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.


5:00 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Study: Many young assault victims have illegal guns and they're not afraid to use them

A study of young assault victims in Michigan finds many are at high risk for gun possession and aggression.

The University of Michigan Injury Center conducted a survey of young people treated for assault injuries at an emergency department in Flint.

Gun violence kills more teens and young adults than anything except auto accidents, according to the report.

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5:14 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Health officials confirm norovirus at 'Tough Mudder' event

State officials say participants and spectators at an endurance event last weekend at Michigan International Speedway were exposed to Norovirus.

The Michigan Department of Community health says the outbreak at the "Tough Mudder" contest has been confirmed.

A spokeswoman says more than 200 reports of gastrointestinal symptoms were reported since July 1.

She says in most people, the illness lasts for one to two days and includes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

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5:00 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Swim, have fun ... but remember safety rules

Credit kamuelaboy / MorgueFile

Every year there are news stories about the dangers of swimming, yet people drop their guard and accidents happen.

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Politics & Government
7:14 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Bugged by your neighbor's pesticides? Registry would require notification of spraying

Credit wikimedia commons

Lots of people are fussy about their lawns: no weeds, no bugs allowed.

But the chemicals used to maintain a perfect lawn can make some people sick.

Michigan has a registry for people whose doctors say they shouldn't be exposed to pesticides. The registry requires lawn-care companies to notify those people before applying pesticides close to where they live.

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Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat June 15, 2013

The week in review: Michigan's budget, Medicaid expansion, and selling the DIA's artwork

The Medicaid expansion plan passed in Michigan's House of Representatives earlier this week.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

This week in review, Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss the highlights of the Michigan’s budget, whether Michigan’s Medicaid program will be getting an expansion, and whether the Detroit Institute of Arts will be forced to sell some of its collection in order to pay off the city’s debts.

Michigan’s budget

The state budget is on time for the third year in a row, but it is not finished.

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3:02 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Don't be a slouch: You'll hurt yourself

Credit wikimedia commons

Remember how your mother told you to "sit up straight?"

Well, she wasn't picking on you. She was right.

Medical experts say poor posture can be hazardous to your health -- and to business.

Two-thirds of people who work at desk jobs suffer from neck, shoulder and back pain, says Lisa DeStefano, who chairs Michigan State University's Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.

That pain leads to about $3 billion loss in worker productivity every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

"We need to line our head and trunk up over our pelvis," DeStefano advises. "It will help decrease the amount of strain on our neck and shoulder muscles."

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5:00 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Agritherapy plants the seeds of healing

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and the Eisenhower Center's new accessible hoop house for rehabilitation patients.
Rina Miller Michigan Radio

There’s a new kind of healing happening at a Michigan hospital. The prescription includes seeds, soil, sun, and water.  

It’s a hot, humid day, but there’s a nice breeze blowing through a hoop house at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital. That’s a greenhouse that can be used almost all year long.

It’s like walking into an oasis.

There’s a waterfall that flows into a small pond where a few koi live. 

The smell of rich, earthy compost fills the air. There are wooden planters that can be raised and lowered and another planter that turns like a Ferris wheel.

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Politics & Government
9:30 am
Sat June 1, 2013

The week in review: Mackinac Policy Conference, Schauer runs for Governor, and the Ambassador Bridge

The Grand Hotel.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

On Saturdays, Michigan Radio's Rina Miller checks in with our political analyst, Jack Lessenberry.  

This week, Lessenberry attended the Mackinac Policy Conference.

He says one of the takeaways this year is that the business community is happy with the state's direction.

"[They are] encouraged by the direction in which Michigan is going. They're very happy in general with Governor Synder, but there's a lot of concern about education," Lessenberry said.

Education was discussed more this year than in past years.  

Mark Schauer's run

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Politics & Government
1:33 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Ann Arbor man to run for governor

Credit robinsandersforgovernor.com

An Ann Arbor man says he plans to run for governor as an Independent Progressive. 

Robin Sanders is a Michigan corrections officer who served in Vietnam and in Desert Storm. He has also worked as a union lobbyist.

Sanders believes Michigan could shore up its budget by keeping business in the state.

"I've seen the tendency of government to outsource in the form of third-party contracts that actually sends billions of dollars out of our state to other states and other countries, for that matter," Sanders says.

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12:11 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

U-M looks at better treatments for prostate cancer

Credit wikimedia commons

A new study at the University of Michigan is looking at why hormone-based treatments stop working for some men with advanced prostate cancer.

About 50 percent of men with prostate cancer have what's called a gene fusion that may cause some treatments to stop working, says Dr.Maha Hussain, a U-M professor of medicine and urology who is a co-leader for the prostate cancer program.

"We found out that potentially the fusions, if they occur in a patient, may likely be more responsive to newer forms of hormone treatment."

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5:00 am
Mon May 27, 2013

U-M, St. Joe collaborate on senior care

Credit wikimedia commons

The University of Michigan Health System and St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor are working together to improve care for patients age 70 or older.

The Acute Care for Elders (ACE) unit is housed on the tenth floor of St. Joe's East Tower.

It's one of the few in the country that will follow a model of care intended to help older patients recover from illness or injury.

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2:00 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Mind your potty manners in the pool

Credit wikimedia commons

You've probably seen those funny signs in backyard pools that say, "We don't swim in your toilet, so please don't pee in our pool."

Well, it's not a joke.

Martha Stanbury is with the Michigan Department of Community Health. She says if pools aren't properly maintained, they can make you sick.

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That's What They Say

Funner, snuck, and LOL are all things that we're hearing people say these days.

That's What They Say is a weekly segment on Michigan Radio that explores our changing language.University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan studies linguistics and the history of the English language. Each week she'll discuss why we say what we say with Michigan Radio Weekend Edition host Rina Miller.

That's What They Say airs Sundays at 9:35 a.m. on Michigan Radio and you can podcast it here.

5:00 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

U-M doctors use 3-D printer to build life-saving device

April Giofriddo holds her son, Kaiba, who now breathes on his own after U-M surgeons implanted a splint created on a 3-D printer.
University of Michigan

An Ohio baby is likely alive today because of the collaborative ingenuity of two University of Michigan doctors and their teams.

Kaiba Gionfriddo has a condition called tracheobronchomalacia – a blockage of the airway to the lungs. The condition affects about 1 in 2,200 babies born in the U.S. Many grow out of it by the time they’re two or three years old. Sometimes the disorder is misdiagnosed as asthma.

Kaiba stopped breathing every day, and his parents, April and Bryan Gionfriddo, were told their child would probably not survive.

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4:07 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Detroit event will swap weapons for groceries

Credit drummerboy / MorgueFile

A groceries-for-guns exchange is set for Saturday in Detroit. People who turn in an unloaded gun will get a $50 grocery gift card.

Gerald Acker is a partner in the Southfield law firm Goodman Acker, which is sponsoring the event. He says they want to do something about gun violence.

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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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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


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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