Vincent Duffy

News Director

Vincent Duffy has been news director at Michigan Radio since May 2007. In his years  leading the Michigan Radio news room, the news team has won scores of national, regional and state awards including Murrow Awards,  Sigma Delta Chi awards and others. 

Duffy is the Chair-elect of the Radio/Television/Digital News Association (RTDNA), the world's largest organization representing electronic journalists. He was previously Chair of RTDNA in 2012.

Duffy graduated from Kent State University (Kent, Ohio) with degrees in political science and telecommunications, and then toured the world as a radio journalist covering news in Australia, Switzerland and South Africa.

After returning stateside he earned a master's degree in mass media from Miami University of Ohio while working as a reporter at WMUB in Oxford.

Duffy then had his first taste of a Big Ten school when he joined the news team at WILL at the University of Illinois as a reporter, Morning Edition host, and eventually News Director. While at the University of Illinois he also completed his doctoral coursework in communication research.

In 1997 Duffy returned to Kent State University as news director of WKSU.

In addition to his work for WKSU and NPR in Ohio, Vince hosted the weekly television news program  NewsNight Akron on PBS 45 & 49. His first television documentary, "Sharing Democracy: The Akron/Subotica Partnership", received the prestigious Telly Award and added Serbia to the growing list of destinations Vince has traveled to cover news. Vince also produced and hosted several PBS 45 & 49 specials, political debates and documentaries.

Duffy has won seven national Edward R. Murrow awards for his radio journalism, as well as a Sigma Delta Chi award, a National Headliner award, a national Unity award, and many others.

In 2008 he added Ghana to his list of countries visited when he covered a University of Michigan delegation led by U of M President Mary Sue Coleman.

Along with his obvious love of travel, Vince enjoys skiing and martial arts. He has second degree black belts in both Tae Kwon Do and Shotokan Karate.

You can follow Vince on Twitter @vincentduffy

Ways to Connect

The Kentucky Wildcats started five freshman and fired off a three-point shot in the final seconds to beat the second-seeded Michigan Wolverines, 75-72.

Gov. Rick Snyder says Michigan won't recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages performed last weekend.

The marriages were performed Saturday before a federal appeals court suspended a decision that overturned the state's ban on gay marriage. Snyder's announcement Wednesday closes the door to certain benefits granted to Michigan married couples. The move comes a day after an appeals court indefinitely stopped any additional same-sex marriages.

Snyder says the marriages were legal at the time but the stay means the ban now is back in effect.

Mgoblue / University of Michigan

It's on to the Sweet Sixteen for the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Michigan held off Texas 79 to 65.

Michigan Coach John Beilein says the win again shows the similarities this year's Wolverines squad has to last year's team, which finished second in the NCAA.

Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports / Michigan State Athletics

Adreian Payne scored a career-high 41 points last night to get Michigan State off to a solid start in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. MSU beat Delaware 93-78.

Payne set a tournament record by making all 17 of his free throws and also broke MSU's tournament scoring record, set by Greg Kelser in 1979.

CDC

Child deaths in car crashes have declined by 43% over the last ten years.

But the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says there's still work to do.

The CDC says one in three children 12 or younger that die in a car accident is still not properly restrained.

Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz is with the CDC.   She says parent education and car seat distribution help make sure more children are buckled up properly, and she supports Michigan's car seat laws.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The rising cost of college textbooks is leading more students to opt out of purchasing them altogether.

A new report suggests many students are missing out on some educational opportunities by not buying textbooks.

Ethan Senack is a higher education associate with the Public Interest Research Group, which wrote the report.

He says the good news is that students are ready for alternatives to the traditional textbook model.

Wikimedia Commons

Ann Arbor Campus classes have been canceled on Tuesday, Jan. 28 because of extreme wind chill temperatures, expected to be as low as -30 degrees. The cancelation includes classroom and laboratory instruction.

Campus buildings will remain open, and dining halls, libraries and most other campus facilities and services will continue operations. U-M buses and shuttles will operate as scheduled, although delays are possible.

Campus operations will continue and staff should plan to report as usual. Parking and Transportation Services is increasing bus frequency to help minimize wait times.

The next president of the University of Michigan may be announced later this morning. The Board of Regents has scheduled a special meeting at 10 a. m. to vote on the U of M's next president.

Current U of M President Mary Sue Coleman announced last year her plans to retire in July.

Coleman has led the university for 12 years.

The next president will be the 14th president at the University of Michigan.

myfoxdc.com

Jury selection began today in the trial of a man charged with a series of shootings on and around Interstate 96.

Raulie Casteel, 44,  is on trial in Livingston County Circuit Court in Howell.

The state attorney general's office is prosecuting him on terrorism and other charges.

In an effort not to taint the jury pool, attorneys are questioning each prospective juror individually at the judge's bench.

Casteel pleaded no-contest last November to related charges in Oakland County and is awaiting a sentence.

Flickr

The press preview days for the North American International Auto Show kicked off with the naming of the North American Car of the Year and North American Truck/Utility of the Year.

The announcements were made this morning at Cobo Center in Detroit.

The winners are the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray for car of the year, and the Chevrolet Silverado as the truck of the year. Both are made by General Motors.

Michigan Municipal League / Flickr

Gov. Rick Snyder says his priorities for 2014 include making sure every child from a low-income family has access to preschool.

“We’re going to hopefully continue on the path with early childhood," Snyder said. "We still haven’t taken care of the entire waiting list based on need. There’s probably about another 13,000 on the waiting list. It would be good to get them into preschool.”

Wikipedia

The Detroit Red Wings will host the Toronto Maple Leafs at The Big House on the University of Michigan campus before a potentially world record-setting crowd this afternoon.

The National Hockey League is warning fans to watch out for counterfeiters trying to sell fake jerseys and other merchandise at the game.

Kelley Lynch is the attorney for NHL Enterprises. She says fans usually think they’re buying authentic NHL merchandise, only to learn later they’ve purchased counterfeit merchandise of inferior quality.

Consumers Energy

Power has been restored for most homes and businesses in Michigan after a massive ice storm hit the state last weekend. But there are still thousands who have been without power for a week now.

Last weekend’s ice storm left half a million Michiganders in the dark. Around the clock work by line crews, including help from other states, has much of the power restored for DTE and Consumers Energy customers.  

cswe.org

Social workers in Michigan are starting to wear many hats as health-care reform is implemented.

The expansion of Medicaid and the establishment of the state Health Insurance Exchange is expanding health-care coverage to hundreds of thousands of Michiganders.

Robert Sheehan is the executive director of the Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties.

He says all the changes healthcare are broadening the scope of social workers.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Blood donations tend to drop at hospitals and clinics across Michigan at this time of year.

That's why officials are urging Michiganders to consider rolling up their sleeves to give a lifesaving gift.

Dan Fox, with the American Red Cross, says between school vacations, snowy weather and busy schedules, the number of blood donations drop over the holidays, while the need for blood in local hospitals remains constant.

shopsafetyproducts.ca

The Michigan Credit Union League wants to get automatic defibrillators into every credit union in the state.

Jon Looman is the CEO of Community West Credit Union.   He had a heart attack and collapsed while teaching an indoor cycling class last year.

He says he survived thanks to an AED, and plans to order one for every one of his credit union's branches.

“They save lives, plain and simple. They just save lives,” says Looman, “And even better than that, they improve the quality of life after a heart attack if you act right away with one.”

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Critics say proposed legislation in Congress could hurt many home buyers in Michigan and the nation.

The bills would allow exceptions to new limits on bank fees for mortgages. And it would become easier to give borrowers loans they can't afford.

Gary Kalman is with the Center for Responsible Lending.

He says the so-called "Mortgage Choice Act" would undermine what he calls a fair and balanced compromise.

flickr user Bernt Rostad / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A federal judge has stopped any lawsuits attempting to derail the Detroit bankruptcy.

Federal bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes says all the issues related to Detroit's bankruptcy must be decided by the federal bankruptcy court exclusively.

His ruling puts a stop to any challenges arising from state courts, including a case filed in Ingham County by lawyers representing Detroit pensioners.

The pensioners say their pensions are protected by the Michigan Constitution and cannot be cut by a bankruptcy court. That issue will now have to be decided by Judge Rhodes.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison by U.S. District Judge John Corbett O'Meara today in federal court. She was also ordered to pay $90,000 in restitution to ING bank. 

She will also serve two years supervised release after she gets out of prison.

Her attorney Steven Fishman says Hathaway will pay the fine today.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Students at Saginaw County's Buena Vista school district may be back in the classroom soon. The state has approved the district's plan to bring itself out of debt.

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan has approved the release of state aid funds to the Buena Vista school district.

The district hasn't held class since May 3 because it ran out of money to pay its teachers. Last night the Buena Vista board of education approved a deficit elimination plan.

Flanagan says he is now encouraging the local school board and administration to reopen the doors as soon as possible. The state will release state aid to Buena Vista on May 20th, allowing the district to make payroll on May 24th.

The aid will put an end to any discussion of a “Plan B” that was developed earlier this week to have Buena Vista students use federal money to attend a skills camp over the summer.

The schools will be open today for those students who qualify for free meals.

Army Medicine / Flickr

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has called for a four county grand jury investigation into contaminated steroids linked to hundreds of cases of illness and 14 deaths in the state. Schuette filed the request today  with the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Michigan's first school district operated by a charter school company will soon install video cameras to monitor all classrooms.

The Muskegon Heights Public School Academy board approved the policy at its meeting Monday night.

Rick Pluta / Michigan Public Radio

It’s been quite a week in Michigan. Maybe you heard about it?

Our legislature introduced and passed so called “right to work” legislation in two days and Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed it within hours, dealing a harsh blow to the more than 12,000 union supporting protestors surrounding the building.

But – did you see what I did there? Did my bias jump off the page at you?

screenshot / LiveStream

We're updating this post on the legislature's effort to pass a 'right-to-work' law in Michigan.

A right-to-work law would outlaw requirements that workers pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. Unions say these laws weaken their ability to bargain collectively with employers. Supporters of the law say it gives workers a choice.

Update 7:50 p.m.

I heard a political ad for radio this week that really got me angry.

OK…sure…I’m probably not alone in that.

But I wasn’t angry because I agree or disagreed with the position taken, or because the ad was misleading or an outright fabrication.

I’m used to “pants on fire” statements in political ads and even expect it. 

What bothered me about this particular ad was that it was produced to sound exactly like a news story. A news story that’s close enough to being possible that many listeners could be easily fooled.

The Republicans and Democrats have finished their national conventions, but now the party faithful have their state convention to attend.

Both major political parties are hosting state conventions in Michigan this weekend.

Republicans are meeting today and tomorrow in Grand Rapids, while the Democrats will meet in Lansing tomorrow and Sunday.

The conventions will formally nominate candidates for the Michigan Supreme Court, the State Board of Education and the governing boards for the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

I just spent about $5,000 at the two national political conventions.

No, I wasn’t out wining and dining with the heavy hitters, and despite how much my critics would love to finally be able to prove my biases, I wasn’t handing out political contributions to candidates either.

I spent the money to send Michigan Radio reporters to cover the Michigan delegation at each convention.

Last Tuesday was National Radio Day! How do I know? I saw it on Facebook, of course, which is where everyone who is younger than me seems to get all their news.

But not me. I’m still a radio guy. So I celebrated National Radio Day by working in the news room at Michigan Radio, where we also spend lots of time on Facebook.

League of Women Voters

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers has approved two measures for the November ballot, and deadlocked on a third.

Voters this fall will be able to decide if Michigan should amend the Constitution to require utilities to generate 25 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2025, and whether or not the Constitution should be amended to allow home healthcare workers to unionize.

Michigan Radio

The Boy Scouts of America recently reaffirmed their ban on allowing openly gay boys to participate in Boy Scouts, and openly gay or lesbian adults from being leaders.

(Full disclosure – I was a Boy Scout for many years during my teens, but that was decades before anyone was debating this issue.)

We live in an odd world where what side of the “homosexual agenda” you are on can now be demonstrated not only by your participation in scouts, but also where you buy your chicken sandwich.

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