news roundup http://michiganradio.org en In this morning's news headlines... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-headlines-5 <p><strong>Big profit for General Motors, Chrysler plants to stay open</strong></p><p>General Motors beat predictions and posted a profit of $1 billion for the first quarter of 2012. That&#39;s down more than 68 percent from the company&#39;s first quarter profit from last year, according to the <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120503/AUTO0103/205030417/GM-reports-1-billion-earnings-Q1?odyssey=mod|breaking|text|FRONTPAGE">Detroit News</a>.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20120503/BUSINESS0101/120503012/General-Motors-earnings-first-quarter?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">Detroit Free Press</a> reports it&#39;s the company&#39;s ninth straight quarterly profit:</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a long-term path that we&rsquo;re on to get to the profitability levels that we want,&rdquo; Dan Ammann, GM&rsquo;s chief financial officer, told reporters this morning. &ldquo;This is a solid quarter: revenue growth, profit growth, margin growth, cash flow improvement.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>And with more signs of a humming auto industry, Chrysler says it plans to keep three plants it typically idles during the summer open. From the <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120503/AUTO0101/205030337/3-more-Chrysler-plants-stay-open?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">Detroit News</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Chrysler Group LLC is canceling the traditional summer shutdown at three more of its factories to keep up with demand for its hot-selling cars and crossovers.</p><p>The Toledo Supplier Park in Ohio, the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois and Chrysler&#39;s plant in Toluca, Mexico, will join Detroit&#39;s Jefferson North plant in working through the summer.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Auction for drilling rights coming up</strong></p><p>The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says it&#39;s holding an auction in Lansing next week for oil and gas drilling rights on about 108-thousand acres in 23 counties. The DNR says it holds the auctions twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. The proceeds from state-owned mineral lease rights go to buy land for public use, maintenance and improvements of state and local parks, and care of state fishery and wildlife habitats.</p><p><strong>Cherry retailers look elsewhere for fruit</strong></p><p>The bizarre warm weather coupled with a late freeze wiped out a good portion of Michigan&#39;s cherry crop, as <a href="http://environmentreport.org/show.php?showID=629">Bob Allen reported for the Environment Report</a>.</p><p>Lizzy Alfs at <a href="http://annarbor.com/business-review/crop-freeze-forces-cherry-republic-to-order-millions-of-cherries-from-poland/?cmpid=mlive-@aa-river">AnnArbor.com</a> writes that retailers are searching for another supply:</p><blockquote><p>With the majority of Michigan&rsquo;s expansive cherry crop destroyed by this weather, Cherry Republic President<span style="font-weight: bold;"> </span>Bob Sutherland said he was forced to think outside the box in order to continue selling his variety of cherry products.</p><p>His solution: Ordering millions of cherries from the Lublin region in Poland. Thu, 03 May 2012 13:20:55 +0000 Mark Brush 7315 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news headlines... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-172 <p><strong>State board of education sets tougher testing standards for Michigan schools</strong></p><p>Yesterday, at their meeting in Lansing, officials from the State board of education raised testing standards for K-12 students in Michigan.</p><p>The higher standards, also known as &quot;cut scores,&quot; will determine which students are deemed &quot;proficient&quot; on the MEAP test (for K-8 students) and the Michigan Merit Exam (for high school students). More from the Michigan Public Radio Network&#39;s Laura Weber:</p><blockquote><p>Students will be expected to answer about two-thirds of test questions correctly. That&rsquo;s double the previous test-score cut-off for proficiency.</p><p>The tougher standards could result in more schools failing to benchmarks for student achievement. But board members say the test score standards will help better prepare students for college.</p></blockquote><p>Brandon Howell at <a href="http://photos.mlive.com/8002029/gallery/heightened_meap_michigan_merit_exam_cut_scores/index.html">MLive posted charts</a> on how the new standards will effect the percentage of students categorized as &quot;proficient.&quot;</p><p><strong>Republican Senate candidates try to stand out in the crowd</strong></p><p>The six Republican candidates vying for the nomination to take on Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow in the 2012 election held a debate last night. It was hosted by the <a href="http://www.geraldrfordwomen.com/">Gerald R. Ford Republican Women&rsquo;s Club</a>. Michigan Radio&#39;s Lindsey Smith <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/gop-candidates-us-senate-try-stand-out-crowd-six">covered the debate</a> and reported &quot;all six candidates held many of the same views including lower taxes, cuts in federal spending, and repealing President Obama&rsquo;s healthcare law. The difference was in the degree of conservatism.&quot;</p><p>The six candidates for the Republican nomination are school-choice advocate Clark Durant, anti-gay activist Gary Glenn, former judge Randy Hekman, former U.S. Congressman Pete Hoekstra, <span class="st">Roscommon </span>businessman Peter Konetchy, and Brighton businessman Chuck Marino.</p><p><strong>Reports of another attack in Ann Arbor</strong></p><p>The attack happened early this morning. The Detroit News reports:</p><blockquote><p>Just after midnight, a 20-year-old woman walking near 400 S. First St. was approached from behind by an unknown male. He grabbed her arm and waist, and began fondling her chest and groin area, police said. The woman, who police describe as a non-student, was able to break free from the assailant. The man fled on foot heading north, police said.</p></blockquote><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">Investigators are not saying whether they believe this attack is linked to six others in Ann Arbor, according to the <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110914/NEWS06/110914006/1001/news">Detroit Free Press</a>:</div><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">&nbsp;</div><blockquote><p>Police have received reports of six attacks from July 15 to July 26 that they believe may have been related. The attacks occurred mostly in the downtown area just off campus. All of the assaults occurred between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. In two cases, both July 18, women were raped. In the other four cases, women were grabbed or fondled, but managed to break free. Wed, 14 Sep 2011 13:12:52 +0000 Mark Brush 4148 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-171 <p><strong>Tougher school testing standards set for approval today</strong></p><p>The state Board of Education is meeting today to set increased scoring standards for Michigan&#39;s public schools. The vote to increase the standards came last <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/state-board-ed-votes-raise-cut-scores-meap-test">February</a>. Today, the board will consider specifics. More from the <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110913/NEWS06/110913010/1001/news">Associated Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The board today is scheduled to consider new so-called &quot;cut scores&quot; for the Michigan Educational Assessment Program tests taken by elementary and middle school students and the Michigan Merit Exam taken by high school students.</p><p>The board voted in February to raise the scoring standards to better reflect students&#39; preparedness for careers and college. The specific cut score levels could be considered today.</p></blockquote><p>Fewer students in Michigan are expected to be categorized as &quot;proficient&quot; after the cut scores are raised.</p><p><strong>Ford CEO worries about consumer demand in Europe amid crisis</strong></p><p>Europe&#39;s financial crisis is heating up. Paul Krugman, opinion columnist for the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/12/opinion/an-impeccable-disaster.html?_r=1&amp;src=me&amp;ref=general">New York Times</a>, said of the crisis &quot;this thing could come apart in a matter of days.&quot;</p><p>The crisis has prompted Ford&#39;s European CEO to call for action. From the <a href="http://detnews.com/article/20110913/AUTO01/109130383/1361/">Associated Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Ford Europe CEO Stephen Odell is calling on European politicians to make painful decisions sooner rather than later to help the economy recover from an increasingly volatile financial crisis.</p><p>Odell said Ford is pressing ahead with new product launches at the Frankfurt Auto Show because the market will need products when the spiraling sovereign debt crisis clears and consumer confidence is restored... Odell told reporters on the sidelines Tuesday that politicians have so far not been able to resolve the issue, and urged them to apply even painful remedies &quot;quickly and robustly.&quot;</p></blockquote><p><strong>Get ready for crisp, cold weather this week</strong></p><p>It might be time to break out the coats. A blast of arctic air is coming our way. The <a href="http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=zmw:48103.1.99999">Weather Underground&#39;s</a> Shaun Tanner says a storm will move through the state later today:</p><blockquote><p>A... storm will move into the Great Lakes region late in the day, renewing rain and even the slightest chance of early season snow in the Upper Midwest.<br /><br /> The... storms will precede a blast of Arctic air that will stream into the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. This Arctic air will not be as cold as in the Winter, but a definite cooling trend will sweep through much of the northern tier of the country during the second half of the week. Tue, 13 Sep 2011 13:00:32 +0000 Mark Brush 4128 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-155 <p><strong>Fewer Schools Meet Federal Standards</strong></p><p>The <a href="https://www.mischooldata.org/DistrictSchoolProfiles/ReportCard/SchoolReportCard/SchoolReportCard.aspx">number of schools</a> in Michigan meeting federal &quot;<a href="http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,1607,7-140-22709_22875---,00.html">Adequate Yearly Progress</a>&quot; goals dropped in the last academic year. Michigan Radio&#39;s Sarah Hulett <a href="http://michiganradio.org/?page=1">reports</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Fewer schools in Michigan met federal benchmarks for students&rsquo; academic progress this year, and state officials blame the slide on higher standards required by the federal government. Schools need to meet something called &ldquo;adequate yearly progress,&rdquo; or AYP, under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Failure to do so for multiple years can result in sanctions, including replacing school staff and principals, or closing a school. For the 2010-11 school year, 79 percent of public schools in Michigan made adequate progress. That&rsquo;s down from 86 percent the year before.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Federal Pilot Program in DPS</strong></p><p>All kindergarten through 12<sup>th</sup> grade students in the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/term/detroit-public-schools">Detroit Public Schools</a> will get free breakfast, lunch and snacks starting this fall semester under a federal pilot program. The Associated Press reports:</p><blockquote><p>The district announced the program Tuesday, saying the goal is to &quot;ensure all children receive healthy meals, regardless of income.&quot; Most Detroit schoolchildren also meet income rules for free lunch.</p><p>The district says the free meals are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture&#39;s Community Eligibility Option Program. Michigan is one of three states selected to participate in the pilot program for the 2011-12 school year.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Customer Satisfaction Declines in Detroit Autos</strong></p><p>Customers were less satisfied with some Detroit car brands this year, according to the <a href="http://www.theacsi.org/">American Customer Satisfaction Index</a>. &ldquo;Satisfaction declined from last year for Chrysler, Lincoln and Buick. Claus Fornell, founder of the index, says the decline is especially worrisome because satisfaction with most Asian brands rose. He says Detroit could be in trouble again if the trend continues. Not all Detroit car brands declined.&nbsp; Satisfaction with Ford, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Dodge, and Jeep cars rose this year,&rdquo; Tracy Samilton <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/some-detroit-brands-slip-customer-satisfaction">reports</a>. Tue, 16 Aug 2011 13:10:59 +0000 Zoe Clark 3772 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-138 <p><strong>&lsquo;Kids-Count&rsquo; Report</strong></p><p>Two-thirds of all babies born to Michigan women in their early twenties are born out of wedlock, according to a <a href="http://www.milhs.org/kids-count/right-start-in-michigan-2011">new report</a> from the Michigan League for Human Services. &ldquo;The reports shows a significant uptick over the past decade in the number of babies born out of wedlock to women in their twenties. The report also indicates Michigan is doing better than many other states in the number of mothers who receive prenatal care and the number of women without a high school education who have children,&rdquo; Laura Weber <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/report-shows-increase-pregnancies-out-marriage">reports</a>.</p><p><strong>&lsquo;Underwear Bomber&rsquo;</strong> <strong>Back in Court</strong></p><p>The Nigerian man <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/attempted-christmas-day-bomber-picked-detroit-target-because-cheap-plane-ticket">accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound jetliner</a> with 290 people aboard using a bomb hidden in his underwear is due in federal court for a hearing on postponing his trial, the Associated Press reports. From the AP:</p><blockquote><p>Detroit U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds Is to preside at Thursday&#39;s hearing for Umar Abdulmutallab. His trial is scheduled Oct. 4, but a lawyer helping him wants more time after getting more evidence from the government&hellip; Prosecutors have urged Edmunds to stick to the October trial date, saying any delays are &quot;needless.&quot;Abdulmutallab is accused of trying to blow up a plane as it approached Detroit Metropolitan Airport from Amsterdam on Christmas Day 2009.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Brooks&rsquo; Budget</strong></p><p>Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/oakland-county-exec-lays-out-three-year-budget">presented his budget recommendations for the next three years</a> to Oakland County Commissioners last night. Oakland County is the richest county in the state. &ldquo;Patterson says that long-term planning has been key to maintaining the county&rsquo;s AAA bond rating, even as property tax revenues plummet. Patterson says the county has also managed to avoid cutting employee salaries and mass layoffs&hellip;&nbsp;The Oakland County Commission won&rsquo;t formally take up the budget until next month, and are slated to vote on in September,&rdquo; Sarah Cwiek <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/oakland-county-exec-lays-out-three-year-budget">reports</a>. Thu, 07 Jul 2011 13:31:29 +0000 Zoe Clark 3183 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-137 <p><strong>MEA to Support Recall Efforts</strong></p><p>The state&rsquo;s largest teachers union says it will help efforts to recall some Republican state lawmakers. &ldquo;The Michigan Education Association&rsquo;s main complaints are cuts to school funding and new tenure rules&hellip; Members of the MEA say they&rsquo;re also angry at efforts to force them to pay more for their benefits... The MEA has 157,000 members and a large political action fund,&rdquo; Rick Pluta reports. Doug Pratt, spokesman for the MEA, says the union has made a strategic decision not to name the lawmakers who will be targets of their recall efforts.</p><p><strong>Ford Sued</strong></p><p>A technology company has sued Ford Motor Company over patent infringements related to some of Ford&rsquo;s hottest new products, including Sync, Tracy Samilton reports. From Samilton:</p><blockquote><p>The lawsuit says Eagle Harbor Holdings met with Ford starting in 2000 to discuss using Eagle Harbor&rsquo;s voice command software and other patented technology. Eagle Harbor&#39;s General Counsel, Jeff Harmes, says Ford&rsquo;s hands-free phone system, Sync, uses some of that technology. But he says Ford broke off talks with Eagle Harbor in 2008&hellip; A spokeswoman says Ford hasn&rsquo;t had the chance to review the lawsuit yet and it would be premature to comment.</p></blockquote><p><strong>August Release for Kilpatrick?</strong></p><p>Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is expected to be released from prison in early August to give authorities time to arrange transfer of his parole to Texas, the Associated Press reports. From the AP:</p><blockquote><p>The Michigan parole board voted last month to release Kilpatrick from state prison and he was expected to be freed no earlier than July 24. The Michigan Department of Corrections tells The Detroit News for a Wednesday story that details needed to be worked out&hellip; He&#39;s facing federal charges. Kilpatrick quit office in 2008 when he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice. He was sent to prison in May 2010 by a judge who said the ex-mayor failed to turn over certain assets toward his $1 million restitution. Wed, 06 Jul 2011 12:55:36 +0000 Zoe Clark 3162 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-127 <p><strong>Drama in Detroit</strong></p><p>It seems to be a case of &quot;he said, she said.&quot;</p><p>Rochelle Collins, a former executive assistant to the mayor, says she was wrongfully terminated and is seeking a settlement from the city, according to the <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110615/NEWS01/110614068/Detroit-city-hall-soap-opera-Bing-s-office-blasts-ex-aide-s-bid-750K-?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">Detroit Free Press</a>.</p><p>The Free Press reports that the city says Collins was not terminated, and now the Mayor&#39;s office is speaking out.</p><p>From the <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110615/NEWS01/110614068/Detroit-city-hall-soap-opera-Bing-s-office-blasts-ex-aide-s-bid-750K-?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">Detroit Free Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Mayor Dave Bing&rsquo;s office launched an unusual preemptive strike today against a potential lawsuit by a former aide, saying her demand for reinstatement to a high-level position and $750,000 amounted to extortion to avoid the release of &ldquo;salacious details&rdquo; designed to embarrass the administration.</p><p>&ldquo;We will not be intimidated by such tactics and will vigorously defend any attempt to raid the treasury of the City of Detroit and get a lottery-style payoff,&rdquo; attorney Sharon McPhail, who is representing the city, told the Free Press.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Saginaw officials could pass &quot;dangerous dogs&quot; ordinance</strong></p><p>On the heels of a debate in the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/pit-bull-ban-going-nowhere?nopop=1">State Legislature about pit bulls</a> comes a city ordinance aimed at breeds deemed &quot;dangerous.&quot;</p><p>Justin Engel reports in the Saginaw News that city officials say their proposed &quot;dangerous dogs&quot; ordinance could have prevented the <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2011/06/pit_bull_mauls_filion_boy.html">mauling of a twelve year old boy</a>.</p><p>From the <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2011/06/saginaw_councilman_proposed_or.html">Saginaw News</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The Saginaw ordinance, which the council could approve at its June 20 meeting, addresses both pit bull breeds and tethering.<br /><br />The proposal requires owners of pit bulls &mdash; along with Rottweilers, German shepherds, presa canarios and bull mastiffs &mdash; to register their animals with the city for a one-time $20 payment or face fines up to $400.<br /><br />The measure also forbids tethering dogs to objects outdoors &ldquo;for extended periods&rdquo; or face additional fines.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Black Bear wandering in Washtenaw County</strong></p><p>From the Associated Press:</p><p>WEBSTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Authorities say they&#39;ve confirmed that a black bear cub is wandering in Washtenaw County.</p><p><a href="http://www.annarbor.com/news/bear-sighting-confirmed-in-webster-township-with-picture/">AnnArbor.com</a> reported Tuesday that the sheriff&#39;s department confirmed the bear sighting in Webster Township near Dexter, about 9 miles northwest of Ann Arbor.</p><p>The confirmation comes after three bear sightings Saturday, including two at Hudson Mills Metropark and one at a home near the park.</p><p>Authorities are asking anyone that spots the bear to call 911. Since a cub was seen, authorities say a mother bear may also be in the area.</p><p><strong>Backpack bomb scare</strong></p><p>The backpack was left outside the IRS building in Detroit.</p><p>From the <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110615/NEWS01/110614068/Detroit-city-hall-soap-opera-Bing-s-office-blasts-ex-aide-s-bid-750K-?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">Detroit Free Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>A backpack that set off a bomb scare outside the IRS building on Michigan Avenue in Detroit has been detonated by the Detroit Police Bomb Squad.</p><p>The backpack was found at about 4:30 a.m. at the corner of Third and Michigan, said Detroit Police Inspector Don Johnson. A power source spotted after an X-ray of the bag, prompted authorities to detonate the bag at the scene, versus remove it and detonate it elsewhere, he said.</p><p>Johnson, who would not elaborate on what the power source was, said investigators will review surveillance video to determine whether the bag was left accidentally or intentionally. Wed, 15 Jun 2011 13:16:20 +0000 Mark Brush 2890 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-126 <p><strong>Michigan House to release its redistricting plan </strong></p><p>The political boundaries in Michigan are being redrawn by the party in power, and Republicans in the State House plan to release their proposed redistricting maps this Friday.</p><p>Redrawing political boundaries is required every ten years after the U.S. Census numbers are released.</p><p>It&#39;s the first time the public will see how some Republicans plan to redraw Michigan&#39;s political maps.</p><p>Republicans in the State Senate will release their plans later.</p><p>Michigan is the only state in the nation to have lost population, so the state will lose one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. From the <a href="http://detroitnews.com/article/20110614/POLITICS02/106140376/Michigan-House-Republicans-to-release-redistricting-plans">Detroit News</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Congressional districts represented by Democratic U.S. Reps. Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township and Sander Levin of Royal Oak would be merged under a plan Republicans reviewed in late May that was obtained by The Detroit News.</p><p>If both wanted to keep their seat, they&#39;d have to run against each other in a Democratic primary. The draft plan would boost GOP majorities in a number of districts, making it easier for Republicans to hold on to their seats.</p><p>After the maps are released, the House Redistricting Committee will have hearings, according to a press release by Lund.</p></blockquote><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;"><p>The latest U.S. Census numbers show that populations declined in southeast Michigan and grew in the west and other parts of the state.</p><p>State Representative Pete Lund (R - Shelby Township) chairman of the House Redistricting Committee was quoted in the News article,<span style="color: #003399;"> &quot;the maps are going to reflect where people have moved. Whatever areas lost population will lose representation, and whatever areas gained population will gain representation.&quot;</span></p><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;"><br /><strong>Ford shares fall after $2 billion judgment in dealer suit</strong></div><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">&nbsp;</div><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">An Ohio judge ruled that Ford Motor Company had to pay more than $2 billion in damages to thousands of dealerships. In the class action suit, the dealers contend they were overcharged for trucks they paid for over an 11 year period.</div><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">&nbsp;</div><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">From the <a href="http://www.mlive.com/auto/index.ssf/2011/06/ford_shares_fall_after_2b_judg.html">Associated Press</a>:</div><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">&nbsp;</div><blockquote><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">Ford Motor Co. shares sank early Monday after an Ohio judge said the automaker had to pay nearly $2 billion in damages to thousands of dealerships who participated in a 2002 class-action lawsuit. But the shares pared their losses as several analysts downplayed the news and said Ford can absorb the damages even if loses a planned appeal.</div></blockquote><p><strong>ACLU goes after Livonia&#39;s medical marijuana ban</strong></p><p>The ACLU will challenge Livonia&#39;s medical marijuana ban in court today.</p><p>From the <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110614/NEWS02/110614004/1001/news">Detroit Free Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The American Civil Liberties Union will try to convince a Wayne County judge today to strike down a Livonia ordinance that bans medical marijuana in any way, shape or form.</p><p>The ACLU of Michigan, arguing on behalf of a medical marijuana patient with multiple sclerosis, claims that the Livonia measure violates the 2008 Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, which legalized medical marijuana. ACLU Attorney Andy Nickelhoff will present oral arguments at 11 a.m. before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Wendy M. Baxter.</p></blockquote><p>The ACLU is representing Linda and Robert Lott of Birmingham. Tue, 14 Jun 2011 11:26:01 +0000 Mark Brush 2868 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-121 <p><strong>Emergency Manager tosses union contract</strong></p><p>Michael Stampfler, the emergency manager of Pontiac, has flexed new muscles given to him by state legislators and Governor Snyder. Under the state&#39;s new emergency manager law, emergency managers can eliminate union contracts and strip local officials of their power.</p><p>From the <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2011/06/pontiac_emergency_financial_ma_1.html">Associated Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Pontiac has gotten approval to cancel union contract protections for 11 police dispatchers as it shuts down its police department.<br /><br />The Detroit Free Press reports Monday&#39;s action will make them the first Michigan public employees to have a contract tossed under the law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in March granting expanded powers to state-appointed emergency financial managers.<br /><br />It&#39;s the final move toward eliminating the Pontiac Police Department, which was proposed last year by emergency financial manager Michael Stampfler. Services will be handled by the Oakland County sheriff&#39;s department to save the cash-strapped city $2 million annually.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Detroit Mayor Bing prepares for layoffs after override of his budget veto</strong></p><p>The Detroit City Council voted to override Mayor Bing&#39;s veto of the council&#39;s budget. Bing thought the council&#39;s cuts went too far. The mayor says steep cuts are coming to the city of Detroit.</p><p>From the <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110607/NEWS01/106070376/1001/news">Detroit Free Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Detroit Mayor Dave Bing sharply criticized the City Council&#39;s override of his budget veto Monday, saying the $50 million in cuts the council restored will close recreation centers, eliminate hundreds of police officers and firefighters and end bus service on Sundays.</p><p>&quot;We will have to eliminate a lot of services,&quot; said a visibly frustrated Bing, who already cut the budget by $200 million. &quot;People have been complaining for years and years about inadequate services. Another $50 million in cuts is just irresponsible.&quot;</p></blockquote><p><strong>A memorial service for Jack Kevorkian</strong></p><p>Assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian died last Friday. Now friends and supporters will hold a public memorial service this Friday in Troy.</p><p>From the <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2011/06/jack_kevorkian_public_service.html">Associated Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The ceremony is being held at 9:30 a.m. at White Chapel Memorial Cemetery in Troy, said attorney Mayer Morganroth.</p><p>&quot;We weren&#39;t going to do anything, but we started getting calls from all across the country and from foreign countries, too,&quot; Morganroth told the Detroit Free Press in a story posted Monday on the newspaper&#39;s website. &quot;There is just so much interest from people who wanted to do something to remember Jack.&quot; Tue, 07 Jun 2011 11:50:44 +0000 Mark Brush 2776 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-105 <p><strong>GM Sales</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.gm.com/">General Motors</a> has released its first quarter-net income&hellip; and it&rsquo;s good news for the automaker.&nbsp; The Associated Press reports:</p><blockquote><p>General Motors says its first-quarter net income more than tripled on strong car sales in the U.S. and China. The company&#39;s first-quarter net income totaled $3.2 billion&hellip; one of its best performances since the SUV boom in the early 2000s. It was GM&#39;s fifth straight quarterly profit since late 2009, the year it emerged from bankruptcy. Quarterly revenue rose 15 percent to $36.2 billion. Worldwide sales climbed 12 percent, including a 25-percent jump in the U.S.</p></blockquote><p><strong>House Votes on Budget</strong></p><p>The state House passed a $33 billion budget bill yesterday. As the Associated Press reports, the measure covers spending for everything except education. From the AP:</p><blockquote><p>Lawmakers were deeply divided Wednesday on the measure, which closes prisons, drops 12,600 families from welfare and cuts senior services.</p><p>Majority Republicans say the budget puts the state on sound financial funding without using one-time fixes.</p><p>Minority Democrats say the bill cuts important services such as job training.</p><p>It includes $7 billion in general fund spending and passed 62-48, largely along party lines.</p><p>The bill must be reconciled with spending bills already passed by the Senate.</p></blockquote><p><strong>DPS Gets a New EM</strong></p><p>Governor Rick Snyder <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/governor-snyder-appoints-new-financial-manager-detroit-schools">has appointed a new Emergency Financial Manager</a> for the Detroit Public Schools. Snyder announced the appointment of <a href="http://www.detnews.com/article/20110504/METRO/105040398/Ex-GM-exec-Roberts-%E2%80%98excited%E2%80%99-to-take-over-DPS">former GM Executive Roy Roberts</a> to replace current Emergency Financial Manager <a href="http://detroitk12.org/admin/finance/manager/bio/">Robert Bobb</a> yesterday. Michigan Radio&rsquo;s Sarah Cwiek <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/governor-snyder-appoints-new-financial-manager-detroit-schools">reports</a>, &ldquo;Roberts has had a distinguished career in business and is considered a pioneer for African-Americans in the auto industry. Snyder says he chose Roberts because he&rsquo;s a &lsquo;successful businessman and team builder.&rsquo; Roberts says he&rsquo;s genuinely &lsquo;excited&rsquo; to tackle the daunting task of improving Detroit schools.&rdquo; Bobb&rsquo;s contract expires at the end of June. Thu, 05 May 2011 12:40:57 +0000 Zoe Clark 2356 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-104 <p><strong>Election Results</strong></p><p>Voters went to the <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/its-millage-time-find-links-may-3rd-election-results">polls across Michigan yesterday</a> to decide a variety of issues, from school millages, to funding for public safety, transportation, and libraries.</p><ul><li>In Flint, voters<a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/flint-voters-split-public-safety-millages"> renewed a millage</a> that pays for more than a dozen police officers. Flint has struggled with a rising violent crime rate for the past few years. City police have investigated about ninety homicides in the last sixteen months, Steve Carmody <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/flint-voters-split-public-safety-millages">reports</a>. But, as Carmody notes, &ldquo;Flint voters narrowly rejected a millage request that would have reopened the city jail. Budget problems have meant the jail has only&nbsp;been used sporadically since the late 1980&rsquo;s.&rdquo;</li></ul><ul><li>Lansing&nbsp;city residents <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/lansing-turns-down-essential-services-millage">voted no on a millage</a> that would have kept public safety services from facing deep cuts. The millage would have increased city residents&rsquo; property taxes about four percent to raise about $8.5 million over five years, Sarah Alvarez <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/lansing-turns-down-essential-services-millage">reports</a>. Lansing faces a $20 million dollar budget shortfall next year.</li></ul><ul><li>Voters in Washtenaw County passed a <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/washtenaw-county-voters-approve-special-education-millage">special education millage renewal</a> in yesterday&#39;s election. That means local school districts and charter schools in the county will receive about $14 million dollars for special education services. According to <a href="http://electionresults.ewashtenaw.org/may2011/cumulativereport.html">unofficial election results released by Washtenaw County</a>, 76% of voters approved the millage renewal.</li></ul><ul><li>Supporters of a millage to fund and expand bus services in the Grand Rapids metro area celebrated a narrow victory last night, Lindsey Smith <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/grand-rapids-area-supports-more-bus-servicesby-less-05-margin">reports</a>. More than 34,000 people cast ballots and the millage passed by just 136 votes. The bus system, known as <a href="http://www.ridetherapid.org/">The Rapid</a>, will now be able to serve riders later at night, on the weekends, and more frequently during the workday.</li></ul><ul><li>Jackson voters decided not <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vote-Yes-on-Public-Safety-Jackson/216178865064225?sk=wall&amp;filter=2">merge their city police and fire departments.</a>&nbsp;The proposal to create a single public safety department lost by a wide margin. Wed, 04 May 2011 12:06:29 +0000 Zoe Clark 2341 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-103 <p><strong>Election Day</strong></p><p>It&rsquo;s election day in Michigan but, as Steve Carmody reports, very few people expect long lines at polling stations. From Carmody:</p><blockquote><p>There are dozens of school millage votes and school board elections taking place today&nbsp;in Michigan.&nbsp; But school races rarely draw large crowds of voters.</p><p>There are a few communities voting on controversial, or at least well publicized, issues.</p><p><a href="../../post/flint-voters-must-decide-two-public-safety-millages-tuesday">Flint </a>voters are casting ballots on two millages.&nbsp; One would generate $2 million&nbsp;a year to reopen the city jail. The other would continue to fund a dozen police officers.</p><p><a href="../../post/lansing-voters-have-choice-higher-taxes-or-deeper-cuts-public-safety">Lansing</a> voters are deciding if they want to increase their property taxes to trim their city&rsquo;s projected 20-plus million dollar budget deficit nearly in half.</p><p>And in <a href="../../post/jackson-residents-face-difficult-choice-tuesdays-public-safety-merger-vote">Jackson</a>, voters will decide if they want to merge their city police and fire departments into one public safety department.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Lawmakers Continue Work on Budget</strong></p><p>State Senators will take-up Governor Rick Snyder&rsquo;s tax reform plan at the state Capitol this week. The tax plan would eliminate the unpopular Michigan Business tax and, instead, tax only some corporations and eliminate tax exemptions on certain retiree pensions. Supporters of the plan say it will improve the state economy by helping businesses. Opponents say the plan gives businesses tax breaks on the back of seniors, low income families, and children.</p><p><strong>Michigan Gas Prices Hit Record High</strong></p><p>Gas prices in the state have never been this high, according to GasBuddy.com. An analyst with GasBuddy says the old record was $4.25 a gallon. Now, prices at the pump in many parts of the state are higher: at $4.29 per gallon or more. It&rsquo;s predicted that prices could go up even further. Tue, 03 May 2011 12:34:19 +0000 Zoe Clark 2321 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-93 <p><strong>Still No Deal to Avert Government Shutdown</strong></p><p>Less than 24 hours remain for President Obama and Congressional leaders to <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/04/07/135204700/gop-prepares-budget-extension-as-talks-continue">avert a government shutdown</a>. A deal to fund the federal government through September must be reached by midnight tonight to keep the government fully operating. President Obama and legislative leaders met again last night to narrow their differences over how much to cut the federal budget but <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/time-running-out-avert-partial-government-shutdown">no agreement was made</a>. Michigan Radio&rsquo;s Mark Brush <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/how-shutdown-would-affect-michigan">takes a look at what a government shutdown</a> will mean for Michigan.</p><p><strong>Redistricting Hearings to Being Next Week</strong></p><p>A state <a href="http://www.house.michigan.gov/committeeinfo.asp?lstcommittees=redistricting+and+elections&amp;submit=Go">House panel</a> will begin the process of redrawing Michigan&rsquo;s political maps with hearings next week focused on results from the 2010 U.S. Census, Laura Weber <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/redrawing-political-map-michigan">reports</a>.&nbsp;From Weber:</p><blockquote><p>With Republicans controlling all branches of state government, Democrats are worried that new district lines will target a vulnerable Democratic seat like that of US Congressman Gary Peters. The state House Redistricting and Elections Committee is chaired by Republican Representative Pete Lund. Lund said in a statement that he looks forward to the hearings and, <em>&quot;</em>a fair, effective redistricting process for our state<em>.&quot;</em></p></blockquote><p><strong>ACLU Wants to Know More About EFM Bill</strong></p><p>The <a href="http://www.aclumich.org/issues/free-speech/2011-04/1538">American Civil Liberties Union</a> of Michigan wants to know more about the creation of Michigan&rsquo;s new <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/gov-snyder-hopes-controversial-emergency-financial-manager-law-will-help-financially-struggling">Emergency Financial Manager law</a>, Steve Carmody <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/aclu-wants-know-more-about-genesis-michigans-emergency-financial-manager-law-0">reports</a>. &ldquo;The legislation gives broad new powers to managers appointed by the state to run financially troubled cities and school districts. Kary Moss is with the ACLU of Michigan. She says the ACLU is filing Freedom of Information requests to learn more about who wrote the law,&rdquo; Carmody explains.</p><p><strong>Twenty-Three Campgrounds To Close</strong></p><p>Michigan plans to close <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/state-will-close-some-campgrounds-starting-may">twenty-three state forest campgrounds</a> beginning in May. The campgrounds are not state parks but, instead, are camping sites along rivers, lakes and trails. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the campgrounds are being closed because they&rsquo;re not heavily used and the state doesn&rsquo;t have the funds to maintain them. The majority of the closings will take place in the Upper Peninsula. Fri, 08 Apr 2011 12:22:31 +0000 Zoe Clark 1977 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-91 <p><strong>Report: State Doing Well Collecting Child Support Payments</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.audgen.michigan.gov/">A new Auditor General&rsquo;s report</a> says about 70 percent of Michigan children who are eligible for child support do receive the payments. About $3 billion in child support payments were collected over the last two years, Laura Weber <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/michigan-making-progress-collecting-child-support">reports</a>. Marilyn Stephen, Director of <a href="http://mi.gov/dhs/0,1607,7-124--253830--,00.html">Child Support with the Department of Human Services</a>, told Weber the state&rsquo;s child support program is a great return on investment for taxpayers, with more than $6 in child support collected for every dollar spent.</p><p><strong>Enbridge: Kalamazoo River Oil Spill Cost Half a Billion Dollars</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.enbridge.com/">Enbridge Energy</a> says last July&#39;s <a href="http://www.environmentreport.org/show.php?showID=455">oil spill of at least 800,000 gallons of oil</a> into the Kalamazoo River near Marshall, Michigan cost the company $550 million in 2010. The figure comes from an Enbridge <a href="http://ar2010.enbridgepartners.com/financial-highlights.aspx">report</a>. The $550 million does not include insurance recoveries, fines and penalties. In addition to the spill in Marshall, the Kalamazoo Gazette <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2011/04/enbridge_spent_550_million_on.html">reports</a>, Enbridge spent $45 million on a spill in Romeoville, Illinois in September. Public officials say they don&#39;t know when the Kalamazoo River will reopen for public use.</p><p><strong>Residents Learn More About DPS Reorginization</strong></p><p>The Detroit Public Schools held the first in a series of parent meetings about a radical plan to <a href="http://detroitk12.org/news/article/2288/">close some schools and turn others into charters,</a> Sarah Cwiek <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/dps-launches-parent-meetings-about-charter-schools-plan">reports</a>. From Cwiek:</p><blockquote><p>Most parents who attended the first meeting at Priest Elementary school in southwest Detroit expressed concern and even anger about Bobb&rsquo;s plan. Many worry what it will mean for their neighborhood schools, student transportation, and special needs students.</p></blockquote><p><a href="http://detroitk12.org/admin/finance/manager/bio/">Robert Bobb</a>, the Emergency Financial Manager of the Detroit Public Schools, has proposed closing six schools and turning up to 45 others into charters. Two more meetings are scheduled for April 12<sup>th</sup> and 13<sup>th</sup>. Wed, 06 Apr 2011 13:04:05 +0000 Zoe Clark 1931 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-90 <p><strong>Rallies Across the State</strong></p><p>Hundreds of union members and their supporters <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/unions-invoke-mlk-legacy-detroit-rally">rallied in various cities across the state yesterda</a>y. The rallies were organized to both protest what unions call attacks on the middle class and to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King&rsquo;s assassination. The Associated Press reports:</p><blockquote><p>Roughly 200 people gathered at the Capitol on Monday evening&hellip;</p><p>Several hundred people each turned out at rallies in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Muskegon. Rallies also took place in Escanaba, Saginaw and elsewhere around Michigan.</p><p>Michigan unions say they&#39;re upset about a new Republican-backed law that lets emergency managers appointed to assist financially struggling communities and schools rescind labor contracts.</p><p>The rallies were held Monday to link the fight for collective bargaining to the anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.&#39;s 1968 assassination while supporting striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tenn.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Economic Outlook in MI Improving</strong></p><p>Michigan&rsquo;s jobs picture is looking a little better, according to a <a href="http://rsqe.econ.lsa.umich.edu/?page=forecasts&amp;name=MI">new report</a> out of the University of Michigan. <a href="http://rsqe.econ.lsa.umich.edu/?page=forecasts&amp;name=MI">University of Michigan economists</a> say the state is starting 2011 with &ldquo;robust job growth,&rdquo; Steve Carmody <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/u-m-economists-say-state-posting-robust-job-growth-0">reports.</a> The <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110405/BUSINESS06/104050398/Surge-job-growth-surprise?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">Detroit Free Press</a> quotes University of Michigan economist George Fulton as saying, &ldquo;There appears to be pretty good evidence now that we are back to creating more jobs than we are losing. But, the Free Press <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110405/BUSINESS06/104050398/Surge-job-growth-surprise?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">notes</a> Fulton also, &quot;cautioned that the state&#39;s 10.4% unemployment rate is still high, so many residents won&#39;t feel as if a recovery is under way. Fulton expects Michigan&#39;s unemployment rate to drop to 9.9% by the last quarter of this year and to reach 9.5% by the end of 2012.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>DSO Musicians to Return to Work</strong></p><p>Musicians with the <a href="http://www.detroitsymphony.com/">Detroit Symphony Orchestra</a> say they <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/detroit-symphony-musicians-return-work-thursday">will return to work on Thursday</a>. A <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/tentative-deal-could-end-detroit-symphony-orchestra-strike">tentative agreement</a> between the striking musicians and the Orchestra&rsquo;s management was announced this week. An official ratification <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/detroit-symphony-musicians-agree-go-back-work-voting-new-contract">vote will come later this week</a>. Musicians <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/update-detroit-symphony-orchestra-strike">had been on strike since October</a>. Tue, 05 Apr 2011 11:55:24 +0000 Zoe Clark 1916 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-87 <p><strong>Laws-a-Plenty</strong></p><p>Governor Snyder <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/snyder-signs-unemployment-benefits-extension-law">signed a bill yesterday</a> that extends unemployment benefits by 20 weeks to some 35,000 Michiganders. However, the bill also cuts six-weeks of state unemployment benefits for new filers beginning next year. The measure reduces jobless benefits in the state from 26 weeks to 20 weeks as of 2012. Meanwhile, Governor Snyder is scheduled to sign a bill this afternoon that would <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/snyder-set-sign-bill-repeal-item-pricing-law">repeal Michigan&rsquo;s item pricing law</a>. Snyder <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/will-price-tags-be-thing-past-michigan">first spoke about repealing the state&rsquo;s law</a> that requires retailers to put price tags on most individual items in his January State of the State address.</p><p><strong>Bernero Lays Out Lansing Budget</strong></p><p>Lansing Mayor, and former 2010 Democratic Gubernatorial candidate, Virg Bernero <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/lansing-mayor-proposes-eliminating-200-city-jobs">presented his 2012 fiscal year budget</a> last night. Lansing faces a $20 million budget hole next year and Bernero said such a deficit requires a tough and painful response. The Mayor&rsquo;s budget plan would cut more than 50 Lansing police officers and close three fire stations, Steve Carmody <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/lansing-mayor-proposes-eliminating-200-city-jobs">reports</a>.</p><p><strong>April 1<sup>st</sup> Deadline for DSO</strong></p><p>Musicians with the <a href="http://www.detroitsymphony.com/">Detroit Symphony Orchestra</a> say they have been given a Friday deadline to settle a strike with the DSO management, the Associated Press <a href="http://washingtonexaminer.com/entertainment/2011/03/musicians-april-1-contract-deadline-set-dso">reports</a>. From the <a href="http://washingtonexaminer.com/entertainment/2011/03/musicians-april-1-contract-deadline-set-dso">AP</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The players say in a release Monday the orchestra&#39;s board has told them that if no contract agreement is reached by Friday the summer performance season &quot;will be lost&quot; and the fall season &quot;would be in serious jeopardy.&quot; An orchestra spokeswoman would not comment on whether a deadline has been imposed. Board chair Stanley Frankel says in a statement that the board is &quot;convinced that a settlement is within reach&quot; and that negotiators have been meeting by phone and e-mail.</p></blockquote><p>DSO musicians have <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/update-detroit-symphony-orchestra-strike">been on strike</a> since October of last year. Tue, 29 Mar 2011 13:14:18 +0000 Zoe Clark 1827 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-86 <p><strong>Students Protest Budget Cuts</strong></p><p>A <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/college-students-rally-against-proposed-higher-ed-budget-cuts">few hundred college students protested</a> against Governor Snyder&rsquo;s budget proposal at the state Capitol yesterday. Snyder has called for a <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/u-m-wont-ask-legislature-soften-governors-higher-ed-cuts">15 percent cut</a> to Michigan&rsquo;s public colleges and universities. Laura Weber was reporting from Lansing and said although the rally was not the largest that the Capitol has seen in the past couple of weeks it was one of the loudest. Weber <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/college-students-rally-against-proposed-higher-ed-budget-cuts">reports</a> Governor Snyder would have been able to hear the students across the street in his office.</p><p><strong>Michigan State Police Announces Closures</strong></p><p>The Michigan State Police announced yesterday that <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/michigan-state-police-plan-close-21-posts">it plans to close 21 posts across the state</a> in order to save money. Closings include posts in Battle Creek, Detroit, and Traverse City. The Associated Press reports:</p><blockquote><p>The changes would take effect with the start of Michigan&#39;s next budget year in October. Troopers would be deployed throughout the state mostly from remaining posts and other buildings the state police would call detachments. Some troopers assigned to rural areas would be based from their homes. The state police say it&#39;s part of a regional policing plan.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Muslim Group Claims Harassment at Border</strong></p><p>An <a href="http://www.cairmichigan.org/">Islamic advocacy group </a>says border agents are harassing and violating the civil rights of scores of American Muslims re-entering the country from Canada, Sarah Hulett reports. The group CAIR is filing complaints with the Department of Homeland Security. As Hulett <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/muslim-group-claims-border-harassment">reports</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Abdulrahman Cherri is a student at the University of Michigan. His fiancé lives in Canada, and he says when he returns to the U.S. from visiting her, his car has been taken apart, and he&rsquo;s been subjected to invasive full-body searches. He says he&rsquo;s also been questioned about his religion, even after telling border agents that he&rsquo;s too busy with school to worship. The Council on American-Islamic Relations says parents have been ordered out of cars at gunpoint and handcuffed while their children watched.</p></blockquote><p>CAIR is also asking the Justice Department to investigate the harassment. Fri, 25 Mar 2011 12:04:48 +0000 Zoe Clark 1784 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-85 <p><strong>Debate at State Capitol Over Unemployment Benefit Extension</strong></p><p>People who file for jobless benefits next year <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/legislators-debating-extending-jobless-benefits">would be eligible for fewer weeks of payments</a> under a measure approved by the state Legislature. Laura Weber reports:</p><blockquote><p>Lawmakers had to approve a jobless benefits package this week in order for the state to receive federal assistance for the program.</p><p>The debate was so contentious in the Senate that leaders ordered the doors locked to keep lawmakers in the chamber.</p><p>Democratic Senators are upset that Republicans reduced the total number of weeks that people who become unemployed in the future could receive the benefits.</p><p>The measure was approved by the Senate and House and now moves to Governor Rick Snyder&rsquo;s desk.</p></blockquote><p><strong>State Jobless Rate Continues Decline</strong></p><p>Michigan&rsquo;s <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/michigans-unemployment-rate-declined-february">unemployment rate dropped to 10.4 percent in February</a>. That&rsquo;s down three-tenths of a point from what it was in January of this year. The number shows about 11,000 more people working in the state in February. Officially, there are 495,000 people in Michigan out of work and looking for a job. There&rsquo;s another 430,000 people who are either part-timers wishing they had full-time work, or unemployed people who&rsquo;ve simply quit looking for jobs.</p><p><strong>Why the &lsquo;Underwear Bomber&rsquo; Targeted Detroit</strong></p><p>More <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/attempted-christmas-day-bomber-picked-detroit-target-because-cheap-plane-ticket">details are being learned</a> about why Detroit was chosen as a target in an attempt by an al-Qaida operative to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day in 2009. It appears Detroit was picked because, quite simply, it was a cheap destination. The Associated Press has learned that <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/underwear-bomber-arraigned-new-charges">Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab</a> had considered attacking an airplane over Houston or Chicago but the plane tickets were too expensive so, instead, he chose Detroit. The AP explains, &ldquo;the decision shows that al-Qaida&#39;s Yemen branch does not share Osama bin Laden&#39;s desire to attack symbolic targets.&rdquo; Thu, 24 Mar 2011 12:47:10 +0000 Zoe Clark 1770 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-84 <p><strong>Detailed Census Data released</strong></p><p>The <a href="http://2010.census.gov/2010census/data/">U.S. Census Bureau released detailed population numbers</a> for the state yesterday. The numbers spurred a number of stories across the state as cities and counties reflected on what the numbers mean:</p><p><a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110323/NEWS06/103230458/Census-Detroit-shrank-while-suburbs-changed?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">Census: Detroit Shrank while the suburbs changed</a></p><p><a href="http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20110323/NEWS01/103230324/-1/">Census: Lansing population falls 4 percent</a></p><p><a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2011/03/new_2010_census_data_shows_fli.html">New 2010 Census data shows Flint population at 102,434</a></p><p><a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2011/03/ottawa_county_shines_as_west_m.html">Ottawa County shines as West Michigan shows relative strength in latest U.S. Census figures</a></p><p><a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2011/03/census_2010_bay_countys_popula.html">Census 2010: Bay County&#39;s population decrease could have been worse</a></p><p><a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2011/03/census.html">U.S. Census data shows slight growth in Muskegon County during decade of Great Recession</a></p><p><a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2011/03/ottawa_county_shines_as_west_m.html"> </a></p><p><a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/03/2010_census_data_shows_michiga.html">2010 Census data shows Michigan shifting rural</a></p><p><strong>Granholm enjoying post-Governor life</strong></p><p>In one of the first interviews since leaving the Governor&#39;s office in Michigan, Jennifer Granholm says she&#39;s enjoying life as a private citizen.</p><p>From the <a href="http://detnews.com/article/20110323/POLITICS02/103230400/1361/">Detroit News</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Granholm &mdash; after getting to avoid the airport security line as governor &mdash; now faces the same indignities as all frequent travelers do.</p><p>&quot;I got the whole pat-down today, but it is what it is,&quot; she said with a laugh.</p><p>Granholm relishes her new quieter life. &quot;I kind of like being low-key. I kind of like being able to wear sunglasses again,&quot; she said.</p><p>She ate lunch on Cosi and was glued to her BlackBerry &mdash; and no one bothered her. &quot;It&#39;s a beautiful thing,&quot; she said. &quot;I am enjoying life.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Granholm and her husband, Daniel Mulhern, are moving to California, temporarily they say, before moving back to Michigan. Both will be teaching at U.C. Berkeley&nbsp; and they&#39;re working on a book together.</p><p>Granholm says she won&#39;t engage in criticizing her successor, Governor Rick Snyder.</p><p><strong>Republicans will start to redraw political districts in Michigan</strong></p><p>The U.S. Census numbers are in hand, now its time for politicians to re-draw some fancy lines for new political districts. MLive&#39;s Peter Luke says Republicans are wasting no time in redrawing political boundaries for Congressional and State legislative seats.</p><p>From <a href="http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/03/republicans_take_up_task_of_re.html">M-Live</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Republicans, who have a 9-6 edge in congressional seats, likely will seek to put two or more Democratic incumbents &mdash; say U.S. Reps. Dale Kildee, Sander Levin and Gary Peters &mdash; in the same district.<br /><br />The process could give some Republicans heartburn as well. The 1st Congressional District currently represented by U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, extends from Ironwood to Bay City and will require about 55,000 more residents in the northern Lower Peninsula from districts held by fellow Republicans.<br /><br />Giving Benishek Grand Traverse County, for example, shifts the 4th Congressional District of U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, somewhere else.</p></blockquote><p> Wed, 23 Mar 2011 13:17:36 +0000 Mark Brush 1755 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-79 <p><strong>Protests to Continue in Lansing</strong></p><p>More <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/seniors-plan-protest-state-capitol">demonstrations are expected</a> at the state Capitol today, this time from members of <a href="http://www.aarp.org/states/mi/">AARP Michigan</a>. The group will protest Governor Rick Snyder&rsquo;s <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/state-income-tax-pensions">budget proposal that would get rid of the income tax exemption for pensions</a>. &nbsp;The Detroit Free Press <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110315/NEWS15/103150363/1285/news15/Michigan-seniors-union-workers-rally-Capitol-">reports </a>that AARP Michigan has arranged to transport 400 seniors to the rally. AARP Michigan spokesman Mark Hornbeck told the Free Press he wouldn&rsquo;t be surprised if over 1,000 attend the protest</p><p><strong>Japanese crisis raises questions about nuclear power in&nbsp; U.S.</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/03/14/134528211/japan-nuclear-plant-hit-by-second-explosion">The nuclear accidents in Japan,</a> following Friday&rsquo;s earthquake and tsunami, are raising questions about the future of around 20 planned new nuclear power plants in the U.S, including one in Michigan. Steve Carmody <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/japanese-crisis-raises-questions-about-future-nuclear-power">reports</a>:</p><blockquote><p><a href="http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/col/fermi.html">DTE&rsquo;s proposed Fermi 3 nuclear power plant </a>has the potential of helping Michigan meet its future energy needs, as well as its construction generating billions of dollars for the state&rsquo;s economy. But like 19 other proposed nuclear projects, its future appears murky in the wake of the Japanese nuclear crisis.&nbsp;</p><p>A DTE spokesman says it&rsquo;s &ldquo;way too early&rdquo; to speculate on how the events in Japan may affect the utility&rsquo;s application for Fermi 3.&nbsp;</p><p>Plans for new nuclear power plants all but dried up after <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_mile_island">the 1979 Three Mile Island accident</a> and it was only recently that interest in developing alternative energy sources renewed interest in nuclear power.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Holder, Sebelius in Detroit</strong></p><p>U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be at Wayne State University in Detroit today. They&rsquo;re <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/sebelius-holder-speak-detroit">attending a regional summit</a> that will discuss Medicare <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/12/20101216a.html">fraud prevention</a>. The AP <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2011/03/eric_holder_kathleen_sebelius.html">reports</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Waste and fraud cost the federal Medicare program and Medicaid, its state counterpart, an estimated $54 billion in 2009. Holder said at a December summit in Boston that the Obama administration&#39;s crackdown on health care fraud has recovered $4 billion in Massachusetts alone over two years. Tue, 15 Mar 2011 12:12:33 +0000 Zoe Clark 1654 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news...