NPR's Planet Money's toxic asset creature
NPR's Planet Money

The team at NPRs Planet Money has come up with another way for us to understand the financial crisis. They bought a pet. Planet Money is committed to following the financial crisis to the bitter end. And what better way to do that than to own a piece of it . We bought one of those things that no one wanted, one of those things that almost brought down the global economy: our very own toxic asset. This one has more than 2,000 mortgages in it. We paid $1,000, with our own money, for our piece....

Photo courtesy of Dr. Rob Steele for Congress website

Republican Dr. Robert Steele is challenging Democratic incumbent John Dingell in this years election. Congressman Dingell represents Michigans 15th district and is the longest serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In an interview this morning, Steele told Michigan Radio that its a good time for Dingell to retire. When you look at the polices that hes promoted over the years, with the excessive spending... and the collapse of Detroit... hes been there and had his...

In this morning's news...

Sep 17, 2010

Kalamazoo River Clean Up Progressing

The Kalamazoo River clean-up is going well, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The news comes almost two months after a broken pipeline owned by Enbridge Energy leaked more than 800,000 gallons of oil near Marshall, Michigan. Yesterday, Enbridge officials were questioned by a U.S. House panel about the spill.

Stem Cell Fight Delays State Budget

With less than two weeks to go before the October 1st...

Empty classroom
flickr user Motown31 / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Students are saying their classrooms are overcrowded this year. WDIV reports of some advanced placement classes with 60 students in them. Its like a race to get up there, and if you dont have a seat, youre just standing there for the whole hour. Its just tough. Its hard to see the board because everybody is in the way and I cant really focus on my work. Says Mumford High School senior Glen Miller. A Detroit Federation of Teachers representative said the problem is rampant throughout the...

According to new data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, 14% of people in Michigan last year lived in poverty. As the Detroit News reports that is, "the highest for the state since it hit 14.1 percent in 1994 .'' Nationally, in 2009, the poverty rate was 14.3%. That means 1 in 7 people, or 43.6 million Americans, lived in poverty last year.

Hearses in Hell

Sep 16, 2010
Chris Chan

The Associated Press reports, A Hell-based car club will try to set a world record for the longest procession of hearses. Just HearseN Around will try to set a new Guinness World records mark... Saturday. Club member Steve Frey says to qualify for the record, each of the expected 50-plus hearses must be driven in procession for just over two miles.

Marijuana plants.
user A7nubis / flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The states medical marijuana law is inartfully drafted according to Appellate Court Judge Peter OConnell. OConnell was quoted in a Detroit News article saying the law is so confusing that users who proceed without due caution could lose both their property and their liberty. Voters passed the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act in 2008 by a wide margin. The voters seemed to be saying if theres a medical need for it, people should be able to use it. But the devil is in the details, so many...

Matthew G. Bisanz

A new poll released yesterday shows Republican Rick Snyder leading Democrat Virg Bernero in the race for Governor. The EPIC-MRA poll surveyed 600 likely voters. 53% of respondents say they support Snyder, 29% favor Bernero and 15% say they are undecided. The election is November 2nd.

Foreclosure Numbers Improve

The number of home foreclosure filings in the state dropped 5% in August. But, even with the new data, Michigan has the nations 8th highest foreclosure rate in the nation. NPR reports that, nationally, banks repossessed 95,364 properties last month. Thats up 3 percent from July and an increase of 25 percent from August 2009.

Michigan Unemployment Numbers Remain Steady

Michigans August unemployment rate remained steady from...

New college scholarship is brewing up north

Sep 15, 2010
Jennifer Guerra

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-923623.mp3 It costs a lot of money for Michigan students to go to college. Tuition is up at nearly every Michigan school, and the $4,000 once awarded to students under the state's Promise Scholarship has been cut. As a result, lots of students have to take out loans or work to pay for school. Roast and Toast coffee shop in Petoskey looks like a lot of independent coffee shops: lots of local baked goods for sale, knick...

A map of pipelines crisscrossing the United States

Congress held hearings today on the Enbridge oil spill in Michigan. Michigan Radios Steve Carmody reports that one top official was conspicuously abset from the hearings. Cynthia Quarterman recused herself from the oil spill hearings, because she used to work for Enbridge Energy Partners. Quarterman is in charge of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The agency oversees the safety of 2.3 million miles of pipelines across the country. Just this spring, the agency was...

A cricket in Tanzania
Philip / Creative Commons

Some of us have accidentally made a meal of a bug while riding a bike or going on a boat ride. But there are some people who say by not eating bugs on purpose, were ignoring an entire food group. The Wall Street Journal has the latest on entomophagy, or bug eating. I think its what sushi was 20 or 30 years ago. Now its time for bugs. says Marc Dennis, publisher of the website Bugs Are Food. Reminds me of Froggy who often likes to eat burgers and flies.

Michigans jobless rate remained steady from July to August. The state umployment rate was 13.1% The nations August unemployment rate was 9.6%, up from 9.5% in July. Michigan has the nations second highest jobless rate. Nevada has the highest.

The Detroit Fire Department responds to a fire in 2010. Filmmakers embedded with the DFD for most of 2011.
Patricia Drury

Michigan Radios Sarah Hulett reports that the Michigan Public Service Commission is launching an investigation into
DTE Energys role in the fires that swept through parts of Detroit last week. Fires swept through Detroits east side after utility wires came down in a windstorm on September 7. People living in the area reported slow response times from DTE and from the city of Detroit. They said the fires could have been prevented. In Huletts report DTE spokesman Scott Simons said, Weve...

Workers fixing Enbridge oil pipeline near Marshall, Michigan
USEPA Region 5

The last few weeks have not been good for pipeline companies. Coming off a summer that included the mother of all oil spills you had... The Enbridge oil pipeline leak near Marshall, Michigan where more than 800,000 gallons of crude oil spilled. A break in an Enbridge oil pipeline near Romeoville, IL. The oil spilled and gas prices went up . A natural gas pipeline in California explodes and kills four people. The government is taking the hint. So today the Strengthening Pipeline Safety and...

Officials at Enbridge Energy are testifying before a House panel this afternoon in DC. Theyre being questioned about their pipeline that broke in July near Marshall, MI and leaked more than 800,000 gallons of oil. As Michigan Radios Steve Carmody reports , Minnesota congressman James Oberstar, chair of the House Transportation Committee, started the hearing by criticizing Enbridges response to the oil spill. Enbridge says it will cost some $400 million to clean up the spill.

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. Theyre 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 Houses 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 Michigans 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 states hot spots. But, Michigan is still experiencing the economic doldrums.

Jenn White, host of All Things Considered, took a look at what Michigans rising popularity in the eyes of celebrities means for us. Should we care what celebrities think about our communities? Does it...

Michigan Radio

Michigan Radios political analyst Jack Lessenberry says Democratic candidate for Governor Virg Berneros crashing of GOP nominee Rick Snyders town hall meeting on Monday evening was, politically brilliant. Bernero and Sndyers campaigns have been unable to negotiate a series of debates between the two candidates. So, Bernero, in what some political observers described as a political-stunt, showed up at Snyders event on Monday evening in Westland. Snyder also handled it extremely well... rather...

In this morning's news...

Sep 15, 2010

Pipeline Execs To Be Grilled

A U.S. House Congressional committee will hold a hearing today to look into Enbridge Energys pipeline break that caused more than 800,000 gallons of oil to leak near Marshall, Michigan in July. Enbridge executives will be questioned by the panel. A pipeline also owned by the company produced a leak on Monday near Buffalo, New York. And, a leak in Illinois occurred last week.

Budget Battles Continue

Legislative leaders...

In this morning's news...

Sep 14, 2010

Christmas Day Bomber to Represent Himself

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man who tried to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day, appeared in court yesterday. It was his first court appearance since his arraignment in January. As Michigan Radios Sarah Cweik reports, Abdulmutallab fired his federal defense team and is set to represent himself. A federal district judge approved the request but called it, unwise.

Snyder and Bernero Share a Stage



Sep 13, 2010

It appears Democratic candidate for Governor Virg Bernero and GOP nominee Rick Snyder arent 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. Heres a rundown of what theyre saying: Over at annarbor.com the headline was, Not only is Rick Snyder a nerd, hes also a wimp, says Virg...

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 arent 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 hed show up to the debates, and hopes Snyder would too.

Bad Roads = Bad Economy

Theres less money out there to fix Michigan...

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? Richard G. Neal wrote in School Reform News that in Germany, for example, some schools in year-round programs can run up to 240 instructional days per year. Students in Japan are required to go to school 240 days per year, and students in Singapore attend year-round schools for 280 days per year. By...

cash money
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 the column Alan Collinge from StudentLoanJustice.org says, Students are far worse off today with student loan debt. Its no wonder. Just take a quick look at tuition and...

In this morning's news...

Sep 10, 2010

Temporary Ban on Federal Funds for Stem Cell Research Lifted

As Michigan Radios 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.

Illinois Gets a Leak of Its Own

Enbridge Energy,...

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...

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 Detroits east side Tuesday night. In the Free Press report , neighbors questioned the response time of the Detroit Fire Department. Hintons neighbor, Ian Perrotta, said it took firefighters nearly two hours to respond and said 911 dispatchers were...

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 years budget shortfall. The governor and legislative leaders say its a one-time measure that helps avert bigger cuts to critical services in the current fiscal year.

Liz Boyd is the governors press...

President Obama has weighed in . Now a church in Lansing plans to weigh in on the Quran burning controversy. The Lansing State Journal reports that All Saints Episcopal Church will hold a counter-event this weekend. The church plans to host a public open reading from an English translation of the Quran this Saturday night. Rev. Sarah Midzalkowski said in a statement: Let us come together in peace to further greater understanding and appreciation of one another. Theres been a lot of discussion...