Morning eNews

NewsRoom
6:19 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Senator: Representing Children, Mentally Ill Should Be Public Defense Specialty

WKAR file photo

Hearings are supposed to begin this summer on plans to ensure poor defendants get a fair shake in the legal system.

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NewsRoom
6:16 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Safety Concerns Lead to Fireworks Ban at Lansing July 4th Event

nasirkhan morgueFile

City of Lansing officials say it will ban fireworks from Adado Riverfront Park Wednesday night at the city's Independence Day celebration.  

A statement from the office of Mayor Virg Bernero says the ban is due to dry conditions and to ensure safety.

NewsRoom
6:56 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Fire danger high as July 4th holiday grows close

dflowers2 / flickr

Dry conditions across much of Michigan have fire safety officials on high alert. Governor Rick Snyder is considering a ban on open burning across much of the state, but won’t prohibit fireworks before the July Fourth holiday.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Mon July 2, 2012

MSU Remembers Morrill Act on Its Sesquicentennial

MSU's Morrill Hall is named after the U.S. Senator who sponsored 1862's landmark Morrill Act.
WKAR file photo

Today marks the 150th anniversary of a landmark law that revolutionized American education.  As WKAR’s Mark Bashore reports, the Morrill Act traces its roots to mid-Michigan.

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NewsRoom
6:26 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Snyder Signs Income Tax Cut

WKAR file photo

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a reduction in the state income tax.

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NewsRoom
6:22 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Emergency Manager Case Goes to Michigan Supreme Court

WKAR file photo

The group that’s trying to keep a referendum on Michigan’s emergency manager law off the November ballot has taken its case to the state Supreme Court.

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NewsRoom
6:22 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Advocates Say It’s Time for Michigan to Enact Healthcare Law

WKAR file photo

There are differences of opinion at the state Capitol on how to proceed with complying with the federal health care law now that it’s been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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NewsRoom
5:17 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Health Care Reform: Medicaid Won’t Cover Severely Impoverished

akay/flickr

Many people in mid-Michigan are praising the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act.  But local health officials see a gap in the law that poses a particular challenge.

The cheering audience gathered at Union Missionary Baptist Church in Lansing typified the reaction of millions of Americas applauding the Supreme Court ruling. 

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Thu June 28, 2012

The Greater Lansing Business Monthly Turns 25

Along with publishing the Greater Lansing Business Monthly, Chris Holman hosts the "Michigan Business Beat" radio program on the Michigan Business Network.
Scott Pohl, WKAR

In 1987, Chris Holman left teaching and coaching to forge a career in publishing.

Today, the Greater Lansing Business Monthly is celebrating its 25th anniversary with an event at the Lansing Center.

Along with the magazine, Holman hosts a radio program called “Michigan Business Beat” on the Michigan Business Network, and has a hand in a number of other ventures.

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NewsRoom
6:40 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Lansing Area Fire Departments Set Burning Ban

WKAR file photo

Lansing area fire officials have imposed an outdoor burning ban to take effect Friday morning.

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NewsRoom
6:35 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Court says State Agency can Impose Welfare Time Limits

Kevin Rosseel morgueFile

The Michigan Court of Appeals says the state Department of Human Services can cut off cash assistance welfare benefits to people who hit the federal time limit – even if they have time remaining on their state benefits.

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NewsRoom
6:32 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Michigan Officials Brace for Health Care Decision

WKAR file photo

Michigan officials are waiting to see how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the federal health care law championed by President Obama.

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NewsRoom
8:31 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Snyder Signs New State Budget, Turns to Summer Priorities

Gov. Rick Snyder
Courtesy State of Michigan

Now that the budget’s done, Governor Rick Snyder goes to work on his goals for the balance of the summer. He spent a few minutes with the Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta just after he signed the new state budget.

RICK PLUTA:  Governor, thanks for sitting down with us.  So, just name one thing in this budget that you consider to be a really major accomplishment.

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NewsRoom
6:21 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Governor Signs Budget; Says Tax Cut Will Boost Economy

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Courtesy photo

Governor Rick Snyder has signed the new state budget. It’s a spending plan he says leaves room for an election year tax rollback.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Wed June 27, 2012

"Wicked" Returns To The Wharton Center

The stage at MSU's Wharton Center is being transformed into Oz for "Wicked".
Scott Pohl, WKAR

The musical “Wicked” is back in East Lansing.

For the next two weeks, the Wharton Center at Michigan State University will be transformed into the land of Oz for the Tony Award winning “untold story of the witches of Oz.”

WKAR's Scott Pohl went to the Wharton Center for load-in day.

When you’re touring the country with a big production like “Wicked,” there’s bound to be some confusion.

Assistant stage manager Matthew Leiner is responsible for the safety of the cast and crew. He says the first day in a new building is always a little nerve-wracking.

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NewsRoom
8:36 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

City Center II Discussions End

Courtesy Strathmore Development

East Lansing city officials and Strathmore Development have ended years of ongoing discussions over City Center II.

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NewsRoom
8:34 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Michigan Prepares to Re-sentence Juvenile Lifers

southerfried morgueFile

Arrangements are being made to return more than 350 Michigan inmates to the courts where they were sentenced. The prisoners will get new sentences under a U.S. Supreme Court decision this week.

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NewsRoom
8:31 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

MSU Colleges Look Ahead to Shared Space

WKAR file photo

Michigan State University officials say they're excited to be moving ahead on a building that will be shared by its schools of engineering and human medicine.

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NewsRoom
5:36 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Ingham County 911Dispatch Center to Open Wednesday

Ingham 911 Dispatch Center Director Lance Langdon says his team will be ready for business when the new center opens Wednesday.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

Ingham County’s new consolidated 911 dispatch center is set to open Wednesday.  Its start comes after a brief court-ordered delay at the request of the dispatchers.

Dispatchers had asked an Ingham County judge to block the county center’s opening because they felt their training had been inadequate.  The new center uses a telephone touch screen system that displays information about county emergency units and assets.  The dispatchers had been trained in Livingston County, and said that information did not give an accurate picture of their duties. 

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Tue June 26, 2012

In East Lansing, Critical City Center II Review Begins Today

Courtesy Strathmore Development

For years, East Lansing has struggled over what to do about the derelict buildings at Grand River and Abbot Road.  Some say an ambitious, multi-use development--City Center II--could be transformational.   That  proposal enters a crucial phase today.  The city council begins what could be the final discussions involving Strathmore Development’s $105-million downtown development plan.  WKAR’s Mark Bashore reports on what could be “high noon” for the seven year old public-private venture.

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NewsRoom
6:25 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

U.S. High Court Ruling Gives Some Hope of Parole to Juvenile Lifers

Kevin Rosseel morgueFile

The U. S. Supreme Court has struck down state laws like one in Michigan that automatically sends some juveniles to prison for life with no chance of parole.

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NewsRoom
6:23 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Warren Could Challenge Michigan Fireworks Law

nasirkhan morgueFile

A suburban Detroit mayor says a new ordinance under consideration in his city could challenge state law making powerful fireworks legal in Michigan.

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NewsRoom
3:08 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

SCOTUS Ruling Gives 350+ MI Inmates Chance For Parole

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the constitutionality of state laws allowing juveniles to be sentenced to life without parole.
rosebennet/flickr

The U.S.  Supreme Court has struck down state laws that allow juveniles to be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. Michigan is one of several states that allowed juveniles to be sentenced to life without parole.

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NewsRoom
8:38 am
Mon June 25, 2012

National Jobs Fair Targets Unemployed Military Veterans

WKAR File Photo

A jobs fair for veterans in Detroit this week is expected to draw thousands of job seekers and prospective employers from across the Midwest.

The event is sponsored by the U.S. Veterans Administration.  The need in Michigan and surrounding states was a big reason to hold the event in Detroit.

Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs deputy director Jason Allen says more than one in 10 Michigan veterans are unemployed and looking for work.  Employers from across the Midwest will be interviewing for 22,000 openings.  

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NewsRoom
7:39 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Fundraiser Helps Family Follow Gymnast Jordyn Wieber To The Olympics

Gymnast Jordyn Wieber signs an autograph for a fan at a fundraiser to help her family attend the Olympic Games in London.
Sherry Bass-Pohl

    Hundreds of people were on hand yesterday at a DeWitt church to help the family of Olympic hopeful Jordyn Wieber follow her to London this summer.
    Wieber's mother, Rita, expressed gratitude for the turnout. 

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NewsRoom
2:11 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

USDA Undersecretary Praises Senate Farm Bill Passage

WKAR File Photo

U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Dallas Tonsager is praising the Senate’s passage of a $1 trillion farm bill.  Tonsager was in mid-Michigan Friday to meet with farmers and homeowners. 

The farm bill that cleared the Senate Thursday cuts some $24 billion over the next decade.  It would end direct federal subsidies to farmers who’ve relied on those payments since the 1980’s.  Tonsager says farmers are doing well enough economically that there’s less need now for government assistance.

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NewsRoom
11:04 am
Fri June 22, 2012

MSU Trustees Approve Budget, Tuition Rates Rise

WKAR file photo

Michigan State University officials have approved a 2012-2013 budget that includes a 3.5% increase in undergraduate, in-state tuition rates.  Out-of-state students will pay 5% more.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Fri June 22, 2012

MPRN's Rick Pluta Shares Thoughts On Primary, Legislature, More

The Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta.
Melissa Benmark WKAR

Rick Pluta is the Capitol Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network, and you hear his reports on state politics every morning here on 90.5.  Between an eventful few weeks in Lansing and the approach of the August primary, it seemed like a good time to get his perspective. He spoke with WKAR's Melissa Benmark.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Fri June 22, 2012

MSU Summer Program Preps Tomorrow's Jazz Masters

Local middle and high school students are completing a week-long jazz camp at Michigan State University. They'll cap their studies Friday evening with a live performance at the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival in East Lansing.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

This week, dozens of aspiring young musicians are wrapping up their time in the woodshed.  That’s how jazz artists describe the countless hours of practice to hone their skills and develop their craft.

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NewsRoom
6:36 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Business Group Files Objection to Labor Ballot Drive

jdurham morgueFile

A coalition of business organizations has asked Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to block a measure from the November ballot.

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