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9:23 am
Wed September 30, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE: House voting on temporary budget

LANSING, MI – The state House is voting on a 30-day temporary budget that would continue current spending levels for 30 days. That would buy lawmakers more time to reach a budget deal with the midnight deadline drawing closer. The Senate would also have to adopt the temporary plan. But GOP leaders want a temporary budget to cut spending.

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Sports
7:04 am
Wed September 30, 2009

Dantonio says it's too early to judge Michigan St

EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio won more games in his first two seasons than any coach in school history.

Dantonio's third season, though, has started with a thud. The Spartans (1-3, 0-1 Big Ten) have lost three straight games.

Dantonio said Tuesday it's too early to write the story for their season, insisting how he, his staff and players respond to adversity will define them.

Michigan State will recharge its season if it can beat No. 23 Michigan (4-0, 1-0) on Saturday at home.


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Sports
7:02 am
Wed September 30, 2009

Comerica Park: Scene of law-enforcement exercise

DETROIT – The Tigers may still be battling to win the AL Central, but officials already are preparing for the possibility of a World Series in Detroit.

Law enforcement personnel were to descend from helicopters into Comerica Park on Tuesday morning as part of an exercise to prepare for a possible championship series.

Officials first delayed the exercise to Wednesday after rain Monday night forced a Tuesday doubleheader between the Tigers and second-place Minnesota Twins. The event later was delayed until an unspecified future date.

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In Michigan
6:55 am
Wed September 30, 2009

Stimulus argument delays budget deal

LANSING, MI – At the state Capitol, work on the budget is progressing slowly with a midnight deadline for getting the job done.

AUDIO:

Lawmakers labored into the night, but there is still not a single budget bill ready to be signed by Governor Granholm. The latest holdup is an argument over how much federal stimulus funds the state will tap to help pay for K-12 schools.

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In Michigan
6:46 am
Wed September 30, 2009

House votes to expand national marine sanctuary

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House has passed legislation expanding the boundary of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron.

The bill approved Tuesday extends the sanctuary's boundaries to include waters off Alcona, Alpena and Presque Isle counties in Michigan and east to the international boundary with Canada. It expands the area covered by the sanctuary to 3,722 square miles of water and 226 miles of shoreline, up from 448 square miles of water
and 115 miles of shoreline.

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Sports
6:04 am
Wed September 30, 2009

Central-leading Tigers beat Twins 6-5 to split DH

DETROIT – Justin Verlander kept the Detroit Tigers on top in the AL Central, pitching eight innings in a 6-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night that salvaged a split of their critical doubleheader.

Detroit increased its division lead to two over Minnesota, which won the day game 3-2 in 10 innings, with two games left in the series and five to go in the regular season.

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In Focus Today
6:55 pm
Tue September 29, 2009

Legislature to vote on budget cuts, defers talks on revenue

Michigan State Capitol, Lansing.
WKAR photo.

LANSING, MI – It's turning into a long day for lawmakers at the state Capitol. They're working toward finalizing a budget that includes big cuts to local governments, nursing homes and hospitals, and college scholarships. The Legislature is facing a deadline of Wednesday night to get a complete set of budget bills to Governor Granholm's desk.

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In Michigan
6:35 pm
Tue September 29, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE: Mich. House passes cut in aid to local libraries

LANSING, MI – The Michigan House has voted to cut state aid to local libraries by 40%.

Lawmakers have until midnight Wednesday to erase a $2.8 billion shortfall or there may be a partial shutdown of state government.

Aid to local libraries would drop from $10 million to $6 million under a budget bill approved 74-34 Tuesday by the Democratic-led House. The Republican-controlled Senate will vote on the bill next before it heads to Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

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In Michigan
6:34 pm
Tue September 29, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE: Michigan Senate OKs budget with welfare money

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Senate has approved a budget bill that avoids proposed cuts to Michigan's funding for welfare recipients.

Lawmakers are nearing a midnight Wednesday deadline to balance a $2.8 billion budget deficit.

A family of three receiving nearly $500 a month in welfare won't see a $30 per month cut in payments as proposed by Senate Republicans a few months ago.

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In Michigan
5:16 pm
Tue September 29, 2009

MI budget countdown continues

LANSING, MI – Lawmakers are preparing for a marathon session to vote on big spending cuts for budgets. The deadline for a budget deal is midnight on Wednesday.

So far the Legislature is sticking to the Republican plan to balance the budget with cuts alone.

Democrats were able to pass a tax increase during the budget crisis in 2007. And Republican House Minority Leader Kevin Elsenheimer says he thinks there are closed-door discussions going on for new taxes to fund some programs this year as well.

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Top Stories
5:15 pm
Tue September 29, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE: Senate Votes to Cut Aid to Local Governments

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Senate has voted to cut Michigan's tax revenue-sharing payments to local communities by 11% to help balance a $2.8 billion budget deficit.

Cities, townships and counties use the money to cover police, firefighters and other services.

Revenue sharing is one of the most contentious parts of the state budget before Wednesday's midnight deadline. The House could vote later Tuesday.

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In Michigan
4:14 pm
Tue September 29, 2009

Health officials launch RHIO electronic records exchange

Lansing, MI – Physicians and hospitals in Mid-Michigan will soon have the option of switching from paper to electronic medical records. Health officials have launched the Capital Area Regional Health Information Organization, called RHIO. Participating health care providers in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties will be able to share health records on a secure computer network.

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In Michigan
5:26 am
Tue September 29, 2009

Comerica Park: Scene of law-enforcement exercise

DETROIT – The Tigers may still be battling to win the AL Central, but officials already are preparing for the possibility of a World Series in Detroit.

Federal and local law-enforcement personnel will descend from helicopters into Comerica Park Tuesday morning as part of an exercise to prepare for a possible championship series.

Officials say Detroit SWAT and U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel will participate in the "fast-roping" exercise, in which agents descend into the ballpark on a thick rope from a helicopter.

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In Michigan
5:24 am
Tue September 29, 2009

State to release child welfare legal findings

LANSING, MI – A new study says Michigan needs to strengthen ways that parents are represented in child protection proceedings.

The study is to be released Tuesday by the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law. It calls for improving the system by which attorneys are appointed to represent parents, resources available to those attorneys and accountability to both the client and courts.

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Sports
5:17 am
Tue September 29, 2009

Sparky saluted with Tigers' 1984 World Series team

DETROIT – Sparky Anderson says the reunion of the Detroit Tigers' 1984 championship team is special because the whole squad will never be together again.

The Hall of Fame manager easily drew the loudest cheers at Comerica Park when he was introduced with his former players and staff as they stood on a wet field Monday night before Detroit's scheduled game against the Minnesota Twins was postponed by rain.

Anderson and 1984 World Series MVP Alan Trammell addressed the crowd.

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Sports
5:15 am
Tue September 29, 2009

Twins-Tigers game postponed by rain; DH on Tuesday

DETROIT – The scheduled game between the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers has been postponed because of rain.

Locked in a tight race for the AL Central title, the teams were supposed to begin a four-game series Monday night that could decide the division crown. Instead, the opener will be made up Tuesday as part of a day-night doubleheader. The first game will start at 12:05 p.m., with the nightcap at 7:05 p.m.

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In Michigan
6:19 pm
Mon September 28, 2009

Glut of milk hurting Michigan dairy farmers

HOLLAND, MI – Michigan dairy farmers are still producing milk despite a worldwide glut that has sent prices plummeting.

Producers face higher costs but less demand for milk, partly because of a dried-up export market.

Dairy expert Ira Krupp of the Michigan State University Extension program says the recent prices that producers are getting for their milk have been far below what they need to remain profitable.

Krupp tells The Holland Sentinel that he expects prices to remain down for at least several more months.

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In Michigan
6:14 pm
Mon September 28, 2009

Bernero looks to partner with county to build parking ramp

LANSING, MI – Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero proposed Monday using Federal Recovery bonds to build a new parking ramp for the Accident Fund Insurance Company.

The Accident Fund is renovating the Ottawa Street Power Station for its new headquarters. It was announced earlier this month the company couldn't secure the money needed to build a ramp as part of the $182 million project.

Bernero's plan would require the city to partner with Ingham County to get the estimated $31 million needed to build the ramp.

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In Michigan
4:44 pm
Mon September 28, 2009

Businesses encouraged to prepare for H1N1 virus

Lansing, MI – Ingham County health officials are encouraging local businesses to develop or review their plans for staying open if there's a local outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus this fall.

AUDIO:

Health officials say employers should first look at which workers may be most at risk for the virus. That includes pregnant women and people with underlying medical conditions. Companies may opt to move those employees to less public areas or have them work from home.

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In Michigan
4:44 pm
Mon September 28, 2009

Legislature hopes to wrap up budget

LANSING, MI – The Legislature returns to the state Capitol Tuesday. Lawmakers and Governor Granholm have until the stroke of midnight Wednesday to wrap up work on the budget.

AUDIO:
House Speaker Andy Dillon says he's confident that disagreements can be settled in the final budgets remaining. They cover Medicaid, human services, higher education, and roads and transportation.

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In Michigan
1:08 pm
Mon September 28, 2009

Republicans strategize on Mackinac Island

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WKAR Features
1:05 pm
Mon September 28, 2009

Budget deal edges closer

LANSING, MI – At the state Capitol, the House and the Senate canceled plans to meet into the weekend to try and strike a budget deal. The Legislature will also take off Monday because of the Jewish Yom Kippur religious holiday. But legislative leaders say they're confident they can wrap work on the budget as soon as Tuesday.

AUDIO:

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In Michigan
7:35 am
Mon September 28, 2009

Governor Mitt Romney speaks on Mackinac Island

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI – Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was the keynote speaker at a Republican strategy conference on Mackinac Island over the weekend.

AUDIO:

Romney, who ran for the Republican nomination for president last year, spent most of his speech criticizing President Obama and his record so far in Washington. But he also expressed concern for Michigan as it weathers a budget crisis.

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In Michigan
7:30 am
Mon September 28, 2009

House, Senate cancel Sunday sessions, but edge closer to budget to deal

LANSING, MI – The Legislature is not meeting Monday out of respect for the Jewish Yom Kippur religious observance. But legislative leaders say they're confident they can wrap up work on the state budget for the Wednesday night deadline.

AUDIO:

There were no quorums in the House or the Senate for rare Sunday sessions.

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In Michigan
6:57 am
Mon September 28, 2009

Mich. officials track disease that killed deer

FENTON, MI – State officials suspect the deaths of more than 100 deer in southeast Michigan may have been caused by the same disease that killed animals in 2006 and 2008.

The Detroit Free Press reports the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is awaiting results of tests to determine if the deer were suffering from epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, which is spread by gnats and midges.

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In Michigan
6:54 am
Mon September 28, 2009

Mich. budget cuts threaten police, fire staffing

LANSING, MI – Michigan has lost more than 4,000 police officers and firefighters this decade.

Hundreds more could be lost if the state follows through on its current budget plan for the fiscal year scheduled to start Thursday.

Cuts to tax revenue sharing payments that cities, townships, villages and some counties use to help pay for police, fire and other services appear inevitable as state lawmakers work to erase a projected $2.8 billion budget shortfall.

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In Michigan
6:48 am
Mon September 28, 2009

Mich. panel passes cut in aid to local libraries

LANSING, MI – A conference committee in the Michigan Legislature has voted to cut state aid to local libraries by 40 percent.

The vote Sunday afternoon sets the stage for votes in the House and Senate when they return to work Tuesday. Lawmakers have until the end of the day Wednesday to erase a $2.8 billion shortfall or there may be a partial shutdown of state government.

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In Michigan
6:45 am
Mon September 28, 2009

Mich. panel votes to cut prison spending

LANSING, MI – A legislative conference committee has voted to cut prison spending in the Michigan budget year scheduled to start in four days.

The 5% cut would be met in part by completing a previously announced plan to close prisons and prison camps. Gov. Jennifer Granholm's administration has been paroling more inmates to save money.

The Legislature could start passing the Corrections Department budget when it returns to work Tuesday. Lawmakers have until the end of Wednesday to erase a $2.8 billion deficit.

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Sports
6:31 am
Mon September 28, 2009

Datsyuk, Williams lead Wings past Pens 4-1

DETROIT – Pavel Datsyuk and Jason Williams each had a goal and an assist, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 pre-season win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday in a matchup of the last two Stanley Cup champions.

Johan Franzen and Ville Leino also scored and Brian Rafalski assisted on all four goals for Detroit, which scored times on the power play. Jimmy Howard made 25 saves.

Pascal Dupuis scored for Pittsburgh (1-4-1) and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 20 shots.

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Sports
6:27 am
Mon September 28, 2009

Quentin, Hudson lead White Sox over Tigers 8-4

CHICAGO – Carlos Quentin hit a three-run homer in his second straight game, rookie Daniel Hudson earned his first major league victory and the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 8-4 Sunday for their third win in 11 games.

Hudson (1-1) outpitched All-Star Edwin Jackson (13-8) over six solid innings, and Quentin broke it open with a drive to right that capped a four-run eighth and made it 8-2.

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