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.


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. 

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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4:04 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Bayview Mackinac Race this weekend

Courtesy Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race

It's a big weekend for sailors.  This is the 88th year for the Bayview Mackinac race. It starts in southern Lake Huron and ends at Mackinac Island.

This year's event has drawn 222 boats, crewed by about 2,000 sailors.

Greg Thomas is the race chairman.

"Maybe when you stand on shore, and you see a sailboat out there, it doesn't look like there's a lot going on," Thomas says. "But there's a lot going on.  It's very high-tech, there's a physical fitness part to it, an athleticism part to it, and a mental part to it."

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3:48 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Migrant workers hurt by Michigan fruit crop loss may qualify for housing assistance

ladyheart MorgueFile

Housing assistance is being made available to migrant farm workers in  Michigan.

Up to 40,000 migrant workers come to Michigan each year to pick asparagus early in the year  and stay until the apple crops are harvested. But spring frost destroyed up to 95 percent of Michigan's fruit crops this year.

Craig Anderson is with the Michigan Farm Bureau.  He says many workers rely on housing camps owned or operated by growers.

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Environment & Science
5:00 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Canadian report: Great Lakes would provide hospitable environment for invasive Asian carp


A new study says Asian carp could easily establish in the Great Lakes  unless physical barriers are built to keep them out.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it would take as few as 10 female and even fewer male Asian carp to create a breeding population.

The invasive fish have already infested the Mississippi River and many of its tributaries.

Andy Buchsbaum  is with the National Wildlife Federation's Ann Arbor office.

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Environment & Science
3:26 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Michigan's lone wolverine now part of traveling exhibit

This nine-year-old female wolverine was captured by Jeff Ford's trail cam in Michigan's Thumb region. The animal's body was discovered by hikers in 2010.
Jeff Ford

Few people believed stories about a live Wolverine spotted in Michigan a few years ago.

But a Thumb-area man proved it:  Jeff Ford's trail camera captured images of the animal.

Then some hikers discovered the Wolverine's body in 2010 in Minden.

The state of Michigan paid a taxidermist to preserve the animal. Now it's in an exhibit that travels around the state.

Kevin Frailey is with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

He says there's no proof of where this animal came from or whether Wolverines were ever native to Michigan.

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4:15 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Physician assistant demand expected to grow 30 percent in next decade

Clarita MorgueFile

The need for more primary medical care providers will increase as the Baby Boomer generation ages. Now another state university has joined the effort to fill the gap.

Physician assistants -- or PAs  -- do many of the same things doctors do: They can perform physical exams, order lab tests, write prescriptions, do some procedures and assist in surgery. They do all this under the supervision of a doctor.

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That's What They Say
9:13 am
Sun July 8, 2012

'Must' is getting musty; so is 'shall'

This week on That’s What They Say, we find out why so many of us are not using the words must and shall anymore.

“Linguists have been tracking these modals, these helping verbs or auxiliary verbs, and must has been on the decline for most of the 20th century into the 21st. And it’s not alone. Other modals like might and shall are also in decline,” said Anne Curzan, a professor of English specializing in linguistics at the University of Michigan.

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Politics & Government
8:30 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Michigan Politics: the week in review

Lawmakers in Lansing may have to cut revenue sharing with local governments to fill the $1.8 billion budget hole.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

Gov. Snyder vetoes election reform bills. Charges reopened against former Highland Park EM. Where are the Occupiers this summer?

Hear Michigan Radio's Rina Miller sit down with MR Political Commentator Jack Lessenberry to discuss state politics stories from the past week.

12:59 pm
Sat June 30, 2012

Improving Michigan's ports, waterways could generate jobs


Michigan's agriculture leaders gathered in Detroit recently to talk about how the state's ports and waterways can be used more effectively.

Michigan's agriculture industry generates about $91 billion a year. But some think transportation of the state's products could be improved.

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