WKAR

In Michigan
4:45 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Labor coalition calls on feds to repair water infrastructure

Lansing, MI – Construction workers say Lansing's water infrastructure needs a major overhaul. They're calling on Congress to allocate more funding to fix the city's storm water and sewer system. They say it's both a matter of public safety and economic development.

Read more
WKAR Features
12:00 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Lansing educators prepare for higher test standards

WKAR file photo

LANSING, MI –

Read more
In Michigan
6:19 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

Lawmakers expect home heating deal before break

LANSING, MI – Republican leaders at the state Capitol say they expect to wrap up work this week on a plan to ensure there's money to help low-income families with their heating bills this winter. But their efforts are already being criticized because they don't encourage energy efficiency.

Read more
In Michigan
4:44 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

Snyder says Mich. shouldn't be right-to-work state

DETROIT –

Gov. Rick Snyder still maintains he doesn't want Michigan to become a right-to-work state.

The Republican governor told a caller to WJR radio on Monday that he doesn't want to repeat the experiences of Wisconsin and Ohio, where anti-union measures have been extremely divisive.

Ohio voters last month threw out tough new laws limiting public workers' collective bargaining rights, and Wisconsin's governor faces a recall effort after pushing through similar changes.

Read more
In Michigan
4:25 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

A few controversial issues still hanging around Capitol for 2011

LANSING, MI –

A fight could be brewing at the state Capitol over funding an exchange that would allow people and businesses to comparison-shop for health insurance. The state is supposed to create the exchange as part of the new federal health care reform requirements. Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber has more.

Read more
In Michigan
4:14 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

EL judge focuses on treating vets, not jailing them

EAST LANSING, MI –

David Jordon calls himself an "Air Force brat" who's just trying to "do the right thing" for veterans who show up in his courtroom charged with a crime.

A judge in East Lansing's 54B District Court, Jordon heads one of the five court programs in Michigan focused on treating veterans. Nationwide, there are about 80.

The program works to address veterans' underlying problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and braininjury.

Read more
In Michigan
6:10 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

Michigan officials say deer kill up slightly

TRAVERSE CITY, MI –

Michigan wildlife officials say it appears that slightly more deer were killed in this year's firearms hunting season than during the same period in 2010.

The Department of Natural Resources said Friday that initial estimates suggest the harvest ranged from unchanged to 10 percent higher in the Upper Peninsula. The northern Lower Peninsula also appears to have had a roughly 10 percent increase.

The take appears to have dropped by 5 to 10 percent in the southern Lower Peninsula.

Read more
In Michigan
6:07 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

Snyder orders flags lowered in honor of Wolpe

LANSING, MI –

Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered U.S. flags in Michigan to be lowered Tuesday in honor of the late U.S. Rep. Howard Wolpe.

The 71-year-old Saugatuck resident died on Oct. 25.

In a news release, Snyder calls Wolpe "an outstanding public servant and leader."

The governor's office says Wolpe will have two separate memorial services. One will be held Tuesday at Miller Auditorium on the campus of Western Michigan University. The other is scheduled for Thursday in Washington.

Read more
In Michigan
5:14 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

Charter schools cap may be lifted

LANSING, MI –

More university-sponsored charter schools would be able to operate in Michigan under a bill in the state House. But as Michigan Public Radio's Chelsea Hagger reports, a vote on the measure has been slowed because some lawmakers are skeptical.

Those who oppose the proposal to get rid of the charter school cap say they are not surprised it failed to gain enough support to come up for a vote in the House - which is controlled by a GOP majority.

Read more
In Michigan
2:06 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

MSU trustees approve Simon's salary

MSU President Lou Anna Simon. Photo: Courtesy of Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI –

For the fourth consecutive year, Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon has refused to accept a pay raise.

MSU Trustees voiced strong support for president Simon's performance and wanted to raise her current $520,000 salary. Simon says she and her husband jointly decided to reject an increase.

Trustee Faylene Owen chairs the compensation committee.

When it comes to fundraising," Owen says, "she's right there. Academia? She's the best."

Read more
In Michigan
10:12 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Back-up Emergency Manager law may be coming

LANSING, MI – Republican legislative leaders are considering a back-up plan if a voter referendum or a lawsuit strikes down the state's new emergency manager law.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says the state cannot afford to stall the progress being made where emergency managers have been granted temporary authority over local governments.

Read more
In Michigan
10:08 am
Fri December 9, 2011

The Michigan Supreme to hear challenge to MSU harassment rule

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Supreme Court will decide whether Michigan State University can continue to enforce its rule against harassing its employees as they do their jobs.

Jared Rapp confronted and yelled at a university employee in an MSU parking garage after found a ticket on his car. The employee felt threatened and called the campus police. The employee sat in his car waiting for the police to arrive while Rapp hovered outside the vehicle and snapped pictures with his mobile phone.

Read more
In Michigan
10:06 am
Fri December 9, 2011

The Michigan Supreme to hear sports discrimination lawsuit

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered a lower court to decide whether the Michigan High School Athletic Association discriminated against a former exchange student from South Korea. The MHSAA is being accused of discrimination for refusing to allow the student to play football.

Read more
In Michigan
7:34 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Recall organizer claims enough signatures to put EM on ballot

EAST LANSING, MI –

Organizers of a campaign to overturn the state's new emergency manager law say the petition drive is invigorated by reports that legislative leaders are working on a back-up plan in case the law is halted.

Read more
WKAR Features
7:31 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Gregorian previews Home for the Holidays

Maestro Leon Gregorian Photo: Courtesy MSU College of Music

EAST LANSING, MI – 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.

Read more
WKAR Features
6:43 am
Thu December 8, 2011

MSU offering hospice service for pets

Isabel (Izzy) received care from MSU's pet hospice service. Photo: Courtesy Casey Williamson and Brandt Peterson

EAST LANSING, MI –

In the last few days of a dying person's life, hospice care can provide comfort in the home setting.

Now, the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine is offering hospice care for pets.


Brandt Peterson and Casey Williamson met in 1999 while walking their dogs Isabel and Suki in Austin, Texas. Isabel didn't easily warm up to strangers, but was affectionate with them. She also was very athletic.

Read more
In Michigan
6:37 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Senate panel approves abortion insurance rider

LANSING, MI –

A proposal to limit access to health care coverage for abortion procedures has cleared a state Senate panel. The proposal would require employers or individuals purchasing health care plans to pay higher premiums if they want to include abortion coverage.

Read more
In Michigan
6:29 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

USDA awards $10.4 million in food safety grants

EAST LANSING, MI –

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding $10.4 million in grants to universities in 13 states for projects designed to boost the safety of the nation's food supply.

Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced the grants Wednesday during a visit to Michigan State University in East Lansing, which is receiving three grants totaling nearly $2.9 million.

Read more
In Michigan
5:25 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Ex-Dem leader gets probation in election scam

PONTIAC, MI –

The former leader of the Oakland County Democratic Party has been sentenced to probation for forging documents and fraudulently entering candidates under the Tea Party banner.

The goal apparently was to confuse voters and take votes from Republican candidates in some local races in 2010. The so-called Independent Tea Party candidates didn't know their names were being used.

Read more
In Michigan
5:15 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Oakland County politics go statewide

LANSING, MI –

A fight over political power in Oakland County played out Wednesday before a legislative committee. Republicans want the Legislature to change the rules to let the GOP-controlled county commission re-draw its own districts. As we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, the proposal was adopted by the House Government Operations Committee on a party-line vote.

Read more
In Michigan
4:43 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Bill would ban taxpayer-funded live-in partner benefits

LANSING, MI –

Local governments, school districts, community colleges, public universities, and the state could not offer benefits that cover the live-in partners of public employees, under a bill that's on its way to Governor Rick Snyder's desk. As Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports, the state Senate approved the measure Wednesday on a mostly party-line vote.

Read more
In Michigan
10:04 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Michigan Senate approves workers' comp changes

LANSING, MI –

Legislation that could help employers reduce costs related to compensating workers injured on the job has been approved by Republican-led Michigan Senate.

The bill was approved Wednesday by a 20-16 vote. The measure returns with some significant changes to the Republican-led House, which earlier approved an initial version of the bill.

Police and fire department workers would be exempted from some measures under the Senate plan.

Read more
WKAR Features
8:55 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Broad Museum preparing inaugural exhibit

The Broad Museum is slated to open on April 21, 2012.
Melissa Benmark, WKAR

EAST LANSING, MI – 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.

Read more
In Michigan
6:26 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Debate on how to pay for heating aid continues

LANSING, MI –

At the state Capitol, House and Senate leaders say they're getting closer, but still don't have an agreement on how to help low-income families with their winter utility bills. As we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, lawmakers continue to negotiate as the Legislature's winter break fast approaches.

Read more
In Michigan
6:23 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

LaHood: Chevy Volt is safe despite battery fires

WASHINGTON –

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the Chevy Volt is safe to drive even though the government is investigating fires caused by damage to the electric car's battery.

LaHood told reporters Tuesday that his department isn't trying to protect the maker of the Chevrolet Volt, General Motors, from possible repercussions from the government's safety investigation.

LaHood says his department isn't in the business of protecting the automobile industry.

Read more
In Michigan
6:19 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

AFL-CIO claims 66,000 in Michigan could lose jobless benefits

LANSING, MI –

The Michigan AFL-CIO is urging Congress to act to prevent an estimated 66,000 Michigan citizens from losing jobless benefits soon.

In a new report, the union says the current average federal benefit to the state's unemployed totals $296 a week. The funding is set to expire unless Congress acts by January 1.

The report also claims young people and people of color would be disproportionately impacted if benefits are not extended.

Read more
In Michigan
5:26 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Gov signs anti-bullying bill into law

LANSING, MI –

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a measure into law that requires all school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies. As Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, Snyder says the law is a good start.

Snyder says he was bullied from elementary school through college for being a nerd. He says no kids should have to endure that kind of torment, no matter the reason.

Read more
Top Stories
4:14 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Michigan governor signs anti-bullying measure

LANSING, MI –

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation giving schools six months to put anti-bullying policies into place.

The ceremonial signing took place Tuesday afternoon.

Michigan recently ended up in the national spotlight after GOP senators passed an anti-bullying bill that included a clause saying the legislation didn't "prohibit a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction."

Democrats say the exceptions would have made it even easier to bully.

Read more
WKAR Features
3:09 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Ingham commissioner Schor supports road agency change

Photo: Mark Bashore/WKAR

LANSING, MI –

After 98 years, the Ingham County Road Commission could come to an end soon. Next week, the county board of commissioners is expected to approve a measure that would bring road operations under its purview.

It's been a turbulent year at the road commission, with accusations of widespread dysfunction and the controversial departure of Operations Manager Jim Benjamin.

Read more
In Michigan
6:43 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Comerica: Michigan economy continues slow climb

LANSING, MI –

A new report shows Michigan's economy is continuing to take slow steps toward recovery.

Comerica Bank said in the monthly report released Monday that the state's September economic activity index rose one point over the month before. The index level is now 24 percent above the low it hit during the recession and slightly better than its year-ago level.

Comerica chief economist Robert Dye says Michigan's economy continues to improve as auto sales and vehicle production increase.

Read more

Pages