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Politics & Government
10:06 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Bill Clinton to headline fundraiser in Michigan

Center for American Progress Action Fund flickr

DETROIT – Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to headline a fundraiser for Michigan Democrats next month.

The Michigan Democratic Party announced Sunday that Clinton will speak at the annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner, which is scheduled for April 26 at Cobo Center in Detroit.

Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Lon Johnson says in a statement that Clinton's appearance will be a boost to the party's efforts in the state this year.

Past speakers at the Michigan dinner include Vice President Joe Biden and former presidential contenders John Edwards and John Kerry.

Education
8:14 am
Sun March 23, 2014

'Hotel Rwanda' manager who saved 1,200 from massacre to speak at U-M

ANN ARBOR – The man credited with saving more than 1,200 people during the Rwandan genocide will speak this week at the University of Michigan as part of a 20th anniversary commemoration of the slaughter.

Paul Rusesabagina's talk is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the Rackham Graduate School.

Rusesabagina gave refuge to Tutsis and moderate Hutus at the hotel he managed during the 100-day massacre that killed more than 500,000 in 1994. Those sheltered by Rusesabagina – a Hutu – included his Tutsi wife and children.

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Auto
3:33 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

GM chief prepares to testify before Congress on recalls

Mary Barra has only been on the job as CEO for three months. Now she’s facing scrutiny for how the automaker handled or mishandled a major safety recall affecting more than one-and-a-half million cars.
General Motors

Members of Congress will have tough questions for the new CEO of General Motors.

Mary Barra is expected to testify in front of the Energy and Commerce Committee next month.

Barra has only been on the job as CEO for three months. Now she’s facing scrutiny for how the automaker handled or mishandled a major safety recall affecting more than 1.5 million cars.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow says she’s confident in Barra’s leadership.

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Politics & Government
1:41 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Medical pot bills would OK edibles, dispensaries in Michigan

More than 100,000 patients and 27,000 caregivers are licensed by the state to use and grow marijuana.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING – More than five years after Michigan voters legalized medical marijuana, advocates say gaps in the law cause needless confusion and prosecution.

Two Republican House bills aim to clarify the law by legalizing dispensaries and edibles. Neither was directly addressed in the 2008 law, but court rulings have since judged them illegal. More than 100,000 patients and 27,000 caregivers are licensed by the state to use and grow marijuana.

Economy
4:11 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Boom in domestic energy production helping some industries, but Michigan's jobless rate rises

Michigan's seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate has risen 0.4 percentage points in the latest monthly report to 8.1%.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Manufacturers are taking advantage of lower domestic oil and gas prices, and many of them are using those cost savings to hire more workers.

The boom in domestic oil and natural gas production is fueling growth in manufacturing across the country and especially in urban areas, according to a new report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

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Environment & Science
1:16 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Senators want faster action on stopping Asian carp

DNR

TRAVERSE CITY – A group of U.S. senators wants the federal government to move faster on preventing Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes through waterways in the Chicago area.

Eleven senators from states in the region sent a letter Tuesday to the assistant secretary of the Army, whose office oversees the Army Corps of Engineers. The letter asks a series of questions about when the Corps might begin tasks such as adding barriers at the southernmost lock in the Chicago Area Waterway System.

It also asks what authorization the Corps needs from Congress to move more quickly toward short- and long-term solutions.

The Corps issued a report in January with options for blocking the invasive carp's path to Lake Michigan, but says Congress and regional stakeholders must choose the final plan.

Politics & Government
1:15 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Michigan's congressional delegation supports U.S. sanctions on Russia over Crimea

Crimea's location on the globe.
users: The Emirr, Spesh531 Wikimedia Commons

Members of Michigan’s congressional delegation are hopeful that U.S. and European Union sanctions will put enough pressure on Russia to change what’s been happening in Crimea.

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Politics & Government
7:01 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Michigan governor plans trade trip to Europe

LANSING – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder plans to travel to Europe in early April for a trade mission focused on the automotive industry and manufacturing.

Spokeswoman Sara Wurfel tells the Detroit Free Press the weeklong visit will include meetings and events in Italy and Germany.

Wurfel says the trip will be "automobile industry and manufacturing focused in nature." She says Snyder will be accompanied by officials from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the Detroit Regional Chamber. More details are to be released later.

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Education
6:59 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Howell students reprimanded for racist Tweets

HOWELL – High school officials in Howell say they've reprimanded students involved in posting racist messages on Twitter after the school's nearly all-white basketball team defeated a team with black and white players.

The Flint Journal reports messages were posted after Howell beat Grand Blanc on Thursday 54-49 in a Class A regional final at Linden High School. The messages made reference to Howell's team being white and included a Ku Klux Klan reference.

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Politics & Government
11:08 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Businesses fight jobless benefits for workers fired for using medical marijuana

LANSING – Michigan's leading business group is urging the state appeals court to rule out jobless benefits for people who are fired for using medical marijuana.

The appeals court has cases involving people who sought benefits after being dismissed. Judges in Kent and Ingham counties have ruled in favor of the workers.

Rich Studley of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce says businesses are in a "no-win situation." He says employers would have to ignore marijuana use or else pay higher unemployment taxes if a fired worker collects unemployment aid.

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Politics & Government
11:05 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Scammed homeowners to get state payout

LANSING – More than 112 victims of a foreclosure rescue scam in Michigan will be helped after the state attorney general's office prosecuted a company for making misleading or false statements to homeowners.

Attorney General Bill Schuette says about $115,000 will come from a state fund to victims who paid between $595 and $3,000 to Hope4Homeowners.

Then-Attorney General Mike Cox charged Help4Homeowners in Oakland County. It was convicted of three counts of violating Michigan's credit services law.

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Law
6:04 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Michigan law enforcement boosting drunken driving patrols

The Michigan State Police said this week that officers from 144 agencies in 26 counties are part of the crackdown that runs through April 7.
Dave Trumpie Capitol Gains

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Local, county and state law enforcement officials say they're stepping up patrols to catch drunken drivers during a period that includes St. Patrick's Day, the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments and spring break.

The Michigan State Police said this week that officers from 144 agencies in 26 counties are part of the crackdown that runs through April 7. The effort is coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning and receives federal traffic safety funds.

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Law
2:41 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Michigan inmates get remedy in parole ban case

The inmates were sent to prison with life sentences for a variety of crimes but still had a chance at parole. Then they got in trouble for possessing a weapon or committing another offense behind bars.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - About 130 Michigan prison inmates will have an opportunity to seek parole in a case that ends an unusual state policy of treating them as mandatory lifers.

The state won't appeal a 2013 court decision that struck down the policy and has agreed to clear the way for a parole process. Judge Deborah Servitto signed an order last week.

It's an odd case. The inmates were sent to prison with life sentences for a variety of crimes but still had a chance at parole. Then they got in trouble for possessing a weapon or committing another offense behind bars.

Law
11:57 am
Fri March 14, 2014

House passes legislation to clarify 'brandishing' and protect gun owners' privacy

Gun rights advocates gathered at a Grand Rapids City Commission meeting earlier this month.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

LANSING – The House moved to broaden gun owners' rights Thursday by voting to reaffirm the confidential status of gun records, clarify the definition of "brandishing" a gun and lift a ban on short-barreled rifles.

A Republican package of bills passed by a wide margin, with 81-28 being the closest vote. The bills would codify a 1999 Michigan Supreme Court decision that found the disclosure of gun registry records to be "a clearly unwarranted invasion of an individual's privacy."

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Offbeat
8:02 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

Daylight saving time: Set clocks ahead 1 hour

Most Americans will set their clocks 60 minutes forward before heading to bed Saturday night. Daylight saving time officially starts Sunday at 2 a.m. local time.
Jaltembabaylife.com

WASHINGTON (AP) - Spring is closer than you think, and here's a sure sign: Daylight saving time arrives this weekend.

Most Americans will set their clocks 60 minutes forward before heading to bed Saturday night. Daylight saving time officially starts Sunday at 2 a.m. local time.

You may lose an hour of sleep, but daylight saving time promises an extra hour of evening light for many months ahead.

It's also a good time to put new batteries in warning devices such as smoke detectors and hazard warning radios.

Offbeat
10:00 am
Sat March 8, 2014

$138,000 Michigan Lottery prize goes unclaimed

The lottery said Friday that the winning Fantasy 5 jackpot from the March 9, 2013 drawing was bought at the Smokers Depot & Convenience store in the Detroit suburb of Southfield.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan Lottery ticket worth more than $138,000 has gone unclaimed for a year and been deposited into the state's fund for K-12 schools.

The lottery said Friday that the winning Fantasy 5 jackpot from the March 9, 2013 drawing was bought at the Smokers Depot & Convenience store in the Detroit suburb of Southfield.

Terminal-based tickets are valid one year from the draw date.

Another Fantasy 5 top prize of $100,000 is set to expire Tuesday. It was purchased at Gould's Mini Mart in Sand Lake, and the drawing was held March 11, 2013.

Education
11:38 am
Tue March 4, 2014

$4.5 million fund is being formed to benefit Head Start programs in Detroit

Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

The Detroit Head Start Early Childhood Innovation Fund announced Tuesday will award grants in part to support improved services and better outcomes for young children and families.

The announcement was made by the Southeast Michigan Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, funders working to support early childhood education. The group includes the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Skillman Foundation and others.

The fund will be managed by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

The fund was created in response to a federal competition for $48 million in Head Start funding in Detroit. The Office of Head Start recently announced Detroit organizations with winning proposals that are in negotiations to get federal funding.

Law
12:21 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Michigan's witness in gay-marriage trial barred

Sherif Girgis.
C-SPAN screen grab

DETROIT – The state of Michigan's defense of a ban on gay marriage is off to a rocky start after a judge refused to allow the first witness to testify.

Sherif Girgis is a law student at Yale University and a doctoral candidate at Princeton University. He has written and talked about a historical defense of marriage between a man and a woman.

Federal Judge Bernard Friedman says Girgis will be an expert witness – someday. Friedman says Girgis' opinions won't help him decide this case.

Two Detroit-area women are challenging Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage, which was approved by voters in 2004.

The state attorney general's office is defending the amendment this week and asked for a break Monday to summon another witness.

Weather
4:04 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Snow, cold in Michigan, but power crews head south

The National Weather Service reports 5.1 inches of new snow in Jackson County.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

JACKSON – A fresh wave of snow has fallen on much of Michigan over the weekend, but for once the worst of the weather is elsewhere in the region as CMS Energy Corp. dispatches dozens of its employees to help with a severe ice storm expected to hit Kentucky.

Slippery streets and highways have caused numerous accidents in Michigan, including one in which a car hit a state police patrol car handling an earlier accident on Interstate 696 in Southfield.

WWJ-AM says the trooper escaped injury in the crash. Traffic was halted on eastbound I-696.

Business
11:35 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Michigan Lottery extends contract with GTECH

The lottery announced Friday that the contract with GTECH Corp. now will run through mid-January of 2017. The company helps run games such as Powerball, Mega Millions and Club Keno.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING – The Michigan Lottery has extended its contract with a company that helps run games such as Powerball, Mega Millions and Club Keno.

The lottery announced Friday that the contract with GTECH Corp. now will run through mid-January of 2017. The initial six-year deal was scheduled to expire in January 2015.

Under terms of the contract, the bulk of the company's compensation is based on a percentage of sales. The contract extension has an estimated value of more than $53 million.

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