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In Michigan
10:49 am
Mon July 13, 2009

State House Dems to introduce anti-insurance-scam bills

The Capitol in downtown Lansing.
Melissa Ingells, WKAR News

LANSING, MI – State lawmakers return to Lansing this week after a two week summer break. House Democrats are expected to unveil new legislation Monday.

The legislation would make easier for people to sue insurance companies for denying claims. It would also allow the state to fine insurance companies up to a million dollars for denying claims.

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In Michigan
10:30 am
Mon July 13, 2009

Water main break closes city hall in Detroit

DETROIT – The Coleman A. Young Municipal Center has been evacuated because of a Detroit Water and Sewage Department water main break.

The Detroit News says the building is closed Monday but is scheduled to reopen at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The building was closed for about 12 hours last September after a suspicious package was found in the executive suite of outgoing Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Last summer, a lightning strike closed the building for nearly two weeks.

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Sports
6:15 am
Mon July 13, 2009

Thomas, Inge lead Tigers to 10-1 win over Indians

DETROIT – Clete Thomas drove in five runs and Brandon Inge homered twice as the Detroit Tigers routed the Cleveland Indians 10-1 on Sunday.

All-Star Justin Verlander (10-4) pitched seven shutout innings, allowing five hits and three walks. He struck out eight, giving him 149 for the season - the most by a Tiger pitcher at the All-Star break since Mickey Lolich had 156 in 1972.

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In Michigan
6:11 am
Mon July 13, 2009

Food banks struggle to feed hungry children

SAGINAW, MI – SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) - More children across the economically strapped Saginaw Bay region need free lunches this summer, but experts and volunteers say fewer outlets have the means to provide them.

Coordinator Shawn Flood of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan's Children's Feeding Program tells The Saginaw News that larger numbers of children are showing up for free meals and snacks at about 50 sites the program serves in region.

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Sports
6:04 am
Mon July 13, 2009

Lugnuts swat Bees

BURLINGTON, IA – The Lansing Lugnuts beat the Burlington Bees yesterday afternoon, 6-5, at Community Field. The Lugnuts have one more game at Burlington tonight at 7:30, then take Tuesday off before starting a series at home against the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

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In Michigan
6:03 am
Mon July 13, 2009

Michigan to serve as example for White House call for healthcare reform

LANSING, MI – President Obama is expected to talk about his healthcare reform plan Tuesday in Macomb County. He'll use Michigan as an example of why drastic reform is necessary.

AUDIO:
Michigan's hospitals and physicians face increasing pressure to treat uninsured patients. That's because as the number of people unemployed goes up, so does the number of uninsured.

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In Michigan
5:54 am
Mon July 13, 2009

U-S Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in Charlotte

EAST LANSING, MI – U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will be in Charlotte for a public forum Monday.

Secretary Vilsack's rural community forum in Charlotte is part of the Obama administration's ongoing rural tour.

He's expected to talk about the USDA's efforts to rebuild rural America.

Projects associated with the stimulus legislation known as the American Renewal and Reinvestment Act will be highlighted.

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In Michigan
5:11 pm
Fri July 10, 2009

Granholm residence adds green features

LANSING, MI – Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm is taking her campaign for green technology to the governor's residence.

A wind turbine has been erected and solar panels will soon go up. There's also a new sprinkler system that saves water by taking weather and what's planted into account and a small area of the garage roof covered with sedum as a green roof demonstration.

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In Michigan
4:52 pm
Fri July 10, 2009

'Walk and Bike Lansing' wants walkable, bikable community

EAST LANSING, MI – A local group that wants to make Lansing's streets more accessible to bikers and walkers is getting closer to its goal. It hopes to change the city's street and traffic plans to include bike paths, and more pedestrian friendly roads and intersections.

Jessica Yorko is with Walk and Bike Lansing. She says the first step of the plan would be to create a detailed map of where changes are needed.

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In Michigan
4:13 pm
Fri July 10, 2009

GM exits bankruptcy, CEO promises to repay gov't loans

DETROIT, MI – A leaner General Motors has emerged. The automaker is making a quick exit from bankruptcy, hoping to make money and build cars that people are more eager to buy.

The new GM is cleansed of massive debt and burdensome contracts that would have sunk it without federal loans. The U.S. government owns a majority stake, although the Obama administration says it has no plans to run the automaker.

The new GM also emerges amid the worst sales slump in a
quarter-century.

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WKAR Features
11:30 am
Fri July 10, 2009

Cadillac exec discusses brand's future

EAST LANSING, MI – On Friday, General Motors announced its emergence from bankruptcy protection. CEO Fritz Henderson says the new GM will build more cars and trucks that consumers want and launch them faster than in the past. Here in Lansing, the automaker builds six different vehicles, half of them Cadillacs at its Grand River facility. To learn more about the outlook for Cadillac, WKAR's Mark Bashore spoke on Friday with Cadillac General Manager Steve Hill.

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Top Stories
10:02 am
Fri July 10, 2009

GM chief says company will make money, repay loans

DETROIT, MI – DETROIT (AP) - General Motors has emerged from bankruptcy protection.

CEO Fritz Henderson says today the new GM will be far faster and more responsive to customers than the old one, and it will make money and repay government loans faster than required.

Henderson says the Detroit automaker completed its 40-day stay under court supervision far faster than anyone thought it could. He says it will repay about $50 billion in government loans ahead of a 2015 deadline.

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In Michigan
9:51 am
Fri July 10, 2009

Lansing State Journal lays off 26

The Lansing State Journal building at 120 E. Lenawee St., Lansing.
Melissa Ingells, WKAR News

LANSING, MI – The Lansing State Journal is laying off 26 employees in the latest round of payroll reductions being instituted by the paper's owner, the Gannett Company. None of those laid off are reporters, but the paper says that virtually every other department is affected.

The layoffs from LSJ media include positions at the Gannett-owned Lansing Community Newspaper weeklies, specialty publications and web sites. There also is a reduction in hours for two positions.

Most cuts should be completed this week.

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Sports
5:52 am
Fri July 10, 2009

Lugnuts lose doubleheader

DAVENPORT, IA – It took 21 innings and five hours and 21 minutes, but the Quad Cities River Bandits swept the Lansing Lugnuts in a doubleheader last night at Modern Woodmen Park. The Bandits won Game 1 in 10 innings, 2-1, before stunning the Lugnuts, 4-3, in the 11-inning nightcap. The Lugnuts wrap up their three game series with Quad Cities tonight at 8 p.m.

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Sports
5:46 am
Fri July 10, 2009

Tigers open against Indians

UNDATED – UNDATED (AP) - The Detroit Tigers are opening a three-game set against the Cleveland Indians after having a day off. The leaders of the American League Central will attempt to make it six straight wins over the last-place Indians tonight at Comerica Park.

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Sports
5:44 am
Fri July 10, 2009

Pistons pick John Kuester as new coach

AUBURN HILLS, MI – The Detroit Pistons have picked Cavaliers assistant John Kuester as their new head coach.

Kuester was on Larry Brown's NBA championship-winning staff in Detroit five years ago.

Pistons president for basketball operations Joe Dumars fired rookie coach Michael Curry on June 30. Curry led Detroit to a 39-43 regular-season record and a first-round playoff loss to Cleveland.

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Top Stories
6:31 pm
Thu July 9, 2009

Report: More layoffs at State Journal

EAST LANSING, MI – Another round of layoffs reportedly has begun at the Lansing State Journal.

According to the City Pulse newspaper, seven people have been given layoff notices so far. The paper reports they include Circulation Director Diana Kennedy and Controller Mike Wieber. In addition, four have been laid off from the circulation department, and another from the business department.

The State Journal laid off 31 people last December, and 13 in August of last year.

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In Michigan
6:25 pm
Thu July 9, 2009

Federal stimulus en route to MSU Museum

EAST LANSING, MI – $50,000 in federal stimulus money is coming to the MSU Museum.

AUDIO:
The funding is intended to preserve jobs threatened by the recession.

Julie Avery is the museum's acting director.

"This $50,000 will go directly into, um, jobs in our museum that focus on traditional arts and cultural history," she says.

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In Michigan
6:08 pm
Thu July 9, 2009

Lansing bookstore looking to go co-op

EAST LANSING, MI – A bookstore on Lansing's east side is looking for volunteers to help convert the store to a member-owned cooperative.

Scott Harris opened "Everybody Reads" on Michigan Avenue three years ago. He carries a wide selection of books geared toward readers outside the mainstream - and offers special projects, including movies, spelling bees, and Spanish and Braille lessons.

Now, Harris wants to turn the store into a non-profit organization, similar to the East Lansing Food Co-op.

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In Michigan
4:43 pm
Thu July 9, 2009

Poll shows public wants legislators to bear the brunt of cost cutting

LANSING, MI – A new Epic MRA poll shows Michigan citizens think funding should be cut for the state Legislature rather than for state police and K-12 schools.

AUDIO:
State legislators will return to Lansing next week and hash out budget disputes after a two week summer recess. On the table for discussion are proposed cuts to the amount of money per K-12 student and the elimination of Michigan Promise college scholarships.

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Economy 2009
3:57 pm
Thu July 9, 2009

Lansing bookstore wants to go co-op

Lansing, MI – A bookstore on Lansing's east side is looking for volunteers to help convert the store to a member-owned cooperative.

Scott Harris opened "Everybody Reads" on Michigan Avenue three years ago. He carries a wide selection of books geared toward readers outside the mainstream - and offers special projects, including movies, spelling bees, and Spanish and Braille lessons.

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In Michigan
10:33 am
Thu July 9, 2009

Ag secretary to visit Charlotte Monday during tour

LANSING, MI – The U.S. secretary of agriculture will be in Charlotte Monday for a forum with rural residents.

Tom Vilsack's visit is part of a White House tour sending Cabinet secretaries across the country to hold discussions on how communities, states and the federal government can work together to help strengthen rural America. The tour kicked off last week.

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In Michigan
10:06 am
Thu July 9, 2009

Detroit schools official to meet with ex-bankruptcy judge

DETROIT – The state-appointed overseer of the cash-strapped Detroit Public Schools is meeting with a retired U.S. bankruptcy judge.

School district emergency financial manager Robert Bobb and his team are meeting in an informational session with retired Judge Ray Reynolds Graves.

Bobb wants to get information regarding Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Bobb said late last month the district's financial situation is so bad it may have to file for bankruptcy.

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Sports
9:57 am
Thu July 9, 2009

Detroit Pistons to announce their new coach

AUBURN HILLS, MI – The Detroit Pistons have called a news conference to announce their new head coach, who's expected to be Cleveland Cavaliers assistant John Kuester.

The announcement will be made Thursday in Auburn Hills.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the team was near an agreement with Kuester. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't done.

Kuester was on Larry Brown's NBA championship-winning staff in Detroit five years ago.

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WKAR Features
9:55 am
Thu July 9, 2009

MSU Moving Auto Fleet To Hybrids

EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State University's "Be Spartan Green" environmental stewardship program has branched out from the usual "reduce, re-use, recycle" to include the fleet of vehicles owned by the school.

MSU has purchased 30 Ford Fusion hybrid cars. The sale makes the university Ford's biggest customer for the new hybrids outside of the federal government and commercial fleet customers.

WKAR's Scott Pohl reports.

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In Michigan
9:34 am
Thu July 9, 2009

Michigan governor: German company plans investment

LANSING, MI – Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has returned from an international trade trip with the announcement that a German battery technology company plans to search for a
manufacturing location on the west side of the state.

Granholm's office said Thursday fortu PowerCell soon will begin a site search pending approval of state and local tax incentives.

The company would build a battery pack manufacturing facility.

Granholm met with company officials during a 48-hour trade trip to Germany and Belgium this week.

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In Michigan
9:26 am
Thu July 9, 2009

Lansing TV star Martha Dixon dies

LANSING, MI – LANSING, MI (WKAR) - One of Lansing's earliest and longest-serving television personalities...Martha Dixon...has died.

Starting in 1954, Dixon hosted the long-running local cooking show "Martha Dixon's Copper Kettle", a mainstay on WJIM Channel 6, now known as WLNS. The show also led to the 1963 publication of a popular cookbook bearing the same title.

Martha Dixon had been living in Scottsdale, Arizona, and was in her 90s. Other details, including funeral plans, are not yet known.

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Sports
5:44 am
Thu July 9, 2009

Lugnuts rained out

DAVENPORT, IA – The scheduled Wednesday night game between the Lansing Lugnuts and the Quad Cities River Bandits was postponed due to rain. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader starting at 7:00 p. m. tonight. The Lugnuts return home to Oldsmobile Park on Wednesday, July 15th, opening up a six-game homestand.

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Sports
5:40 am
Thu July 9, 2009

Pistons sign Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva

AUBURN HILLS, MI – The Detroit Pistons have signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, adding two free agents to a roster full of new faces.

Gordon and Villanueva joined the Pistons on Wednesday, the first day NBA teams could sign free agents, after agreeing to deals worth $55 million and $35 million, respectively.

Detroit went into the off-season with a lot of salary-cap space because Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson had expiring contracts.

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Sports
5:38 am
Thu July 9, 2009

French beats Greinke as Tigers win 3-1

DETROIT – DETROIT (AP) - Rookie Lucas French outdueled Zack Greinke and the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 3-1 on Wednesday night.

French (1-0) beat Greinke in just his second career start, holding the Royals to one run and six hits in 6 1-3 innings. Three Tigers relievers finished, with Fernando Rodney pitching the ninth for his 19th save in as many tries.

Greinke (10-5) gave up three runs, all in the first two innings, and seven hits in six innings. He struck out nine and walked two.

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