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In Michigan
6:55 am
Mon August 31, 2009

Schools submit proposals to re-imagine education

DETROIT – State Superintendent Mike Flanagan wanted schools to rethink the way they educate children, and dozens of districts have responded so far to the Michigan Department of Education's Project Reimagine.

Yet the Detroit Free Press reports that it remains to be seen whether the ideas suggested are the type of bold plans that can help children learn while boosting the state's chances of winning a slice of federal stimulus money.

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In Michigan
6:53 am
Mon August 31, 2009

Blueberry virus strikes Michigan State University research center

SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP, MI – The bloom could be off Michigan's $124 million per year blueberry industry after two
destructive viruses infected bushes in three locations.

Particularly upsetting to scientists is where one of the outbreaks occurred -- Michigan State University's agricultural research station in Allegan County's Saugatuck Township, about four miles from Lake Michigan.

An outbreak of blueberry shock is forcing scientists to destroy plants that represent two decades and millions of dollars of research.

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In Michigan
6:47 am
Mon August 31, 2009

Lawmaker to call for tax hike to fund free tuition

LANSING, MI – A Democratic lawmaker and candidate for governor will turn in legislation this week that would guarantee free tuition for in-state students attending public universities and community colleges. Smith says her plan would be an improvement on the Michigan Promise scholarship.

The Michigan Promise is a $4000 scholarship. That covers roughly the cost of two years at a community college.

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In Michigan
6:47 am
Mon August 31, 2009

Council could vote to move public comment time

LANSING, MI – The Lansing City Council is considering a set of changes to its rules tonight.The changes include moving public comment time to the end of the meeting. Supporters say the change will make the meetings shorter and more efficient.

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In Michigan
6:38 am
Mon August 31, 2009

Michigan State freshmen to help fill charity buses

EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State University officials are asking the school's 7,500 incoming freshmen to start their college careers with a charity event.

The Fill-the-Bus event runs Monday and Tuesday. Four buses will be placed around the East Lansing campus, and the new students will be asked to bring school supplies or nonperishable items.

The items will go to 13 campus and community groups, including the MSU Family Resource Center, Lansing School District, Greater Lansing Food Bank and Refugee Development Center.

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Sports
5:32 am
Mon August 31, 2009

Michigan investigating alleged NCAA violations

ANN ARBOR, MI – The University of Michigan says it is investigating allegations that its football program regularly violates NCAA rules limiting how much time players can spend on
training and practice.

In a statement issued to The Associated Press on Sunday, Michigan athletic director Bill Martin said the school believes it has followed "both the letter and intent of the NCAA rules" but will still investigate. Martin says the school has reached out to
the Big 10 and the NCAA.

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In Michigan
5:26 am
Mon August 31, 2009

National immigration reform group launches in Michigan

LANSING, MI – A mid-Michigan coalition of labor, faith and civil-rights leaders is getting behind comprehensive federal immigration reform.

Organizers of the Michigan coalition of Reform Immigration for America say an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants is the centerpiece of its agenda. Chris Michaelakis is with the United Food and Commercial Workers of Michigan:

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Sports
5:26 am
Mon August 31, 2009

Lugnuts lose to Dragons

DAYTON, OH – The Dayton Dragons handed the Lansing Lugnuts an 8-2 defeat on Sunday night at Fifth Third Field. The teams play the finale of their four-game series tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field.

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Sports
5:23 am
Mon August 31, 2009

Polanco's 3-run HR in 8th lifts Tigers over Rays

DETROIT – Placido Polanco hit a three-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning, lifting the Detroit Tigers to a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.

Third baseman Brandon Inge sealed the victory, leaping to snag B.J. Upton's high hopper down the line with a runner on first and throwing across the diamond for the final out.

Justin Verlander (15-7) gave up three runs, six hits and four walks over eight innings and struck out four, matching a season low. Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 29th save in 30 chances.

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In Michigan
6:14 pm
Fri August 28, 2009

Granholm gives state workers 30-day layoff notice

LANSING, MI – Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has given state employee unions a required 30-day notice of layoffs in case a budget deal is not reached by Oct. 1.

The layoff notices were sent to the unions Friday.

Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd says the governor does not expect a government shutdown and plans to have a budget in place on time.

The 30-day notice is required under collective bargaining contracts because money has not been appropriated for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

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Top Stories
6:09 pm
Fri August 28, 2009

Hearings to begin next week on Dillon health plan

LANSING, MI – House Speaker Andy Dillon has released a draft bill outlining his plan to save money by putting all public employees into a single insurance pool. The top Democrat in the state House says he expects hearings to begin on the plan next week.

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In Michigan
5:44 pm
Fri August 28, 2009

State lawmaker says Michigan should draw revenue from the oil well

LANSING, MI – A state lawmaker says Michigan could bring in a lot of revenue if it re-taps closed gas and oil wells.

Representative Mike Simpson says the state could work with oil companies that pump CO-2 into reserves to draw out the remaining fuel. One site he'd like to see tapped is beneath Pigeon River in the northern Lower Peninsula.

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In Michigan
5:12 pm
Fri August 28, 2009

Senate approves House plan to protect waterways against invasive species

LANSING, MI – A bill approved this week by the state Senate would require Michigan boaters to clean their boats before putting them in the state's waterways.

AUDIO:
The bill would threaten boat owners with a fine if they launch watercrafts with aquatic plants or animals attached. Lawmakers say the point of the legislation is to curb the threat of invasive species in Michigan's lakes and streams.

State Senator Patty Birkholz:

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Top Stories
4:39 pm
Fri August 28, 2009

Dillon providing details on Michigan health plan

LANSING, MI – A 13-member board appointed mostly by the governor would play a key role in developing a statewide health care coverage plan for public employees pitched by the top Democrat in the Michigan Legislature.

House Speaker Andy Dillon introduced a draft version of a key part of his proposal Friday. It could be introduced and assigned to a special legislative committee as early as next week.

Dillon says up to $900 million a year could be saved with the
plan.

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In Focus Today
10:38 am
Fri August 28, 2009

"The Soloist" Author Visiting East Lansing

EAST LANSING, MI – Author Steve Lopez will be in East Lansing Sunday and Monday to talk about his book "The Soloist". The book is the selected title for this year's "One Book, One Community" program, with East Lansing residents encouraged to join incoming Michigan State University freshmen in reading and discussion.

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In Michigan
6:23 pm
Thu August 27, 2009

State Senate rejects governor's plan to disband HAL

LANSING, MI – The state Senate has rejected Governor Granholm's plan to disband the Department of History, Arts and Libraries. The governor's plan would divvy the functions of the department among other state departments. She says it could save the state as much as $2 million.

But Senate Republicans say Michigan's historical perspective would be in jeopardy if museums such as the Michigan Historical Center were handed over to the Department of Natural Resources. State Senator Cameron Brown.

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In Michigan
6:19 pm
Thu August 27, 2009

Senate Education Committee approves education reform

LANSING, MI – The state Senate Education Committee approved its plan for education reform Thursday.

The legislation would give parents and teachers the chance to take control of a school they believe is failing. A school deemed to be failing could then be taken over by a charter school.

State Senator Wayne Kuipers chairs the committee. He says the state needs to act quickly to be eligible for money from the federal "Race To The Top" program.

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In Michigan
6:10 pm
Thu August 27, 2009

State seeks federal funds for retraining

LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm is asking the federal government for emergency funding to enroll more than 9,000 people in a job training program.

AUDIO:
Governor Granholm says over the past two years, 88,000 people have enrolled in the No Worker Left Behind program, but thousands more are waiting to learn new job skills.

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In Michigan
4:42 pm
Thu August 27, 2009

Unemployment stable across all Michigan regions

LANSING, MI – Unemployment remained stable across the state in July. That's according to a breakdown of the numbers released Thursday by the state Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth.

AUDIO:
Michigan's unemployment rate was largely unchanged from June to July - it dipped very slightly to 15%. The same held true when the numbers were broken down by regions.

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In Michigan
3:33 pm
Thu August 27, 2009

Ingham Board seeking applicants

MASON, MI – The Ingham County Board of Commissioners is accepting applications until September 9 to fill a vacancy on the Board. Commissioner Marc Thomas from East Lansing has resigned because he's moving out of his district.

Board Chair Debbie De Leon says the Democratic caucus, which makes up the majority, will recommend an applicant for appointment.

"We will have an interview process with our Democratic caucus and the appointment will be made on September 22nd at our next Board meeting," she said.

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In Michigan
11:51 am
Thu August 27, 2009

Attorney General says Michigan needs ethics law

LANSING, MI – Attorney General Mike Cox says Michigan needs an ethics law for elected officials and state department directors. He's supporting a Republican-backed package of bills in the Legislature.

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In Michigan
9:09 am
Thu August 27, 2009

Proposed legislation aimed at saving Michigan's wetlands protection program

Lansing, MI – A state senator is proposing legislation to spare Michigan's wetlands protection program from being eliminated to save money.

Sen. Patricia Birkholz (R-Saugatuck Township), who chairs the Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee, tells The Associated Press she expects to introduce the measure Thursday.

Birkholz has been negotiating for months with the state Department of Environmental Quality and groups representing environmentalists and businesses in hopes of
sparing the program.

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In Michigan
7:25 pm
Wed August 26, 2009

Granholm expects to avoid shutdown

LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm says she's frustrated with the pace of budget negotiations. But she says it's tough to come up with an agreement on a plan to retire a $2.8 billion dollar deficit.

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In Focus Today
7:23 pm
Wed August 26, 2009

Granholm says she expects to avert shutdown

LANSING, MI – Budget negotiations are stepping up with the start of the state's new fiscal year now less than six weeks away. Governor Granholm says she still believes a shutdown can be averted. But there are a lot of details and disagreements to be settled first.

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In Michigan
7:00 pm
Wed August 26, 2009

Granholm says health care bill should carry Kennedy name

LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm says the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy will be remembered as a voice for the under-privileged. She says he knew how to forge deals with those who disagreed with him.

"He came from a family of privilege, but he used that position in a way to be the megaphone for children, and for the elderly, and for people with disabilities," she says. "It's a huge loss in the Senate. It's not just a huge loss for Massachusetts. It's a huge loss for the nation."

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In Michigan
6:42 pm
Wed August 26, 2009

Retail association index shows improvement

EAST LANSING, MI – The health of retail businesses in Michigan continues to be weak but is slowly gaining strength.

AUDIO:
The Michigan Retailers Association says July was the best month for state retailers in a year. Overall, businesses with sales declines still outnumber those with increasing sales. But for the third straight month, the gap has narrowed.

James Hallan is the association's President and CEO.

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In Michigan
4:41 pm
Wed August 26, 2009

Mich. gov says budget talks should move faster

LANSING, MI – Gov. Jennifer Granholm says there's a "ridiculously short" amount of time left to get the state budget done and avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

Speaking at a Wednesday news conference, the Democratic governor said budget talks are continuing between the state budget director and the heads of the Senate and House appropriations committees.

She expressed frustration at how long it's taking to reach a
budget deal. Granholm says it's ridiculous "that we are at the end of August
and we're not there yet."

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In Michigan
4:12 pm
Wed August 26, 2009

Wixom Ford plant to become green technology hub

WIXOM, MI – Ford plans to sell its vacant Wixom plant to manufacturers of solar panel and batteries. Legislative committees in Lansing heard testimony Wednesday from Wixom officials and representatives from the companies.

AUDIO: The green-technology manufacturers need the Legislature to create tax credits in order to receive federal funding as well to set up shop in Wixom. Those refundable tax credits would not be reflected in the budget until 2012.

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In Michigan
10:34 am
Wed August 26, 2009

Ingham County Commissioners Reject Millage Proposal

MASON, MI – Ingham County Commissioners have voted against putting a county-wide millage proposal on the ballot. The millage would have guaranteed funding for the sheriff's department for the next five years.

AUDIO: The millage would have offset cuts to the sheriff's department and provided funding for road patrols in rural townships that don't have their own police department.

Last night, the proposal was rejected by a vote of 10 to 6.

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In Michigan
5:12 pm
Tue August 25, 2009

Mich. judge who made woman remove hijab to be sued

SOUTHFIELD, MI – A Michigan judge is being sued by a woman who says she was forced to remove her Muslim headscarf in his courtroom.

Melanie Elturk, an attorney for the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, says the federal lawsuit against Wayne County Circuit Judge William Callahan will be filed Wednesday. The Michigan CAIR chapter is joining in the suit.

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