Mark Brush

Reporter/Producer

Mark is a senior reporter/producer at Michigan Radio where he's been working to develop the station's online news content since 2010.

From 2000 to 2006, he worked as the technical director and senior producer for Michigan Radio's regional environmental news service known as the Great Lakes Radio Consortium.

From 2006 to 2010, as the unit's co-manager and senior producer, Mark helped transition the GLRC into an award-winning national news service known as The Environment Report. The service was heard on more that 130 stations around the country including WBEZ in Chicago, WAMU in Washington D.C., KUOW in Seattle, and KWMU in St. Louis.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Michigan ('00 MS in Environmental Policy and Planning & '91 BA in Political Science) and has been "a board certified public radio junkie" since 1992. He discovered public radio on his commutes to work in his trusty 1984 VW Rabbit. Much of Mark's storytelling philosophy was influenced through his close work with veteran CBC "réalisateur" David Candow.

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Schools
2:50 pm
Fri September 10, 2010

6 thoughts from our extended school year discussion

A student in Japan. The school year in Japan has three terms, separated by holidays in spring and winter, a summer break that lasts for one month.
Mehan Creative Commons

Governor Grahom recently aired the idea of an extended school year for Michigan students. She says U.S. students are at a disadvantage globally. So how often are kids in other countries in school?

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Student Loans
10:08 am
Fri September 10, 2010

Student loan debt outpaces credit card debt

It costs a lot of money to go to college.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

We collectively owe around $828 billion in revolving credit debt (that includes credit card debt), according to the latest numbers from the Federal Reserve.

Now, a column in the Detroit Free Press is reporting that for the first time ever, student loan debt has outstripped  revolving credit debt, coming in at $850 billion.

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Detroit Fires
12:29 pm
Thu September 9, 2010

"How do you start over from complete devastation?"

85 fires swept through Detroit Tuesday night. Detroit Mayor David Bing called them a "natural disaster." Some homeowners are saying they could have been prevented.
Marcus Obal Creative Commons

"How do you start over from complete devastation?"

That quote came from Detroiter James Johnson in a Detroit Free Press article on the aftermath of the Detroit fires. Johnson and his wife lost their house after 85 fires swept through neighborhoods in Detroit's east side Tuesday night. 

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Welfare
3:13 pm
Wed September 8, 2010

More people seeking welfare assistance in Michigan

Food stamp use per capita in each Michigan county in 1999 (last year the data is available). The more shaded the county, the higher the use.
Image from Food Stamp Program Map Machine USDA/ERS

Nearly 1.9 million people in Michigan are getting some form of public assistance. That's a new record according to a report from the Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta.

Pluta talked with Sharon Parks of the Michigan League for Human Services.  Parks says the growing number of people applying for the cash assistance program concerns her most.

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State Budget
1:26 pm
Wed September 8, 2010

State budget... What?! No government shutdown?!

The chamber of Michigan's House of Representatives in Lansing. Leaders in the Michigan legislature and Governor Granholm are close to an agreement on the budget.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

The Great Recession has meant tough times for state governments. Michigan has been hit extra hard and leaders in the state have been fighting over a shrinking budget for several years.  These budget battles have led to brief government shutdowns in years past. But with the new fiscal year starting October 1st, leaders in the state seem to have resolved their differences.

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Oil spill
12:34 pm
Wed September 8, 2010

Q&A on Enbridge oil spill - complete cleanup "not feasible"

The oil spill on Talmadge Creek near the Kalamazoo River on August 1st 2010. More than 800,000 gallons of crude oil spilled out of pipeline operated by Enbridge Energy Partners.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

It’s been more than a month since an estimated 800,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the Kalamazoo River. Enbridge Energy Partners, the company responsible for the pipeline leak, says it has cleaned up about 700,000 gallons of that oil.

But there’s still a lot of work to be done. The EPA is just now starting to find out how much oil is at the bottom of the river.

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1:25 pm
Fri September 3, 2010

Top places to travel in Michigan

Boat on Northport Bay in Lake Michigan
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio listeners are having a conversation on Facebook about their favorite places to travel around Michigan.

Most are sharing. Some, like Trevor, are keeping their secrets, "If I told you I'd have to kill you."

Here's the list so far:

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CEO Compensation
1:01 pm
Fri September 3, 2010

Report says CEOs cashing in on layoffs

Cover of the report by IPS "Executive Excess 2010: CEO Pay and the Great Recession"
IPS

A report from the Institute for Policy Studies looked at CEO compensation from the 50 companies that layed off more workers during the recession. They found the CEOs at these companies are paid more, on average, than the average pay for the CEOs running to top 500 companies in the U.S. (S&P 500).

Sarah Anderson is the lead author of the report.  She says,

"CEOs are squeezing workers to boost short-term profits and fatten their own paychecks."  

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10:19 am
Fri September 3, 2010

Labor Day report shows trials of long-term unemployed

Workers haven't been seeing many help wanted signs in Michigan
kandyjaxx/creative commons

The unemployment picture in Michigan is still bad. It stands at 13.1% now. The worst it's been since the early 1980's.

Now, a new report by the Michigan League for Human Services puts the long-term unemployment picture into perspective.  In 2000, people unemployed for more than 26 weeks, accounted for 6.5% of the total number of unemployed. Today, the long-term unemployed account for 40.8% of the unemployed.

The report says,

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Summary
5:34 pm
Thu September 2, 2010

News roundup for today

Insert your coins and get the news
Susan Lesch Creative Commons

Illegal oil spill workers caught in Texas

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Courts
11:42 am
Thu September 2, 2010

Juror posts "guilty" on Facebook before trial ends

The judge who caught the juror says it's a problem that is likely to get worse.
Alton Creative Commons

You're supposed to keep an open mind when sitting as a juror in a trial. If you can't, it's definitely not a good idea to broadcast your prejudices about a case on the web.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Hadley Jons, while sitting on a jury in a resisting arrest case "wrote on Facebook that it was 'gonna be fun to tell the defendant they're GUILTY.'"

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Sports
11:11 am
Thu September 2, 2010

Money drives the Big Ten into twelve

The University of Michigan and Indiana University will be in separate divisions in the new Big Ten.
Creative Commons larrysphatpage

The Big Ten conference announced its plan to create two separate divisions in football.  The conference started with ten teams, went to eleven with the addition of Penn State in 1990, and will now have twelve teams with the addition of the University of Nebraska.  No name change, just some new matchups. 

Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reports that...

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Memories
2:33 pm
Wed September 1, 2010

Michigan State Fair is gone but not forgotten

An actress at the Michigan State Fair solicits people to come see a children's play (2006)
Bob Vigiletti Michigan Radio Picture Project

There's a new post on Michigan Radio's Picture Project site.  Bob Vigiletti has eighteen beautiful shots taken in the waning years of the Michigan State Fair.  The fair, proclaimed to be the country's oldest, was closed because of declining attendance and revenues in 2009. Vigiletti writes:

It is only through out thoughts and photographs that we preserve and cherish memories of the past.

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Marijuana Law
1:47 pm
Wed September 1, 2010

Judge in marijuana case: No smoking until your hearing

Marijuana leaf
Hendrike Creative Commons

An Oakland County Judge prohibited defendants charged with violating drug laws from smoking marijuana while on bond until their hearing in October. The defendants say they use medical marijuana legally under the state's medical marijuana law.  The Detroit News has a story about the ruling.  In it they described the scene outside the courtroom:

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Jobs
12:17 pm
Wed September 1, 2010

Michigan leads nation in job growth

Ford's River Rouge Plant. Much of the job gains were in manufacturing.
Rob Goodspeed Creative Commons

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy posted a story about job growth in Michigan. James Hohman cited stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that showed Michigan posted 27,800 new jobs for July.  More than any other state in the country. Hohman writes:

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Education
5:05 pm
Tue August 31, 2010

Strike at EMU avoided

Rina Miller reports that "an agreement has been reached between Eastern Michigan University and its faculty just hours before a strike could have begun." 

In Miller's report, Howard Bunsis, with the EMU Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, says:

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Oil spill
4:27 pm
Tue August 31, 2010

Company wants to restart oil pipeline

Workers measure pipe before cutting and removing the section from the Enbridge pipeline oil spill site near Marshall, Michigan. This photo was taken on August 6th, 2010.
EPA

The pipe has been repaired. It was tested yesterday. Now, as Steve Carmody reports, Enbridge Energy officials plan to ask regulators for permission to restart the pipeline that just five weeks ago gushed close to a million gallons of crude oil.

Carmody reports:

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Education
4:33 pm
Mon August 30, 2010

Strike looms at Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Michigan University (EMU) President, Susan Martin publicizing the school's announcement that they would not increase tuition rates this year. Now the University faces the possibility of a strike.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

(by Rina Miller)

The union representing Eastern Michigan University faculty may ask for a strike authorization if its contract demands are not met by midnight Tuesday.

EMU classes are scheduled to begin September 8, but union representatives say teachers may not be there if no contract agreement is reached.

EMU faculty are no strangers to walkouts: They went on strike in 2000, 2004 and 2006.

Howard Bunsis is with the union.

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4:22 pm
Mon August 30, 2010

Will returning college students amplify bed bug problem?

A bed bug as it was in the process of ingesting a blood meal from the arm of a “voluntary” human host.
Piotr Naskrecki CDC/Harvard University

(by Steve Carmody)

College students are moving into dorms and off campus apartments this week across Michigan. There is a concern the students may inadvertently add to a spreading bed bug problem. Detroit is among a host of U.S. cities that have seen a spike in bed bug infestations. Many colleges are closely watching incoming students to keep them from bringing in furniture that's infested with bed bugs.

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