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.


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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
12:38 pm
Sat August 18, 2012

Parasite found in cats, undercooked meat may be factor in some suicides

jkt_de MorgueFile

A common parasite found in cats and undercooked meats  could pose a bigger risk to humans than previously thought. 

Read more
4:45 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

La-Z-Boy to build new world headquarters; considers staying in Monroe

A La-Z-Boy store.
user vercillo wikimedia commons

A long-time Monroe business may decide to stay and build its world headquarters there. 

Think "recliner" and chances are La-Z-Boy will come to mind.

The company that makes the famous chairs and other furniture started out in the city of Monroe 85 years ago.

It has about 500 employees at its Monroe location.  Now the company wants to build a new facility and says it's interested in staying in Monroe, but is also looking at other sites.

Bob Clark is the city's mayor. He says the City Council will review some economic incentives.  

Read more
4:38 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Federal grant boosts Ann Arbor/Livingston County commuter rail project

hotblack MorgueFile

Commuters who make the trek on southbound U-S. 23 to Ann Arbor know a thing or two about traffic congestion.

Now a federal grant is breathing new life into a proposed commuter rail system that would connect Ann Arbor with Livingston County.

For the past six years, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority has been looking for ways to use existing freight track for passenger service.

Michael Benham is a strategic planner with the AATA. He says the $640,000 federal grant was a happy surprise.

Read more
Environment & Science
4:39 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Enbridge, property owner spar over felled trees

A Livingston County homeowner says Enbridge cut down about 50 trees on her property without permission. The energy company is replacing about 65 miles of oil pipeline.

The owners of the property near Fenton say they were surprised to find the trees bulldozed Wednesday morning.

Chris Christenson is the attorney for Debora and David Hense.

He says the Henses had been in negotiations with Enbridge to extend an easement on their property to allow work space for heavy equipment as the pipeline is replaced.

Read more
Politics & Government
4:20 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Review finds McCotter's 2008, 2010 campaign petitions were falsified

The investigation of petition fraud by former Congressman Thaddeus McCotter has widened to include two earlier campaigns.

Read more
Politics & Government
3:46 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Muskegon adopts anti-discrimination policy

kevinrosseel MorgueFile

The city of Muskegon has approved a policy to forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Only one Muskegon resident voiced his opposition to the policy and asked that city revisit the issue, but the commissioners passed the resolution unanimously.

Roberta King lives in Muskegon. She brought the idea to the city last fall after a similar proposal drew public outcry -- pro and con -- in Holland.

King believes the policy passed easily in Muskegon because of the city's diverse population base, and because it's a union  town.

Read more
3:36 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Relax: It's all part of the plan in Grand Rapids

Matthew_Hull MorgueFile

In 1985, nine-year-old Sean Moeller came up with an idea for a new holiday.

He wanted there to be a national relaxation day.

He's getting his wish, at least on a smaller scale, because today Grand Rapids is observing its own Relaxation Day.

"It doesn't have to be a whole day, just a few minutes at a time, to refresh and invigorate your mind and your body and just take a break for a few minutes," Moeller says. "There are tremendous health benefits."

Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Michigan politics: The week in review

Brian Charles Watson Wikimedia Commons

In this Saturday's Week in Review, Michigan Radio's Rina Miller speaks with Political Analyst Jack Lessenberry about auto earnings, the new state model for measuring K-12 academic achievement, and the primary election coming up on Tuesday.

RM: U.S. car companies announce their profit statements this week. How are things looking, Jack?

Read more
1:47 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Michigan launches new school performance categories

jdurham MorgueFile

The Michigan Department of Education has unveiled a new system to classify school performance. 

The state's schools will now fall into three categories:  Reward, Priority and Focus.

Reward Schools include the top 5 percent of schools, and those that have made the most academic progress over the previous four years.

Vanessa Keesler is with the Michigan Department of Education. She says being classified a Priority or Focus school means there are some problems.

Read more
3:39 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Commission: Funding available for women-owned businesses

Mindexpansion MorgueFile

More than half of new businesses in Michigan are started by women. But women may not be aware of funding available to them.

The Michigan Women's Commission says women tend to start smaller businesses, rather than big manufacturing firms. They generally go to their bank or credit union for loans.

Suzy Avery directs the Women's Commission.

She says there are other sources for loans or grants that have been specifically set aside for women-owned businesses.

Read more
Politics & Government
2:23 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Michigan eyes full privatization of prison health care

click MorgueFile

Michigan may privatize all of its prison medical services in an effort to cut costs.

The state spent more than $300 million  last year to provide health and mental health care to its 43,000 prisoners.

Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan says that care costs about $200 per month, per prisoner.

He says a contractor may be able to provide the service for less.

Read more
5:02 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Poll: Parents want final say on teens' HPV vaccination

dee MorgueFile

Some public health officials would like to drop the requirement for parental consent for a vaccine that prevents a sexually transmitted virus. But a new University of Michigan poll shows 57 percent of parents want to have the final say in their adolescent children's health care. 

Human papillomarivus -- or HPV -- can lead to cervical cancer in women and some head and neck cancers in men.

Sarah Clark is associate director of C.S .Mott Children's Hospital national poll on children's health.

She says routine HPV vaccination is recommended for boys and girls at 11 or 12 years old. It has to be given before they become sexually active to be most effective.

Read more