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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Health
3:26 pm
Sat November 30, 2013

Michigan credit unions adding defibrillators

Automatic defibrillator
shopsafetyproducts.ca

The Michigan Credit Union League wants to get automatic defibrillators into every credit union in the state.

Jon Looman is the CEO of Community West Credit Union.   He had a heart attack and collapsed while teaching an indoor cycling class last year.

He says he survived thanks to an AED, and plans to order one for every one of his credit union's branches.

“They save lives, plain and simple. They just save lives,” says Looman, “And even better than that, they improve the quality of life after a heart attack if you act right away with one.”

Business
11:17 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Michigan home buyers may face new problems

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Critics say proposed legislation in Congress could hurt many home buyers in Michigan and the nation.

The bills would allow exceptions to new limits on bank fees for mortgages. And it would become easier to give borrowers loans they can't afford.

Gary Kalman is with the Center for Responsible Lending.

He says the so-called "Mortgage Choice Act" would undermine what he calls a fair and balanced compromise.

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Politics & Government
2:51 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Bankruptcy judge stops lawsuits seeking to halt Detroit bankruptcy

Detroit skyline seen from Windsor, Ontario, across the Detroit River.
Bernt Rostad creative commons

A federal judge has stopped any lawsuits attempting to derail the Detroit bankruptcy.

Federal bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes says all the issues related to Detroit's bankruptcy must be decided by the federal bankruptcy court exclusively.

His ruling puts a stop to any challenges arising from state courts, including a case filed in Ingham County by lawyers representing Detroit pensioners.

The pensioners say their pensions are protected by the Michigan Constitution and cannot be cut by a bankruptcy court. That issue will now have to be decided by Judge Rhodes.

Law
2:57 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Hathaway sentenced to 12 months and one day

Former Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway leaving the federal courthouse in Ann Arbor with her attorney Steve Fishman.
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison by U.S. District Judge John Corbett O'Meara today in federal court. She was also ordered to pay $90,000 in restitution to ING bank. 

She will also serve two years supervised release after she gets out of prison.

Her attorney Steven Fishman says Hathaway will pay the fine today.

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Education
12:02 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Buena Vista schools get aid from state, doors will open today

Parents and children embrace during a Buena Vista School Board meeting.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Students at Saginaw County's Buena Vista school district may be back in the classroom soon. The state has approved the district's plan to bring itself out of debt.

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan has approved the release of state aid funds to the Buena Vista school district.

The district hasn't held class since May 3 because it ran out of money to pay its teachers. Last night the Buena Vista board of education approved a deficit elimination plan.

Flanagan says he is now encouraging the local school board and administration to reopen the doors as soon as possible. The state will release state aid to Buena Vista on May 20th, allowing the district to make payroll on May 24th.

The aid will put an end to any discussion of a “Plan B” that was developed earlier this week to have Buena Vista students use federal money to attend a skills camp over the summer.

The schools will be open today for those students who qualify for free meals.

Health
12:14 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

AG asks for grand jury to investigate steroid illnesses, deaths

Credit Army Medicine / Flickr

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has called for a four county grand jury investigation into contaminated steroids linked to hundreds of cases of illness and 14 deaths in the state. Schuette filed the request today  with the Michigan Court of Appeals.

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Education
9:05 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Security cameras coming to Muskegon Heights classrooms

Michigan's first school district operated by a charter school company will soon install video cameras to monitor all classrooms.

The Muskegon Heights Public School Academy board approved the policy at its meeting Monday night.

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Politics & Government
11:21 am
Thu December 13, 2012

The so-called names of so-called legislation

People protest the "so-called" right-to-work bills in Lansing.
Rick Pluta Michigan Public Radio

It’s been quite a week in Michigan. Maybe you heard about it?

Our legislature introduced and passed so called “right to work” legislation in two days and Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed it within hours, dealing a harsh blow to the more than 12,000 union supporting protestors surrounding the building.

But – did you see what I did there? Did my bias jump off the page at you?

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Politics & Government
7:50 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Michigan likely to go "right-to-work;" protestors hit Capitol (PHOTOS, AUDIO, VIDEO)

Michigan Gov. Snyder (center) flanked by supporters of right-to-work legislation in Michigan.
screenshot LiveStream

We're updating this post on the legislature's effort to pass a 'right-to-work' law in Michigan.

A right-to-work law would outlaw requirements that workers pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. Unions say these laws weaken their ability to bargain collectively with employers. Supporters of the law say it gives workers a choice.

Update 7:50 p.m.

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News Director Blog
6:20 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Political ads made to sound like news cross a line

Michigan Radio News Director, and Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Chair Vincent Duffy.

I heard a political ad for radio this week that really got me angry.

OK…sure…I’m probably not alone in that.

But I wasn’t angry because I agree or disagreed with the position taken, or because the ad was misleading or an outright fabrication.

I’m used to “pants on fire” statements in political ads and even expect it. 

What bothered me about this particular ad was that it was produced to sound exactly like a news story. A news story that’s close enough to being possible that many listeners could be easily fooled.

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Politics & Government
8:02 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Michigan political parties return home, hold state conventions

The Republicans and Democrats have finished their national conventions, but now the party faithful have their state convention to attend.

Both major political parties are hosting state conventions in Michigan this weekend.

Republicans are meeting today and tomorrow in Grand Rapids, while the Democrats will meet in Lansing tomorrow and Sunday.

The conventions will formally nominate candidates for the Michigan Supreme Court, the State Board of Education and the governing boards for the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University.

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Opinion
12:54 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Local reporters at national conventions are not a waste of money

Reporters in the press room of the DNC
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

I just spent about $5,000 at the two national political conventions.


No, I wasn’t out wining and dining with the heavy hitters, and despite how much my critics would love to finally be able to prove my biases, I wasn’t handing out political contributions to candidates either.


I spent the money to send Michigan Radio reporters to cover the Michigan delegation at each convention.

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Opinion
2:51 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

How did you celebrate National Radio Day?

Last Tuesday was National Radio Day! How do I know? I saw it on Facebook, of course, which is where everyone who is younger than me seems to get all their news.


But not me. I’m still a radio guy. So I celebrated National Radio Day by working in the news room at Michigan Radio, where we also spend lots of time on Facebook.

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Politics & Government
12:08 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

BOC approves two ballot measures, deadlocks on a third.

League of Women Voters

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers has approved two measures for the November ballot, and deadlocked on a third.

Voters this fall will be able to decide if Michigan should amend the Constitution to require utilities to generate 25 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2025, and whether or not the Constitution should be amended to allow home healthcare workers to unionize.

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Opinion
11:57 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Should reporters ask a source if he's gay? News editors disagree.

News Director Vincent Duffy
Michigan Radio

The Boy Scouts of America recently reaffirmed their ban on allowing openly gay boys to participate in Boy Scouts, and openly gay or lesbian adults from being leaders.

(Full disclosure – I was a Boy Scout for many years during my teens, but that was decades before anyone was debating this issue.)

We live in an odd world where what side of the “homosexual agenda” you are on can now be demonstrated not only by your participation in scouts, but also where you buy your chicken sandwich.

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morning news roundup
7:33 am
Tue August 7, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara Flickr

The story about the emergency managers have been modified to clarify that the opinion is that of the Attorney General.

Emergency managers

If Michigan’s emergency manager law is rejected by voters in November, then Attorney General Bill Schuette believes the old law should take over. That law still allows the governor to name an emergency financial manager to run a city or school district.

Public Act Four of 2011 is a souped-up version of Michigan’s old local government takeover law, and the attorney general says that old law is back in effect once the referendum is officially put on the ballot.

Bill Schuette says the referendum challenges the entire law and not just the concept of emergency managers.

Part of the new law specifically repealed the older law. That clears the way for the state to appoint or re-appoint managers running seven cities and school districts. They will be operating with diminished authority. Governor Snyder will also ask the Legislature to make some adjustments to the old law.

The referendum campaign disagrees with Schuette's ruling and says the governor and the attorney general are writing their own rules to get what they want. They say the governor can expect a legal fight each time he tries to re-appoint a local government manager.

Grand Rapids may ease marijuana charges

Grand Rapids residents may only get a civil infraction instead of a criminal charge for the possession of marijuana. Enough signatures were gathered to put the measure on the November ballot. "The proposed charter change is modeled after Ann Arbor’s city charter. In Ann Arbor, fines for marijuana possession start at just $25 and are not more than $100. The proposed changes would not allow marijuana sales or overrule state or federal laws. It would only change how local police officers deal with marijuana possession within city limits. The city clerk has until mid-September to certify the signatures before the decision goes before voters," Lindsay Smith reports.

The new bio-based economy

Soybeans have been called the new "bio-based economy." "The U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow Monday at Ford headquarters in Dearborn to push for more bio-based products. Stabenow chairs the Senate Agriculture committee. Vilsack and Stabenow say strategic partnerships between farmers and industry are full of economic and environmental promise. Vilsak says there’s “unlimited capacity and opportunity” in the bio-based economy," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Opinion
12:19 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Giving the bad guys ideas

Ambassador Bridge
Vincent Duffy

Last week, a bomb threat called in from Canada shut down the tunnel that runs under the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor. The tunnel is the second busiest crossing between the United States and Canada. The busiest crossing is the Ambassador Bridge just more than a mile down river. The tunnel was closed to traffic for most of the afternoon while authorities from both countries inspected the tunnel and found no bomb.

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Politics
2:36 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

McCotter to run as write in candidate

Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter.
U.S. Congress

U.S. Rep Thaddeus McCotter (R- Livonia) will run in the August primary as a write-in candidate after the state found he did not have enough signature to be on the ballot. McCotter is seeking a sixth term in Congress. His campaign delivered 2,000 signatures, but more than half of them were found to be invalid. The Michigan Attorney General's office is investigating for potential election fraud.

Update 2:36 p.m.

The Detroit News reports all but 244 of the 2,000 signatures turned in by the McCotter campaign were invalid:

A review by The Detroit News of the petition signatures found full copies of a sheet of signatures that were photocopied once and in some cases two times and mixed in with the 136-page stack of signatures. In some cases, a different petition circulator's name was signed to the duplicate copy.

The overt copying is "frankly unheard of," said Chris Thomas, Michigan's director of elections, as he thumbed through the stack of petitions. "It's amazing when you sit and look, and it starts to dwell on you what they've done."

The Michigan Information & Research Service tweeted that prospective write-in candidate, David Trott, will not run against McCotter:

David Trott says he backs Thad #McCotter, won't run b/c the "timing is not right for me or my family."

Earlier today, the Detroit News wrote about the lone Republican left on the August primary ballot for Michigan's 11th Congressional District.

60-year-old Kerry Bentivolio a veteran and a "public school teacher who raises reindeer." He said he's running because he's angry about the federal government's excessive debt.

Since he became the only clear GOP candidate on the ballot, his head has been "spinning a little bit" with all the newfound attention. "I'm just an average guy that wanted to stand up and say this is not fair and this isn't right," said Bentivolio, who calls himself a strict conservative inspired by the tea party and liberty movements. With McCotter off the ballot, "the average guy gets a voice and gets a lucky break," he said. "I'm going to take advantage."

12:32 p.m.

According to the Detroit News, U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter says he thinks faulty petition signatures that will make him ineligible to qualify for an upcoming primary ballot were the result of deception by a trusted member of his staff.

From the News:

"At some point, for something like this to happen, I do feel like someone … lied to me," [McCotter] said on [WJR-AM's "The Frank Beckmann Show"]

McCotter told Beckmann it's possible someone was plotting against him, but more likely it was someone making an error while trying to help the campaign. He filed the petitions under the belief all signatures were valid.

10:30 a.m.

MPRN's Rick Pluta reports the Michigan Secretary of State and the Attorney General’s office are investigating possible election fraud related to the McCotter petitions. The Secretary of State’s office says many of the petitions submitted by the McCotter campaign appear to be photocopies.

7:52 a.m.

Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter says in a column in today's Detroit News that he will run as a write-in candidate in the August primary.

McCotter says his campaign's review of the signatures gathered to put him on the primary ballot for re-election confirms the state's finding that he did not have enough.

McCotter's campaign delivered 2,000 signatures so he could run again in the 11th district, but more than half of them were found to be invalid.

He says he will ask the Board of State Canvassers to refer the invalid signatures to the Attorney General's office for investigation.

In a press release this morning, McCotter said:

“I feel like George Bailey after Uncle Billy admitted he lost the money.  Like George Bailey, knowing my misplaced trust has negatively impacted so many people is heartrending.  Unlike George Bailey, I am not tempted to jump off a bridge.

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Arts & Culture
3:04 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Helping Detroit's homeless with a multipurpose coat

Empowerment Plan CEO Veronika Scott shows off the coat she designed.
Emily Fox

Even though summer has just begun, I recently visited three women who were sewing coats in a big, old industrial building in Detroit. Their goal is to make 800 coats for the homeless this year.

This isn’t just any winter coat. While it looks like a super warm jacket with an oversized hood, there’s a little flap at the bottom for your feet. This coat can double as a sleeping bag. And when it’s hot, it can be folded up into an over the shoulder satchel.

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Opinion
11:46 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Fact checking David Sedaris: Does comedy need a disclaimer?

WBUR

In my large Irish family, our stories get better with age. It’s not that we lie about what’s happened to us, but when we get together for holidays or family events, we usually tell the same stories and they get better every time.

They start out as true of course, and the people, places and events all stay the same, but over time the funny parts get a little more funny, the dialogue a little more snappy and clever, and the reactions from onlookers a little more outrageous.

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