News

REUTERS/Illinois Department of Natural Resources/Handout

Governor Granholm is part of a delegation from the Great Lakes region that is meeting today with officials from the Obama administration. They're meeting in D.C. to discuss how to keep the invasive Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes.

The meeting also includes Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio and John Goss, the White House's newly appointed "Asian Carp Czar."

Officials from the Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies will also attend.

Jon Sullivan

As more companies claim Michigan's film tax incentives, more and more celebrities are being seen around the state. Celebrities like David Arquette are tweeting about Michigan sunsets or talking about the state's hot spots. But, Michigan is still experiencing the economic doldrums.

Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry says Democratic candidate for Governor Virg Bernero's crashing of GOP nominee Rick Snyder's town hall meeting on Monday evening was, "politically brilliant."

In this morning's news...

Sep 15, 2010

Pipeline Execs To Be Grilled

In this morning's news...

Sep 14, 2010

Christmas Day Bomber to Represent Himself

Debate-gate

Sep 13, 2010

 

It appears Democratic candidate for Governor Virg Bernero and GOP nominee Rick Snyder aren't any closer to debating before the November election.  Discussions between the two campaigns about debate-specifics (including where and when) have broken down.  This news, of course, has many political observers across the state adding their two cents about 'debate-gate.' Here's a rundown of what they're saying:

In this morning's news...

Sep 13, 2010

Debates Continue (About Debates)

It seems Democratic candidate for Governor Virg Bernero and GOP nominee Rick Snyder aren't any closer to debating before Election Day. Discussions over scheduling the debates have broken down between the two campaigns and Bernero is now asking Michigan TV stations to host debates. Bernero says he'd show up to the debates, and hopes Snyder would too.

School student in Japan reading a book outside
Mehan / Creative Commons

Governor Grahom recently aired the idea of an extended school year for Michigan students. She says U.S. students are at a disadvantage globally. So how often are kids in other countries in school?

One dollar bills
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

We collectively owe around $828 billion in revolving credit debt (that includes credit card debt), according to the latest numbers from the Federal Reserve.

Now, a column in the Detroit Free Press is reporting that for the first time ever, student loan debt has outstripped  revolving credit debt, coming in at $850 billion.

In this morning's news...

Sep 10, 2010

Temporary Ban on Federal Funds for Stem Cell Research Lifted

As Michigan Radio's Rina Miller reports, many Michigan scientists are welcoming news that an appeals court lifted a temporary ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Scientists working on stem cells have been under a cloud of uncertainty since President George W. Bush vetoed legislation that would have expanded the research.

A proposal would allow Michigan police to use new, portable drug testing kits when they suspect a motorist is under the influence of substances other than alcohol.

Legislation to allow the roadside drug tests was introduced Wednesday in the state House.

The bills would create guidelines for using a preliminary oral drug test during a traffic stop. Republican state Rep. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge says police could know within minutes whether a driver is high on drugs, similar to tests for alcohol that have been given at roadside traffic stops for years.

Closeup of fire
Marcus Obal / Creative Commons

"How do you start over from complete devastation?"

That quote came from Detroiter James Johnson in a Detroit Free Press article on the aftermath of the Detroit fires. Johnson and his wife lost their house after 85 fires swept through neighborhoods in Detroit's east side Tuesday night. 

Michigan Radio

Governor Granholm has signed the first part of a budget deal that includes tapping the School Aid Fund to help retire a deficit. The bill shifts $208-million dollars from the schools fund and gives it to community colleges. That frees up funds to help eliminate about half of this year's budget shortfall. The governor and legislative leaders say it's a one-time measure that helps avert bigger cuts to critical services in the current fiscal year.

The White House has appointed a new "Asian Carp Czar."  Former Indiana environmental chief John Goss was tapped to coordinate the federal response to the Asian Carp.  Governor Granholm says she intends to get in touch with Goss soon.  The Chicago Breaking News Center explains the problems the fish cause:

Michigan Radio

Incumbent Democratic Congressman John Dingell says he intends to keep his seat as Representative of Michigan's 15th District in the November election.

What's in the news...

Sep 9, 2010

Welfare Numbers Creep Up

Welfare cases in Michigan are on the rise. The state has almost 2 million people receiving some form of public assistance. And, that number is expected to rise as more people lose their extended unemployment benefits.

There's a New Czar In Town

Map of Michigan showing participation in the food stamp program per capita
Image from Food Stamp Program Map Machine / USDA/ERS

Nearly 1.9 million people in Michigan are getting some form of public assistance. That's a new record according to a report from the Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta.

Pluta talked with Sharon Parks of the Michigan League for Human Services.  Parks says the growing number of people applying for the cash assistance program concerns her most.

The Michigan House of Representatives.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Great Recession has meant tough times for state governments. Michigan has been hit extra hard and leaders in the state have been fighting over a shrinking budget for several years.  These budget battles have led to brief government shutdowns in years past. But with the new fiscal year starting October 1st, leaders in the state seem to have resolved their differences.

Aerial photo of Talmadge Creek after Enbridge oil spill
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

It’s been more than a month since an estimated 800,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the Kalamazoo River. Enbridge Energy Partners, the company responsible for the pipeline leak, says it has cleaned up about 700,000 gallons of that oil.

But there’s still a lot of work to be done. The EPA is just now starting to find out how much oil is at the bottom of the river.

State Lawmakers Make Progress on Budget

In Today's Headlines...

Sep 7, 2010

Back to Court Over Carp

Michigan and four other states head back to federal court today in hopes of keeping Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes. They'll try to make their case to close Illinois River access to Lake Michigan in order to keep the fish out. A decision is not expected this week.

Labor Group Endorses Snyder

Boat on Northport Bay, Lake Michigan
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio listeners are having a conversation on Facebook about their favorite places to travel around Michigan.

Most are sharing. Some, like Trevor, are keeping their secrets, "If I told you I'd have to kill you."

Here's the list so far:

Cover of the report Executive Excess 2010: CEO Pay and the Great Recession
IPS

A report from the Institute for Policy Studies looked at CEO compensation from the 50 companies that layed off more workers during the recession. They found the CEOs at these companies are paid more, on average, than the average pay for the CEOs running to top 500 companies in the U.S. (S&P 500).

Sarah Anderson is the lead author of the report.  She says,

"CEOs are squeezing workers to boost short-term profits and fatten their own paychecks."  

help wanted sign
kandyjaxx/creative commons

The unemployment picture in Michigan is still bad. It stands at 13.1% now. The worst it's been since the early 1980's.

Now, a new report by the Michigan League for Human Services puts the long-term unemployment picture into perspective.  In 2000, people unemployed for more than 26 weeks, accounted for 6.5% of the total number of unemployed. Today, the long-term unemployed account for 40.8% of the unemployed.

The report says,

News roundup for today

Sep 2, 2010
Newspaper boxes along a street
Susan Lesch / Creative Commons

Illegal oil spill workers caught in Texas

texting with a cell phone
Alton / Creative Commons

You're supposed to keep an open mind when sitting as a juror in a trial. If you can't, it's definitely not a good idea to broadcast your prejudices about a case on the web.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Hadley Jons, while sitting on a jury in a resisting arrest case "wrote on Facebook that it was 'gonna be fun to tell the defendant they're GUILTY.'"

Indiana Michigan football game
Creative Commons larrysphatpage

The Big Ten conference announced its plan to create two separate divisions in football.  The conference started with ten teams, went to eleven with the addition of Penn State in 1990, and will now have twelve teams with the addition of the University of Nebraska.  No name change, just some new matchups. 

Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reports that...

Actress at the Michigan State Fair
Bob Vigiletti / Michigan Radio Picture Project

There's a new post on Michigan Radio's Picture Project site.  Bob Vigiletti has eighteen beautiful shots taken in the waning years of the Michigan State Fair.  The fair, proclaimed to be the country's oldest, was closed because of declining attendance and revenues in 2009. Vigiletti writes:

It is only through out thoughts and photographs that we preserve and cherish memories of the past.

Marijuana leaf
Hendrike / Creative Commons

An Oakland County Judge prohibited defendants charged with violating drug laws from smoking marijuana while on bond until their hearing in October. The defendants say they use medical marijuana legally under the state's medical marijuana law.  The Detroit News has a story about the ruling.  In it they described the scene outside the courtroom:

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