Republican leaders at the state Capitol say they have a lot of work they want to get to quickly when lawmakers return from their winter break this week. The GOP is expected to continue reshaping how the state brings in tax revenue. Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports.
Republican lawmakers have been talking for several months about retooling or repealing Michigan's tax on businesses' office and factory equipment.
Detroit, MI – The press preview days of the North American International Auto Show kick off with the event's version of the Oscars: the naming of the North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year.
The announcements are to be made today at Cobo Center in Detroit.
Car finalists are the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Passat. Truck finalists are the BMW X3, Honda CR-V and the Land Rover Ranger Rover Evoque.
Traverse City, MI – The remains of a Michigan native killed in an insurgent attack in Afghanistan have been returned to the U.S. Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana confirmed Sunday that the body of Tech. Sergeant Matthew Schwartz of Traverse City was flown to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Funeral arrangements were incomplete Sunday.
The Pentagon says the 34-year-old and two others died Thursday when an improvised explosive device hit them in Helmand province.
Leading Democrats in the state say they are coordinating campaign efforts with President Barack Obama's team in Michigan. As Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, they hope the popularity of the president will help Democrats win back seats in the state House.
EAST LANSING, MI – WKAR's Melissa Benmark spoke with Lansing Symphony Orchestra conductor Timothy Muffitt to preview the next MasterWorks concert. They began by talking about "Rounds for String Orchestra" by David Diamond.
Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy has decided to skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.
The 310-pound junior, a first team Associated Press All-American this season, announced his decision Thursday.
Worthy says it was the right time to leave following the 33-30 overtime win over Georgia in the Outback Bowl. He also says his father suffered a stroke prior to the start of the 2010 season, something which impacted his decision.
A pilot project in Grand Rapids and the Saginaw Bay area aims to ensure kids in low-income households have healthy diets during school breaks. Five-thousand families from both areas will be selected to receive food assistance this coming summer through a federal grant awarded to the state.
Howard Leikert is with the Michigan Department of Education. He says the money can only be spent on healthy foods.
Twenty five members of the Michigan National Guard are off to west Africa, where they will help train Liberia's fledgling military force. The nation was established in 1822 by freed U.S. slaves. It is now recovering from many years of civil war .
Captain Corissa Barton is with the Michigan Guard. She says the project is a welcome change from the Guard's normal deployments in recent years.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit claiming the constitutional rights of four same-sex couples are being violated by a new Michigan law that bars insurance for some domestic partners.
The ban mostly affects local governments and public schools and applies to health insurance and other benefits for unmarried partners of the employees, same sex or not.
Detroit's mayor has presented a new financial plan to the City Council that he says shows the city no longer is at risk of running out of cash by April as previously expected.
Mayor Dave Bing on Thursday released a financial and operational restructuring plan update. It highlights savings from 1,000 imminent layoffs, overdue payments from the Detroit Public Schools and a corporate tax increase Bing says will mitigate a cash shortfall.
Bing presented the update Thursday afternoon to the Detroit City Council.
Lansing mayor Virg Bernero says there are reasons for optimism as the new year begins.
A voter-approved millage proposal will prevent further police and fire layoffs. The city's unemployment rate has been dropping, and the city's manufacturing and insurance sectors have been healthy. Lansing's diverse economy has protected the city from what Bernero calls the "worst effects of the economic tsunami."
The Highland Park School District may soon have an emergency manager appointed by the state to oversee its finances. A state review team recommended Governor Rick Snyder appoint an emergency manager to run the troubled district. Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber has more.
A court transcript says a man charged in a double-slaying was on work release from the Eaton County Jail at the time of the killings after telling a judge he worked for a company that didn't exist.
The Lansing State Journal reports 38-year-old Christopher Perrien of Sand Lake made the claim Sept. 1 in Eaton County Circuit Court during his sentencing for credit card theft. The newspaper recently obtained hearing transcripts.
A message was left Wednesday by The Associated Press for Perrien's lawyer.
The family of an Iranian-American detained in Iran for four months on espionage charges says he's not getting adequate legal representation.
The family of Amir Hekmati said in a statement Wednesday his "only advocate in Iran is a government-appointed lawyer who he first met on the day of his trial." The statement says the family has tried to hire "at least 10 different attorneys ... to no avail."
A spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Rick Snyder says it's too early to tell if Michigan will push to require drug tests for welfare recipients and applicants.
It's expected to be a hot topic in many states this year.
There would be some support for requiring a clean drug test as a condition of welfare cash assistance eligibility in the Republican-led Michigan Legislature. But supporters want to make sure the plan would survive a legal challenge.
A bill introduced Wednesday in the Indiana Legislature would make it the first state in the industrial Midwest to outlaw compulsory union membership. As we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, backers of the so-called "right-to-work" movement say it puts pressure on Michigan to do the same.
An assistant state attorney general has been suspended following his arrest on gun charges.
Eaton County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sauter told The Associated Press Wednesday that he authorized two misdemeanor warrants charging James Shell with possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol and reckless use of a firearm.
Shell's attorney is expected to turn him in for arraignment at a later date.
Traverse City, MI – Unusually mild weather throughout the fall and early winter meant a slow start to the winter sports season in northern Michigan. It was the least-snowiest November and December on record.
But that all changed over the past couple of days. The new year brought several inches of snow to the area.
Economic forecasters at the state Capitol are preparing for a revenue estimating conference later this month. As Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, a legislative economist says things could be looking up just a little for Michigan this year.
The Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency predicts economic growth could pick up in 2014, but progress will be a bit sluggish until then. David Zin is an economist with the agency.