROIT – The Detroit Public Schools' emergency financial manager has filed a lawsuit to void the appointment of a district general superintendent.
The Detroit News reports that Robert Bobb filed the suit against the Board of Education Wednesday in Wayne County Circuit Court. Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced later Wednesday that his office will represent Bobb.
LANSING, MI – The West Michigan Whitecaps romped past the Lansing Lugnuts 10-2 last night at Oldsmobile Park. With the loss, Lansing's elimination number was reduced to one. The two teams play the second game of the three-game series tonight at 7:05.
LANSING, MI – A case before the state Court of Appeals asks the question whether the Secretary of State has the final word in handling elections violations.
The Secretary of State's office fined Meijer Incorporated 190 thousand dollars for manipulating elections in Grand Traverse County. County prosecutors said a fine did not go far enough and Meijer should face criminal charges as well. But a judge ruled last year the Secretary of State had the final authority and had handled the issue.
LANSING, MI – The Lansing Public Schools begin a new school year Wednesday evening with their annual Round-Up Rally. The gathering offers students and families the chance to celebrate with music and games as well as take care of important business.