Vincent Duffy

News Director

Vincent Duffy has been news director at Michigan Radio since May 2007. In his years of leading the Michigan Radio news room, the news team has won scores of national, regional and state awards including Murrow Awards,  Sigma Delta Chi awards and others. 

Duffy is the past Chair of the Radio/Television/Digital News Association (RTDNA), the world's largest organization representing electronic journalists. He continues to sit on the board as an at-large director.

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 seven 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 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

User _chrisUK / flickr.com

Governor Rick Snyder and legislative leaders have struck a road funding deal. It would be paid for by asking voters to approve a sales tax increase from the current 6 percent to 7 percent. That would be on the statewide ballot in May.

The Republican-led Legislature is expected to vote on the plan later today.

Ali Lapetina / Michigan Radio Detroit Journalism Cooperative

One thing that strikes us about Detroit – as the city teetered on the brink of insolvency, then entered Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, and finally, last week, officially emerged from bankruptcy – is that life in the Motor City goes on.

We asked photographer Ali Lapetina to take her camera all over the city in a single day, and shoot pictures from before sunrise until after sunset. What she captured is exactly that: the life that keeps beating in Michigan's oldest and biggest and most complicated city.

Here are some of the people who remain in Detroit after the bankruptcy is over, and will be part of its future.

Sander Rabinowitz

Bill Bonds, an iconic Detroit broadcaster who also worked for ABC stations in New York and Los Angeles, has died.

His longtime employer, WXYZ-TV, reported that the former reporter and anchor died Saturday after suffering a heart attack.

Bonds had worked for the ABC affiliate from 1963 to 1968, then returned in 1971. The station terminated Bonds' multi-year contract in 1995 following a drunken driving arrest.

Born in 1933, Bonds was inducted in 2010 into the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Last year, the Michigan chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences presented him with an award in recognition of his long WXYZ career.

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.   

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.

Polling place.
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.

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.

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.

Congressman John Conyers.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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