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6:27 am
Tue June 23, 2009

Obama wants new council to help auto industry

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is creating a White House council to handle issues that affect American communities and workers tied to the automotive industry.

The White House says Obama will sign an executive order Tuesday to establish the White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers. The council will be chaired by the president's economic adviser, Larry Summers, and his labor secretary, Hilda Solis.

The executive director will be Obama's director of recovery for auto communities and workers, Ed Montgomery.

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Sports
5:52 am
Tue June 23, 2009

Most Mich. HS teams can't have ads on uniforms

DETROIT – DETROIT (AP) - Even in tough economic times, the body that regulates high school athletics in Michigan says most team uniforms are off-limits to schools looking to make some extra cash.

The Detroit News reports the Michigan High School Athletic Association doesn't allow member schools to accept sponsorship for their athletics uniforms. That rule applies to sports governed by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

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Sports
5:51 am
Tue June 23, 2009

Tigers to recall RHP Dolsi from Triple-A Toledo

DETROIT – DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Tigers will call up right-hander Freddy Dolsi from Triple-A Toledo before tonight's game against the Chicago Cubs.

It will be Dolsi's first stint with the Tigers this season after he went 1-5 with two saves and a 3.97 ERA in 42 appearances with Detroit in 2008.

The Tigers also outrighted catcher Dane Sardinha to Toledo. Sardinha hit .097 in 12 games. He was designated for assignment on Saturday to make room for starter Alfredo Figaro.

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Sports
5:47 am
Tue June 23, 2009

Holland: Chelios not returning to Wings in 2009-10

DETROIT – Chris Chelios won't be with the Detroit Red Wings next season.

Wings general manager Ken Holland tells The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press he met with the 47-year-old and Chelios wouldn't be offered another contract.

The Associated Press left a message for Holland seeking comment.

Holland tells the News it was "kind of understood last summer" when Chelios signed a one-year deal that it would be his last.

Holland says Chelios wants to play another season and believes the veteran player can still play.

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In Michigan
5:42 pm
Mon June 22, 2009

Study: Detroit lifts quality but Toyota still king

NEW YORK – A closely watched study of new vehicle quality says Ford, General Motors and Chrysler have improved, but they still lag behind foreign competitors like Toyota.

J.D. Power and Associates' study of initial vehicle quality shows 2009 model year vehicles sold by the Detroit Three improved by an average of 10% from 2008. That's compared with an industrywide improvement of 8%.

Toyota's Lexus brand topped the rankings released Monday, followed by Porsche, GM's Cadillac, Hyundai and Honda.

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In Michigan
5:25 pm
Mon June 22, 2009

AP Interview: Iacocca urges fast loan repayments

DETROIT, MI – Former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca, who led the automaker out of a previous near-collapse, says priority one for the automakers is to get the government out of the mix as soon as possible.

While Iacocca says government intervention was necessary for both Chrysler and GM, "Their oversight is just too extreme."

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In Michigan
5:11 pm
Mon June 22, 2009

MI debates expanded unemployment benefits

LANSING, MI – Labor groups want Michigan to pass legislation that would extend unemployment benefits for people in job training programs and to some who were laid off as part-time workers.

The federal stimulus plan would make about $138 million available to temporarily pay the expanded jobless benefits. But Michigan would be on the hook to continue the payments once stimulus money runs out in 2011.

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In Michigan
11:13 am
Mon June 22, 2009

MI Legislature plans to combine DEQ and DNR to save on budget

EAST LANSING, MI – The state Senate plans to vote this week on melding the Department of Environmental Quality with the Department of Natural Resources.

The Senate plan approved by the Appropriations Committee last week would create a new department - the Department of Conservation. The department would be similar to the Department of Natural Resources before the DEQ was created by then-Governor John Engler.

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In Michigan
9:59 am
Mon June 22, 2009

DNR: Wolf plan is working

EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan wildlife officials say a federal lawsuit that challenges the state's takeover of wolf management is a waste of time and money.


AUDIO:


The Humane Society and four other groups want wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to remain on the federal endangered species list.

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In Michigan
9:52 am
Mon June 22, 2009

East Lansing conference addresses refugee recertification

EAST LANSING, MI – Refugees with professional backgrounds often have difficulty getting re-certified to work in the United States. A national conference in East Lansing this week is addressing that problem.

AUDIO:

Obstacles facing refugees include getting paperwork such as diplomas into the U. S. Conference organizer Linda Rabben says it's particularly tough for Iraqis.

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Arts & Culture
7:56 am
Mon June 22, 2009

US soprano, Ukrainian pianist win $50K

LOS ANGELES – An American soprano singer and a Ukrainian pianist have won top honors at a competition that combines elements of "American Idol" and classical music.

Leah Crocetto, a 29-year-old first-year fellow with the San Francisco opera, won the $50,000 first prize in the vocal portion of the third annual Jose Iturbi International Music Competition at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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In Michigan
5:46 am
Mon June 22, 2009

Conference aims to ease refugee return to work

EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State University is hosting a conference meant to help refugees find jobs within their professions in the U.S.

The three-day gathering starts today. It will include federal and state officials, resettlement agencies, professional training groups, higher education administrators and refugees themselves.

The summit will address issues of recertifying and training refugees including doctors, nurses, teachers and engineers.

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In Michigan
5:44 am
Mon June 22, 2009

Michigan storms spawn 3 tornadoes, darken 119,000

ALLEGAN, MI – Flood warnings remain in effect for much of southwest Lower Michigan as residents clean up from damaging weekend storms.

The storms that slammed the region from late Thursday until Saturday generated three tornadoes, dumped up to as eight inches of rain in some places and knocked out power to 130,000 homes and businesses.

The tornadoes touched down Friday night in Allegan and Kalamazoo counties, destroying or heavily damaging three homes and several other buildings. No injuries were reported.

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In Michigan
5:42 am
Mon June 22, 2009

State Senate expected to make sweeping budget cuts

LANSING, MI – State Senators are planning to vote on budget cuts this week in Lansing.

The Senate Appropriations committee approved sweeping budget cuts for education, corrections and Medicaid last week. Committee member Roger Kahn said when the state faces a $1.7 billion deficit, lawmakers are forced to make cuts where there's a lot of money. And that often results in cuts to programs they'd rather not cut at all.

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Sports
8:41 pm
Sun June 21, 2009

Detroit Shock lose to Fever

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Fever overcame a 17-point deficit in the second half to beat the Detroit Shock 82-70 on Sunday evening and deny Rick Mahorn his first win as Detroit coach.

It was Mahorn's second game as head coach since Bill Laimbeer resigned.

Katie Douglas scored 23 points and Tamika Catchings had 15 points and six assists for the Fever (4-2), who won their fourth straight after losing their first two.

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Sports
7:49 pm
Sun June 21, 2009

Lugnuts finally beat Loons in fourth game of series

MIDLAND, MI – The Lansing Lugnuts finished out their series against the Great Lakes Loons with a victory on Sunday afternoon, closing out the first half of the Midwest League season with a close 9-8 win. The Lugnuts lost the first three games of the series. The Midwest League now breaks for its 2009 All-Star Game, held on Tuesday at Alliant Energy Field in Clinton, Iowa. Then the Lugnuts start the second half of the season at home on Thursday night with the opener of a four-game series against the Dayton Dragons.

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Sports
6:16 pm
Sun June 21, 2009

Shock lose to Fever

AUBURN HILLS, MI – The Detroit Shock had a new coach and a returning All-Star, and it wasn't enough to beat the Indiana Fever.

Tamika Catchings scored 15 points Friday night and the Indiana Fever beat Detroit 66-54 in Rick Mahorn's debut as Shock coach.

"As a team, we anticipated an emotional game," said Katie Douglas, who added 13 points. "It's a big day for them having Mahorn Bill Laimbeer has been here for so long, that we knew they were going to come out with a lot of mixed emotions, and that we would have to weather the storm."

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Sports
6:11 pm
Sun June 21, 2009

Inge HR helps Verlander lead Tigers past Brewers

DETROIT – DETROIT (AP) Brandon Inge hit a three-run homer and Justin Verlander pitched into the eighth inning to help the Detroit Tigers sweep the Milwaukee Brewers with a 3-2 win Sunday.

Verlander (8-3), who no-hit the Brewers in his only other start against them, allowed two runs on five hits in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out eight while improving to 8-1 since April 27. Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 14th straight save.

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In Michigan
6:20 pm
Fri June 19, 2009

State House committee opens discussion on urban grocery stores

LANSING, MI – State lawmakers say struggling urban areas without grocery stores will have a hard time ever being revitalized. The state House Urban Policy Committee met Friday to hear testimony on the important role of supermarkets in cities.

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In Michigan
6:15 pm
Fri June 19, 2009

Michigan continues to post highest jobless rate

EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan still has the nation's highest jobless rate.

Michigan's unemployment rate in May was 14.1%. The US Department of Labor's ranking of states says that was the again the highest jobless rate in the U-S. It's a distinction Michigan's held for 25 of the past 26 months.

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In Michigan
4:42 pm
Fri June 19, 2009

Debate heats up on Michigan State Police Lansing HQ

LANSING, MI – The developers of a nearly completed Michigan State Police headquarters aren't happy about lawmakers'efforts to back out of the deal.

The building's private owners said Friday it sends a "terrible message to anyone doing business with this state."

The Senate on Thursday passed a version of next year's state police budget that does not include the more than $3 million needed to pay rent on the building. Some lawmakers say that's all the state has to do to avoid moving into the $40 million building in January.

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Top Stories
3:26 pm
Fri June 19, 2009

MSU will raise tuition 5.2% next fall

EAST LANSING, MI – It will cost more to attend Michigan State University next year, and the year after that.

AUDIO: MSU Trustees today approved a two-year budget plan calling for tuition hikes of 5.2% this fall, and another 4.9% the following year.

Officials say getting federal stimulus money could lower that figure to 2.5% to 3% this fall for resident undergrads. The plan includes a 10% budget cut over those two years.

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Top Stories
12:52 pm
Fri June 19, 2009

GM will add 2nd shift at Delta Township Plant in August

Kevin Lavery, WKAR News

(Lansing, MI) – About 900 laid-off Lansing autoworkers will be returning to work in August.

Spokeswoman Heidi Magyar says strong sales of GM's three Lansing-made crossover vehicles prompted the return of the second shift to the Delta Township plant.

"Comparing May total sales with January total sales, the three products have increased more than 60 percent," Magyar says. "So, from looking at that perspective, for the strong sales, that's what we're looking at in the market."

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WKAR Features
11:34 am
Fri June 19, 2009

State employee layoffs and furloughs affect economy

LANSING, MI – Today is a holiday for 37,400 state employees. It's the first of six unpaid furlough days they'll take this summer to help balance the budget. The day off means more than a day of lost pay for state workers. It's also a day of lost income for the businesses that serve them coffee and lunches, and sell them office supplies.

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Sports
6:15 am
Fri June 19, 2009

Wings' Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Hossa named to All-Star second team

LAS VEGAS – LAS VEGAS (AP) - Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom and Marian Hossa of the Red Wings have been named to the NHL All-Star second team.

Datsyuk also went home from last night's ceremony with his fourth straight Lady Byng Award honoring hockey's most gentlemanly player. He drew only 22 penalty minutes in 81 games.

Datsyuk also claimed his second consecutive Selke Award presented to the league's top defensive forward. He ranked second in the NHL with 89 takeaways and is considered one of the league's best two-way forwards.

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Sports
6:12 am
Fri June 19, 2009

Lugnuts fall to Loons

MIDLAND, MI – MIDLAND, MI (WKAR) - The Lansing Lugnuts fell to the Great Lakes Loons 6-1 in the opener to a four-game series yesterday. The Lugnuts and Loons play the second game in the series tonight at 7:05 p.m.

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Sports
6:05 am
Fri June 19, 2009

Tigers beat Cardinals 6-3, avoid sweep

ST. LOUIS – ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Tigers return home to open a three-game weekend series against the Milwaukee Brewers starting tonight.

Rookie Rick Porcello won for the seventh time in nine starts and Detroit shook off an offensive drought with a four-run first inning, beating St. Louis 6-3 last night.

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In Michigan
6:29 pm
Thu June 18, 2009

FBI: Test shows Mich. man not long-missing NY boy

DETROIT, MI – The FBI says DNA testing has confirmed that a 54-year-old Michigan man is not a toddler kidnapped in Long Island, N.Y., in 1955.

The FBI said Thursday that testing showed John Barnes of Kalkaska, Mich., is not Stephen Damman, who disappeared at age 2 from outside an East Meadow bakery while his mother shopped.

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In Michigan
6:11 pm
Thu June 18, 2009

Proposal might avoid layoffs of 100 Mich. troopers

LANSING, MI – Michigan State Police troopers will vote over the next week on whether to sacrifice some of their own pay in order to at least temporarily avoid the layoffs of 100 troopers.

The troopers' union said Thursday it will send out ballots to its members to decide whether they will accept unpaid furlough time in exchange for keeping the 100 troopers on the road until Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Each trooper would give up nearly 37 hours of pay over a six-week period, or about six hours of pay each week.

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In Michigan
3:20 pm
Thu June 18, 2009

Lansing School Board to vote on budget

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