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In Michigan
3:20 pm
Thu June 18, 2009

Lansing School Board to vote on budget

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Science/Tech
10:14 am
Thu June 18, 2009

Plan would regulate Michigan stem cell research

LANSING, MI – A state senator is introducing legislation that would provide some oversight for embryonic stem cell research in Michigan.

It's the first major legislative effort to address a measure approved by Michigan voters in 2008. Proposal 2 loosened the state's restrictions on the research by allowing people to donate embryos left over from fertility treatments.

Republican Sen. Tom George of Kalamazoo County's Texas Township says Thursday the bills headed to the state Legislature are not an effort to undo Proposal 2.

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Science/Tech
10:04 am
Thu June 18, 2009

NASA aims for unmanned moon rocket launch Thursday

WASHINGTON – NASA will try to head back to the moon this afternoon.

The unmanned rocket launch marks the first such mission in a decade.

The space agency announced plans for the launch yesterday after deciding to postpone a space shuttle mission because of a hydrogen gas leak. The timing for the moon mission couldn't be set until NASA knew whether the shuttle plans would go forward.

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Arts & Culture
10:00 am
Thu June 18, 2009

Opera Grand Rapids building new $2.25M facility

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Opera Grand Rapids is building a $2.25 million facility to house rehearsals, offices, special events and small performances.

A groundbreaking was scheduled for Wednesday for the 14,000-square-foot Betty Van Andel Opera Center. It also will have room for costume and property storage, educational activities and a costume shop.

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Sports
6:15 am
Thu June 18, 2009

GM meets with Sprint Cup teams about cutbacks

UNDATED – UNDATED (AP) - General Motors has met with teams in NASCAR's top-tier Sprint Cup series about its plans to scale back financial support.

GM already has notified teams in the lower-tier Nationwide and Camping World Truck series of cutbacks. The automaker is reorganizing through Chapter 11 bankruptcy and said last week it planned to make cuts across all of NASCAR's series.

Chevrolet spokesman Terry Rhadigan wouldn't provide details of the cuts.

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Sports
6:13 am
Thu June 18, 2009

Nobody has caught more games than Ivan Rodriguez

ARLINGTON, TX – Ivan Rodriguez has caught his 2,227th game, more than any other major leaguer.

The former Detroit Tiger set the record last night against Texas. Now with the Houston Astros, Rodriguez tied Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk in Tuesday night's opener of an interleague series with the Rangers.

Rodriguez was 19 when Texas promoted him to the majors midway through the 1991 season. In 12 seasons with the Rangers, he won an AL MVP award, 10 Gold Gloves and was a 10-time All-Star.

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Sports
5:55 am
Thu June 18, 2009

Lugnuts finish series by beating Dayton

DAYTON, OH – The Lansing Lugnuts beat the host Dayton Dragons 12-7 last night at Fifth Third Field. Lansing finishes off the first half of the 2009 Midwest League season with a four-game series in Midland, Michigan, against the Great Lakes Loons, starting tonight.

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Sports
5:52 am
Thu June 18, 2009

Colby Rasmus' bat leads Cardinals past Tigers

ST. LOUIS – he Tigers will try to snap a four-game losing streak when they wrap up a three-game interleague series against the Cardinals tonight in St. Louis.

Rookie Colby Rasmus had three hits and two RBIs to pace St. Louis to a 4-3 win last night.

Yadier Molina homered and Todd Wellemeyer earned the victory. Cardinals relievers allowed a run and three hits in 3 2-3 innings, with Ryan Franklin posting his 16th save in 17 chances.

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In Michigan
5:48 am
Thu June 18, 2009

MI Senate Appropriations makes cuts to School Aid budget

LANSING, MI – A state Senate committee approved a $628 million budget cut for Michigan's K-12 schools.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has been making sweeping cuts this week in an effort to plug the state's $1.7 billion deficit for the coming fiscal year.

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In Michigan
5:46 am
Thu June 18, 2009

Today is first state worker furlough day

LANSING, MI – Thousands of state workers will have today off. It's the first of six unpaid furlough days government employees will take this summer to help make up a budget shortfall.

The unpaid holidays for 37,400 government employees are expected to save the state about $20 million.

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In Michigan
5:44 am
Thu June 18, 2009

MI House Education Committee passes reform bills

LANSING, MI – The state House Education Committee approved legislation Thursday that would threaten Michigan's worst performing schools with closure if they cannot raise proficiency levels. About three dozen schools are targeted with proficiency levels below 30%.

The committee heard myriad testimonies since the bills were introduced in early April. They heard from charter school organizers, the state superintendent and the state teachers union, all of whom support the bills.

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In Michigan
6:05 pm
Wed June 17, 2009

Detroit-area 'aerotropolis' agreement signed

TAYLOR, MI – Officials have taken another step toward the creation of a massive airport city by signing an agreement to form the Aerotropolis Development Corp. in Taylor.

Backers say the deal could create 64,000 jobs and add $10 billion in annual economic activity by luring aviation-related businesses to the area. Signed Wednesday, the agreement needs the governor's signature before becoming final.

The proposed land is between Detroit Metropolitan Airport and the freight-oriented Willow Run Airport.

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In Michigan
5:42 pm
Wed June 17, 2009

Former Michigan AFL-CIO president Garrison dies

LANSING, MI – Former Michigan AFL-CIO President Frank Garrison has died. He was 74.

The AFL-CIO says Garrison, who led the union for nearly 13 years
until retiring in 1999, died around 4 a.m. Wednesday. The cause of
death was not immediately released.

Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm says the Lansing resident was a labor leader for more than 40 years who fought for better lives for workers. He was a former member of United Auto Workers Local 699 and was executive director of the UAW Community Action Program from 1982-86.

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In Michigan
5:13 pm
Wed June 17, 2009

Granholm says she'll fight effort to end scholarship

LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm says eliminating the Michigan Promise college scholarship is an unacceptable option for helping to balance the budget.

The Michigan Promise scholarship helps thousands of students and their families with money for college or job-training after high school. Senate Republicans say dropping the scholarship will save the state $140 million that's badly needed to retire a growing budget deficit.

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In Michigan
10:48 am
Wed June 17, 2009

Mich. court gives judges say in witnesses' dress

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Supreme Court is giving judges more authority over how witnesses dress in court after a Muslim woman refused to remove her veil while testifying in her
small claims case.

The high court voted 5-2 Wednesday to approve a statewide court rule letting judges regulate the appearance of witnesses. Two dissenters said there should be an exception for people whose clothing is dictated by their religion.

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In Michigan
9:57 am
Wed June 17, 2009

Senate Appropriations Committee approves budget cuts

LANSING, MI – State Senators approved sweeping budget cuts Wednesday in Lansing.

AUDIO:

The state Senate Appropriations Committee spent the day cutting big numbers out of the budget for the coming fiscal year. Almost 150 (m) million dollars was carved out of higher education spending. Much of that came from financial aid for students attending public and private universities.

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In Michigan
9:46 am
Wed June 17, 2009

MI Supreme Court says judges can ban veils

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Supreme Court says judges may order women not to wear face-covering veils when appearing in court. The court adopted the rule by a 5-2 vote. And it refused to adopt an exception for clothing that reflects a sincerely held religious belief.

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In Michigan
9:34 am
Wed June 17, 2009

State jobless rate hits 14.1 percent

LANSING (MI) – Michigan's unemployment rate surged to 14.1% in May. That's a jump of more than a full percentage point from the month before.

AUDIO:

There are 682,000 people out of work in Michigan and looking for jobs. When people who've given up looking, or are working part-time but seeking full-time employment are figured in, the rate of unemployment and under-employment goes to more than 20 percent.

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In Michigan
7:02 am
Wed June 17, 2009

Panel begins work on indigent defense bills

LANSING, MI – The chair of a special legislative subcommittee says he wants to reform Michigan's system for appointing public defenders before the end of the summer.

AUDIO:

State Representative Bob Constan wants to create an independent agency to defend people who are accused of crimes, but cannot afford an attorney. Right now, each county runs its own system, and, in many cases, the fees they pay are some of the lowest in the country.

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In Michigan
7:02 am
Wed June 17, 2009

Senate subcommittee approves DCH budget cuts

LANSING, MI – State Senate Republicans are planning to vote Wednesday on a four percent Medicaid budget cut for the coming fiscal year.

AUDIO:

The Senate Appropriations committee will discuss the cuts in an effort to plug holes in the state budget. The Medicaid cut would be in addition to a four percent cut made already this year.

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Sports
6:04 am
Wed June 17, 2009

Lugnuts lose to Dragons

DAYTON, OH – The Dayton Dragons defeated the Lansing Lugnuts last night 6-3 in a rain-shortened contest at Fifth Third Field. The Lugnuts and Dragons wrap up their four-game series tonight at 7.

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Sports
5:52 am
Wed June 17, 2009

Cardinals rout Tigers 11-2

ST. LOUIS – Albert Pujols hit his fifth home run in five games, and Adam Wainwright worked seven strong innings to help the St. Louis Cardinals rout the Detroit Tigers and ace Justin
Verlander 11-2 last night.

Pujols's 23rd homer went an estimated 446 feet over the left field wall off Ryan Perry to start the sixth. Chris Duncan followed with a 418-foot shot that gave the light-hitting Cardinals back-to-back homers for the first time all season.

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In Michigan
6:16 pm
Tue June 16, 2009

Farmers Ins. to expand in west Mich., create 1,600 jobs

CALEDONIA TOWNSHIP, MI – Farmers Group Inc. says it will expand its Grand Rapids-area campus, creating 1,600 jobs.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm joined representatives of the Los Angeles-based insurer Tuesday to announce the project.

The announcement was made moments after state officials granted $62 million in tax incentives for the project over 18 years.

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In Michigan
5:14 pm
Tue June 16, 2009

GM to sell Saab to Swedish automaker

DETROIT, MI – General Motors has reached a tentative deal to sell its Saab division.

GM has signed a memorandum of understanding with Koenigsegg Automotive for the purchase of Saab. The purchase price has not been released.

Koenigsegg is a small maker of expensive sports cars in Sweden. The company has just 45 employees. It will take over Saab, which has about 3,400 employees.

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In Michigan
5:09 pm
Tue June 16, 2009

Senate subcommittee approves DCH budget cuts

LANSING, MI – State Senate Republicans are expected to approve bigger cuts to the Medicaid health care program for poor families. The Senate Appropriations Committee is poised to vote for a 4% cut in the coming fiscal year to doctors, hospitals, and other Medicaid providers. That's on top of cuts already ordered this year.

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In Michigan
4:42 pm
Tue June 16, 2009

Panel begins work on indigent defense bills

LANSING, MI – The chair of a special legislative subcommittee says he wants to reform Michigan's system for appointing public defenders before the end of the summer.

State Representative Bob Constan wants to create an independent agency to defend people who are accused of crimes, but cannot afford an attorney. Right now, each county runs its own system, and, in many cases, the fees they pay are some of the lowest in the country.

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In Michigan
3:31 pm
Tue June 16, 2009

Mich. senators vote to cut college scholarships

LANSING, MI – A Michigan Senate subcommittee has voted to eliminate a scholarship that gives thousands of state students up to $4,000 to help pay college bills.

The elimination of the Michigan Promise Grant would save the state up to $140 million a year. But Gov. Jennifer Granholm's administration likely will resist the move started by Tuesday's Senate subcommittee vote.

Lawmakers and Granholm are scrambling to eliminate a projected general fund budget shortfall of at least $1.8 billion for the fiscal year that starts in October.

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In Michigan
3:22 pm
Tue June 16, 2009

State Police Lansing HQ move draws more criticism

LANSING, MI – The state's plan to move the Michigan State Police into a new downtown Lansing headquarters again is drawing criticism.

The agency is scheduled to move into the new $40 million building early next year. The move has drawn criticism since it was approved in 2007.

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Science/Tech
10:50 am
Tue June 16, 2009

Bald eagles lead to traffic hazard in Michigan

OAKFIELD TOWNSHIP, MI – A nest of bald eagles in one southwestern Michigan community is attracting so much attention from bird watchers that officials plan to ban roadside gawkers from
the area.

The bald eagles nesting in Kent County's Oakfield Township about 20 miles northeast of Grand Rapids have been attracting crowds with binoculars and cameras to a 5-foot-wide shoulder of the road.

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In Michigan
6:38 am
Tue June 16, 2009

Investigators say Discount Dave blaze was arson

Investigators say the May 3 fire at Discount Dave's in south Lansing was deliberately set.
Kevin Lavery, WKAR News

LANSING, MI – The Lansing Fire Marshal has declared the fire at Buy-Rite Furniture last month to be a case of arson.

AUDIO: The May 3 fire destroyed the South Washington Avenue furniture store. After six weeks of investigation, Fire Marshal Phil Sabon now says arson was the cause.

"Today, we're reporting that the fire was intentionally set, and continually will be under investigation at this time," Sabon says.

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