News

Pages

News Roundup
8:31 am
Mon November 14, 2011

In this morning's news...

Morning News Roundup, Monday, November 14th, 2011
Brother O'Mara Flickr

Occupy No Longer?

A permit that is allowing Occupy Detroit demonstrators to stay at a Detroit park expires tonight. The Associated Press reports:

About 150 people have holed up at the park since Oct. 14 and have held a number of marches and protests of financial institutions since then. The city's Recreation Department last month denied a request by the group's attorney for a 45-day permit to erect tents in the park but did issue a 30-day permit, retroactive to Oct. 14… Last week, spokesman Evan Rohar said the group assumes police will come to clear out the protesters once the permit expires. She says members are considering whether to stay or go.

Flint Swearing In

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling will take his oath of office later today… but, what happens next is up to Governor Rick Snyder, Steve Carmody reports:

Incumbent Dayne Walling won a four year term as Flint’s mayor last week. He’s already been serving as Flint’s mayor for the past two years, since winning a special election. The challenge then was to reduce Flint’s massive budget deficit. The challenge now will probably be to work under a state appointed emergency manager. On the same day Walling won reelection, Governor Snyder agreed with a state review team that Flint is in a ‘financial emergency’. The governor is expected to name an emergency manager to run the city.

Biden in Detroit

Vice President Joe Biden visited Detroit yesterday. He spoke at a, “fundraiser Sunday night for a Jewish Orthodox day school near Detroit. The vice president says Israel is a key element to the U.S.'s own security and its broader efforts in the Middle East. Biden said President Barack Obama feels the same way. Hundreds of people attended the dinner at a downtown hotel for the Yeshiva Beth Yehudah,” the Associated Press reports.

Culture of Class
7:14 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Why is 'class' so difficult to define?

The "Occupy Wall Street" movement has raised the question: What is class?
getdarwin Flickr

The issue of class has been in the news a lot lately. From the “Occupy Wall Street Movement,” which has snowballed across the country, to accusations of “class warfare” in Washington, D.C.. We’ve also heard recent reports that show the nation’s middle class is shrinking while the top earners’ salaries have skyrocketed.

Today, Michigan Radio begins a new series The Culture of Class. Over the next week and a half, we'll explore the idea of “social class” and how it impacts our lives. But, first, we had to ask: What is class? How do you define it? We put those questions to demographer Kurt Metzger, who runs Data Driven Detroit.

Inform our coverage: What does class mean to you?

Culture of Class
7:00 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Class segregation

Michigan Radio
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

The divide between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ is not just a matter of bank accounts. More and more it determines where you live. 

We’ve all heard about racial segregation. Whites live one place. Blacks live in another. There are all kinds of ethnic neighborhoods. But in the last 40 years, racial-ethnic segregation has moderated somewhat--although it is still high. But socioeconomic segregation, segregation by class, is on the rise.

Read more
What's Working
6:46 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Helping the family and friends of cancer patients

Nearly 1.6 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer this year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Half-a-million people will die of cancer this year. But millions of others are affected by cancer in some way. 

Wives, husbands, children, and friends of cancer patients can also face a crisis when a loved one is diagnosed and treated for cancer. As part of our weekly What's Working series, we spoke with Barb Hiltz, executive director of the Cancer Support Community of greater Ann Arbor. The organization works to help the family and friends of cancer patients.

Politics
6:36 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Snyder could veto first non-budget bill

Governor Rick Snyder must decide soon whether to sign a bill that would restrict the ability of state regulators to impose stricter standards than those applied by the federal government. The proposal would require the Legislature to approve any stricter regulations. Hugh McDiarmid is with the Michigan Environmental Council. He believes the bill is a bad idea.

“This isn’t solely an issue about regulation or the environment," McDiarmid said. "It’s also a little bit about an issue of a power grab where the Legislature is taking power that now belongs to the governor to act, promulgate rules and various things and taking it for themselves.”

Supporters of the bill say Michigan is less competitive in attracting businesses when it imposes stricter rules. Mike Johnston is with the Michigan Manufacturers Association, which favors the bill. 

“When Michigan imposes regulations in excess of federal standards we by definition make ourselves less competitive than other states that don’t have to operate under those excessive regulations,” said Johnston.

A spokeswoman for Governor Snyder says he is concerned with many aspects of the measure. It could be the first bill sent to Snyder by the Republican Legislature that the governor vetoes. He has vetoed some budget line items.

Politics
1:01 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Flint mayor sworn into office today

Dayne Walling celebrating a primary victory in August
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor takes his oath of office today. What happens next is up to Governor Snyder. Incumbent Dayne Walling won a four year term as Flint’s mayor last week. He’s already been serving as Flint’s mayor for the past two years, since winning a special election.  

The challenge then was to reduce Flint’s massive budget deficit. The challenge now will probably be to work under a state appointed emergency manager.  

On the same day Walling won reelection, Governor Snyder agreed with a state review team that Flint is in a ‘financial emergency’. The governor is expected to name an emergency manager to run the city.  

Walling has indicated he would work with an emergency manager. Though the mayor is not waiting for an emergency manager to be appointed before he makes any changes.

On Friday, Mayor Walling fired or accepted the resignations of Flint’s top city finance and economic development officials.

Auto/Economy
2:02 pm
Sun November 13, 2011

Once rescued by Fiat, Chrysler is now rescuer of Fiat

Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne
user dgtmedia-simone wikimedia commons

While Chrysler is finally making money in the United States this year, financial uncertainty in Italy is hitting car sales there hard.   

Inventories are swelling, and incentives are rising.

Fiat lost $285 million in the third quarter of this year, and the overall economic situation doesn't bode well for the company's fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Chrysler made a modified operating profit of $483 million in the third quarter.

Michael Robinet is with IHS Automotive. He said the merger of the two companies is working the way it should. 

Read more
Science/Medicine
12:25 pm
Sun November 13, 2011

Drug to treat attention deficit disorder in short supply

user hipsxxhearts Flickr

People in Michigan who use a specific drug to treat attention deficit disorder are having trouble getting it because of a national shortage.

Adderall is a prescription medicine used by children and adults. It’s an amphetamine that helps people who have attention deficit disorder control their symptoms, such as lack of focus.

Caroline Holsonbeck is an Ann Arbor pharmacist.

She said she noticed a shortage of Adderall about a year ago.

Holsonbeck said while there are similar medications, they don’t work for everyone.

"If it was substitutable, we would substitute it. It's not substitutable. It is a highly controlled medication, so the doctor would have to write for something in the same therapeutic category," she said.

The Food and Drug Administration’s Web site shows most manufacturers can’t keep up with demand for Adderall.

The drug is sometimes called “the study drug” by students.

It’s also commonly illegally sold on the street.

Religion
10:27 pm
Sat November 12, 2011

Thousands answer "The Call" in Detroit

A banner outside TheCall: Detroit at Ford Field.
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

A 24-hour mass prayer session in Detroit wrapped up Saturday evening. The event drew thousands of people—and a handful of protesters--to Ford Field.

TheCall, a controversial, Kansas City-based Christian group, organized the prayer marathon, called "TheCall: Detroit."

They chose Detroit because, in their words, the city “has become a microcosm of our national crisis,” whose “desperation can produce a prayer that will change the nation.”

Read more
Politics
1:30 pm
Sat November 12, 2011

Stronger fireworks may soon be available in MI

A Roman Candle
Flickr/jcarter

Michigan could soon expand the lineup of legal fireworks that consumers can buy without special permits.

The state Legislature has approved measures that would allow some consumer fireworks such as firecrackers, bottle rockets and Roman candles to legally be sold in the state. Governor Snyder likely will sign the bill in time for it to become law in 2012.

Veterans
11:00 am
Sat November 12, 2011

In Detroit, a new community for homeless vets

A housing complex for homeless veterans officially opened its doors in Detroit on Veterans Day.

It will serve as a transitional housing program where veterans can stay for up to two years. It can house as many as 60 people at a time.

Sharon Dade is the director of social services for Volunteers of America, the non-profit group that owns and operates the Detroit shelter.

She says they’ll work with the Veteran’s Administration to serve every qualified person—whether they’ve just returned from conflict, or have struggled for years.

Read more
Politics
10:44 am
Sat November 12, 2011

"It is time for the city to pursue a new direction"

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Flint mayor Dayne Walling won re-election on Tuesday.   

Friday, he started cleaning house.  

On Friday, Walling issued a statement saying he had accepted the resignation of the director of the city’s Department of Community and Economic Development. He also announced two other DCED employees had been fired. Walling also fired city Finance Director Michael Townsend. 

In a written statement, Walling said “it is time for the city to pursue a new direction with respect to the operations of the Finance Department and the Department of Community and Economic Development”

Walling will be sworn in for his new term as mayor on Monday.   

But also in the coming days, Governor Snyder is expected to formally announce his intention to appoint an emergency manager to run the city of Flint. 

Last week, the governor agreed with a state review team that Flint’s finances require outside management to fix.

Sports
5:46 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

Athletic scandals and the culture of sports

user: Michael Knight /flickr

A student riot erupted this week at Penn State following the firing of the university’s longtime coach, Joe Paterno. He was fired after details surrounding alleged child sex abuse emerged involving the university’s former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky.

Michigan Radio's Jennifer White talked with Dr. Cheryl Cooky, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health & Kinesiology and Women’s Studies Program at Purdue University. She specializes in sports sociology. Cooky talks about how we view athletic scandals.

 

Veterans Day
5:17 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

The "unfinished business" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

Master Sergeant Orlando Garcia featured in a story by Britain's Channel 4 News on PTSD in the U.S. Army.
Britain's Channel 4 News screenshot

Earlier today I posted the stories of two young veterans who had served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Multiple tours overseas is common in today's military. Re-enlistments helped keep these wars supplied with soldiers over the last ten years.

The problem, as Bernard Rostker of the Rand Corporation put it, "the more you go the more you’re exposed, the more likely you will eventually have some adverse psychological reactions."

Rostker is a former Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and a former senior policy advisor on recruitment for the Secretary of Defense.

He said the propensity to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is cumulative. And with soldiers serving multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, they're more at risk than a soldier serving a single tour.

PTSD can show up much later in life.

"This is going to be a huge concern for the military," said Rostker.

"Rand did a study, it was a random telephone interview of large numbers of vets using screening techniques for PTSD, and came to the conclusion that there was a huge number of unreported cases. It was controversial with the Department of Defense who looked at the number of people being treated versus those identified with PTSD and noticed lots were going untreated," said Rostker.

In 2010, Britain's Channel 4 News did an excellent piece on the challenges facing today's military.

You can view it here:

 

Bernard Rostker said the military has come a long way in its understanding of the psychological effects of war.

"We’re much more aware of it today, but it’s still the unfinished business of this war," said Rostker.

The law
5:02 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

$100 million settlement to sexually abused prisoners won't be delayed

ACLU of Michigan

The Michigan Supreme Court will not intervene in the fight over a settlement awarded to female prisoners. 

More than 800 women inmates said they were repeatedly raped and abused while in prison.

In 1996, they brought a class action suit against the Michigan Department of Corrections.

In 2009, they were awarded a $100 million settlement.

But Oakland County wanted to know the names of the inmates so it could divert some of the money to crime victims.

Read more
Offbeat
4:38 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

"1-1-1-1" unlucky for some Michiganders today

"1-1-1-1" was not a lucky number for many would-be Michigan lottery players today.  

So many people decided to play today’s date, "11/11,"  in today’s Daily Four game, that Michigan Lottery officials were forced to stop letting people purchase tickets with that combination.    

The Daily Four lottery has a maximum daily payout of $40 million.  At a certain point today,  lottery computers showed if the combination won that the maximum payout would be reached. 

So the system automatically blocked any more tickets from being bought with that combination.  

Politics
2:40 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

Michigan GOP presidential primary ballot lists 11 candidates

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Eleven Republican presidential candidates are on the ballot so far for Michigan's Feb. 28 presidential primary.

The Michigan Department of State released the list Friday. President Barack Obama is the only Democrat. Democratic activists plan to nominate their favorite at May 5 party caucuses, not through a primary election.

The chairmen of the state Democratic and Republican parties have until Tuesday to add the names of other candidates to the list, and candidates have until Dec. 9 to remove their names.

The GOP list includes Michele Bachman, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. All eight participated in a southeast Michigan debate Wednesday night.

Others on the GOP list are Gary Johnson, Fred Karger and Buddy Roemer.

Veterans Day
2:39 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

Spartans play Tarheels tonight on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier

Hoops on an aircraft carrier. MSU will play North Carolina Chapel Hill tonight at 7 p.m. President Obama will attend.
MSU

The "Quicken Loans Carrier Classic" will be played on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson stationed in San Diego in honor of Veteran's Day (the nuclear powered carrier is famed for being the ship from which Osama bin Laden's body was buried at sea).

Michigan State University will play North Carolina in an NCAA Division 1 basketball game to be broadcast on ESPN starting at 7 p.m.

President Barack Obama will attend "the first ever aircraft carrier to host a Division 1 college basketball game."

MSU Coach Tom Izzo's reaction to the game was captured in this ESPN blog post - they quoted Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis:

“I saw him tear up today,’’ Hollis said of Izzo’s emotions when he boarded the USS Carl Vinson on Thursday. “He was emotional. He lives for these kinds of things. The Final Four is special, but this will rank up there in his mind.’’

It already has -- and the tipoff hasn’t even occurred yet.

“My first impression far superseded what I thought it could be about seven or eight years ago when we tried to get this thing together,’’ Izzo said. “At first we were going to play two military schools. But if you could have seen our players’ eyes. There was such an appreciation for what we’re doing. It’s bigger than the game. It’s bigger than North Carolina or Michigan State. It’s a dream come true for us.’’

Here's a video of the MSU team's shoot around:

Offbeat
12:56 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

Warning: We're about to say "sex"

Australian Broadcasting Company Flickr

I received an email last week from a listener angry enough to write the most common threat I hear from Michigan Radio listeners, “I will never donate to your station again!”

We hadn’t libeled or defamed this man. We didn’t misquote him or make an error in a story he thought was important. He wasn’t even accusing us of left-or-right wing bias.

Read more
Science/Medicine
12:01 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

What is the future of Michigan's medical marijuana law?

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A Lansing attorney believes Michigan’s Attorney General is trying to dismantle the state’s medical marijuana law.   

Thursday, Attorney General Bill Schuette issued a formal legal opinion that police officers may seize pot from medical marijuana patients. In the opinion, the Attorney General says police could face federal drug charges if they return to the marijuana to the patients.   

Attorney Eric Misterovich represents medical marijuana patients. He believes the attorney general will next try to stop the state from issuing medical marijuana permits.  

“You know, we can see where it’s going. And I’m not sure what the attorney general’s plans are, but I think this is a step…toward…invalidating the (Michigan Medical Marijuana) act as a whole," Misterovich says.

Before he was attorney general, Bill Schuette led the campaign against the 2008 state referendum on medical marijuana. Since he was elected Michigan Attorney General, Schuette has supported legal efforts to curb access to medical marijuana.

Pages