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.

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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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"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.

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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.

Emily Fox / Michigan Radio

For this week's Seeking Change Christina Shockley talked to Michigan Radio producer Emily Fox about a hip hop church in Grand Rapids she reported on.

The EDGE urban fellowship was started by Troy Evans, a former gang member.

He's using religion, music and dance to get young people to steer clear of gang activity.
 

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Hurricane Sandy to affect Great Lakes

"Severe weather bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard could lead to waves as high as 33 feet on parts of Lake Michigan and dangerous conditions on other Great Lakes. Dangerous conditions are expected along piers and breakwalls in areas including southwestern Michigan. Snow linked to the Hurricane Sandy could fall in parts of Michigan," the AP reports.

Giants sweep Tigers in World Series

"The San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 last night in 10 innings. The Giants swept the Tigers to win their second World Series title in 3 years," the AP reports.

Snyder on campaign trail against most ballot proposals

"Governor Rick Snyder will visit 12 Michigan cities this week to spread his message about the November ballot. He says Proposals Two-through-Six could undermine the state’s economic recovery," Jake Neher reports.

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Ballot proposals could negatively affect state credit rating

"The state’s top budget official says Michigan would have a higher credit rating if not for the six proposals on the November ballot. Budget Director John Nixon says credit agencies are otherwise happy with Michigan’s budget situation. But Nixon says they’re uneasy about the possible consequences of the ballot proposals. He says Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch all decided not to upgrade the state’s credit rating this month. Supporters of some of the proposals say Nixon’s claim is bogus and only meant to scare voters. Budget officials say they might ask the rating agencies to reconsider after the election," Jake Neher reports.

Allen Park gets an emergency financial manager

"The City of Allen Park is the latest to get a state appointed emergency financial manager. Allen Park went from having $5.5-million in the general fund in 2009 to around a half-million dollars just two years later. A failed movie studio the city bought is mostly to blame. Voters declined to pass a millage to pay for the debt in May," Lindsey Smith reports.

U.S. Post Office investigating missing absentee ballots in SE Michigan

"The Post Office is now investigating the hundreds of undelivered absentee ballots in southeast Michigan. A spokesman for the United States Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General says it’s directed its special agents in Michigan to contact city clerks in Auburn Hills and Roseville to ask about the undelivered absentee ballots. The clerks say they mailed thousands of absentee ballots earlier this month…but an unusually small percentage of the ballots have been returned. And the clerks have received calls from many voters who say they haven’t received the ballots," Steve Carmody reports.

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Snyder says Prop 2 is not a referendum on right-to-work laws

"Governor Rick Snyder says if voters reject Proposal 2, that would not be an invitation to pass a right-to-work law in Michigan. Proposal 2 would guarantee collective bargaining rights in the state constitution, and call into question many of the state’s labor laws. Governor Snyder is urging a “no” vote on the proposal, but he has also asked the Legislature to stay away from right-to-work because it’s so controversial. Right-to-work laws forbid compulsory union membership as a condition of employment," Rick Pluta reports.

Political signs can now be displayed in bars

"Michigan bars and restaurants that serve alcohol can now add political signs to their décor. Since 1954 the Michigan Liquor Control Commission has had a rule that businesses with state liquor licenses could not post signs endorsing political candidates. Last week an Ann Arbor bar along with the ACLU filed suit challenging the ban," Steve Carmody reports.

Voting rights group will be on call on Election Day

"The Michigan Center for Election Law says it will be on call on Election Day. Volunteers will staff a hotline that voters can call if they experience problems casting a ballot. The phone number will be on yard signs outside most precincts. A member of the group says during the primary, some people called the hotline because clerks told them they couldn't vote without I.D. State law allows people to vote without I.D. if they fill out an affidavit," Tracy Samilton reports.

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This week Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry talked about Proposal 6, how a new report indicates that the Michigan Merit Curriculum that was implemented in high schools in 2006 has not shown good results, and how two campaign staffers of former US Representative Thadeus McCotter will stand trial. They're charged with conspiring to get then-Congressman McCotter on the 2012 ballot with bogus petitions.

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Sports concussion bills signed

"Youth sports coaches in Michigan will have to immediately take a player out of a game if they suspect a concussion. Governor Rick Snyder signed bills Tuesday that also require the state to provide coaches, players, and parents with training and information on how to protect student athletes from head injuries," Jake Neher reports.

Meningitis update

"Authorities are reporting six deaths and 69 infections in Michigan as part of a national outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated steroids. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the figures Tuesday. Nationwide, it reports 308 cases and 23 deaths," the AP reports.


Detroit arts scene gets financial boost

"Detroit's arts scene is getting its biggest financial gift in recent memory. The Knight Foundation is investing $20 million in the city's cultural institutions. Half of it goes to big names like the Michigan Opera Theater and the Detroit Institute of Arts. That money will beef up their anemic endowments as they weather the recession. But any local artist or musician can compete for grants totaling $3 million a year," Kate Wells reports.

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Michigan curriculum has disappointing results

"An effort to improve Michigan’s high school academic standards appears to be having a disappointing result. The Michigan Merit Curriculum was implemented in Michigan high schools in 2006. Researchers from Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and the state of Michigan found that test scores improved only slightly for students  entering high school with strong academic skills.   But for those with weak skills, test scores fell and graduation rates declined," Steve Carmody reports.

Snyder says Prop 6 would cause court battle if passed

"Governor Rick Snyder is worried Proposal 6 on the November ballot would spark a lengthy court battle if it’s passed. The initiative would require a state-wide vote before any new international crossing could be built in the state. Governor Rick Snyder says his plan for a new international bridge in Detroit is not meant to put the existing Ambassador Bridge out of business. Current bridge owners say a new bridge is not necessary, and would be expensive for Michigan taxpayers. Canada has agreed to front the costs of the new bridge, and a number of studies have concluded there will be no new costs to state taxpayers," Jake Neher reports.

McCotter aids in court for campaign scandal

"Two men who worked for a Detroit-area congressman are returning to court to learn if they'll stand trial in a campaign scandal. Paul Seewald and Don Yowchuang are charged with conspiring to get then-Congressman Thaddeus McCotter on the 2012 ballot with bogus petitions. The judge says he'll make a decision on the matter today," the AP reports.

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This week on Seeking Change, Christina Shockley talks with Angelique Day about the foster care system.

Day grew up in foster care. She now focuses her work on researching and helping children in foster care in the state.

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Snyder holds town hall meeting on Prop 6 today

"Governor Snyder will hold a town hall meeting with members of the Canada-United States Business Association in Detroit today. He’ll be stressing the need for a new Detroit-Windsor bridge—and for voters to reject Proposal 6. Proposal 6 would require voter approval for any new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles,” Sarah Cwiek reports.

Voters in West Michigan can learn more about Prop 3 this week

"People living in West Michigan will have two opportunities early this week to learn about and discuss the so-called 25 by 25 ballot proposal. If voters pass Proposal 3, utility companies in Michigan would have to get 25-percent of their energy from renewable sources like wind and solar. There’s a panel discussion tonight with people for and against Proposal 3. It’s at the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon. Tomorrow morning in Grand Rapids the President of the Union of Concerned Scientists will travel from Massachusetts to join west Michigan business leaders in favor of Proposal 3," Lindsey Smith reports.

Some Michigan lawmakers looking to increase retirement age for public school employees

"Michigan lawmakers are looking at a plan that would increase the minimum retirement age for public school employees. The current retirement age is 60. But some people want to index the retirement age according to life expectancy, which would be determined every year. Mark Guastella is with the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel. He says the system paid more than $700 million in benefits last year to people who outlived their life expectancy," Rina Miller reports.

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ACLU files challenge to state ruling banning election signs in bars and restaurants

"The American Civil Liberties Union filed a legal challenge to a state rule banning election campaign signs at bars and restaurants Thursday. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission rule forbids businesses with liquor licenses from displaying signs endorsing a political candidate or party," Jake Neher reports.

Rapid transit system to be built in Grand Rapids

"Michigan’s first bus rapid transit system will be built in the Grand Rapids area. Federal transportation officials signed the agreement Thursday. Bus rapid transit operates similar to light rail, but at a fraction of the cost. Buses will arrive at stops every ten minutes. They’ll have designated lanes and be able to shift traffic lights so they don’t have to slow down," Lindsey Smith reports.

Expansion of oil pipeline comes under fire in northern Michigan

"A planned expansion of an oil pipeline that passes through the Mackinac Straits is coming under fire. The National Wildlife Federation released a report opposing Enbridge Energy’s plans to increase the amount of oil passing through the straits. Beth Wallace is with the Federation. She fears the nearly 60 year old pipeline could rupture like another Enbridge pipeline near Marshall did in 2010. An Enbridge spokesman says the Calgary-based oil company is reviewing the Federation report," Steve Carmody reports.

cncphotos / flickr

This week Morning Edition host Christina Shockley talked with Michigan Radio's political analyst about the legislation to overhaul Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, results of a poll that looks at where Michiganders stand when it comes to the six ballot proposals voters will see in the next three weeks and the bankruptcy of U.S. operation of electric car battery maker, A123 Systems.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield overhaul passes Senate

"Legislation to overhaul Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan easily passed the state Senate Wednesday. The bills would turn the state’s largest health insurer into a customer-owned non-profit. Only four Senators voted against the package," Jake Neher reports.

Michigan's unemployment rates drops for the first time in 6 months

"Michigan’s jobless rate declined very slightly in September to nine-point-three percent. It’s the first drop in the state’s unemployment rate in six months. The rate is also a full percentage point below where it was at this time last year. The rate of unemployment and under-employment in Michigan is 17 percent. That number takes into account people who have quit looking for work, and part-timers who’d like full-time jobs," Rick Pluta reports.

Lawsuit claims flaws in Michigan's parole system

"A lawsuit filed this week alleges the state Department of Corrections has been too lax in supervising roughly 18 thousand paroled felons in Michigan. The lawsuit was first reported by The Detroit Free Press. It was filed by the family of an elderly Royal Oak woman who was murdered in her home. Two fugitives on parole have been charged with the killing," Rick Pluta reports.

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Senate Fiscal Agency says Prop 6 will cost taxpayers

"A ballot proposal meant to stall a new international bridge in Detroit could cost Michigan taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. That’s according to a report from the Senate Fiscal Agency. Proposal 6 would require a public vote on any new international bridge or tunnel. The report says it would cost the state nearly $10.5 million  to hold a special election on a new crossing. On top of that, researchers say tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure funding could also be in jeopardy," Jake Neher reports.

ACLU suing Morgan Stanley for racist lending in Detroit


"The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Morgan Stanley on behalf of five Detroit homeowners. The group says Morgan Stanley violated federal anti-discrimination laws by encouraging a now-defunct sub-prime mortgage lender to make risky loans in predominantly black neighborhoods. The lawsuit was filed in a New York federal court, and seeks class-action status," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Response to meningitis outbreak might take time

"Congressman John Dingell says it will take time to figure out the right response to a meningitis outbreak caused by tainted steroids. But he's urging Congress to take action and ensure the same thing never happens again.   Dingell says right now, the Food and Drug Administration lacks the authority to regulate the company that made the contaminated medicine -- which has killed 15 people so far," Chris Zollars reports.

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