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Environment & Science
12:32 pm
Sat November 9, 2013

Report: Measure Great Lakes cleanup progress

A view of Lake Michigan near Frankfort, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A government report says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should do more to make sure a Great Lakes cleanup program is meeting its goals.

Congress has spent about $1.3 billion on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative over the past four years. It has funded 1,700 grants for on-the-ground projects and scientific research. It focuses on persistent environmental threats such as invasive species, loss of wildlife habitat, toxic pollution and runaway algae growth.

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Politics & Government
7:51 am
Sat November 9, 2013

Lawyers wrap case in Detroit bankruptcy trial

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Attorneys have ended final arguments in a rare trial to determine whether Detroit can become the largest municipality to fix its finances in bankruptcy court.

The daylong remarks Friday for and against a Chapter 9 reorganization now will be sorted out by Judge Steven Rhodes. He could take days to make the decision.

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Business
10:11 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Cereal maker Kellogg Co. to cut global workforce

Kellogg's is the worlds leading producer of cereal.
Ben Alman creative commons

Update 10:11 a.m.

A Kellogg Co. spokesperson said it's too early to tell how these cuts will affect the workforce in Michigan.

The cuts are coming as part of a "global efficiency and effectiveness program" called "Project K."

Kris Charles of Kellogg sent us this statement:

"Project K is a significant, four-year, global program that will reshape our cost structure and serve as a catalyst for our growth strategy.  The likely outcome of this global initiative is that by the end of 2017, we estimate that Kellogg will have approximately 7 percent fewer employees worldwide than we do today.  We aren’t disclosing further specifics about Project K, however, this isn’t a one-size-fits all initiative.  Each of Kellogg Company’s geographic regions and functions will implement the initiatives that make the most sense to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. It’s too early to estimate potential impacts in Michigan or the Battle Creek area at this time."

9:19 a.m.

Kellogg says it will trim its global workforce by 7 percent as part of a cost-cutting plan, with the cereal maker citing weaker-than-expected sales for the year.

The company called the changes "a global four-year efficiency and effectiveness program" in their press release.

The maker of Frosted Flakes and Eggo waffles said it expects earnings per share for the year to be toward the lower end of its previous forecast.

The workforce reductions will take place by 2017.

For the quarter, Kellogg Co. says it earned $326 million, or 90 cents per share. Not including one-time items, it earned 95 cents per share, which was above the 89 cents per share Wall Street expected.

A year ago, the company earned $318 million, or 89 cents per share.

Revenue slipped to $3.72 billion and was short of the $3.73 billion analysts expected.

Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody will have more on how the cuts could affect workers here in Michigan. The company is headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Law
5:56 pm
Sat November 2, 2013

Grand Rapids man claims he told US where bin Laden was

Tom Lee
Mlive.com

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan man claims he tipped federal investigators to the location of Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan years before his killing and is seeking the $25 million reward.

A letter obtained Friday by The Associated Press from a Chicago-based law firm representing Grand Rapids resident Tom Lee says the 63-year-old gem merchant reported the location of bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad in 2003.

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Law
3:49 pm
Sat November 2, 2013

Detroit, bankruptcy creditors talking in private

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - While a judge determines the future of Detroit's bankruptcy case, key people are meeting behind the scenes to try to reach deals.

Private mediation sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, at the same time the city tries to convince a judge that Detroit is eligible to fix its debts in bankruptcy court. The trial in front of Judge Steven Rhodes started on Oct. 23.

Politics & Government
12:22 pm
Sat November 2, 2013

Crackdown on Michigan charity poker rooms brings backlash

Against the odds?
eversio.info

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Poker's rise in popularity has helped Michigan's charities and civic groups stay afloat at a time of dwindling donations from elsewhere.

And efforts to rein in a charitable gambling industry that has grown more than 20-fold in a decade are sparking backlash.

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Business
12:46 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Health firm's growth impacts Detroit area

DETROIT (AP) - Changes in federal and state health care laws have created huge growth for Michigan's largest Medicaid HMO.

The Detroit News reports that growth at Meridian Health Plan is also benefiting Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park because of developments financed by the family that runs Meridian.

Jon Cotton is chief operating officer of Meridian Health Plan. It was founded as Health Plan of Michigan in 1997 by his parents, David and Shery Cotton.

He says the changes in health care are creating opportunities that won't be seen for another century.

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Education
11:07 am
Sun October 27, 2013

Michigan considers grading schools from A to F

State Department of Education color coding system
MDoE

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan's new color-coded school accountability system is already up for an overhaul just two months after its debut.

Some lawmakers say schools should get A-F grades just like students do, so parents and others can easily understand performance.

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Politics & Government
2:35 pm
Sat October 26, 2013

Michigan Attorney General to report future donors to his nonprofit fund

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
official portrait

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has decided that future donors to his nonprofit "social welfare" fund should be disclosed to the public.

The decision announced late Friday comes in the wake of Governor Rick Snyder's decision to dissolve his 501c4 fund and create a new one.

Schuette's On Duty for Michigan fund has been able to legally accept unlimited amounts of money from anonymous donors. Fund board member Gary Gordon says the money has "reduced the burden on taxpayers" and improved the effectiveness of Schuette's office.

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Environment & Science
12:24 pm
Sat October 26, 2013

EPA plans cleanup of dioxin-tainted Tittabawassee River segment

Imerman Park sits on the flood plain of the Tittabawassee River. Signs along the trail warn walkers about dioxin contamination in some of the park's soil.
Shawn Allee/The Environment Report

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making plans for cleanup next year of a 4-mile-long segment of the Tittabawassee River contaminated with dioxin from a Dow Chemical Co. plant in Midland.

It's part of a multi-year strategy to remove tainted sediments from the Tittabawassee and Saginaw rivers that were polluted by water and air emissions from the plant from the late 1890s to the 1970s.

A 3-mile stretch near the plant was completed in September.

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Business
10:30 am
Sat October 26, 2013

Winning Packard plant online auction bid tops $6M

DETROIT (AP) - A former car plant and symbol of Detroit's economic decline appears to have sold for just over $6 million at a tax foreclosure auction to a bidder from Texas.

The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press report that someone registered as Jill Van Horn of Ennis, Texas, put in the winning bid during Friday's online public auction for the Packard plant.

The auction opened on October 8th at $21,000. The full bid amount is due by the end of Monday.

Politics & Government
8:41 am
Sat October 26, 2013

Detroit City Council has no alternative to $350M loan plan to pay off city's debt

Downtown Detroit (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit City Council has decided not to push an alternative to a $350 million loan designed to help the city pay off some of its massive pension debt.

Council members on Friday discussed the competing plan to the post-bankruptcy petition financial proposal engineered by state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr.

About $230 million from Barclays would be used to fully pay off a complicated pension debt deal involving two major creditors. The rest would be used to improve basic city services.

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Offbeat
2:37 am
Fri October 25, 2013

December implosion planned for Flint's tallest building

Genesee Towers, Flint, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - An implosion planned for December is taking down Flint's tallest building.

Uptown Reinvestment bought downtown Flint's 19-story Genesee Towers in March from the city for $1.

Multiple news outlets are reporting Jacksonville, Fla.-based Drilling & Blasting will handle implosion engineering and blasting efforts, with help from Michigan-based Burnash Wrecking Inc. and Certified Abatement Services Inc.

The demolition is part of a $32 million redevelopment plan.

Environment & Science
2:20 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Senators unhappy about Canada's nuclear waste plan

Bruce Power Ontario Power Generation

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin of Michigan are asking Secretary of State John Kerry to intervene in a Canadian plan to store nuclear waste underground near Lake Huron.

Ontario Power Generation proposes a radioactive waste disposal facility at the Bruce nuclear power site in the city of Kincardine. If approved, it would house more than 200,000 cubic feet of waste about a mile from the lake.

In a letter Monday to Kerry, the Democratic senators say they're concerned how storing so much radioactive material that close to the lake would affect the environment and industries such as fishing and tourism.

They ask Kerry to urge the Canadian government to reconsider its plans.

The company says the underground rock formations would keep the waste safe for thousands of years.

Education
4:58 pm
Sun October 20, 2013

University of Michigan: Good finances this year, $11.5 billion in holdings

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan says its financial position is looking pretty good, with a three-quarter-billion-dollar increase in its net worth in the latest year.

The university's financial report released last week shows that the Ann Arbor school's net holdings stand at $11.5 billion. That's up $730 million from a year earlier.

The report says the school's investments have done well in a decade that includes the nation's worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

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Business
1:49 pm
Sun October 20, 2013

Marketing of Detroit heats up despite bankruptcy

Downtown Detroit (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Convincing executives that Detroit is a comeback city where they should hold meetings and conventions can only be characterized as the most monumental of pitches or the slickest of con jobs.

Convention and visitors bureau marketing chief Bill Bohde says they are plowing forward with a $1.6 million campaign touting it as a great comeback city even after Detroit became the largest U.S. city to seek bankruptcy protection.

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Politics & Government
12:48 pm
Sun October 20, 2013

New head of Michigan civil rights agency starts job

Matt Wesaw
Casino Connection Flickr

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The new executive director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights is starting his job this week in Lansing.

Matt Wesaw will begin Monday. He was chosen for the position by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission earlier in October.

Wesaw fills the vacancy left by the retirement Daniel Krichbaum in July.

With his selection, Wesaw is the first Native American to lead the Civil Rights Department. He plans to retire from his positions as chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and president and CEO of the Pokagon Gaming Authority.

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Politics & Government
10:41 am
Sun October 20, 2013

Price tag to fix Bay City Hall exceeds $10 million

City Hall, Bay City, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) - The historic city hall in Bay City is nearing completion of a more than $10 million renovation three years after it was damaged by fire and flood.

The original structure cost $170,000, but Bay City Commission President Lori Dufresne tells The Bay City Times that she isn't surprised by the cost of the renovation.

Much of the expense has been to repair the damage, but updates and historic restoration are costly as well. Insurance is covering most of the work, which began about a year ago.

Sports
6:34 am
Sun October 20, 2013

Red Sox slam Tigers again, ending Detroit's season

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Red Sox are going to the World Series for the third time in 10 seasons.

Shane Victorino launched a go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Red Sox past the Detroit Tigers 5-2 in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Victorino's home run came on an 0-2 pitch and followed an error by shortstop Jose Iglesias to load the bases.

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Arts & Culture
12:12 pm
Sat October 19, 2013

Detroit pastor reveals gay marriage, steps down

DETROIT (AP) — A Christian leader has resigned from a Detroit church after disclosing she married a woman.

The Detroit Free Press reports (http://on.freep.com/16ixW19 ) that Bishop Allyson Nelson Abrams stepped down Friday from Zion Progress Baptist Church. The church's first female pastor told congregants Oct. 6 that she married a pastor affiliated with a Washington, D.C., church.

They married in Iowa, where same-sex marriage is legal.

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