EAST LANSING, MI – A state House committee took testimony Thursday on whether drivers with unpaid parking should be allowed to renew their licenses.
AUDIO: The bill would prevent scofflaws from renewing their licenses if they have three unpaid parking tickets. Current law revokes the ability to renew after six unpaid tickets. Those who support the bill say it would create incentives to pay down tickets and allow local governments to collect lost revenue.
EAST LANSING, MI – About 70 Michigan Army National Guard soldiers are leaving home for what will be a 10-month deployment to Iraq. Members of the 238th Aviation Battalion based in Grand Ledge held a deployment ceremony Thursday in Lansing.
The unit's mission is to transport wounded troops to medical installations. Major General Jerry Cannon commands the unit's headquarters. He says resources in Iraq to support the troops continue to improve.
ANN ARBOR, MI – More than 900 current or former female inmates have filed claims for a piece of a $100 million settlement with the state resolving claims that prisoners were sexually assaulted by male corrections staff.
A judge on Thursday gave final approval to the settlement in Ann Arbor after preliminarily signing off last month.
It was previously thought up to 500 women could qualify for the settlement. But an attorney told the judge that more women came forward when the class-action settlement was announced.
Lansing, MI – What's it like to be convicted of a felony at age 16 and spend the next nine years in an adult prison? Dwayne Betts tells his story in a new book called "A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival and Coming of Age in Prison".
LANSING, MI – Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox says more needs to be done to protect children from sexual predators who use Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites to meet their victims.
Using a computer to solicit a child to have sex is already a crime. But Attorney General Mike Cox says the 1994 statute does not reflect how child molesters have turned to social networking sites to make contact and gather information about prospective victims.
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: