NewsRoom

NewsRoom
6:59 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Whitmer, Dems Push State-Funded College for All HS Grads

Melissa Benmark WKAR

State Senator Gretchen Whitmer of East Lansing has a plan that she says would make Michigan’s young people the best educated in the world.  She says her “Michigan 2020” proposal would send every high school graduate in Michigan on to college without raising taxes.  

To fund the initiative, her proposed bill would eliminate at least $1.8 billion in what she labels “special interest kickbacks.”   WKAR’s Mark Bashore asked her to cite some examples of the “tax breaks and loopholes” that would pay for the plan.

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
5:00 am
Mon February 6, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Immigrants Face Re-Certification Challenges

Chandra Ghalley
Kevin Lavery WKAR

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

 Today, our reWorking Michigan Monday report looks at the challenges facing immigrants with backgrounds in professional fields.  Thousands of health care providers, engineers and financial specialists who’ve earned their credentials in their home countries often start at or near the bottom as they work to become re-certified in the United States.  Experts say that can be an impediment for employers searching for prospective hires.

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In Michigan
7:15 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Big Events a Lure to Sex Traffickers

DETROIT, MI – The Super Bowl this weekend in Indianapolis will attract thousands of revelers, football fans and people who just like a big party. It will also lure human traffickers who will set up in hotels to offer paying clients the chance to have sex -- sometimes with children.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates 100 thousand kids in this country between the ages of 12 and 14 every year are drawn into a life of prostitution every year.

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In Michigan
6:18 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Detroit, Unions Reach Tentative Concessions Deal

WKAR File Photo

DETROIT –

A tentative cost-cutting deal has been reached between Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and a coalition of unions representing non-uniformed municipal workers as the city tries to
convince the state that an emergency manager isn't necessary.

Bing says in a release Thursday that the agreement is "the first meaningful step in achieving the necessary concessions and structural changes to resolve the city's financial crisis."

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Thu February 2, 2012

MSU Museum exhibit features women in construction

This piece by Susan Eisenberg is called My kids know which bridges in town are mine.
Courtesy MSU Museum

On Sunday (2/5), the Michigan State University Museum opens an exhibit inspired by women who work in construction and the skilled trades.

"On Equal Terms" features mixed media pieces by Susan Eisenberg, a resident artist at Brandeis University.

Eisenberg talked about the exhibit with WKAR's Scott Pohl, starting with a reading from her poem Hanging In, Solo (So What's It Like To Be the Only Female on the Job?).

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NewsRoom
2:39 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Lansing Players Part of Michigan Garment Sector

A sewer at Lansing’s Peckham Industries. Peckham is part of an effort to grow Michigan’s apparel and fashion sector.
Mark Bashore WKAR

Economic developers have their sights on what they’re calling a “burgeoning” part of Michigan’s economy—the garment industry.  East Lansing’s Prima Civitas Foundation wants to connect scattered designers and manufacturers and morph them into a greater economic force.  

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
12:00 am
Mon January 30, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Fab Lab helps Michigan inventors

FLINT, MI (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.

For our Monday reWorking Michigan report this week, WKAR's Scott Pohl visited a laboratory where inventors can get help making a prototype of the product they want to take to market.

The Fab Lab is at Mott Community College in Flint.

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NewsRoom
12:01 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Gregorian Previews MSU Symphony Concert

MSU Director of Orchestras, Leon Gregorian.
Courtesy MSU College of Music

WKAR's Melissa Benmark spoke with conductor Leon Gregorian about the next MSU Symphony Orchestra concert, which features a new Tuba Concerto by MSU professor Ron Newman.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Thu January 26, 2012

East Lansing city council to interview city manager finalists

WKAR file photo

The finalists for East Lansing city manager met with residents at a public forum Wednesday evening.

The next step in the process is today, when the city council will conduct interviews with all five.

The council is scheduled to make a selection on Friday.

WKAR's Scott Pohl spoke with East Lansing mayor Diane Goddeeris about what she and her colleagues on the city council are looking for in the search's final days.

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NewsRoom
3:16 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Lansing Economic Officials don't like USPS Streamlining Process

Photo: Mark Bashore/WKAR

 A group of area business figures and politicians is urging the United States Postal Service to rethink a plan that would end mail processing operations at Lansing’s Collins Road postal facility. The group says it’s perplexed by what it considers poor communication by the postal service. WKAR’s Mark Bashore takes a look.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Lansing Board of Water and Light weighs possible rate hikes

Steam bills would go up for Central United Methodist Church in Lansing under a Board of Water and Light proposal. Photo: Scott Pohl/WKAR

The Lansing Board of Water and Light will hold a public hearing tonight on rate hike proposals that would affect the utility's water and steam customers.

The Lansing Board of Water and Light public hearing begins at 5:30 p.m. in the utility's Haco Drive headquarters board room.

If approved, rates would go up 9%. Electricity rates would not be affected.

WKAR's Scott Pohl reports.

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NewsRoom
9:05 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Gov. Snyder delivers his second State of the State address

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his second annual State of the State address Wednesday evening in Lansing.
State of Michigan
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Gov. Rick Snyder highlighted the accomplishments of 2011 and outlined Michigan's goals for 2012 in his second annual State of the State address Wednesday evening in Lansing.

NewsRoom
8:04 pm
Sun January 15, 2012

reWorking Michigan: F-RIB planning continues despite budget concerns

 ReWorking Michigan examines our evolving economy, as the people of the Great Lakes State explore new ways to make a living and build a future.  Today, our reWorking Michigan Monday report looks at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or “F-RIB” on the Michigan State University campus.

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NewsRoom
2:47 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Meridian Township considers roads and streets friendlier to bicyclists

Photo: Mark Bashore/WKAR

In Meridian Township, a discussion’s underway about making more room on the roads for bicyclists and pedestrians.  For years, some advocates have argued Meridian should do more to accommodate non-motorized transportation. The township is exploring a ‘Complete Streets’ transportation plan that would do just that.  WKAR’s Mark Bashore has more.

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NewsRoom
2:16 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Lansing to host inaugural marathon April 22

Organizers in Lansing are counting down to April, when the city will hold its inaugural marathon.  

The Lansing Marathon will take place April 22 and cover a standard 26.2 mile course.  The race will start outside the Accident Fund Insurance building in downtown Lansing, cross into East Lansing near Michigan State University, turn south to Holt, back into Lansing via Potter Park and end at the Capitol.  Race director Owen Anderson says he's studied marathons in similarly sized communities, and finds they bring strong economic benefits.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Thu January 12, 2012

Lansing-built Cadillac ATS unveiled at Detroit auto show

The Cadillac ATS will be built in Lansing. It will be available this summer, but it's on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Photo: Scott Pohl/WKAR

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit opens to the public on Saturday. Hundreds of thousands of people will attend the show at Cobo Hall to see prototypes and the new car and truck models.

Earlier this week, General Motors showed off the new Cadillac ATS to the media. The ATS will be built in Lansing. It's aimed squarely at the lucrative compact luxury car market.

Talking with a couple of Cadillac executives about the 2013 ATS coming out this summer, you get the feeling that they've been trained to stay on-message.

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
10:52 am
Tue January 10, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Job Opportunities in Politics

Todd Cook of Main Street Strategies.
Scott Pohl WKAR

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

2012 is a presidential election year, and campaigns are gearing up across the state. For people who are looking to change careers, or those who've lost their jobs and are hoping to resume getting a steady paycheck, politics could be an option this year. To find out what political employers are looking for, WKAR's Scott Pohl spoke with a couple of consultants about hiring trends in politics.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Fri January 6, 2012

LSO Preview: Masterworks 3

Lansing Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor, Timothy Muffitt
Lansing Symphony

EAST LANSING, MI (WKAR) - WKAR's Melissa Benmark spoke with Lansing Symphony Orchestra conductor Timothy Muffitt to preview the next MasterWorks concert. They began by talking about "Rounds for String Orchestra" by David Diamond.

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lakes State
12:45 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Hoop Houses Allow Farmers to Extend Growing Season

Rebecca Titus in one of the hoop houses on her farm in Leslie. Photo: Gretchen Millich/WKAR

EAST LANSING, MI – 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.

Winter farmers markets are expanding across the country and in Michigan. On our reWorking Michigan Monday report, WKAR's Gretchen Millich shows us how hoop houses allow farmers to grow and sell fresh vegetables through the winter.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Thu December 29, 2011

MSU President Lou Anna Simon looks ahead

Michigan State University's Hannah Administration Building. Photo: Courtesy University Relations, MSU

The year to come will bring some challenges, as well as some important developments, at Michigan State University.

WKAR's Scott Pohl recently spoke with MSU president Lou Anna Simon about what's in store in 2012, beginning with the scheduled April opening of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.

Designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid, Simon says the museum has the art and architecture communities excited

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reWorking Michigan
3:06 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

State offers reimbursements for exporting companies

KTM Industries in Lansing processes corn starch into sheets of biodegradable packing foam.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

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

Today, our reWorking Michigan Monday report looks at Michigan’s “STEP” program.  That’s short for State Trade and Export Promotion.  The initiative uses federal dollars to help Michigan companies with fewer than 500 employees enter or expand into the export market.  The funding helps businesses pay for things like overseas trade missions and foreign language translation services.   

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NewsRoom
11:02 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Museum Curator's Private Collection on Display in "The Art of Christmas"

MSU Museum curator Val Berryman at "The Art of Christmas" exhibit at the Williamston Depot Museum.
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.

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NewsRoom
3:01 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Snyder to sign laws lowering worker benefit costs

LANSING, MI (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder is getting ready to sign bills aimed at saving Michigan employers money on unemployment insurance and worker's compensation benefits. 

He plans to sign the bills at a 3:05 p.m. Monday news conference.

The bills would further limit the ability of a person who was fired for cause or who may have left a job voluntarily from collecting jobless benefits.    

They would require some unemployed workers to take jobs after 10 weeks of benefits even if the jobs are outside the unemployed worker's previous experience or pay lower wages.    

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
12:00 am
Mon December 19, 2011

reWorking Michigan: Lansing Black Chamber of Commerce

Angela Pruitt is president of the Lansing Black Chamber of Commerce.
Scott Pohl WKAR

reWorking Michigan examines our evolving economy, as citizens of the Great Lakes State explore new ways to make a living and build a future for their families.

This week from reWorking Michigan, our Monday report looks at a new organization in Lansing that's trying to help African-American owned businesses.

The Lansing Black Chamber of Commerce was chartered in August. Ask president Angela Pruitt why a black chamber is needed, and she'll answer with a question of her own: why not?

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NewsRoom
3:28 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

LSD official confident students will meet higher test standards

Michigan educators are raising the bar on the state’s public school students. In the past, students could answer fewer than half the questions correctly on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program, or MEAP, and still earn a ‘proficient’ rating.  Those scores arrive next March.  And this time, students will need to get an average of about two-thirds right.  Ericka Harris is the Lansing School District’s interim chief academic officer. She tells WKAR’s Mark Bashore that she doesn’t think the higher standards will result in significantly more Lansing students rated “not proficient.”

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NewsRoom
2:39 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Lawmakers don't back funds for health exchange

WKAR photo

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's efforts to begin setting up a statewide health exchange as required by the federal health care law are hitting a snag. 

The GOP governor urged lawmakers in September to quickly pass bills allowing the state to tap federal funds to set up the exchange. He says the federal government will step in with its own plan if Michigan doesn't have one in place by January 2013. 

GOP House Speaker Jase Bolger wants to wait until the U.S. Supreme Court decides next summer if the federal health care law should stand before setting up an exchange. 

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NewsRoom
6:36 am
Fri December 16, 2011

With the Author: Lev Raphael on Rosedale in Love

Our book reviewer Lev Raphael switches places with WKAR's Melissa Benmark, and she interviews him about his latest Kindle book, Rosedale in Love.

LEV RAPHAEL: I've always been in love with the Gilded Age. I mean, it's an incredible period in New York's history, in American history, which makes people like Donald Trump seem like pikers. People back then knew how to spend money in ways that our millionaires and billionaires cannot imagine. So that's one aspect of it.

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NewsRoom
1:58 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Book Traces History of Jacobson's

Historical photo of the Jacobson's building on Grand River in East Lansing.
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!

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
12:00 am
Mon December 12, 2011

reWorking Michigan: Lansing Diner Answers Demand for Local Food

Customers can see all the local vendors who sell to the restaurant.
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.

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NewsRoom
6:14 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Gregorian Previews "Home for the Holidays"

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MSU Symphony conductor Leon Gregorian has been on research leave this semester. He'll be back to conduct the MSU Symphony Orchestra next semester, and then plans to retire in April. He'll be conducting the upcoming "Home for the Holidays" concert, and WKAR's Melissa Benmark recently spoke with him, asking him first about his time off.

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