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In Michigan
9:57 am
Tue April 28, 2009

Lansing leaders watch auto developments

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Political leaders in Lansing are trying to anticipate how General Motors and Chrysler's restructuring plans will affect government programs and spending.

Layoffs, reduced salaries, and production slowdowns in the auto industry are expected to reduce tax revenues and hurt funding for state services.

At the same time, demands for public assistance are expected to grow as layoffs add more people to the ranks of the unemployed.

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In Michigan
9:56 am
Tue April 28, 2009

Two possible swine flu cases now reported

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (AP) - Michigan is now looking at two possible cases of swine flu.

The latest is in Kent County.

The Grand Rapids Press reports a 41-year-old woman who recently visited Mexico is being tested by the Michigan Department of Community Health.

If the results are positive, samples will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for further testing.

Yesterday, officials announced that a woman from Livingston County might have swine flu.

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In Michigan
5:26 pm
Mon April 27, 2009

Probable case of swine flu reported in Michigan

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (AP/WKAR)
The Michigan Department of Community Health is reporting a probable case of swine flu in Livingston County.

State laboratory results show what appears to be swine flu in a 34-year-old woman who recently traveled to the Texas-Mexico border.

The lab results will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm whether the case is positive.

People with respiratory illness are strongly urged to stay home to avoid spreading the disease.

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In Michigan
10:06 am
Mon April 27, 2009

UAW, Chrysler and Fiat reach concession deal

Detroit, MI – Detroit, MI (AP) - The United Auto Workers union says it has reached a concession agreement with Chrysler, Fiat and the U. S. government.

The union says the deal is painful but takes advantage of the second chance the company was given by the Treasury Department.

The government rejected Chrysler's viability plan in February and said it could not stand on its own.

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In Michigan
10:05 am
Mon April 27, 2009

Michigan reports possible swine flu case

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (WKAR) - Health officials in Michigan are keeping a close watch on a possible case of swine flu in the state.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says a Livingston County woman may have contracted the illness during a recent trip to the Texas-Mexico border area.

MDCH Chief Medical Executive Dr. Greg Holzman says it's important to stress that this single incident is only a probable case.

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In Michigan
10:04 am
Mon April 27, 2009

Lansing City Council to hold 2nd hearing on ramp

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR) - The Lansing City Council is holding another public hearing on a proposal to sell a parking ramp to Lansing Community College.

The council rejected the sale of the North Capital Parking Ramp last September.

LCC officials have been looking at ways to improve parking at its downtown campus and have proposed building a new ramp.

Bob Johnson is the city's director of Planning and Neighborhood Development.

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In Michigan
10:03 am
Mon April 27, 2009

MDCH watches swine flu

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network

The Michigan Department of Community Health is on alert for the spread of swine flu.

There are no reported cases of swine flu in Michigan.

As of late Monday afternoon, there were 40 reports of the influenza strain in the nation.

The Centers for Disease Control declared a public health emergency after swine flu spread to the U. S. from Mexico where 149 deaths are suspected due to the virus.

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In Michigan
10:02 am
Mon April 27, 2009

UAW official says Saturn demise may not impact LDT

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR) - One General Motors brand made in Lansing is ending production sooner than planned.

GM's Saturn was originally scheduled to end in 20-11.

Company officials Monday moved that up to this year as part of its government-mandated restructuring.

Brian Fredline is the President of UAW local 602, whose members assemble the Saturn Outlook at GM's Delta Township facility.

He's hopeful the decision won't seriously impact workers there.

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In Michigan
8:56 am
Mon April 27, 2009

Case of swine flu reported in Michigan

Lansing, MI – The Michigan Department of Community Health is reporting a probable case of swine flu in Livingston County.
State laboratory results show what appears to be swine flu in a 34-year-old woman who recently traveled to the Texas-Mexico border.

The lab results will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm whether the case is positive.

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In Michigan
6:51 am
Mon April 27, 2009

Lansing City Council to hold 2nd hearing on ramp

Lansing, MI – The Lansing City Council is holding another public hearing on a proposal to sell a parking ramp to Lansing Community College.

The council rejected the sale of the North Capital Parking Ramp last September.

LCC officials have been looking at ways to improve parking at its downtown campus and have proposed building a new ramp.

Bob Johnson is the city's director of Planning and Neighborhood Development.

He says the sale of the North Capital Ramp would benefit the city and the college.

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In Michigan
6:46 am
Mon April 27, 2009

MDOCH watches swine flu

Lansing, MI – The Michigan Department of Community Health is on alert for the spread of swine flu.

There are no reported cases of swine flu in Michigan.

There are 20 reports of the influenza strain in the nation, one of them in Ohio.

The Centers for Disease Control declared a public health emergency after swine flu spread to the U. S. from Mexico where the strain has killed at least 80 people.

The disease spreads from person to person and not through pork or food products.

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In Focus Today
10:14 am
Fri April 24, 2009

MSU receives largest anonymous gift in its 154-year history

WKAR File

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR) - Michigan State University has received an anonymous gift of $10 million.

Of that total, $7 million will go to financial aid and scholarships. There will be a focus on female and minority students. The other $3 million comes with no strings attached.

Over a dozen universities have received anonymous donations totaling more than $60 million in recent weeks.

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In Michigan
6:10 am
Fri April 24, 2009

Governor Granholm to hold education summit

East Lansing, MI – Governor Granholm will host an education summit next week in Lansing.

She says 600 community leaders will come together to discuss how to make Michigan a leader in education.

The Governor says she's encouraged by the steps some communities have already taken to help high school graduates.

The Governor says she wants more "Promise" communities, which would offer free college tuition to local high school graduates.

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In Michigan
5:43 am
Fri April 24, 2009

Lansing schools hopeful of 'Promise Zone' status

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR Radio)

Lansing public school officials could get some good news over the weekend.

The state is expected to announce whether Lansing is among the districts approved as 'Promise Zones.'

The designation would allow Lansing to pursue state revenue earmarked for college tuition.

Superintendant T.C. Wallace says a "Lansing Promise Council" would be charged with raising critical funds.

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In Michigan
5:38 am
Fri April 24, 2009

MSU raises room and board

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR Radio)
Room and board will cost 5.25% more for Michigan State University students next year.

Trustees at MSU approved the rate hike on Friday.

A standard double room and board plan will cost $7,395, an increase of $369.

MSU Assistant vice president for housing and food services Vennie Gore says the university has been serving more food because improvements have been made to the meal plan.

University apartments will also cost 5.25% more next year.

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In Michigan
6:25 am
Thu April 23, 2009

State issues first medical marijuana ID cards

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (AP)
The Michigan Department of Community Health has issued its first set of medical marijuana registration cards.

Department spokesman James McCurtis said Thursday about 150
cards have been distributed.

The registration cards allow patients to legally possess and use
marijuana under state law.

Michigan voters legalized medical marijuana last year.

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In Michigan
6:22 am
Thu April 23, 2009

No downtime this summer for GM Delta plant

East Lansing, MI – Gretchen Millich, WKAR Radio News
Workers at G-M's Delta Township factory will not experience any layoffs this summer.

But at Lansing's Grand River plant, workers there will have four extra weeks of downtime, in addition to the usual 2-week changeover in July.

General Motors is temporarily shutting down 13 factories in the U-S and Mexico this summer.

The company wants to control high dealer inventories and bring production in line with sales.

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In Michigan
6:19 am
Thu April 23, 2009

Anonymous donor gives MSU $10 million

East Lansing, MI – Scott Pohl, WKAR Radio News
Michigan State University has received an anonymous $10 million gift.

$7 million will be used for scholarships and financial aid, with a goal of assisting female and minority students. Three-million-dollars is unrestricted.

MSU vice president for university advancement Robert Groves says president Lou Anna Simon will be careful in allocating those unrestricted funds.

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In Michigan
6:16 am
Wed April 22, 2009

Foreclosure fraud warning from gov't officials

East Lansing, MI – Rob South, WKAR Radio News
National and local officials are warning homeowners that foreclosure fraud is increasingly becoming a problem in the state.

The Federal government offers free help to homeowners facing foreclosure.

It says people should not to pay for help dealing with lenders.

Ingham County Registrar of Deeds Curtis Hertel, Jr. says only government agencies and non-profits are equipped to help homeowners facing foreclosure.

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In Michigan
6:12 am
Wed April 22, 2009

AP Sources:GM to shut many US plants up to 9 weeks

Detroit, MI – Detroit, MI (AP)
Two people briefed on the plan say General Motors Corp. will close most of its U.S. factories for up to nine weeks this summer because of slumping sales and growing inventories of unsold vehicles.

The people did not know exactly when the shutdowns would occur, but both say they will include the normal two-week closure in July to change from one model year to the next.

Neither person wanted to be identified because workers have not been told of the shutdowns.

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In Michigan
6:08 am
Wed April 22, 2009

GM may skip $1B bond payment due to exchange offer

Detroit, MI – Detroit, MI (AP / Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network)
General Motors says it may not make a $1 billion bond payment on June 1 if it doesn't finish a debt-for-equity exchange by then.

The troubled auto giant plans to make the exchange offer soon to
bondholders.

General Motors Corp. has $28 billion in unsecured bond
debt. The offer could come as early as next week.

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In Michigan
6:05 am
Wed April 22, 2009

Mich. behind in sending $75 unemployment checks

Lansing, MI – Michigan's jobless workers could get an extra $75 next week.

The state was supposed to give an extra $25 a week to jobless workers starting Feb. 23, thanks to the federal recovery package.

But it took until the week of March 16 to include the extra money in unemployment payments.

The state's just finishing up computer programming that will get the three retroactive $25-a-week payments to jobless workers for Feb. 23 to March 13.

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In Michigan
6:41 am
Tue April 21, 2009

Lansing schools could sidestep turnaround proposal

East Lansing, MI – Mark Bashore, WKAR Radio News

Existing efforts to improve academic performance at Lansing's three public high schools could exempt them from a new state turnaround proposal.

A measure introduced in the state legislature would empower the state to supervise chronically failing schools.

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In Michigan
6:33 am
Tue April 21, 2009

Michigan launches enhanced driver's licenses

Detroit, MI – Detroit, MI (AP)

Michigan residents can begin applying for new enhanced driver's licenses designed to allow smoother travel between the U.S. and Canada.

Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land said Tuesday the optional licenses will meet more stringent Homeland Security border requirements going into effect this spring.

The licenses cost $45 and also allow smoother land or water travel with Mexico or the Caribbean.

Passports still will be needed for air travel.

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In Michigan
6:30 am
Tue April 21, 2009

GM, Chrysler to get $5.5B more in government loans

Detroit, MI – Detroit, MI (AP)

A federal report says the U.S. government will loan General Motors Corp. up to $5 billion more to make it through June 1, and Chrysler LLC could get up to $500 million more by April 30.

The report on the bank bailout program released Tuesday by a special inspector general says the money will be made available for working capital as both companies try to meet government restructuring demands.

GM already has received $13.4 billion in government loans, while Chrysler has received $4 billion.

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In Michigan
1:42 am
Tue April 21, 2009

House calls for state to take over failing schools

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Democrats at the state Capitol will introduce legislation today to require charter schools be offered as alternatives to failing public schools.

The legislation would allow a school turnaround chief to decide which Michigan schools are failing.

Parents in those districts would be able to choose to send their kids to a public school taken over by the state, or a nearby charter school.

Ed Sarpolis is with the Michigan Education Association teachers union.

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In Michigan
12:42 am
Tue April 21, 2009

Public Transit advocates lobby Lansing

(East Lansing, MI) – Supporters of public transportation visited state legislators in Lansing Tuesday to lobby for more investment in bus, light rail, commuter rail and high-speed rail systems in Michigan.

Business and local government leaders say the state could loose up to $120-million in matching federal funds starting next year, if the legislature does not increase state funding for public transportation.

Clark Harder is with the Michigan Public Transit Association.

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In Focus Today
8:05 am
Mon April 20, 2009

Wharton Center releases 2009-10 schedule

(East Lansing, MI) – The Wharton Center for Performing Arts at Michigan State University has released its schedule for the coming season.

The highlight is the return of "Phantom of the Opera" next May and June.

The Broadway Series includes "White Christmas," "Young Frankenstein," "A Chorus Line" and "South Pacific."

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In Michigan
7:03 am
Mon April 20, 2009

Prices at Wharton Center to go down

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI -- Michigan State University's Wharton Center is cutting some prices for events next season.

Wharton Center Executive Director Michael Brand says producers have cooperated to help lower ticket prices for the 2009-2010 season.

He says that includes the Broadway Series and music programs.

Brand says there will be more marketing of discounted tickets for students, and family ticket promotions.

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In Michigan
7:00 am
Mon April 20, 2009

Budget chief says deal is close on deficit plan

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI -- The Legislature returns to the state Capitol this week following a two-week spring break.

But legislative leaders and Governor Granholm's did not take a hiatus from budget negotiations.

Legislative leaders say K-12 schools and Medicaid are safe from budget cuts for the rest of this fiscal year.

But everything else is on the table as they try to wrestle down a $785 million deficit.

Robert Emerson is Governor Granholm's budget chief.

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