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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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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Sports
11:11 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

UM and MSU both win NCAA tournament openers, W. Michigan falls

Adreian Payne scored 41 points, the most-ever by a Spartan in the NCAA tournament.
Credit Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports / Michigan State Athletics

Adreian Payne scored a career-high 41 points last night to get Michigan State off to a solid start in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. MSU beat Delaware 93-78.

Payne set a tournament record by making all 17 of his free throws and also broke MSU's tournament scoring record, set by Greg Kelser in 1979.

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Health
3:55 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

1 in 3 children who died in a car accident during the past decade was not properly in a safety seat

Once children are able to sit forward-facing in their car seat, that is what they should use until they reach the height and weight limits of their seat. Then they should use booster seats until they are about 4 feet 9 inches tall.
CDC

Child deaths in car crashes have declined by 43% over the last ten years.

But the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says there's still work to do.

The CDC says one in three children 12 or younger that die in a car accident is still not properly restrained.

Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz is with the CDC.   She says parent education and car seat distribution help make sure more children are buckled up properly, and she supports Michigan's car seat laws.

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Education
4:53 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

College without textbooks

A new report suggests many students are missing out on some educational opportunities by not buying textbooks.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The rising cost of college textbooks is leading more students to opt out of purchasing them altogether.

A new report suggests many students are missing out on some educational opportunities by not buying textbooks.

Ethan Senack is a higher education associate with the Public Interest Research Group, which wrote the report.

He says the good news is that students are ready for alternatives to the traditional textbook model.

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Weather
7:38 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

U of M cancels classes for Tuesday, offices remain open

University of Michigan student union
Wikimedia Commons

Ann Arbor Campus classes have been canceled on Tuesday, Jan. 28 because of extreme wind chill temperatures, expected to be as low as -30 degrees. The cancelation includes classroom and laboratory instruction.

Campus buildings will remain open, and dining halls, libraries and most other campus facilities and services will continue operations. U-M buses and shuttles will operate as scheduled, although delays are possible.

Campus operations will continue and staff should plan to report as usual. Parking and Transportation Services is increasing bus frequency to help minimize wait times.

Education
7:46 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Next U of M president could be announced today

The next president of the University of Michigan may be announced later this morning. The Board of Regents has scheduled a special meeting at 10 a. m. to vote on the U of M's next president.

Current U of M President Mary Sue Coleman announced last year her plans to retire in July.

Coleman has led the university for 12 years.

The next president will be the 14th president at the University of Michigan.

Law
4:14 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Highway shooter on trial in Livingston County

Raulie Casteel from a previous court appearance last November.
Credit myfoxdc.com

Jury selection began today in the trial of a man charged with a series of shootings on and around Interstate 96.

Raulie Casteel, 44,  is on trial in Livingston County Circuit Court in Howell.

The state attorney general's office is prosecuting him on terrorism and other charges.

In an effort not to taint the jury pool, attorneys are questioning each prospective juror individually at the judge's bench.

Casteel pleaded no-contest last November to related charges in Oakland County and is awaiting a sentence.

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Transportation
8:08 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Corvette wins North American Car of the Year, Silverado takes truck honors

2014 Corvette Stingray
Credit Flickr

The press preview days for the North American International Auto Show kicked off with the naming of the North American Car of the Year and North American Truck/Utility of the Year.

The announcements were made this morning at Cobo Center in Detroit.

The winners are the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray for car of the year, and the Chevrolet Silverado as the truck of the year. Both are made by General Motors.

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Politics & Government
3:26 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Governor's goals for 2014 include more money for preschool

Credit Michigan Municipal League / Flickr

Gov. Rick Snyder says his priorities for 2014 include making sure every child from a low-income family has access to preschool.

“We’re going to hopefully continue on the path with early childhood," Snyder said. "We still haven’t taken care of the entire waiting list based on need. There’s probably about another 13,000 on the waiting list. It would be good to get them into preschool.”

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Sports
9:27 am
Wed January 1, 2014

NHL warns of fake merchandise at Winter Classic

Credit Wikipedia

The Detroit Red Wings will host the Toronto Maple Leafs at The Big House on the University of Michigan campus before a potentially world record-setting crowd this afternoon.

The National Hockey League is warning fans to watch out for counterfeiters trying to sell fake jerseys and other merchandise at the game.

Kelley Lynch is the attorney for NHL Enterprises. She says fans usually think they’re buying authentic NHL merchandise, only to learn later they’ve purchased counterfeit merchandise of inferior quality.

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Business
8:37 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Most power restored in Michigan, LBWL still has work to do

Linemen for Consumers Energy work to restore power.
Credit Consumers Energy

Power has been restored for most homes and businesses in Michigan after a massive ice storm hit the state last weekend. But there are still thousands who have been without power for a week now.

Last weekend’s ice storm left half a million Michiganders in the dark. Around the clock work by line crews, including help from other states, has much of the power restored for DTE and Consumers Energy customers.  

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Health
3:09 pm
Sat December 21, 2013

Social workers in Michigan are preparing to be part of health care changes

Social worker with elderly patient
cswe.org

Social workers in Michigan are starting to wear many hats as health-care reform is implemented.

The expansion of Medicaid and the establishment of the state Health Insurance Exchange is expanding health-care coverage to hundreds of thousands of Michiganders.

Robert Sheehan is the executive director of the Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties.

He says all the changes healthcare are broadening the scope of social workers.

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Health
1:59 pm
Sat December 21, 2013

Big need, but low supply for blood this time of year in Michigan

American Red Cross donation center, Lansing, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Blood donations tend to drop at hospitals and clinics across Michigan at this time of year.

That's why officials are urging Michiganders to consider rolling up their sleeves to give a lifesaving gift.

Dan Fox, with the American Red Cross, says between school vacations, snowy weather and busy schedules, the number of blood donations drop over the holidays, while the need for blood in local hospitals remains constant.

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