lansing

Weather
10:39 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Faulty communication system partly blamed for confusion after December ice storm

Many BWL customers spent part of the Christmas holidays in the dark after an ice storm knocked out power.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

An internal report finds a key communication system that failed during December’s ice storm had been malfunctioning for months before the storm.

The Lansing Board of Water and Light released the findings of an internal review of its response to the storm last night.  More than 35,000 BWL customers lost power, some for as long as 10 days.

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Weather
5:59 am
Tue February 18, 2014

BWL to release findings of internal probe into ice storm response

The Dec. 22 ice storm knocked out power to about 40% of the Board of Water & Light's customers
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The panel that oversees the Lansing Board of Water and Light this evening will review the findings of a "top-to-bottom" internal probe of the utility’s response to a devastating December ice storm.

The Dec. 22 ice storm knocked out electricity to more than 35,000 BWL customers. It took the utility more than a week to get the lights back on.

Customers complain the utility was slow to respond to the outage, and even slower to respond to their telephone calls.

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Weather
3:26 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

As the ice and snow melts, we'll find out what lies beneath

When a late December ice storm ripped through mid-Michigan, falling tree branches knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes in Lansing. The power’s back on, but many of the tree branches remain buried by the snow that has fallen since.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Temperatures are expected to hit 40 degrees in the coming week in Michigan.

The warm up should begin to melt off some of the snow that has built up over the past few months.

But the melting snow is also expected to reveal mounds of fallen tree branches, discarded Christmas trees and garbage that has been entombed in mounds of snow and ice since December.

Paul Dykema is the assistant superintendent in the city of Lansing’s Public Service Department.  He says cleaning that mess up will take some time.

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Politics & Government
2:01 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Lansing city leaders look forward to working on a 'balanced' budget for a change

The Lansing City Council has spent much of the past decade struggling with deep budget cuts for much of the past decade
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

For the first time in a decade, Lansing leaders will be working this year on a city budget without having to consider millions of dollars in cuts.

Declining tax revenues have forced Lansing city government to shrink during the past decade.

The capitol city has eliminated about a third of its city workforce.

But on Thursday, Mayor Virg Bernero announced that next year’s city budget is projected to be balanced.

A’Lynne Boles is the city council president.   Boles is not sure what it will be like working on a budget without the need for deep spending cuts.

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Politics & Government
8:56 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Bernero: The state of the city of Lansing is strong. The state of the city's roads not so good.

“Right now, the state of Michigan has a $1 billion surplus. I have an idea. Let’s put people back to work by investing some of that money in our crumbling roads," says Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero used his State of the City speech Thursday to make a pitch for state funding to repair local roads.

Mayor Virg Bernero says the city of Lansing plans to spend three million dollars this year to repair pot hole covered roads in the capitol city. 

But the mayor says the city would have to spend five times that much each year for a decade to fix all of Lansing’s road problems.

In his speech, Bernero called on state lawmakers to use part of the state’s billion dollar budget surplus to help repair local roads across Michigan.

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Weather
5:07 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Bitter cold forcing Michigan homeless to seek shelter

A man asks for help in Lansing, Michigan.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Life-threatening wind chills are keeping Michigan's homeless shelters full. The shelters have been at or above capacity for roughly two months.

Darin Estep is the director of community engagement for Volunteers of America in Lansing. He says the ongoing cold is taking a toll.

“It’s asking a lot of folks to sleep on a cot every night,” says Estep. “It’s asking a lot of the staff to take care of the facility every night. There’s a lot of conversion that needs to take place every night to turn a day center into a sleeping area.”

Arts & Culture
6:07 am
Mon January 27, 2014

After cutting arts teachers, schools adjust to new normal in Lansing

Lansing elementary students lost their art and music specialists last year.
Navy Hale Keiki School flickr.com

Last year, Lansing public school officials laid off all their elementary art and music teachers.

The move got national attention from outraged educators and arts groups.

Now, almost a year after the layoffs were announced, Lansing students and teachers are getting used to the new normal.

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Education
7:30 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Lansing school buses won't be privatized

Lansing school board president Peter Spadafore (left) talks with Dan Hamilton with AFSCME 25
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Lansing school district will continue to operate its own buses next year.

The school board decided Thursday not to go with a private bus company.

Supporters say privatizing the bus service would save the Lansing school district $5 million over the next five years, primarily because the district would not have to replace much of its aging bus fleet.

But school board president Peter Spadafore says now is not the time to privatize the bus service serving thousands of capital city school children.

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Business
10:10 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Lansing BWL officials face critics of last month's major power outage response

Lansing Board of Water and Light officials, including General Manager J. Peter Lark (far left), heard from critics and supporters alike during the meeting
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Lansing Board of Water and Light officials are defending their heavily criticized response to last month’s major power outage.

BWL customers like Alice Dreger are livid over having to wait more than a week for their power to be turned back on.

"Let me tell you, when you have live wires down for nine to 12 days, safety is not job one,” Dreger told a packed meeting last night at BWL’s headquarters.

But a majority of those taking the podium praised the work of BWL employees. Most were BWL employees and officials, though a few were BWL customers.

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Business
9:00 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Lansing BWL officials to discuss what went wrong after December's ice storm

40% of BWL customers lost power in the Dec. 22nd ice storm. Many had to wait up to 11 days to have their power turned back on.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

In the midst of the current weather crisis, Lansing utility officials plan to spend time tonight trying to figure out what went wrong during the last weather crisis in the capitol city.

Two weeks ago, an ice storm knocked out power to 40% of Lansing Board of Water and Light customers.

Many customers grew very angry as they waited for more than a week to get their electricity turned back on. That anger only grew worse when it was learned that the man in charge of the city’s utility left town during the outage to spend time with his family in New York.

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Health
5:17 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Cold snap causing health problems in Michigan

Despite the arctic cold, people continue to venture out
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan hospital emergency rooms and urgent care centers are seeing patients who’ve been injured during this cold snap.

Dr. Scott Lazzara is an urgent care physician at McLaren Greater Lansing.  He says he’s seen a lot of slip and falls.

“We’re seeing a lot of people who are falling, breaking their wrist, hurting their back, spraining their ankles,” says Lazzara.

Lazzara says people are so bundled up to fight the cold their vision is impaired and they're less able to avoid slipping and falling.

Offbeat
2:25 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Michigan digging out as arctic blast sends temps falling

Next year, maybe buy a snowblower
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

As Michigan descends into an arctic freeze, many cities and towns are struggling to clean up after Sunday’s big snowstorm.

“It’s just too dangerous for city residents to be outdoors,” Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero told reporters at a news conference today.

Bernero said many residential streets in Lansing are “impassable.”

“As we all remember from the 2011 storm, it takes a minimum of a couple days to clear all 440 miles of roads in the city,” Bernero said. “It will take at least a couple days this time as well. So we ask city residents to please be patient. Be safe.”

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Politics & Government
4:40 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Head of Lansing public utility says he's sorry, but he won't resign

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero (left) and BWL General Manager J. Peter Lark at a press conference December 22nd.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The head of Lansing’s public utility says he won’t resign in the wake of a major ice storm that left hundreds of thousands of people in the dark over the holidays. J. Peter Lark, the general manager of Lansing Board of Water and Light issued this statement Thursday.

As has been reported by some media outlets, I with my wife, traveled to New York to visit my son last week.

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Politics & Government
12:46 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Lansing public utility says it has restored power to entire service area, with a few exceptions

Lines down in Lansing earlier this month after an ice storm hits.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Lansing’s public utility says it has restored power to its entire service area. But on the utility’s facebook and twitter feeds, there are more than a dozen people claiming they still don’t have power.

A week and a half after a massive ice storm wiped out power to almost half Lansing’s customers, the public utility claims it has finally restored power to all but some single customers and possibly pockets of streets.

Culture
6:27 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Lack of power, freezing temperatures taking a toll on many Michigan families

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

There are still an estimated 29,300 customers without power in Michigan today (Saturday) after a major ice storm last weekend. The lack of power and freezing temperatures are beginning to take their toll on many families.

Sara Scott, her husband and their three-year-old son have been staying at her in-laws since Monday. She says her husband is worried that the pipes are going to freeze or that someone’s going to break into their home in Lansing. Plus, she’s two months pregnant.

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Stateside
5:09 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

What do local leaders think about right to work?

Right-to-work protestors outside the State Capitol last December.
david_shane Flickr

It was certainly a fiery, emotional scene at the State Capitol a year ago this month.

That's when the lame-duck Legislature and Governor Snyder rammed through the right-to-work law, and Michigan became the 24th right-to-work state.

The laws took effect in March, making it illegal to force workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

So what do our local government leaders think about right to work?

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Business
5:26 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Former Lansing city golf course closer to becoming a multi-million dollar development

The former entrance to the former Red Cedar park (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A $100 million mixed-use economic development project in Lansing is getting a boost from an Ohio developer.

Voters in Lansing approved putting the old Red Cedar park on the market. The plan has been to create a mix of residential, retail and other commercial space on the land which sits on the border of Lansing and East Lansing.

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Politics & Government
5:34 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Lansing homeless shelter closed for code violations

The Lansing City Outreach building was shut down earlier this week for numerous code violations.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s homeless face another night of bitterly cold temperatures tonight.

In Lansing, the city’s decision to close one shelter has made finding a warm place to sleep more difficult.

Lansing City Outreach helps people with drug and alcohol problems, and it has opened its doors overnight for homeless people who can't get into other shelters. In the past, the shelter has accommodated 30 to 40 people on a cold night. 

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Business
4:13 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

American-US Airways merger could affect Michigan air travelers

American Airlines (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan air travelers could see some changes with the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

The merger creating the world's largest airline became official today.  But the new American Airlines has relatively few flights flying into and out of six Michigan airports.   

Michael Conway is a spokesman for Detroit Metro Airport.  He says the newly merged airline carries only about 6.6% of passengers flying out of Detroit.

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Auto
3:07 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

General Motors to sponsor Flint's 'Back to the Bricks' and other related car shows

General Motors will be sponsoring the Michiana car shows and Flint's Back to the Bricks cruise next summer
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

General Motors is heading back to its roots.

The automaker announced today that it will sponsor Flint’s “Back to the Bricks” car show for the next five years. The show features hundreds of ‘classic’ cars and trucks.

“This is an event that is more than just a car cruise and a car show,” says GM spokesman Tom Wickham, “It brings people into a community…provides an economic boost to a community and we need an economic boost.”

About a half million people attended Back to the Bricks in Flint this year.

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