Vincent Duffy

News Director

Vincent Duffy has been news director at Michigan Radio since May 2007. In his first year of leading the Michigan Radio news room, the news team won more than three dozen national, regional and state awards including a national Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists for a month long series investigating education in Michigan.

Duffy also Chairs the Radio/Television/Digital News Association (RTDNA), the world's largest organization representing electronic journalists.

Duffy graduated from Kent State University (Kent, Ohio) with degrees in political science and telecommunications, and then toured the world as a radio journalist covering news in Australia, Switzerland and South Africa.

After returning stateside he earned a master's degree in mass media from Miami University of Ohio while working as a reporter at WMUB in Oxford.

Duffy then had his first taste of a Big Ten school when he joined the news team at WILL at the University of Illinois as a reporter, Morning Edition host, and eventually News Director. While at the University of Illinois he also completed his doctoral coursework in communication research.

In 1997 Duffy returned to Kent State University as news director of WKSU.

In addition to his work for WKSU and NPR in Ohio, Vince hosted the weekly television news program  NewsNight Akron on PBS 45 & 49. His first television documentary, "Sharing Democracy: The Akron/Subotica Partnership", received the prestigious Telly Award and added Serbia to the growing list of destinations Vince has traveled to cover news. Vince also produced and hosted several PBS 45 & 49 specials, political debates and documentaries.

Duffy has won six national Edward R. Murrow awards for his radio journalism, as well as a Sigma Delta Chi award, a National Headliner award, a national Unity award, many others.

In 2008 he added Ghana to his list of countries visited to cover news when he covered a University of Michigan delegation led by U of M President Mary Sue Coleman.

Along with his obvious love of travel, Vince enjoys skiing, and martial arts. He has second degree black belts in both Tae Kwon Do and Shotokan Karate.

You can follow Vince on Twitter @vincentduffy

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Law
6:27 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Flint City Councilman Eric Mays sentenced to jail

After his arrest, several city leaders called on Eric Mays to resign the city council seat he was elected to last year. Mays has refused.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A judge has sentenced Flint City Councilman Eric Mays to 72 days in jail for his conviction of driving while impaired.    

Mays was handcuffed and taken to jail after being sentenced by Flint District Judge Nathaniel Perry, who said the councilman put his own constituents in danger.

Eric Mays is appealing the conviction.

Mays asked the judge to put his jail sentence on hold as he was led from the courtroom. The judge denied the request.   

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Politics & Government
10:53 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Amash wins GOP primary in 3rd District

Justin Amash wins his Republican primary race.
Credit US Congress

Republican Congressman Justin Amash has beaten challenger Brian Ellis in the 3rd District primary in western Michigan.

The libertarian-leaning Amash was targeted by business groups as being too far outside the mainstream of his party. But Amash survived the challenge and is likely headed toward a third two-year term in the Republican-leaning seat that includes parts of five counties and the cities of Grand Rapids and Battle Creek.

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Politics & Government
10:48 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

A good night to be an incumbent in the Michigan Legislature

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan voters have been choosing incumbents in statewide primary elections, including Republicans in the GOP-led House who withstood strong challenges from conservatives tied to the tea party.

Incumbents who held their seats Tuesday night include Republicans Bradford Jacobsen, Klint Kesto and Mike Kowall. Democratic state Sen. Vincent Gregory held off a challenge from two term-limited state House members, who joined the race after he launched a brief run for Congress.

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Politics & Government
10:19 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Michigan voters approve Prop 1

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan voters have approved a ballot measure to end a state tax on manufacturing and small business equipment.

Proposal 1 will reimburse local governments for their lost personal property tax revenue by sharing a portion of the state's use tax.

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Politics & Government
10:14 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Debbie Dingell one step closer to possibly taking husband's Congressional seat

Debbie Dingell
Credit Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The wife of longtime Democratic Congressman John Dingell has won the Democratic primary for the 12th Congressional District.

Debbie Dingell has defeated attorney Raymond Mullins Tuesday and heads into the November general election seeking the seat her husband has held for more than 58 years.

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Politics & Government
10:08 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Conyers wins Democratic primary, has been in Congress since 1965

Conyers could become the nation's longest serving Congressman
Credit Photography Courtesy of www.conyers.house.gov

Democrat John Conyers is a step closer to his 26th term in Congress.

Conyers defeated Detroit pastor the Rev. Horace Sheffield III in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

The 85-year-old Conyers has been in Congress since 1965 and is in line to be the longest serving member of the House with the retirement this year of fellow Michigan Representative John Dingell.

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Politics & Government
10:03 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Bishop & Schertzing will run for Mike Rogers' seat in 8th District

Former state senate majority leader Mike Bishop easily defeated state representative Tom McMillin Tuesday, after a sometimes negative Republican primary campaign. “I’m sorry that it turned out that way," Bishop said after winning the Republican nomination Tuesday, "I certainly hope that folks weren’t turned off by it.”Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan RadioEdit | Remove

Mike Bishop has won the Republican nomination for Congress in Michigan's 8th District over a state lawmaker from Oakland County.

Bishop defeated Tom McMillin in the GOP primary Tuesday. The winner was endorsed by U.S. Representative Mike Rogers, a popular Republican who didn't run for re-election.

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Politics & Government
9:46 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Congressman Bentivolio loses big to businessman David Trott

Congressman Bentivolio lost his primary race.
Credit Kerry Bentivolio for Congress / BentivolioForCongress.com

Republican incumbent Congressman Kerry Bentivolio was defeated by businessman David Trott in suburban Detroit's 11th U.S. House District GOP primary by a roughly 2-1 margin.

The 53-year-old Trott will face the winner of a four-way Democratic primary in the fall to represent the district covering a swath of Detroit's western and northern suburbs.

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Politics & Government
9:37 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Walberg wins 7th District GOP primary

Credit user Connormah / Wikimedia Commons

Republican Congressman Tim Walberg beat Douglas Radcliffe North in the 7th District GOP primary in southeastern Michigan.

The 63-year-old Walberg of Tipton defeated 61-year-old North of Jackson in Tuesday's primary. Walberg was first elected to the House in 2006, but lost in 2008 to Democrat Mark Schauer. He defeated Schauer, who is running for governor this year, in 2010, to get back the seat and won again in 2012. Walberg also was in the Michigan House from 1983 to 1999.

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Politics & Government
9:30 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Upton wins GOP primary in 6th Congressional District

Credit screen grab / U.S. House of Representatives

Longtime Republican Congressman Fred Upton defeated a nurse from Dowagiac in the 6th District GOP primary in southwestern Michigan.

The 61-year-old Upton of St. Joseph defeated 46-year-old Jim Bussler in Tuesday's primary. Upton has been in the House since 1987 and was widely considered a shoo-in to win the primary.

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Politics & Government
9:23 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Benishek wins primary easily in U.S. 1st District

Credit Congress.gov / Congress

Republican Congressman Dan Benishek has defeated challenger Alan Arcand in the 1st District primary covering northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

Benishek will face retired National Guard general and sheriff Jerry Cannon in November. Cannon had no Democratic primary opponent.

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Politics & Government
9:07 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Trott taking early lead over incumbent Bentivolio and other early returns

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Suburban Detroit lawyer David Trott is ahead early in his bid to defeat Republican U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio in Michigan's primary election.

Debbie Dingell also is up big in the Democratic primary in her husband John's seat. John Dingell is retiring from the Democratic-heavy district in suburban Detroit at year's end after 58 years in Congress, and Debbie Dingell is expected to continue the 81-year Dingell dynasty.

In another closely-watched watched House race, two-term Republican Rep. Justin Amash is leading challenger Brian Ellis in western Michigan.

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Breaking
9:48 am
Thu June 5, 2014

GM CEO says "pattern of incompetence and neglect" led to ignition switch debacle

GM executives answer questions during this morning's press conference.
Credit GM / YouTube

Update 3:30 p.m.

Texas attorney Bob Hilliard represents about 70 families suing GM in a variety of state and federal courts.  

He says his clients were “stunned” to hear GM CEO Mary Barra admit the problem was a result of "incompetence and neglect."

“I don’t think that GM can come into a court of law anymore and argue it wasn’t their fault,” says Hilliard. He says the only thing GM can argue now is “what is the value of the loss.”

But Hilliard says he does worry GM will claim it's not liable for problems predating its bankruptcy. He cites a case involving a Pennsylvania man who was paralyzed from the chest down in an accident.   

“In court they say GM did not design this vehicle. GM did not manufacture this vehicle. GM did not sell this vehicle. Even though this vehicle was a 2006 GM Cobalt,” says Hilliard.

Hilliard says he's "skeptical" about the victims’ compensation fund GM is offering to establish.

Update 10:34 a.m.

The much-anticipated report that looked into what went wrong at General Motors was given to federal regulators and Congress this morning.

GM executives held a press conference this morning about what the report found and how GM plans to respond.

This is a turning point in the ignition switch recall saga for GM.

CEO Mary Barra refused to answer detailed questions from the press and from Congress until Anton Valukis released the findings of his investigation.

The New York Times' Bill Vlasic writes that GM execs hope this report will relieve some pressure on the company:

Legal experts say that G.M. has taken a calculated risk that Mr. Valukas’s findings and recommendations will sufficiently answer the myriad questions hanging over the company.

“The downside is that members of Congress, the press and the public may think that the report lacks credibility if it is in an in-house investigation,” said Carl W. Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond.

But Professor Tobias said that Mr. Valukas, a former United States attorney, was a good choice for the delicate task of investigating G.M. “His reputation is on the line with this report, so he is not likely to sacrifice that for G.M.,” he said.

But this is just another step in the grand mea culpa for GM.

Vlasic reports the company faces more Congressional hearings, more investigations from the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and it will need to compensate the families of the victims of the ignition switch problems:

... the company is awaiting recommendations from the lawyer Kenneth R. Feinberg on how it will compensate victims of switch-related crashes and family members of people who died as a result of the defect. G.M. faces hundreds of private claims and lawsuits.

Mr. Feinberg, who oversaw compensation claims for victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Boston Marathon bombing, has said he would make his recommendations to G.M. later this month.

To see how this crisis unfolded for GM, check out this timeline from NPR's Tanya Basu.

9:48 a.m.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra says 15 employees have been fired over the company's recent ignition switch recalls.

Barra made the announcement this morning as she released an internal investigation by attorney Anton Valukis into the recall of 2.6 million older small cars for defective ignition switches.

Barra says the internal investigation into its recent ignition switch recall is "brutally tough and deeply troubling."

“What Valukis found in this situation was a pattern of incompetence and neglect,” Barra said. “Repeatedly, individuals failed to disclose critical pieces of information that could have fundamentally changed the lives of those impacted by the faulty ignition switch.”

It took GM more than a decade to report the switch failures, which it blames for 13 deaths.

In a town hall meeting at GM's suburban Detroit technical center, Barra says attorney Anton Valukas interviewed 230 employees and reviewed 41 million documents to produce the report, which makes recommendations to avoid future safety problems.

Weather
5:08 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Summer fun (mixed with ice) on Lake Superior

Credit youtube

The record-setting cold that gripped Michigan last winter continues to leave its mark. There are still ice floes showing up on the shore of Lake Superior.  

Maybe you’ve seen the pictures on social media and wondered if they were even real.

But it’s true.

Some of the warmest temperatures of the year are drawing people to the beach in the Upper Peninsula, where over the weekend they found abundant ice floating just offshore at Marquette.

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Politics & Government
1:09 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Michigan Senate votes to delay teacher evaluation system

Credit Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

It appears lawmakers could once again delay the implementation of a new statewide teacher evaluation system.

The state Senate has unanimously voted to push back the deadline until the 2015-2016 school year.

The bill would also reduce from 50% to 40% the portion of teacher evaluations that would be based on standardized tests that measure student growth.

The state's current test, the MEAP, does not measure student growth, but lawmakers are locked in a fight over which test should replace the MEAP or whether to replace it at all.

Under state law, the new evaluation system was supposed to be in place during the current school year.

Politics & Government
10:39 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Grand Rapids voters continue income tax for sidewalks and roads

Credit Photo courtesy of Fellowship of the Rich, Flickr

Voters in Grand Rapids approved measures to require the city to pay for sidewalk repairs, and to continue to collect money for the city to pay for those repairs. 

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Breaking
8:42 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Mark Fields to replace Alan Mulally as CEO at Ford

Alan Mulally and Bill Ford speaking at the press conference this morning.
Credit Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Update: 9:33am

Fields thanked Mulally for leaving "this gift of a transformed Ford."

Mulally said that he hasn't decided what he will do after retiring in July. 

8:42 am

Ford Motor Co. announced this morning that CEO Alan Mulally is retiring on July 1 and will be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields.

Mulally and Executive Chairman Bill Ford have scheduled a news conference for 9 a.m. at the company's Dearborn, Michigan, headquarters. Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton will be there.

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Sports
7:41 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

Kentucky stops UM basketball 75-72

The Kentucky Wildcats started five freshman and fired off a three-point shot in the final seconds to beat the second-seeded Michigan Wolverines, 75-72.

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Politics & Government
1:59 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Gov. Snyder says Michigan won't recognize same-sex marriages

Gov. Rick Snyder says Michigan won't recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages performed last weekend.

The marriages were performed Saturday before a federal appeals court suspended a decision that overturned the state's ban on gay marriage. Snyder's announcement Wednesday closes the door to certain benefits granted to Michigan married couples. The move comes a day after an appeals court indefinitely stopped any additional same-sex marriages.

Snyder says the marriages were legal at the time but the stay means the ban now is back in effect.

Sports
11:17 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Michigan and Michigan State both advance to Sweet 16

Jordan Morgan
Credit Mgoblue / University of Michigan

It's on to the Sweet Sixteen for the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Michigan held off Texas 79 to 65.

Michigan Coach John Beilein says the win again shows the similarities this year's Wolverines squad has to last year's team, which finished second in the NCAA.

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