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Politics & Government
11:41 am
Tue February 18, 2014

State Senate committee debates snow plowing money, Medicaid expansion

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers are considering a mid-year budget bill that would send extra money to state and local governments grappling with higher snowplowing costs.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday talked about spending $100 million more on winter road maintenance.

Legislators in the current budget put an additional $230 million into a special fund for roads or other "risks." They announced half would fund 103 state and local transportation projects across Michigan.

Now lawmakers are looking to use all but $15 million of the balance to account for heavier-than-normal snow removal along highways and local roads.

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Arts & Culture
3:11 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Pulitzer prize-winning Detroit journalist Angelo Henderson dies

Angelo Henderson was 51.
Angelo Henderson/Facebook

DETROIT (AP) - A medical examiner's spokesman says Angelo Henderson, Pulitzer prize-winning Detroit journalist, radio host and co-founder of a prominent community patrol group, has died.

Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office spokesman Bill Mullan said Henderson died Saturday in Pontiac of natural causes but no other details were available. He was 51.

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Environment & Science
3:02 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

Gap in concrete wall found at nuclear plant near Toledo

Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, Ohio’s first nuclear power plant, is located 35 miles east of Toledo. The plant produces 40% of the electricity used by residences, businesses and industries in northwestern Ohio.
FirstEnergy

OAK HARBOR, Ohio (AP) - Operators of a northern Ohio nuclear plant that sits along Lake Erie say workers there found a gap within the concrete of a protective wall.

Officials at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant near Toledo describe the gap as an air pocket and say they don't believe it affected the structural integrity of the shield wall.

The gap was discovered Thursday while the plant was shut down to replace two steam generators.

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Education
1:08 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

Expansion of school turnaround district stalled

Michigan allows the lowest-achieving 5 percent of public schools to be placed into a turnaround district. The district has been transferred to the EAA, a system running 15 troubled Detroit schools.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Despite a renewed push, expansion of a state turnaround entity for failing public schools beyond Detroit remains in trouble in the Legislature.

Some majority Republicans say it's too early to know whether the 15-school Education Achievement Authority is working.

Others contend a version of legislation floated this week doesn't guarantee a role for local intermediate school districts to run the worst schools instead. Critics also say there's no promise schools can return to their home districts once being improved.

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Politics & Government
11:44 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Michigan GOP elects Mitt Romney's niece to Republican National Committee

Ronna Romney McDaniel (seen here at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida) was elected Saturday morning during a meeting of the 113-member Michigan Republican Party State Central Committee.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Republican officials have chosen the niece of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to replace Terri Lynn Land on the party's national committee.

Ronna Romney McDaniel was elected Saturday morning during a meeting of the 113-member Michigan Republican Party State Central Committee. McDaniel is the daughter of Ronna Romney, who also served on the Republican National Committee.

Land, Michigan's former secretary of state, resigned last month to focus on her run for the U.S. Senate. Her likely Democratic opponent is U.S. Rep. Gary Peters.

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Education
11:04 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Michigan-Flint engineering enrollment grows

The Flint Journal reports that engineering enrollment has doubled since 2008 at U of M-Flint.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan-Flint is responding to a growth in its engineering program by investing in high-tech equipment for the students.

The Flint Journal reports that engineering enrollment has doubled since 2008 and now stands at 320 students. To meet the demand, the school has acquired a $75,000 microscope that magnifies objects 60,000 times and expects to get a $100,000 three-dimensional printer. The department also is hiring two new professors.

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Health
6:20 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Michiganders are signing up for Obamacare at a faster pace, but the deadline looms

The Obama administration says, through the end of January, about 112,000 Michiganders have picked insurance plans using the federal health care website.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The Obama Administration says Michiganders are signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act at a faster pace than expected. But time is running out.

Michiganders have until the end of March to sign up for health insurance or face a federal tax penalty.

The Obama administration says through the end of January, about 112,000 Michiganders have picked insurance plans using the federal health care website.

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Law
10:57 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Detroit suburb to sign agreement on police changes

GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. – Officials in a Detroit suburb where five police officers were suspended for their roles in videos in which a black man is seen singing or chanting plan to sign an agreement about department changes.

A statement on behalf of Grosse Pointe Park says the city plans to sign an agreement Wednesday partnering with U.S. Justice Department, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and local groups to "increase policing reforms."

The city says the Justice Department and the Department of Civil Rights will help train officers in the latest strategies in community policing. The city also is signing a resolution reaffirming a commitment to diversity as well as human and civil rights.

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Economy
10:37 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Review team to look over Lincoln Park's finances

Lincoln Park Post Office, Lincoln Park MI
Andrew Jameson

LINCOLN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Governor Rick Snyder has appointed a review team to look at the finances of Lincoln Park.

The review is part of the process under state law that could lead to the appointment of an emergency manager. The review team was announced Monday.

A loan board determined last month that "probable financial stress" exists in Lincoln Park, southwest of Detroit.

Lincoln Park borrowed $2.5 million from its water and sewer fund for a pension payment in fiscal year 2013, and 46 percent of its general fund revenues in fiscal 2012 went to debt payments and retirement obligations.

The review team has 60 days to report back to Snyder.

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Law
11:59 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Killer describes escape from Michigan prison as `easy'

Michael Elliot was discovered missing Sunday during an inmate count at the Ionia Correctional Facility, 30 miles east of Grand Rapids. The 40-year-old was arrested Monday in northwestern Indiana, driving a stolen vehicle.
Michigan Dept. of Corrections

IONIA, Mich. (AP) - The convicted killer who escaped from a Michigan prison says it "was relatively simple."

Michael Elliot was discovered missing Sunday during an inmate count at the Ionia Correctional Facility, 30 miles east of Grand Rapids. The 40-year-old was arrested Monday in northwestern Indiana, driving a stolen vehicle.

The Detroit Free Press reports Elliot used his one phone call at the Indiana jail where he's being held on $1 million bond to discuss the escape with the newspaper.

Politics & Government
6:07 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Gov. Snyder wants boost in local revenue sharing

Cuts in revenue sharing can lead to fewer police and firefighters and other cutbacks in local services.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Local governments bore steep cuts in state revenue-sharing payments in the 2000s as sales tax collections lagged and lawmakers siphoned off money to deal with budget deficits.

Now as the economy recovers and the budget stabilizes, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is proposing a 15 percent increase in the next budget.

He once cut statutory shared revenue to cities and townships by a third.

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Environment & Science
12:29 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Gov. Snyder talks about economy, bridge and pandas (?)

The Detroit News says Snyder repeated many points from his State of the State address during an appearance at the Detroit Regional Chamber.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Panda bears at the Detroit Zoo?

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder tells business leaders that he'd like to see it happen, although he acknowledged Friday that the bears are expensive and hard to obtain. He's been interested since traveling to China on trade missions.

The Detroit News says Snyder repeated many points from his State of the State address during an appearance at the Detroit Regional Chamber. He also repeated his criticism of the federal government for its failure so far to agree to a U.S. Customs plaza at a new bridge linking Detroit and Canada.

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Law
10:23 am
Sat February 8, 2014

2 Michigan prison workers suspended after escape

(file photo)
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

IONIA, Mich. (AP) - Two employees have been suspended at a western Michigan prison where a convicted killer escaped for 24 hours.

Corrections Department spokesman Russ Marlan says one is an officer and the other is a shift commander. He declined to provide their names or any other details but says the suspensions are related to the investigation at the Ionia Correctional Facility.

Michael Elliot escaped last Sunday and left the state in a Jeep that belonged to a Belding woman. She got away later that night. Elliot was captured Monday in northwestern Indiana.

Environment & Science
9:28 am
Wed February 5, 2014

200-300 gallons of fuel spill into Detroit River

USCGC Mackinaw
United States Coast Guard

DETROIT (AP) — About 200 to 300 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the Detroit River while a U.S. Coast Guard ship was taking on fuel, officials said.

The discharge from the Cutter Mackinaw happened Tuesday afternoon near the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

The Coast Guard said the ship's crew secured the source of fuel and conducted initial cleanup operations onboard. Crewmembers also deployed a boom around the fuel to prevent further spread. A contractor is expected to finish cleanup efforts.

"We take our role as environmental stewards seriously, and any accidental discharge of fuel is regrettable," Capt. Eric Johnson, chief of the Coast Guard 9th District Incident Management Branch, said in a statement. "We are already at work mitigating any potential impacts."

The cause of the discharge is under investigation, Johnson said, and the Coast Guard wants to ensure that another spill doesn't happen.

Ice breaking work is keeping Coast Guard crews busy on the Great Lakes, and the Mackinaw was cleared Tuesday to leave for an ice breaking operation.

Politics & Government
5:21 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Consul: Canada to buy Detroit land for new bridge

Canada is paying most of the project's $2 billion-plus cost on both the Windsor, Ontario, and the Detroit sides of the river, recouping costs from future tolls.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - A Canadian official says his government plans to start buying land in Detroit for the U.S. portion of a new bridge linking the nations. It's a way to bypass opponents of the project and overcome the U.S. government's failure to allocate the money.

Outgoing Canadian Consul General Roy Norton tells the Detroit Free Press that the project is too important to delay.

Canada is paying most of the project's $2 billion-plus cost on both the Windsor, Ontario, and the Detroit sides of the river, recouping costs from future tolls.

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Weather
5:09 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Michigan woodchuck predicts 6 more weeks of winter

Woody the Woodchuck stayed put in her home at the Howell Conference and Nature Center on Sunday morning, taken to mean there won't be an early end to the state's cold, white winter.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) - Michigan's weather-prognosticating woodchuck has called for six more weeks of winter.

The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News report that Woody stayed put in her home at the Howell Conference and Nature Center on Sunday morning, taken to mean there won't be an early end to the state's cold, white winter.

Nature center Executive Director Dick Grant tells the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus that Woody is 11-4 in weather predictions.

Economy
2:59 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Michigan officials processing home heating credits

The weather outside continues to be frightful for parts of Michigan even after some areas experienced their snowiest Januaries.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - State officials say they are processing credits to help low-income customers with their winter energy bills.

The Michigan Public Service Commission said this week that state treasury officials have mailed instruction booklets and forms pertaining to the Michigan Home Heating Credits for the 2013 tax year.

The materials also are available online and at many libraries, post offices and Department of Human Services' branch offices.

The average credit for last year was $124.

Education
12:46 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Open enrollment events scheduled at EAA schools in Detroit

The EAA is a state turnaround district for failing public schools. It currently is made up of 15 former Detroit Public schools.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Open enrollment events are scheduled this week at nine Education Achievement Authority schools in Detroit.

Enrollment is going on for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade with welcome programs set to begin at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Phoenix, Burns and Nolan schools.

Parents can tour the school buildings and classrooms, and meet staff.

Events at the district's six high schools will begin at noon on Thursday.

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Environment & Science
12:42 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Ohio wind turbine project stopped near Lake Erie

The American Bird Conservancy and Black Swamp Bird Observatory say National Guard officials in Washington sent out a letter this past week announcing it was pulling out of the project.
Carleton College

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Federal officials have put a stop to plans for a wind turbine along Lake Erie in northern Ohio.

The decision comes just weeks after a group of birding enthusiasts threatened to sue the Ohio National Guard over the wind turbine project at the guard's Camp Perry site near Port Clinton.

The American Bird Conservancy and Black Swamp Bird Observatory say National Guard officials in Washington sent out a letter this past week announcing it was pulling out of the project.

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Weather
11:39 am
Sat February 1, 2014

More snow today after record setting January in parts of Michigan

The National Weather Service says up to seven inches of snow is expected to cover the Detroit area Saturday, a day after the region ended January with 39.1 inches of snow -- its snowiest month ever.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - The weather outside continues to be frightful for parts of Michigan even after some areas experienced their snowiest Januaries.

The National Weather Service says up to seven inches of snow is expected to cover the Detroit area Saturday, a day after the region ended January with 39.1 inches of snow -- its snowiest month ever.

Meteorologist Steven Freitag says the previous record was 38.4 in February 1908.

Flint's 32.9 inches of snow also was a January record.

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