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9:02 pm
Sun June 7, 2009

Lugnuts split doubleheader with Whitecaps

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.

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In Michigan
6:14 pm
Fri June 5, 2009

La. AG sees violation in GM dealer policy

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.

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In Michigan
4:43 pm
Fri June 5, 2009

State to close eight corrections facilities

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.

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In Michigan
4:39 pm
Fri June 5, 2009

State lawmakers say healthcare plan is more important than ever

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.

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WKAR Features
11:47 am
Fri June 5, 2009

Michigan closing corrections facilities

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.

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In Michigan
11:13 am
Fri June 5, 2009

Three Michigan Prisons Closing

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.

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In Michigan
10:47 am
Fri June 5, 2009

State Superintendent testifies for House Education Committee

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.

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In Michigan
10:45 am
Fri June 5, 2009

LCC plans 30 layoffs

LANSING, MI (WKAR) – LANSING, MI (WKAR) - The administration at Lansing Community College is proposing the layoffs of 30 people, to help meet a multi-million dollar budget shortfall.

A projected deficit of more than $9,000,000 has been trimmed to $3,300,000.

No faculty cuts are planned. Instead, administrators and supervisors are being targeted.

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In Michigan
10:44 am
Fri June 5, 2009

GM to sell Saturn brand to Penske dealership chain

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.

He declined to name the price for the deal.

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Nation
10:08 am
Fri June 5, 2009

French minister warns about alleged Airbus debris

PARIS (AP) – PARIS (AP) - France's transportation minister says so far there have been no signs of debris from Air France Flight 447.

Yesterday, the Brazilian air force said it had plucked a cargo pallet from the Atlantic Ocean. But it later said the pallet was not from the Airbus A330 that went down Sunday with 228 people on board.

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Nation
10:04 am
Fri June 5, 2009

Canada refuses US Guantanamo request

TORONTO (AP) – TORONTO (AP) - Canada has refused a request from the Obama administration to take men cleared for release from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay.

Kory Teneycke, a spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said Friday recent inquiries concerning 17 Chinese Muslims called Uighurs at Guantanamo were rejected.

Teneycke says Canada won't take any detainees. He says they have no connection to Canada and there are security concerns.

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Business
9:43 am
Fri June 5, 2009

Jobless rate hits 9.4 percent in May

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.

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In Michigan
9:30 am
Fri June 5, 2009

Penske to buy Saturn from GM

(DETROIT, MI) – A person briefed on the deal says General Motors will sell its Saturn brand to former race car driver and dealership chain owner Roger Penske.

Penske has said his company, Penske Automotive Group Inc. of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is interested in the Saturn brand.

The person briefed did not want to be identified because it has yet to be made public.

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Top Stories
9:25 am
Fri June 5, 2009

Obama says nations must stop genocide

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.

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Sports
5:47 am
Fri June 5, 2009

Bay, Wakefield lead Red Sox to sweep of Tigers

DETROIT (AP) – DETROIT (AP) - Jason Bay's bases-loaded double keyed a six-run third inning and the Boston Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers with a 6-3 victory.

Dontrelle Willis took a step back in his comeback from control problems, allowing five runs in 2 1-3 innings despite not giving up a hit. He walked five batters and hit another with a pitch.

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Sports
5:44 am
Fri June 5, 2009

The Lansing Lugnuts beat the Fort Wayne TinCaps, 4-2

(Fort Wayne, In.) – The Lansing Lugnuts beat the Fort Wayne TinCaps, 4-2, last night at Parkview Field.The Lugnuts and TinCaps play the finale in their four-game series tonight at 7:05 p.m.

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Sports
5:41 am
Fri June 5, 2009

Penguins beat Red Wings in Game 4, evening series

PITTSBURGH (AP) – PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Stanley Stanley Cup finals are all tied at two games apiece.

Sidney Crosby scored his first goal in four games to put Pittsburgh ahead midway through the second period, helping the Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 to even the series.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 37 saves for Pittsburgh.

Darren Helm and Brad Stuart gave Detroit a 2-1 lead early in the second period. But Jordan Stall, Crosby and Tyler Kennedy scored in a 5 1/2-minute span of the second for a 4-2 lead.

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In Michigan
6:17 pm
Thu June 4, 2009

Hassenger kicks off campaign for Lansing Mayor

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.

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In Michigan
5:59 pm
Thu June 4, 2009

Hassenger kicks off campaign for Mayor

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.

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In Michigan
4:44 pm
Thu June 4, 2009

Chrysler dealers question franchise terminations

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.

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In Michigan
2:44 pm
Thu June 4, 2009

Mich. Arab, Muslim leaders pleased by Obama speech

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.

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In Michigan
2:39 pm
Thu June 4, 2009

Land, Granholm face off over idling offices

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.

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WKAR Features
1:55 pm
Thu June 4, 2009

Terminated workers find new future in film

A production crewman checks a camera on a student-built film set at Michigan State University.
Kevin Lavery, WKAR News

(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.

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Nation
10:52 am
Thu June 4, 2009

No word on American journalists' trial

SEOUL, South Korea – SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - There's been no word on whether a trial for two American journalists held in North Korea has actually begun.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee face accusations of illegal entry and "hostile acts" in a case that could send them to a labor camp for 10 years.

Ling and Lee are reporters for former Vice President Al Gore's California-based Current TV media venture. They were arrested March 17 near the North Korean border while on a reporting trip to China.

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Nation
10:49 am
Thu June 4, 2009

Air France CEO: no hope of survivors

PARIS (AP) – PARIS (AP) - Air France has told families of passengers aboard Flight 447 to abandon any hope of survivors.

A counselor present at a meeting with Air France's CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon says he told the families that the plane broke apart either in the air or when it slammed into the ocean's surface.

The counselor, who was asked by Paris prosecutors to help counsel family members, said Thursday "what is clear is that there was no landing. There's no chance the escape slides came out."

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Science/Tech
10:42 am
Thu June 4, 2009

Gov't studies playground risks

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.

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Top Stories
10:39 am
Thu June 4, 2009

Obama appoints Cameron Davis as Great Lakes czar

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.

The alliance announced the appointment Wednesday.

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In Michigan
10:27 am
Thu June 4, 2009

Wood gets first labor endorsements in Lansing mayoral race

The entrance to Lansing's City Hall.

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.

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Business
10:20 am
Thu June 4, 2009

US retailers report May sales declines

NEW YORK (AP) – NEW YORK (AP) - Many U.S. retailers are reporting sales declines in May as shoppers continue to shop cautiously.

Costco Wholesale, Hot Topic and Stage Stores are all reporting drops more than analysts expected. However, The Buckle says sales rose above expectations.

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Business
10:19 am
Thu June 4, 2009

Productivity increases more than expected in 1Q

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.

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