WKAR

In Michigan
5:41 am
Wed May 20, 2009

State House committee passes smoking ban legislation

Lansing, MI – A state House committee has approved legislation that would ban smoking in most workplaces. The legislation would exempt casinos, cigar bars and tobacco shops. The committee wrapped up a few months of testimony by voting for the three smoking ban bills.

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In Michigan
5:40 am
Wed May 20, 2009

Jobless rate grows to 12.9%

Lansing, MI – Michigan's jobless rate grew to 12.9% in April. This is the highest the jobless rate has been since November of 1983, when it hit 13%.

The state Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth says downsizing in manufacturing and construction was the leading cause of 18,000 more people becoming unemployed last month.

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In Michigan
6:28 pm
Tue May 19, 2009

Governor to sign home foreclosure bill

(Lansing, MI) – Governor Jennifer Granholm will sign legislation to give Michigan homeowners facing foreclosure a 90-day window to stay in their house and potentially work out a resolution with their lender.

The state Senate unanimously approved the bills Tuesday. The
House passed the legislation last week.

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In Michigan
7:14 am
Tue May 19, 2009

Lansing City Council approves parking ramp plan

(Lansing, MI) – (Lansing, MI) The Lansing City Council has approved the city budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. It includes plans to build a new parking ramp downtown.

Parking in Lansing has been a hot political topic in the past few months...and things are likely to heat up even further this summer.

WKAR City Hall reporter Rob South spoke with host Melissa Ingells about the issue.

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In Michigan
6:21 am
Tue May 19, 2009

Lansing City Council approves budget

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI -- The Lansing City Council last night approved the city budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1st.

City officials balanced the $117 million budget by keeping 40 vacant jobs unfilled, raising ambulance fees and improving enforcement of vehicle weight limits.

The budget also includes spending $6 million on a new parking ramp adjacent to the Lansing Center downtown.

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In Michigan
6:21 am
Tue May 19, 2009

House committee to vote on smoking ban

(Lansing, MI) – A state House committee plans to vote today on a workplace smoking ban.

The House committee heard testimony over the past few months. Casino executives want to be exempt from the ban because they say it would hurt business and cause them to get rid of employees, but doctors say there should be no exemptions because the chemicals in second-hand smoke will slowly kill employees anyway.

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In Michigan
5:45 pm
Mon May 18, 2009

Nader: Automaker restructuring needs more scrutiny

New York , NY – NEW YORK (AP)
Ralph Nader is calling on Congress to hold hearings into dealership and factory closures at automakers Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp.

The consumer activist and former presidential candidate sent a letter Monday to Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank saying Congress should take a more active role overseeing the automakers' restructuring before "irreversible measures" are taken.

The restructuring has so far been led by the autos task force, a group of advisers appointed by President Barack Obama.

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In Michigan
5:25 pm
Mon May 18, 2009

Suburb assembles plans to lure GM HQ from Detroit

Warren, MI – WARREN, Mich. (AP)
A suburban Detroit mayor is putting together proposals to lure General Motors Corp.'s headquarters from downtown Detroit to the automaker's Warren Tech Center. Warren Mayor Jim Fouts says Monday he expects to deliver his plans to GM by the federal government's June 1 restructuring
deadline.

GM's design, engineering and other operations are at the Tech Center, about 20 miles northeast of its Renaissance Center headquarters.

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In Michigan
4:41 pm
Mon May 18, 2009

Official: Stimulus alone won't fix the economy

Lansing, MI – The federal government has sent Michigan $3.8 billion in stimulus money since President Obama signed the recovery act three months ago. The state has used that first round of money to help balance its budget, to avoid cutting people off Medicaid, to extend the length of jobless benefits, and to launch construction projects.

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In Michigan
10:50 am
Mon May 18, 2009

Court candidate Granholm to be at White House

Washington, DC – WASHINGTON, DC (AP)
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, one of President Barack Obama's candidates for the Supreme Court, will be at the White House on Tuesday. An administration official says the Democratic governor is coming to the White House for an event unrelated to the Supreme Court. It is not clear whether Granholm will be meeting with Obama about the upcoming vacancy on the court.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because details of
Tuesday's event have not been announced.

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In Michigan
6:16 am
Mon May 18, 2009

Granholm expected to visit White House

Lansing, MI – Governor Granholm is expected to visit the White House today so she can participate in an announcement on new vehicle emissions standards.

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In Michigan
6:15 am
Mon May 18, 2009

Chrysler dealer cuts mean deals

DETROIT (AP) – DETROIT (AP) - There are 44,000 potential bargains at nearly 800 Chrysler lots across the country. The automaker is dropping the dealers as part of its
wide-ranging restructuring plan designed to leave it with a leaner
network of about 2,400 showrooms.

The dealers being shuttered have just a few weeks to sell their Chryslers, Dodges and Jeeps or risk losing thousands of dollars on them. That means big savings for buyers.

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In Michigan
6:05 am
Mon May 18, 2009

Governor says she's anxious to approve foreclosure relief

Lansing, MI – The state Senate is expected to vote this week on legislation to help homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments. Governor Granholm says she's anxious to sign it.

Michigan had the nation's sixth-highest foreclosure rate in the first quarter of 2009, and reported roughly 11 thousand foreclosure filings last month.

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In Michigan
6:10 pm
Fri May 15, 2009

Michigan schedules 6 furlough days for this summer

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (AP)
Michigan plans to schedule the bulk of its six upcoming unpaid furlough days for most state employees on Fridays in June, July, August and September. That is expected to close many state offices on those days except for essential services.

The state says Friday that where "administratively feasible" the furlough days will be June 19, July 6, July 24, August 7, August 21 and September 4.

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In Michigan
5:15 pm
Fri May 15, 2009

Ingham reports first case of H1N1

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR Radio)

Ingham County has its first confirmed case of the H1N1 flu virus. County Medical Director Dean Sienko says the virus was confirmed in a 49-year-old man by the Michigan Department of Community Health. The man has NOT been hospitalized and is recovering.

County officials say they anticipate more confirmed cases in Ingham County, as the H1N1 virus continues to spread throughout the world.

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In Michigan
2:13 pm
Fri May 15, 2009

Economists peg 09-10 deficit at $1.7 billion

Lansing, MI – Lansing, Mi (MPRN)
State economists this morning estimated Michigan's budget deficit for the coming fiscal year will be $1.7 billion.

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In Michigan
1:33 pm
Fri May 15, 2009

More Michigan budget cuts planned for 2009-10

Lansing, MI – Michigan's budget director says state departments will be asked to submit 8% cuts for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

Lawmakers still are working on budget bills for the next fiscal year based on Gov. Jennifer Granholm's February proposal. But with revenues shrinking, budget director Bob Emerson said Friday that departments are being asked to trim 8% from that earlier plan.

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In Michigan
8:15 am
Fri May 15, 2009

GM Sends Termination Letters to Dealers

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR Radio)
Many Lansing-area GM dealers are still waiting for notification from the automaker that their franchise agreements will not be renewed. General Motors began sending letters to 1,100 dealerships across the country Thursday.

GM says it wants underperforming retailers who sell fewer than 35 cars each year to "wind down" by the end of 2010. The company has chosen not to release its dealer closure list.

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In Michigan
6:08 pm
Thu May 14, 2009

Dow seeks federal funds for Midland battery plant

Midland, MI – Midland, MI (AP)
Dow Chemical Co. says it wants to create a $665 million facility to manufacture advanced batteries in Midland.

Dow Chairman and Chief Executive Andrew Liveris announced Thursday at the company's annual meeting that KD Advanced Battery Group has listed Midland as its preferred site for the project on an application for federal funding. The group is a partnership of Midland-based Dow, Missouri-based Kokam America Inc. and others.

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In Michigan
5:44 pm
Thu May 14, 2009

Michigan still working on employee furlough plan

Lansing, MI – Lansing, Mich. (AP)
The state of Michigan still is trying to determine exactly how it will schedule furlough days for roughly 38,000 of its employees.

The move is expected to save the state about $21.7 million. It is part of a plan to eliminate a projected $1.3 billion budget deficit in an executive order issued by Gov. Jennifer Granholm last week. More than half of the state's 53,000 state employees will be required to take at least six furlough days before Sept. 30.

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In Michigan
5:13 pm
Thu May 14, 2009

State Senate GOP unveils statewide healthcare plan

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR Radio)

Republican state senators unveiled a plan Thursday to ensure medical care for poor people who do not have health coverage. The legislation would create a pool that would be funded by all the companies that sell insurance in Michigan, and by fees charged to doctors and hospitals. The MI-Health fund would cover people well below the poverty line.

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In Michigan
5:02 pm
Thu May 14, 2009

Okemos GM dealer expects area closings

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR)

A GM car dealer in Okemos says he expects several car dealerships in mid-Michigan will get bad news from General Motors Friday. General Motors is thinning the ranks of dealerships nationwide to make those remaining more profitable.

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In Michigan
3:14 pm
Thu May 14, 2009

Chrysler to shutter four Lansing-area dealerships

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR Radio)
Chrysler has identified four Lansing area dealerships it wants to shut down due to Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The dropped dealers include Story Chrysler Jeep on Michigan Avenue in Lansing and Beacon Sales in Charlotte.

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In Michigan
6:17 pm
Wed May 13, 2009

AP source: Obama has more than 6 people for court

Washington, DC – WASHINGTON (AP)
A source tells The Associated Press that President Barack Obama is considering Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and more than five other people as nominees for the Supreme Court.

An official familiar with Obama's decision-making said others include Solicitor General Elena Kagan, California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Appeals Court judges Sonia Sotomayor and Diane Pamela Wood - people who have been mentioned frequently as potential candidates.

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In Michigan
6:10 pm
Wed May 13, 2009

State House passes home foreclosure bills

Lansing, MI – State House Democrats and the Senate GOP found middle ground Wednesday on foreclosure legislation that would give homeowners 90 days to work with lenders.

Foreclosure bills have travelled back and forth from the House and Senate for a couple months. Democrats wanted to include the threat of court proceedings as incentive for lenders to work with homeowners. Republicans argued the only group benefiting from the courts was trial lawyers.

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In Michigan
5:14 pm
Wed May 13, 2009

Groups protest MI budget cuts

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (MPRN)

People opposed to the hundreds of millions of dollars in state budget cuts were at the state Capitol Wednesday. It's a near-daily occurrence since Governor Granholm's cuts were unveiled last week, and approved by legislative committees.

Advocates for senior citizens, people with disabilities, and law enforcement are all trying to make their case that there are better options than cutting their budgets.

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In Michigan
3:17 pm
Wed May 13, 2009

More bad news ahead for Michigan state budgets

Lansing, MI – LANSING, Mich. (AP)
Michigan's economic difficulties are worse than state analysts expected just a few months ago. That's creating more bad news for the state budget situation because of declining tax revenues. The latest report came Wednesday from the Senate Fiscal Agency.

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In Michigan
2:02 pm
Wed May 13, 2009

Michigan adds 69 species to endangered list

Traverse City, MI – TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP)
Dozens of plants and animals have been added to the list of species that may disappear from Michigan. The Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday the state's threatened and endangered species list has been updated to add 69 members. Among them are several freshwater mollusks and a bird called the cerulean warbler.

The endangered list now includes 396 species.

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In Michigan
1:55 pm
Wed May 13, 2009

Auto suppliers lobby for federal support

Washington, DC – Washington, DC (AP)

Auto suppliers are asking lawmakers for federal support, warning that the U.S. supply base could buckle under from the declining fortunes of General Motors and Chrysler. Several small auto suppliers said during a congressional hearing Wednesday that Chrysler's bankruptcy has left them in limbo, with some awaiting payment for millions of dollars worth of parts. The companies manufacture tooling, plastic molds and metal castings for cars and trucks.

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In Michigan
9:08 am
Wed May 13, 2009

Reports: GM to export China-built cars to US

SHANGHAI (AP) - – SHANGHAI (AP) - Reports say General Motors Corp. plans to begin exports of vehicles made in China to the United States within two years.

A spokeswoman for GM in China did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reports, which are said to be based on a company recovery plan given to U.S. lawmakers.

The Shanghai Securities News and other reports today say GM intends to sell 17,335 made-in-China passenger cars in the U.S. market by 2011. It says by 2014 exports would triple to more than 51,000.

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