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.

Ways To Connect

The comma problem

May 12, 2013

The comma may be a very small  punctuation mark, but people often have very strong feelings about how it should, and should not be used.

On this edition of "That's What They Say," host Rina Miller and University of Michigan Professor Anne Curzan discuss the Oxford comma, semicolons and breaking rules.

Listen to the full segment above.

www.schoolbussafety.net

This week in review, Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss a bill to expand Medicaid, how school districts will no longer collect union dues from teachers, and the financial trouble with Buena Vista and Pontiac schools.

Kaboldy / wikimedia commons

Military veterans who have a background in engineering or manufacturing can brush up on their skills with free training from a Detroit-area software company.

Siemens Product Lifestyle Management in Livonia is one of 22 locations across the country offering the classes.

Joshuasheam / wikimedia commons

A trio of Democratic lawmakers says the state needs to revamp its gun laws. 
 
A law proposed by Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing, would expand gun-free zones to include libraries and disallow open carrying of firearms in public buildings.

Another measure introduced by Rep. Vicki Barnett, D-Farmington Hills, would strengthen mental health services by requiring parity with other medical services.

Centers for Disease Control

You know the old joke, "Doctor, it hurts when I do this?" and the doctor says, "Well, don't do that?"

That's not the case when it comes to arthritis and physical activity.

About two million Michiganders suffer from arthritis. According to state health officials, a sedentary lifestyle can make arthritis worse -- and make you more vulnerable to depression.

"People with arthritis pain do worry about whether those activities will exacerbate pain, and that can be a demotivator for them certainly in getting started," says Annemarie Hodges, who's a public health consultant in the arthritis program at the Michigan Department of Community Health.

www.schoolbussafety.net

Teachers in the soon-to-be-merged Ypsilanti and Willow Run school district have learned whether they'll be returning to the classroom. 

Both districts were in financial trouble, with a combined deficit of about $13 million.

Superintendent Scott Menzel says more than 250 current teachers applied for jobs in the consolidated district.

He says 171 teachers will have jobs  this fall; many of them are seasoned instructors.

Kelly Klump / Michigan State University

Let's say you're a rat and someone gives you the option of eating vanilla frosting instead of boring old rat food.
 
If you're a female rat, you're probably going to eat that frosting -- six times likely more than males.

It's no secret that eating disorders are more prevalent among women than men, but new research from Michigan State University finds that might be caused by biology -- not just emotions or social pressure.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This "week in review," Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss the U.S. Senate race, allowing health coverage for live-in partners and the retirement of the emergency manager for Detroit Public Schools.

kimberlysgift.org

The state House Education Committee this week heard testimony from parents whose children died in school after suffering cardiac arrest.

Among those parents was Randy Gillary. His 15-year-old daughter, Kimberly, collapsed during a high school water polo game in 2000. 

Gillary says although CPR was begun immediately, it was too late. Kimberly was removed from life support two days later.

"We basically lost her on the pool deck," Gillary says.

David Yarnell / wikipedia.org

A popular Detroit art installation was destroyed by fire this morning.

The Obstruction of Justice House was part of the Heidelberg Project on Detroit's east side. It was created by artist Tyree Guyton. He used discarded items and paint to transform two city blocks into an eclectic and sometimes controversial art exhibit.  

Guyton's wife, Jenenne Whitfield, describes,"You turn down the street, and there's this explosion of color: The trees, the sidewalks, the vacant lots. All had been turned into a giant landscape, a work of art that is literally known around the world."

suicideprevention.png

If you're between 35 and 64-years-old, you're considered middle aged. You're probably working, have children, and possibly elderly parents that you help care for, as well. This is also the time when many chronic health conditions appear.

Toss in some tough economic times lately, and it adds up to a lot of stress.

That may be why Michigan has seen a bigger spike in middle-aged suicides than almost any other state.

Last-wish ID cards?

May 2, 2013
misenategop.com

A Michigan lawmaker says a person's end-of-life wishes should be accessible during an emergency.

You may have what's called a "living will" that determines what kind of care -- if any -- you want if you have, say, a heart attack. But if you don't have that document with you, emergency responders are going to try to bring you back to life.

A Michigan State University professor says most teachers aren't ready to implement new science standards planned by the state.

The Michigan Department of Education says a plan called "Next Generation Science Standards" will provide more depth to students.

MSU education professor Suzanne Wilson disagrees.

wikipedia.com

The state is encouraging Michigan health plans to provide genetic counseling and testing for some types of breast cancer. 

Breast and ovarian cancer can run in families. Sometimes it's caused by an underlying genetic change passed from parent to child.

Jenna McLosky, who's the cancer genomics education coordinator for the Michigan Department of Community Health, says women who have a family history of breast cancer should consider tests for a change in the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genes.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

This week in review, Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss the possible plan to lower auto insurance rates in the state, a bill to require drug tests for welfare recipients, and the arrests made at the University of Michigan over immigration protests.

Maria Morell / University of Michigan

Right to Life of Michigan is criticizing a University of Michigan research project that will use fetal stem cells.

U of M announced this week it will lead a clinical trial looking at a potential treatment for ALS -- known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

The nerve disease often kills people within three to four years after diagnosis.

Ed Rivet of Right To Life of Michigan says the stem cells U of M will inject into ALS patients come from an aborted fetus. The group is opposed to that and to embryonic stem cell research.

Record rainfall in the Chicago area has heightened concerns that invasive Asian carp will escape electronic and physical barriers along the Des Plaines River, and make their way into the Great Lakes.

If Asian carp were to get into the Great Lakes, it's feared they could seriously impact the fishing and recreation industries.

However, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokeswoman Felicia Kirksey says crews stationed along the 13-mile barrier have seen no evidence of the fish breaching the structure.

The ACLU of Michigan claims Detroit police have a practice of taking people who appear to be homeless and dumping them miles away from downtown.

A yearlong investigation by the ACLU asserts that officers approach people in the Greektown area and offer them a "ride."

ACLU attorney Sarah Mehta says the homeless people are forced into police vans, ordered to empty their pockets and then taken to remote areas of the city or even across city limits.

University of Michigan

The University of Michigan is set to lead a national trial in the use of stem cell injections to study their effects on the symptoms of ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

U-M will collaborate with Emory University in the Phase II clinical trial, pending approval by  the Institutional Review Board, which could take about a month. The FDA has approved the trial.

It's estimated between 30,000 to 50,000 people in the United States have ALS.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This week in review Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss the possibility of repealing a tax on pensions, how Michigan's home foreclosure rate is no longer the worst, and how the international trade crossing has a presidential permit to move forward.

e-how.com

Michigan workers are losing their health-care coverage at a greater rate than any other state.

In 2000, about 78 percent of Michigan workers got insurance through their employer.

By 2011, that fell to about 63 percent.

Lynn Blewett is a University of Minnesota professor who took part in the national study funded by the nonprofit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Karpati Gabor / MorgueFile

Michigan schools could soon change how they teach science.

The idea is to provide more depth in the curriculum. That's according to Linda Forward, who directs the Office of Education Improvement and Innovation at the Michigan Department of Education.

She says 26 states worked to create the Next Generation Science Standards.

The plan blends certain subjects, such as chemistry and biology. It also ties engineering into science.

kbohn216 / MorgueFile

Babies spit up -- a lot. It often happens when they eat too quickly  or too much. It's normal, but it sure can scare parents.

A University of Michigan study says doctors should be careful about using labels to describe babies with upset stomachs.

Dr. Beth Tarini, an assistant professor of pediatrics at U-M, says when doctors use terms like gastroesophageal reflux disease -- or GERD -- the only thing most parents hear is "disease."

"It can transform the way the parent views the child's health. It can take a parent who has a healthy child, and have that parent start to believe that that child is actually sick," Tarini says."Parents come into the office, understandably distressed that their baby is spitting up."

Tarini says sometimes physicians, in trying to help the parents, will reach for anything they can do to help, which can lead to the overuse of antacids, like Zantac.

Michigan Radio's Rina Miller spoke with our Political Analyst about the big news stories this week.

moderncog / MorgueFile

Beginning in October, people can sign up to get help paying for health coverage under of the Affordable Care Act.

In Michigan, some 745,000 people will qualify, according to Families USA, a national non-profit organization for health care consumers.

Executive director Ron Pollack says in Michigan, 91 percent of those who will qualify for the tax credit are working families.

"In Wayne County, we estimate it's over 147,000 people; in Oakland County it's about 72,000 people; in Macomb County it's over 59,000 and in Kent County it's almost 46,000," Pollack says.

University of Michigan Medical School

The University of Michigan Health System has begun training teams of palliative care specialists. The Adult Palliative Medicine Program puts more focus on helping patients manage the physical and emotional pain from chronic disease and dying. 

U-M Chief of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine Dr. Raymond Yung  is guiding the program. He says some patients think suffering is just the way it is -- that they're supposed to be tough. Some people may worry about addiction.

"This is not a reason for anyone to withhold pain medication that they need," Yung says. "In this patient population, actual issues with addiction is not a big problem at all."

wikipedia

Michigan  already has a law requiring parental consent for minors to use tanning beds, but a new law would prohibit teens' use of the beds altogether.

West Bloomfield dermatologist Dr. Kay Watnick says indoor tanning can increase the risk for skin cancer -- including melanoma.

"It's a very serious kid of skin cancer," Watnick says. "It's most prominent in young Caucasian females."

Watnick says melanoma and other types of skin cancer have increased dramatically over the past three decades.

Schick / MorgueFile

More Michigan communities may consolidate their police and fire departments because of the unstable economy.

Cross-training police, fire and paramedics isn't a new idea. Some places have operated that way since the 1950s.

Jeremy Wilson is an assistant professor of criminal justice at Michigan State University.

He's also director of the Program on Police Consolidation and Shared Services at MSU. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

This “week in review” Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss a state house subcommittee’s rejection to expand Medicaid, how Michigan will be run under a federal health exchange, how universities are going under scrutiny for negotiating new, long term contracts before Michigan’s right to work law goes into effect, and how a city pension attorney in Detroit and a former trustee were indicted for bribery.

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The founder of a pizza company launched in Taylor 40 years ago has died. 

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