JACKSON, MI – A Jackson County commissioner who held up a sign with a crossed-out swastika last week at a health care protest outside Democratic Rep. Mark Schauer's office says the sign misrepresented his views.
Phil Duckham said at a board of commissioners meeting Tuesday night the sign did not convey his message properly.
But he told the Jackson Citizen Patriot that he stands by his comparisons between Nazi politics and President Barack Obama's plans for restructuring America.
LANSING, MI – The tiny community of Standish is suddenly becoming an important stop for Republican gubernatorial candidates campaigning against bringing Guantanamo detainees from Cuba to the state prison.
The Obama administration has sent officials to look over the maximum security prison. It's also considering moving the detainees to a federal military prison in Leavenworth, Kan.
LANSING, MI – The state Legislature is trying to solve problems with high school math requirements. Both the House and Senate would like to see more options created for students struggling with the algebra-two graduation requirement. Lawmakers say some vocational training should be offered in place of the course.
MARQUETTE, MI – Environmental groups vow they'll appeal if the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality once again approves permits for a nickel and copper mine in Marquette County.
The National Wildlife Federation and local entities filed suit in 2007, saying Kennecott Minerals Company's application contained serious flaws and would hurt the environment. On Tuesday, an administrative law judge upheld their approval.
EAST LANSING, MI – Area schoolchildren and Mayor Virg Bernero have opened what officials say is Lansing's first community-built playground. About 50 volunteers created the site in about a half-day last Saturday, erecting play equipment and seating in Burchard Park near the Grand River south of Old Town.
Brittany Hoskiew is with the Old Town Commercial Association. She hopes the playground will attract more families to the district:
TOKYO – Soprano Hildegard Behrens, one of the finest Wagnerian performers of her generation, has died while traveling in Japan. She was 72.
Jonathan Friend, artistic administrator of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, said Tuesday in an e-mail to opera officials that Behrens felt unwell while traveling to a festival near Tokyo. She went to a Tokyo hospital, where she died of an apparent aneurism.
Friend's e-mail was shared with The Associated Press by Jack Mastroianni, director of IMG Artists.
EAST LANSING, MI – As the Michigan State football team continues to prepare for the opening of the season, one of the big question marks entering this year is running back.
Michigan State has the tough task of replacing first-team all Big Ten selection Javon Ringer, who last year as a senior posted in 13 games 1,637 yards with a 4.2 yards per carry average and a single season Spartan record with 22 touchdowns.
LANSING, MI – The Lansing Lugnuts beat the Great Lakes Loons 5-3 last night at Oldsmobile Park. The Lugnuts are off tonight before beginning a four-game road-trip in Fort Wayne at 7:05 p. m. on Thursday night.
DETROIT – Miguel Cabrera hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the eighth inning and Rick Porcello had a career-high eight strikeouts, lifting the Detroit Tigers to a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu took out starter Felix Hernandez after he struck out nine and gave up only a run through seven innings and Detroit took advantage.
Alex Avila hit the second pitch from Mark Lowe (1-6) over the fence to pull the Tigers within one and pinch-hitter Ramon Santiago followed with a single.
EAST LANSING, MI – A Lansing-area alternative energy manufacturer is expanding. The Michigan Economic Growth Authority has approved a $5.2 million tax credit for the Draths Corporation.
The Okemos-based firm makes components for plastic and nylon products using renewable fuels. It says it will use the incentive to combine with its administrative offices---currently in Minnesota---in a new, central location in Delhi Township. Dr. John Frost is Draths' Chief Science Officer:
LANSING, MI – The City of Lansing now has an ordinance on the books that supporters say will encourage the development of more bike and walking paths in the city. The City Council passed the Complete Streets ordinance last night.
DETROIT – Detroit baseball broadcasting legend Ernie Harwell is back at his Detroit-area home and resting comfortably following a stint in the hospital.
Gary Spicer, Harwell's attorney and friend, tells The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press the 91-year-old Harwell was hospitalized for most of last week with an obstructed bile duct. Spicer said the obstruction was dislodged, Harwell was released Friday, and he was resting at his home in Novi.
EAST LANSING, MI – Lansing City Councilmember Carol Wood picked up several Mayoral endorsements from various political and community leaders on Tuesday. Ingham County Chair Debbie Deleon, former state Representative Mike Murphy and former Mayor Tony Benavides are all offering their support.
Joe Graves was the chief of staff for Mayor David Hollister. Graves is endorsing Wood and says she can bring honesty, integrity and civility back to city hall:
LANSING, MI – The Great Lakes Loons held off the Lansing Lugnuts 7-5 last night at Oldsmobile Park. The game was delayed 78 minutes at the start by rain. The Loons lost an early 2-0 lead to a Lugnuts three-run third inning rally, took the lead back with a three-run fourth, only to watch Lansing tie the score at 5-5 in the fifth. In the top of the eighth inning, the visitors seized the lead for good. The two teams play the finale of their four-game series tonight.
LANSING, MI – The state Senate Judiciary Committee took testimony Tuesday on whether the Standish maximum security prison should house Guantanamo Bay prisoners. Among those who testified were two Republican gubernatorial candidates who have different opinions.
EAST LANSING, MI – A new study shows state employees are making less this year than they were last year, but paying twice as much for their health benefits.
AUDIO: Economist Charles Ballard says the most surprising figure he found while conducting the study was the 11,000 state jobs lost since 2001. He says it's possible the workforce was too bloated at some point, but the state has now cut too deep and must stop working against the remaining employees.
LANSING, MI – One of the state's largest electric utilities is no longer releasing customers to buy power from its competitors. State law allows the major utilities to hang onto their remaining customers once 10 percent have moved to an alternative supplier.
LANSING, MI – Likely budget cuts have state officials asking Michigan residents which of the state's 145 state forest campgrounds should close.
The Department of Natural Resources already has had to close 12 of the rustic campgrounds because of a lack of money. DNR official Lynne Boyd says she expects more cuts are coming in the budget year that starts Oct. 1, so more state forest campgrounds will have to close or be given to others to manage.
SEATTLE – Like a towering fir tree that survives after the primeval forest around it has vanished, the Seattle Opera's production of Wagner's "Ring" cycle now stands alone as the only traditional depiction of the epic music drama on an American stage.
LANSING, MI – Mid-Michigan children who are behind on immunizations have a chance to play catch-up this week.
The Ingham County Health Department is holding a back-to-school health fair today through Friday at its South Cedar location in Lansing. The event's focus is on helping schoolchildren who are behind on immunizations.