WKAR

In Michigan
6:12 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Shipwreck fragment found at Sleeping Bear Dunes

EMPIRE, MI –

A piece of a shipwreck that experts believe is from a schooner that sank 140 years ago has washed up along Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

The Grand Rapids Press reports (http://bit.ly/ynmAuE) the hull piece was found Sunday by photographer Mark Lindsay of Kingsley, who was taking a walk through the dunes north of Empire along Michigan's northwestern Lower Peninsula.

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In Michigan
6:08 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Wayne State board OKs tougher admissions policy

DETROIT –

Wayne State University's board has approved a tougher new admissions policy aimed at boosting the school's graduation rate.

The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press report the proposal was approved Wednesday.

Under the plan, incoming freshmen would be evaluated differently. Applicants will either be accepted by the school, told they need to complete an eight-week summer program first or be encouraged to do something else like community college.

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In Michigan
4:41 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Suspected diesel spill found in Kalamazoo River

BATTLE CREEK, MI –

Authorities say a suspected diesel fuel spill has been found in the Kalamazoo River at Battle Creek.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports (http://bcene.ws/yarExx) the spill was found Wednesday in a drainage ditch that's fed by storm sewers. Officials in the southern Michigan city searched Thursday for the source.

Brian Kelly, an on-scene coordinator for the Environmental Protection Agency, estimated that several hundred gallons of suspected diesel fuel was in the system that empties into the river.

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In Michigan
6:31 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Snyder questions approach of fellow GOP governors

WASHINGTON –

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is questioning the approach of his fellow Republican governors in the upper Midwest.

He said in an interview with The Associated Press that their efforts to push through divisive legislation may make governing more difficult in the long run.

Snyder says he sees large protests in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana about anti-union laws as unfortunate. He says pushing the contentious legislation means those states will have to overcome divisiveness and hard feelings in the future.

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In Michigan
6:19 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Secretary of state paid $1,325 in campaign fines

LANSING, MI –

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, whose job includes enforcing Michigan's campaign finance laws, paid $1,325 in fines last year for failing to file her campaign's own information in a timely manner.

The Detroit Free Press reports (http://on.freep.com/zs3DFu) the fines were revealed Tuesday in campaign finance reports filed with her office.

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In Michigan
6:03 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Snyder: 2012 not the time for right to work

WASHINGTON –

A law signed Wednesday makes Indiana the first right-to-work state in the industrial Midwest. That has stirred discussions in Michigan on the topic. And - as we hear from Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta -- Governor Rick Snyder was asked for his thoughts on right to work as he testified in Washington D.C. before a congressional committee.

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In Michigan
4:25 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Wayne State proposes tougher admissions policy

DETROIT –

Wayne State University officials are proposing a tougher new admissions policy that could reduce the student population by about 5 percent.

The Detroit News reports (http://bit.ly/Agxnuq) the proposal was to be presented Wednesday to the school's Board of Governors.

Under the plan, incoming freshmen in 2013 would be evaluated on their entire academic record, along with an essay, instead of the current policy of using a student's grade point average and ACT score for determining admissions.

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In Michigan
4:14 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Community college baccalaureate degrees before Senate panel

LANSING, MI –

Community college students may soon be able to get a bachelor's degree without transferring to a four-year college or university. As Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, a bill before a state Senate panel would allow community colleges to offer the degrees in a few fields.

The measure would allow community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees in culinary arts, maritime studies, concrete technology, energy production, and nursing.

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In Michigan
11:40 am
Wed February 1, 2012

MSU continues national children's study

East Lansing, MI – One year ago, researchers at Michigan State University began a sweeping 21-year national study of childhood health. The MSU team is leading a statewide an effort to document environmental health effects among children in Wayne County. The study will ultimately involve up to 100,000 families in 30 sites across the country. Four thousand families are in Michigan alone.

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WKAR Features
7:55 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Suzy Bogguss leads sing-along at Mid-Winter Singing Festival

Suzy Bogguss will lead a sing-along of her favorite folk songs at the Mid-Winter Singing Festival.
Photo: Courtesy of Suzy Bogguss

East Lansing, MI – Suzy Bogguss is best known as a country music singer. She's had top ten hits on country music radio, and she's won Grammys and CMA awards, but Bogguss always loved folk music. Last summer, she put out a CD of traditional folk songs called American Folk Songbook.

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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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