By Pat Batcheller, Michigan Public Radio Network
(Detroit, MI) – Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych is dead.
His body was found underneath a truck on his farm in Massachusetts Monday. Authorities say they believe his death was an accident.
Fidrych earned his nickname because of his curly hair, his gangly frame, and his quirky mannerisms such as talking to himself on the mound, though it looked like he was talking to the baseball.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
(Allen Park, MI) – The Detroit suburb of Allen Park is expected to be home to a new $146 million film and television production complex.
The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News report details are expected to be announced today. Project spokesman Roger Martin says the studio will employ thousands of skilled workers.
The complex is expected to occupy the site of a former technical center for auto parts maker Visteon Corporation.
Allen Park, MI – Allen Park, MI (AP)
Local officials say upward of 3,000 skilled and non-skilled jobs could be created when a $146 million film and television production complex is completed just outside Detroit.
Unity Studios Inc. President Jimmy Lifton says groundbreaking in Allen Park is expected within two months, with production starting in October.
The project was announced Tuesday.
The complex will be built on 104 acres of land that once housed an auto parts manufacturing site.
By Mark Bashore, WKAR Radio News
East Lansing, MI – Mark Bashore, WKAR Radio News
Plans to create a 21st century battery industry in Michigan are accelerating.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation Tuesday gave the green light for up to $400-million in tax breaks to battery-related companies to grow their operations in the state.
MEDC executive Doug Parks says the four companies work on a variety of applications.
A number of states are competing for advanced battery manufacturing.
By Scott Pohl, WKAR Radio News
East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR) - Michigan congressman Mike Rogers is alerting veterans that changes to the G-I Bill could help them or a family member get a college education.
The biggest change to the G-I Bill is this: if a veteran chooses not to use the education benefit, it can be transferred to a spouse or a child.
The change takes effect August first, in advance of fall classes at colleges and universities.
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Governor Granholm is to sign legislation this morning that will extend unemployment payments for laid-off workers by seven weeks.
Michigan's jobless workers currently qualify for up to 18 months of benefits.
The federal stimulus package offers states with high unemployment rates more funds to extend those payments even further.
Michigan which has the nation's highest jobless rate - almost 12 percent.
Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (WKAR) - Michigan's spring wildfire season is arriving.
State forest officials say the greatest wildfire risk is usually between mid-April and Memorial Day.
Dead leaves, grass and sticks are drying out quickly.
New, more fire-resistant growth hasn't developed yet.
And as the weather improves, homeowners are cleaning yards and burning the waste.
Michigan DNR officials say stands of pine trees are most vulnerable to wildfires.
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
East Lansing, MI – Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio NetworkA Republican lawmaker says planning the state budget over a two year period instead of one could help reduce spending.
State Representative John Proos says the state doesn't give local governments enough time to evaluate programs, and to adjust their budgets when the state cuts spending.
Proos says he would like the state to adopt two-year budgets before the next governor takes office in 2011.
East Lansing, MI – Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio NetworkGovernor Granholm has signed legislation that extends payments to unemployed workers by seven weeks.
This is the second time this year the payments have been extended.
The extension will allow some laid-off workers to collect benefits for up to 79 weeks.
That's almost 20 months.
State officials estimate as many as 200,000 people may qualify for extended unemployment benefits this year.
By Kevin Lavery, WKAR Radio News
Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (WKAR) - VIDEO EXTRA - Cartoonist Jef Mallett, author of the syndicated comic strip, "Frazz," talks about creating a character.