Jennifer Guerra

Reporter/Producer

Jennifer is a reporter with Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. Prior to joining State of Opportunity, she was the station's arts and culture reporter, and the local host for Weekend Edition. She got her start in radio as a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in New York.

Her stories have won numerous awards, including a national Edward R. Murrow Award for her series on NYC’s subway system. She was named Young Journalist of the Year by the Detroit chapter of Society of Professional Journalists in 2007.

Jennifer graduated from the University of Michigan and received her M.A. from Fordham University in New York. When she's not on the radio, she's reading, practicing her dance moves (tap and ballet), playing tennis with her husband, or attempting to solve a NY Times crossword puzzle.

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Arts/Culture
11:36 am
Wed December 15, 2010

Artpod: Making a (book) list, checking it twice

The Library of Michigan issued its annual "20 Notable Books List" for 2011
Photo courtesy of Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor

Need help finding the perfect holiday gift for the bibliophile in your life?

The folks at the Library of Michigan have come up with their annual "Michigan Notable Books" list: 20 books about Michigan or by Michigan authors.

We interview Randy Riley on this week's Artpod. Riley is in charge of special collections at the Library of Michigan, and he says "there’s something for everybody on this list."

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Economy
4:48 pm
Mon December 13, 2010

More Michigan residents seek help at homeless shelters this winter

More Michigan residents are seeking help at homeless shelters and warming centers this winter.
SamPac creative commons

More Michigan families are seeking out homeless shelters and warming centers this winter. And the need will likely continue to increase as temperatures fall below zero.

The HOPE Hospitality and Warming Center in Pontiac is a place people can go for a warm meal, a blanket and a spot on the floor to sleep during the winter months.

Elizabeth Kelly is HOPE's executive director. She says in addition to the core group of chronically homeless the shelter usually serves, she’s also seen an increase in the number of families seeking shelter: 

"These are people finding themselves in a homeless condition for the first time in their lives or its just not something that’s typically happened to them before."

 

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Arts/Culture
5:47 pm
Fri December 10, 2010

MSU's Broad Art Museum names new art director

A view of the planned Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum from the northwest.
Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects.

Michael Rush will be the founding director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.

Rush is well known in the art world – he’s published numerous books and articles about late 20th century art. He also directed the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University and the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art.

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Arts/Culture
5:26 pm
Fri December 10, 2010

Detroit Symphony Orchestra reports $8.8M budget deficit

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra on stage
Nate Luzod creative commons

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra posted a $6.7 million budget shortfall for the 2010 fiscal year. Add to that the roughly $2 million the DSO spent on pension obligations and debt service on the Max M Fisher Music Center, and the total operating loss for the orchestra is $8.8 million.

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Arts/Culture
11:21 am
Thu December 9, 2010

Michigan poet Khaled Mattawa wins $50,000 artist fellowship

Poet and translator Khaled Mattawa wins $50,000 U.S. Artists fellowship
Amanda Abel Courtesy of U.S. Artists

A Michigan poet is $50,000 richer, thanks to the arts advocacy organization United States Artists.

Libyan-born poet Khaled Mattawa was one of 50 artists around the country to receive a U.S. Artists award this year. More than 300 artists were nominated for the award.

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Arts/Culture
4:26 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

Numerous reports say Aretha Franklin has cancer

Aretha Franklin performing
KtKatrina creative commons

Several Detroit media outlets are reporting that soul legend Aretha Franklin has pancreatic cancer. Michigan Radio contacted Franklin's publicist for confirmation, but has yet to hear back.

The National Enquirer was the first to report the Queen of Soul's illness. Fox2 Detroit followed with a similar story:

"A relative of Aretha Franklin tells reporter Al Allen that the icon has cancer.  Another relative says the family is very concerned. At this time Franklin's family says she is doing "OK", but they are asking for the continued prayers and thoughts from the community."

Aretha Franklin underwent surgery in Detroit last Thursday. Neither she nor her publicist would say what kind of surgery Franklin was going in for or the nature of the illness.

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Arts/Culture
12:28 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

Made in Michigan: Getting crafty for the holidays

Kate Doyle crafts one-of-a-kind sweatshirts for holiday gifts
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

This week's Artpod episode has a little something for everyone. Today's podcast features local holiday art fairs, ideas for inexpensive gifts (homemade marshmallows anyone?), and a musical rendition of how to make eggnog.

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Education
5:13 pm
Tue December 7, 2010

Detroit Schools in the wake of the Robert Bobb ruling

Robert Bobb's authority over Detroit Public Schools was curtailed after a judges ruling yesterday.
Sarah Hulett Michigan Radio

Update: 5:13 pm:

Emergency financial manager Robert Bobb and his team have already put in place several classroom reforms. Some of the reforms include two hours of math and reading instruction every day for elementary students, requiring all 7th graders to take pre-Algebra, and conducting "quarterly assessments" of students' skills.

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Education
5:15 pm
Mon December 6, 2010

Detroit Board of Education wins lawsuit against Robert Bobb

State-appointed emergency financial manager Robert Bobb with a student.
Sarah Hulett Michigan Radio

Update: 5:15 pm:

Anthony Adams, president of the Detroit Board of Education, spoke with Michigan Radio about Judge Baxter's ruling. Adams says the ruling "isn't a victory per se":

"The only victory that we’ll have in the city of Detroit is when every child can read, can write, can learn to the best of their abilities, and we as adults have to sit at the table and make sure that we work together in a cooperative fashion."

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Education
2:05 pm
Mon December 6, 2010

MSU receives a spike in illegal file sharing complaints

Students at MSU have received more than 700 complaints of illegal file sharing so far this school year.
User: Extra Ketchup creative commons

Michigan State University students received more than 700 complaints of illegal downloading since September. That’s up from the nearly 200 complaints MSU received this time last year.

Here's how it works:

If a group like the recording industry or a movie studio thinks someone is downloading files illegally, they contact the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and issue what’s called a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint.

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Education
5:50 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

Charter advocacy group says Michigan's charter law is among best in U.S.

A charter advocacy group gives Michigan's charter law a passing grade
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

Want to open up a charter school? A new report says Michigan has one of the nation’s friendliest laws when it comes to allowing charter schools to open.

The Center for Education Reform, a charter advocacy group in Washington, DC, says Michigan has the 5th best charter school law in the country.

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Religion
2:46 pm
Wed December 1, 2010

Americans exaggerate church attendance

A U of M study finds that 40% of Americans of say they attend church regularly, but only 25% actually do.
OZinOH creative commons

Americans exaggerate how often they go to church, according to a new University of Michigan study. The findings brining into question just how much of an outlier America is when it comes to religion.

The study finds that 40% of Americans say they attend church regularly, but only 25% actually do.

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DSO Strike
4:54 pm
Tue November 30, 2010

Detroit Symphony Orchetsra cancels concerts through Dec. 11

DSO musicians perform at a church in Bloomfield Hills to raise support for the strike.
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has issued yet another round of concert cancellations at Orchestra Hall since the musicians went on strike Oct. 4

All orchestral concerts are now cancelled through Dec. 11th.

Haden McKay, a cellist with the DSO, says the musicians are "very disappointed to hear about more weeks being lost for the concert goers in Detroit."

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Economy
9:27 pm
Sun November 28, 2010

Michigan nonprofits bank on holiday giving

With the holiday season now underway, Michigan nonprofits are making their big end-of-year push for financial donations.
elstudio creative commons

Over the next couple of weeks, chances are you’ll find lots of letters in your mailbox asking for charitable donations. That's because nonprofits across Michigan are doing their annual end-of-year holiday push for financial donations.

Kyle Caldwell is with the Michigan Nonprofit Association. He likes to call the holiday season the “giving season.”

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Arts/Culture
11:51 am
Thu November 25, 2010

Detroit's Thanksgiving Day Parade draws big crowds

Thousands line up to see floats, marching bands, giant balloons and more at Detroit's annual Thanksgiving parade
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

Detroit held its 48th annual America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Thousands of people lined up along Woodward Avenue to celebrate. 

People came from Detroit, the suburbs, Muskegon, I even talked to somebody from Marquette, MI. All of them came in for the parade. For a lot of them it’s a family tradition. They’re here for the clowns, the floats, and the marching bands.

Lisa Greleski and her son, Adam, has been coming here for the last 3 years.

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Arts/Culture
5:05 pm
Wed November 24, 2010

State lawmaker says Detroit Institute of Arts millage proposal is "not a good fit" for Detroit Symphony Orchestra

The DSO musicians have been on strike since Oct. 4
Jennifer Guerra Michigain Radio

The Michigan House could vote on a bill next week that would allow voters to approve a millage for the Detroit Institute of Arts. A state representative from metro Detroit looked into whether the struggling Detroit Symphony Orchestra could be added to the bill.

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Foster care
2:05 pm
Tue November 23, 2010

Michigan families, children celebrate National Adoption Day

Susan Wares adopted her three grandkids
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

Families across the country are celebrating the addition of new family members as part of National Adoption Day on Nov. 23.

Nearly 30 Michigan counties are holding Adoption Day events.

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Film Incentives
10:50 am
Mon November 22, 2010

Michigan awards its first video game tax incentive

Pixostar Entertainment in Royal Oak will get a 40% tax incentive to develop a Nintendo Wii game about golfer Ben Hogan
Petezin creative commons

Pixofactor Entertainment in Royal Oak, MI will get a 40% tax incentive to develop a Nintendo Wii game about golfer Ben Hogan. It's the first video game company in the state to take advantage of the state's generous tax incentives.

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Health
2:11 pm
Fri November 19, 2010

Allegiance Hospital takes smoke-free campus to new heights

Staff at Allegiance Hospital will no longer be able to smoke on or off campus during shift,
capl@washjeff.edu Creative Commons

At first glance, there's not much new about another hospital in Michigan going "smoke free" - more than 90% of Michigan hospitals can already claim that status. Here's how the Michigan Health and Hospital Association defines "smoke free":

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Music
1:51 pm
Thu November 18, 2010

Striking DSO musicians schedule holiday concerts

Musicians with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra perform at a church in Bloomfield Hills to raise support for the strike.
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

The striking Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians will play three holiday concerts outside of Orchestra Hall. The musicians have been on strike since Oct. 4, and since then have played several concerts in metro Detroit to raise awareness and money for the strike.

DSO management has cancelled concerts at Orchestra Hall through Nov. 28.

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