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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.