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6:15 am
Mon June 29, 2009

Missing at TC cherry festival: locally grown cherries

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Something will be missing from this year's National Cherry Festival in Traverse City -- locally grown cherries.

Farmers say the area's cherry crop will still be on the trees during the festival, which runs Independence Day through July 11.

Prolonged cool weather has delayed cherry growth and left the crop a week or two behind schedule. That will stall the sweet cherry harvest into early July and the tart cherry harvest to mid-month.

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In Michigan
6:12 am
Mon June 29, 2009

Dem. lawmaker to officially enter governor's race

LANSING, MI – State Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith will officially launch her 2010 Democratic gubernatorial campaign tonight.

The lawmaker from Washtenaw County's Salem Township says the event will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College.

Smith will face Lt. Gov. John Cherry in the primary. Other Democrats who may get in the race are former state lawmaker John Freeman, House Speaker Andy Dillon and Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano.

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Sports
6:01 am
Mon June 29, 2009

Zellous scores 18 as Shock get Mahorn first win

AUBURN HILLS, MI –
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Shock got 18 points from Shavonte Zellous and posted an 86-72 victory over the Sacramento Monarchs.

Last night's win at The Palace was Rick Mahorn's first as a head coach. The Shock had gone 0-3 after Mahorn replaced Bill Laimbeer one game into the season.

Deanna Nolan had 14 points as Detroit (2-5) snapped a four-game losing streak.

Rebekkah Brunson scored 16 points for Sacramento (1-7), which lost its fifth straight.

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Sports
5:56 am
Mon June 29, 2009

Lugnuts win Sunday game

LANSING, MI – The Lansing Lugnuts split a four-game series with the Dayton Dragons by winning 5-3 on Sunday at Oldsmobile Park. The Lugnuts are off today before traveling Tuesday to begin a four-game series at Great Lakes.

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Sports
5:54 am
Mon June 29, 2009

Inge's homer in ninth lifts Tigers over Astros

HOUSTON – HOUSTON (AP) - The Tigers have won eight of their past 10 going into tonight's opener of a three-game series against the Athletics in Oakland.

Detroit escaped from Houston with one win in their weekend set with a 4-3 victory yesterday. Brandon Inge hit a two-run homer off Jose Valverde with two out in the ninth inning, and Fernando Rodney then shut out the Astros for his 17th save in as many opportunities.

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In Michigan
5:48 am
Mon June 29, 2009

Chrysler to restart 7 assembly plants

DETROIT – DETROIT (AP) - It's back to work today for employees at seven Chrysler assembly plants.

The Auburn Hills-based automaker had shut down all of its factories during its six weeks in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Chrysler says the plants resuming operations today are in Sterling Heights and Warren, Mich.; St. Louis; Toledo, Ohio; Brampton and Windsor, Ontario; and Toluca, Mexico. A Detroit plant that makes the Dodge Viper sports car went back online
earlier this month.

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In Michigan
6:11 pm
Fri June 26, 2009

ACLU says school weapons law should be relaxed

LANSING, MI – The head of the American Civil Liberties Union in Michigan says the state should relax its school suspension law because it discriminates against minorities.

The ACLU just released a report that says African American students are more likely than white students to be suspended or expelled under the state's zero tolerance law. The ACLU's Kary Moss says students who are kicked out of school are more likely to eventually drop out, and wind up in the criminal justice system.

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In Michigan
5:40 pm
Fri June 26, 2009

Michigan AG goes after gas stations for price gouging

LANSING, MI – About a dozen gas stations--six of them in Lansing--have agreed to allow Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox to look at their finances if and when he suspects them of price gouging.

The targeted stations targeted all raised gas prices to more than $5 a gallon when Hurricane Ike whipped around oil refineries last Fall in Texas.

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In Michigan
5:12 pm
Fri June 26, 2009

Michigan State Police layoffs appear imminent

LANSING, MI – LANSING, MI (AP) - A last-ditch effort to avoid the layoffs of 100 Michigan State Police troopers has failed.

Members of the Michigan State Police Troopers Association voted against a furlough plan that would have called for sacrificing some of their own pay to temporarily avoid the layoffs of their low-seniority co-workers.

The outcome of the vote was announced Friday but vote totals
weren't released.

Trooper layoffs will begin Sunday.

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In Michigan
4:40 pm
Fri June 26, 2009

GM confirms Michigan plant will make new small car

DETROIT – General Motors Corp. is confirming it will use an idled assembly plant in Orion Township, Mich., and a parts stamping facility in Pontiac, Mich., to build small and compact cars, a move expected save 1,400 jobs.

GM confirmed the plant selection in a statement Friday, but said the decision is dependent on the outcome of negotiations between the company and the state on incentives.

A person briefed on the decision told The Associated Press on Thursday that Orion Township, about 40 miles north of Detroit, had been chosen.

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In Michigan
2:13 pm
Fri June 26, 2009

Triplett To Undergo Surgery

EAST LANSING, MI – EAST LANSING, MI (WKAR) - East Lansing City Councilmember Nathan Triplett will undergo surgery for Crohn's disease next week. His recovery is expected to take six to eight weeks.

The operation has been scheduled for June 29th.

In a press release, Triplett says he was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at the age of 13. He says medication has helped him live in what he calls a "state of relative remission". His doctors recommended surgery after he recently took a turn for the worse.

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WKAR Features
11:32 am
Fri June 26, 2009

Legislature debates budget before beginning break

LANSING, MI – At the state Capitol, the House and the Senate met until past midnight before beginning a two-week summer break. Much of the day and the evening were spent debating the budget. Nothing was resolved, and the discussions mostly outlined the stark differences in how Republicans and Democrats would address the state's budget crisis.

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In Michigan
6:45 am
Fri June 26, 2009

State House passes education reform package

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In Michigan
6:44 am
Fri June 26, 2009

Cobo deal goes to governor

LANSING, MI – The Legislature capped months of wrangling over the future of Detroit's Cobo Hall by sending a compromise plan to Governor Granholm. Supporters say the plan is critical to keeping the prestigious North American International Auto show in Michigan.
AUDIO:

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Sports
6:41 am
Fri June 26, 2009

Lugnuts start second half of season with victory

LANSING, MI – LANSING, MI (WKAR) - The Lansing Lugnuts grabbed a 6-5 victory over the Dayton Dragons Thursday night at Oldsmobile Park. The two teams play the second game in their four-game series at 7:05 tonight in Lansing.

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Sports
6:37 am
Fri June 26, 2009

Ordonez's HR lifts Tigers to 6-5 win against Cubs

DETROIT – DETROIT (AP) - Magglio Ordonez ended a career-long, 40-game drought without a home run by connecting for the go-ahead shot, leading the Detroit Tigers over the Chicago Cubs 6-5 for their seventh straight victory.

Ordonez connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning. The AL Central leaders held on to complete the sweep, and matched their longest winning streak of the season.

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In Michigan
6:22 am
Fri June 26, 2009

State Legislature wraps late night budget discussions

LANSING, MI – The state Legislature wrapped late night budget discussions by sending disputes to House and Senate conference committees. That set up the next stage of negotiations between Governor Granholm and legislative leaders while the Legislature takes a two week summer break.

Lawmakers will reconvene in mid-July to debate cuts to Medicaid and K-12 schools, and the elimination of Michigan Promise college scholarships.

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In Michigan
7:02 pm
Thu June 25, 2009

May jobless rates jump sharply in Michigan regions

LANSING, MI – Michigan says seasonally unadjusted regional unemployment rates jumped sharply in all major labor markets except for the tourism-dependent North.

The state Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth said Thursday joblessness rose in 14 of the 17 markets between April and May.

Regional unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate led the nation at 14.1% in May.

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In Michigan
6:55 pm
Thu June 25, 2009

Mich. secretary of state not running for governor

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land says she won't run for governor in 2010 and is backing Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard for the job.

Land, a Republican from the Grand Rapids area, has been secretary of state since 2003. She can't run again in 2010 because of term limits.

Earlier in the year, she filed paperwork setting up an exploratory committee for governor.

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In Michigan
6:52 pm
Thu June 25, 2009

Strong thunderstorms batter southeast Michigan

HADLEY, MI – Severe thunderstorms have moved out of southeast Michigan, but high winds that toppled trees and power lines left some 100,000 electrical customers without service.

The National Weather Service canceled severe thunderstorm warnings for a half-dozen counties in the region after several hours Thursday afternoon. Tornado warnings were briefly in effect for Lapeer and Monroe counties, although forecasters did not confirm any tornadoes had touched down.

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In Michigan
6:45 pm
Thu June 25, 2009

State Legislature expected to work late on budget

LANSING, MI – The state Legislature is expected to work into Thursday night to move budget discussions forward before the House and Senate break for two weeks.

Legislative leaders set a goal of July to reach consensus on budget discussions. That won't happen. The House and Senate are working to meet in conference committees during the break, which begins next week. Budget disputes include cuts to K-12 schools, Medicaid and financial aid, as well as the elimination of Michigan Promise college scholarships.

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Top Stories
4:50 pm
Thu June 25, 2009

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH

UNDATED – The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch in effect until 10 p.m. tonight for the entire WKAR listening area. Large hail, dangerous lightning, and damaging thunderstorm winds are possible. Stay tuned to 90.5 WKAR for further updates and possible warnings.

Counties include: CALHOUN, CLINTON, EATON, GRATIOT, INGHAM, JACKSON.

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In Michigan
4:44 pm
Thu June 25, 2009

AP source: GM to build small car in Michigan

DETROIT, MI – A person briefed on the decision says General Motors will build its new subcompact car at a factory in Orion Township, Mich.

The person says the automaker is scheduled to announce the move Friday. The person did not want to be identified because the plan has not been made public.

GM spokeswoman Sherrie Childers Arb declined to comment.

The Orion plant was competing with factories in Spring Hill, Tenn., and Janesville, Wis., for the tiny car.

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Top Stories
1:02 pm
Thu June 25, 2009

Auto analysts predict stronger sales in June

Kevin Lavery, WKAR News

Lansing, MI – Auto industry analysts in Michigan are predicting stronger vehicle sales for the month of June. But that news may be tempered by how consumers respond to General Motors' bankruptcy restructuring.

AUDIO: Sean McAlinden is the chief economist with the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor. He says between January and May, General Motors reduced its inventory by more than half clearing the way for a burst of production this summer.

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Arts & Culture
10:20 am
Thu June 25, 2009

Detroit Windsor International Film Festival begins

DETROIT – DETROIT (AP) - The four-day Detroit Windsor International Film Festival takes place this week.

The festival begins Thursday and features events in Detroit and across the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario. Highlights include a Friday showing of "Dear Mr. Fidrych," a coming-of-age story set in Detroit in 1976.

The film features a performance by Mark Fidrych, the former All-Star pitcher who died in an accident in April in Northborough, Mass.

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In Michigan
9:41 am
Thu June 25, 2009

Hundreds have to wait until next week to get cars

IONIA, MI – Hundreds of people whose cars were stranded at the Ionia County fairgrounds after last weekend's storms caused flooding will have to wait until at least Monday to get back their vehicles.

Dozens of angry motorists showed up at the Ionia City Council chambers Wednesday to hear City Manager Jason Eppler explain next week's retrieval plan.

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In Michigan
9:37 am
Thu June 25, 2009

Mich. secretary of state NOT running for governor

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land says she won't run for governor in 2010 and is backing Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard for the job.

Land, a Republican from the Grand Rapids area, has been secretary of state since 2003. She can't run again in 2010 because of term limits.

Earlier in the year, she filed paperwork setting up an exploratory committee for governor.

Land said Thursday that Bouchard, a former state senator, has the legislative experience necessary to serve as governor at this time.

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Business
9:35 am
Thu June 25, 2009

Judge gives final OK to GM bankruptcy financing

NEW YORK – A bankruptcy judge says GM can have access to its full $33.3 billion in bankruptcy financing.

Judge Robert Gerber gave final approval to the financing on Thursday. He had given preliminary approval to GM using $15 billion of the total at a hearing earlier this month.

The billions in financing, which is largely being supplied by the U.S. government, is intended to keep Detroit-based GM going until it can sell its assets to a new company and emerge from Chapter 11.

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Sports
5:45 am
Thu June 25, 2009

Shock forward Pierson out for season after surgery

AUBURN HILLS, MI – Detroit Shock forward Plenette Pierson is expected to be out for the rest of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

The team said the 6-foot-2 forward underwent successful surgery to repair right shoulder instability.

Pierson went down with a shoulder injury in the first quarter of the WNBA opener against the Los Angeles Sparks on June 6.

The 27-year-old Texas Tech graduate won the WNBA's Sixth Woman of the Year award in 2007. She has averaged 8.7 points and 1.2 assists in 196 career games since 2003.

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Sports
5:42 am
Thu June 25, 2009

Pistons' Dumars likes his chances to reshape team

DETROIT – Joe Dumars expects to be busy over the next couple weeks, armed with four picks in the NBA draft and about $20 million in salary-cap space to reshape the Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons president of basketball operations said he plans to take a frontcourt player in the first round. Detroit has the No. 15 pick.

Detroit worked out more than 50 prospects to prepare for tonight's draft and might choose Louisville's Earl Clark, James Johnson of Wake Forest, Ohio State's B.J. Mullens or Austin Daye of Gonzaga.

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