Gretchen Millich

News Reporter and Announcer

Gretchen Millich retired from WKAR in June 2012. Gretchen first worked for WKAR as a reporter-announcer for several years in the 1970s. She then worked at WAMU in Washington D.C. and as a producer on the staff of "All Things Considered" at NPR. Gretchen returned to WKAR in 1990, where she worked as a general assignment news reporter with an emphasis on public policy, legal issues, the arts and the environment.

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Gretchen Millich, WKAR News

Until recently, Border Collies were bred specifically to work livestock.  Now, they’re getting more popular as pets, but sometimes people who have a Border Collie find themselves accommodating the dogs’ natural instinct to herd. 

Keeping a Border Collie busy can become a new way of life for some dog owners.

Photo courtesy of the Michigan Hemingway Society.

Growing up, Ernest Hemingway spent many summers in northern Michigan, hunting and fishing with his father.  Those years had a great influence on his work, especially the Nick Adams stories.  While the International Hemingway Society often holds their conferences in Hemingway haunts such as Paris and Key West,  this year, for the first time, it will be held in Petoskey, starting June 17th.

Photo courtesy of Such Video.

A new television series called LRN 101 is airing on WKAR TV.  It’s the brainchild of Keep Learning, a non-profit group committed to promoting education in the Lansing area.   Our reWorking Michigan report looks at how the show can influence the perception of education.  

Photo courtesy of Lansing Community College

Last Saturday, hundreds of students graduated from Lansing Community College.  It was a time for celebration, but many of them are already in debt.  Some will go on to four-year universities, where they’ll probably have to borrow a lot more money.

Photo courtesy of Michigan State University.

It isn't only football and hockey players who suffer from concussions.  Any athlete is at risk, including females.   Studies show girls are reporting nearly twice as many concussions as boys in sports played by both.  Now, new research out of Michigan State University shows that females and younger athletes who suffered concussions took longer to recover than males and older athletes.

Photo courtesy of East Lansing Fire Department

Eighty-seven people drowned in the Great Lakes last year.  That’s tragic and unacceptable, according to Bob Pratt.   In 2007, Pratt founded the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project and started training surfers in lifesaving techniques. 

Photo courtesy of the Autism Alliance of Michigan

Therapy for children with autism can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Until now, that kind of treatment was unaffordable for many parents of autistic children.  But a new Michigan law will soon require insurance companies to cover autism diagnosis and treatment for children and teenagers.  This law is also expected to create  hundreds or perhaps thousands of new jobs for people who are trained to treat autistic children.

Photo: Gretchen Millich, WKAR News

Michigan State University is ready to start work on a new anaerobic digester.  The system will use microorganisms to turn tons of manure and food waste into electricity for some MSU buildings south of the main campus.

Photo courtesy of Michigan State University.

This week from reWorking Michigan, we look at the first project under development at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.   The Land Grant Project will stretch the museum’s mission, bringing artists into the classrooms at MSU.

Legislation is pending in Michigan that would require convicted animal abusers to sign up for an online registry, similar to Michigan’s sex offender list.   Proponents say it would help animal control officers investigate and prosecute abuse cases, and also prevent potential violence against humans.

Warm weather has promoted fruit trees in Michigan to bloom four or five weeks ahead of schedule.  That means that bees need to be here early, too, but most of the bees that pollinate orchards in Michigan are still wintering in Florida or are busy pollinating crops in California.

Record-breaking warm temperatures this spring have coaxed fruit trees and other perennial crops in Michigan to bud weeks ahead of schedule.  Farmers are facing a much earlier growing season and several more weeks of anxiety over the threat of frost.

Many of us are enjoying this unseasonably warm weather.  But for some farmers, it’s nerve-racking,  especially for fruit growers.  Fruit trees are starting to sprout two or more weeks ahead of time.  It’s only March, so cold weather is very likely to come back and kill off those early-blooming crops.

March 7 marks an important anniversary for the city of East Lansing that many people don’t know about.  On this date 40 years ago, the city council passed an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

More people in Michigan are using yoga to keep their bodies toned and their stress level in check. For others, it's a growing business opportunity. reWorking Michigan looks at the growth potential of yoga studios. 


About 2,500 people, mostly students, gathered on the Michigan State University campus Monday to hear presidential candidate Ron Paul. 

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

About 2,500 people gathered at Michigan State University Monday afternoon to attend a rally by GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul.  The Texas congressman is not expected to win tomorrow’s presidential primary in Michigan.  Most polls have him running well behind Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.  However, Paul does have enthusiastic supporters who intend to vote for him.

"WKAR News photo

When they go to the polls Tuesday, some voters in Michigan may be uncomfortable with new state rules for presidential primaries. 

MSU Broad College of Business

A surprising number of employees are giving away the store, according to new research from Michigan State University.  The study shows that nearly 70 per cent of workers admit to “sweethearting”.  That’s the practice of giving free goods and services to customers.  The cost to businesses is $80 billion a year.

Can parks, natural areas and waterways affect employment growth and income?  Yes, according to a new study by the Land Policy Institute and the Michigan Natural Features Inventory at Michigan State University.

clarita / Morguefile

EAST LANSING, MI (WKAR) - Members of the Better Living Book Club in East Lansing want to deal with their personal problems and live a happier life.

People join book clubs for all kinds of reasons: to socialize, to read books they wouldn't normally read or to hear opinions that are different from their own. In one book club in East Lansing, members are reading about how to deal with their personal problems and live a happier life.

Photo: Courtesy of Val Berryman

An exhibit by Val Berryman, called “The Art of Christmas," is on display at the Williamston Depot Museum.  Berryman is curator of history at the Michigan State University Museum.  He’s been collecting vintage Christmas decorations, figurines and illustrations since 1984.  Berryman tells WKAR’s Gretchen Millich that for this exhibit, he chose some favorites from his personal collection.

Photo: Courtesy of the Ella Sharp Museum

Not too long ago, Michigan had its own department store chain, where shoppers enjoyed a relaxed and elegant atmosphere and friendly customer service.  Jacobson's operated stores in cities all over Michigan for more than a century. 

In East Lansing, the Jacobson’s building on Grand River Avenue is now a Barnes and Noble bookstore. But lots of shoppers remember its department store heritage.

Now, there’s a new book that traces the history of Jacobson’s.  It's called Jacobson's, I Miss it So!

Kenita Nichols / WKAR

reWorking Michigan visits a new restaurant on Lansing's west side that's attracting customers with locally-sourced food. It's a trend that's catching on across Michigan.

Melissa Benmark / WKAR

EAST LANSING, MI (WKAR) - Workers are busy building the new art museum on the Michigan State University campus. They've finishing laying the concrete floors and installing heating and air conditioning.

The university recently announced that the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum will open to the public on April 21st.

Meanwhile, next door, in temporary offices overlooking the construction site, director Michael Rush and his staff are busy preparing the inaugural exhibits.

WKAR's Gretchen Millich asked Rush what visitors will see when the museum opens.

The food at Brody Square dining hall at Michigan State University has become very popular among not only students, but also among faculty and lots of visitors. There's a sushi bar, fresh pasta, carved meats, and international and vegetarian meals.

WKAR's Gretchen Milllich went to Brody Square to talk with Executive Chef Dave Brown about what he's cooking for Thanksgiving dinner.

Gretchen Millich / WKAR


reWorking Michigan examines our evolving economy, as the people of the Great Lake State explore new ways to make a living and build a future.

Our reWorking Michigan Monday report looks at the competition for shoppers this Christmas season and how shopping at locally owned stores helps the local economy.