WKAR

In Michigan
6:12 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Iraqi woman from Detroit, age 111, sworn in as US citizen

STERLING HEIGHTS, MI –

An Iraqi native from southeast Michigan has become a U.S. citizen at age 111.

WWJ-AM reports that Warina Zaya Bashou took the oath of citizenship Friday at her Sterling Heights home, north of Detroit.

The radio station says Bashou was surrounded by about a dozen relatives and friends during the ceremony.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman Marilu Cabrera says Bashou was born in 1900 and is the second-oldest person on record to be naturalized.

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In Michigan
5:26 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Moroun, Stamper ask court again for freedom

DETROIT –

Lawyers for two jailed Ambassador Bridge executives are trying again to win their release at the Michigan appeals court.

A three-judge panel turned down the request Thursday night after attorneys cited the wrong law. The case has been refiled.

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In Michigan
5:13 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Tea partiers try to unite behind 1 Senate entrant

LANSING, MI –

Many of Michigan's tea party activists are trying to coalesce behind one of the eight Republicans running for the chance to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

But former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra fears the setup favors one of his rivals and plans to skip a Saturday Senate debate with tea partiers at Central Michigan University. Five of the GOP hopefuls are participating in the event.

The internal politics could hurt the GOP's chances of denying Stabenow a third term.

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In Michigan
6:44 am
Fri January 13, 2012

Michigan budget surplus pegged at $457 million

LANSING, MI –

Good news for Michigan's economy was tempered with a dose of caution in forecasts made Friday at the state Capitol. State officials were told Michigan is in a sustained economic recovery. But, as we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, job and salary growth is expected to slow down this year.

Economists say growth will slow down in 2012 and beyond. But that's still better news than what people got used to during a decade-long recession.

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In Michigan
6:43 am
Fri January 13, 2012

Court: Release bridge executives from jail

DETROIT –

The Michigan appeals court has ordered the release of Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel "Matty" Moroun and his top business associate after a night in jail for contempt.

The one-page decision was released Friday, a day after lawyers for Moroun and Dan Stamper were turned down on their first appeal.

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WKAR Features
6:41 am
Fri January 13, 2012

Under the Radar: <em>Between Heaven and Mirth</em>

EAST LANSING, MI – Lev Raphael has a book that might help you through the post-holiday letdown. He spoke with WKAR's Melissa Benmark.

LEV RAPHAEL: It's called Between Heaven and Mirth by James Martin, and I brought it in because I think this will make you laugh and make you think about life in a much more positive way. And we could all use that at this dark time of the year. Especially since the holidays, in which we're supposed to feel happy, don't always turn out that way.

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In Michigan
6:46 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Gov.: Highland Park schools in financial crisis

HIGHLAND PARK, MI –

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has informed Highland Park schools officials that a financial emergency exists in the district, paving the way for the state to appoint an emergency manager.

The Republican governor announced the decision Thursday, acting on recommendations of a 10-member review team. Snyder said in a statement that the district in the small city partially surrounded by Detroit "faces monumental financial challenges."

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In Michigan
6:41 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Report: MI student debt climbed during recession

ANN ARBOR, MI –

A new report says the amount of student debt in Michigan rose sharply during the recent recession. The Michigan Public Radio Network's Peter Payette reports.

The price of tuition at state universities has been climbing steadily in recent years as the state has cut its budget for higher education. The executive director of the Center for Michigan, John Bebow, calls it a knowledge tax.

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In Michigan
6:36 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Group wants requirement for more renewable energy

LANSING, MI –

A group wants Michigan voters to amend the state's constitution to require more electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025.

The Detroit Free Press reports (http://on.freep.com/ziM6g8) that proposed ballot language filed Wednesday for the Nov. 6 election would require the state's utilities to reach 25 percent, up from the 10 percent required by 2015 under current law.

According to a state report, less than 4 percent of Michigan's electricity came from renewable sources in 2009.

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In Michigan
6:29 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Senate Dems unveil plan to pay for all MI graduates' college tuition

LANSING, MI –

Senate Democrats at the state Capitol say students who graduate from high school in Michigan should have their tuitions paid for if they go to colleges in the state. As Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, the Democrats unveiled their education plan Thursday.

Under the plan, all students who grow up in Michigan and graduate from high school in the state would be eligible for a grant to cover the median cost of tuition.

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In Michigan
6:25 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

AFL-CIO: still broad support for unions in Michigan

LANSING, MI –

State union leaders say lawmakers should focus on creating more jobs in Michigan with more support for education and public services. And they say lawmakers should not try to make Michigan a right-to-work state. The Michigan Public Radio Network's Laura Weber reports.

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In Michigan
5:15 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Dems want rule change to avoid confusing voters

LANSING, MI –

Michigan Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer says Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is creating "partisan mischief" by putting President Barack Obama's name on the Feb. 28 presidential primary ballot.

Michigan Democrats plan to nominate their candidate at a May 5 caucus, so votes for Obama in the primary won't count. The election will let Republicans pick their favorite.

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In Michigan
4:56 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Snyder to deliver budget plan Feb. 9

LANSING, MI –

A spokesman for budget director John Nixon tells the Associated Press that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will present his budget proposal on Feb. 9.

Kurt Weiss says the Republican governor again will make the budget presentation himself, with Nixon aiding in the presentation. Further details still are being worked out.

The 2012-13 budget proposal covers the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 and will be closely watched to see if additional money is put into areas that got cut in the current budget.

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In Michigan
4:45 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Lansing to hold inaugural marathon April 22

Photo: cowboycoffee/Flickr

Lansing, MI –

The Lansing Marathon will take place April 22 and cover a standard 26.2 mile course.

The race will start outside the Accident Fund Insurance building in downtown Lansing, cross into East Lansing near MSU, turn south to Holt, back into Lansing via Potter Park and end at the Capitol. Race director Owen Anderson says he's studied marathons in similarly sized communities, and finds they bring strong economic benefits.

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In Michigan
4:43 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Sports Hall of Fame moves to Lansing Center

WKAR photo: Scott Pohl

LANSING, MI –

The Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame has been re-dedicated in its new home, the Lansing Center.

The move is designed to get more people to see the Hall's displays. It previously was located in the Gannon Building at Lansing Community College.

Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority CEO Scott Keith is pleased to have the Hall in its new home.

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In Michigan
4:23 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Bridge company owner ordered to jail for contempt

DETROIT –

A judge has ordered the 84-year-old owner of Detroit's Ambassador Bridge to jail for failing to meet court-ordered deadlines on a construction project.

Wayne County Judge Prentis Edwards said Thursday that Manuel "Matty" Moroun and top lieutenant Dan Stamper will stay in jail until the work is done. It's unclear how long that will be.

Detroit International Bridge Co. was declared in contempt of court in November for failing to finish work on a project linking the U.S.-Canada span with two Detroit interstates.

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In Michigan
4:17 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

MI Supreme Court could clear up confusion in marijuana law

LANSING, MI –

The Michigan Supreme Court heard its first arguments Thursday on cases that could help decide how far police and prosecutors can go to enforce the state's medical marijuana law. The law was approved by Michigan voters in 2008. More from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.

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WKAR Features
11:22 am
Thu January 12, 2012

Lansing-built Cadillac ATS unveiled at Detroit auto show

The Cadillac ATS will be built in Lansing. It will be available this summer, but it's on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Photo: Scott Pohl/WKAR

DETROIT, MI –

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit opens to the public on Saturday. Hundreds of thousands of people will attend the show at Cobo Hall to see prototypes and the new car and truck models.

Earlier this week, General Motors showed off the new Cadillac ATS to the media. The ATS will be built in Lansing. It's aimed squarely at the lucrative compact luxury car market.

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In Michigan
7:47 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Richardville talks Senate priorities in 2012

LANSING, MI –

State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says he does not think there is enough support among Republicans in the Senate to approve right-to-work legislation. He says he thinks right-to-work measures would not attract the high-skill jobs the state should seek to strengthen its economy.

"I don't think that right-to-work legislation really is going to change the face of the state for better the way some people think it would."

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In Michigan
7:36 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Ex-Mich congressman sentenced in terror fund case

KANSAS CITY, MO –

A former Michigan congressman accused of accepting stolen funds on behalf of a Missouri charity with alleged terrorism ties was sentenced Wednesday to 12 months and one day in federal prison.

Four co-defendants of Mark Deli Siljander, who served in Congress from 1981 until 1987, also were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Kansas City. Sentences ranged from probation to nearly five years in prison for Mubarak Hamed, the former executive director of the Columbia-based Islamic American Relief Agency.

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Top Stories
5:09 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Energy secretary backs off on MSU's $550M project

DETROIT –

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu says funding for a $550 million nuclear research facility under development at Michigan State University could be in doubt.

Chu made the statement Wednesday during an appearance at the Detroit Economic Club.

Michigan State won a national competition to land the project in December 2008, and work is well under way to design and develop staff for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.

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In Michigan
4:43 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

2nd ex-Dem leader gets probation in election scam

PONTIAC, MI –

A judge has sentenced the former political director of the Oakland County Democratic Party to probation for forging documents and fraudulently entering candidates under a third party.

Oakland County Circuit Judge James Alexander sentenced Jason Bauer to one year's probation Wednesday. It follows last month's sentencing of co-defendant Michael McGuinness, the local party's former chairman.

Both quit their posts in 2010 and pleaded no contest late last year.

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In Michigan
4:27 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

MSU remains optimistic about F-RIB funding

EAST LANSING, MI –

A Michigan State University spokesman says comments casting doubt on federal funding for the school's F-RIB project are a sign of an unpredictable government budget process ahead. WKAR's Mark Bashore has more.

Visiting Detroit on Wednesday, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the nation's economic slump puts a squeeze on projects like MSU's half-billion dollar nuclear research facility, F-RIB.

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In Michigan
11:50 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Schuette: Romney won't take Michigan for granted

LANSING, MI –

The chairman of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Michigan campaign says Romney will campaign hard in his native state even if he's looking hard to beat by the time he gets here.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette told reporters Wednesday that Romney's wins in Iowa and New Hampshire are creating a lot of momentum, but the former Massachusetts governor isn't taking anything for granted.

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WKAR Features
8:55 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Survivors of Indian boarding schools tell their stories

Kay McGowan and Fay Givens, producers of \"The Indian Schools, the Survivors' Story\" Photo: Gretchen Millich, WKAR News

Lincoln Park, MI – Starting in the late 19th century, tens of thousands of Native American children were taken from their reservations to Indian Boarding Schools. The goal was to assimilate Native Americans by replacing their traditional ways with those of the majority of Americans.

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In Michigan
6:32 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

Snyder: RTW could sidetrack Legislature

DETROIT, MI –

Governor Rick Snyder said again Tuesday that he hopes the Legislature does not get caught up in a fierce debate on whether to outlaw compulsory union membership. The governor says it's in Michigan's interest to avoid the controversial labor issue also known as "right to work." Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports.

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In Michigan
6:24 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

Mid-Michigan hospital starts clinic for uninsured

MOUNT PLEASANT, MI –

A central Michigan hospital is offering free health care once a week to Isabella County residents who don't have insurance.

The clinic at the public health department in Mount Pleasant will offer primary-care services, such as treatment of minor illnesses. It also can assess chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.

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In Michigan
6:20 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

Business taxes again on Michigan lawmakers' agenda

LANSING, MI –

Republicans who lead the Michigan Legislature are expected to consider more tax relief proposals for businesses and ways to save money in the state's school employee retirement system in 2012.

Lawmakers are scheduled to return Wednesday to start the final year of a two-year legislative cycle. No voting is expected Wednesday in the House and Senate.

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In Michigan
4:16 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

New council Pres says Lansing leaders agree to improve communication

LANSING, MI –

The new president of the Lansing City Council says city leaders have committed to improve communications with each other in 2012.

Monday night, council veteran Brian Jeffries was elected leader of the body after a series of committee votes resulting in split decisions. Kathie Dunbar will serve another term as Vice-President.

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WKAR Features
11:38 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Meridian Township considers more space for bicyclists, walkers

Photo: Mark Bashore/WKAR

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, MI –

In Meridian Township, a discussion's underway about making more room on the roads for bicyclists and pedestrians. For years, some advocates have argued Meridian should do more to accommodate non-motorized transportation. The township is exploring a 'Complete Streets' transportation plan that would do just that. WKAR's Mark Bashore has more.

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