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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In Michigan
6:23 am
Mon April 20, 2009

Detroit Free Press wins Pulitzer for mayoral story

Detroit, MI – Detroit, MI (AP)

The Detroit Free Press has won the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting for obtaining a trove of sexually explicit text messages that brought down the city's mayor.

The award was announced Monday after one of the most depressing years the newspaper industry has ever seen, with layoffs, bankruptcies and closings.

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In Michigan
3:44 am
Mon April 20, 2009

Michigan plan would crack down on failing schools

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (AP)

Chronically failing schools would be supervised by a state-appointed turnaround specialist under terms of legislation introduced by two Michigan House Democrats.

Schools would be considered failing if a large majority of students don't meet proficiency requirements on standardized math and English tests. Schools also would have to fail to meet federal No Child Left Behind standards for four straight years.

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