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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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Sports
6:25 am
Mon September 28, 2009

Lions beat Redskins 19-14 and end 19-game skid

DETROIT – The Detroit Lions ended their 19-game losing streak by holding off the Washington Redskins 19-14 Sunday.

Matthew Stafford threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Bryant Johnson in the first quarter and the two connected to draw a key penalty to set up a TD in the fourth quarter.

The Lions (1-2) had not won since Dec. 23, 2007 and their skid matched the second longest in NFL history.

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In Michigan
6:32 pm
Fri September 25, 2009

Republicans head to Mackinac Island

Lansing, MI – Some Republican lawmakers in Lansing will skip this weekend's GOP strategy conference on Mackinac Island. Both the House and Senate scheduled tentative sessions for this weekend as they close in on the final days before the budget deadline. The Legislature must pass a budget plan by Wednesday.

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In Michigan
6:27 pm
Fri September 25, 2009

Senate approves temporary budget as deadline draws closer

Lansing, MI – The Legislature is expected to work into the weekend to try and wrap up the state budget. At the same time, lawmakers are making emergency plans in case they can't reach a deal before the October first.

State Senate Republicans muscled through a 30-day interim budget that includes the big cuts they want to part of a final budget deal that does not raise taxes.

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In Michigan
1:03 pm
Fri September 25, 2009

Budget negotiations drag into another day

LANSING, MI – Lawmakers return to the state Capitol for a rare Friday session to try and break a budget deadlock. The Legislature met all day Thursday, but made little progress.

AUDIO:

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Top Stories
12:16 pm
Fri September 25, 2009

BUDGET UPDATE: Senate approves interim budget

The Michigan State Capitol in Lansing.
WKAR Photo

Lansing, MI – The state Senate has approved an interim budget in case an agreement is not reached five days from now. The Senate version of a one-month temporary budget reflects a 25 percent rollback in spending levels.


WE'LL HAVE MORE on the state budget process later today. Check this website and listen to All Things Considered with Gretchen Millich, starting at 4 p.m.

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In Michigan
8:41 am
Fri September 25, 2009

Spending caps are off in MI GOP gubernatorial race

LANSING, MI – Michigan's GOP gubernatorial candidates will be able to spend whatever they want on their primary campaigns.

Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder told state officials this month he's given his campaign at least $340,000.

The donation lifted the $2 million spending cap his opponents faced if they accepted public matching funds before the August 2010 primary.

Campaign spokesman Jake Suski won't say how much Snyder has given, but says the donation "shows his intention to win and reinvent Michigan."

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In Michigan
8:20 am
Fri September 25, 2009

MI Senate passes targeted budgets

The Michigan State Capitol in Lansing.
WKAR Photo

LANSING, MI – The state Senate started voting on budgets Thursday night. But beyond that, not much forward progress was seen in budget negotiations at the state Capitol.

AUDIO:

Political differences and party lines were drawn as House and Senate conference committees dealing with Medicaid and local government revenue sharing made little or no movement toward an agreement.

House Speaker Andy Dillon.

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In Michigan
6:32 am
Fri September 25, 2009

Senate's OK of $400M Great Lakes bill draws praise

DETROIT – DETROIT (AP) - A leading environmental group is praising the U.S. Senate's approval of $400 million for cleaning up and restoring the Great Lakes.

The Senate passed the measure Thursday night as part of a $32 billion spending measure for the Interior Department for the budget year that starts next week.

It passed on a 77-21 vote, with Michigan Democrats Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow voting yes.

In June, the House approved $475 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

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In Michigan
6:18 am
Fri September 25, 2009

Poll: Most voters like mix of cuts, tax increases

LANSING, MI – A new poll indicates about 6 of every 10 Michigan voters want lawmakers to use a combination of spending cuts and tax increases to balance the state's budget.

The survey released Thursday by EPIC-MRA of Lansing says a cuts-only approach was favored by about a quarter of respondents, while 5 percent said increases alone should be used.

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In Michigan
6:16 am
Fri September 25, 2009

MSU grad killed in Korea gets posthumous medal

EAST LANSING, MI – A Michigan State University graduate who died as a Chinese prisoner during the Korean War is being awarded the Purple Heart medal in a campus ceremony next week.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers will preside over the ceremony at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Demonstration Hall. Army 1st Lt. Baldwin R. Carr was captured on April 25, 1951, and died in captivity. His family never received his body.

Rogers' office says Gordon Carr will accept the medal on his brother's behalf.

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