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Michelle Huan

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State of Opportunity

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Stateside

Bre'Anna Tinsley

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Politics & Government
4:35 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Lansing mayor announces $11 million deficit for next fiscal year

Lansing city hall.
MI SHPO flickr

The city of Lansing faces an $11 million budget deficit in the coming fiscal year.

City officials say the shortfall is due largely to a steep decline in property tax revenues. Rising pension, health care, and salaries are also to blame. The numbers take into account the extra money the city is taking in from a new tax levy voters approved a year ago, but the city has almost reached its constitutional limit on how much money it can raise in new taxes.  In a press release, Mayor Virg Bernero says the funding model for Michigan cities is "broken." 

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Politics & Government
3:49 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Midland congressman calls out Army Corps for stalling on Asian carp plan

Asian carp leaping out of a river.
glfc.org

Michigan congressman Dave Camp is calling out the Army Corps of Engineers for dragging its feet on a plan to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.

Camp released a statement this morning claiming the Corps is ignoring the timeline for completing a plan set out in the Stop Invasive Species Act, legislation he wrote with Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Camp’s law called for a plan to be in place by January 2014

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Education
2:24 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Student-led march protests stereotyping of Battle Creek Central

Students took to the streets of Battle Creek this morning to protest recent depictions of violence surrounding Battle Creek Central.
battlecreekcvb flickr

A student-led march in downtown Battle Creek this morning protested recent violence and attempts to blame the violence on Battle Creek Central High School.

Over 2,000 marchers from across Calhoun County took to the streets in support of Battle Creek Central.

From the Battle Creek Enquirer:

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Politics & Government
4:57 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

New program offers Michigan kids alternative to foster care

Michigan's Department of Human Services is participating in a new program that keeps kids out of foster care.
iRon leSs flickr

Michigan's Department of Human Services (DHS) is piloting a new program designed to keep "at risk" kids in their homes instead of handing them over to foster care.

The program will target families with children younger than five years of age.

From DHS:

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Arts & Culture
12:42 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Motown's Marvelettes nominated for spot in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Marvelettes have been nominated for a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
billboard.com

Motown favorites, the Marvelettes, have been nominated for a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Starting out as a group of high school students in Inkster, the Marvelettes went on to give Motown its first number one single—the 1961 hit, “Please Mr. Postman.”

From the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

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Environment & Science
3:58 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

EPA tells Enbridge more clean up is needed on the Kalamazoo River

Crews use "stingers" to pump water into the sediment and flush oil to the surface.
EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told Canadian energy company Enbridge today that more work is needed to clean up the Kalamazoo River.

The cleanup is part of an ongoing effort to remove oil from the river after a pipeline ruptured in 2010, resulting in the largest inland, freshwater oil spill in U.S. history.

Federal regulators specified that further action is needed upstream of Ceresco Dam, upstream of the Battle Creek Dam, and in the delta upstream of Morrow Lake.

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Politics & Government
12:50 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Former Flint mayor challenges $4.5 million legal judgement in court

Former Flint Mayor Don Williamson.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Former Flint Mayor Don Williamson is suing the city after officials demanded that he pay out $4.5 million awarded to police officers in a 2011 discrimination suit.

Williamson is arguing that city officials violated his constitutional rights when they asked a judge to require the former mayor pay the sum, Kristin Longley of the Flint Journal reports:

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Offbeat
4:57 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Latest search for Hoffa comes up empty

Jimmy Hoffa with Bernard Spindel in 1957.
Roger Higgins wiki commons

The search for Jimmy Hoffa has hit a dead end--again. The AP has the story:

Tests on soil samples gathered last week from a backyard in suburban Detroit showed no traces that Hoffa — or anyone else — was buried there, Roseville police announced Tuesday.

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Politics & Government
3:37 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

New director for Michigan's "Office of the Great Lakes," Birkholz resigns

Michigan's Office of the Great Lakes leads policy development and program implementation for the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes.

Today, Gov. Rick Snyder said he accepted the resignation of Patty Birkholz as director, and announced that Jon Allen will now lead the office.

From Gov. Snyder's press release:

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Environment & Science
3:14 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

High concentration of PCBs found in River Raisin

Dredging on the River Raisin. A mechanical dredge removing material on July 11, 2012.
USEPA

High levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been uncovered during a cleanup in the River Raisin, reports Charles Slat of the Monroe News:

Readings upwards of 10,000 parts per billion — some of the highest levels initially found during a 2007 partial clean-up at the site — also have been found during the recent dredging.

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Auto
1:47 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Chrysler leads monthly sales numbers for Big Three

General Motors says its U.S. sales rose about one and a half percent last month, as a big jump in car sales was offset by falling truck sales.

Ford says its U.S. sales were flat in September, like GM, Ford was weighed down by lower truck sales even as sales of its cars rose.

But Chrysler had the best September of the Detroit Three, with a 12 percent increase in sales.

More from the Detroit News:

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Environment & Science
2:27 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Michigan bow season springs into action today

Michigan's archery season began this morning.
Charles Dawley flickr

Michigan’s deer season has officially begun.

Thousands of archers took to the woods this morning to mark the start of bow season, which runs through November 14, then resumes from December 1 – January 1.

According to a state report, over 300,000 archers participated during last year’s ten week season.

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Arts & Culture
1:04 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Michigan Radio Picture Project: ArtPrize and Detroit Design Festival

Hip Hop duo Passalacqua in front of the Detroit Institute of the Arts checking out part of the 4 mile long hopscotch course the was created during the Detroit Design Festival.
Doug Coombe Michigan Radio Picture Project

Michigan Radio’s Picture Project is an experimental blog and forum for photographs that address Michigan people, places, events, and issues.

See the site for new features on Grand Rapids ArtPrize 2012 and Detroit Design Festival 2012.

Now in its fourth year, ArtPrize is an open art competition sprawling across downtown Grand Rapids--in galleries, on the street, and all over the city.

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Politics & Government
1:53 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

3 things to know about Emergency Managers, our discussion on Stateside

Yesterday, Cyndy Canty spoke with Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and other experts about Michigan's Emergency Manager Law.
michiganradio.org

Under PA 4, EMs can strip local leaders of their power and do away with union contracts.

The law is being targeted for repeal in a voter referendum.

Michigan voters will either keep it or kill it.

So, what do the people close to the EM law think of it?

Here are three takeaways from yesterday's discussion on Stateside with Cynthia Canty.

1) Today, Michigan's cities have giant infrastructures and tiny budgets

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Music
5:13 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Insane Clown Posse takes F.B.I. to court

Fans of the band Insane Clown Posse, known as Juggalos and identified by their grease facepaint, have been accused by the F.B.I. of gang activity.
Jen Sadler flickr

Oakland County hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse is taking the Federal Bureau of Investigation to court.

A lawsuit filed in Flint federal district court on Tuesday contends the F.B.I. violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to turn over information that led the agency to classify fans of the group as a gang.

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Politics & Government
2:13 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Starting next week, welfare benefits will be linked to school attendance in Michigan

A new Michigan policy links welfare benefits to student attendance.
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

New policy from Michigan’s Department of Human Services would strip welfare benefits from families with truant students.

Starting Monday, families will have to provide proof of student attendance in order to qualify for benefits.

Jennifer Chambers of The Detroit News reports families would become ineligible for benefits if they have a child between the ages 6-15 who is not attending school full time.

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Energy
12:36 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

TIMELINE: Problems at Palisades, 7 shutdowns in last 2 years

Palisades Nuclear Power Plant.
Entergy Corporation

Michigan Radio has been following the problems at the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant for the last several years.

Our West Michigan reporter, Lindsey Smith, has been on top of all the leaks, shutdowns and visits from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

There's been so much news of late, it can get a little confusing.

To clear up what's been happening at Michigan's oldest operating nuclear power plant, we created this timeline.

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Election 2012
9:03 am
Wed September 26, 2012

The six ballot proposals facing Michigan voters

Check back later for more coverage on Michigan's six ballot proposals.
Flickr

Michigan voters will see six proposals on their ballots.

There is one referendum on a current law, and five proposed amendments to the Michigan State Constitution. 

See the links below for the proposals as they will appear on your ballot.

Be sure to check back in the coming weeks as Michigan Radio will be providing detailed analysis of each proposal.

Referendum:

Proposal 1: The emergency manager law

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Politics & Government
2:19 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

New legislation attempts to curtail concussions

New legislation in Michigan seeks to protect student athletes from concussions.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Michigan's legislators have moved to protect student athletes from concussions. The AP has more:

The Senate on Tuesday passed measures requiring the Michigan Department of Community Health to develop educational materials and training for athletes, parents and coaches on concussion-related injuries and treatments.

The materials would identify the nature and risk of concussions and criteria for removing athletes from activity when they're suspected of having a concussion.

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Auto
12:35 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Canadian Auto Workers and GM announce tentative contract

Ken Lewenza and the CAW reached a tentative agreement with GM Thursday.
Canadian Auto Workers union

The Canadian Auto Workers and GM announced a tentative contract Thursday night reports The Globe and Mail:

The deal extends by one year the life of a car-assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont., that was scheduled to close next year and adds a new shift of workers at a neighbouring plant. That means GM’s employment level in Canada should be roughly the same as it is today – or about 7,000 people – in 2016.

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