East Lansing, MI – A mid-Michigan institution is presenting a special performance Thursday night. The Michigan State University Children's Choir is saying goodbye to its founding director, Mary Alice Stollak. After 16 years at the helm, Stollak is preparing to retire. In that time, Stollak has shaped a choral group that's risen from small-town admiration to international acclaim.
Lansing, MI – LANSING, MI (AP) State regulators are letting Michigan's second-largest utility raise residential electric rates, but not as much as the utility wanted.
The Public Service Commission on Tuesday ordered Consumers Energy Co. to offset any residential rate increase it plans to automatically implement Thursday with proceeds from the sale of a nuclear plant.
Regulators estimate the average Consumers Energy household will see a $2.99 hike on their monthly bill for six months, an increase of more than 3%.
Okemos, MI – The Okemos Board of Education has voted to close two elementary schools. Wardcliff and Central schools will both shut down after the 2009-2010 school year.
The Lansing State Journal says the closings will save the district $1,500,000 a year.
The three remaining elementary schools in the district will house kindergarten through fourth grades. The two middle schools will be converted to house fifth and sixth graders in one building, and seventh and eighth graders in the other.
Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (MPRN) - State House Democrats announced a plan yesterday to make statewide healthcare accessible for everyone.
The healthcare plan would create a pool of money to cover the costs of catastrophic medical events for the uninsured. No one would be turned away from receiving treatment, and no one would be rejected from an insurance company for a preexisting medical condition.
Lansing, MI – Governor Granholm says she still hopes General Motors can avoid bankruptcy court.
She says this is a "critical time" for Michigan as GM negotiates with its unions and its creditors on a deal to keep it out of bankruptcy. She says it should be a last resort, but that there are bondholders that may not agree to the conditions GM set out.
Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (WKAR) - The Lansing City Council has again rejected a proposal to sell the North Capital Parking Ramp to Lansing Community College. Supporters say the $2.7 million deal would have kept the city from having to invest millions of dollars in repairs to the 40-year-old structure. They also say it would have prevented LCC from building a new parking ramp adjacent to a residential neighborhood.
East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - State House Democrats unveiled legislation Monday that would create a new plan to make statewide healthcare more accessible. Insurance companies would not be allowed to reject or raise rates for sick people. The plan would create a catastrophic emergency pool, which would cover $25,000 in medical costs per person, per year.
East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis says more money is coming to Michigan to help displaced auto workers. The labor secretary announced the state qualified for accelerated payments from the National Emergency Grant program because it has the nation's highest jobless rate, and it has programs ready to help retrain workers.
Some of the $6 million will also help pay for jobless benefits for 1500 workers.
East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR) - Legendary TV newsman Dan Rather will address Michigan State University students receiving their graduate degrees this evening. The commencement ceremony begins at 7 p.m. in the Breslin Center.
Since leaving CBS News, Rather has been hosting "Dan Rather Reports," a weekly program of investigative reports and international news on HDNet, a high-definition channel available on cable and satellite services.
East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - The state Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether insurance companies can use credit scores to help set their customers' rates for auto and homeowners' coverage.
The state's highest court is stepping in to settle a long-running feud between Governor Granholm and the insurance industry over using credit scores to set rates.
The governor says using credit scores is arbitrary, and doesn't accurately reflect the risk that a customer will file a claim.
Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (AP) - Michigan is scaling back its emergency response to the swine flu outbreak now that it has been determined the virus is not severe and is comparable to the seasonal flu.
The state on Wednesday deactivated the Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center.
The emergency center had been partially activated last week to monitor the swine flu outbreak.
Michigan announced no new confirmed or probable cases Wednesday.
East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR) - The Lansing School District will hold an informational meeting for parents at Grand River Elementary School Tuesday night.
The district is closing Grand River and another elementary school, Moores Park, in June. It's part of a plan to address declining enrollment, budget problems and aging school buildings in the district.
Parents, teachers and administrators fought to save Moores Park Elementary and so did its neighbors.
Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (AP) - A Michigan Senate panel has voted to eliminate entrance fees for state parks and instead give motorists the option of paying $10 more in annual vehicle registration fees.
It now costs $6 daily and $24 annually to use state parks.
Vehicle stickers would disappear under legislation approved Wednesday by the Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee.
A Michigan license plate would provide unlimited access to parks.
East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - A state House committee opened hearings Wednesday on repealing a law that allows judges to send violent juvenile offenders to prison for life with no chance of parole.
State Representative Dan Scripps says the state has too many people convicted as juveniles locked up with no chance of ever being released.
Tearful family members of victims asked the state House Judiciary Committee to keep the law as it is.
Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (WKAR) - Like many urban districts across the country, the Lansing school system is struggling with steadily declining enrollment.
Late last year, the school board appointed a task force to find ways to downsize the district to cut its losses. The task force came up with a so-called 'right sizing' plan that presented a smaller infrastructure, and a blueprint for a number of large-scale improvements.