News

American Farm Bureau

A new survey says the cost of the traditional Thanksgiving meal is up slightly.

The American Farm Bureau says the average cost of a 10-person Thanksgiving dinner is $49.41; that’s up about 37 cents from last year.

Bob Boehm is with the Michigan Farm Bureau. He says the traditional Thanksgiving feast is still affordable. 

“For less than a lot of fast food meal, $5 a person is a pretty good deal,” says Boehm. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Customers and protesters will be at many big retailers today.

Toys R Us, Best Buy, JC Penney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Wal-Mart and Target are just a few of big retailers open on Thanksgiving.

Several groups object to retailers being open on the holiday. They say it’s unfair to their employees making them choose between their family and their job. 

Jim Hallan is with the Michigan Retailers Association.  He says other people have to work on Thanksgiving. Why not retail workers?

Jim Hammer / Flickr

When does a news assignment become a classic story? Here's one we like to trot out to set the tone for Thanksgiving.

The sound of Narragansett turkeys gobbling and barking for Rebecca Williams' microphone are legendary around the Michigan Radio studios. 

Their turkey timing is perfect.

As the farmer describes the turkeys for Rebecca, they speak up at his disconcerting words. Have a listen:

Girl Scouts of Michigan

An Ann Arbor area Girl Scout troop  wants the makers of LEGOs to change how their toys portray women.

Lizzy Blackwell, a member of Troop 40466 and now a seventh grader,  said that some of the girls have enjoyed playing with LEGOs, but they noticed a lot of gender stereotyping in them.   

Blackwell said it's a problem that LEGO's action series  characters – like police, superheroes, pilots, and construction workers – are all male. "I'd like to see them portrayed in an equal way with women being shown as being just as capable as men to do these sorts of things," she said.

The Parade Company / via city of Detroit

Things might be a little tighter than usual at Detroit’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade this year.

The parade will take its usual route down Woodward Avenue. But there will be several “pinch points” due to ongoing construction for the M-1 rail project.

City spokesman John Roach says that means parade-watching will be restricted in some areas.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

A former Kent County commissioner was sentenced to a year in jail this week.  Michael Wawee Junior pleaded no contest earlier this fall to a felony embezzlement charge.

Wawee is accused of overcharging families for the engraving of grave markers while working as a salesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.

The Republican from the Grand Rapids suburb of Walker was arrested earlier in February. He resigned later that month.

Wawee will also have to pay more than $200,000 in restitution. He’ll be on probation for three years.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Theresa Ely, a former custodian at Dearborn Heights school district No. 7, is suing her old employer for allegedly covering up asbestos exposure to some staff and students.

According to her lawsuit filed November 25th, Ely and another custodian were instructed in the summer of 2011 to speed up their work by cleaning asbestos-contaminated floor tiles in the schools with abrasive sandpaper, rather than removing the old floor wax with water as originally instructed.

drtel / Creative Commons

Plans for a new school in West Michigan for students in kindergarten through college are moving forward. The school will focus on science, math, technology, arts and engineering.

There was some controversy when news of the school first came out this spring.

Jerry Zandstra represents the non-profit group that’s buying the massive pyramid-shaped building from furniture-maker Steelcase.

Dennis Allain Renderings

The Detroit City Council has postponed a key vote for the city’s new hockey arena.

Developer Olympia Entertainment asked Council to delay re-zoning for the new Detroit Red Wings arena, slated to open in 2017. Olympia is the development arm of businesses run by the Ilitch family, owners of the Red Wings.

Eva Petoskey

State of Opportunity's Jennifer Guerra talks to members of two Michigan tribes about the incredibly high rate of suicide among young American Indians. It's a devastating issue some say is fed by a community level sense of hopelessness and "code of silence."

Read or listen to the entire story at State of Opportunity.

Lead in text: 
Jennifer Guerra from the State of Opportunity team checks in with members of two Michigan tribes about some of the issues faced by the young people in their community.
Health
Lead in text: 
Jennifer Guerra from the State of Opportunity team checks in with members of two Michigan tribes about some of the issues faced by the young people in their community.
Health
SEMCOG

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to lower the allowed level of ozone from 75 to 65 to 70 parts per billion.

Ozone is a dangerous chemical that forms when sunlight and heat interact with emissions from cars, factories, and power plants.

"Even going to 70 (ppb) will be a monumental challenge for us in the region," says Joan Weidner of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG). 

SEMCOG is the group which monitors ozone levels and coordinates actions to reduce ozone. 

There are those with some understandable skepticism about political junkets to other countries in search of jobs. Former Governor Jennifer Granholm was forever jetting off on trade missions to Sweden or Germany, say, and then announcing with great fanfare that some company had agreed to create maybe a dozen new jobs in Michigan.

This raised a number of questions, such as, would those jobs have come here anyway? Incidentally, I’m not sure anyone ever followed up to see if the promised jobs actually happened.

On top of that, you had to wonder if the governor’s time and energy might better have been spent elsewhere.

Especially when you saw stories about a handful of new junket-generated jobs next to other stories about hundreds of domestic jobs being eliminated through plant closings or downsizings.

A potato salad says "Michigan" to the New York Times.
Megan Myers / Flickr

As you plan your Thanksgiving meal, what is the one dish that represents your family? Maybe it’s one that's been handed down through generations.

The New York Times recently ran a piece that highlighted a recipe collection called The United States of Thanksgiving. Each recipe, the authors wrote, evoked each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The recipe that evoked Michigan, according to the Times, was German potato salad.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

This week, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss what to expect from the Legislature’s lame duck session, repercussions from Ferguson, and a fund to help Detroit pensioners.


User:peoplesworld / flickr

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in cities across the state, including Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor and Detroit where crowds blocked traffic, to protest the Grand Jury decision in the Ferguson case regarding Michael Brown and officer Darren Wilson. At Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids, the crowd observed a moment of silence for Michael Brown, the unarmed black 18 year old who was fatally shot by Wilson, a white police officer. 

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

There will be extra Michigan State Police troopers on the state's highways over the Thanksgiving holiday.

This is the first year of a three-year Thanksgiving holiday effort in Michigan to reduce traffic deaths and injuries by 10%.

"We will be looking at people who might be drinking and driving," says Sgt. Jill Gleason, "for people who might be doing aggressive driving, who are not wearing their safety belts."

Gleason says the night before Thanksgiving is actually the biggest bar night of the year in Michigan, beating out New Year's Eve.

Christoper Sessums / Flickr

Almost 30,000 Michiganders still don't have power after yesterday's wind storms. The dark spots are concentrated in Wayne County, according to DTE.

Of their 180,000 customers who lost power yesterday, all but 22,000 have had it restored.

Meanwhile Consumers Energy says about 6,100 of its customers still don’t have power.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

READERS - PLEASE NOTE: This story was written in the afternoon of 11/25 - and is about the protests that happened during the day. This story was published before the larger protests occurred in the evening.

Small protests continue around Michigan today after news broke last night that a St. Louis County grand jury won’t indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri.  

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