News

Pages

In Michigan
6:22 pm
Mon June 15, 2009

LCC unions oppose dismissal of counselors

EAST LANSING, MI – Lansing Community College President Brent Knight says the economy is forcing the school to consider the termination of three long-time counselors at the school. Unionized faculty and staff say the school should tap its general fund to keep the counselors. But Knight says he's reluctant to do that: "Most people think the college should have more money in reserves. And those who would spent that money---I would like to ask them---do you think that the next 24 months in Michigan are going to be better or worse?"

Read more
In Michigan
6:11 pm
Mon June 15, 2009

State Rep backs MagLev, if privately funded

EAST LANSING, MI – State Representative Bill Rogers says he would support a proposed elevated rail system between Detroit, Ann Arbor and Lansing, if private investors finance the project.

Rogers heads a legislative task force looking into a Magnetic Levitation rail line that would run above existing highways. One Michigan company, Interstate Traveler, says there's enough money now to build a prototype of the MagLev.

Read more
Top Stories
3:49 pm
Mon June 15, 2009

LCC employees protest plan to cut school counselors

Lansing Community College.
Melissa Ingells, WKAR News

LANSING, MI – Unionized employees at Lansing Community College are urging the administration not to dismiss three school counselors. Administrators are considering the cuts to address a $3.2 million budget deficit.

Opponents say the counselors perform a critical service at the school. Michigan Association of Higher Education spokeswoman Sally Pierce says LCC should take a closer look at its spending priorities.

Read more
In Michigan
12:07 pm
Mon June 15, 2009

State House committee to continue tax reform discussion

LANSING, MI – A state House committee will continue hearings this week on how to change Michigan's tax structure.

Republicans and Democrats throughout Lansing agree state taxes need to be updated to help fix Michigan's budget deficit and mend its economy. But ideas of how to tweak the sales tax, the business tax or the income tax are as varied as the economists and lobbyists testifying at the Capitol.

Read more
Top Stories
11:50 am
Mon June 15, 2009

State task force considers MagLev train

Gretchen Millich, WKAR News

EAST LANSING, MI – Rep. Bill Rogers (R-Brighton) says he would recommend building a hydrogen-powered rail line in Michigan, if the project does not require any public funding.

Rogers heads a task force exploring the feasibility of the MagLev train.

AUDIO:

Read more
Business
11:02 am
Mon June 15, 2009

AAA Michigan: State gas prices drop 10 cents

DEARBORN, MI – AAA Michigan says gasoline prices are down 10 cents per gallon over the past week to a statewide average of $2.83.

The auto club said Monday the statewide average is $1.29 per gallon lower than last year at this time.

Of the cities it surveys, AAA Michigan says the cheapest price for self-serve regular fuel is in the Benton Harbor area, where it's $2.77 a gallon. The highest average can be found in the Marquette area at $2.90.

The statewide average for biodiesel is $2.62 and $2.48 for ethanol.

Read more
Business
11:00 am
Mon June 15, 2009

Classic boat maker Grand Craft Corp. shuts down

HOLLAND, MI – Classic wooden boat builder Grand Craft Corp. has shut down operations, apparently left high and dry by the foundering economy.

The 30-year-old company specialized in handcrafted mahogany runabouts reminiscent of classic designs from the 1920s and 1930s. Customers included entertainers Jennifer Lopez, Tim Allen, Kid Rock and Robert Redford, who purchased two of them.

Read more
Arts & Culture
10:58 am
Mon June 15, 2009

Pontiac fest to go on without Chrysler as sponsor

PONTIAC, MI – The annual Arts, Beats & Eats festival in Pontiac is looking for new funding after getting word that Chrysler, its main sponsor in past years, won't be funding the
event this year.

The Oakland Press, the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News report Monday that organizers say the event still will go on Sept. 4-7.

Read more
Arts & Culture
10:53 am
Mon June 15, 2009

National arts test scores offer clouded picture

WASHINGTON – WASHINGTON (AP) - Half of the country's eighth graders answered multiple-choice questions about music correctly on national tests.

But the results for music and art tests issued Monday by the National Assessment of Educational Progress raise more questions than they answer.

Considered the benchmark of how students perform across the country, the NAEP report doesn't say how many students are actually taking classes in the arts.

Read more
Sports
10:51 am
Mon June 15, 2009

Mark Martin wins NASCAR race in Michigan

BROOKLYN, MI – Mark Martin literally coasted to victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.

Martin coasted to the finish of yesterday's LifeLock 400 as his gas tank went dry halfway through the final trip around the 2-mile oval.

The win was the third of the year for the 50-year-old Martin. Jeff Gordon finished second, Denny Hamlin was third and pole-sitter Brian Vickers came in ninth.

Read more
Sports
10:49 am
Mon June 15, 2009

Wild Willis walks 8, Pirates beat Tigers 6-3

PITTSBURGH – PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Tigers' interleague schedule runs another two weeks and it continues tomorrow with the first of three in St. Louis.

Detroit is coming off a weekend series in which it lost two of three to the Pirates in Pittsburgh. The Bucs took yesterday's rubber game 6-3 as wildness once again got the better of Dontrelle Willis.

The one-time 20-game winner walked eight in 3 2-3 innings, gave up six hits and all six Pirates runs. Willis (1-4) threw only 43 of 88 pitches for strikes.

Read more
In Michigan
10:46 am
Mon June 15, 2009

Legislative leaders to continue budget talks

LANSING, MI – Budget talks at the state Capitol are proceeding slowly. Republican and Democratic leaders will meet again this week in an effort to move the process forward.

It's appearing less and less likely the Legislature and Governor Granholm will meet a self-imposed deadline of early July to wrap up work on a spending plan for the coming fiscal year, and lay to rest a deficit pegged at $1.6 billion.

Read more
In Michigan
10:03 am
Mon June 15, 2009

Hearings on public defense to begin

LANSING, MI – A state House subcommittee will begin work Tuesday on a plan to ensure that criminal defendants who can't pay for an attorney are still well-represented in court. A report released a year ago says Michigan has one of the worst public defender systems in the nation.

Read more
Nation
6:39 am
Mon June 15, 2009

Son of alleged museum shooter expresses remorse; hearing set

WASHINGTON – The son of James von Brunn says he wishes it had been his father who died instead of the guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum that the father is accused of killing.

Erik von Brunn says in a statement to ABC News that his father was consumed by white supremacist views that in turn destroyed the family and ruined their lives.

Read more
Nation
6:28 am
Mon June 15, 2009

Stimulus bill adds jobless benefits; removes food stamps

WASHINGTON – WASHINGTON (AP) - Food stamps for some people just vanished.

When unemployment benefits rose as part of the economic stimulus bill, the change made some Americans ineligible for hundreds of dollars a month in food stamps.

Here's the problem: laid-off workers have seen a $25 weekly bump in their unemployment checks, pushing them above the income limit to receive food stamps.

That can amount to hundreds of dollars per month in benefits.

Read more
Nation
6:18 am
Mon June 15, 2009

Obama takes health proposal to AMA; Co-op compromise gives White House a health option

WASHINGTON – WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is expected to urge doctors gathered in Chicago today to support wider insurance coverage.

Obama plans to tell the American Medical Association's annual meeting that the health overhaul can't wait. Like other groups, doctors are divided over the plan.

Meantime, Congress begins work on the plan this week as the White House signals a willingness to compromise.

Read more
In Michigan
6:00 am
Mon June 15, 2009

Study cites losses in SE Mich manufacturing jobs

DETROIT – DETROIT (AP) - A regional planning agency says the automotive industry's restructuring has cut the number of manufacturing jobs in southeast Michigan by nearly half since 2000.

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments says employment in transportation equipment manufacturing -- comprising vehicle and parts-making -- has fallen by 59 percent alone.

The report says the seven-county region has lost more than 446,000 hourly and salary jobs, an 18 percent decline in employment.

Read more
In Michigan
5:56 am
Mon June 15, 2009

National Summit arrives amid economic troubles

DETROIT – The National Summit has downsized along with the rest of the economy.

But organizers of the three-day gathering of leaders starting today in Detroit say their agenda remains the same -- draft plans to boost U.S. manufacturing, energy, technology and environmental efforts.

Organizers hoped to draw 5,000 to Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions. But they moved to the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center and lowered expected attendance to 2,000.

Read more
In Michigan
5:53 am
Mon June 15, 2009

High speed rail task force meets today

EAST LANSING, MI – A legislative task force meets today at Michigan State University to take public testimony on a proposed high-speed rail system in Michigan. A company in Whitmore Lake says it can build a suspended track above existing freeways for a "Magnetic Levitation" or "Maglev" train that travels up to 200 miles an hour.

Read more
In Michigan
6:25 pm
Fri June 12, 2009

Old Pattengill starts coming down

Read more
In Michigan
6:20 pm
Fri June 12, 2009

Texas says GM dealer contracts break state law

AUSTIN, TX – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says General Motors is trying to force car dealers into contracts that violate Texas law. Abbott filed an objection Friday in GM's pending bankruptcy case in federal court in New York.

Abbott says the contracts are a "take-it-or-leave" deal that prevents dealers from selling other brands, requires them to order new GM cars they may not want to sell and alters state law regarding dealer locations.

Read more
In Michigan
6:14 pm
Fri June 12, 2009

VP Biden visits Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO, MI – Vice President Joe Biden says he believes General Motors will be able to emerge from bankruptcy in 60 to 90 days. Biden spoke today in Kalamazoo at a ceremony to mark the beginning of a project to widen part of I-94. It's the 2000th transportation project funded by the stimulus package that was signed into law by President Obama in February.

Read more
In Michigan
4:44 pm
Fri June 12, 2009

Appeals court says indigent defense case must move ahead

East Lansing, MI – The state will have to defend Michigan's patchwork system for ensuring legal representation for criminal defendants who can't afford to pay attorneys. The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Friday that the case must move forward.

Read more
In Michigan
1:20 pm
Fri June 12, 2009

Cyclotron expansion dedicated

EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State University Friday dedicated a major expansion of the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. The celebration also looked ahead to the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or F-RIB, a newly-awarded research facility which will be constructed at MSU.

Read more
WKAR Features
9:56 am
Fri June 12, 2009

Under the Radar: Raphael reviews bio of Napoleon's sister

Author and book critic Lev Raphael.
WKAR Photo

EAST LANSING, MI – We may not have hit 90 degree temperatures yet, but our book reviewer Lev Raphael has some steamy summer reading for us this month. It's Flora Fraser's "Pauline Bonaparte: Venus of Empire."

Read more
Science/Tech
7:47 am
Fri June 12, 2009

Novartis says produces first batch of experimental vaccine

BASEL, Switzerland – BASEL, Switzerland (AP) - Swiss pharmaceuticals company Novartis AG says it's produced a first batch of experimental swine flu vaccine.

The vaccine hasn't been tested and cannot be used in humans yet. It was made in cells, rather than grown in eggs as is usually the case with vaccines.

But because vaccines grown in cells account for less than 5 percent of the world's flu vaccine capacity, Novartis' announcement is unlikely to provide a major boost to the world's pandemic vaccine supply.

Read more
Arts & Culture
7:33 am
Fri June 12, 2009

New York Philharmonic elects new chairman

NEW YORK – The New York Philharmonic has elected a new chairman.

Gary W. Parr was elected chairman of the board of directors of the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York Inc. on Thursday. He assumes his new position on Sept. 24.

Parr succeeds Paul B. Guenther, who has held the post since September 1996. As chairman, Parr will serve as the society's chief volunteer officer.

Read more
Business
7:25 am
Fri June 12, 2009

Saab says negotations 'on track' to find new owner

STOCKHOLM – General Motors' Saab unit says a deal to find a new owner was "just around the corner" but added nothing has been finalized and didn't name any potential buyers.

In a statement on its Web site today, the Swedish unit said it was moving closer to a deal to secure the future of the ailing brand.

A person briefed on the talks would not identify the final bidders for Saab but said yesterday news could come "shortly" -- perhaps as early as today.

Read more
Business
7:14 am
Fri June 12, 2009

Carrot growers vote on keeping promotion program

LANSING, MI – Michigan's carrot producers are deciding whether to keep paying to promote their product.

The Ag Marketing Resource Center says Michigan grew 17 percent of the nation's processing carrots and 3 percent of its fresh carrots last year.

A vote runs Monday through June 26 on whether to renew the Carrot Industry Development Program for another five years.

Read more
Business
7:04 am
Fri June 12, 2009

Lee Iacocca to Marchionne: Welcome to Chrysler

AUBURN HILLS, MI – The man who led the rescue of Chrysler in the 1980s welcomes Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne after the Italian automaker's takeover of the U.S. company.

Ex-Chrysler Corp. chief executive Lee Iacocca signed an open letter to Fiat Group SpA's chief dated Friday, saying he wants "to be among the first to welcome you to a truly unique auto company."

Iacocca wrote as honorary chairman of the National Chrysler Retirement Organization. Group President Chuck Austin also signed.

Read more

Pages