WKAR

In Michigan
6:19 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

GM retakes title of top-selling global automaker

DETROIT –

General Motors sold just over 9 million cars and trucks worldwide last year to reclaim the title of the world's top-selling automaker.

The company says it sold 9.03 million vehicles last year, up 7.6% from 2010.

That beat Toyota, which took the crown away from GM in 2008. Toyota sold 7.9 million vehicles last year. The March earthquake in Japan cut Toyota's factory production and hurt its sales.

Germany's Volkswagen took second place with a record 8.156 million sales in 2011. That was up 14% over 2010.

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In Michigan
6:14 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Mich. school district mulls use of novel 'Beloved'

PLYMOUTH, MI –

A committee in a suburban Detroit school district is expected to recommend whether Toni Morrison's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Beloved" should be removed from use in some of its high school classes.

The Detroit News reports (http://bit.ly/xhKrqc) that an update from the committee in Plymouth-Canton Community Schools is expected by Friday. The review began after two parents objected to the book's content.

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In Michigan
4:46 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

House panel opens hearings on health care exchange

LANSING, MI –

Tea Party activists and health care advocates packed a public hearing Thursday at the state Capitol. State lawmakers will decide over whether Michigan should create a website that would allow people to comparison shop for health insurance.

As Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, most people who showed up used he event to voice their opinion on the federal Affordable Care Act.

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In Michigan
4:27 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Snyder plans more education spending

LANSING, MI –

Gov. Rick Snyder says he intends to propose higher education spending in his upcoming budget proposal.

Snyder told The Associated Press in a Thursday interview that the 2012-13 budget proposal he'll present Feb. 9 will include more money for a number of areas.

He says that education "is one of those" areas. School districts were cut 2 percent cut this year.

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In Michigan
4:17 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Snyder State of the State focuses on unfinished tasks

LANSING, MI – Governor Rick Snyder used his 2012 State of the State speech to strike an optimistic tone about Michigan's future, and to refocus attention on what he says is unfinished business from last year.

In his second State of the State address, Governor Snyder got to start off with some good news - Michigan's unemployment rate fell in the final month of 2011 to the lowest it's been in over three years.

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In Michigan
1:05 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Lansing hospitals changing names

LANSING, MI –

Ingham Regional Medical Center is changing its name.

The hospital will now be known as McLaren-Greater Lansing. The new name reflects the hospital's relationship with McLaren Health Care.

Ingham Regional Orthopedic Hospital is also making a change. It will now be called McLaren Orthopedic Hospital.

The process of changing signs and uniforms to the new names has already begun.

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In Michigan
6:41 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Governor Snyder calls to tie up loose ends in speech

LANSING, MI – Governor Rick Snyder delivered his annual State of the State address at the state Capitol. He devoted part of the speech to unfinished business from last year that he would like to wrap up in 2012.

The governor told state lawmakers it's time to move forward with a long-stalled proposal to build a publically owned bridge between Detroit and Canada.

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In Michigan
6:26 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Democrats not impressed with Snyder SoS

LANSING, MI – Governor Rick Snyder said in his State of the State speech that he wants to make sure all kids in Michigan who graduate from high school are ready for college or advanced job training. Democratic state lawmakers say the policies the governor has supported so far have hurt that goal.

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In Michigan
6:29 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Michigan jobless rate falls to lowest point in 3 years

LANSING, MI –

New numbers from the state Department of Technology, Management and Budget show Michigan's unemployment rate dropped significantly faster than the national average in 2010. More from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta has more.

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In Michigan
6:22 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

U-M grad student claims lost job over union effort

ANN ARBOR, MI –

A University of Michigan graduate student claims she lost her job after supporting efforts to unionize graduate student research assistants.

The Detroit Free Press reports Wednesday that Jennifer Dibbern lost her research funding and was kicked out of her academic program. She tells the newspaper she wants to highlight a need to protect research assistants.

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In Michigan
6:18 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Ahead of militia trial, jury pool gets quizzed

DETROIT –

Prospective jurors have filled out a 30-page questionnaire in the case of seven people charged with trying to stir rebellion against the U.S. government.

The answers will help lawyers and Detroit federal Judge Victoria Roberts pick a jury starting Feb. 7. Roberts said Wednesday there are no right answers, just truthful ones.

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In Michigan
4:25 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Financial plan: Flint union contracts under review

FLINT, MI –

A financial plan from Flint's state-appointed emergency manager says city employee union contracts are currently under review for possible renegotiation.

The Flint Journal reports (http://bit.ly/zg2zDM ) that the plan includes Michael Brown's suggestions for reducing the city's projected $11.3 million deficit. A copy of the plan was released to the public Tuesday.

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WKAR Features
8:05 am
Wed January 18, 2012

East Lansing school kicks off "National Letter Writing Day"

Postman Dave Randall with students at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish School.
Photo: Dave Caszatt

EAST LANSING, MI – Students at the St. Thomas Aquinas Parish School in East Lansing have been learning a lot about how to write letters. So when the school's postman suggested a National Letter Writing Day, the principal agreed to kick off the event and to urge other schools in Michigan and across the country to join them in celebrating the art of letter writing.

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In Focus Today
7:52 am
Wed January 18, 2012

AUDIO: State of the State 2012

2012 Michigan State of the State Address

MPRN / WKAR

Lansing, MI – Michigan Public Radio Network coverage of Governor Rick Snyder's 2012 State of the State address.

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In Michigan
6:41 am
Wed January 18, 2012

MSU delays Broad Museum opening

Photo: Mark Bashore/WKAR

EAST LANSING, MI –

Michigan State University officials say they're delaying the opening of the Broad Art Museum until the fall.

A press release from the school says the postponement is due to construction material delays and the ability to better involve students in the fall.

The statement says the delay is not expected to change the project's budget.

The $40-45 million museum was scheduled to open April 21. MSU says it will announce a new date soon.

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In Michigan
6:38 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Governor Snyder to deliver SoS speech tonight

LANSING, MI –

Governor Snyder delivers his annual State of the State speech Wednesday at the state Capitol. It will be Snyder's second State of the State speech.

The governor says he will review what happened in 2011, but he wants to focus his message on the future and moving the state forward.

"Going to talk briefly about the vision, about the dashboard - where we are on several of the key metrics in 2011, 2012 - set the direction for the future and say, relentless positive action,'"

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In Michigan
6:17 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

MI Chamber of Commerce lays out legislative wish list

LANSING, MI –

Business advocates want state lawmakers to approve adequate funding to maintain Michigan's aging bridges and roads. As Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce says transportation funding will be a big issue for them in 2012.

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In Michigan
6:14 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Mich. governor to hold online town hall Thursday

LANSING, MI –

Gov. Rick Snyder plans to hold an online town hall with Michigan residents a day after giving his second State of the State address.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday. It will be streamed live on Facebook on the governor's Rick for Michigan page.

Residents can submit questions in advance at the state website. They also can post questions on the governor's Facebook wall or send a message on Twitter to the governor at (at) onetoughnerd using the hash tag, (hash) AskGovSnyder.

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In Michigan
4:16 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

House could take up new union restrictions

LANSING, MI –

Republicans in the state Legislature have proposed new restrictions and penalties on some types of union activities. As we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, union leaders say the measures mark a pattern of attacks on organized labor.

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In Michigan
3:20 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Sexton supporters organize to keep school open

Photo: Mark Bashore/WKAR

LANSING, MI –

Supporters of Sexton High School are mounting an effort to persuade Lansing Schools' administrators not to close the school.

'Save Our Sexton' is a coalition of teachers, alumni and others who are gathering signatures to present to the Lansing school board on Thursday night.

Spokesman Bill Morris says the process is complicated by the upcoming departure of Superintendent T.C. Wallace.

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In Michigan
3:20 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Stabenow has $6M on hand for race

LANSING, MI –

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow's campaign is reporting that the Michigan Democrat raised over $1.2 million in the last three months of 2011, leaving her with a $5.9 million campaign chest to ward off a Republican rival this fall.

Eight Republicans are vying for the chance to unseat Stabenow, who's running for a third term.

Ex-Rep. Pete Hoekstra's campaign reports he raised $1 million in the fourth quarter, while charter schools executive Clark Durant says he raised just over $600,000.

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In Michigan
2:51 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Protesters take EM fight to Snyder's door

ANN ARBOR, MI –

About a thousand protesters marched on Governor Rick Snyder's residential neighborhood in Ann Arbor on Monday night. They marched to ask Governor Snyder to repeal the state's controversial emergency manager law.

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WKAR Features
12:58 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

As MI schooling landscape expands, ex state Super urges quality

Teacher Dawn Smith and first graders at Lansing?s Cole Academy. As Michigan prepares for more chartered schools, an intense discussion over quality continues.
Photo: Mark Bashore/WKAR

LANSING, MI –

The charter school movement continues to gain momentum in Michigan. Last month, the state started lifting the cap on the number of charters allowed to operate. The new law has intensified an already vigorous discussion of how to improve education in both chartered and traditional schools.

WKAR's Mark Bashore spoke with former Michigan Schools Superintendant Tom Watkins about this transformation. He says it's important to remove politicized disputes from the process.

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In Michigan
6:24 pm
Mon January 16, 2012

Officials want to move Michigan turbine project

ADRIAN, MI –

Officials with a project that had called for wind turbines in Lenawee County want to move it to Gratiot or Ionia counties.

The Daily Telegram of Adrian reports (http://bit.ly/ytTrih) Exelon Wind, one of the partners on the Blissfield Wind Energy LLC project, says it hasn't given up on prospects for Lenawee County.

It says it needs to build the turbines this year, however.

The change would need to be approved by the state.

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In Michigan
6:18 pm
Mon January 16, 2012

Snyder to deliver 2nd State of the State address this week

LANSING, MI – Governor Rick Snyder will outline his plans for 2012 later this week when he delivers his second State of the State address.

Last year, Governor Snyder won legislative approval of a lot of new initiatives - a tax overhaul; toughening the state's local emergency manager law; and ending the requirement that stores put a price tag on every retail item.

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In Michigan
6:16 pm
Mon January 16, 2012

Mich. public universities list $4.2B unrestricted

DETROIT –

A published report says Michigan's public universities have about $4.2 billion on their books as "unrestricted" net assets.

The Detroit Free Press on Monday published details (http://on.freep.com/yiwyvk) of the figure, a 24 percent increase over the previous fiscal year, based on a review that it conducted of financial documents.

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In Michigan
6:48 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Sharpton to protest Mich. emergency takeover law

SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, MI – The Rev. Al Sharpton, U.S. Rep. John Conyers and others say they plan a demonstration outside Gov. Rick Snyder's gated community to protest what they say is a racially biased law that makes it easier for Michigan to take over financially struggling communities and school districts.

The protest is scheduled Monday afternoon on Martin Luther King Day near Snyder's home in Washtenaw County's Superior Township, near Ann Arbor.

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In Michigan
6:46 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Central Michigan 3-year contract details released

MOUNT PLEASANT, MI – Details have been released of a new three-year contract between faculty members at Central Michigan University and the Mount Pleasant school.

The university said in a statement issued Friday that the deal includes no salary increase during the first year, a 1.25 percent plus $830 increase during the second year and a 1.5 percent plus $835 increase during the third year.

The school's medical health insurance contribution is fixed at levels in effect for 2010-2011.

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In Michigan
6:24 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Snyder: EM law is not racist

LANSING, MI –

Governor Rick Snyder is defending Michigan's local emergency manager against charges from critics that state takeovers are racially motivated. Protestors are marching on the governor's personal residence Monday. Many of them are calling for the law to be repealed. More from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.

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In Michigan
6:19 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Autism legislation could gain momentum in 2012

LANSING, MI –

Governor Rick Snyder and Republican leaders in the Legislature say they plan to work on autism-treatment legislation in 2012. Michigan is one of 21 states that do not require insurance companies to cover autism treatments. Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber has more.

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