LANSING, MI – Detroit Public Schools financial manager Robert Bobb met with lawmakers in Lansing today and asked them to approve education reforms. Lawmakers must approve the reforms before the end of the year for the state to compete for hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government.
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm says the state should to be able to name emergency academic managers to run school districts that are failing students. She says Detroit students' record low math scores shows the need for state intervention in the operations of some struggling schools.
The state is allowed to name emergency managers when school districts' finances are in disarray. In Detroit, emergency manager Robert Bobb is fighting with the board of education over academic control of the schools.
LANSING, MI – It could be up to the courts to decide whether Lansing City Councilmember elect Tina Houghton is eligible to serve on the board. The Lansing City Council and the city's board of ethics both decided Tuesday night to postpone any action on the issue until after a hearing in Ingham county circuit court later this month.
Councilmember Eric Hewitt says he's disappointed the council won't take up his resolution that would have initiated an investigation into how Houghton's unpaid property taxes went un-noticed.
EATON RAPIDS, MI – A prison guard is in critical condition today following a savage beating during an escape by five prisoners from a Montcalm County work crew. The prisoners were re-captured in Eaton Rapids yesterday afternoon.
LANSING, MI – State House Speaker Andy Dillon says there isn't much time left to reverse big cuts to schools. And he accuses Senate Republican leaders of lying about their plan to restore school funding. Michigan's School Aid Fund is short an estimated $120 million.
The Senate plan would save money by freezing the tax break for working poor families. But Dillon says would actually cost the state even more in lost federal funds that are linked to the credit.
EATON RAPIDS, MI – Five prisoners who escaped from a Montcalm County work crew were re-captured in Eaton Rapids Tuesday afternoon. The prisoners violently beat a guard and stole a police van at around 1 p.m. Tuesday.
LANSING, MI – A state Senate panel approved a tax hike on diesel fuel Tuesday. The 4-cent-per-gallon increase would generate money to fix the state's roads and bridges.
Republican Majority Leader Mike Bishop says he knows the roads need work.
"I don't think anybody has ruled out the fact that we have to do something about roads in this state and about critical bridges," he says. "This is the core function of government - to keep people safe."
LANSING, MI – Support is growing at the state Capitol for measures to outlaw sending text messages while driving.
AUDIO: A handful of Michigan cities have already outlawed drivers tapping away on their cell phones while they're behind the wheel. The measure approved by the state House would allow police officers to ticket drivers who are caught sending text messages - but only if the drivers are also stopped for some other offense.
DETROIT, MI – Michigan health officials say they're expanding the availability of swine flu vaccine to all residents by next week.
The Michigan Department of Community Health announced Tuesday that the general public will be eligible to get H1N1 vaccine by next Monday. Health agencies previously had concentrated on target groups at higher risk for swine flu.
The department says demand has ebbed for the vaccine among those groups, which include pregnant women, health workers and people 6 months to 24 years old.
LANSING, MI – State House Speaker Andy Dillon says he does not expect there will be a deal to restore funding for college scholarships, health care, or local governments, before the Legislature begins its winter break.
LANSING, MI – 2009 has been the busiest year yet for the Ingham County Land Bank. The agency's main mission is to rehabilitate foreclosed and abandoned properties and get them back on the tax rolls. With a still-hobbling state economy and growing numbers of commercial foreclosures, 2010 promises to be even busier.
LANSING, MI – The city of Lansing's Board of Ethics and the Lansing City Council are both meeting tonight. They are expected to review requests to investigate how councilmember-elect Tina Houghton's tax problems went unnoticed for two years while she served on the city's Parks and Recreation Board. WKAR's Rob South has been following the story, and spoke with Melissa Ingells.
LANSING, MI – About 2 dozen people protested at Lansing city hall last night against a plan to lay off 14 police officers. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero announced last week that he would cut 14 officers from the payroll as part of a plan to save the city about $3 million this fiscal year. Kathi Dibean organized the picket. She says the Lansing police department is already understaffed and taking more patrols off the streets would jeopardize public safety.
EAST LANSING, MI – The founder of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure road-running series that's raised $1.3 billion to fight breast cancer is speaking at Michigan State University's December graduation.
Nancy Brinker named the races for a sister killed by breast cancer. She talks Saturday on the second day of Michigan State's commencements and gets an honorary doctorate of humanities.
LANSING, MI – A statewide smoking ban that has stalled for years in the Legislature could be in place by Christmas.
Although nothing is scheduled yet, a Senate committee this week could take up a bill that would ban smoking in all work places. The ban would include all restaurants and bars, but could exempt casino floors and cigar bars.
Republican Sen. Ron Jelinek of Three Oaks is hoping to push through a compromise soon.
LANSING, MI – Michigan school districts are scheduled to receive reduced payments on December 21 due to budget cuts. Democrats in Lansing say lawmakers need to approve new revenue soon so a handful of schools aren't forced to close.
AUDIO: Democratic House Speaker Andy Dillon says the immediate future calls for quick, decisive action to avert cuts to schools that will be almost impossible to restore later.
East Lansing, MI – EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Jori Davis came alive in the second half and finished with 19 points to help Indiana beat Michigan State (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) 68-63 in the teams' Big Ten opener on Sunday.
Davis was just 2-for-7 from the field in a five-point first half, but got hot after the break to help the Hoosiers (5-3) rally from a 10-point deficit.
Reserve Whitney Lindsay had 13 points for Indiana and Aulani Sinclair added 12.
East Lansing, MI – Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio speaks on the on campus incident involving several members of the football team.
As the team awaits to hear where they will be headed for a bowl game later this afternoon, Head coach Mark Dantonio made a statement on Saturday involving the on campus incedent which led to two players being kicked of thee team ad 8 more being suspended indefinitely which includes the bowl game.
East Lansing, MI – A short-handed Michigan State team will head to the Alamo Bowl to play Texas Tech.
The bowl selection announced Sunday gives the Spartans (6-6) something to focus on other than off-the-field turmoil that has dominated the program since eight players were suspended and two were dismissed from the team for being present at a Nov. 22 fight with fraternity members in a campus residence hall.
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio says those players will not make the trip for the Jan. 2 bowl in San Antonio.
LANSING, MI – The City of Lansing is being sued to keep recently-elected councilmember Tina Houghton from taking office in January. It was discovered that Houghton owed the city $3,300 in delinquent taxes shortly after she was elected to represent the city's second ward last month.
LOCKPORT, ILL – An Obama administration adviser says a decision could come within days on whether to temporarily close a shipping lock in a bid to stop the Asian carp from reaching Lake Michigan.
Cameron Davis is the Great Lakes adviser to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He tells The Associated Press that discussions are under way about closing the O'Brien Lock while crews poison part of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.
LANSING, MI – Mothers in Michigan who want to breast feed their children in public could soon be protected by the Civil Rights Act. Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber has this report.
Mothers and physicians told a state House panel that preventing women from breast feeding their children in public is gender discrimination and a health concern. They say it's important for infants to be fed when they're hungry.