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
3:50 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Things that go boom in the night? Maybe not

Credit Du Boix / MorgueFile

When Michigan relaxed its fireworks laws last year, some people took things too far. Now lawmakers may make some changes. 

The idea of the original law was to give municipalities more flexibility in the sale and use of fireworks.

It was also meant to bring fireworks sales revenue to Michigan.

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Politics & Government
4:09 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

No property taxes for disabled vets? It could happen

Credit taliesin / MorgueFile

Some Michigan veterans who have been classified as 100 percent disabled because of an injury could have their property taxes eliminated under a measure proposed in the State Senate (SB104).

State Sen. Glenn Anderson, D-Westland, says the vets would be restricted to 200 percent of the poverty rate to qualify.

"Theoretically, the very highest compensation someone might be receiving could be in the $40,000 to $45,000 range," Anderson says. "But they're going to have additional expenses if they're 100 percent disabled."

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Offbeat
4:23 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Flint's emergency manager tries to sell Santa and his reindeer

Credit City of Flint

When Flint's emergency manager put the city's Santa Claus display up for auction, some local residents decided that was going too far. 

Melodee Mabbitt says her hometown doesn't need more bad news, so she and her husband bid $150 for the jolly old elf, his sleigh and four reindeer that sit atop Flint's city hall during the holidays.

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That's What They Say
8:00 am
Sun May 12, 2013

The comma problem

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.

Politics & Government
9:05 am
Sat May 11, 2013

The week in review: Expanding Medicaid, teacher union dues, schools in money trouble

www.schoolbussafety.net

Week in review interview

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.

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Economy
3:05 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Software firm offers free classes for military veterans

Credit 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.

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Politics & Government
2:43 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Michigan House Dems pursue tighter restrictions on gun ownership

Credit 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.

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Health
11:33 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Exercise: Good medicine for arthritis, depression

Credit 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.

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Education
5:00 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Ypsilanti, Willow Run teachers learn whether they'll keep jobs

Credit 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.

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Health
5:00 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Will vanilla frosting make a rat's behind look big?

Credit 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.

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Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat May 4, 2013

The week in review: Run for Senate, live-in partners, DPS emergency manager steps down

The Lansing Capitol
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

Week in review interview for 5/3/13

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.

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Health
3:31 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Dad urges support of cardiac emergency drills in Michigan schools

Kimberly Gillary, 15, died of cardiac arrest while playing in a high school water polo game.
Credit 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.

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Arts & Culture
11:48 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Popular Detroit art exhibit destroyed by fire

Credit 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."

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Health
4:45 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Dramatic rise of suicide among middle-agers reported

Credit 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.

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Health
5:00 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Last-wish ID cards?

Credit 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.

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Education
1:06 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

MSU prof: Teachers aren't equipped to put new science standards into practice

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.

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Health
5:04 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Michigan health insurers urged to include genetic breast cancer screening, counseling

Credit 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.

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Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat April 20, 2013

The week in review: lowering auto insurance, drug testing the poor, immigration protests

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Week in review interview for 4/19/13

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.

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Health
3:19 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Right To Life opposes U-M stem cell use in Lou Gehrig's disease treatment trial

Credit 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.

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Environment & Science
4:48 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

As water rises, so do fears Asian carp will escape Des Plaines River

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.

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