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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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reWorking Michigan
10:34 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Job Opportunities in Politics

Todd Cook of Main Street Strategies. Photo: Scott Pohl/WKAR

LANSING, MI –

reWorking Michigan examines our evolving economy, as citizens of the Great Lake State explore new ways to make a living and build a future for their families.

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In Michigan
6:19 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Stabenow says feds should offer more risk aid, research to help farmers

LANSING, MI –

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow addressed agribusiness leaders Monday at a conference in Lansing. Stabenow chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee and is getting ready to start negotiations on the 2012 farm bill.

She says the rest of the economy benefits when farms and agri-businesses prosper.

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In Michigan
4:44 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Hyundai Elantra wins 'Car of the Year' award in Detroit

DETROIT –

The Hyundai Elantra has won the North American Car of the Year award.

The award was announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which holds media previews this week and opens to the public on Jan. 14.

The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque won the North American Truck of the Year.

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In Michigan
4:44 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Legalizing marijuana petition drive starts this week

Lansing, MI – A campaign to legalize marijuana is expected to launch a campaign this week to get the question of legalization before voters this November.

Organizer Matthew Abel says he thinks most Michigan voters want to legalize marijuana.

"It's pretty clear that the polls in favor of ending the drug war, especially against marijuana, go in our favor," says Abel.

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In Michigan
4:43 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

House GOP agenda filling up

LANSING, MI –

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.

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In Michigan
4:16 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Car, truck of the year to be named in Detroit

WKAR File Photo

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.

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In Michigan
7:27 am
Mon January 9, 2012

Body of Michigan airman killed in Afghanistan returns to U.S.

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.

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In Michigan
6:16 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Michigan report shows decline in chickenpox, mumps

LANSING, MI –

Michigan health officials say a preliminary report of disease case counts from 2011 indicates childhood vaccination programs are effective.

Cases of chickenpox, mumps and whooping cough declined in 2011. That's based on totals included in the final weekly disease report of the year from a statewide surveillance system.

The numbers reflect only reported cases, not necessarily all occurrences of a particular disease. The counts are preliminary and subject to change after cases are reviewed.

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In Michigan
6:13 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Feds cancel $730M loan for Michigan steel project

DEARBORN, MI –

The U.S. Energy Department won't follow through on a planned $730 million loan to the North American arm of one of Russia's largest steel companies to modernize its Detroit-area plant.

The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press report Friday that the conditional loan for the Severstal North America project in Dearborn won't be finalized.

A steel company spokeswoman says the company is "deeply disappointed" by the decision.

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In Michigan
4:46 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Judge postpones sentence for underwear bomber

DETROIT –

A judge has postponed the sentencing of a Nigerian man who admits he tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab will now get his mandatory life sentence on Feb. 16.

Federal Judge Nancy Edmunds said Friday that a Jan. 19 hearing still will take place if passengers who had already planned to attend and speak to Abdulmutallab can't make it in February.

The postponement gives Abdulmutallab more time to review a mandatory pre-sentence report prepared by the U.S. Probation Department.

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In Michigan
4:17 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

MI Dem leader says party needs to coordinate efforts with Obama camp

EAST LANSING, MI –

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.

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WKAR Features
7:54 am
Fri January 6, 2012

LSO Preview: MasterWorks 3

LSO conductor Timothy Muffitt. Photo courtesy of Lansing Symphony Orchestra.

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.

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In Michigan
6:29 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Michigan St DT Worthy entering NFL draft

EAST LANSING, MI –

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.

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In Michigan
6:26 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Detroit auto show, Cobo Center sign 5-year deal

DETROIT –

The Detroit auto show will remain at Cobo Center at least through 2017.

The Detroit Auto Dealers Association signed a five-year contract Thursday to keep the annual North American International Auto Show at Cobo. This year's show is open to the public Jan. 14-22.

The dealers have repeatedly warned that Detroit could lose the show to another city unless Cobo expanded and improved.

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In Michigan
6:23 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

State receives federal grant to continue student food assistance program

LANSING, MI –

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.

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In Michigan
6:18 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

MI Guard soldiers to train military in Liberia

LANSING, MI –

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.

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In Michigan
6:14 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

AP Source: GM to call back 8,000 Chevy Volts

DETROIT –

A person briefed on the matter says General Motors will ask Volt owners to bring their electric cars into dealers to strengthen the structure around the batteries.

The move is similar to a recall and involves the 8,000 Volts sold in the U.S. in the past two years.

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In Michigan
6:14 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

AP Source: GM to call back 8,000 Chevy Volts

DETROIT –

A person briefed on the matter says General Motors will ask Volt owners to bring their electric cars into dealers to strengthen the structure around the batteries.

The move is similar to a recall and involves the 8,000 Volts sold in the U.S. in the past two years.

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In Michigan
4:42 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Foes sue over ban on domestic-partner benefits

DETROIT –

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.

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In Michigan
4:27 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Mayor: Detroit won't run out of cash by April

DETROIT –

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.

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