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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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Sports
5:40 am
Thu June 25, 2009

Laird, Cabrera help Tigers win sixth straight, 5-3

DETROIT – Gerald Laird and Miguel Cabrera homered to help the Detroit Tigers win their sixth straight game, beating the Chicago Cubs 5-3 last night.

Zach Miner (5-1), the third of seven Detroit pitchers, picked up the win. Fernando Rodney finished for his 15th save in as many tries. The Cubs put the first two batters on, but Rodney retired the next three to end the game.

Rookie Rick Porcello allowed two runs and seven hits. He walked four in five-plus innings.

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In Michigan
6:23 pm
Wed June 24, 2009

Land expected to join governor's race

LANSING, MI – Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is expected to formally join the race for Michigan governor Wednesday.

Land has had a campaign committee since mid-February, although she's called it an exploratory committee. The Land campaign says she will announce her intentions at stops in Grand Rapids and Troy.

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In Michigan
6:13 pm
Wed June 24, 2009

State Police Lansing headquarters debate heats up

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Chamber of Commerce and building trades groups are among those calling on the state to follow through with plans to move the state police into a new
headquarters.

The $40 million, privately owned building is nearly complete and Michigan State Police is scheduled to occupy it in January. But the state Senate has passed a budget bill that does not include the more than $3 million needed to pay the rent next fiscal year.

The state House is expected to vote on the bill soon.

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In Michigan
10:58 am
Wed June 24, 2009

FBI says at least 3 arrests made in wider Detroit probe

DETROIT – The FBI says at least three significant players in a broader federal investigation have been arrested in the Detroit area.

FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold says the arrests were made early Wednesday. She says details about the case would be released at a 12:30 p.m. news conference in Washington with Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

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In Michigan
10:09 am
Wed June 24, 2009

State House Appropriations approves judiciary budget cut

LANSING, MI – The state House continued voting on sweeping budget cuts Wednesday in Lansing. The lawmakers approved a $2.3 million cut for Michigan's courts.

AUDIO:

The state House Appropriations Committee took testimony from Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly. She says the courts have left jobs unfilled to reduce spending.

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In Michigan
10:07 am
Wed June 24, 2009

MI Supreme Court refuses to reconsider CAFO case

LANSING, MI – The state Supreme Court has ended a five-year legal fight between an environmental group and state regulators.

AUDIO:

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In Michigan
9:59 am
Wed June 24, 2009

MI Senate debates extended jobless payments

LANSING, MI – State Senate Democrats made a failed attempt Wednesday to force a vote on extending jobless benefits to laid-off part-time workers and unemployed people in training programs.

Governor Granholm has called for the bills, which would initially be paid for with federal stimulus funds.

State Senate Democratic Leader Mike Prusi said the Senate should act before beginning a two-week break.

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In Michigan
9:29 am
Wed June 24, 2009

Lansing's South Side to be focus of new economic study

EAST LANSING, MI – Lansing officials announced the start of an economic study of the city's South side on Wednesday. They hope to better identify ways to improve existing businesses and bring more business to the region.

Critics of the Bernero administration say economic development of the region has taken a back seat to downtown development.

Bob Trezise is the director of the Lansing Economic Development Corporation. He says the area has been given plenty of attention over the years.

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Sports
5:45 am
Wed June 24, 2009

Chris Chelios to talk about his plans

DETROIT – Chris Chelios has a plan to talk about his future.

The 47-year-old defenseman says he will host a news conference this morning at Cheli's Chili Bar and Restaurant in Detroit to answer questions just days after the Red Wings confirmed he will not be offered a contract to stay.

Chelios has said he wants to play next season.

He played in six of 23 playoff games this year for the runner-up Red Wings, extending his NHL records by appearing in his 24th postseason and 266th playoff game. He played 28 regular-season games.

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Sports
5:43 am
Wed June 24, 2009

Yzerman, Hull, Robitaille, Leetch get Hall of Fame

UNDATED – Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille and Brian Leetch are going into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The selection committee announced on a conference call it had elected the maximum four players this year. All were eligible for the first time.

Yzerman retired in the summer of 2006 with the sixth-highest point total in NHL history. The longtime Detroit Red Wings captain won the Stanley Cup three times and a gold medal with Canada in the 2002 Olympics.

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Sports
5:39 am
Wed June 24, 2009

Raburn's HR in ninth gives Tigers 5-4 win vs. Cubs

DETROIT – Ryan Raburn hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning, lifting the Detroit Tigers to a seesaw, 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs last night.

Chicago's Micah Hoffpauir hit a go-ahead, two-run shot in the eighth inning off Joel Zumaya.

Brandon Inge's two-run home run in the seventh put the Tigers ahead 3-2 and they were a strike away from taking the lead into the ninth, but Hoffpauir sent Zumaya's 85 mph pitch over the fence in right.

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In Michigan
6:12 pm
Tue June 23, 2009

Promise scholarship becomes signature budget fight

LANSING, MI – The state Senate adopted a higher education budget Tuesday that removes funding for the Michigan Promise scholarship and other types of financial aid for students.

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In Michigan
6:10 pm
Tue June 23, 2009

Feds loan Ford billions toward fuel efficiency

DEARBORN, MI – Ford's effort to build more fuel efficient cars and trucks is getting a nearly $6 billion boost from the Obama Administration.

The money comes from a $25 billion loan program designed to help all automakers that manufacture vehicles in the US. In addition to Ford, the federal government is giving a combined $2 billion to Nissan and electric car maker Tesla.

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In Michigan
6:08 pm
Tue June 23, 2009

Europe trip canceled after Mich. orchestra students get flu

TWIN LAKE, MI – A Michigan arts camp has canceled a three-week orchestra tour of Europe after several students came down with the flu.

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp says its International Youth Symphony Orchestra was scheduled to depart Monday evening from Detroit Metropolitan Airport. But several students were diagnosed with type-A influenza while touring Ohio over the weekend.

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In Michigan
3:52 pm
Tue June 23, 2009

Michigan lawmakers debate college scholarship cash

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Senate has passed a bill that would eliminate funding for a state-sponsored college scholarship program but keep debate about the program alive.

The Republican-led chamber's version of the higher education bill passed 19-17 Tuesday eliminates money for the Michigan Promise scholarship for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. But it keeps a placeholder for the program in the bill in case lawmakers figure out a way to at least partially fund the scholarships.

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In Michigan
2:44 pm
Tue June 23, 2009

Ionia Flooding To Impact Fair Parking?

IONIA, MI – IONIA, MI (WKAR) - About 1,000 cars remain stranded at the Ionia County Fairgrounds after the Grand River flooded during a concert on Saturday.

The flooded area is also used for parking at the Ionia Free Fair, just over three weeks from now.

AUDIO: Ionia City Manager Jason Eppler says the affected area will need repairs after the floodwaters recede and the cars are removed.

He says the driveway leading into the mowed, grassy parking area will need the most work.

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In Michigan
12:39 pm
Tue June 23, 2009

Ingham County approves PLA's

The Ingham County Courthouse in Mason.
Kevin Lavery, WKAR News

Mason, MI – The Ingham County Board of Commissioners has approved the use of project labor agreements for certain types of construction projects.
AUDIO:
The commission's 13 to 2 vote in favor of project labor agreements gives the county the discretion to use them on a case by case basis.

PLA's are collective bargaining agreements that set workplace rules before contractors are hired. Non-unionized workers argued PLA's would shut them out of the county bidding process.

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In Michigan
10:04 am
Tue June 23, 2009

Michigan lawmakers debate college scholarship cash

LANSING, MI – Lt. Gov. John Cherry says Michigan lawmakers should restore money for the state's primary publicly funded college scholarship program.

Cherry said in a teleconference Tuesday that while the Michigan Promise scholarship program may not be immune from budget cuts, lawmakers should not completely eliminate it. Cherry, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for governor in 2010, says eliminating the program would break a promise to the 96,000
students expecting to receive some money from it this fall.

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In Michigan
10:02 am
Tue June 23, 2009

Europe trip canceled after Mich. students get flu

TWIN LAKE, MI – TWIN LAKE, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan arts camp has canceled a three-week orchestra tour of Europe after several students came down with the flu.

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp says its International Youth Symphony Orchestra was scheduled to depart Monday evening from Detroit Metropolitan Airport. But several students were diagnosed with type-A influenza while touring Ohio over the weekend.

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