Rina Miller

Weekend Edition host

Rina Miller got her start in radio on accident when she was sent to WCAR in Detroit as a temp employee. Since then, she has gained many years of experience in print and broadcast journalism, including work as a producer and program host at Radio Netherlands and as a reporter for ABC Radio News in New York. She enjoys working in public radio because the listeners are "interested, involved, and informed."

Outside the studio, Rina enjoys watching movies from the 1930s and '40s and absolutely hates karaoke. She has a deep love for animals and urges people to spay or neuter their pets, adopt from shelters and rescues, and purchase only from reputable, responsible breeders.

Q&A

What three people, alive or dead, would you like to have lunch with? Why?
Dorothy Parker, because her one-liners were the best.
Kurt Vonnegut, because he was the first writer who made me laugh out loud.
Bella Abzug, because she put her courage where her mouth was.
And if there could be a No. 4? George Clooney. You know why.

How did you get involved in radio?
By accident. I was sent to WCAR in Detroit as a temp employee, and loved the environment.

What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
Watching 1930s and '40s movies, especially those with Joan Crawford, Bette Davis or Rita Hayworth.

What has been your most memorable experience as a reporter/host/etc.?
Covering the crash of a cargo jet into a high-rise apartment complex in Amsterdam in 1992. The story was more complex than the obvious; many victims were illegal immigrants whose families were reluctant to come forward because they feared deportation. There were many substories that arose from this tragedy.

What one song do you think best summarizes your taste in music?
Leonard Cohen's Famous Blue Raincoat, sung by Jennifer Warnes.

What is your favorite program on Michigan Radio? Why?
Fresh Air. Terry has an amazing range of guests, so the show's never predictable or stale.

What is one ability or talent you really wish you possessed?
To sing like Etta James.

What do you like best about working in public radio?
The listeners. They're interested, involved and informed.

Is there anyone in the broadcasting industry you find to be particularly admirable or inspiring? Who?
Jon Stewart. He's fearless without being cruel.

If you could interview any contemporary newsmaker, who would it be?
Vladimir Putin

Is there a T.V. show you never miss? If so, which one?
Mad Men

What would your perfect meal consist of?
An Indonesian rice table

What modern convenience would it be most difficult for you to live without?
The Internet

What are people usually very surprised to learn about you?
That I despise karaoke.

What else would you like people to know about you?
That I have a deep love for animals. I urge people to spay or neuter their pets, adopt from shelters and rescues, or purchase only from reputable, responsible breeders.

Pages

Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat January 11, 2014

The week in review

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Week in Review interview for 1/10/14

In this Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller talk about the state's budget surplus and what lawmakers want to do with taxes, how Michigan could lose a seat in Congress because of a loss in population, and a bill to encourage employers to hire parolees.

Transportation
3:03 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Snow sweeps through Michigan; icy blast on its way

Credit Andy Thomas

A massive snowstorm is moving through Michigan today, making travel hazardous.   Michigan State Police say road conditions throughout the state are snowy, slushy, icy and dangerous. 
Driving is one thing, but how about flying?

Read more
Environment & Science
9:42 am
Sat January 4, 2014

This weekend's weather: snow, shovel, repeat

If you like what we've been having, you're going to love the weather forecast.

Temperatures will be more tolerable than the single-digit temperatures we've had for the past several days, with highs in the low 30s  today (Saturday). But the reprieve will be short lived: A winter weather advisory will be in effect for West Michigan from 4 p.m. today until early Monday morning. Snow totals could range from 3 to 6 inches.

Read more
Law
2:00 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

Keeping tabs on lawmakers leads to fewer no-shows

Credit AcrylicArtist / MorgueFile

The men and women who make Michigan's laws have someone watching over their shoulders. 

So who's putting legislators' feet to the fire? It's the public --  with some help from a conservative think tank.

Jack McHugh is a legislative analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

He compiles the "Michigan Votes Report,"  a searchable online database that was launched in 2003 to track lawmakers' votes  -- or lack of them.

"We had legislators missing hundreds of votes, who frankly just weren't showing up to work," McHugh says.

Read more
Business
1:21 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Lansing's BWL adding storm repair crews

The Lansing Board of Water and Light says it's getting some help from other utilities and contractors as it continues to repair damage from an ice storm that hit the region a week ago.

The utility says about 3,000 customers are still without power.

BWL spokesman Stephen Serkaian says the crews are working on circuits in the following areas:

Grand River/Edgebrook

W. Saginaw/Carey

Pattengill/Barnes

Chieho/W. Saginaw

St. Joe/Canal

Cavanagh/Pennsylvania

Mt. Hope/Sunnyside

Northeast/Community

Old Lansing Rd/E. Libby

10:56 am
Sat December 28, 2013

Catch up on State of Opportunity documentaries this weekend

Lead in text: 
How are you preparing for the new year? Cleaning the house from top to bottom? Clearing out paper and files? Changing smoke alarm batteries (yes, you really should do that)? Whether you're working, relaxing, or pondering what 2014 holds, click through to State of Opportunity and catch up on our thought-provoking documentaries. 2013 saw us cover what race means to kids today, the gap in educational achievement in two local school districts, and how we as a society are defining manhood. Listen on the State of Opportunity website. Or download the podcasts from iTunes and listen while you take down those outdoor holidays lights. Listening to stimulating radio guarantees you'll wrap the lights carefully this year.
Health
2:39 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

Electronic cigarettes are growing more popular with young people, and that's causing concern

How an E cigarette works.
e-cigarettedirect.com

Electronic cigarettes may be smoke-free, but they do contain nicotine, and that has parents worried.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated inhalers that simulate cigarettes.

Dr. Matthew Davis is director of the National Poll on Children's Health from C.S. Mott Children's hospital in Ann Arbor.

He says the devices are unregulated and no long-term health studies have been done.

Read more
Business
1:00 pm
Sun December 22, 2013

Ice affecting Michigan Radio transmitters

The freezing rain is causing havoc for Michigan residents and businesses throughout the state.

Utilities report about 200,000 customers were without power at noon today (Sunday) after a heavy icing brought down tree limbs and power lines.

The weather has also affected Michigan Radio transmitters. We are aware that WVGR, 104.1 in Grand Rapids, is off the air and our engineer is working on the problem. We are also operating at reduced power at our two other transmitters. We're still online, though, at michiganradio.org.

Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat December 21, 2013

The week in review: GM investment, state benefits, part-time legislature

David Defoe flickr

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss General Motor's investments in the state, the fate of state employee benefits, and the part-time legislature debate.

Click here to listen to the interview

Economy
4:00 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Hotel residents get 1-day notice to clear out

The Avalon Hotel in Blackman Township near Jackson.
Credit Google maps

About  45 people, including young children, are scrambling to find shelter today after being evicted from the Avalon Hotel in Blackman Township near Jackson

Some say they can live temporarily with family during the holidays, but others had no place to go.

"There are a lot of people moving stuff," says Katie Anderson, assistant manager of the Interfaith Shelter of Jackson. "There are U-Hauls backed up to rooms. It's a lot of craziness, there's a lot of tears. A lot of people are a little lost and confused about what to do."

Read more
Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Lessenberry talks about the big bills that passed this week and the first female CEO of GM

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

This Week in Review, Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss the passage of the ani-abortion coverage bill and campaign finance bill, as well as the appointment of the first female CEO of General Motors.

Week in Review interview for 12/14/13

Read more
Law
4:50 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

'Patriot Week' could be required in Michigan's public schools

Credit taliesin / MorgueFile

Michigan's history and social studies teachers may be required to include specific topics for an annual "Patriot Week."

The Senate this week passed a trio of bills that would require public schools to focus on the U.S. Constitution and other founding documents for one week every year.

Read more
Law
5:00 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Businesses that eject breastfeeding moms would face penalties

Credit cdc.gov

Mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies in public have every right to do so in Michigan. But not everyone's clear about the law.

Women cannot be told to leave a business or public transportation in order to breast feed their baby. Just because it may make some people uncomfortable, Michigan law is on the mother's side.

Several cases made recent headlines, including a woman who was told to get off a public bus because she was breastfeeding her baby.

Read more
Health
2:00 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Can we get some quiet around here?

Credit kakisky / MorgueFile

Here's something you can tell that neighbor whose power lawn mower shatters your Saturday morning quiet: You're making me sick!

Researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and the Network for Public Health Law say Americans live in a dangerously noisy society.

U-M assistant professor of environmental science Rick Neitzel says noise does much more than cause hearing loss. He says  noise can contribute to heart disease, hypertension, sleep disturbances and learning problems in children.

Read more
Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Lessenberry talks Rand Paul's ideas for Detroit, Snyder's approval rating and student loans

This Week in Review, Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry talk about how Rand Paul thinks Detroit should lower it's tax rate in order to stabilize, what's behind Governor Rick Snyder's 36 percent approval rating, and how the average Michigan graduate has $29,000 in student loans.

Click here to listen to the interview

Health
7:53 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Report: Overburdened mental health system to face bigger challenges as ACA takes effect

The reasons people give for not seeking mental health help.
From the report "Access to mental health Care in Michigan" Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation

Michigan's mental health care providers are already stretched far beyond capacity, according to an Ann Arbor research agency.

A report released Thursday by the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation says the state's mental health system "is broken."

And if it's bad now, care providers will be overwhelmed when the Affordable Care Act takes effect next month.

Read more
Politics & Government
11:13 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Truant kids could put family aid in jeopardy

Credit Ladyheart / MorgueFile

Last year, Governor Snyder said parents who don't get their kids to school should have their state financial aid suspended.

A child who has ten or more unexcused absences in a school year is considered truant.

The state House passed a truancy bill in May;  it's now in the Senate.

State Sen. Vincent Gregory, D-Southfield, says the bill punishes poor families, rather than looking for solutions.

Read more
Business
5:13 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Jackson's Allegiance Health, U-M affiliation will benefit patients, community and staff, CEO says

Credit Allegiance Health

The head of Jackson's Allegiance Health says a planned affiliation with the University of Michigan Health System will be good for patients, the community and employees.  

The 400-bed facility is the closest hospital for people in several counties.

Allegiance Health CEO Georgia Fojtasek says the UMHS affiliation will allow the hospital to expand patient services, including cardiovascular, neuromuscular and trauma care.

Read more
Health
5:00 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Just a little turkey ...please, please, please?

Bella Miller, who has her humans well trained, will stand sentry at Thanksgiving dinner to make sure no spilled tidbit goes unclaimed.
Credit Rina Miller / Michigan Radio

As  Americans gather to celebrate the holidays, many will be joined by family members of the furry persuasion.

Most dogs like to position themselves near the dinner table, ready to Hoover up any morsels that fall to the floor, eyes beseeching  diners as they lift  each forkful of feast. 

Cats may be more assertive and attempt to tiptoe among your fine glassware and serving platters.

But as we humans are well aware, just because something is delicious doesn't mean it's good for us.

That goes for pets, too.

Read more
Environment & Science
5:54 am
Sun November 17, 2013

High wind warnings, watches issued

High wind warnings and watches are in effect from 4 p.m. today (Sunday) until 4 a.m. tomorrow for the entire region. Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected to develop along the Lake Michigan shore and move east late this afternoon. Wind gusts to 60 miles per hour are possible, which could cause power outages and make driving difficult, especially on north-south roads.  It'll be unseasonably warm today with highs in the mid to upper 60s.

Pages