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Obit
10:45 am
Mon November 29, 2010

Grand Rapids philanthropist, businessman Peter Cook dies

Peter Cook
gvsu.edu/buildinglegacies Grand Valley State University

Peter Cook was born in Grand Rapids in 1914. He grew up relatively poor, enlisted in the army after graduating high school and worked for less than a dollar an hour on an assembly line. He went to college and studied business and became an accountant. He made his fortune selling imported cars beginning in the 70s.

Aging
10:30 am
Mon November 29, 2010

Seniors find meaning in music

The Beginning Swing Band
Kyle Norris Michigan Radio

In the basement of a church in Grand Rapids, there's a rehearsal for the Beginners Swing Band.

Most of the musicians here are in their sixties and seventies.

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Sparrow Hospital Contract
8:37 am
Mon November 29, 2010

Sparrow Hospital nurses start voting today on a new contract

Sparrow Hospital nurses are supposed to start voting today on a new contract.

Last minute negotiations headed off a threatened lockout at Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital ten days ago.

Hospital administrators threatened to lockout Sparrow’s 21 hundred nurses and support staff if they didn’t agree to the hospital’s final offer. 

Earlier, the nurses union authorized a strike and walked away from contract talks.

In the end, the two sides hammered out a tentative deal that included a modest wage hike and increase nurse staffing levels. 

Unemployment Benefits
8:27 am
Mon November 29, 2010

Unless Congress acts, thousands of Michiganders will lose jobless benefits this week

Jobless benefits will expire for tens of thousands of unemployed Michiganders this week unless Congress approves an extension.



Many of those losing their benefits are expected to turn to Michigan food banks and other non-profit groups.



"Those safety nets are really not prepared to take on all of these extra families," says Judy Putnam, with the Michigan League for Human Services."


Improving Michigan
7:52 am
Mon November 29, 2010

3 Things: Emily Schaller

Emily Schaller

All this year, Michigan Radio has been asking people from across the state for their 3 ideas of what we can all do to improve things here in Michigan.  The series is called 3 Things and today we hear from Emily Schaller, founder of Rock CF Foundation, a group dedicated to increasing the quality of life for people with Cystic Fibrosis.

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News Roundup
7:19 am
Mon November 29, 2010

In this morning's news...

Thousands Stand to Lose Benefits

The extension of federal unemployment benefits expires on Wednesday. If Congress doesn't vote to extend the benefits, some tens of thousands of Michiganders will lose their benefits. Congressional Democrats are expected to push for a vote this week, Republicans oppose the extension unless the cost is covered by cutting other federal spending.

Lawmakers Return to Lansing

State lawmakers return to the Capitol this week as the 2009-2010 legislative session comes to an end. The AP reports, "Lawmakers will continue their so-called lame duck' session held before a new Legislature and incoming governor Rick Snyder take office in January." Both the House and Senate are scheduled to be in session.

Red Kettle Giving

The Salvation Army's red kettle campaign is underway. And, this year, you can donate via text message, Lindsey Smith reports. "We certainly want to make it as easy for people to give as possible," said Major Robert Thompson, Divisional Commander for Wisconsin and Northern Michigan. "Younger people tend to be more electronic than they are cash or check so we've set up this texting opportunity just to reach a younger population." The Salvation Army has also unveiled some kettles that can take credit cards.

State Legislature
7:16 am
Mon November 29, 2010

State lawmakers return to Capitol this week

Capitol Building in Lansing
Terry Johnson/Flickr

State lawmakers return to the Capitol in Lansing this week as the 2009-2010 legislative session comes to a close.

Both the state House and Senate are scheduled to be in session.

The Associated Press reports:

Lawmakers might finalize a plan to distribute more than $300 million in federal money to Michigan schools.  It's not clear if lawmakers will agree on a way to raise more money for the state's Pure Michigan tourism advertising program.

Economy
9:27 pm
Sun November 28, 2010

Michigan nonprofits bank on holiday giving

With the holiday season now underway, Michigan nonprofits are making their big end-of-year push for financial donations.
elstudio creative commons

Over the next couple of weeks, chances are you’ll find lots of letters in your mailbox asking for charitable donations. That's because nonprofits across Michigan are doing their annual end-of-year holiday push for financial donations.

Kyle Caldwell is with the Michigan Nonprofit Association. He likes to call the holiday season the “giving season.”

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Arts/Culture
7:32 pm
Sun November 28, 2010

This year, donate to Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign via text message

salvation army red kettle
Salvation Army samidlands.com

The Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign is underway.

“The red kettle in a sense is really a piece of Americana.” Major Robert Thompson is the divisional commander for Wisconsin and Northern Michigan. Bell ringers have been braving the frigid temperatures in front of stores for nearly a century. But over the past few years a problem has been emerging. “The red kettles are certainly low-tech and as society changes, fewer and fewer people are using cash,” Thompson said, “They don’t have that dollar or change in their pocket.”

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Holiday shopping
11:07 am
Sat November 27, 2010

Holiday shopping moves online

Michigan retailers have been busy this weekend with the beginning of the holiday shopping season. But Monday could be a very big day as well.

The National Retail Federation coined the term ‘Cyber Monday’ five years ago to describe the growing trend of holiday shoppers flooding store websites on the Monday following thanksgiving.  A recent survey found more shoppers planned to shop online  Monday than stand in line on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  

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Part of Ann Arbor without electricity
1:30 pm
Fri November 26, 2010

Ann Arbor power outage

 


A DTE spokesman expects power will be restored to about 500 customers in the Ann Arbor later area today.


The power went out around midnight last night.  

Justice
12:16 pm
Fri November 26, 2010

The Michigan Supreme Court orders the release of a man who planned a killing spree

Andrew Osantowski
(courtesy the Michigan Department of Corrections)

The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered the release on parole of a 23 year old man who plotted a killing spree when he was in high school. The Macomb County prosecutor opposed the release of Andrew Osantowski.



Osantowski was convicted of plotting to murder students and a security officer when he was 17 years old. He was caught after detailing his plan on an internet chat room. A police raid on his home turned up guns, ammunition, and material for making pipe bombs.


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Offbeat
1:51 pm
Thu November 25, 2010

Thousands in need served hot Thanksgiving meal in Grand Rapids

Volunteers serve Thanksgiving at DeVos Place
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

More than 600 volunteers served people in need a hot Thanksgiving meal today in Grand Rapids. Thousands of homeless, elderly, sick and downtrodden came for the feast.

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Crisis in Korea
1:14 pm
Thu November 25, 2010

Stabenow: We need to watch North Korea closely

Michigan US Senator Debbie Stabenow says the Obama administration is handling the volatile Korean situation well. 


North Korea bombed a South Korea fishing village this week, prompting South Korea to fire back. 


This weekend, US and South Korean naval forces are planning a joint exercise off the North Korean coast.  


Stabenow says it’s important for the US not to back down.

Jobless benefits extension
12:55 pm
Thu November 25, 2010

Kildee: Congress will pass jobless benefit extension

Michigan congressman Dale Kildee expects congress will approve extending jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed next week. 


An extension would allow people who’ve been receiving jobless benefits for more than 26 weeks to continue to receive financial aid.   The current extension expires next Wednesday.    Hundreds of thousands of unemployed Michiganders will stop receiving unemployment checks unless an extension is approved. 

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Arts/Culture
11:51 am
Thu November 25, 2010

Detroit's Thanksgiving Day Parade draws big crowds

Thousands line up to see floats, marching bands, giant balloons and more at Detroit's annual Thanksgiving parade
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

Detroit held its 48th annual America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Thousands of people lined up along Woodward Avenue to celebrate. 

People came from Detroit, the suburbs, Muskegon, I even talked to somebody from Marquette, MI. All of them came in for the parade. For a lot of them it’s a family tradition. They’re here for the clowns, the floats, and the marching bands.

Lisa Greleski and her son, Adam, has been coming here for the last 3 years.

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Arts/Culture
5:05 pm
Wed November 24, 2010

State lawmaker says Detroit Institute of Arts millage proposal is "not a good fit" for Detroit Symphony Orchestra

The DSO musicians have been on strike since Oct. 4
Jennifer Guerra Michigain Radio

The Michigan House could vote on a bill next week that would allow voters to approve a millage for the Detroit Institute of Arts. A state representative from metro Detroit looked into whether the struggling Detroit Symphony Orchestra could be added to the bill.

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Flint's budget woes
4:18 pm
Wed November 24, 2010

Flint police officers will not get layoff notices this week

Flint police officers will not be getting layoff notices this week after all. 


 50 city workers are expected to lose their jobs to help ease the city’s budget crisis.


 But Flint mayor Dayne Walling says there will be no layoff notices sent to city police officers or firefighters this week.   He says layoff notices will be sent to Flint public safety employees after the holiday weekend, though contract talks with the city’s police officers continue.  

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GM invests more for Chevy Volt
4:11 pm
Wed November 24, 2010

UAW celebrates new GM investment in Flint and Bay City

General Motors formally announced today that it is investing more than 160 million dollars in plants in Flint, Bay City and in Defiance, Ohio.


 The three plants produce components for the Chevy Volt, Cruze and a third unnamed Chevrolet small car.


 Bill Jordan says GM’s announcement is an early "Christmas present.”   Jordan is the president of United Auto Workers local 599.    He says GM’s investment shows workers are doing the job right. 

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Politics
2:04 pm
Wed November 24, 2010

Lessenberry: the week in state politics

Glass floor inside the Michigan Capitol
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

Censure from Michigan's Supreme Court

This week, for the first time in state history, the Michigan Supreme Court publicly rebuked a former justice for violating court confidentiality. Former Justice Elizabeth Weaver was rebuked by the court for secretly taping deliberations and later making them public. Lessenberry says Weaver had been feuding for years with her fellow justices until she resigned this past summer after making a deal with Governor Granholm.

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