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Auto
4:47 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

Detroit auto show opens to the public

A Fiat product specialist at the auto show
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - The North American International Auto Show in Detroit has opened its doors to the public.

The annual event began Saturday at Cobo Center following a week of previews for journalists and others in the industry. A race-worthy Corvette, a sumptuous Mercedes C-Class and other glitzy models catch the eye at the show, which runs through Jan. 26.

Politics & Government
2:43 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

Snyder: Michigan pension tax will stand despite surplus

Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder says he won't reconsider a controversial tax on income of certain Michigan retirees.

Michigan has a large budget surplus, but Snyder tells The Detroit News that revisiting the 2012 tax is not on his radar. He calls it an issue of fairness, saying pensions shouldn't be treated differently for tax purposes than other retirement income.

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Education
11:10 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Jackson gets high-tech help from college students

Jackson, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) - Graduate students at the University of Michigan are turning the city of Jackson into a classroom.

About three dozen students in the School of Information are tackling 10 projects in Jackson, including ways to promote vaccinations and digitize cemetery records. They'll help the police department adopt an anonymous text message tip system.

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Health
5:21 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Flu hospitalizations up this season, 190 reported so far

by samantha celera

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Flu hospitalizations in Michigan are way up this season because of the spread of the more serious H1N1 strain of the disease.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says the good news is this year's flu vaccine targets the H1N1 strain, making it highly effective in preventing the disease.

The department says labs confirm 169 Michigan cases this season, compared with 338 a year earlier.

But department spokeswoman Angela Minicuci says there are 190 reported hospitalizations so far this season, up from 115 a year earlier. New numbers come out Friday.

The state doesn't track adult flu deaths. There's been one juvenile death this season.

Minicuci says officials hope people take the virulence of this season's outbreak as a warning to get vaccinated.

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Law
3:35 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Detroit bankruptcy judge rejects deal with banks

Credit Michigan Radio

A judge overseeing Detroit's bankruptcy again rejected a deal Thursday to get the city out of a disastrous financial agreement with major banks.

Judge Steven Rhodes turned down a more than $165 million compromise, saying "it's just too much money," about 67 cents on every dollar owed to the banks as of Dec. 31. He had rejected a $230 million deal in December.

He encouraged the city and banks to keep negotiating. After making his decision, he cleared the courtroom to talk privately to lawyers.

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Politics & Government
10:25 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Biden to attend working dinner with Detroit mayor

VP Biden and Detroit mayor Mike Duggan plan to meet.
Barack Obama Photostream Flickr

DETROIT (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden plans to attend a working dinner with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan during a visit to the city.

The White House says Biden will travel Wednesday to Detroit and attend the dinner Wednesday evening.

On Thursday, Biden is scheduled to attend the North American International Auto Show. The White House has said that Biden will discuss the future of the U.S. auto industry and "highlight its strong recovery following the tough restructuring and shared sacrifice" under the 2009 federal bailout.

News media, industry and other previews for the show began Monday, and the show is open to the public Saturday though Jan. 26 at Cobo Center.

Auto
9:56 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Driverless car test site aims to open by fall in Michigan

A glass panel display shows how vehicles equipped with the new technology will be able to communicate with one another and roadway infrastructure, like traffic signals at an August, 2012 Ann Arbor event on driverless cars.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - University of Michigan and state government officials aim to have a 32-acre driverless car test site running by September - in time for a global conference on intelligent transportation systems.

Gov. Rick Snyder and other state and university officials gathered Tuesday at Detroit's auto show to outline plans for the Mobility Transformation Facility, a $6.5 million site on the Ann Arbor university's North Campus.

It will offer a simulated urban environment with roads, intersections, building facades, traffic circles and a hill.

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Auto
6:26 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

General Motors' quarterly dividend is back

General Motors (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - General Motors Co. says it will resume paying a quarterly dividend, its first since the height of the financial crisis in 2008

The U.S. automaker's CEO Dan Akerson had hinted that a dividend may be coming and the company confirmed the move Tuesday. General Motors says its dividend of 30 cents per share is payable March 28 to stockholders of record as of March 18.

The Detroit-based company says investors should share in the company's success and that the dividend is a signal of confidence for a profitable future.

Transportation
8:55 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Coast Guard icebreaker back at work after crash in the Straits of Mackinac

U.S. Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock (file photo)
Petty Officer 2nd Class George Degener/US Coast

MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard says one of its icebreakers has returned to service after sustaining damage in a collision with a freighter in the Straits of Mackinac.

The accident happened Jan. 5 in Lake Michigan, about 20 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge.

The Coast Guard says the 225-foot cutter Hollyhock was breaking ice when it hit a hard spot in the ice. It says the 990-foot Mesabi Miner hit the Hollyhock's stern.

The Mesabi Mine sustained damage to its bow. It was hauling iron ore to Gary, Ind.

Environment & Science
1:18 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

University of Michigan faces proposed fine from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

www.oseh.umich.edu/radiation

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing a $3,500 fine against the University of Michigan Radiation Safety Service after a routine materials inspection turned up security-related violations.

The federal agency says the inspection conducted between last June and September looked at the use of licensed materials for medical applications, research and development.

Violations were found on the school's Ann Arbor campus.

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Politics & Government
11:10 am
Sun January 12, 2014

5 things to know about Michigan Legislature in 2014

What's going on under the dome?
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Legislature formally kicked off 2014 with no heavy lifting. But voting could occur this week, when lawmakers also gather to hear Governor Rick Snyder's annual State of the State speech.

Budget work will dominate the first half of the year. Legislators have nearly $1 billion more to work with than expected, and one priority is spending more on road upkeep without raising taxes.

Lawmakers also are talking up an election-year tax cut, perhaps in the state income tax.

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Auto
6:52 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Detroit auto show 'super' boost for ailing city

North American International Auto Show (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Call it a 21st century paradox.

The city of Detroit is in bankruptcy, mired in debt of at least $18 billion. But the industry it's synonymous with has left its own financial problems in the rearview mirror.

This month, the industry comes to the Detroit area's aid, with an economic boost estimated near $400 million from its annual North American International Auto Show.

The impact isn't solely financial. A successful show can help give local residents and businesses confidence that the city can get back on its feet again.

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Politics & Government
9:53 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Detroit police chief issues '2014 Plan of Action'

Chief James Craig (file photo)
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Chief James Craig has placed a 10-percent drop in overall crime, 5-minute response time for priority calls to 911 and more solved homicides among this year's goals for Detroit's police force.

Craig released his 2014 Plan of Action on Thursday and is making it available to residents on the city's website.

The department also will hire 150 new officers by mid-year and deploy detectives in each of the city's 12 police precincts.

Politics & Government
9:50 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Orr's plan for Detroit delayed

Kevyn Orr
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit's state-appointed emergency manager is delaying the release of his plan to shepherd the city through bankruptcy.

A spokesman for Kevyn Orr told The Associated Press on Thursday that no new date is being given for the report's release because the city is continuing mediation with creditors.

Orr had said he'd submit his plan to a federal bankruptcy judge in early January. The court-imposed deadline is mid-March.

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Politics & Government
7:53 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Budget experts predict an extra $1.1 billion in state government revenues over 3 years

State capitol building, Lansing, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan legislative budget experts say state government is taking in hundreds of millions of dollars more than expected eight months ago.

A report released Tuesday from the House Fiscal Agency in Lansing estimates Michigan collected $433 million more than projected in the last budget year and will collect about $327 million more this year.

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Auto
7:48 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Ford CEO Mulally says he's not leaving for Microsoft

Ford CEO Alan Mulally (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) - Ford CEO Alan Mulally says he will not leave the automaker for Microsoft and will stay at Ford at least through 2014.

Mulally is widely credited with saving Ford after being hired away from Boeing in 2006. But in recent months there have been numerous reports that he was in the running for the top job at Microsoft, where CEO Steve Ballmer has said he plans to leave the company sometime this year.

Transportation
10:56 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Weather stalls Amtrak train for 8.5 hours in Michigan

An Amtrak train at the Ann Arbor station.
smaedli Creative Commons

NILES, Mich. (AP) - An Amtrak train carrying more than 200 people has arrived in Chicago after weather-related problems caused it to stop for more than eight hours in southwestern Michigan.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says the train's engine lost power Sunday due to cold weather. But he says heat, lights and restrooms still worked.

The train started in Pontiac, north of Detroit, and had trouble between Niles and New Buffalo in the corner of southwestern Michigan. It was later connected to another westbound train and arrived in Chicago around 1:30 a.m. CST Monday.

Magliari says passengers may have been frustrated but they were always safe on the stalled train. He says it was better to keep them on the train rather than switch to buses, even if buses were available.

Politics & Government
7:36 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Governor: State stepping up, people should stay in

Yeah, that's a lot of snow
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder says Michigan has put out every available road crew and has increased state police patrols in response to the heavy snowfall and the deep freeze forecast to follow it.

Snyder says Michigan residents can help, too, by looking in on friends and neighbors while staying off roads as much as possible.

A foot of snow was on the ground already by Sunday evening in parts of the Lower Peninsula, with more on the way.

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Transportation
5:29 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Coast Guard ice-breaker damaged in Straits of Mackinac crash

U.S. Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock (file photo)
Petty Officer 2nd Class George Degener/US Coast Guard

MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard says one of its ice-breakers sustained significant damage in a collision with a freighter in the Straits of Mackinac. No injuries are reported.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Keith Showalter says the accident happened about 10:45 a.m. Sunday. He says the location is about 20 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge, which links Mackinaw City in the Lower Peninsula to St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula.

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Offbeat
1:39 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Up to 15 inches snow predicted for Michigan, then temps plunge to -15

Got Milk? Many Michigan supermarkets sold out before the big storm hit.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - The harshest winter conditions in 20 years are heading for Michigan's Lower Peninsula, with up to 15 inches of snow forecast for parts of the state followed by temperatures diving as low as minus 15.

The National Weather Service predicts "the coldest temperatures Southeast Michigan has experienced in about 20 years."

It says snowfall will total 8-15 inches by late Sunday and a drop in temperatures of up to 45 degrees by Monday.

Michigan residents have been crowding stores seeking supplies.

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