Leon Drolet http://michiganradio.org en In this morning's news: Common Core hearings, limits on public employee benefits, the Heritage Tower http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-common-core-hearings-limits-public-employee-benefits-heritage-tower <p><strong>Common Core hearings</strong></p><p>A state House panel began a<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/common-core-standards-debate"> series of hearings about the Common Core State Standards </a>yesterday. Republican Representative Tom McMillin says the standards take away local control and were developed and adopted without public input. Committee Chair Tim Kelly says the panel should make its recommendation on Common Core in September, Michigan Public Radio's Jake Neher reports.</p><p><strong>Legislation to limit public employee benefits</strong></p><p>There’s legislation in Lansing that would allow local ballot drives to cap public employee benefits. Leon Drolet, head of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance, says the ballot campaigns would act as a safeguard against cozy relationships between public employee unions and local elected officials who bargain with them. Unions say the bill is not necessary because local officials are already accountable to voters, Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports.</p><p><strong>Reviving Battle Creek's Heritage Tower</strong></p><p>Battle Creek city commissioners voted last night to create a special tax district in hopes of <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/battle-creek-looks-use-special-tax-district-revitalize-downtown-landmark">reviving an iconic downtown building</a>. The Heritage Tower is an 82-year-old art deco building and the upper floors of the former bank building have been condemned. Ken Tsuchiyama, Battle Creek’s city manager, fears the building may have to be demolished unless the new owner can revitalize it.</p><p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 11:45:20 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13570 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Common Core hearings, limits on public employee benefits, the Heritage Tower