WKAR

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network Lansing, MI LANSING (MPRN) - Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich was in Lansing Tuesday. He testified before a state Senate committee on health care reform. Gingrich has been working on health care reform since retiring from Congress. He says making everyone's medical records electronic is key to ensuring proper care. And he says people need to take more responsibility for their health by quitting smoking, eating well, exercising, and...

By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network Lansing, MI LANSING (MPRN) - State House Democrats approved a plan to give Michigan homeowners a 90-day reprieve when facing foreclosure. Democrats say the bill will benefit borrowers and lenders. But House Republicans say the measure would flood courts with too many new lending disputes. Democrat Andy Coulouris sponsored the plan. He says some lenders may not like the bill, but the reprieve will help protect home values, which benefits everyone...

By Kevin Lavery Lansing, MI LANSING (WKAR) - The Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation is denying the request of seven auto insurance companies who've asked permission to enact rate increases. The state says those companies are using discriminatory tactics. The disapproved insurers include such names as Progressive and Michigan Millers. Insurance regulator Ken Ross says those companies use credit scoring to determine how high to set their premiums. The state banned that...

By Scott Pohl, WKAR Radio News East Lansing, MI EAST LANSING (WKAR) - The 94th annual Agriculture and Natural Resources Week is underway at Michigan State University. Programs focus on activities ranging from fishing, to pesticide education, to breeding rabbits. Spokesperson Laura Probyn says there's an emphasis on helping farmers find new ways to sell what they produce. One example of that is cheese-making. Natural resources programs include a discussion on the Michigan Wildlife Action Plan...

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio News Lansing, MI The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled the state attorney general cannot subpoena the records of a psychologist unless patients give their okay. Psychologist Gerard Williams was accused of over-billing. The attorney general, acting on behalf of the state Department of Community Health, filed subpoenas seeking records related to 10 of Williams' patients. Williams refused to turn over the files, saying his office contacted the patients,...

By Scott Pohl, WKAR Radio News East Lansing, MI EAST LANSING (WKAR) - The Michigan State University men's tennis team is traveling to California for a series of matches next week, but before those matches, they'll spend some time in an unusual setting for tennis. They'll visit San Quentin prison, where a tennis program has become part of the exercise and discipline regimen for inmates, some of whom are incarcerated for life. A few years ago, private donations and a grant from the U.S. Tennis...

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network Lansing, MI Michigan's January jobless rate of 11.6% does not include people who gave up looking for work, or have part-time jobs. Those groups boosted Michigan's unemployed-and-under-employed rate to 18.7% State and federal statistics show almost 352,000 people in Michigan had either given up looking for work in the past year, or were holding part-time positions while seeking full-time employment. Sharon Parks is with the Michigan League for...

By Rob South, WKAR Radio News East Lansing, MI EAST LANSING (WKAR) - The author of a book on General Motors says news that the auto maker's auditors have doubts about its future isn't surprising. William Holstein, author of the book, Why GM Matters , was in town for a book tour Thursday. Holstein says the auditor's report was a formality and that GM's situation hasn't changed. He says bankruptcy isn't an option and GM needs more financial help from the government for it to stay in business....

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-826763.mp3 Audio Feature Lansing, MI Lansing, MI (MPRN) -- A group of property owners brought their case against Dow Chemical to the Michigan Supreme Court today. It's been almost six years since the property owners first went to court, claiming dioxin contamination made their homes unsafe, and reduced their property values. People who live downriver from Dow's plant in Midland...

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-828910.mp3 Lansing, MI Lansing, MI (MPRN) -- A group of property owners brought their case against Dow Chemical to the Michigan Supreme Court today. It's been almost six years since the property owners first went to court, claiming dioxin contamination made their homes unsafe, and reduced their property values. People who live downriver from Dow's plant in Midland believe they...

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-828912.mp3 Lansing, MI Lansing, MI (MPRN) -- Michigan can expect about $18 billion from the economic recovery bill signed today by President Obama. Some of it will be in the form of tax breaks. Some of it will be funding for public works projects that will create jobs. State and local officials say they're anxious to put the money to work as soon as possible. And they hope that...

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-828914.mp3 Lansing, MI Lansing, MI (WKAR) - A coalition will launch a campaign tomorrow to get state officials to act on a report issued last June. It says Michigan fails to ensure that people who can't afford an attorney get proper legal representation, and the state may be violating the U.S. Constitution. But fixing the problem will require money the state does not have during a...

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-828917.mp3 Lansing, MI Lansing, MI (MPRN) -- Governor Jennifer Granholm's budget request for the coming fiscal year cuts money for schools, universities, prisons, and health care. The governor says the recommendations are painful. But she says the plan attacks the built-in spending pressures that created years of recurring budget deficits. In the past, Governor Granholm and the...

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