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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Business
7:02 am
Fri June 12, 2009

DTE Energy's Monroe plant 'scrubbing' emissions

MONROE, MI – DTE Energy Co.'s Monroe Power Plant has begun using new equipment that's part of a $1.7 billion overhaul to curb air pollutants.

The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press report Friday the utility installed the first of two flue gas desulfurization units - or scrubbers - at the plant in Monroe, about 35 miles south of Detroit.

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Sports
6:38 am
Fri June 12, 2009

Lugnuts lose to Loons

LANSING – The Great Lakes Loons beat the Lansing Lugnuts last night 3-2 at Oldsmobile Park. The Lugnuts dropped to 0 and 5 in extra-inning games in 2009, all home games. The Loons and Lugnuts play the third game in their four-game series tonight at 7:05 p.m.

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Sports
6:28 am
Fri June 12, 2009

Podsednik single in 9th lifts Chisox over Tigers

CHICAGO – Scott Podsednik hit an RBI single off Joel Zumaya with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, giving the Chicago White Sox a 4-3 rainy win over the visiting Detroit Tigers.

The start of the game was delayed nearly three hours by showers. The Tigers almost made it an even longer day when Curtis Granderson hit a tying, two-run homer off closer Bobby Jenks with two outs in the top of the ninth.

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Sports
6:26 am
Fri June 12, 2009

Red Wings ready for chance to win Cup at The Joe

DETROIT – Mike Babcock is excited about Game 7. Not restless, nervous or anxious.

The Detroit Red Wings coach has every reason to be relaxed and confident. He's the leader of the Stanley Cup champions, who can repeat with one more win at their home rink -- a friendly place where they are 11-1 in the playoffs.

Of course they hoped to wrap up another title Tuesday night in Pittsburgh against the Penguins, but they fell short in a 2-1 loss.

Now they have another chance to reclaim the Cup at home in the deciding game tonight.

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Nation
6:03 am
Fri June 12, 2009

Second wave of storms hit Texas; Evacuations urged in Dallas

DALLAS –
A second wave of thunderstorms has swept through north-central Texas. A powerful system ripped shingles from roofs, knocked down trees and left hundreds of thousands in the dark.
In west Dallas, reverse 911 calls and firefighters moving door-to-door are urging more than 5,000 households to evacuate because of flooding concerns.

The earlier system broke up by mid-afternoon Thursday after unleashing more than 8 inches of rain in parts of Dallas. The storms canceled some 400 flights at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

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Nation
6:01 am
Fri June 12, 2009

3 more bodies found from lost Air France jetliner

RECIFE, Brazil – A Brazilian ship has recovered three more bodies as the search continues for victims from Air France Flight 447.

That makes 44 bodies that have been retrieved from the Airbus 330 that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean May 31 while en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

Authorities hope identifying the bodies will help them determine whether the plane broke up in midair by allowing them to match seating assignment with location of body recovery.

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Nation
5:49 am
Fri June 12, 2009

Obama says he's eager to sign bill

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says he's eager to sign legislation passed by the Senate that would allow the FDA to step in and regulate tobacco.

The president, who has struggled to quit smoking himself, says the bill "will make history by giving the scientists and medical experts at the FDA the power to take sensible steps."

The House, which passed a similar measure back in April, plans to vote on the Senate's version Friday.

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Nation
5:45 am
Fri June 12, 2009

War-funding bill back on track for passage

WASHINGTON – A crucial war-funding bill is back on track in Congress after a flare-up over controversial detainee abuse photos.

House-Senate negotiators sealed agreement on the measure Thursday night when President Barack Obama personally guaranteed the photos would never be released.

The promise came after White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel rushed to the Capitol to resolve an impasse between Senate Democratic moderates and House liberals over the photos issue.

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Nation
5:38 am
Fri June 12, 2009

Confusion expected as analog TV broadcasts end

NEW YORK – For TV viewers across America, D-Day has arrived. That's "D" as in "digital."

Starting in the morning and going into the night, TV stations across the U.S. are cutting their analog signals on Friday to go entirely digital.

It ends a six-decade era for analog broadcasting and could strand more than 1 million unprepared homes without TV service.

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In Michigan
6:27 pm
Thu June 11, 2009

St. John parishioners appeal EL merger

EAST LANSING, MI – A group of parishioners at St. John Student Parish in East Lansing is trying to stop the merger of St. John's with St. Thomas Aquinas.

This week, the group filed a petition with the Lansing Catholic Diocese, asking Bishop Earl Boyea to reconsider the merger.

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In Michigan
5:11 pm
Thu June 11, 2009

SPLC says Mich. man recently took over Web site

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Southern Poverty Law Center says the suspect in the fatal shooting of a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum recently transferred the domain name of
his racist Web site to a man in southwestern Michigan.

Records show James von Brunn created www.holywesternempire.org
in October 2000.

The hate-crime watchdog group says Steve Reimink acquired the
domain name around the first of this month. The group designated it as a hate Web site in 2003.

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In Michigan
4:41 pm
Thu June 11, 2009

State Senate introduces education reform legislation

LANSING, MI – Republican state senators unveiled an education reform plan Thursday that would allow teachers and parents to decide if their local public school is failing. If both agree the school is failing, a charter school would take its place.

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In Michigan
3:36 pm
Thu June 11, 2009

Lawmakers try to avert trooper layoffs, balance budget

LANSING, MI – State lawmakers are trying to come up with a plan to avoid laying off 104 Michigan State Police troopers next month. The layoffs were approved last month by House and Senate budget committees in response to a fiscal crisis.

House and Senate leaders are scrambling to find alternate funding sources for some other way to avert the layoffs.

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In Michigan
2:12 pm
Thu June 11, 2009

Anolog To Digital TV Conversion To Be Completed

EAST LANSING, MI – EAST LANSING, MI (WKAR) - Friday is the day when TV stations across the country complete the conversion from analog to digital broadcasting.

WKAR-TV went fully digital earlier this year, but a change is still in store for viewers.

WKAR Chief Engineer Gary Blievernicht says WKAR's frequency will change from channel 55 to channel 40. WKAR-TV will be off the air for about an hour starting at 9:00 a.m. during the change.

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In Michigan
2:08 pm
Thu June 11, 2009

Road Patrol Cuts Subject Of Public Hearing

EAST LANSING, MI – Cuts to the Ingham County Sheriff's Department road patrol budget will be discussed at a public hearing tonight in Lansing.

With a projected deficit of $5,500,000 next year, the Ingham County Board of Commissioners is considering reductions of patrols in 13 rural townships.

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Nation
11:44 am
Thu June 11, 2009

Senator: Sotomayor accepts gun rights ruling

WASHINGTON – A Democratic senator says that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor sees a 2008 ruling affirming Americans' right to own guns for self-defense as settled law.

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall says Sotomayor told him at a meeting Thursday that she will work from the high court's decision in the District of Columbia v. Heller in future cases involving gun rights.

The 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia's handgun ban and imperiled similar prohibitions in other cities.

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In Michigan
11:41 am
Thu June 11, 2009

2nd Mich. resident dies from H1N1 swine flu

LANSING, MI – Michigan officials say a 58-year-old Roscommon County man is the state's second swine flu-related death.

The Michigan Department of Community Health said Thursday that the man died June 4. Lab results on Wednesday confirmed the H1N1 influenza virus.

The department says the man also had other underlying health conditions but did not release any additional information.

Michigan had 418 confirmed cases of swine flu as of Tuesday. A 53-year-old Macomb County woman died June 1 from complications of the virus.

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In Michigan
10:41 am
Thu June 11, 2009

Supreme Court reverses murder conviction

LANSING, MI – The state Supreme Court has ruled a victim's dying utterances cannot be used to prosecute a man suspected of killing him. The court says the defendant should either get a new trial, or the charges should be dropped.

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Business
10:38 am
Thu June 11, 2009

Businesses cut inventories 1.1 percent in April

WASHINGTON – WASHINGTON (AP) - Businesses reduced their inventories more than expected in April as they worked to get stockpiles more in line with falling sales.

The Commerce Department says businesses cut inventories 1.1 percent in April, a bit more than the 1 percent drop economists expected. The government also revised the March figure to a drop of 1.3 percent, compared with the 1 percent decline originally
reported.

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Nation
10:36 am
Thu June 11, 2009

Swine flu pandemic has begun, 1st in 41 years

GENEVA – The World Health Organization has told its member nations it is declaring a swine flu pandemic - the first global flu epidemic in 41 years.

The move came Thursday as infections climbed in the United States, Europe, Australia, South America and elsewhere.

In a statement sent to member countries, WHO says it decided to raise the pandemic alert level from phase 5 to 6, meaning that a global outbreak of swine flu has begun. The decision was made after the U.N. health agency held an emergency meeting on swine flu with its experts.

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Business
8:47 am
Thu June 11, 2009

Dealer shut-downs mean extra towing for some owners

DETROIT – There are 789 fewer Chrysler dealers this week, and by the end of next year, there will be 1,100 fewer General Motors dealers.

That means many owners of Chrysler and GM vehicles will have to find new sources for oil changes, tuneups and major repairs.

The situation is more acute when it comes to Chrysler dealerships cut loose by the company.

GM dealers will see their relationships with the company end by the end of 2010.

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Business
8:45 am
Thu June 11, 2009

S&P gives Mich. AA- rating on managing budget gap

LANSING, MI – Standard & Poor's Rating Services says Michigan deserves an AA- long-term rating on its general obligation bonds for its strong budget management.

In issuing the low-risk investment rating on Wednesday, S&P said the state has been conservative in its revenue estimates and has a low debt and pension burden.

It says federal recovery money should help the state weather further economic downturns caused by the bankruptcies of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC.

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Business
8:42 am
Thu June 11, 2009

German, UK officials discuss GM Europe future

BERLIN – German and British economy ministers have met to discuss ways to save General Motors' European assets in case a deal with Canadian parts maker Magna International falls through.

German Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told reporters today the government only has a memorandum of understanding from Magna to acquire GM unit Adam Opel -- which includes Britain's Vauxhall. It's still talking with other bidders.

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Business
8:40 am
Thu June 11, 2009

New jobless claims drop more than expected to 601K

WASHINGTON – The tally of newly laid-off Americans requesting jobless benefits fell for the third time in the past four weeks, fresh evidence that companies are cutting fewer jobs.

The Labor Department says initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped last week by 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 601,000. That's below analysts' estimates of 615,000.

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Nation
8:27 am
Thu June 11, 2009

Air France CEO 'not convinced' sensors cause crash

PARIS – Air France's chief executive says he is "not convinced" that faulty speed monitors caused the crash of Flight 447.

Pierre-Henri Gourgeon told journalists on Thursday that replacement external speed monitors - or Pitot tubes - for jet models of the same type as the crashed plane arrived three days before the fatal accident.

Airbus ordered the replacements on April 27 after pilots noted a loss of airspeed data in flight on Airbus A330 and A340 models.

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