Jennifer Guerra

Reporter/Producer

Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.

Her stories and documentaries have won numerous regional and national awards, and her work has aired on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace and Studio 360.

Jennifer graduated from the University of Michigan and received her M.A. in broadcast journalism from Fordham University. When she's not on the radio, she and her husband are making up lyrics to songs and singing them to their adorable baby girl.  

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Auto Industry
12:28 pm
Tue November 16, 2010

Chevy Volt named 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year

Motor Trend Magazine named GM's Chevy Volt 2011 Car of the Year
photo by Jurvetson (flickr)

Motor Trend Magazine has named General Motor’s Chevrolet Volt the 2011 Car of the Year.

On its website, the magazine’s editor in chief said the Volt has “some of the most advanced engineering ever seen on an American production car.”

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State politics
2:02 pm
Mon November 15, 2010

Gov-elect Rick Snyder faces nearly 4,800 job vacancies in Lansing

Around 4,800 state employees accepted early retirement incentive packages
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Around 4,800 state workers accepted early retirement incentive packages and will leave their jobs by December. It will likely be Governor elect Rick Snyder’s job to figure out how to fill those vacancies when he heads to Lansing in January.

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Invasive species
3:17 pm
Fri November 12, 2010

Tree-killing bug spotted in Ottawa County

Hemlock woolly adelgid ovisacs
Photo courtesy of USDA Forest Service

The invasive hemlock woolly adelgid has found its way into Park Township near Holland, Michigan. Ken Rauscher with the Michigan Department of Agriculture says they are currently surveying the area to see how widespread the infestation is.

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Health
10:30 am
Tue November 9, 2010

Detroit to open new Children's Advocacy Center

The new Kids-TALK Children's Advocacy Center will open Demcember 1, 2011
Photo courtesy of the Guidance Center

Wayne County will soon be home to a new Children's Advocacy Center for victims of abuse and neglect. Right now, the county is one of the few in Michigan that doesn't have a center like this.

You can find a list of the Child Advocacy Center's in the state here.

Wayne County does not have one, central place children can go to get help if they've suffered abuse or neglect.

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Music
2:11 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians, management resume talks

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

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians have been on strike for a full month. Concerts have been canceled through this weekend. But now comes word that both sides have agreed to enter informal talks to try to end the work stoppage.

Here's the latest proposal that was on the table to deal with a $9 million budget gap:

Musicians proposed a temporary 22 percent pay cut.

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Election 2010
5:28 pm
Thu November 4, 2010

Arts advocacy group gives thumbs up to Governor-elect Snyder

Artist studio
Photo courtesy of Dani Davis

Americans for the Arts, a national advocacy group, says Michigan's governor elect is a champion of the arts.

In Republican Rick Snyder's plan to reinvent Michigan, he talks about "restoring funding for the arts." State funding is currently around $2.5 million, down from $26 million in 2001.

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Election 2010
11:50 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

Snyder wins

Update 11:50pm: In his victory speech Governor-elect Rick Snyder says he'll apply business principals to resolve Michigan's economic troubles, including tax cuts and smarter regulation:

Update 10:39pm: Virg Bernero talks to crowd at party

Update 10:09pm: Virg Bernero has conceded defeat. He's giving a speech now.

Update 9:30: Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says crowd needs to show Virg Bernero the "love and respect" he deserves when he comes down to make his speech.

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Election 2010
11:46 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

Virg Bernero concedes race, says "it was a good fight, but it wasn’t our time."

Virg Bernero concedes race, says "it was a good fight, but it wasn’t our time."
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

Update 11:46pm: Virg Bernero took the stage at the MGM Grand in Detroit at around 10pm to give his concession speech.

Bernero congratulated his supporters, saying they fought hard and he was proud of the campaign. Bernero said even though he lost the race, he'll still continue to fight for a strong middle class, and that even though the campaign ends tonight..."the fight for a Michigan of opportunity  for everyone goes on."

Bernero also promised to work with Republican Rick Snyder as long as Snyder governs as a moderate:

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Election 2010
9:25 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing speaks at Dem election results party in Detroit

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says Virg Benero is 'very upbeat' as the results come in
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing just made an appearance at the MGM Grand in Detroit, where Democratic supporters are waiting for tonight's election results.

Bing told the crowd he didn't want anybody "to jump to conclusions." He added that he's been upstairs with Democratic candidate for governor Virg Bernero for the last hour or so, and he says Bernero "is very upbeat."

Bing says Bernero will come down to talk to supporters in the next 45 minutes or so.

Election 2010
4:04 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

Expert says Michigan's 'optical scan' voting system is secure

Voters cast their ballots in Michigan
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Alex Halderman - the University of Michigan professor who successfully hacked into a test version of the Washington, D.C.'s computer voting system - says Michigan voters should not be worried that their votes will be tampered with on Tuesday's election. 

Haldermn says most of Michigan’s polling places use optical scanners: voters fill out paper ballots that get scanned into a computer.

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Music
2:21 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

Ann Arbor hosts 50th anniversary celebration of experimental music festival

Members of the original ONCE festival gather at a loft
Makepeace Tsao Tsao Family

Musicians, composers and academics from around the country will be in Ann Arbor this week to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ONCE festivals.

Five composers from Ann Arbor - Robert Ashley, Gordon Mumma, George Cacioppo, Roger Reynolds, and Donald Scavarda - created the ONCE festival because they wanted their music to be heard and they wanted to push the boundaries of contemporary music.

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Arts
3:34 pm
Fri October 29, 2010

New program trains arts leaders in Grand Rapids area

Modern dance company Wellspring celebrates its 30th anniversary this year
Amelia Falk Wellspring/Cori Terry & Dancers

35 arts organizations in west Michigan have been picked to be part of a new two-year training program run by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

The goal of the program is to teach arts leaders how to fundraise better and attract new board members, among other things.

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The politics of music
12:54 pm
Thu October 28, 2010

An update on the Detroit Symphony Orchestra strike

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

There’s a big fight going on at Orchestra Hall. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians have been on strike for nearly a month, and they say management's proposed cuts are unreasonable. Haden McKay, a DSO cellist, calls it "the most extreme attack that’s ever been made on an orchestra in the United States."

The DSO is one of the top ten orchestras in the country, but it's saddled with a multi-million budget deficit. Both sides agree that cuts need to be made, but that's about all they agree on. Here's where things stand:

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Old art, new job
11:01 am
Wed October 20, 2010

Crafting a career out of woven rugs (slideshow)

Petrie learned how to weave at the nonprofit Cross Village Rug Works. She says anyone can learn how to weave if they have patience and like to work with their hands.
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

Cross Village in northern Michigan is like a lot of small, rural towns in the state, where money is tight and jobs are scarce. And when winter comes around and all the tourists are gone, the outlook is even bleaker. So a group of women started up a cottage industry of rug making to help locals sustain themselves through the lean months.

23-year old Jasmine Petrie wears her hair in pigtails and has tattoos on her back and arms; she looks more like a rock star than a rug weaver.

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Rebuilding Detroit
10:26 am
Wed October 20, 2010

Artists seek a room of their own in Detroit (audio slideshow)

Artist kt Andresky teamed up with the 555 gallery to purchase a 40,000-square foot building for $21,000. The building will be turned into a live/work space for artists.
Jennifer Guerra Reporter

Struggling artists generally don't make a lot of money, so they tend to live in grittier parts of the city where rent is really cheap. Inevitably, they spruce things up, more people move in, rent goes up, and artists are priced out. To ensure that doesn't happen to them in Detroit, a group of artists are taking matters into their own hands.

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Arts/Culture
5:52 pm
Wed September 15, 2010

New college scholarship is brewing up north

Artist William Hosner created a portrait of barista Dan Campbell. Sold portraits contribute to a college scholarship fund for baristas.
Jennifer Guerra

It costs a lot of money for Michigan students to go to college. Tuition is up at nearly every Michigan school, and the $4,000 once awarded to students under the state's Promise Scholarship has been cut. As a result, lots of students have to take out loans or work to pay for school.

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Arts/Culture
5:38 pm
Thu August 5, 2010

Teens rock out at the Jackson Symphony Orchestra

Jolly Roger Walrus plays the Jammin' at the JSO concert series.
Jennifer Guerra

Like a lot of Michigan cities, Jackson is hurting. The economy is in the tank, the unemployment rate is high, and stores continue to close, including the few places in town where teenagers could go hear live music. That has left those who live there with not much to do on a Friday night.

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Education
4:04 pm
Wed May 19, 2010

A look at a KIPP school (video)

The Knowledge is Power Program, known as KIPP, is a national network of charter schools. There are over 80 KIPP Schools across the country, and Detroit leaders are in talks with KIPP to open charters in the city. Michigan Radios Jennifer Guerra and Mercedes Mejia visited a KIPP school in New Orleans and have this look at the experience.

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