EATON RAPIDS, MI – A prison guard is in critical condition today following a savage beating during an escape by five prisoners from a Montcalm County work crew. The prisoners were re-captured in Eaton Rapids yesterday afternoon.
LANSING, MI – State House Speaker Andy Dillon says there isn't much time left to reverse big cuts to schools. And he accuses Senate Republican leaders of lying about their plan to restore school funding. Michigan's School Aid Fund is short an estimated $120 million.
The Senate plan would save money by freezing the tax break for working poor families. But Dillon says would actually cost the state even more in lost federal funds that are linked to the credit.
EATON RAPIDS, MI – Five prisoners who escaped from a Montcalm County work crew were re-captured in Eaton Rapids Tuesday afternoon. The prisoners violently beat a guard and stole a police van at around 1 p.m. Tuesday.
LANSING, MI – A state Senate panel approved a tax hike on diesel fuel Tuesday. The 4-cent-per-gallon increase would generate money to fix the state's roads and bridges.
Republican Majority Leader Mike Bishop says he knows the roads need work.
"I don't think anybody has ruled out the fact that we have to do something about roads in this state and about critical bridges," he says. "This is the core function of government - to keep people safe."
LANSING, MI – Support is growing at the state Capitol for measures to outlaw sending text messages while driving.
AUDIO: A handful of Michigan cities have already outlawed drivers tapping away on their cell phones while they're behind the wheel. The measure approved by the state House would allow police officers to ticket drivers who are caught sending text messages - but only if the drivers are also stopped for some other offense.
DETROIT, MI – Michigan health officials say they're expanding the availability of swine flu vaccine to all residents by next week.
The Michigan Department of Community Health announced Tuesday that the general public will be eligible to get H1N1 vaccine by next Monday. Health agencies previously had concentrated on target groups at higher risk for swine flu.
The department says demand has ebbed for the vaccine among those groups, which include pregnant women, health workers and people 6 months to 24 years old.
LANSING, MI – State House Speaker Andy Dillon says he does not expect there will be a deal to restore funding for college scholarships, health care, or local governments, before the Legislature begins its winter break.
LANSING, MI – 2009 has been the busiest year yet for the Ingham County Land Bank. The agency's main mission is to rehabilitate foreclosed and abandoned properties and get them back on the tax rolls. With a still-hobbling state economy and growing numbers of commercial foreclosures, 2010 promises to be even busier.
LANSING, MI – The city of Lansing's Board of Ethics and the Lansing City Council are both meeting tonight. They are expected to review requests to investigate how councilmember-elect Tina Houghton's tax problems went unnoticed for two years while she served on the city's Parks and Recreation Board. WKAR's Rob South has been following the story, and spoke with Melissa Ingells.