Emily Fox

Host/Producer/Reporter

Emily is the producer and fill-in host for Morning Edition. She is also a reporter and producer for Stateside.

Before working for Michigan Radio, Emily hosted and produced an award winning weekly talk show on Michigan State University's student radio station, IMPACT 89FM. Some of the feature stories she has contributed over the years at WKAR-FM, WJR-AM and Michigan Radio have been recognized by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and the Society for Professional Journalists.

Emily holds a B.A. in music education and an M.A. in telecommunication from MSU. For her Master's thesis project, she produced an audio documentary about migrant workers in Michigan that aired on Michigan Radio.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

New emergency manager bill to be rolled out today

A new version of a local  government emergency manager bill will be rolled out today at the state Capitol. It would replace the emergency manager law that was rejected last month by voters, Rick Pluta reports. Under this new version, local governments deemed to be  in a fiscal crisis would have four options:

1. They could reach a consent agreement with the state.

2. They could agree to mediation to come up with a plan to meet the crisis.

3. They could request a state-appointed emergency manager.

4. They could go into Chapter Nine municipal bankruptcy. Under this measure, the state would pick up more of the costs of emergency managers.

Judge rules emergency financial manager law still in effect

"An Ingham County judge has dismissed a legal challenge to Michigan’s controversial Emergency Financial Manager law.  Under the law the governor can appoint a manager to run cities and school districts in ‘financial stress’.  The old law had been repealed when a new law was passed in 2011 giving Emergency Managers broader powers. An Ingham County judge ruled yesterday that the old law went back into effect when the new, tougher law was suspended.  The ruling means the work of Emergency Financial Managers in a handful of Michigan cities and school districts can continue," Steve Carmody reports.

GOP will continue to push for right-to-work even in 2013

Republicans are hoping a right-to-work bill will be passed in the remaining weeks of the lame duck session. Demonstrators gathered in Lansing yesterday to voice opposition against the idea of Michigan becoming the 24th  right-to-work state. But as MLive reports, if a right-to-work bill is not taken up in this session, advocates will put more pressure on the issue in the New Year.

"Advocates pressuring the GOP-controlled Legislature to act now have let it be known they will gather petitions for a voter-initiated right-to-work initiative if nothing is done. If more than 258,000 valid signatures are collected, the House and Senate would have 40 days to enact the law."
 

cncphotos / flickr

This week in Michigan politics revolves around what bills might be passed during the remaining weeks of the lame duck session. Morning Edition host Christina Shockley and Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessnberry  talked about the possibility of passing an education overhaul and a right-to-work bill.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Gov. Rick Snyder says right-to-work bill is now up for discussion

Governor Rick Snyder met with Republican legislative leaders yesterday about a right-to-work bill. Afterwards he said it is on the agenda - at least for discussion - but he wouldn't say whether legislation would be taken up by year's end. A right to work bill would limit unions' ability to collect fees from nonunion workers. The Detroit Free Press reports,

"Snyder, choosing his words carefully, said the issue has been "highlighted" so much in recent weeks -- mostly by business leaders and Republicans -- that it found a place on the Capitol agenda. While not saying he is personally pushing the effort, the governor did say that there are ramifications to the decision by labor leaders to proceed against his urgings with an unsuccessful ballot initiative last month that would have enshrined collective bargaining rights in the state constitution."

Red Wings and Detroit Tigers owner has plans for new district in Downtown Detroit

"Officials from the Mike Ilitch Organization have outlined plans for a new district in Downtown Detroit featuring shopping, apartments, offices and entertainment -- including a new home for the Red Wings. Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings.  A state Senate committee yesterday approved changes Tuesday to the Detroit Downtown Development Authority to help pay for the $650 million project," Michigan Radio reports.

Legislation would make recall elections tougher

"A Michigan House panel has approved legislation that would tighten language related to recall elections and restrict the time period in which people can be voted out of office. One bill would amend a section of state election law to limit recall elections to the two election dates set annually in May and November. Another would require that reasons for the recall are stated 'factually and clearly'. The current petition is reviewed for 'sufficient clarity.' Another proposed change calls for a challenger to compete for the office against the official up for recall," the AP reports.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Mayors and local officials voice oppose changes to gun laws

"Mayors and other local officials were at the state Capitol Monday to oppose a rewrite some of Michigan’s gun laws. Specifically, they are asking the Legislature to continue to require people who buy pistols from private owners to get a state background check and a license. Background checks are already required by federal law when people buy from dealers. Law enforcement officials say the state’s licensed pistol registry helps them solve crimes and return stolen guns. But supporters of the legislation say the state makes it too difficult for people to legally buy firearms to for self defense," Rick Pluta reports.

Judge dismisses lawsuit over Asian Carp

A federal judge in Chicago dismissed a lawsuit Monday filed by five Great Lake states over threats posed by Asian carp. The states want barriers placed in Chicago-area waterways to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes. The Detroit Free Press reports,

"U.S. District Judge John Tharp said he couldn’t order the agencies to do what the states want because federal law requires the corps to keep shipping channels open between Lake Michigan and one of the Chicago waterways -- the Des Plaines River -- and prohibits constructing dams in any navigable waterway without Congress’ consent."

GOP want right-to-work legislation before year's end

GOP lawmakers on Monday focused their efforts to pass right-to-work legislation before the year's end. The Detroit News reports,

"The chamber is pushing for the legislation in response to Indiana becoming a right-to-work state in February and Michigan voters' defeat last month of the union-backed Proposition 2. The initiative aimed to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the Michigan Constitution in an attempt to block a right-to-work law. . . Right-to-work laws seek to ban "union security" clauses in collective bargaining agreements that require employees who don't want to join a union to pay an agency fee — sometimes up to 95 percent of monthly union dues — or be subject to termination by the employer."

NASA Goddard Photo and Video / flickr

This week on Seeking Change, Christina Shockley spoke with Loreen Niewenhuis. She's a Michigan author who hiked 1,000 miles to parts of all the Great Lakes.  She wanted to learn how this water that surrounds our state-- and defines our state-- works. She also wanted to learn about the concerning points for the lakes.  She'll write about this experience as well, in a book out early next year.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Bill would ease restrictions for concealed pistol permits

"The state House is considering a bill that would remove a state background check requirement for  concealed pistol permits. The bill would eliminate state background checks for people who want to carry concealed pistols.  The bill would also eliminate a data base of Michigan's pistol owners, which State Police say is used to help solve crimes. If the bill passes, it would also put county sheriffs in control of the permit process, rather than county boards," Rina Miller reports.

Legislation would allow insurance companies to deny medical marijuana coverage

"Bills in the state House would let insurance companies deny coverage for medical marijuana. Employers could also refuse to reimburse medical marijuana expenses through workers compensation. Opponents of the bills say the policy would keep some patients from receiving proper and legal medical treatment. But some medical marijuana advocates support the measures. They say when Michigan voters approved the drug, they never meant to force insurers to cover it. The state Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass the bills in May," Jake Neher reports.

Bill would allow medical personnel to refuse care on religious grounds

"A bill before the state senate would allow medical personnel to refuse care based on their religious beliefs. The bill would also protect them against civil, criminal, and administrative liability. However, the bill would require medical personnel to provide medical care in an emergency, regardless of a conflict with their religious beliefs," Chris Zollars reports.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

State-run health exchange rejected in House

Action on a state-run exchange for people to shop for health coverage was rejected in the state House Thursday. As the Lansing State Journal reports,

"Gov. Rick Snyder prefers a state-run program, but his administration this month applied for a federal grant as a first step toward the fallback position of teaming with the federal department. States have the option of creating their own exchange, teaming up with the federal government or having a federal system. . . Some Democrats opposed the legislation because it was linked to bills that would prohibit qualified health plans offered through a state exchange from providing coverage for elective abortion but would allow people to buy optional supplemental coverage for elective abortion outside the exchange."

Bills move forward to make gray wolf a game species

The Michigan Senate has approved a bill that would designate the gray wolf as a game species. The bill gives the Natural Resources Commission authority to decide whether to establish wolf hunting seasons. As the Detroit Free Press reports,

"The wolves were removed from the endangered species list in January, but only the DNR is allowed to manage the wolf population, which has begun to encroach upon U.P. towns, according to residents. The animals also are having a big impact on the U.P.'s deer population, killing between 17,000 and 29,000 deer every year, according to a report from the DNR."

State threatens to sue Troy over special election

"The state is threatening to sue the city of Troy over plans for a special election to replace recalled Mayor Janice Daniels. The Michigan Department of Elections says state law requires an election in February. Troy officials want to wait until next November. The state sent a letter to city leaders giving them until 1pm Friday to comply with the directive, and avoid litigation," Chris Zollars reports.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Snyder pushes renewable energy and drilling for natural gas

Governor Rick Snyder gave a special address on energy and the environment Wednesday. Highlights of his address include a push for more renewable energy and more drilling for natural gas. As the Lansing State Journal reports,

"The Republican governor gave natural gas a central role in an energy policy that seeks greater efficiency and improvements to infrastructure such as pipelines and the electric transmission grid. It proposes establishing a “strategic natural gas reserve” designed to make the resource more affordable and defends the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to extract gas from deep underground."

GOP pushing for right-to-work in lame duck

Republicans are still working to make Michigan a right-to-work state. This comes after voters rejected a ballot proposal to enshrine collective bargaining in the state constitution. As the Detroit News reports,

"Today could be the last chance to introduce a bill making union membership optional as a condition of employment in the private and public sectors to get it passed by Dec. 13. That's the day legislative leaders hope to head home for the holidays."

Sorry Michigan, no one won the Powerball jackpot in the state

"The Michigan Lottery says two Powerball tickets worth $1 million each were sold in the state. Officials say the tickets were sold at a liquor store in Kentwood and a CVS pharmacy in Dearborn. The Michigan tickets matched five numbers drawn last night, but not the Powerball number. Powerball officials said early Thursday that tickets sold in Arizona and Missouri matched all six numbers to win the $579.9 million jackpot," the AP repots.

cncphotos / flickr

This week Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry talked about what legislation is likely to pass before the end of the year, the cash crisis in Detroit, and mass transit in southeast Michigan.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Snyder wants to phase out property tax

Governor Rick Snyder and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley want the Legislature to enact a major tax overhaul before the end of the year. It would phase out Michigan’s tax on business and industrial equipment.

As the Detroit Free Press reports,

"The state's plan is to get rid of the tax on business equipment, furniture and supplies that brought in more than $1.2 billion in 2010, the most recent figures available, over the next 10 years. . . The phase out of the tax would begin in 2014 for small businesses and in 2016 for larger manufacturers. There would be no reimbursement to communities where personal property tax revenues are less than 2.5% of their total taxable value."

Southeast Michigan transit authority passes in Senate

Legislation to create a regional transit authority for southeast Michigan won approval from the state Senate Tuesday. As the Detroit Free Press reports,

"The goal, backed strongly by Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, is a network of speedy, modern buses operated independently of Detroit Department of Transportation and the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transit. The plan is to give the transit authority the power to coordinate routes between the rapid-transit system and the existing city and suburban bus lines to eliminate duplication of routes. DDOT and SMART would instead feed into the faster bus lines, freeing up both to provide better, more efficient local service."

Ex-aids to former Detroit Congressman enter pleas in petition fraud

"A former top aide to a Detroit-area congressman has pleaded no contest to forgery in an election scandal involving bogus petition signatures. Don Yowchuang was deputy district director to then-U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, a Republican from Livonia. Yowchuang admits making copies of petition signatures to try to qualify McCotter for the August primary election. Separately, McCotter former district director Paul Seewald pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, falsely signing a nominating petition as a circulator. McCotter didn't make the ballot and quit Congress in July," the AP reports.


cncphtos / flickr

It's a busy news week in Michigan politics. This week Kyle Norris and Jack Lessenberry discuss various proposals and happenings in Lansing:

1. Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway faces allegations of fraud in a federal civil lawsuit. It accuses Hathaway and her husband of hiding assets to qualify for a short sale on a $1.5 million dollar home in Florida.

2. A proposed bill that would allow people to claim a 12-week-old fetus as a dependent for tax exceptions.

3. Another proposed bill would bring massive overhaul of Michigan's school funding system. Jack discusses some of the major changes.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Feds accuse Supreme Court Justice of fraud

"Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway faces a federal civil lawsuit. It accuses Hathaway and her husband of hiding assets to qualify for a short sale on a $1.5 million home. Hathaway and her attorney have also tried to tamp down rumors that she is about to resign from the state’s highest court. Sources inside the Michigan Hall of Justice say Hathaway has cleared out her personal belongings from the state Supreme Court offices in Lansing. Hathaway sent an e-mail to her fellow justices saying she is not stepping down," Rick Pluta reports.

U of M doctor involved in insider trading scheme

"A University of Michigan doctor is at the center of what's possibly the most lucrative insider trading scheme ever. Sidney Gilman is an Alzheimer's expert. He's also a paid consultant for a hedge fund investing in Alzheimer's drugs. The Department of Justice alleges Gilman gave the hedge fund secret information: namely, that a major drug test by the company Elan was getting bad results. At a press conference, the F-B-I's April Brooks says Gilman and the hedge fund investor, knew sharing that information was illegal," Kate Wells reports.

Bill would allow a 12-week-old fetus to be claimed as dependent

State lawmakers are considering legislation that would let parents claim a fetus as a dependent on their tax returns. As Mlive reports,

"Michigan lawmakers may consider allowing a fetus of at least 12 weeks to qualify as a dependent for state income tax purposes -- a move that if put into law might be the first of its kind in the nation. . . A representative of the Michigan Family Forum, which supports the bill, said it could translate to a $160 savings that could be used for prenatal care or other purposes. But critics called the measure divisive and said it appeared to be a move to lay the groundwork to fight against abortions."

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Schuette says Blues overhaul not enough to protect seniors

State Attourney General says the overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan needs more safeguards in order to protect seniors. The Detroit news reports,

Under legislation sought by Gov. Rick Snyder, the Blues could dramatically reduce its $200 million annual subsidy of the Medicare supplemental insurance by 2016, when a rate freeze Schuette negotiated expires.

After that, the Blues would contribute as little as $15 million annually to a new state-run nonprofit health care foundation for Medigap coverage made available only to Medicare recipients who prove a financial need, Schuette said.

Blue Cross says 70 percent of the 210,000 seniors receiving Medigap insurance would fail a means test to show a financial need for the subsidy, Michigan Insurance Commissioner Kevin Clinton said.

Benton Harbor considers eliminating police force to cut costs

"Two weeks after voters in Benton Harbor rejected a millage renewal, the city’s emergency financial manager is laying out a few grim options. Joe Harris told reporters Monday afternoon one option is eliminating the police force. The millage would’ve raised a little more than a million dollars this year alone. That represents twenty-percent of Benton Harbor’s yearly revenue," Lindsey Smith reports.

University of Maryland added to "Big Ten"

"The Big Ten athletic conference added the University of Maryland to its roster Monday. Rutgers University is expected to announce its plans to join the conference today. That will bring the total number of schools in the conference to 14, and is likely to mean big increases in revenues for the universities as well as the conference," Chris Zollars reports.

Ron Abfalter / flickr

This week on Seeking Change, Christina Shockley spoke with Dean Hall. He is the president of Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger. The group donates it's game venison to soup kitchens and food pantries across the state. He says, "We can use the benefit of deer management to people that need the help sorely."

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Proposed changes to K-12 education

There's a proposed bill being drafted that could make some major changes to K-12 education in Michigan. As the Detroit Free Press reports, highlights of the bill include, "[the ability for] students to choose school districts, make greater use of online learning and earn financial incentives of $2,500 per semester for completing high school early."

Charter school enrollment rises in Michigan

"Charter schools are becoming a more common choice for Michigan students. A new report finds five Michigan cities are now among the top 20 in the nation for the percentage students in charter schools. Detroit is No. 2 -- with 41 percent of its students enrolled in charter schools. Flint ranks fourth and Grand Rapids is ninth. Lansing and Traverse City are 19th and 20th,' Rina Miller reports.

Local government leaders want Michigan's personal property tax changed

"A new poll shows local government leaders in Michigan are leery of proposals to do away with Michigan’s personal property tax. Republican state lawmakers want to repeal or greatly change the tax, possibly before the end of this year. Businesses complain the personal property tax is cumbersome and discourages investment.  Legislation repealing the personal property tax already passed in the state Senate, but the legislation has sat in state House since last Spring," Steve Carmody reports.

cncphotos / flickr

This week Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry discuss the chance of Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers taking over David Petreaus' position as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, what would happen if Michigan misses the Friday deadline to create a statewide online exchange for people to shop for health insurance and how Detroit's finances could affect the rest of the state.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

In health news. . .

Officials with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan say the state Legislature must pass bills to overhaul the health insurer by the end of the year. Under the measures, Blue Cross would become a customer-owned non-profit, and would have to pay state and local taxes. The Lansing State Journal reports,

Even though it would lose its tax-exempt status, Blue Cross says the change in classification — and the lower government regulation that goes with it — is essential for it to be able to compete with other insurers under the Affordable Care Act.Under federal law, Blue Cross must have its products and rates ready by March for an online health exchange where people can compare and buy their own insurance plans, but the organization won’t make it because of the way it’s currently regulated by the state.

Meanwhile, as Rick Pluta reports, "Michigan is unlikely to meet a Friday deadline to tell the Obama administration if it will create a statewide online exchange for people to shop for health insurance. The alternative is for Michigan to become part of a federally managed exchange."

Tribe asks federal court to dismiss lawsuit to block Lansing casino

"A federal judge is being asked to dismiss a lawsuit aimed at stopping plans for a casino in downtown Lansing. The Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians delivered its response this week to the lawsuit filed by Michigan’s Attorney General in September.  The lawsuit claims the casino project violates federal law as well as a gaming compact between the state and the tribe. The tribe says that’s not true. The tribe wants to resolve this legal challenge before asking the federal government to take the land around Lansing’s convention center into trust.   The land must fall into trust…before the tribe can begin construction of its casino," Steve Carmody reports.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Blue Cross overhaul on the "lame duck" agenda

"Lawmakers in Lansing say they want to tackle some high-profile bills before this session wraps up at the end of the year. The state House is set to hold its first hearing Tuesday on a proposed overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. The measure would turn the state’s largest health insurer into a customer-owned non-profit, and end its tax-exempt status. Nothing is certain, but other items on the “lame duck” agenda could include a repeal of the personal property tax on businesses, legislation to fund roads projects, and a bill to replace the emergency manager law that voters rejected in last week’s election," Jake Neher reports.

Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers possible choice to head up CIA

"Media reports suggest Michigan congressman Mike Rogers could be on a short list of candidates to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency. David Petraeus’ abrupt resignation last week opened up the CIA director’s job. Multiple media outlets including the New York Times say Rogers is among those being considered to fill the post. Washington observers say Rogers, a Republican, could speed through the confirmation process. Rogers has been the chairman of the House permanent select committee on Intelligence since January of 2011. Rogers has not commented on the speculation," Steve Carmody reports.

New international bridge could be up and running in 5 years

"Governor Snyder's office and top Canadian officials are getting more information out about a proposed bridge between Detroit and Windsor. Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and the Canadian Consul General spoke to a group in Grand Rapids about the bridge deal Monday. Calley says trucks could be crossing a new bridge as soon as 2017. Right now the bridge is awaiting permits from the US government," Lindsey Smith reports.

User: ktpupp / flickr

Many cities across the state are cutting back, and police and fire department budgets are often on the chopping block. In some cases, citizens have taken safety matters into their own hands, through neighborhood patrols. The aim is to observe what's going on in the community, and call the police if anything usual is noted.

Coach Muhammad is president of the community patrol of the Grandmont neighborhood, in northwest Detroit. He volunteers 40 hours a week to keep his neighborhood safe.

As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series. Muhammad talks with Morning Edition host Christina Shockley about what his patrol has been able to do for his neighborhood.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Democrats want to revamp voting procedures and make Secretary of State an appointed position

"There's a move in the Michigan Senate to change the Secretary of State's office to a non-political position and to revamp the state's voting procedures. Gretchen Whitmer is the Senate minority leader. She says many Michigan voters waited for hours to cast their ballots while Secretary of State Ruth Johnson was campaigning for Mitt Romney. A spokeswoman for Ruth Johnson says the Secretary of State was not campaigning for Romney on Election Day, but was working with local election officials. Whitmer says Senate Democrats are working on legislation that would allow early voting and no-reason absentee voting to help reduce long lines at the polls. She says they're also drafting a bill that would make the Secretary of State an appointed position, rather than an elected post," Rina Miller reports.
 

Bill would help horse racing industry

"A bill to help Michigan’s struggling horse racing industry is on its way to the state Senate. The legislation would allow people to bet on races dating back years. Players would place bets on a machine, and a randomly selected race would be shown on a video screen. The state House passed the bill last week with bi-partisan support," Jake Neher reports.

Competition for GM in China

"Two domestic Chinese car companies are teaming up.  The move could help them compete against General Motors in China - and perhaps even hasten the day when Americans can buy Chinese-made cars. Gwanjoe and Chery plan to collaborate to cut costs. That should help them compete against GM and Volkswagen - the two biggest car companies operating in China. Michael Dunne is the author of "American Wheels, Chinese Roads." He says the collaboration could help the two inside China, and boost exports to developing countries. But he figures a Chinese car company won't try to enter the tough U.S. market for at least five years," Tracy Samilton reports.

cncphotos / flickr

We have a special "Week in Michigan politics."

Morning Edition host Christina Shockley talks with political analyst Jack Lessenberry about the election results.

They talk about Obama's victory in the state, who won the Congressional races, how voters rejected all ballot proposals and much more.

Election in review

Nov 7, 2012
User: Serfs UP ! / flickr

Presidential Race

President Obama won the state of Michigan and the nation

U.S. Senate

Democrat Debbie Stabenow was easily re-elected, defeating  former GOP Congressman Pete Hoekstra

U.S. House

1st District- Republican Dan Benishek leads Gary McDowell; results not final

11th District- Republican Kerry Bentivolio wins

14th District -- Democrat Gary Peters re-elected in newly drawn district

Ballot proposals

Proposal 1: Emergency Manager Law Referendum: REJECTED

Proposal 2: Collective Bargaining: REJECTED

Proposal 3: Renewable Electricity Standard: REJECTED

Proposal 4: Home Health Care Workers: REJECTED

Proposal 5: Tax Hike Supermajority: REJECTED

Proposal 6: The Bridge Vote: REJECTED

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

5 things to know on Election Day

"With all the confusion over voting this year, here are five things you need to know before you go to the polls:

1. You will be asked to show a photo ID, but you can still vote without one - you'll just need to sign a document verifying your identify.

2. You should not see a box on your ballot application asking you to attest that you're a U-S citizen.

3. It's a long ballot, so save yourself some time and do your research.

4. You can bring a cheat sheet, or notes about different issues. Just don't display it in a way that could be seen as campaigning.

5. Even if you're voting a straight ticket, don't forget about the non-partisan issues, like Supreme Court races," Kate Wells reports.

Gov. Snyder criticizes ballot proposal process 

"Governor Rick Snyder says he’d like to see some changes in the rules for putting questions on future election ballots. The governor says he’d specifically like to see limits on paying petition circulators for each signature they collect. Ballot campaigns spent at least $9.6 million this year to pay professional petition circulators. The governor says he’d also like to see some controls to make sure petition circulators don’t mis-represent what’s in a proposal," Rick Pluta reports.

Detroiters waited nearly 3 hours to vote absentee

"Many voters in Detroit looking to avoid long lines at the polls today, waited nearly 3 hours when they went to cast absentee ballots a day early yesterday. Michigan does not technically offer early voting, like some states do. But people can vote absentee if they provide a reason they won't be able to vote in-person on Election Day. Detroit voters face 18 proposals on the ballot, including questions from the city, the county and the state," Sarah Hulett reports.

European Parliament / flickr

For Seeking Change, Christina Shockley spoke with Tracie McMillan. She is a journalist who went undercover to find out why we eat the way we do in America, and what it would take for everyone to eat well in this country.

To learn more about the food industry, she lived and worked in three different communities across the country, including Detroit.

She wrote about her experiences in her book, "The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table."

She says we need to ensure that quality, healthy foods are available in all neighborhoods.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Where to go for last minute election research

"For those who still don't know how to vote in tomorrow's election, there are resources available. Voters can look at their ballots ahead of time at the the voter education Web site, publius.org. The website includes video clips that analyze the statewide ballot questions and some local proposals. The site also has a few hundred candidate videos from districts scattered across the state," Sarah Hulett reports.

Damaged cars from superstorm Sandy could end up in Michigan car lots

"Hurricane Sandy damaged a lot of cars along the East Coast. Consumer advocates say it's possible some of those cars could end up on Michigan dealer lots. Ronald Montoya is with Edmunds dot com. He says if the damage was reported, it will appear on vehicle damage reports, such as Car Fax or Autocheck. Otherwise, a mechanic should take a look at the car to see if there are signs of water damage," Tracy Samilton reports.

Michigan Congressional race spending down in Michigan

"Nationwide, U.S. House candidates are raising record numbers of money for their campaigns this year. But that's not the case in Michigan. Michigan Congressional races will raise about $35 million this year - down from $50 million in 2010. That's because Michigan is down a district after losing population in the census. And Republicans redrew the district to protect incumbents. That means most races aren't all that competitive," Kate Wells reports.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Former state Attorney General sues Blue Cross

"Former state Attorney General Mike Cox says Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan illegally denies seniors access to certain plans. Cox filed a class action lawsuit Wednesday against the state’s largest health insurer. It claims Blue Cross denies access to its most popular Medigap plan to anyone with a retiree health savings account. Medigap is a program that covers healthcare costs that Medicare does not. Cox says the policy unfairly forces some customers to buy more expensive plans. Blue Cross officials say the lawsuit is baseless. They say they’re simply complying with state regulations," Jake Neher reports.

Beaumont and Henry Ford Health systems plan merger

Beaumont and Henry Ford Health systems announced plans Wednesday to merge into one non-profit health care system. It’s a blockbuster move that pairs two of southeast Michigan’s three largest health systems. The two healthcare providers have only signed a letter of intent thus far. But it’s clear that unless some major hiccup emerges, they’re moving full speed ahead toward a merger. It would become the region’s largest health care system: with ten hospitals, 200 patient sites, and nearly $6.5 billion in operations," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Great Lakes levels at record low

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says water levels on Lakes Michigan and Huron are nearly at record low levels because of drought and evaporation. Corps officials said Wednesday the level at the end of October is 1.5 inches above the historical average for the month. All the lakes are below their long-term averages for October and lower than they were a year ago. Heavy rain this month isn't enough to offset the decline," the AP reports.

User: cncphotos / flickr

Every week Michigan Radio talks with political analyst Jack Lessenberry about what's been happening in Michigan politics.

This week Lessenberry and Kyle Norris talked about how Governor Rick Snyder is campaigning against all of the ballot proposals except for Proposal 1. Prop 1 involves emergency managers. And how Proposal 5, the proposal that deals with raising taxes, seems to be the most confusing and controversial proposal.

Norris and Lessenberry also discussed if Hurricane Sandy will influence Michigan voters, and how a recent Romney campaign ad claims the auto bailout resulted in GM using that money to hire more workers in China than in the U.S. Lessenberry says the ad isn't true.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

"DTE Energy Co. reports about 40,000 customers remain without power because of the high winds from the fringes of superstorm Sandy. The Detroit-based utility said Wednesday morning it had restored service to about 80,000 customers since the storm started. DTE says it expects to have 90 percent of its customers back in service by day's end but it could take several days to reach everyone. CMS Energy Corp. says about 660 of its customers are without power Wednesday morning. About 33,000 of the Jackson-based utility's customers had lost power at some point Monday or Tuesday," the AP reports.

"The American Civil Liberties Union says conditions at the Isabella County jail are so inhumane they violate the U.S. Constitution’s protections against cruel and unusual punishment. The ACLU filed a class action lawsuit Tuesday in federal court. The lawsuit says jail cells are too crowded and inmates are given too few opportunities for exercise," Rick Pluta reports.

"Officials say two more Michigan residents have died as a result of the national meningitis outbreak. The illness has been linked to contaminated steroids made by a Massachusetts pharmacy and shipped to at least four Michigan clinics. Besides the confirmed cases of meningitis, Michigan officials also report one stroke, four joint infections and 27 abscesses. The tainted steroids were injected to relieve pain," the AP reports.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Tens of thousands of Michiganders without power today

"More than 56,000 DTE customers in Michigan are without power this  morning as high winds created by Hurricane Sandy continue to buffet the state. The outages affect Oakland, Wayne, St. Clair, Macomb, and Washtenaw Counties. Consumers Energy reports 12,000 outages statewide and says power should be restored by midday. Both utilities dispatched line workers to the east coast to help with storm damage there," Rina Miller reports.

Bill Clinton backs Michigan Prop. 3

Emily Fox / flickr

West Michigan is known as the bible belt of the state. There are countless churches in the area but there is only one hip-hop church. It’s called the EDGE Urban Fellowship. It’s fusing religion, music and dance as a gang prevention tool for youth in Grand Rapids, a city home to nearly 60 organized gangs.

Pages