LANSING, MI (WKAR) – The Lansing Lugnuts blanked the West Michigan Whitecaps 2-0, in the second game of a doubleheader after falling in the opener, 5-4, on Sunday at Oldsmobile Park. The shutout was the first of the season for Lansing, coming in the club's 55th game. On Monday night, the two squads play the fourth game in the five-game series at 7:05 p.m. at Oldsmobile Park.
Baton Rouge, LA – Baton Rouge, LA (AP) - Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell says he's found violations in the way General Motors Corp. is treating its dealerships. Caldwell said Friday the bankrupt automaker has sent letters to dealers imposing new restrictions that appear to violate Louisiana regulations.
Caldwell's office will take part in a teleconference with other state attorneys general on Monday, to develop a strategy of making their case before the New York bankruptcy court that's handling the GM case.
Lansing (MI) – Lansing, MI (MPRN) - The state will close three prisons by the end of the year, including one maximum security prison in northern Michigan. The Department of Corrections will also close five minimum security prison camps.
It's all part of Governor Granholm's efforts to reduce corrections costs, which make up one-fifth of the state's discretionary spending. The administration estimates the cuts announced Friday will save taxpayers $120 million as the state battles a budget deficit.
Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (MPRN) - State lawmakers say healthcare reform is necessary now more than ever in light of GM and Chrysler bankruptcies. They say more than a million people are uninsured in Michigan, and that number is bound to grow as automakers make cuts. Nearly 9,000 GM employees in the state lost their jobs with the company's bankruptcy.
LANSING, MI – The state Department of Corrections announced today that it will close three prisons and five prison camps by the end of the year. It's part of Governor Granholm's drive to find big savings by closing prisons and reducing the number of inmates. Administration officials say the closings will save taxpayers $120,000,000 without compromising public safety.
LANSING (MI) – The state Department of Corrections will close three prisons, including a maximum security facility in the Upper Peninsula. The state will also shut down five minimum security camps, and lay off more than 1,000 corrections officers.
The prisons are the maximum security Standish Correctional in the Upper Peninsula, the medium security Muskegon Correctional Facility in west Michigan, and the minimum security Hiawatha Correctional Facility Facility near Kincheloe in the Upper Peninsula.
LANSING, MI (MPRN) – LANSING, MI (MPRN) - State Superintendent Michael Flanagan testified Thursday for the state House Education Committee. The committee is discussing major education reform bills.
The superintendent supports the reform bills, which would target 35 of Michigan's failing schools. The schools would be given a year to show improvement in test scores or risk either being shut down or competing with a charter school.
NEW YORK (AP) – NEW YORK (AP) - General Motors Corp. strikes a tentative deal to sell its Saturn brand to former race car driver and auto dealer Roger Penske.
Penske, who owns the Penske Automotive Group dealership chain, told reporters on Friday that he plans to offer all 350 Saturn dealerships new franchise agreements. He says Saturn's 13,000 employees will stay on with the company for at least the immediate future.
WASHINGTON (AP) – WASHINGTON (AP) - The unemployment rate jumped to 9.4 percent in May, the highest in more than 25 years. But the furious pace of layoffs eased, with employers cutting 345,000 jobs, the fewest since September.
If laid off workers who have given up looking for new jobs or have settled for part time work are included, the unemployment rate would have been 16.4 percent, the highest on records dating to 1994.
The Labor Department also says a total of 14.5 million people were unemployed in May.
DRESDEN, Germany (AP) – DRESDEN, Germany (AP) - President Barack Obama says the international community has an obligation to stop genocide, even when it's inconvenient.
Obama on Friday was asked how the Holocaust mantra of "never again" might apply to current crises in the Darfur region of Sudan or in Sri Lanka, where the government is accused of shelling hospitals during a quarter-century civil war. Officials deny the allegations.
East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR News) - Local musician Ben Hassenger officially launched his campaign for Mayor of Lansing Thursday.
Hassenger officially kicked off his mayoral bid in the backroom of an Old-Town record store. A group of his friends held up hand-made signs in support. They were surrounded by dusty bins full of vinyl LP's decades older than their candidate.
Lansing, MI – Ben Hassenger officially kicked off his mayoral bid in the backroom of an Old-Town record store.
A group of his friends held up hand-made signs in support. They were surrounded by dusty bins full of vinyl LP's decades older than their candidate. Hassenger wants the city to reach out to young people like him and focus more energy on creating a vibrant arts community.
New York – New York (AP) - Chrysler dealers expecting to lose their franchises took the stand today in the automaker's bankruptcy protection case. Just under 20 dealers were sworn in, but only about 14 testified, and no Chrysler officials took the stand.
Many dealers question why they were chosen for termination when their sales and service records are good. Arguments on a motion to terminate franchises are scheduled for Tuesday.
Lansing's Story Chrysler is one of about 300 dealers across the country resisting termination.
Dearborn, MI – Dearborn, MI (AP) - Leaders from Michigan's large Arab- and Muslim-American community say they are encouraged by President Barack Obama's words to the Muslim world but are reserving ultimate judgment until they see action.
Members of the Dearborn-based Congress of Arab American Organizations said Thursday during a news conference that Obama's speech in Cairo signals a new era in relations between the United States and Muslims. It also shows an openness to resolve issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Michigan's Republican secretary of state is complaining about the Democratic governor. Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land says Governor Granholm is ordering her to close branch offices more days than are necessary.
(East Lansing, MI) – When Michigan instituted one of the nation's most generous tax credit programs 14 months ago, filmmakers flocked to the state to shoot their next production. Aside from attracting large studios, the incentive is also meant to train homegrown production assistants to work in the industry.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Some government researchers say the Environmental Protection Agency should take a closer look at sports fields and playgrounds made from ground-up tires.
The EPA for years has endorsed recycled-rubber surfaces as a means of decreasing playground injuries. But documents show its own scientists have pointed to research suggesting potential hazards from repeated exposure to bits of shredded tire that can contain carcinogens and other chemicals. Other reviews show little or no health concern.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - President Barack Obama has named Cameron Davis, president of a Chicago-based environmentalist group, to oversee the administration's initiative to clean up the Great Lakes.
Davis is president of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, one of the organizations that has lobbied for implementation of a restoration program expected to cost more than $20 billion.
LANSING, MI – LANSING, MI (WKAR) - Lansing City Councilmember and mayoral candidate Carol Wood picked up several important labor endorsements yesterday.
The unions include the Greater Lansing Building Trades and Teamsters 580. Wood also picked up endorsements from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 665 and Brick Workers and Allied Craft Workers Local 9.
A spokesman for the Bernero administration dismissed the importance of the endorsements.
WASHINGTON (AP) – WASHINGTON (AP) - The government says U.S. workers were more productive in the first quarter than previously estimated, as rapid layoffs meant companies were forced to make do with fewer employees.
The Labor Department said Thursday productivity, the amount of output per hour worked, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.6 percent in the January-March period, double the government's estimate last month.
That is also above analysts' expectations of 1.2 percent growth.