LANSING, MI – The chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court told lawmakers Thursday that budget cuts are threatening the effectiveness of the judicial system.
AUDIO: Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly says budget cuts are already compromising some of the duties of the courts. "The less money that's available, the harder it is to meet the mandates," she says. "The mandates stay the same but the money shrinks, so naturally it puts us in a terrible pinch."
Michigan has failed to make it to the final round in the competition for as much as a half-billion dollars in school-reform funds. Lawmakers worked feverishly through December to complete a school reform package to qualify for the funds. The reforms include making it easier for charter schools to compete with traditional schools that have high dropout rates or low test scores. And teachers will now be evaluated based on students performances.
DUNEDIN, FL – Jeremy Bonderman pitched two shutout innings after missing most of last season with circulatory problems in his right shoulder and Mike Rabelo hit a tiebreaking single in a three-run the ninth to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 7-6 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Bonderman allowed one hit and struck out three, including Adam Lind and Vernon Wells after putting Toronto's first two runners on in the first inning. Tigers third baseman Brent Dlugach homered off Ricky Romero in the second inning.
NEW YORK – Bill Walker was one of four Knicks with 20-plus points, scoring a career-high 22 in his first career start, and New York handed the Detroit Pistons their fifth straight loss with a 128-104 victory Wednesday night.
Al Harrington scored 26 for the Knicks, who won for just the second time in 12 games and clinched the season series for the first time since the 2000-01 season. Humiliated while trailing by as much as 49 points in a loss at Cleveland on Monday, New York was the team having fun this time.
DETROIT – U.S. Olympian Ryan Kesler scored twice, and gold-medal winning Canadian goalie Roberto Luongo made 28 saves to help the Vancouver Canucks beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-3 on Wednesday night.
Alex Burrows, Kyle Wellwood, Sami Salo and Mikael Samuelsson also scored, and Henrik and Daniel Sedin each had three assists.
Jason Williams, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen scored for Detroit. Jimmy Howard made 17 saves before being pulled in favor of Chris Osgood midway through the second period. Osgood stopped 10 shots.
General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz is retiring. The longtime auto industry executive who has led a near-complete overhaul of GM's lineup confirms his retirement in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
He says his proudest achievement is the Chevrolet Volt, the gas-electric sedan that can go up to 40 miles on battery-power alone.
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm's administration has sent its proposed standards to the Legislature for where to locate wind turbines in the Great Lakes. Critics say the proposed rules don't do enough to protect the shoreline from a glut of unsightly windmills.
The Republican-led state Senate failed to block a 3% pay raise for state employees. The measure would save the state nearly $50 million.
AUDIO: Nearly all of the Senate Republicans voted to freeze state worker salaries at current levels. But the GOP needed a two-thirds majority to pass the measure. All but one Democrat opposed the Republican proposal.