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Law
1:53 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Annual homicides in Detroit could fall below 300

Homicides in Detroit were down 20% from the same period last year, according to police stats released back in June.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

For the first time in years, Detroit Police say the city is on track to have fewer than 

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Economy
1:52 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Vice President Biden uses Labor Day speech to call for "a fair share" for workers

Vice President Joe Biden talking to a Labor Day crowd in Detroit. UAW Pres. Dennis Williams listens.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Vice President Joe Biden repeatedly raised the issue of income inequality during a speech before the start of today’s Labor Day parade in Detroit.

Thousands of union workers packed the grounds of Old Tiger Stadium at Michigan and Trumbull to hear the Vice President speak. Biden was flanked on stage by  Teamsters President James P. Hoffa and United Auto Workers president Dennis Williams.  

Biden lashed out at corporations and the wealthy who make millions of dollars while union workers continue to struggle.

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Politics & Government
1:50 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

November election on minds of Detroit Labor Day parade marchers

A heavy downpour failed to dampen the spirits of thousands of union members marching in Detroit's annual Labor Day parade
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Thousands of union workers marched down Michigan Avenue today as part of Detroit’s annual Labor Day parade.

Just as the parade was getting started, a heavy downpour drenched the marchers as they stepped off from Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Street.

But the crowd’s passions remained enflamed by speeches from state union leaders, like SEIU president Marge Robinson, who attacked Governor Rick Snyder for signing Right to Work legislation.

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Business
1:48 pm
Sun August 31, 2014

Report: Many Michiganders struggling to make ends meet

Waitresses, home care workers and others who are the backbone of Michigan economy fall short of having enough money to meet their basic survival needs.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Many Michiganders are working hard this Labor Day weekend and still not making ends meet.

According to a new report, 4 in 10 Michigan households meet the definition of “asset-limited, income constrained, employed” – or ALICE for short.

Scott Dzurka is the CEO of the Michigan Association of United Ways. He says these people are waitresses, home care workers and others who are the backbone of the Michigan economy. He says ALICE households fall short of having enough money to meet their basic survival needs. 

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That's What They Say
1:08 pm
Sun August 31, 2014

Cracking wise: A word with so many meanings

Credit Michigan Radio

Cracking up is funny, except when it involves going completely to pieces, but cracking down often isn't funny at all. 

University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan hadn't really deeply pondered the many meanings of the word "crack," until Rina Miller mentioned getting a chuckle from a road department's press release about crack sealing, prompting the predictable plumber's butt joke.

What Curzan discovered is that the word goes back to old English, starting as a verb. 

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That's What They Say
12:49 pm
Sun August 31, 2014

Even the Romans had their dog days of summer

Credit Michigan Radio

Michiganders didn't really get much of a chance to refer to "the dog days of summer" this year, but what you might not realize is that the expression didn't come from sizzling weather, but from the stars.

University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan says people have come up with some very good explanations that relate to dogs on scorching days.

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That's What They Say
12:37 pm
Sun August 31, 2014

Puzzling over plurals: Is it vinyl or vinyls?

Credit Michigan Radio

It appears vinyl records are causing some folks a bit of grammatical angst.

University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan says one of those people experiencing discomfort about the plural of the word "vinyl" is Michigan Radio's Mike Perini, who happens to be an avid music collector.

Curzan says she was surprised to find quite a debate about the word. It's been in newspapers and blogs.

"There are even t-shirts and magnets that say the plural of vinyl is vinyl," she says.

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Business
11:29 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Gradual minimum wage hike set to launch

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - An increase in Michigan's minimum wage is set to launch, and with it comes a test of whether the gradual rise will help workers, harm businesses or neither.

The first bump comes Monday, when the wage moves up from $7.40 an hour to $8.15. The 25 percent overall raise comes in annual increments, capping at $9.25 in 2018.

It directly affects about 4 percent of the state's roughly 2.5 million hourly workers who earn the minimum wage or lower. It could help some who make more since employers likely will adjust their pay scales.

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Politics & Government
9:52 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Airwaves heat up in race for Michigan governor

Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI)
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Political TV ads are set to escalate in the final two months of the race between Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Democrat Mark Schauer. If the ads that have already run in the contest are any indication, themes will used time and again.

Some charges are inaccurate or lack context the public might find useful. Snyder never cut education funding by $1 billion in his first year. State-based K-12 funding has gone up every year of his term. But he did slash universities' funding and deprive the K-12 school fund of revenue through a business tax cut.

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Law
7:35 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Michigan troopers join traffic safety initiative

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State Police troopers are putting special emphasis on dangerous driving behaviors over Labor Day weekend.

In a news release, the state police say troopers are joining their counterparts from across the country in a traffic safety initiative called Operation C.A.R.E.

Operation C.A.R.E. was formed to deter three causes of highway fatalities: aggressive driving, impaired driving and failure to use restraints.

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Arts & Culture
5:30 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Leading US Muslim group holding convention in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) - Former President Jimmy Carter has told a group of Muslim Americans in Detroit they should take a role in supporting peace and justice efforts.

Carter delivered the keynote at Saturday's Islamic Society of North America convention at Cobo Center.

The society is among America's leading Muslim groups. The Detroit area has one of the nation's largest Muslim populations.

The Detroit News reports that Carter said he hopes Muslim Americans "will use the principals of Allah to bring peace and justice to all."

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Environment & Science
5:29 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Ohio farmers get more money to combat lake's algae

Credit Lake Improvement Association / Flickr

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - The federal government is coming up with more money to help farmers cut down on the fertilizers that are feeding cyanobacteria, sometimes referred to as blue-green algae, in Lake Erie.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio announced Friday that an additional $1 million will go into a program that will give grants to farmers who plant winter crops.

Researchers say winter crops help to stop fertilizers from washing into streams and rivers that flow into Lake Erie.

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Health
5:12 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Michigan small businesses get help navigating health care law changes

A lot of Michigan businesses are set to renew their health insurance plans in the fourth quarter of the year.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is launching a private health insurance marketplace September 1st.

Jason Russell is the senior director of the chamber’s Department of Insurance Services.

He says the intent of the new marketplace is to help small businesses and insurance agents deal with an increasingly complex health insurance landscape under the Affordable Care Act.

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Business
3:30 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Abusive bosses infect entire teams, MSU study claims

The 2011 movie Horrible Bosses had audiences laughing at abusive bosses. But a new MSU study say abusive leaders are a serious problem.

Many Michiganders are enjoying a long weekend away from their abusive bosses.

A new Michigan State University study finds leaders who are verbally abusive to their employees are actually doing more harm than you may think.    

Crystal Fahr is an assistant professor of management in MSU’s Broad College of Business.  She is the lead investigator on the study published online in the Journal of Applied Psychology

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Education
11:29 am
Sat August 30, 2014

EMU upgrades campus security after murder of 2 students

Credit MorgueFile

 

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University is completing security upgrades as students return for fall classes.

The Ann Arbor News reports that the work is aimed at improving campus safety.

The Ypsilanti school is spending $485,000 to upgrade security cameras. Eastern Michigan has more than 500 surveillance cameras on campus. Another $273,000 is being spent on two lighting projects.

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Law
9:22 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Women fired at Detroit-area court lose big verdict

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

CLINTON TOWNSHIP – A federal appeals court has thrown out a $2.2 million verdict in a lawsuit by three women who were fired in 2004 at a court in Macomb County.

In a 3-0 decision, the court says Judge Linda Davis has immunity. The case is going back to Detroit federal court to possibly come up with a different remedy for the women.

Patricia Barachkov, Nancy Englar and Carol Diehl were fired at Clinton Township District Court when Davis was chief judge. They said the firings were politically motivated and they weren't given a chance to fight their dismissals.

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Politics & Government
5:31 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Filings in Detroit's bankruptcy are getting personal

Turns out federal judge Stephen Rhodes can write a piece of legal smack down when he wants.
Credit John Meiu / Detroit Legal News Publishing LLC

A recent order from the court reads like a Facebook argument.

It started with Syncora, a major bond insurer that claims Detroit owes it more than a billion dollars.

The company filed an objection to the “grand bargain” that’s been coming together to save the Detroit Institute of Arts and protect the city’s pensioners.

Basically, Syncora says it and other Wall Street creditors are getting treated like the bad guys, while the DIA and the pensioners are clearly the hometown favorites.

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Offbeat
4:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Psst! I think cyanobacterium is an enormous jerk

Algae (L), Cyanobacterium (R).
Michelle Haun Michigan Radio

You might have heard.

We've got this new guy strutting around the station telling us to "get it right."

Well, I've had just about enough of this guy. I'm sharing my thoughts about him in this vlog (video blog, for the uninitiated).

I hope you can help me get rid of him.

Economy
3:49 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Charter school authorizers propose their own system for oversight, closures

Credit User: Thomas Favre-Bulle / Flickr

A group of Michigan charter school authorizers has come up with a system it says will lead to better oversight.

It’s a voluntary accreditation system for institutions that open and oversee charter schools. It will judge authorizers based on things like transparency and efforts to intervene in failing schools.

Jared Burkhart directs the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers.

“This process will ensure that all Michigan authorizers are following and adapting standards that are the strongest in the nation," Burkhart says. "This will lead to the best authorizing practices, we feel, throughout the United States.”

Earlier this month, state superintendent Mike Flanagan warned 11 authorizers he might stop them from overseeing new charters schools. That’s if they don’t improve the oversight of their existing schools.

A spokesperson for Flanagan says he’s interested in working with authorizers on the new oversight system, but he’s concerned the proposed standards aren’t detailed enough.

Law
1:15 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Detroit bankruptcy judge will hear more arguments about water shutoffs

Credit Ross Kuhn / via Facebook

Some Detroit residents and activists are trying to put water shutoffs on hold—again.

The Detroit water department resumed its residential water shut-off program for delinquent customers this week. It’s trying to collect more than $80 million in back payments.

The city had put the controversial program on hold for about a month, while holding water assistance fairs and giving those who struggle to pay their bills time to get on payment plans.

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