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In Michigan
6:15 pm
Wed December 2, 2009

MI lawmakers approve alternative teacher certification

LANSING, MI –
State lawmakers continue to debate legislation to enter Michigan into the competition for federal "Race To The Top" education-reform money. Wednesday, there was a lot of talk about how to help professionals who aspire to teach get into classrooms.

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In Michigan
4:46 pm
Wed December 2, 2009

Lansing lays off 14 police officers

A view of Lansing's City Hall.

Lansing, MI – Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says the city is laying off 14 police officers. The layoffs are part of an effort to close a $3 million deficit in the current year's budget.

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In Michigan
4:44 pm
Wed December 2, 2009

Swine flu vaccine rules loosened, more change seen

LANSING, MI –
Michigan health officials say they're loosening guidelines for who gets the swine flu vaccine and hope to make it available to the general public soon.

The state Department of Community Health says health agencies for now will concentrate on target groups to receive the H1N1 vaccine.

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In Michigan
4:14 pm
Wed December 2, 2009

MSU: Michigan population loss costs $4.4 billion

EAST LANSING, MI –
A new study says Michigan has lost $1.9 billion in economic output and $2.5 billion in home equity value over three years because of population declines in 63 of its
83 counties.

The report comes from Michigan State University's Land Policy
Institute.

It says Michigan service jobs generated $208 billion in income in 2007, while manufacturing generated $54 billion. The report says only Michigan and Rhode Island lost people in 2006-08. Michigan lost about 80,000 people and Rhode Island about
2,000.

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WKAR Features
1:55 pm
Wed December 2, 2009

Film maker Ken Burns visits MSU

WKAR's Rob South interviews acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns during his visit to MSU.
WKAR Photo

East Lansing, MI – Documentary film maker Ken Burns was on the Michigan State University campus Wednesday. Burns met with students and also spoke at the Wharton Center.

Burns says his current projects include an addition to his documentary "Baseball," the history of the Roosevelt family and a film on the Vietnam War. Burns' latest documentary: "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," aired on WKAR-TV in October. WKAR's Rob South caught up with him at MSU's Student Union.

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Sports
7:27 am
Wed December 2, 2009

Michigan State suspends 8 more football players

EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State University has suspended eight more football players for being present at a disturbance at a campus dorm.

The university says in a statement that Coach Mark Dantonio on Tuesday suspended starting receivers Mark Dell and B.J. Cunningham and defensive back Chris L. Rucker.

Others suspended are reserves: running back Ashton Leggett, receiver Fred Smith, defensive back Brynden Trawick, defensive lineman Ishmyl Johnson and linebacker Jamiihr Williams.

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Sports
5:43 am
Wed December 2, 2009

No. 10 Tar Heels beat No. 9 Spartans 89-82

CHAPEL HILL, NC – Ed Davis scored a career-high 22 points Tuesday night to help No. 10 North Carolina beat No. 9 Michigan State 89-82 in a rematch of last season's national championship
game won by the Tar Heels.

Larry Drew II had a career-best with 18 points for the Tar Heels (7-1), who led most of the game before having to hold off a rally in the final minutes. North Carolina shot 58 percent and led by as many as 19 points early in the second half, beating Michigan State (5-2) for the second straight year in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

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In Michigan
5:38 am
Wed December 2, 2009

DNR experts, fish poison heading to Chicago

UNDATED – Michigan is sending wildlife experts and fish poison to Chicago to help keep the Asian carp from reaching Lake Michigan.

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In Michigan
5:33 am
Wed December 2, 2009

Detroit mayor makes first visit to state Capitol

LANSING, MI – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing made his first official visit to the state Capitol Tuesday. He says the fortunes of Michigan's largest city affect the entire state.

Bing met with Democratic and Republican lawmakers and had lunch with Governor Granholm. He says the effects of Detroit's troubles ripple across the state, and he wants to forge alliances that will help all of Michigan. But Bing says he knows finding consensus on how to help Detroit and other struggling cities won't always be easy.

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In Michigan
6:15 pm
Tue December 1, 2009

Jobless rate in Lansing, East Lansing second lowest in state

East Lansing, MI –
Unemployment statistics for October show the Lansing, East Lansing area faring better than most of the state. The jobless rate for Lansing and East Lansing was down .4% from September, at 10.6%. That's second lowest unemployment rate in the state.

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In Michigan
5:12 pm
Tue December 1, 2009

Teen HIV infection rate up

EAST LANSING, MI –

For the fourth straight year, Michigan has seen an increase in the HIV infection rate among teenagers.

The rate of new diagnoses more than doubled between 2003 and 2007. There are 7.3 cases per 100,000 teenagers with HIV in the state.

Amna Osman is director of the Michigan Department of Community Health's division of health, wellness, and disease control. She says we need to talk more about sexual health in schools.

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In Michigan
3:30 pm
Tue December 1, 2009

CEO Henderson leaving top post at GM

DETROIT –
General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson is stepping down after eight months as head of the largest U.S. automaker. Speaking at a quickly called news conference, Chairman Ed Whitacre Jr. said he will serve as interim CEO as a search goes on for a
replacement.

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In Michigan
12:30 pm
Tue December 1, 2009

MI counties may plow less this winter

LANSING, MI –
County road crews across southern Michigan are prepping for what might be the
first snow showers of the season. County road budgets have been squeezed in recent years by declining budget and rising costs for essentials like road salt.

Ed Noyola is with the County Road Association of Michigan. He says to stretch their budgets .many counties plan to cut back on snowplowing this winter.

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In Michigan
12:13 pm
Tue December 1, 2009

Michigan Senate panel OKs education law changes

LANSING, MI – A state Senate committee has approved legislation aimed at giving Michigan a shot to compete for federal schools money.

The bills approved Tuesday by the Senate Education Committee would allow more charter schools, provide a framework to deal with failing schools and expand alternative paths for teacher certification.

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In Michigan
8:13 am
Tue December 1, 2009

MI Senate Committee approves Race To The Top bills

LANSING, MI –
Lawmakers in Lansing say they will spend the next three weeks focused on education reforms. A package of bills has to be approved before the end of the year for Michigan to compete for a half-billion dollars in school-reform money from the federal government.

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Sports
5:57 am
Tue December 1, 2009

No. 9 Spartans, No. 10 Tar Heels meet Tuesday

UNDATED – Ninth-ranked Michigan State is finally getting its chance for some measure of revenge against North Carolina.

After a pair of lopsided losses to the Tar Heels last season - including in the national championship game - the Spartans travel to face 10th-ranked North Carolina on Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

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Sports
5:55 am
Tue December 1, 2009

Bertuzzi, Howard lead Red Wings past Stars 4-1

DETROIT – Todd Bertuzzi had a goal and an assist and Jimmy Howard made 29 saves to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Monday night.

Drew Miller, Darren Helm and Dan Cleary also scored for Detroit, which snapped its home scoreless streak at 1 hour, 56 minutes and 30 seconds. Kris Draper added two assists.

Brenden Morrow scored for Dallas and Marty Turco stopped 28 shots.


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In Michigan
5:40 am
Tue December 1, 2009

Governor Granholm says big changes needed to school funding system

LANSING, MI –
Governor Granholm says she hopes the Legislature will act this month to avert a new round of cuts to K-12 schools. She says stabilizing school funding should be a part of education reform efforts.

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In Michigan
5:14 pm
Mon November 30, 2009

Democrats to call for more state control over insurance rates

LANSING, MI – Democrats in the state Legislature and Governor Granholm's insurance advocate will call Monday for measures that they say will bring down the cost of auto coverage. The insurance industry has also released a plan for controlling premiums.

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In Michigan
5:12 pm
Mon November 30, 2009

MI Dems call for auto insurance reforms

LANSING, MI – At the state Capitol, Democrats are calling for reforms in how auto insurance rates are set. They say the goal is to reduce the number of people who are driving illegally without coverage.

AUDIO:
A key element of the Democrats' plans would allow insurance companies to design policies that drop all but the but the most critical coverage for low-income drivers.

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In Michigan
5:10 pm
Mon November 30, 2009

Bernero says he won't run for Governor, then says he might

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.
WKAR photo.

LANSING, MI –
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says he's seriously considering a run for Governor next year. Bernero says that he's frustrated by the lack of progress state leaders are making on fixing the budget and the economy.

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In Michigan
4:42 pm
Mon November 30, 2009

Mich. says flu has killed 59 since April

LANSING, MI –
Michigan health officials say influenza has killed 59 people in the state since April 1 and 49 since Sept. 1, when swine flu began gaining steam.

The Michigan Community Health Department said Monday that 25,074 flu cases were reported in the state from Nov. 15-21.

Since Sept. 1, officials say 1,660 people have been hospitalized in Michigan for the flu.

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In Michigan
11:17 am
Mon November 30, 2009

Remote sales cost Michigan $200-$300 million annually

UNDATED – Today is Cyber Monday, the day when online holiday sales are expected to peak. Online shopping hasn't overtaken traditional retail in terms of sales, but it has taken a bite out of them. It has also taken a bite out of tax revenue.

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WKAR Features
8:19 am
Mon November 30, 2009

Michigan's race for "Race To The Top"

The Michigan State Capitol in Lansing.
WKAR Photo

LANSING, MI –
State lawmakers return to Lansing this week and face a heated debate over education reform. Many details need to be ironed out in a handful of bills that would give Michigan a shot at being one of five states selected to receive schools-reform money from the federal government. But lawmakers are running out of time to make Michigan eligible for a slice of $3.5 billion.

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Sports
6:36 am
Mon November 30, 2009

Wallace leads Pistons past Hawks 94-88

DETROIT – Ben Wallace had 18 rebounds, including 11 offensive boards, to help the undermanned Detroit Pistons end a seven-game losing streak with a 94-88 victory over the Atlanta
Hawks on Sunday.

Rodney Stuckey had 23 points and eight assists for Detroit, which was again without starters Richard Hamilton (ankle), Tayshaun Prince (back) and Ben Gordon (ankle). Will Bynum added 19 points off the bench.

Josh Smith led Atlanta with 21, but the Hawks couldn't overcome Detroit's 30-10 advantage in second-chance points.

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In Michigan
6:27 am
Mon November 30, 2009

Compromise on reorganization order could come soon

LANSING, MI – State House Democrats want to avoid a confrontation with Governor Granholm on her plan to take over naming the director of the state Department of Agriculture. The appointment is currently made by the independent Michigan Agricultural Commission.

The current system is popular with farmers who think it ensures agriculture policy is set by someone who understands their needs.

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In Michigan
6:27 am
Mon November 30, 2009

Supreme Court to decide expulsion case

LANSING, MI – The state Supreme Court will decide whether teachers can sue to force their school districts to expel violent students.

Four Lansing public school teachers are suing their school district for not expelling students who assaulted them. State law requires districts to remove students who commit violent acts against school employees for the balance of the school year.

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The Economy Project
4:11 pm
Fri November 27, 2009

Lansing Area Holiday Hiring Will Likely be Down in 2009

Lansing, MI – A mid-Michigan jobs analyst says holiday hiring will likely reflect the struggling economy.

Retail job data is available only through August, but Mark Reffitt with the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth says the numbers suggest less hiring is likely compared to 2008. He says an anomaly that appeared last December is apt to repeat this year.

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WKAR Features
8:18 am
Fri November 27, 2009

Under the Radar: Raphael reviews <em>Waiting on a Train</em>

WKAR Book Reviewer Lev Raphael.
WKAR Photo

EAST LANSING, MI – Our book reviewer Lev Raphael comes in once a month to tell us what he's been reading for our "Under the Radar" segment. He recently spoke to WKAR's Melissa Ingells about a book that looks America's trains and the people who ride them. The book is called Waiting on a Train by James McCommons.

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In Michigan
6:43 am
Fri November 27, 2009

State lawmakers return Monday to debate school reforms

Lansing, MI – State lawmakers are back in Lansing next week after taking a couple weeks off for deer hunting and Thanksgiving. They will return to debate school reforms.

AUDIO:

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