WKAR

In Michigan
4:44 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Report: Lansing police have suspect in CATA shooting

LANSING, MI –

Lansing police have apprehended a suspect wanted in a fatal shooting Tuesday afternoon at the downtown Lansing CATA bus station. The Lansing State Journal reports the suspect was subdued by police in south Lansing about 90 minutes after the original incident.

According to the story, the suspect fired one shot at police while being pursued in the 3900 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard. No one was struck by the shot.

Authorities have launched an investigation.

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In Michigan
4:43 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Governor Snyder signs charter school cap elimination

LANSING, MI –

Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law a measure that lifts the limit on how many university-sponsored charter schools are allowed to operate in the state. Opponents of the law say the traditional public school model is a proven success, while the record for charters is spotty.

But Governor Snyder says more charter schools can be a valuable part of Michigan's K-12 system.

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WKAR Features
7:23 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Michigan Iraqis in bid to design, build Baghdad neighborhood

Architect's sketch courtesy of Prima Civitas

EAST LANSING, MI –

With America's military role officially over in Iraq, that country hopes to speed up its transition from "boots to suits." Already, an expanding consortium of Michigan firms is eyeing a potential windfall there. The group 'MICH Development' wants to be the nucleus of a team that would finance and build up to 100,000 housing units near Baghdad; a project valued at $5.5 billion.

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In Michigan
6:26 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Women's caucus discussing abortion issues at state Capitol

LANSING, MI –

A group of female state lawmakers have met to discuss ways to encourage more women to run for office. About a quarter of the lawmakers in the state House are women, and there are only four female lawmakers in the state Senate.

Democratic state Representative Stacy Erwin Oakes says she and her female colleagues have been meeting throughout the year at the state Capitol to discuss issues that are important to women.

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In Michigan
4:46 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

DCH partners with Text4Baby

LANSING, MI –

The state Department of Community Health is using technology to help improve the health of infants. The department has partnered with a national program that gives advice to new mothers via their cell phones. Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber has more.

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In Michigan
4:45 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Fire guts Lansing nonprofit's office, store

LANSING, MI –

Lansing officials are working with St. Vincent de Paul after a weekend fire gutted the charitable organization's local thrift store and office.

The Lansing State Journal reports Monday that the Sunday morning blaze destroyed the building's contents, including furniture and household goods for those in need.

Authorities believe the fire in the city's REO Town district was accidental and started in a room used to store and refinish furniture.

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In Michigan
4:44 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Sndyer signs limits to unemployment benefits, payments to injured workers

LANSING, MI –

Governor Rick Snyder has signed measures that he says will save businesses money on unemployment and workers' compensation costs. But, as we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, critics say the measures unnecessarily penalize people who can't find new jobs in a tough economy.

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In Michigan
6:33 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Lawmakers wrap up work for the year with differing opinions on success

LANSING, MI –

The state Legislature has wrapped up work for the year. As Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, Republican and Democratic lawmakers have different opinions about how successful 2011 was.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville told lawmakers this week that they should be proud of the accomplishments of the Republican-led House and Senate chambers this year.

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In Michigan
6:26 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Judge: Airport violated state act in hiring ex-CEO

DETROIT –

A Wayne County Circuit judge has ruled that Detroit Metropolitan Airport officials violated Michigan's Open Meetings Act during the hiring of ex-Chief Executive Turkia Mullin.

Judge Robert Colombo on Friday found multiple violations of the state act and issued an injunction against future violations.

Mullin was fired Oct. 31 by a 5-2 vote after board members returned from a closed-door meeting. She is suing the Airport Authority, claiming it violated the act.

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In Michigan
6:22 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Lawmakers don't back funds for health exchange

LANSING, MI –

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's efforts to begin setting up a statewide health exchange as required by the federal health care law are hitting a snag.

The GOP governor urged lawmakers in September to quickly pass bills allowing the state to tap federal funds to set up the exchange. He says the federal government will step in with its own plan if Michigan doesn't have one in place by January 2013.

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In Michigan
6:18 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Supreme Court dismisses bicyclist lawsuit against mining company

LANSING, MI –

The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled an Upper Peninsula mining company is not legally responsible for maintaining an intersection heavily traveled by its trucks - or for the critical injuries suffered by a bicyclist who lost her balance at the rough juncture. More from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.

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In Michigan
9:58 am
Fri December 16, 2011

Schuette shuts down marijuana dispensaries in Lansing, Jackson

LANSING, MI –

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has gone to court to shut down a chain of stores where he says employees illegally took money in exchange for marijuana. More from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.

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In Michigan
9:58 am
Fri December 16, 2011

Michigan loses third attempt at Race to the Top

LANSING, MI –

The state has lost a competition for federal funding for education programs for the third time in three years. As Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, the third time was not the charm for the state's application in the federal "Race to the Top" program.

The state Department of Education touted what it believed to be strong applications for three separate shots at "Race to the Top" federal funds for education reform.

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WKAR Features
7:37 am
Fri December 16, 2011

With the Author: Lev Raphael on <em>Rosedale in Love</em>

Publisher: Lev Raphael

EAST LANSING, MI – Our book reviewer Lev Raphael switches places with WKAR's Melissa Benmark, and she interviews him about his latest Kindle book, Rosedale in Love.

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In Michigan
6:30 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Snyder: Still no decision on live-in partner benefits ban

LANSING, MI –

Governor Rick Snyder says he has made no decision yet on whether to sign or veto a ban on taxpayer-funded health benefits for the live-in partners of public employees. The governor says his team is still examining the measure to ensure it will not outlaw benefits offered to the domestic partners of university employees. There's wide disagreement on whether that's the case. But the governor has said he'd likely veto a measure that does not respect the independence of state universities.

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In Michigan
6:27 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Senate approves transition EM bill

LANSING, MI –

The state Senate has approved a measure that could eventually become a back-up plan if the state's new emergency manager law is overturned by voters or by a court ruling. Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber has more.

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In Michigan
5:14 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Talks on heat assistance go into final day of Legislature's session

LANSING, MI –

House and Senate negotiators are working into the evening to come up with a stop-gap plan to make sure there's financial assistance this winter to help low-income families with their heat bills. More from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.

A court decision this past summer forced lawmakers to come up with a new plan to fund winter home-heating aid. Last winter, 600 thousand households required help.

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In Michigan
5:14 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Scientists say acid rain hurts Great Lakes maples

ANN ARBOR, MI –

Scientists say acid rain probably will cause a decline in the Great Lakes region's sugar maple trees.

Sugar maple abundance already has dropped in parts of the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada over the past 40 years, primarily because of high acid levels in soils. The upper Great Lakes region has mostly escaped the damage because its soils are rich in calcium, which provides a buffer against acid.

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In Michigan
5:13 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Charter cap elimination on its way to Gov Snyder

LANSING, MI –

A proposal to get rid of the limit on the number of university-sponsored K-12 charter schools in the state is on its way to Governor Rick Snyder's desk. The state Senate gave final approval to the measure Thursday at the state Capitol. Democratic lawmakers say it will hurt traditional public schools.

Republican state Senator Phil Pavlov says the final version of the bill should be more acceptable to everyone.

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In Michigan
4:27 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Mich. governor signs bills affecting state workers

LANSING, MI –

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed two bills that will affect some state workers' retiree health care benefits and reduce the future amount the state needs to fund by $5.6 billion.

Workers hired after Jan. 1 won't get state health care coverage when they retire, although they'll get an extra 2 percent match in their 401(k) or 457 retirement plans while working to help them save for future health care costs.

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WKAR Features
11:25 am
Thu December 15, 2011

Lake Superior State University preparing annual list of banished words

WKAR graphic/Jennifer Thielen

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI –

Every year, the public relations department at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, banishes overused words and phrases from the English language.

The tradition was begun by legendary PR man Bill Rabe on New Years Day in 1976. Since then, the tongue-in-cheek list has relegated hundreds of misused words to the scrap heap. Last year's list included viral, epic, and fail.

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In Michigan
7:46 am
Thu December 15, 2011

Economist: Outlook for 2012 looks bleak

LANSING, MI –

A senior economist for a leading national economic research firm is predicting a second recession in 2012.

Richard Yamarone is the senior economist for the Bloomberg Brief in New York. He believes a double-dip recession is in the offing.

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In Michigan
6:48 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Lansing awards "sense of place" arts grants

LANSING, MI –

The city of Lansing is awarding $125,000 in grants to eight local arts institutions. The funding is to help the groups build a "sense of place" that will make Lansing a destination for arts and culture.

Leslie Donaldson is the executive director of the Greater Lansing Arts Council. She says Lansing's sense of place can be defined in different ways.

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In Michigan
6:38 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Snyder approves ending some driver's fees

LANSING, MI –

In October of 2012, the annual fees assessed on some drivers caught without a license or insurance will be history. Governor Rick Snyder signed a law Wednesday that critics of the fees hope will be a first step toward eliminating the unpopular driver responsibility fees altogether. More from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.

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In Michigan
6:24 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Court won't hear appeal on state worker deduction

LANSING, MI –

The Michigan Supreme Court will let stand a lower court ruling that the state violated its constitution by withholding 3 percent from state employee paychecks and earmarking it for retiree health care.

The court ruling Wednesday was unanimous. It denies a state government request to challenge a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling from this summer.

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In Michigan
6:15 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Legislature working on unemployment benefits changes

LANSING, MI –

State lawmakers are voting on a measure that would make it harder for people who are out of work to receive unemployment benefits.

Republican state Representative Wayne Schmidt says the measure will discourage fraudulent claims by people who are capable of finding jobs.

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In Michigan
4:44 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Lansing finance director leaving for Flint

LANSING, MI –

Lansing mayor Virg Bernero says the city has been "blessed" by the work of his chief of staff and finance director, Jerry Ambrose. Ambrose has announced he's taking a new position as the financial advisor to the city of Flint's emergency manager, Michael Brown.

Ambrose presided over a profound economic downturn that forced the city to layoff dozens of police and firefighters in the last year.

Bernero says Ambrose kept a sense of stability.

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In Michigan
4:43 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

MI jobless rate drops for third consecutive month

LANSING, MI –

Michigan's unemployment rate has dropped a third consecutive month and now stands at 9.8%. That's the lowest the rate has been in more than three years. But, as we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, there's good and bad news in the numbers.

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WKAR Features
9:05 am
Wed December 14, 2011

Progress continues on BWL co-generation plant

Lansing, MI – The huge slab of dirt along Washington Avenue in Lansing's REO Town neighborhood will soon be covered in concrete. Since May, crews have been preparing the future site of the Lansing Board of Water and Light's new co-generation power plant. The facility will come online in the summer of 2013 and will produce both steam and electric power.

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In Michigan
6:50 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

East Lansing-based consortium looks at "boots to suits" project in Iraq

EAST LANSING, MI –

A coalition of Michigan businesses has reached a tentative agreement to lead a $5.5 billion, multi-national construction project in Iraq. WKAR's Mark Bashore has more.

East Lansing-based Prima Civitas Foundation has announced a memorandum of understanding with Iraqi officials that allows the process to continue.

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