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In Michigan
5:23 pm
Fri July 31, 2009

Supreme Court says bio-mom deserves new custody hearing

EAST LANSING, MI – The Michigan Supreme Court says an uncle and his wife can't get permanent custody of his brother's children without proving the mother is not fit to raise them.

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The Oakland County couple sued for permanent custody of the four children after raising them for several years while the biological parents struggled with cocaine addiction and scrapes with the law.

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In Michigan
4:55 pm
Fri July 31, 2009

Soda pop: to tax or not to tax

EAST LANSING, MI – As the state struggles to balance its budget with declining revenues, old arguments are revisited - such as whether to extend the state's sales tax to soda pop.

Bill Lobenherz is with the Michigan Soft Drink Association. He says the Michigan Constitution does not allow the state to tax soda because soft drinks are food.

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Top Stories
3:54 pm
Fri July 31, 2009

Michigan congressional delegation applauds "Cash for Clunkers" funding extension

Washington, D.C. – (WKAR) - Michigan's congressional delegation is praising House passage of a bill that extends funding to the popular "Cash for Clunkers" program. Now, they say they're gearing up for some resistance in the Senate.

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The Cash for Clunkers trade-in program proved so popular it ran out of federal funding after just one week. The House today approved an additional $2 billion to keep it afloat.

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In Michigan
1:41 pm
Fri July 31, 2009

Mich. offers car buyers help with vehicle history

LANSING, MI – The Michigan secretary of state's office is offering consumers buying a new vehicle through the "Cash for Clunkers" program help with their vehicle history.

To qualify for a trade-in discount, consumers must provide car dealers with documentation that a vehicle has been continuously insured and registered to the same owner for at least one year before trade-in. But many drivers don't keep their previous year's registration.

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Top Stories
1:29 pm
Fri July 31, 2009

House approves $2B more for 'cash for clunkers'

WASHINGTON – The House has voted to rush an additional $2 billion into the popular but financially strapped "cash for clunkers" car purchase program.

The bill was approved on a vote of 316-109. House members acted within hours of learning from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that the program was running out of money.

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Sports
12:48 pm
Fri July 31, 2009

Tigers trade for pitcher Washburn

Detroit, MI – The Seattle Mariners have traded starting pitcher
Jarrod Washburn to the Detroit Tigers for left-hander Luke French
and a minor-league pitcher.

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Top Stories
12:22 pm
Fri July 31, 2009

Schauer says Michigan delegation is united on Cash for Clunkers funding

Washington, D.C. – WASHINGTON (WKAR) - The Michigan congressional delegation met with the Obama administration today to talk about keeping the federal "Cash for Clunkers" program alive. The meeting came as the U.S. House prepared to approve more funding to keep it going. WKAR's Kevin Lavery reports.

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WKAR Features
9:10 am
Fri July 31, 2009

Lansing's 2nd Ward race features relative unknowns

WKAR Photo

Lansing, MI – Next Tuesday is Lansing's primary election. It's a crowded field this year, with all but one of the open seats on the ballot. Changes could be in store for the city council. WKAR's Rob South and Scott Pohl talk about the city's second ward race.

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In Michigan
5:42 pm
Thu July 30, 2009

Confusion over Chrysler workers' pay during break

LANSING, MI – The state unemployment agency has notified thousands of Chrysler Group LLC hourly workers they are eligible for unemployment benefits during the automaker's summer 2-week shutdown, despite a contract provision that states otherwise.

The Detroit Free Press reports Thursday the workers were notified last week they were entitled for benefits during the July 13-24 shutdown.

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In Michigan
5:14 pm
Thu July 30, 2009

Governor, legislative leaders meet on budget

EAST LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm had another meeting Thursday with the Legislature's Republican and Democratic leaders. But it appears little progress was made toward a deal to retire a $1.8 billion shortfall in the budget for the coming fiscal year.

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In Michigan
4:52 pm
Thu July 30, 2009

Enviro group gets EPA grant to cut bus emissions

More than 400 school buses serving Eaton County students will be retrofitted with diesel oxidation catalysts.
Kevin Lavery, WKAR News

Grand Ledge, MI – GRAND LEDGE, MI (WKAR) - A regional environmental group is getting more than one million dollars from the federal government to reduce school bus emissions.

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Top Stories
4:42 pm
Thu July 30, 2009

Senate agency projects budget will fall off "big cliff" without stimulus

EAST LANSING, MI – The state Senate Fiscal Agency says Michigan's budget deficit would be a billion dollars bigger without federal stimulus dollars. And that presents a problem for the state when that money is no longer available.

Gary Olson is director of the Senate Fiscal Agency. He says some stimulus money should be used to balance the budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, which begins October 1. But he says it might also be a good idea to bank some of that money for later.

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In Michigan
4:40 pm
Thu July 30, 2009

National student group criticizes MSU contract

East Lansing, MI – EAST LANSING, MI (WKAR) - A national student group is criticizing Michigan State University for continuing to do business with a clothing company the students claim is running a sweatshop operation in Honduras.

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In Michigan
3:29 pm
Thu July 30, 2009

Mich. House panel passes animal treatment bills

LANSING, MI – A legislative panel has approved bills that supporters say would protect farm animals from being mistreated in Michigan.

Critics testified against the legislation before Thursday's vote by the House Agriculture Committee. The committee chairman stresses the measure is a work in progress.

The proposed law would have farms follow the ag industry guidelines for animal's health and welfare. Opponents says those standards are too weak and would harm animals.

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WKAR Features
9:11 am
Thu July 30, 2009

A look at Lansing's 4th Ward race for City Council

Lansing's City Hall.
Melissa Ingells, WKAR News

LANSING, MI – WKAR's City Hall reporter Rob South talks with Melissa Ingells about the primary election in Lansing next week, specifically the race for the city's 4th Ward.

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WKAR Features
5:57 am
Thu July 30, 2009

A look at Lansing's 4th Ward race for City Council

LANSING, MI – WKAR's City Hall reporter Rob South talks with Melissa Ingells about the primary election in Lansing next week, specifically the race for the city's 4th Ward.

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Sports
5:43 am
Thu July 30, 2009

Rocker Bob Seger joins Tiger in pro-am

GRAND BLANC, MI – Rock star Bob Seger has played in front of thousands of people over his career but he was awfully nervous on Wednesday.

Seger was paired up with Tiger Woods in the pro-am at the Buick Open, not far from Flint, Michigan. Seger grew up in Ann Arbor and thousands of fans came out to cheer him.

Seger thrilled the crowed with a long birdie putt on the fourth hole. It helped make up for an ugly drive off the first tee. He also got help from a tree on 13, as his errant approach rebounded back into the fairway.

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Sports
5:41 am
Thu July 30, 2009

LumberKings beat Lugnuts

LANSING, MI – The Clinton LumberKings ended the four-game winning streak of the Lansing Lugnuts with a 7-5 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Oldsmobile Park. The Lugnuts and LumberKings play the rubber match of their three-game series tonight at Oldsmobile Park.

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Sports
5:36 am
Thu July 30, 2009

Granderson, Tigers beat up Rangers 13-5

ARLINGTON, TX – Curtis Granderson led off the game with a home run and connected again in the second inning, and Justin Verlander equaled a career high by striking out 13 as the Detroit
Tigers beat the Texas Rangers 13-5 Wednesday night.

The Tigers scored in each of the first seven innings and matched a season high with 19 hits.

Miguel Cabrera, who had four hits and four RBIs, and Marcus Thames also homered for Detroit. Andruw Jones homered twice for Texas.

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In Michigan
5:43 pm
Wed July 29, 2009

Draft plan would keep Mich. wetlands program alive

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – A state Senate leader is developing a plan to prevent Michigan's wetlands protection program from being axed to save money.

Republican Sen. Patricia Birkholz, who chairs the Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee, told The Associated Press on Wednesday she'll introduce a bill this fall.

It's still on the drawing board. But the plan would use money from a clean water bond fund to keep the program going for three more years. An advisory council would develop a long-term funding source.

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Top Stories
5:15 pm
Wed July 29, 2009

St. John parishioners appeal to Vatican

EAST LANSING, MI – Members of an East Lansing Catholic parish have filed an appeal with the Vatican. They're asking the Vatican to overturn a decree by the Bishop of Lansing to merge their parish with another.

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In Michigan
5:10 pm
Wed July 29, 2009

St. John parishioners appeal to Vatican

Lansing, MI – Members of an East Lansing Catholic parish have filed an appeal with the Vatican. They're asking the Vatican to overturn a decree by the Bishop of Lansing to merge their parish with another.

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In Michigan
4:41 pm
Wed July 29, 2009

Lawmaker says Mich. not recovering medical bills

LANSING, MI – A Michigan lawmaker says the state could avoid some budget cuts by simply making sure the government is reimbursed for medical bills that should have been paid by private health insurers.

Rep. John Walsh cites the state auditor's finding that Michigan isn't effectively recovering Medicaid costs from insurance companies.

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In Michigan
4:37 pm
Wed July 29, 2009

Governor, legislative leaders to meet on budget

EAST LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm will meet again Thursday morning with legislative leaders to try to come to an agreement on cuts and spending in the budget for the coming fiscal year.

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The governor and the Legislature have two months to finalize a plan that bridges a $1.8 billion spending gap. That's almost 10% of this year's budget.

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Arts & Culture
7:43 am
Wed July 29, 2009

Traverse City Film Festival gets under way

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – The annual Traverse City Film Festival is under way.

And the state of the festival is good.

Founder Michael Moore says 25 percent more tickets have been sold than last year at this time, and there's been a 37 percent increase in sponsors.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports the opening night film, "Troubled Water," screened Tuesday at the City Opera House.

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Business
7:16 am
Wed July 29, 2009

Delphi heads to court to ask for bid's approval

NEW YORK – Delphi heads to bankruptcy court today seeking a judge's approval of a deal that could hand control of the auto supplier to its lenders and end its four-year stay in Chapter 11.

But standing in the way are more than 2,000 objections - many filed by Delphi workers and retirees worried about the future of their pensions. That could mean a lengthy day in court for all sides, including U.S. Judge Robert Drain who is overseeing the case.

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Sports
5:41 am
Wed July 29, 2009

Michigan plans drawing for multi-species hunt

LANSING, MI – Three hunters will get a rare opportunity to pursue four species of game animal next year under a new program called the Pure Michigan Hunt.

The winners will be allowed to hunt elk, bear, spring and fall wild turkeys and antlerless deer. They'll get their choice of hunting sites at managed waterfowl areas.

Hunters can apply as many times as they like. Each application costs $4 and can be purchased at license retailers through December. Winners will be selected during a random computer drawing in January.

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Sports
5:40 am
Wed July 29, 2009

Lugnuts beat LumberKings

LANSING, MI – The Lansing Lugnuts had a season-high fourth straight victory, 3-2 over the Clinton LumberKings last night at Oldsmobile Park. The Lugnuts and LumberKings play the second game of their three-game series at 12:05 this afternoon.

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Sports
5:36 am
Wed July 29, 2009

Kinsler, Andrus lead Rangers past Tigers

ARLINGTON, TX – Ian Kinsler drove in three runs, rookie Elvis Andrus homered and had three hits, and the Texas Rangers beat the Detroit Tigers 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Kinsler, who was in a huge funk at the plate that shrunk his batting average from .272 to .242., highlighted a four-run second with a two-run triple.

The Rangers have taken two straight from the Tigers after dropping the previous seven meetings and have won eight of nine overall.

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In Michigan
6:03 pm
Tue July 28, 2009

AP Source: GM to end sponsorship of Buick Open

DETROIT, MI – A person briefed on the decision says this week's Buick Open golf tournament will be the last because General Motors Co. will end its sponsorship after more than a half-century.

The person said GM and tour officials will announce after the tournament that GM is pulling out. The person did not want to be identified because the announcement has not been made.

The troubled automaker has been cutting back on professional sports sponsorships for the past year as it tries to focus more marketing dollars on its cars and trucks.

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