Michigan Radio Newsroom

News and Production Staff

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

Newsroom

Julia Field

Julia recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Urban Studies. Having spent the last two summers interning for a Detroit nonprofit and a NGO in India, she decided to dabble in online news journalism. As a university student, she was involved in the student organization, Human Rights Through Education and the Detroit Partnership.  Although she was raised in rural West Michigan, much of her time at the university was spent either in Detroit or studying it. She is interested in urban planning and policy, community redevelopment, and public health issues. After her internship this summer, she leaves for the Dominican Republic as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Rebecca Guerriero

Rebecca Guerriero is a senior at the University of Michigan studying in the Program in the Environment (Environmental Science). She is a Graham Sustainability Scholar and focuses her studies on water resource management and sustainable city growth and development. Rebecca is from Northville, Michigan and loves everything “Pure Michigan” – it is her dream to visit every Great Lakes lighthouse. Rebecca is writing her Senior Honors Thesis on sustainable golf course design and management. She works at NOAA’s Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center as a research assistant and webmaster and as a summer orientation Peer Academic Advisor for the Honors Program. She enjoys coffee, camping, traveling, the Italian language, the West Wing, and a good stack of books. Her perfect idea of happiness is playing pond hockey with the 1980 Olympic Team. After graduation, Rebecca plans to trek across Canada and watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in one sitting for the first time.

Lindsay Hall

Lindsay Hall is a senior studying Political Science and Psychology at the University of Michigan. She was born in Cape Town, South Africa and moved with her family to Ann Arbor when at five years old. Last winter term Lindsay was fortunate enough to return to South Africa to study at the University of Cape Town and pursue interests in early childhood education and development as a mentor at a local primary school. She is excited for the opportunity to join the Michigan Radio team this semester and experience what it is like to work within the field of communications.

Alana Holland

Alana Holland is finishing  double major degrees in Broadcasting and Journalism from Grand Valley State University before she takes over the reporting world. Even though she's from the small-town Gaylord, Michigan, she has a heart for big cities and loves travel. In her college, Alana is an anchor and reporter for the student-run TV news station, GV Today, was Layout and Design Editor for the newspaper, the Lanthorn, and has interned for Wood TV-8 and Thunder 94.5 radio. Alana spent a summer studying theater in London, her first taste at travel and learning about culture firsthand. Her goal is to work in international journalism, hoping to eventually become the next Christiane Amanpour. She is a self admitted coffee addict, fashion fanatic, vegetarian, photographer, and lover of all things British. In the next ten years she hopes to ride Asian elephants in India, publish a book, attend a New York Fashion Week, hike Machu Picchu, and learn cook. Ultimately though, she enjoys hearing and telling people's stories, and hopes to have what she does with her work improve other people’s lives.

Sarah Kerson

Sarah is an Ann Arbor native and a graduate of Community High School, where she was an editor of its online student newspaper. She spent her freshman year of college at the University of Vermont studying the social sciences and worked as an investigative reporter for UVM's student newspaper. Sarah also enjoys writing poetry, and was a finalist in the 2012 Ann Arbor Youth Poetry Slam. She is excited to expand her journalism and media experience to public radio.

Melanie Kruvelis

Melanie is a rising senior at the University of Michigan, studying Political Science. A Michigan native, Melanie serves as the Editorial Page Editor at The Michigan Daily, managing a staff of more than 40 columnists, bloggers and editorial board members during the school year. Last winter, Melanie spent five months in Madrid, taking classes at a local university and traveling as much as humanly possible on the weekends. She enjoys all things 90s, ukuleles, and the oxford comma.

Lucy Perkins

Lucy is from Suttons Bay, Michigan and is a senior at the University of Michigan, studying English and Communications. She has worked as an Arts writer for The Michigan Daily, as a writing workshop facilitator for the Prison Creative Arts Project, and as an editorial intern at Traverse Magazine. Last year, Lucy spent five months in Buenos Aires, Argentina taking classes and squeezing in weekend travels whenever possible. While in Buenos Aires, she interned for an English newspaper, The Argentina Independent. Lucy is interested in print and radio, and wants to tell real stories, especially about people who may not otherwise have a voice. She enjoys reading, eating barbecue pizza, and playing with puppies.

Dr. Nishant Sekaran

Nishant has been a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Michigan Medical School, and is a staff physician at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. He has an M.D. degree from Vanderbilt University, and an M.Science in Health Related Research from the University of Michigan. Among his peer reviewed publications are “Hot unstable angina—is it worse than subacute unstable angina?” You can schedule an office visit with Dr. Sekaran to get the answer to that question. 

Chris Zollars

Chris is your basic born again journalist.  He reawakened his enthusiasm for radio news after years in the corporate sector writing and producing video and interactive marketing and training projects.  He holds a Masters in Journalism from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University.  Chris started his journalism travels at his town’s daily paper as a teenager and during his undergrad also worked at SIU-Edwardsville’s NPR affiliate (WSIE-FM).   Chris then served five years as a commissioned officer in the US Coast Guard and was Managing Editor/Internal Relations Manager during the first Gulf War.  While in graduate school, he worked in the newsroom at WDWS-AM/WHMS-FM in Champaign, Illinois, and at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications specializing in science/technology stories.  He and his wife live up near Fenton with their 2 dogs, 2 birds, and 7 horses.

State of Opportunity

Kimberly Springer

Kimberly is excited to be back in public radio after several years spent teaching at the university and researching level in the US and abroad in London. She is currently a student in UM's School of Information Master of Science program specializing in social computing and archives/records management. Kimberly’s goal is to work in social media and/or digital archives and curation. To that end, she spends most of her spare time "curating" her Spotify collection, waiting for Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead to come back, and planning for zombie apocalypse. Ask her: she has a plan.

Stateside

Austin Davis

Austin Davis is a sophomore at the University of Michigan pursuing a degree in German Language and Communications Studies. He grew up not too far away from Ann Arbor in Rochester Hills, Michigan where his family still resides.  Although he is unsure of his future career path, he hopes to do work in global reporting/journalism and multi-media production. Although this is Austin’s first time working in a radio station, he has previous experience writing for an online publication and working on local political campaigns. He has thoroughly enjoyed his time here at Michigan Radio, and is excited for the further prospects of this internship.

Operations

Chrissy Zamaron

Crissy is the Operations Intern at Michigan Radio and a senior at U of M earning her BA in both English Language and Literature and Spanish Language and Culture. She has a passion for the art of storytelling and is a genuine NPR fanatic. After graduating this May, she hopes to stay in the public radio family by gaining a position at any one of her favorite NPR shows. Outside of her internship, Crissy loves Latin dancing, singing and endless hours of television crime dramas.

Pages

Politics & Government
1:09 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Ficano's 20% county worker pay cut upheld

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano
Robert Ficano RobertFicano.com

Today, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that when Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano imposed 20 percent pay cuts on county workers, he was acting within his rights, reports the Detroit Free Press.

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Law
3:50 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Michigan Supreme Court: Parents can be exempt from paying child support in extreme cases

The Michigan Supreme Court
Michigan Supreme Court courts.michigan.gov

Tuesday night, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that if a parent can prove they are unable to pay child support, they cannot be charged with a felony for the nonsupport.

The catch is, proving an inability to pay is quite difficult. Defendants must prove that they have sold off assets and exhausted their resources to be protected under the decision.

The ruling revolved around three Michigan cases in which parents argued they were unable to pay child support. The parents charged with nonsupport said they were denied their constitutional right to due process when circuit courts refused to consider evidence of their inability to pay.

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Politics & Government
3:32 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Only about a tenth of Detroit voters expected to cast primary ballots

user jdurham MorgueFile.com

Detroit election officials are estimating a 10 to 15 percent turnout in next week's statewide primary, comparable to the primary election turnout of 14 percent four years ago, reports the Associated Press.

Director of Elections Daniel Baxter said in a news conference today that the city expects to have up to 33,000 absentee votes counted by election night. That's about 6 percent of the city's 553,165 voters.

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Auto
2:09 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Ford adds 225 jobs in Sterling Heights to build hybrid transmissions

Ford Focus C-Max
user: Matthias93 Wikimedia Commons

Ford Motor Company is hiring 225 workers to run a new hybrid-electric transmission assembly line at the Sterling Heights plant.

The Associated Press reports Ford is investing $220 million in the Van Dyke Transmission plant to make the new transmission.

Ford used to purchase its hybrid transmissions from Japan, but the Van Dyke plant's new assembly line will construct Ford's first domestically designed and produced hybrid transmission.

Hybrid versions of the C-Max, Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ midsize sedans will sport the new transmission beginning this fall, as well as the plug-in hybrid versions of the Fusion and the soon-to-be-released C-Max.

In a press release, the company says the plant already added 130 jobs as part of the launch, and the remaining employees will start work by the end of the month.

Ford says the plant is now the only producer of front-wheel-drive hybrid transmissions in North America, though General Motors Co. makes rear-wheel-drive hybrid transmissions in Maryland, the AP reports.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Politics & Government
12:34 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Grosse Pointe Shores considers moving entirely into Macomb County

Historic Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores
Andrew Jameson Wikimedia Commons

Grosse Pointe Shores' City Council is considering whether or not to move the city into Macomb County's jurisdiction.

The city, home to only about 3,000 residents, straddles the Macomb-Wayne County border. Most of the city is in Wayne County, which includes Detroit, while part is in Macomb County. A law from the 1970s allows communities in this position to choose one county in which it wishes to officially reside.

According to the city's website, research revealed that Macomb County taxes are nearly four mills lower than Wayne County taxes, and that the city "receives virtually no direct services from the tax dollars [residents] pay to Wayne County." Calculations by the Grosse Pointe Shores Move to Macomb Committee show the city could save $1 million in taxes if they decide to shift into Macomb County.

On Aug. 21, the City Council will decide if the question will go to voters in November, reports the Detroit News. In order to make the move, voters in Wayne and Macomb counties would also need to approve the idea.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Environment & Science
9:00 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Hedging bets on wine grapes in Northern Michigan

A vineyard in Leelanau County.
user farlane flickr

This year was one of the worst harvests for tart cherries in recorded history. That’s a hard hit considering Michigan is the nation’s largest producer of the fruit.

We visited the Leelanau Peninsula where one family-owned cherry farm has transitioned into a vineyard in order to make more money.

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Arts & Culture
1:08 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

New fair will be 'Michigan made'

2008
Bob Vigiletti Michigan Radio Picture Project

This year, a group is hosting a new fair in Michigan they're calling the "resurgence" of the Michigan State Fair.

Dubbed the Great Lakes State Fair, the four day festival will be held at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi over Labor Day weekend from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3.

The state of Michigan used to have two state fairs, one in each peninsula.

The Upper Peninsula State Fair continues to run in Escanaba, where it was established in 1927.

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morning news roundup
6:49 am
Wed August 1, 2012

In this morning's state news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara Flickr

Michigan sued over late absentee ballots

The federal government is suing Michigan over a delay in sending absentee ballots to military serving overseas. The lawsuit says many local clerks missed a deadline to send military voters their ballots 45 days before the primary. But one political analyst says it's a big to-do about almost nothing. Mark Grebner is a Democratic political consultant based in East Lansing. He says Secretary of State records indicate only eight absentee ballots were sent out a day or two late, to overseas military addresses. And Grebner thinks the 45-day rule is outdated. A spokeswoman for the Secretary of State says in the past, the federal government has ordered local clerks who missed the deadline to wait a few extra days before issuing a final count. A judge has ordered an emergency hearing on the issue for this Friday.  The primary is August 7th.

Close to 1-million federal dollars unused by Pontiac Police

Officials in Pontiac have found close to a million dollars in unspent federal money. The money will be used to pay overtime to Oakland County sheriff deputies to patrol high-crime areas, and work on "quality of life" issues like abandoned cars. Pontiac is under a state-appointed emergency manager, and the county has a contract to provide police services to the city.

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Election
2:03 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Michigan sued over late absentee ballots for primary

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson
Ruth Johnson for Secretary of State

The federal government is suing the state of Michigan over the failure of some local governments to get absentee ballots delivered in a timely way to members of the armed forces, reports the Associated Press.

The U.S. Justice Department asked a Grand Rapids federal judge today to order some local governments to count absentee ballots received after the Aug. 7 primary election.

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Law
12:42 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Metro Detroit LGBT center hosts 100-day "rolling" hunger strike

Hunger Strike- Day 1
Johnny Jenkins Affirmations

Yesterday, Affirmations Lesbian/Gay Community Center in Ferndale began what they call a "rolling" hunger strike that will last until the general election in November.

Organizers say the 100-day event protests the "extreme anti-equality environment in Michigan" of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender population.

The hunger strike will be comprised of 24-hour shifts in which volunteers will refrain from eating or drinking anything but water. The strikers will be on display inside the front windows of the Affirmations building on 9 mile road.

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morning news roundup
7:00 am
Mon July 30, 2012

In this morning's state news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara Flickr

Bolger and Schmidt answer to complaints about breaking campaign finance laws

State House Speaker Jase Bolger and state Representative Roy Schmidt have a little less than three weeks to answer complaints they broke campaign finance laws. A complaint by the Kent County prosecutor filed with the Secretary of State names just Schmidt. One filed by Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer names both of them. The two plotted to keep a serious Democratic challenger off the ballot after Schmidt jumped from the Democrats to the Republicans. House Republican spokesman Ari Adler says no laws were broken, but the speaker will back legislation to stop what they tried to do from happening in the future.  The Secretary of State sent letters last week to Bolger and Schmidt informing them there is an official inquiry underway.

Biden in Detroit

Vice President Joe Biden has been out on the campaign trail. He rallied teachers in Detroit Sunday. That’s where the American Federation of Teachers is holding its annual convention. "Biden went after Mitt Romney and Republicans in Congress for budget plans that would slash federal education spending. He said Republicans have consistently opposed proposals to keep teachers and other public employees on the job through the economic downturn," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Detroit Institute of Arts vote

Voters in three counties will soon decide the fate of a tax millage for the Detroit Institute of Arts. Museum officials say the DIA could shut down if a 10 year property tax doesn't pass. Voters in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties will decide August 7th. The museum no longer receives state funding. But Critics say the DIA's campaign exaggerates the museum's financial struggles. The property tax would bring in roughly 230 million dollars over 10 years. Residents in counties that approve it will get free admission to the museum.

Education
4:55 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Highland Park Public Schools selects Leona Group to manage charter system

Bill Coats, founder and CEO of the Leona Group
The Leona Group, L.L.C.

Highland Park Public Schools contracted the Leona Group to run its charter system next year.

A press release issued by the school system's Emergency Manager, Joyce Parker, said that she met with the newly appointed board of education today who approved the Leona Group, LLC contract as charter operator unanimously.

From the release:

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Health
3:26 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

First 2012 West Nile Virus case confirmed in SE Michigan man

user Filiford MorgueFile.com

Oakland County health officials say they've received Michigan Department of Community Health confirmation of West Nile virus in a 44-year-old man, the first such case reported in the state this year.

Today, the Oakland County Health Division announced that the man was hospitalized earlier this month after showing symptoms and he is now at home recovering.

On July 3, the MDCH announced it detected the virus in a mosquito pool sample in Saginaw County, and a wild turkey in Washtenaw County.

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Law
2:47 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Michigan Supreme Court rules MSU ordinance violates free speech

MSU Library
user Jeffness Wikimedia Commons

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that a Michigan State University ordinance is unconstitutional today.

Back in 2008, MSU law student Jared Rapp received a parking ticket on campus. Rapp reportedly yelled at the parking attendant, took his photo and demanded his name. 

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Education
1:22 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Michigan's graduates cope with mounting student loan debt

National student debt
Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Students at Michigan's five largest universities sought more loans to pay for college, according to a Detroit Free Press database

These students will join recent graduates around the country whose outstanding private and federal education debts have topped $1 trillion, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. According to the data, as of 2010, students in Michigan have the 11th highest average debt of any state.

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Health
4:23 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Hospital worker accused of spreading of hepatitis C worked in Michigan

user ronnieb MorgueFile.com

Health officials say a traveling medical technician accused of infecting 30 patients with hepatitis C in New Hampshire may have worked at several Michigan hospitals.

A New Hampshire U.S. Attorney's Office media advisory released earlier this week says the charges against Kwiatkowski relate to suspected thefts of the anesthetic Fentanyl.

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Environment & Science
12:49 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Federal judge refuses to halt UP mine construction

Rio Tinto Eagle Mine, Oct. 2010
Rio Tinto Eagle Mine

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Holmes Bell has refused to halt construction of a nickel and copper mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

In an order signed today, Bell rejected a request by the Huron Mountain Club, a private sportsmen's group, to stop work on the mine while the club's lawsuit works its way to trial.

The exclusive club owns about 19,000 acres of forest land in the Upper Peninsula's Marquette County, including an 11-mile stretch of the Salmon Trout River, according to the AP.

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Education
4:43 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

WMU approves 3.9 percent tuition increase

Western Michigan University's Main Campus
user TheKuLeR Wikimedia Commons

Western Michigan University says it's raising tuition 3.9 percent for the coming academic year, reports the AP.

Trustees at the Kalamazoo school approved the increase today. The school says instate freshmen and sophomores will pay $9,982 in tuition and mandatory fees in 2012-13. That's up $376 from the current academic year.

Western Michigan says with the increase, the school is 10th in cost among the 15 Michigan public universities.

Out-of-state freshmen and sophomores will pay $23,262 for the academic year.

The trustees approved an operating budget of $349 million for the 2012-13 year.

Last year, Michigan Radio's reported on public university tuition increases for the 2012-2011 academic year:

This year for in-state undergraduates, tuition has increased by:

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Environment & Science
4:06 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

On 2nd anniversary of Enbridge oil spill, a look back

The Kalamazoo River after the spill, taken July 30, 2010
State of Michigan EPA

Two years ago today, the EPA estimates Enbridge Energy's busted pipeline led to an oil spill of more than 1 million gallons into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River.

We've been covering the spill and it's cleanup since it first happened. You can follow the links below for a chronological compilation of Michigan Radio's coverage of the incident and its fallout.

2010

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Environment & Science
1:46 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

USDA responds to spreading drought with more help for farmers

Michigan Corn Quality
USDA USDA

Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack declared four additional Michigan counties natural disaster areas due to continuing dry conditions.

Branch, Cass, Hillsdale, and St. Joseph counties have all joined the list.

This brings the number of counties experiencing drought up to 38 in Michigan, and 1,234 nationally, as counted during the 2012 crop year.

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