WKAR

In Michigan
6:47 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Snyder re-pays himself $825,000 from campaign fund

LANSING, MI –

An end-of-the-year campaign finance statement shows Governor Rick Snyder accepted more than $800,000 from his campaign account last year. He used the money to partially re-pay himself for cash he lent the campaign when he was running for office. We have more from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.

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In Michigan
6:39 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Ingham official opposes immunity for banks

LANSING, MI –

An Ingham county official says a proposed multi-billion dollar settlement between the states and banks guilty of foreclosure fraud should not offer immunity. WKAR's Mark Bashore reports.

The tentative deal follows an investigation into some banks' use of bogus documents to seize homes.

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In Michigan
6:28 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Delta and two other townships to share fire services

DELTA TWP, MI –

Officials in three Lansing area townships have announced they'll begin sharing fire services soon.

The agreement calls for Delta Township to provide services to Eagle and Watertown townships beginning March 1. Administrators say the plan will save the three municipalities more than $150,000 dollars a year.

Lansing and East Lansing officials recently agreed to share a fire chief.

An ongoing regional study is expected to recommend further service consolidations around the Lansing area.

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In Michigan
6:22 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Auto thefts down in MI

LANSING, MI –

Pickup truck owners in Michigan should lock their vehicles and take the most care to prevent auto theft. A new report from the Auto Theft Prevention Authority shows the top ten stolen vehicles in the state are 10-15 year old trucks.

Dan Vartanian is with the prevention authority. He says it makes sense that thieves single-out older trucks.

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In Michigan
5:17 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

House panel sets up union limits for floor vote

LANSING, MI –

A Republican-led state House panel approved a package of bills Tuesday that includes tougher penalties for public employees who go on strike or threaten to strike -- and would make it easier for business owners to get an injunction against picketers. As we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, it would also make it harder for unions to automatically collect dues from their members.

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In Michigan
4:43 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Fewer young adults leaving Mich. for other states

AP –

Fewer people - especially young adults - appear to be leaving Michigan for other states.

Figures released Tuesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget show migration rates of 18- to 24-year-olds weren't as steep in 2009-10.

The migration rate for ages 18-19 topped 5.5 percent in 2008-09, compared with about 4 percent the following year. For 20- to 24-year-olds, out-of-state migration was about 5 percent in 2008-09 compared to about 4.5 percent in 2009-10.

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In Michigan
4:41 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Bernero stresses economic highlights in State of the City address

Lansing, MI – Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero struck an upbeat tone in his seventh State of the City Address Monday night. Bernero came armed with an array of positive statistics about rising housing markets and relatively low unemployment. But the mayor also recognized some difficult decisions ahead in 2012.

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In Michigan
4:41 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Stabenow: Time to close off Great Lakes

LANSING, MI –

A new report says the Great Lakes should be permanently closed off from the Mississippi River system to prevent Asian Carp from invading the lakes. The report from the Great Lakes Commission makes three suggestions on how the two waterways could be separated, with price tags that range from $3 billion to $9 billion.

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow says it's time to move forward with a plan.

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WKAR Features
11:06 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Lansing players part of nascent MI garment sector

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

LANSING, MI –

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. Several Lansing participants are playing key roles in the effort.

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In Michigan
6:35 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Justice frustrated over emergency-manager case

DETROIT –

More than five months after it was asked for a ruling, the Michigan Supreme Court still hasn't decided whether to declare if the state's new emergency-manager law is legal.

At least one justice is growing impatient. Justice Stephen Markman, a Republican, says it's time for the case to be "considered and resolved."

Opponents of the emergency-manager law filed a lawsuit last year to stop it. In August, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder asked the Supreme Court to leapfrog the lower court and quickly settle the matter.

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In Michigan
6:32 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Mich. schools face kindergarten funding changes

DETROIT –

Updated state rules mean that public schools in Michigan must offer all-day kindergarten to receive full funding for each kindergarten pupil starting in September.

The Detroit News reports Monday (http://bit.ly/zGwzes ) that the rules were approved last year by the Legislature. The state this month updated school districts about the half- and full-day options as well as the financial consequences.

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In Michigan
6:29 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Oakland University getting $21 million from donor

ROCHESTER, MI –

Oakland University says a donor who has requested anonymity is giving $21 million to the school to help enhance students' academic experiences.

The Rochester school said Monday that university President Gary Russi announced the donation in an email to the campus community. Russi says it's the largest single planned and cash gift from an individual in Oakland University history.

Russi says the gifts "will touch the lives of hundreds of student and faculty for generations to come."

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In Michigan
6:26 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Quicken Loans founder buys historic Detroit site

DETROIT –

Quicken Loans founder and chairman Dan Gilbert says his venture capital firm is buying downtown Detroit's historic Federal Reserve Building.

Gilbert said Monday that he hasn't landed a tenant for the 176,000 square-foot building but believes it's ideal for one occupant. The original building was constructed in 1927 and an eight-story annex was added in 1951.

The purchase price wasn't disclosed for the building, which has been vacant since 2004.

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In Michigan
6:19 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Lansing 2012 State of the City Address

Lansing mayor stresses economic growth in annual State of the City address

WKAR

Lansing, MI – Thank you President Jeffries. I look forward to working with you, Vice President Dunbar, Clerk Chris Swope and all of your colleagues in the year ahead. I also want to welcome our newest colleague, First Ward Councilmember Jody Washington.

Thanks to the Accident Fund, our gracious hosts tonight, for allowing us to gather in this amazing space.

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In Michigan
4:27 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Highland Park community leaders form commission against state take over

HIGHLAND PARK, MI –

The new emergency manager of Highland Park public schools begins work in the district Monday.

As Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, community activists gathered at the district's administrative building to unveil their plans to combat the emergency manager law.

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WKAR Features
12:57 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Fab Lab helps Michigan inventors

Mott Community College student William Denton (left) shows the Bungee Tight prototype to David Allen of Wow Products USA at the Fab Lab. Photo: Scott Pohl/WKAR

FLINT, MI –

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.

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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In Michigan
7:23 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Governor preparing budget proposal

LANSING, MI – Governor Rick Snyder says he has heard many opinions about how projected surplus tax revenue in the state budget should be spent.

The governor appears to have his own ideas as he prepares to present his budget proposal next week.

Governor Snyder says he agrees with the many Democratic lawmakers who want more money to be spent on education.

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In Michigan
7:23 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Bernero apologizes after 'Chief Chicken Little' remark

LANSING, MI –

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is taking heat from Indian representatives who say he made racially insensitive comments at a fundraiser as heated debate continues over his plans for opening a casino in Michigan's capital city.

James Nye is a spokesman for tribes challenging Bernero's casino plans and says he's been told Bernero called him "Chief Chicken Little" at last week's fundraiser.

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In Michigan
6:12 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Snyder names EM to run Highland Park schools

LANSING, MI –

There are now half a dozen emergency local managers in Michigan. As Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports, the Highland Park school district is the latest local government to face a state takeover for failing to manage its finances.

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In Michigan
5:25 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Man gets 6 mos. behind bars in MSU arson case

GRAND RAPIDS, MI –

A Detroit-area man has been sentenced to six months in prison for concealing what he knew about a major arson by environmental activists at Michigan State University.

Jesse Waters was seeking probation Friday, but the sentence still is far short of the maximum penalty of three years in prison. He also was fined $5,000.

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In Michigan
5:14 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

DNR officially moves gray wolf off endangered list

LANSING, MI –

The gray wolf no longer has endangered species protections in Michigan. The wolf was officially moved off the federal endangered species list Friday. And, as we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, state wildlife officials are now responsible for wolf management

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In Michigan
4:41 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Jackson County judge removed for misconduct

JACKSON, MI –

The Michigan Supreme Court has removed a Jackson County judge from office for misconduct.

District Court Judge James Justin was accused of dismissing traffic cases after talking to people in the hallway or elsewhere outside court. He also was accused of dismissing tickets for himself, his wife, friends and staff.

The Supreme Court unanimously ordered Justin's removal Friday. Justin has been a judge for decades in Jackson. He's been suspended with pay since July 2010.

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In Michigan
4:26 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Lawmakers weigh MI rail-to-trail dilemma

LANSING, MI –

A conversation about a small piece of unused train track in Petoskey has turned into a larger discussion about the future of train transit in Michigan. As Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, state lawmakers are weighing the benefits of converting old train tracks into recreational trails.

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WKAR Features
4:21 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

EL selects Lahanas as permanent city manager

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing has a new city manager. In a unanimous decision, the city council chose George Lahanas. He's acted as interim city manager since October. He's served East Lansing for 13 years, having previously worked as a labor relations specialist and deputy city manager. Lahanas says he's looking forward to working with the council on a permanent basis.

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In Michigan
4:16 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Mich. governor likes some of Obama's tuition ideas

GRAND RAPIDS, MI –

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says he liked some of President Barack Obama's ideas on college tuition restraint.

The Republican governor didn't attend the president's Friday speech at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor about holding down college costs. Instead, Snyder was in Grand Rapids addressing the Michigan Press Association's annual meeting.

Snyder declined to say whether he'll recommend more state money for universities, saying "that will be part of the budget message" on Feb. 9.

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In Michigan
2:08 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Spartan Stadium to get new video displays

The new scoreboard at the south end of Spartan Stadium will be ten times bigger than the existing scoreboard. Rendering: Courtesy Michigan State University

EAST LANSING, MI –

Michigan State University Trustees have approved a $10-million dollar project to upgrade scoreboards at Spartan Stadium.

The main video board at the south end of the stadium will be 5,400 square feet, about ten times the size of the existing scoreboard.

At the north end, two video boards will be in place. A video ribbon will link the two.

Deputy athletic director Greg Ianni says the new sound system will be a big improvement.

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In Michigan
7:57 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Governor to decide this week on Highland Park finances

LANSING, MI – Governor Rick Snyder will decide no later than Friday whether to appoint an emergency manager in the Highland Park school district in southeast Michigan. He says he is considering the recommendation of a financial review panel to appoint an emergency manager,as well as an appeal from the district.

Snyder says his goal is to make sure the district is not forced to shut down.

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In Michigan
6:51 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Lahanas chosen as permanent East Lansing city manager

East Lansing, MI – The East Lansing City Council has selected interim city manager George Lahanas to fill that post on a permanent basis. The decision ends a three-month national search process.

Lahanas was one of five finalists to apply for the job as city manager. He's a 13-year veteran of East Lansing government, having served as a labor relations specialist and deputy city manager.

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In Michigan
6:48 am
Fri January 27, 2012

MSU Trustees approve F-RIB site prep

F-RIB rendering. Courtesy Michigan State University

EAST LANSING, MI –
Michigan State University Trustees have approved proceeding with phase one of site preparation and excavation for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or F-RIB.

U-S Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently sent shock waves through the MSU community with comments expressing some doubt about the future of federal funding for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.

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In Michigan
6:48 am
Fri January 27, 2012

George Lahanas accepts EL city council's city manager offer

EAST LANSING, MI –

East Lansing interim city manager George Lahanas has accepted a city council offer to assume the position permanently. More on this story on 'All Things Considered' beginning at 4pm on 90.5/WKAR.

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