WKAR

In Michigan
9:48 am
Tue April 7, 2009

One in four Michigan residents uninsured

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - A new study says Michigan ranks below the national average of residents without health insurance.

The Families U-S-A report shows 28.8% of Michigan residents were uninsured for some time in 2007 and 2008.

The national average is 32.1%.

Ron Pollack is executive director of Families U-S-A.

He says the number of uninsured in the country has gone up because families cannot afford to pay the growing cost of premiums.

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In Michigan
9:46 am
Tue April 7, 2009

Regulator battles industry's use of credit scores

East Lansing, MI – Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
Michigan's top insurance regulator is challenging homeowner's insurance rates that were set using the clients' credit scores.

The state Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation has notified three companies that it's rejected their rate requests.

The agency says there's nothing in Michigan's insurance code that allows companies to look at their clients' credit scores.

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In Michigan
4:21 am
Tue April 7, 2009

MSU beaten by NC in NCAA Final; local crowds calm

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR) - Michigan State's magic evaporated when North Carolina claimed its fifth NCAA basketball championship with an 89-72 victory over the Spartans.

North Carolina started the season as the unanimous No. 1 pick and breezed through the tournament. They became the first team to win all six games by double digits since Duke in 2001.

The Spartans lost for the first time in three championship game appearances.

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In Michigan
4:20 am
Tue April 7, 2009

Breslin rally welcomes Spartans home

East Lansing, MI – EAST LANSING, MI (WKAR) - About 200 people attended a rally for the Michigan State University men's basketball team today, the day after the Spartans lost the national championship game to North Carolina.

Word of the rally only got out an hour or so before the team was scheduled to arrive back at their home, the Breslin Center, but the fans greeting for coach Tom Izzo and the team was energetic.

While dissappointed with the result, Izzo expressed pride in his squad.

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In Michigan
9:53 am
Mon April 6, 2009

New Supreme Court majority chips at GOP rulings

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (MPRN) - The new majority on the Michigan Supreme Court has begun chipping away at some of the precedents set when the court was controlled by Republicans.

The state Supreme Court's Republican majority was fractured last November when voters replaced GOP Justice Cliff Taylor with Democrat Dianne Hathaway.

The court is now controlled by a Republican majority in name only because Justice Betty Weaver sides so often with the three Democratic justices.

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In Michigan
9:52 am
Mon April 6, 2009

Governor predicts Spartans victory

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Governor Granholm says the MSU men's basketball team has become a symbol for a state that's struggling for respect.

The governor says the Spartans' success is not just a diversion from the problems people in Michigan are facing - such as the near-collapse of the auto industry, and the nation's highest unemployment rate.

She says MSU also represents Michigan's efforts to turn around its fortunes.

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In Michigan
9:51 am
Mon April 6, 2009

EL authorities plan for street celebrations

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (WKAR) - East Lansing authorities say they're prepared to keep the peace Monday night following Michigan State's appearance in the NCAA men's basketball championship game.

The Spartans tip off against North Caroline at 9:21 pm.

Authorities are preparing for a larger crowd than Saturday night after MSU's semi-final win.

East Lansing Police Detective Kevin Daley expects most will be well-behaved.

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In Michigan
9:49 am
Mon April 6, 2009

Medical marijuana patients go to Lansing

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Members of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association gathered in Lansing Monday to register for ID cards.

It was the first day of registration under the new law.

About fifty patients showed up at the Gone Wired Caf to travel downtown together.

Brad Forrester is a coordinator for the group.

He says everyone who signed up today needs medical marijuana to treat their pain.

Michigan is the thirteenth state to legalize medical marijuana.

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In Michigan
7:33 am
Mon April 6, 2009

60 arrests in East Lansing after Sat. game

East Lansing, MI – Police say there were about 60 arrests in East Lansing following Saturday night's MSU victory in the Final Four.

About two-thousand people were estimated to be in the Cedar Village area after the game. East Lansing police chief Tom Wibert describes the crowd as "celebratory."

The arrests were for offenses like throwing objects and indecent exposure.

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In Michigan
9:54 am
Fri April 3, 2009

Medical marijuana takes effect Saturday

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Michigan's medical marijuana law takes effect Saturday.

Patients can grow and smoke marijuana for medical purposes under the law passed by voters last November.

Jon Dunbar is a patient from Kalamazoo who suffers from a degenerative spinal injury that affects his ability to walk.

He says he started taking strong pain pills, but the side affects were too heavy.

So he began talking to doctors in other states with legalized medical marijuana.

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In Michigan
6:47 am
Fri April 3, 2009

Desmond Tutu to speak at Michigan State graduation

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State University says South African activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu will speak at the school's undergraduate commencement ceremony May 8.

The East Lansing school says it's giving Tutu an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Past honorees include Nelson Mandela, Coretta Scott King and Maya Angelou.

Tutu is the retired Anglican archbishop of Cape Town and became the first black general secretary of the South African Council of Churches in 1979.

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In Michigan
6:24 am
Fri April 3, 2009

Lansing area braces for worker shortage

East Lansing, MI – Kevin Lavery, WKAR Radio News
Local economists say the Lansing area workforce will decline once the state climbs out of recessions.

A study by the group 'Capital Area Michigan Works' finds the region's "replacement gap"--the inability to replace retiring workers with younger ones--is nearly five times the national average.

Between 2000-2007, the region's population growth rate lagged significantly behind cities such as Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor.

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In Michigan
6:19 am
Fri April 3, 2009

East Lansing ready for Final Four

East Lansing, MI – Gretchen Millich, WKAR Radio News
East Lansing residents and the police department are hoping for the best this weekend.

Michigan State University is heading into the NCAA Final Four, and the city wants to put an end to its history of riots.

Riots broke out after the M-S-U Spartans appeared in the final four in 1999 and in 2005.

And the memory of last year's Cedarfest - where 56 people were arrested - is still fresh.

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In Michigan
11:36 am
Thu April 2, 2009

Cartoonist Hopes His Humor Will Heal

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Lansing, MI – Full Description:
Lansing, MI (WKAR) - Since 2001, comic strip fans have been following the adventures of "Frazz," a beloved janitor who dispenses wit and wisdom to children in a fictious elementary school.

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In Michigan
9:55 am
Thu April 2, 2009

MEAP results show higher test scores

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Test scores in math rose for the fourth year in a row in the Michigan Education Assessment Program.

The 2008 MEAP test results were released Thursday.

While math, social studies and writing all showed higher test scores, reading scores saw some incremental slips in past years.

Marty Ackley is with the state Department of Education.

He says MEAP scores are a diagnostic tool for the schools.

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In Michigan
9:54 am
Thu April 2, 2009

Legal fight over Mich. girls sports will cost $6M

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (AP) - The Michigan High School Athletic Association has agreed to pay $6 million in legal fees in a landmark case that changed the seasons for girls basketball and volleyball.

The MHSAA would immediately pay $2.5 million, then make smaller annual payments until May 2015.

Without a settlement, the high school association could be on the hook for millions more, including interest.

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In Michigan
7:09 am
Thu April 2, 2009

Ingham Cty ID's cause of stomach illness at MSU

East Lansing, MI – Mark Bashore, WKAR Radio News

Ingham County health officials have identified norovirus as the cause of a sudden outbreak of intestinal illness at Michigan State University.

The contagious virus sent about 25 people---most of whom dined at MSU's Shaw Hall---to Sparrow Hospital for treatment of stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea beginning early Wednesday morning.

All of those afflicted were expected to be discharged on Thursday.

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Top Stories
7:02 am
Thu April 2, 2009

Mich. House OKs version of higher education budget

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (AP)

The Michigan House has passed a budget bill that would replace a proposed 3% funding cut to public universities with money from the federal stimulus package.

The higher education budget was passed by a 89-21 vote Thursday as the Democratic-led chamber began approving bills for the fiscal year that starts in October.

The measure now goes to the Republican-led Senate.

Final budget bills could look much different than the early versions passed Thursday.

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In Michigan
12:44 am
Thu April 2, 2009

A Frazzled View Into the Mind of Mallet

LANSING, MI – Lansing, MI (WKAR) - VIDEO EXTRA Cartoonist Jef Mallet on developing a character.

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In Michigan
9:56 am
Wed April 1, 2009

Montgomery meets with Granholm, economic team

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

President Obama's point man on helping communities struggling through the downturn in the auto industry was in Lansing Wednesday.

Ed Montgomery met for several hours with Governor Granholm and her economic team.

This was Ed Montgomery's first visit to a state heavily dependent on the car business since he was named to the job Monday.

But he's not completely new to Michigan.

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In Michigan
7:09 am
Wed April 1, 2009

Twenty MSU students treated for stomach illness

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI
Mark Bashore, WKAR Radio News

There's been a sudden, but so far isolated, outbreak of stomach illness at Michigan State University.

School officials report about twenty students who dined at Shaw Hall recently, began getting sick overnight on Wednesday.

They have been treated at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.

University officials have closed the Shaw Hall cafeteria until further notice.

Others remain open, but none are serving fresh produce.

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Top Stories
6:42 am
Wed April 1, 2009

Automakers post steep sales drops for March

Detroit, MI – Detroit, MI (AP)
March proved to be another dismal month for U.S. auto sales, as low consumer confidence and job insecurity kept buyers away from showrooms.

General Motors led the slide with a 45% U.S. sales plunge compared with a year earlier, while Ford reported a 41% drop.

Sales at Toyota and Chrysler both dropped 39%, while Honda reported a 36% decline.

Detroit-based GM sold a total of 155,334 light vehicles, while Ford sold a total of 131,102.

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In Michigan
9:58 am
Tue March 31, 2009

New GM CEO says more plants could close

Detroit, MI – Detroit, MI (AP) - General Motors Corp.'s new chief executive says more of the automaker's plants could close as part of GM's effort to meet new, tougher requirements for government aid.

In his first press conference as CEO, Fritz Henderson said Tuesday that he expects the company would "need to take further measures" in terms of plant closures.

He's referring to plants beyond the five plants the company said it would shutter when it submitted a restructuring plan to the government last month.

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In Michigan
9:57 am
Tue March 31, 2009

Governor to press Obama aide for auto aid

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Governor Granholm is scheduled to meet Wednesday in Lansing with President Obama's auto recovery director, Edward Montgomery.

The governor says she will continue to press her case for more aid for the Detroit auto companies.

The governor says she still hopes all the Detroit car companies can avoid bankruptcy.

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In Michigan
7:23 am
Tue March 31, 2009

Lansing council delays action on Cadillac Club

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI
Rob South, WKAR Radio News

After 10 hours of testimony and two hours of deliberation, the Lansing City Council failed to pass a resolution early Tuesday morning dealing with the Cadillac Club's Liquor License.

The Lansing Police Department wanted the council send a letter to the State Liquor Control Commission requesting that the club's Liquor License not be renewed after it expires at the end of April.

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Top Stories
11:20 am
Mon March 30, 2009

GM CEO Wagoner to step down at White House request

DETROIT (AP) – DETROIT (AP) - Rick Wagoner has stepped down as chairman and CEO of General Motors under pressure from the White House.

GM says in a statement today that president and chief operating officer Fritz Henderson is the Detroit automaker's new CEO.

Board member Kent Kresa has been named interim chairman of the GM board. The automaker says new directors will make up the majority of the board.

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Top Stories
11:19 am
Mon March 30, 2009

Granholm: Wagoner a "sacrificial lamb"

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Governor Granholm says General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner's resignation was necessary to win political support for the domestic automotive industry.

She appeared this morning on N-B-C's "Today" show to talk about the resignation. And she addressed the Obama administration's insistence that the Detroit carmakers need to do more restructuring.

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In Michigan
11:18 am
Mon March 30, 2009

Lansing UAW leader says Obama plan is a lifeline

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN/WKAR) - A union local leader says President Obama's two-month deadline for General Motors to come up with a new restructuring plan is a lifeline for the company.

Brian Fredline is the president of United Auto Workers Local 602.

The union represents workers at two Lansing-area GM plants.

Fredline says the plants he represents are state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly manufacturing facilities.

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Top Stories
11:16 am
Mon March 30, 2009

Granholm says comprehensive auto strategy needed

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Governor Granholm says the two-month deadline extended by President Obama to the Detroit car companies to complete reorg plans signals his faith in their future viability.

The governor says she was pleased to hear there's a strategy to create more demand for US-built cars and trucks.

She says government-backed vehicle warranties will help ensure buyers remain confident even if one or more of the car companies is forced into a managed bankruptcy.

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In Michigan
9:58 am
Mon March 30, 2009

Rep. Hoekstra announces candidacy for MI governor

East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - U.S. Representative Pete Hoekstra announced Monday he will run for governor of Michigan in 2010.

Michigan Pubic Radio's Laura Weber has this report.

The Republican congressman distanced himself from the unpopular tenure of President Bush.

Hoekstra says he was not well liked by the administration after trying to gut the president's "No Child Left Behind" legislation.

Hoekstra says he's a maverick within the G-O-P.

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