WKAR

In Michigan
6:33 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Report: Wall that crushed boy previously wobbled

WILLIAMSTON, MI –

A police report on the crushing death of a student at Williamston High School says a gym wall that collapsed was wobbly years earlier.

Fourteen-year-old Gabriel Corbett died Oct. 26 when a concrete wall fell on him at the school in Williamston, 20 miles east of Lansing. He'd been doing pull-ups on the wall after basketball practice.

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In Michigan
6:16 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Advocates speak out as MI liquor advisory board nears recommendations

LANSING, MI –

Advocates for strong liquor control laws say they are upset they were left out of meetings of an advisory board preparing to make recommendations on changes to alcohol rules that will eventually go to Governor Rick Snyder. Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber has more.

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In Michigan
6:12 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Computer glitch leads to challenge before MI Supreme Court

LANSING, MI –

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear a case Tuesday where an African-American man claims he was denied a fair trial because of a computer error. As we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, the error caused fewer jury notices to go to households in African-American neighborhoods.

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In Michigan
4:15 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

MSU survey shows support for Gov at all-time low

EAST LANSING, MI –

A new poll shows Governor Snyder's approval rating is at an all-time low among
Michigan residents.

Michigan State University's State of the State' poll shows only about one in five residents give the governor an excellent' or good' rating. Snyder's approval rating was about double that when he took office.

Charles Ballard is the director of the State of the State survey. He says Snyder's
support among his GOP base is eroding.

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In Michigan
4:15 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Michigan governor to sign anti-bullying measure

LANSING, MI –

Schools will have six months to put anti-bullying policies into place once Gov. Rick Snyder signs the measures into law.

A spokeswoman says the governor plans to do that 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.

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In Michigan
4:14 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Charter school expansion up for possible vote

LANSING, MI – The state House could vote this week on some controversial changes to K-12 education. The measures are part of a package that would allow more charter schools and more online schools.

State Representative Tom McMillin chairs the House Education Committee. He says it's important for lawmakers to approve the changes before they leave for a winter break.

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In Michigan
6:39 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Pensioner groups call for MI pension-tax repeal

LANSING, MI –

Advocates for senior citizens and retirees say state lawmakers who voted for the new tax on pensions will pay a political price in next year's re-election campaigns - unless they act soon to repeal the law. Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber has more.

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In Michigan
6:23 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

CMU faculty to vote on tentative deal in January

MOUNT PLEASANT, MICH – Central Michigan University faculty members plan to vote in January on whether to ratify a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract.

A statement provided to The Associated Press by CMU Faculty Association President Laura Frey on Friday says the vote will take place the first week of the spring semester, which begins Jan. 9.

An informational meeting for union members is Dec. 12.

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In Michigan
6:21 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Okemos won't use American Indian head logo

OKEMOS, MI –

A Lansing-area school district has decided to stop using an American Indian head logo for its high school.

The Lansing State Journal reports a letter announcing the elimination of the Chieftain logo was sent Thursday to parents at Okemos High School.

The decision was arrived at by a four-person committee originally formed in the spring of 2004. The letter says the committee made a good-faith effort to phase out the use of human imagery or the Indian head silhouette as the school logo.

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In Michigan
6:18 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Defense commission told bad lawyers cost taxpayers, children

LANSING, MI –

The state commission charged with the task of ensuring adequate legal representation for criminal defendants with court-appointed lawyers heard hours of testimony Friday at a hearing in Lansing. As we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, the commission was told taxpayers and, often, children pay the costs of a poor indigent defense system.

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WKAR Features
7:45 am
Fri December 2, 2011

MSU to play first Big Ten Championship game

EAST LANSING, MI – The first ever Big Ten Championship game on Saturday pits Michigan State University against Wisconsin. WKAR's Melissa Benmark talks with sports writer Jack Ebling about the historic event.

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In Michigan
6:14 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Detroit finances under preliminary review by state

LANSING, MI –

The state is beginning a preliminary review of Detroit's finances to determine if the city should be considered for takeover by an emergency manager.

State Treasurer Andy Dillon says he does not see bankruptcy as an option for Detroit.

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In Michigan
6:30 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Snyder vetoes first bill

LANSING, MI –

Governor Rick Snyder has vetoed a measure that would have outlawed state rules that are stricter than federal standards. As we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, this marks the first time during his 11 months in office he has rejected a bill sent to him by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

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In Michigan
6:26 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Detroit mayor: Move for state takeover premature

DETROIT –

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is sharply criticizing an expected state review of the city's finances, which is a first step toward a possible state takeover.

Bing told a Thursday news conference that Detroit is making progress on its budget and cash flow problems on its own.

A spokesman for Bing's office said earlier that a state review could begin as early as Friday. Bing says he opposes the move, which is the first step toward the appointment of an unelected emergency financial manager.

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In Michigan
4:58 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Senate approves unemployment benefits changes

LANSING, MI –

Republicans at the state Capitol have unveiled a plan to limit the issues over which lawmakers can be recalled. The Senate Republican proposal is in response to the swath of recall campaigns against lawmakers this year, most of them against the GOP. Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber has more.

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In Michigan
4:44 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Driver responsibility fee sent to Governor

LANSING, MI –

The annual fee paid by Michigan drivers with seven or more points on their licenses will soon be eliminated. Michigan Public Radio's Chelsea Hagger has this report.

The measure would eliminate the annual driver responsibility fee assessed for driving with an expired license, for failure to produce proof of insurance, and for not having no-fault insurance.

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In Michigan
4:42 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Snyder outlines workforce plans

UNIVERSITY CENTER, MI –

Governor Rick Snyder was at Delta College near Saginaw on Thursday to deliver a message on education and worker training. As Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports, the governor says there is a mismatch between the skills workers have, and what employers are looking for.

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In Michigan
4:15 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

GM reports November US sales up 7 percent

DETROIT –

General Motors Co.'s U.S. sales rose 7 percent in November, a sign the auto industry had a strong month.

The company sold just over 180,000 cars and trucks. GM was led by the Chevrolet Cruze. Sales of the compact car rose 64 percent. The company also reported strong pickup sales, with the Chevy Silverado up 34 percent.

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Top Stories
3:39 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Snyder unveils new initiative to remake workforce

UNIVERSITY CENTER, MI –

Gov. Rick Snyder wants to tie retraining programs to companies' needs, erase barriers keeping welfare recipients from work and encourage more Michigan residents to earn math and science degrees.

The initiative aims to make workers more competitive in the global marketplace. He was unveiling the plan Thursday at Delta College, the fifth in a series of policy addresses this year that have covered education, local government, health and infrastructure.

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In Michigan
3:27 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Derailment closes part of MLK

LANSING, MI –

Authorities have closed part of Martin Luther King boulevard in Lansing after a train derailment early Thursday afternoon.

Lansing Fire Department spokesman Stephen Babcock says MLK between Grand River and Marquette will be closed for at least 24 hours.

"There's been no injuries and there is no danger as far as from a materials' standpoint," he says. "It's going to take at least 24 hours to get crews on site to open the area up."

Babcock says two empty grain cars came off the tracks.

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WKAR Features
7:37 am
Thu December 1, 2011

New book, CD from Detroit rock legend Mitch Ryder

Mitch Ryder's autobiography, \"Devils and Blue Dresses\"

DETROIT, MI –

Motown wasn't Detroit's only source of music in the 1960's and 70's. The Motor City also spawned rock music stars like Bob Seger and Ted Nugent back in those days.

One of Detroit's biggest rock stars was Mitch Ryder. His string of hits as a solo artist and with the Detroit Wheels included Devil With The Blue Dress On, Sock It To Me, and Rock N Roll.

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In Michigan
6:47 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Mich.House panel OKs bill to allow more charters

LANSING, MI –

A proposal designed to allow more charter schools or public school academies in Michigan has taken a step forward.

The Republican-led House Education Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would end some numerical and geographical limits on charter schools. The bill passed by an 11-6, mostly party line vote and advances to the House floor.

The measure narrowly passed the Republican-led Senate in October.

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In Michigan
5:16 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

House GOP proposes short-term fix to home heating assistance

LANSING, MI –

State House Republicans have introduced a plan to help make sure low-income homes can keep the heat on through the coming winter. As Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, the plan is a short-term solution to a home-heating-assistance crisis in the state.

The proposal would tap into one-time federal funds to help pay for home heating assistance for the coming winter.

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In Michigan
3:34 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Governor to outline workforce training plans

LANSING, MI –

Governor Rick Snyder will deliver his fifth special message of the year Thursday at Delta College near Saginaw. The governor will outline a strategy to better match worker skills to positions that are available right now.

As we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, the governor is looking for ways to bring down Michigan's persistently high unemployment rate.

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In Michigan
3:28 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

UPDATE: Snowstorm brings power outages but no reported injuries

East Lansing, MI –

UPDATE:
Consumers Energy spokesman Tim Pietryga says there are about 600 customers still without electrical service in Ingham county. He says outtages Wednesday evening are concentrated in Holt and Okemos. Crews continue to restore power, but some may have to wait until 4 p.m. Thursday.

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In Michigan
11:47 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Ingham will consider disbanding road commission board

WKAR photo

LANSING, MI –

The Ingham County Board of Commissioners will consider a proposal to dismantle the county road commission board. The county services committee unanimously approved the tentative measure Tuesday night.

County Commissioner Andy Schor sponsors the proposal. He says the move would bring road operations under the direct authority of the board of commissioners and create a 'Department of Transportation and Roads.'

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WKAR Features
8:54 am
Wed November 30, 2011

With the Author: Book Traces the History of Jacobson's

Former Jacobson's store on Grand River in East Lansing. Photo: courtesy Ella Sharp Museum.

EAST LANSING, MI – 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.

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In Michigan
6:20 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Long line forms in cold for Fred Meijer visitation

GRAND RAPIDS, MI –

People have formed a long line in the near-freezing cold to pay their respects to retail pioneer Fred Meijer.

The billionaire businessman and philanthropist died Friday at Spectrum Health System in Grand Rapids after having a stroke in his home. He was 91.

The eight-hour visitation began Tuesday afternoon at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.

A private memorial service is set for Wednesday.

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In Michigan
6:18 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Jobless rates lower in all Michigan labor markets

LANSING, MI –

The state says seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates have decreased in all 17 major Michigan labor markets.

The figures for October were released Tuesday by the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, and they reflect seasonal reductions in the workforce. The statewide unadjusted jobless rate was 9.2 percent compared with 10.1 percent in September.

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In Michigan
6:15 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

State selects Prima Civitas exec as Flint emergency manager

LANSING, MI –

Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed an ex-acting mayor of Flint to be the city's emergency manager.

Snyder announced Tuesday that Michael Brown will be Flint's emergency manager. He's president of the East Lansing-based Prima Civitas Foundation and director of the Flint Area Reinvestment Office.

Brown will have broad authority to make changes in the financially troubled city, including the power to oversee city government and toss out union contracts in some situations.

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