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.


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.


3:17 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Look who's talking -- or not: MSU examines how teams work with other teams

mconnors MorgueFile

Scientists who are helping to build the a nuclear research facility at Michigan State University are the focus of a study that looks at teamwork. 

The construction of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams -- or F-RIB -- will take thousands of people.

The National Science Foundation kicked in about a million dollars for a study to see how well the teams communicate and work with other teams.

MSU Professor John Hollenbeck is one of the leaders of the study.

He says they'll use electronic badges with GPS to monitor interactions.

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2:56 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Henry Ford, Beaumont health systems to begin screening job applicants for tobacco use

alvimann MorgueFile

Two Southeast Michigan hospitals say beginning next year, job applicants who use tobacco of any kind will not be hired.  

Henry Ford and Beaumont health systems say the tobacco ban will include cigarettes, pipes, cigars, smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes.

Jay Holden is a Beaumont spokesman.

He says the policy will protect patients and personnel.

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4:59 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Shoplifting rings on the rise

southernfried MorgueFile

Organized gangs that steal from retail stores in Michigan are not only driving up prices, they're putting the public at risk. 

Read more
4:57 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Judge: Case against Boy Scouts can proceed

taliesin MorgueFile

A Michigan judge has ruled a case against the Boy Scouts of America can go ahead.

In 2009, an assistant Scoutmaster with the Chief Okemos Council, which serves Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties, was accused of molesting two Scouts.  

Roger Young was charged with criminal sexual assault and possession of child pornography. He committed suicide later that year.

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Politics & Government
12:00 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Road commissions disbanded in Calhoun and Ingham couties

The Ingham Co. Road Commission once was in charge, no more.
Ingham County

Calhoun County residents who are coping with deteriorating roads won't be able to blame the Road Commission anymore.

The state legislature passed a law in the spring that allows County Commissions to disband their Road Commissions.

Ingham County did so right away, and now Calhoun County has followed suit.

Art Kale chairs the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners.  He said the board took the action because of what it saw as financial mismanagement by the Road Commission.

Kale said the change had bipartisan support.

"When I hit a pothole, I don't look to see if it's a red pothole or a blue pothole. All I know is that this was the biggest issue our citizens were complaining about," said Kale.

Kale said the Road Commission's managing director will stay on at least through the end of his year-long contract and that no employee changes are planned.

He also said the Teamsters, which represents Road Commission workers, were in favor of dissolving the commission.

Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat September 22, 2012

The week in review

David Defoe flickr

Every Saturday Rina Miller talks with Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry about some of the biggest stories in the week's news. This week they talk about Michigan Farm Bureau endorsing Democrat Debbie Stabenaw for the US Senate race, the Kwame Kilpatrick trail and the slew of art story headlines seen this week.

Drug Abuse
5:13 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Heroin abuse in Michigan on the rise

Heroin abuse in Michigan is on the rise. Felix Sharpe of Michigan's Bureau of Substance Abuse and Addiction Services says that 680 people died from heroin overdoses in Michigan last year.
United Nations Photo

Heroin abuse is increasing in Michigan and so is the number of fatal overdoses.

Felix Sharpe of Michigan's Bureau of Substance Abuse and Addiction Services says that 680 people died from heroin overdoses in Michigan last year.

Many abusers of prescription painkillers have moved to heroin because of its price. Drugs like Oxycontin sell for up to $40 dollars a pill on the street, while heroin sells for about $10.

Sharpe says that many of the victims are young people whose first contact with opiates came through painkillers prescribed to parents and grandparents. He says parents need to lock up prescriptions or dispose of them if they're no longer being used.

According to The Michigan Department of Community Health Bureau of Substance Abuse and Addiction Services' 2011 annual report,  the number of people receiving treatment for heroin abuse in the state jumped from 7,857 in 2001 to 10,924 last year.

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Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat September 8, 2012

The week in review

Rina Miller talks with Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry this week about the ballot proposals that were approved, the results of the special primary in Michigan's 11th congressional district and what happens now, and the medical marijuana debate in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming.

4:53 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Grosse Pointe schools institute tougher residency policy

alvimann MorgueFile

The Grosse Pointe Public School System will impose penalties of up to $13,000  for parents who violate the district's residency requirements.

Prospective students will have to verify home ownership or provide monthly proof of rental, as well as parental or guardianship verification and other documentation.

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Politics & Government
2:02 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Voters to choose McCotter's temporary replacement tomorrow

Former Michigan U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R-11th District) resigned amid a petition signature scandal.
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter U.S. House of Representatives

Some voters in southeast Michigan have more than November's general election to think about.

Tomorrow, is is primary day in Michigan's 11th District.

That's when voters in parts of Wayne and Oakland counties will choose a temporary replacement for Republican U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter.

He quit in July after it was discovered that petition signatures were forged or copied in at least two of his campaigns.

Five Republicans are vying for the seat. They'll face a Democrat, a Libertarian and a U.S. Taxpayers Party Candidate in the November 6th general election.

The taxpayer tab for the special election will be at least $650,000.

Low voter turnout is predicted.

Four of McCotter's former staff  members have been charged in the petition scandal.

McCotter has not been charged.

11:14 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Small plane crashes near Brighton Airport; 1 killed

Several media outlets are reporting the crash of a small plane near Brighton Airport in Livingston County. 

From The Detroit Free Press:

3:18 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Detroit Public Schools employees may get bonuses in December

Frank Juarez Flickr

Detroit Public Schools announced Friday that employees will get a bonus in December if the district meets its budget goal, which looks likely. 

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Environment & Science
4:30 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Pipeline construction project protected by off-duty Livingston County deputies

Enbridge Energy has posted security guards along a pipeline project that cuts through some private property in Michigan.
Logan Chadde Michigan Radio

Some Livingston County residents who live near a pipeline project say they don't understand why off-duty sheriff's deputies have been hired to provide security.

Enbridge Energy says its contractor hired the Livingston County Sheriff's Department to ensure public safety while the pipeline is replaced.

A few weeks ago, a resident said Enbridge clear-cut trees on her property without permission.  A judge has ordered work to stop until a property rights issue can be sorted out.

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Environment & Science
10:47 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Gas pipeline company proposes switch to crude oil transport

A pipeline that supplies much of Michigan's natural gas could be shut down ... and converted to carry crude oil. That's sparked a number of concerns from business and government.

Natural gas is plentiful and cheap right now.

That's why a Texas company filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission -- or FERC --  in July to shut down 770 miles of transmission lines across several states. It would either abandon them ... or eventually use the pipes to carry crude oil.

And that could affect how much a lot of people in Michigan will pay to heat their homes and businesses.

The pipeline owned by Trunkline Gas Company crosses into Branch County from Indiana. That's where Consumers Energy connects to it ... and distributes the natural gas to 45 counties in the Lower Peninsula.

Dan Bishop is a Consumers Energy spokesman. He says Consumers depends on Trunkline for 60 percent of the gas it supplies to 1.7 million customers in Michigan.

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5:20 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Lansing surveillance cameras an invasion of privacy, ACLU and neighborhood group claim

alvimann MorgueFile

Residents of some Lansing neighborhoods say they worry that police surveillance cameras may be invading their privacy. 

The cameras were first installed in 2008  and are in now 13 locations.

Randy Watkins is a member of a Lansing group called the Coalition Against Monitoring and Surveillance.

He says an American Civil Liberties Union report bears out the group's concerns. He also claims the cameras target mainly African American neighborhoods.

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Arts & Culture
12:50 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

Driving tour gets up close and personal with War of 1812

War of 1812 re-enactors at Fort Malden in Amherstberg, Ontario.

The United States and Canada haven't always been on good terms. Two hundred years ago, we were at war. Now there's a collaboration to explain the war  and honor those who died.

And what better way to learn about history  than to retrace its steps? That’s what organizers of a War of 1812-themed driving tour suggest.

The tour includes parts of Michigan, Ohio and southern Ontario.

Nancy Darga is director of Motor Cities National Heritage area.

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Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Michigan politics: The week in review

user mattileo flickr

In the Week in Review, Thaddeus McCotter's abrupt resignation last month means there needs to be a special election to fill his spot.

Also, Michigan's a popular place with presidential and vice-presidential candidates this week.

And, ballot petition mania continues, but can the average voter keep up. Michigan Radio's Rina Miller speaks with political analyst Jack Lessenberry.


Environment & Science
4:46 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Expert: West Nile conditions worst he's seen

MSU bug expert Ned Walker says the intensity of this year's West Nile conditions are "very alarming."
GammaMan flickr

The scope of the West Nile Virus problem continues to grow in Michigan.

There have been 57 confirmed cases in the state, as well as a third death from the disease spread by mosquitos.

"The intensity of this is very alarming," said Michigan State University entomologist Ned Walker. "I haven't seen anything that is this intense in my career."

Walker says Michigan is at the peak of transmission of West Nile right now, and it could last through October.

"So the question is, how many human cases will we be counting three weeks from now?" he said.

Read more
4:24 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Effort to allow new private casinos in Michigan gets new life from state Supreme Court

clarita MorgueFile

Proponents of an effort to allow eight more private casinos in Michigan scored a victory in court today.

The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a group called Citizens for More Michigan Jobs.

The group is pushing a ballot measure that would amend the state constitution to permit the private casinos.

An appeals court had ruled that the proposal's language was unconstitutional because it didn't include text of the law the group wants to amend.

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2:54 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Veteran Crim racers find friendship, pride in Flint event

These are some of the 70 Crim Race runners and walkers who have participated in at least 30 consecutive races in their hometown event. They are, from left, Karen Bell, John Jerome, Brian Barkey, David Cole, David Smith, Mike Kildee and Curtis Thompson.
Rina Miller Michigan Radio

Former Michigan Speaker of the House Bobby Crim launched his 10-mile road race in Flint back in 1977.

Crim wanted a world-class race in his hometown, but he also wanted to create a foundation to support mentally handicapped athletes. He accomplished that goal -- and more.

Today, the Crim Festival of Races  includes an 8K race, a 5K family walk and a Teddy Bear Trot for children.

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