lansing

Politics & Government
6:32 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

State employees will move into vacant office space in downtown Lansing

Over the past decade, the number of Michigan state government workers has shrunk, and that's left some state-owned buildings with lots of vacant space.

Now the state is hoping to fill in those gaps and save money at the same time.

The idea is to move some workers from leased offices across Lansing into Constitution Hall and the Mason Building.  Both of those state-owned buildings will undergo renovations to prepare the new workspace.

Kurt Weiss is with the state. He says Constitution Hall is 30 percent vacant.

"So as you can imagine, as you're walking down some of those hallways, there's a lot of empty cubicles," he said.

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Newsmaker Interviews
4:43 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Michigan Nurses Association against 'right-to-work'

Nurses at the Michigan State Capitol Monday afternoon.
NBCnews.com MNA Facebook page

With Michigan poised to become the country’s 24th so-called "right-to-work" state, thousands of protestors have flooded the State Capital today to demonstrate against the legislation. Michigan Radio's Jennifer White talks with Katie Oppenheim, a registered nurse, and president of the University of Michigan Nurses Union. Oppenheim is also affiliated with the Michigan Nurses Association.

Politics & Government
4:00 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Stateside: The politics behind right-to-work

By law in Michigan, workers in unionized work places are required to pay union dues. There's an option to not be part of the union, but an "agency fee" still has to be paid. That covers the cost of the union's collective bargaining and grievance handling.
user "Dmitri" Beljan Flickr

Stateside with Cynthia Canty's Executive Producer Zoe Clark and MPRN’s Rick Pluta discussed the politics behind the right-to-work issue.

Governor Snyder announced today that right-to-work bills will be placed in the state’s Legislature.

This means that union membership would be voluntary in Michigan.

"Stateside with Cynthia Canty" Executive Producer Zoe Clark and MPRN’s Rick Pluta discussed the politics behind this issue.

Here is what they had to say:

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Politics & Government
7:22 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

The future of Lansing's old Red Cedar golf course is on the line Tuesday

Lansing voters will decide if the remaining 48 acres of the Red Cedar golf course will be put up for sale
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Lansing voters will decide next week if they are willing to put 48 acres of an old city golf course up for sale.

Voters approved selling 12 acres of the Red Cedar golf course last year.  But developers say they need the rest of the park to attract major retailers and other investment.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is optimistic that city voters will approve selling the other 48 acres. He expects investment will come quickly, if the land is allowed to be put up for sale.

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Economy
4:51 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

"Port Lansing" open for business

Its an empty warehouse now. But Capitol Region Airport Authority officials are hopeful the Port Lansing Global Logistics Centre will attract millions of dollars in private investment and attract international business
Credit Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Lansing airport officials say a new expansion will help spur international business in mid-Michigan.

Capitol Region Airport officials officially opened their new “Port Lansing” foreign trade zone today. Goods that come into the trade zone are exempt from customs tariffs and merchandise that's shipped from the zones is exempt from duty payments.

Robert Selig is the president of the Capitol Region Airport Authority. He says the foreign trade zone designation will give mid-Michigan businesses a chance to get involved in international trade.

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Politics & Government
4:35 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Lansing mayor announces $11 million deficit for next fiscal year

Lansing city hall.
MI SHPO flickr

The city of Lansing faces an $11 million budget deficit in the coming fiscal year.

City officials say the shortfall is due largely to a steep decline in property tax revenues. Rising pension, health care, and salaries are also to blame. The numbers take into account the extra money the city is taking in from a new tax levy voters approved a year ago, but the city has almost reached its constitutional limit on how much money it can raise in new taxes.  In a press release, Mayor Virg Bernero says the funding model for Michigan cities is "broken." 

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Politics & Government
2:01 pm
Sat September 22, 2012

Improving fire protection in Ingham County by working closer together

file photo
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Several Ingham County communities have taken a step toward creating a regional fire department.

Lansing, East Lansing and four other communities signed an agreement to begin implementing the first phase of the “Shared Services” plan.

Randall Talifarro is Lansing and East Lansing’s fire chief. He says getting local fire departments to work more closely together will improve fire protection to nearly 300 thousand Ingham County residents.

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Politics & Government
5:15 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Medicaid tax falls $130 million short of projections, State may lose federal matching funds

A new state tax to help pay for Medicaid is coming up $130 million short of projections.

The one-percent tax on health insurance claims was supposed to bring in $300 million this fiscal year. Now, budget officials say it’ll only generate about half that. Budget department spokesman Kurt Weiss said the state should be able to scrape together enough money to make up for the missing tax revenue. It is federal matching funds he is worried about.

“If you look at the way the match works, there’s the potential of losing up to $260 million in matching federal funds with this if we’re $130 million short. So, certainly that is part of the concern,” Weiss said.

Weiss said bad projections could be to blame for the gap, or health care providers simply might not be paying their share. He said his department is working with other state agencies to pin down the problem.

“It is a new tax, and it is something new to those that are paying it. So we’re really trying to reach out, do that education, and trying to make sure we’re getting the money from everybody we should be getting the money from,” he said.

Weiss said officials are looking for ways to try and make up the state’s shortfall. If shortfalls continue, he says lawmakers may have to make changes to the tax.

Economy
8:49 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

Store that specialized in Michigan goods closes

Michigania store in Lansing is just a short walk from the state capitol building
indianlakeartisans.com

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - After 26 years, a well-known Lansing store that specialized in selling Michigan-made products is closing.

Michigania offered a range of goods, from art to Leelanau County wine to Grand Rapids marinade. Manager Alice Foster-Stocum tells the Lansing State Journal that the decision to close involved many factors. She agrees it's been a destination store for years in downtown Lansing near the Capitol.

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Crime
12:35 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Michigan State Police close in on Capitol vandalism suspect

The Capitol was vandalized early Thursday morning.
user mattileo flickr

The Michigan State Police say there is a single suspect in a vandalism spree last week that included the state Capitol building in Lansing. Officers also found graffiti early Thursday morning in downtown Lansing and at Lansing Community College.

State Police Lieutenant Kyle Bowman says there is still no arrest, but that should come soon.

“We’ll be submitting our portion of the report for our investigation to the Ingham County prosecutor’s office sometime this week," Bowman says.

Investigators aren’t releasing any information about the suspect yet.

Officers last week found two stick figures spray-painted on the Capitol’s front columns and a message reading “Give art a chance” on a war memorial on the Capitol lawn.

Police say the suspect could face felony charges for malicious destruction of property.

Workers at the Capitol are still trying to remove the spray paint. They say damages could range between a thousand and several thousand dollars.

Politics & Government
4:36 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Civil rights law author: It’s time to debate adding gay rights

State Reps. Daisy Elliott (D-Detroit) and Mel Larsen (R-Oxford) jointly sponsored the landmark Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976. The law has been declared a Michigan Legal Milestone.
State Bar of Michigan

Michigan’s landmark civil rights law was celebrated today as a legal milestone in a ceremony at the state Capitol that re-united the two main sponsors of the legislation.

State Representative Daisy Elliott was a Democrat from Detroit. State Representative Mel Larsen was a Republican from Oakland County.

The 36-year-old Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act protects against discrimination based on race, religion, gender; national origin, or marital status.

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Lansing
10:46 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Development plans for Lansing's old Red Cedar golf course are moving forward

Businessman Chris Jerome presents plans for a new mixed use development of the old Red Cedar golf course. Lansing voters will likely have to decide if they will allow another 48 acres of of the east side park to be sold to developers
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A proposal to sell more Lansing park land will be on the city council’s agenda next week.   If approved, voters will have their say in November. 

The land would be tied to a smaller parcel that Lansing voters approved selling last year. 

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Politics & Government
1:01 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Voters to decide if another Lansing city park may be sold

Which way will the voters go on Tuesday?
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Lansing voters will decide Tuesday if they want to put for a ‘For Sale’ sign on a large chunk of city park land.

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Economy
3:21 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Finding ways to revitalize old auto plant sites in Flint, Lansing on the agenda for tomorrow

A cyclist rides on what had been the site of an auto plant in Lansing Township
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Officials from Lansing and Flint are hoping a conference this week will help convince investors to redevelop some former General Motors auto plant sites.

Local leaders will meet with federal and state officials in Lansing Wednesday to discuss how to revitalize former auto plant sites in their cities. The group is going on a bus tour of the sites in Lansing this afternoon.

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Politics & Government
7:19 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

Vibrant cities adviser draws on DNR experience

DETROIT (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder's point man on the administration's vibrant cities initiative knows there's not a lot of spare money to invest in recreation and green space in Michigan cities.

But Rodney Stokes, the former leader of the state's Department of Natural Resources, sees a growing desire to expand urban trails, reclaim riverfronts for recreational use and offer outdoor activities. He's helped do that in Detroit, and sees potential elsewhere.

This month, he's planning meetings in Grand Rapids, and then will reach out in Lansing, Saginaw and other cities later.

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Law
1:01 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Michigan Court of Appeals to consider legal challenge to Lansing library weapons ban

Gun rights activists want to be able to openly carry firearms in Lansing area libraries. The Capital Area District Library says no.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

This week, the Michigan Court of Appeals will hear arguments in a case over whether a library can ban weapons.

The Capital Area District Library has a very simple policy:  “All weapons are banned from Library premises by the fullest extent permitted by law”

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Lansing
1:01 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Deadline day for Lansing's old Red Cedar golf course

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Developers have until late this afternoon to submit their ideas for what to do with a former Lansing city golf course.  

The twelve acres of the old Red Cedar golf course rests on the border of Lansing and East Lansing.

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Health
4:03 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

Dangerous heat sending Michiganders to area hospital emergency rooms

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Sweltering temperatures are becoming life-threatening in some parts of Michigan.

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Offbeat
12:43 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

Hot as a firecracker! Many Michiganders are celebrating the 4th of July in the shade

A family watches Lansing's Independence Day parade from a shady spot
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The hot weather is not stopping most Michiganders from getting out and enjoying Independence Day.  

But organizers of many of today’s events are concerned.

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Lansing
11:40 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Lansing city council approves fiscal year end deficit elimination plan

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Last night,  a reluctant Lansing City Council approved a plan to eliminate a nearly two million dollar budget deficit.   Lansing's fiscal year concludes at the end of this week.

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