Michigan Radio Newsroom

News and Production Staff

Michigan Radio offers internships in its newsroom and production departments. Check our employment page for current openings.

*Updates coming soon!

Newsroom

Michelle Huan

Reem Nasr

Chrissy Yates

State of Opportunity

Megha Satyanarayana

Stateside

Bre'Anna Tinsley

Operations

Pages

Politics & Government
2:52 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Bay City's police and fire departments will merge

Bay City
User Asher196 Wikimedia Commons

In Bay City, police officers are being trained to fight fires.

That’s after the city’s commission voted to merge the police and fire departments into one Public Safety Department on Monday.

The move means police officers will fight fires in addition to their normal duties.

Fourteen of the city’s 44 full-time firefighters will be laid off. 

Read more
Health
10:57 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Blue Cross Blue Shield legislation delayed

A state House panel has delayed a hearing, on a proposal to end the tax exempt status of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The legislation would transform the charitable trust into a customer-owned non-profit.

The House Insurance Committee Chairman says lawmakers need to work out concerns with parts of the legislation.

The committee is expected to reconvene this week.

Supporters say the proposal would modernize Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and allow it to be taxed and regulated as its competitors are.

Critics argue that it would reduce oversight of a company that controls 70 percent of the market.

The legislation passed the state Senate in October.

Health
5:05 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Federal grant places 85 doctors-in-training in southeast Michigan

User: mconnors MorgueFile.com

A federal grant will put more primary care providers in medically-underserved areas of southeast Michigan.

The $21 million grant will help train medical residents in five federally-qualified health centers.

The program is a partnership between Michigan State University’s medical school and the Detroit-Wayne County Health Authority.

Chris Allen is CEO of the Health Authority. He says it will add much-needed primary care doctors to the medical safety net.

“And it ultimately will provide medical homes for the people who live in these areas, and thus not a reliance on the emergency room for their care," he said.

Allen says residents who participate in the program will be eligible for medical school loan forgiveness.

The plan is to train 85 residents over three years, starting next summer. Allen says after learning the practice in southeast Michigan residencies, the new doctors will stay in the area.

Read more
Education
11:13 am
Sat December 1, 2012

New grant will help support foster youth in college

Baker College of Flint is one of the schools that will have a counselor
Baker College of Flint Facebook.com

When a child grows up in the foster care system, they face some unique challenges as college students.  They may lack the financial and emotional support their classmates get from families.

The Michigan Department of Human Services is trying help them out.

They awarded seven universities in Michigan shares of an $800,000 grant.

The money will pay on-campus coaches at Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Baker College of Flint, Ferris State University, Saginaw Valley University, Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan-Flint who will work with former foster youth.

Read more
Education
4:21 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Michigan PTA writes Obama to reject new district as Race to the Top finalist

Shaton Berry speaking about the PSTA in Comcast announcement
Michigan PTSA Youtube.com

For the first time, Michigan could get a piece of President Obama’s Race to the Top prize money for education.

But not everyone’s celebrating.

The Education Achievement Authority was the only Michigan district to qualify as a Race to the Top finalist.

The new authority runs 15 of Michigan’s lowest performing schools in Detroit, but legislation at the state Capitol would expand the district statewide and cement it into law.

More than 100 Parent Teacher Association administrators, teachers and parents signed a letter this week asking Mr. Obama to reconsider his choice.

Read more
Transportation
3:58 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Governor Snyder proposes 599-mile recreational trail

Karpati Gabor Morguefile.com

Soon, Michigan bicyclists might be able to pedal across the state on a new trail spanning both peninsulas.

Governor Snyder proposed the idea for the 599-mile path in his speech on the environment yesterday.

The trail would connect the state's existing asphalt, dirt, and gravel trails.

The route would wind from Belle Isle in Detroit, to the Mackinac Bridge and across the U.P. to Wisconsin.   

Ron Olson runs the state’s parks and recreation division.

He says obstacles to the plan include building paths on private lands and securing more funding.

"There is no yet-defined pot of money to be able to say, 'Well, we’re going to do this,'" he said.

Olson says he expects the funds to come from state and federal grants. He estimates the trail will be complete in five years.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Arts & Culture
3:35 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

EMU students take part in 'Hijab Day'

Participants at this year's Hijab Day gathering
Zaineb Al-Kalby Eastern Michigan University's Muslim Student Association

Forty Eastern Michigan University students spent a day this week dressed as Muslim women as part of "Hijab Day."

The hijab is a scarf that covers the head and neck and is worn by some women who practice Islam.

"Hijab Day" was started three years ago by EMU’s Muslim Student Association who hoped to spread awareness about Islam.

Group president Zaineb Al-Kalby helped participants put on the scarf she wears every day.

When the non-Muslim students looked in the mirror, she said they were surprised at their reflections.

"I really feel like they had that second of 'I'm actually in her shoes,'" she said.

EMU senior Emily Keyes, who was raised Catholic, participated in the event. She says she got mixed responses while wearing the hijab; some strangers looked away from her, while Muslim classmates told her they appreciated the gesture.

"I think it opened my mind to the way people perceive people that wear hijabs," she said.

After spending one day wearing the headscarves, the women met up to discuss their experiences and learn more about Islam's history.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Transportation
10:38 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Troy begins construction on new transit center

Plans for the Troy transit center
City of Troy

The city of Troy will break ground today on a $6.3 million dollar federally funded transit hub.

It's expected to increase ridership for AMTRAK and allow passengers to easily transition between trains, buses, and taxis.

Mark Miller is Troy’s Director of Economic and Community Development. He says Southeast Michigan Area Rapid Transit, or SMART, will be an integral element of the facility.

"Smart has 7 routes.  Three or 4 of them will come through this center and it will serve as a hub," he said. "A lot of people don’t realize how important SMART is in bringing students and certain workers into the city of Troy. We’ve heard from the business community that they really do need SMART for that."

Miller says construction is expected to be complete and the facility open for business by the summer of 2013.

Here's a link to a presentation on the proposed center with photos of the current transportation stop.

-Chris Zollars, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Election 2012
8:30 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

2012 Michigan election results

Nicole Agruda Twitter

Here are the election results for the races we watched here at Michigan Radio.

Please go to your county's election page for more detailed results in your area.

You can also find information about the races not listed below on the Secretary of State's general elections website.

Winners are in bold.

Election 2012
6:19 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Stories and images from the polls in Michigan

Waiting for a voting parent in Michigan.
Victoria Tokarczyk Twitter

It's Election Day and Michigan voters have been hitting the polls all day.

We have about two hours to go, and we have some reports about how things have been going.

We’ve heard lines are running smoothly, but there have been a few hiccups.

In Flint and East Lansing some ballot scanners have had a hard time digesting this year’s extra long ballot.

This has led to early delays, but election officials in Flint have assured voters that the ballots would be counted, MLive reports.

In at least one Michigan location voters encountered the controversial citizenship checkbox on their ballot applications. This after a federal judge ruled the box unconstitutional.

Spencer Howell of Oakland County reported seeing the box, and said that he thinks the box is inappropriate.

Read more
Election 2012
3:03 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

6 things to know about Proposal 1: Referendum on the emergency manager law

An emergency manager has been operating Benton Harbor for over two years.
notashamed flickr

In November, Michigan voters will decide the fate of Public Act 4 of 2011 (PA 4)—the controversial emergency manager law.

PA 4 is the latest of three Michigan laws that define the state’s ability to appoint emergency managers to oversee financially distressed local governments.

Under the law, emergency managers have the power to modify and terminate existing contracts, and in some cases, collective bargaining agreements.

Since August 8, when the Board of Canvassers placed Proposal 1 on the ballot, PA 4 has been suspended while awaiting the statewide referendum.

Read more
Business
9:51 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Crowd Funding for Sauerkraut in Ann Arbor

Kickstarter Web page for Sauerkraut fundraiser.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1396675400/40-barrels-in-40-nights?ref=live

An Ann Arbor pickling business hopes "crowd funding" will pay for a lot of sauerkraut – 12 thousand pounds to be exact. 

Read more
Transportation
12:14 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Amtrak Wolverine train jumps rails near Niles

The Amtrak "Wolverine" arriving in Ann Arbor.
smaedli flickr

An Amtrak passenger train bound for Detroit derailed Sunday morning near Niles, MI.

The train cars, carrying 174 passengers and 4 crew members, stayed upright and remained in line with each other despite jumping the rails.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Read more
That's What They Say
7:00 am
Sun October 21, 2012

At the end of the day, everyone loves a good cliché, right?

It is what is, says Anne Curzan, professor of English at the University of Michigan.

She spoke with Michigan Radio’s Rina Miller about the clichés she has been hearing lately and how they came into being.

“'To throw something,' or 'to throw someone under the bus,' it looks like that is first cited reliably about 1991 and has taken off since then,” said Curzan.

She finds clichés to be much like fashion--usage depends on repeated exposure to the phrases and often they develop momentum all on their own.  

Read more
Economy
3:33 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Michigan 4th worst in gender-based income inequality

Gender-based income inequality by county.
screenshot Slate/New America Foundation

Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” comment from the second presidential debate became an instant Internet meme, but it also brought attention to the issue of income inequality based on gender.

It’s an issue with particular relevance for Michigan.

The state ranks fourth in the country for the largest pay gap between men and women.

Read more
Auto
4:59 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Battery company bankruptcy refuels electric car debate

The recent bankruptcy of battery company A123 has some questioning the profitability of electric cars like the Nissan Leaf.
user cliff1066 flickr

Tuesday’s bankruptcy announcement by A123 Systems Inc. has many taking another look at the prospects of the electric car.

Conservative commentators have taken the opportunity to bash the Obama administration for its green energy investments.

In 2009, A123 received a $249 million grant from the Department of Energy.

Read more
Election 2012
1:18 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Teamsters local throws support behind Proposal 6, the bridge vote

Teamsters Local 299 has agreed with Matty Moroun to support Proposal 6.
Steffen Norgren flickr

Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun has secured the support of Michigan’s 5,000-member Teamsters Local 299 for Proposal 6.

Proposal 6 would amend the state Constitution to require a statewide vote before Michigan constructs or finances any new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles.

The Moroun-backed amendment is opposed to Governor Snyder’s New International Trade Crossing.

Read more
People
12:03 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Scientist, inventor Stanford R. Ovshinsky dies at 89

Stan Ovshinsky
courtesy of the Ovshinsky family

An obituary from the Ovshinsky family:

Stanford R. Ovshinsky died peacefully at his home just 39 days short of his 90th birthday.  The cause of death was prostate cancer. 

Read more
Economy
4:59 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Michigan unemployment rate drops for first time since April

Michigan's overall labor force charted with Michigan's unemployment rate from September 2002 to September 2012. (Source MI DMTB).
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

Michigan’s unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point in September, to 9.3 percent says a new report released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB).

This marks the state’s first decline in the jobless rate since April.

Total employment increased by 11,000 in September and has risen by 58,000 over the course of the past year.

From the report:

Read more
Politics & Government
4:53 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Ypsilanti Voters May Have Absentee Ballots But No Instructions

As many as 650 voters in Ypsilanti may have received absentee ballots in the mail without any instructions.

Francis McMullen, the Ypsilanti City Clerk, says only two voters have contacted her office so far, but she wants all voters to have what they need.  So her team is mailing instructions to everyone who received an absentee ballot.

Read more

Pages