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Law
5:41 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

17 Lansing Police employees disciplined for misusing food from Bridge Card investigations

An internal investigation shows a team of police officers investigating Bridge Card fraud in Lansing violated department policies by eating confiscated food. The Lansing Police Department announced it took disciplinary action against 17 officers Friday.

Back in 2013, a woman who dated a Lansing police officer filed a complaint with the department. Michigan State Police investigated what happened to roughly $14,000 in food and other goods police seized. But the state attorney general’s office declined to file criminal charges earlier this year.

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Families & Community
4:50 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Disagreement over the number of homeless people in Michigan

Estimates of homeless people by state.
Credit US Department of Housing and Urban Development

Federal and state officials disagree on the number of chronic homeless that are living in Michigan.

In its 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said that Michigan had a 6.1% increase in homelessness cases from 2013 to 2014, one of the highest in the nation, up 700 from 11,527 to 12,227. 

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Halloween
4:18 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Too much Halloween candy in the house? Dentists in Michigan will buy that candy back

Don't tell the kids, but there is a way to get rid of all that candy.
rochelle hartman Flickr

It goes without saying that you should NOT tell your kids about these dentists and their plan to buy their hard-earned candy back.

But if you find your house inundated, this just might be a good option - and who knows, maybe the kids will participate if they know there's a little money involved (the dentists pay $1 per pound of candy).

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It's Just Politics
4:07 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Can Obama still get Obama voters to the polls?

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

 As we head into the last weekend before the election, Rick Snyder and Mark Schauer (and plenty of others) are making their final swings through the state, launching their final push to get out the vote.

These final few days are all about reaching voters, the would-be, possible voters and persuading, inspiring them to get to the polls.

Democrats Need Excitement

There are more registered Democrats in Michigan than Republicans. Michigan is a blue state. But Democrats don’t turn out to the polls the way Republicans do, particularly in midterm elections. That’s why in the past six presidential cycles, Michigan has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate but why, because they’re elected in the midterms, we have a Republican governor, secretary of state, and attorney general.

It’s toward that end that the D’s have a big attraction coming this weekend. President Obama is scheduled to campaign with Schauer and Democratic Senatorial candidate Gary Peters in Detroit on Saturday.

Nationwide, many Democrats are avoiding the president, but not here in Michigan. Instead, they’re betting the upside of the president’s visit will be bigger than the risk.

They’re hoping that the president can convince the legions that stepped out to support him in 2012 that they need to step out once again in 2014, even if his name is not at the top of the ticket.

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Politics & Government
2:47 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

For Mark Schauer, all roads to victory run through Detroit

Mike Duggan and Mark Schauer canvass together in Detroit.
Credit Kenny Karpov / via Facebook

With just days to go before the election, the Michigan Governor’s race appears too close to call.

But one thing is for sure: if Democrat Mark Schauer is going to have a shot, voters in heavily-Democratic Detroit need to turn out.

Even though Michigan politics have changed a lot over the years, that one fact has stayed pretty much the same for Democrats in statewide races.

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Sports
1:34 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Dave Brandon resigns as University of Michigan's Athletic Director

Dave Brandon, for better or worse, was tied to his hire as Michigan football head coach, Brady Hoke.
Adam Glanzman Flickr

The University of Michigan's Athletic Director, David Brandon, has resigned.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel made the announcement this afternoon at a press conference. Schlissel said Brandon told him about his decision to resign on Wednesday (Oct. 29). Schlissel said the terms and conditions of Brandon's departure will be released later today. 

People in Brandon's position always have their critics, but the severe storm around Brandon grew over the last several weeks.

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Stateside
11:54 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Gas prices, elections, and seasonal coincidence

Conspiracy of rats
Credit Jorge Gonzalez / Flickr

We thought about having a week dedicated to debunking conspiracy theories, but we're not Snopes nor are we The Onion.

But one theory that we just couldn't let go of, that continues to circulate, lent itself to some easy debunking.

The myth? That Americans see a fall in gas prices at election time.

It's easy to assume that there's some big conspiracy theory to make gas prices decline right before we go to the polls.

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Opinion
11:20 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Detroiters came together to solve the Devil's Night fires. Now how about rebuilding the city?

Detroit has barely half the number of people it did 30 years ago, and only about a third of its population 60 years ago.

The city is now waiting, as we all are, to see how federal Judge Steven Rhodes will rule on the city’s plan to get out of bankruptcy. Nobody has any illusions the future will be easy.

But here’s something to think about: there was no mass arson in the city last night. Devil’s Night seems truly a thing of the past.

Even that term is politically incorrect. They call it Angels’ Night now.

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Economy
11:05 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Michigan gas price average falls below $3 gallon

Gas prices from the past at the shuttered Logan's Gas and Deli near Battle Creek.
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

DEARBORN, Mich. - The average price of gas statewide has dropped below $3 a gallon in Michigan for the first time in nearly four years.

Average gas prices fell 14 cents from last week and are currently about $2.99 per gallon. That's roughly 38 cents less than the same time last year.

Prices dipped below the $3 mark yesterday in metro Detroit, where the average gas price is $2.97.

A gas history report by AAA determined the average price of gas hasn't been below $3 a gallon in Michigan since December 2010. The organization says gas prices typically decline in the fall, when the industry begins offering a cheaper winter-blend and demand decreases.

Sports Commentary
9:24 am
Fri October 31, 2014

"Mr. Hockey" Gordie Howe had a surprising role in the growth of Michigan hockey

Gordie Howe's Hockey Card at age 43.
Credit Trish Thornton / Flickr

You don’t have to know much about hockey to know about Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe. 

This week, we learned his family is “expecting the worst.”  With his days numbered, you’ll be reading a lot about Howe’s hockey heroics.  He set just about every NHL scoring record, and a dozen still stand.  One of the most impressive: he finished in the top five for scoring for two straight decades.

He played in the NHL at 18, and at 51. 

Howe’s heyday paralleled his team’s, and his town’s.

The Wings were a dynasty, winning four Stanley Cups, and nine regular season titles.  No team symbolized the Motor City’s might like the Red Wings. 

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Environment & Science
8:35 am
Fri October 31, 2014

MSU grapples with Creationism & Evolution

Darwin vs the Bible on the Michigan State University campus
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A controversial conference promoting creationism takes place at Michigan State University tomorrow.

The Oklahoma-based Christian group behind the conference says university students should not be taught solely the Theory of Evolution.

Mike Smith is the founder of the Creation Summit. He insists the goal is not to ban the teaching of evolution, only to make room for a biblical view of the origins of life on Earth.

“It would be good if the students could hear from both sides and draw their own conclusions,” says Smith.

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Law
6:30 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Your house is haunted. What's a home seller to do?

Credit Morguefile

It's that time of year when we think about things going bump in the night.

So what if you believe a real ghost has taken up residence in your house and you want to move away? Do you need to tell potential buyers about your uninvited guest?

Michigan law is hazy when it comes to the seller's duty to disclose non-physical or so-called psychological defects of property, according to Gregg Nathanson, a Michigan real estate lawyer.  Haunted houses would fall into that category of property.

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Politics & Government
6:11 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Candidates making final push before election next week

Democratic nominee for governor Mark Schauer greets auto workers in Lansing on Thursday to kick off a statewide campaign tour ahead of next Tuesday’s election.
Credit Jake Neher / MPRN

Candidates have just a few more days to convince people to show up to the polls next week and vote for them. That means campaigns are beginning their final push.

Democratic nominee for governor Mark Schauer is embarking on a statewide campaign tour. He kicked it off by greeting auto workers in Lansing as they got off their shift.  

Schauer says he is confident in his chances, especially after recent reports show strong numbers in his favor with absentee voters who have already cast their ballots.

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Weekly Political Roundup
5:30 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

What politicos are watching as we count down to Election Day

Polling place
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

We're just a few days away from the Nov. 4 midterm election. Republicans and Democrats are using these last days to push their messages out to voters.

I spoke with Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, about what they'll be watching in these final days.

Here's our conversation:

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Arts & Culture
5:10 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Yankee Air Museum gets new home, name, and mission

The Yankee Air Museum met its initial fundraising goal to save part of the Willow Run plant
Credit Tracy Samilton/Michigan Radio

The former Yankee Air Museum is getting a new name, to go with its new home in part of the historic bomber plant at Willow Run.

The name, "The National Museum of Aviation and Technology at Historic Willow Run," will likely be reduced to a nickname in common parlance over time, says consultant Mike Montgomery.

He says a lot of effort went into salvaging a part of the Willow Run plant before the rest was demolished.

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Investigative
3:43 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

More and better jobs?

Photo tweeted by Snyder campaign.

Incumbent Republican Governor Rick Snyder has been vague about what he would do in the next four years in office, saying only, "We're on the road to recovery." He also says he'll pursue "more and better jobs." Political observers expect Snyder will continue on the path he's established, working to stimulate businesses while keeping a tight rein on state spending.

In an ad, Snyder says, "Our unemployment rate is the lowest in six years with nearly 300,000 new private-sector jobs." 

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Offbeat
3:03 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Guy behind the street harassment video also made Grand Rapids viral videos

You probably know Rob Bliss, even if the name doesn’t ring a bell.

He’s the guy behind the Grand Rapids lip-dub video, the Pure Michigan sing-along ad, and now, the street harassment video that’s racked up 16 million views on YouTube.

In case you still haven’t seen it, the two minute video follows a young women in jeans and a t-shirt walking through New York. Bliss says they spent 10 hours filming with a hidden GoPro as the actress, Shoshana B. Roberts, endured more than 100 instances of street harassment, including stalking.

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Election 2014
2:21 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

In one word, how are you feeling about next week's election?

2012 election results as depticted by a cartogram - a map adjusted for population size.
Mark Newman Dept. of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan

Next week, we'll chart another course for our democracy by heading to the voting booth.

By this time next week, we'll know which party will rule the day in Congress and in our state Legislature. We'll also know who Michigan's next governor will be.

So how are you feeling about this big day?

I'm sure we could all take a lot of time to articulate exactly how we're feeling about next Tuesday, but can we find one word that captures it?

That's the challenge we're putting to you here:

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Environment & Science
12:47 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

After decades of effort, 2 major pollution sites in Michigan finally cleaned up

A picture of the White Lake Montague dump site contaminated decades ago by a tannery and chemical company before the cleanup.
EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency announced today two toxic hot spots in Michigan have been cleaned up.

Work is now complete at White Lake in Muskegon County and Deer Lake in the Upper Peninsula.

The sites are on a list of about 40 toxic hot spots surrounding the Great Lakes; 14 sites are in Michigan.

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Offbeat
12:24 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

GM's "Chevy Guy" creates a memorable World Series moment

The moment GM's Rikk Wilde became the "Chevy Guy."
screen grab from YouTube video

The "number one" fear got the best of GM regional manager Rikk Wilde last night as he presented the Most Valuable Player award to San Franciso's ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner.

Watch Wilde tell Bumgarner about the Chevy Colorado's "class-leading technology and stuff" here:

GM got publicity for presenting the award, and is getting more publicity this morning as bloggers write about last night's awkward moment.

Some are writing about Wilde's "bumbling" performance, while others say he "stole the show."

Good presentation or not, GM says he was there because he loves baseball.

From Jim Lynch of the Detroit News:

On Thursday, a spokesman for General Motors Co. said Wilde is not a regular public speaker but a rabid baseball fan.

"He is a life-long Kansas City Royals fan, so he was suffering the woes of having watched his team just lose Game 7," said Mike Albano, Chevrolet's director of communications. "His day job is selling cars and trucks and that's what he'll be back doing again today.

"And nothing he said was wrong. We've got a lot of stuff in the Chevy Colorado."

A new ad for GM?

Either way, the Internet has a new star

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