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Politics & Government
7:53 am
Tue October 9, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

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Paul Ryan in Michigan as presidential race narrows

"For the first time this fall, the Romney-Ryan ticket is spending time in Michigan. Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan rallied voters in Rochester Monday. He told hundreds of supporters at Oakland University that President Obama has failed when it comes to economic and foreign policy, especially by proposing cuts to defense spending. Ryan’s visit comes as Republicans are narrowing the President’s lead in Michigan. After last week’s debate, Mr. Obama’s advantage fell from 10 points to just 3, according to a new poll from the Detroit Free Press," Kate Wells reports.

Political ads in Michigan lopsided

"A new study shows TV ad spending in the presidential and Senate campaigns in Michigan has been lopsided so far. The Michigan Campaign Finance Network says incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow’s campaign has spent over a million dollars in the last three weeks. Her opponent, former Congressman Pete Hoekstra, has not run any TV ads since the August primary. But the Hoekstra’s campaign announced a big TV ad buy Monday. The study also shows groups supporting presidential hopeful Mitt Romney have spent about $13 million in the state. The Obama campaign and its supporters have not run many ads, but Mr. Obama still holds a lead in most Michigan polls," Jake Neher reports.

Kalamazoo study investigates if police racially profile

"Kalamazoo’s public safety department is conducting a study to see if its officers unfairly target racial and ethnic minorities. The study is not being court ordered, the city isn’t being sued, and there hasn’t been any big incident that sparked the study. Similar studies have been undertaken at police departments in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Washtenaw County. The results will be available in the spring. Federal grants will pay for the bulk of the study’s cost," Lindsey Smith reports.

Politics & Government
1:00 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Catching up in the polls, Republicans return to Michigan

Paul Ryan at a rally in Michigan this week.

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan stopped in southeastern Michigan yesterday. His visit comes as a new poll shows Republicans closing in on the President’s lead in this state.

It’s the first time either member of the Republican ticket has visited this fall, and thousands lined up in the chilly evening weather at Oakland University campus in Rochester for the chance to see Ryan.

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Law
12:18 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Study will determine if racial profiling a factor in Kalamazoo traffic stops

The study will look at data from traffic stops in several locations in Kalamazoo.
Inventorchris Creative Commons

Kalamazoo’s Public Safety Department is conducting a study to see if its officers unfairly target racial and ethnic minorities.

The study is not being court ordered, the city isn’t being sued, and there hasn’t been any big incident that sparked the study. Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley says that’s a good thing.

“These types of issues can bring a lot of emotion… and it makes it a lot more difficult to talk reasonably and to talk productively and constructively in how we move forward,” Hadley said.

Hadley says the department wants to try to avoid problems and they’re hoping the study will help.

“Spending money on this type of study I think is really an investment into our relationship with the community; and how important they are in how we operate as a public safety department and how we keep this city safe,” Hadley said.

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Education
5:25 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Michigan's reform school district may become the state's largest

Mumford High School is one Detroit school already under the EAA's control.
detroitk12.org

A statewide reform school district could become the largest in Michigan over the next five years.

The Education Achievement Authority of Michigan (EAA)—the district instituted in 2011 to operate the lowest performing five percent of schools in the state—may add as many as 45 schools reports Lori Higgins of the Detroit Free Press.

From the Free Press:

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Health
5:04 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

More Michigan cases reported in meningitis outbreak

Persons with meningitis linked to epidural steroid injections, as of October 7, 2012.
CDC

Update Monday, October 8, 5:04 p.m.

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) now reports 22 confirmed cases of fungal meningitis in Michigan.

From the MDCH:

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Election 2012
3:00 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

VP candidate Paul Ryan scheduled to appear at Oakland University 'victory rally'

Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is hoping a visit from VP candidate Paul Ryan will put pressure on the Obama campaign in Michigan.
Monkeyz_Unkle Flickr

Paul Ryan will be at Oakland University in Rochester tonight as the Romney campaign refocuses its attention on Michigan.

This comes after fundraising visits to Midland and Novi from Chris Christie on Saturday night.

As MLive reports, the vice presidential candidate will be introduced by Kid Rock at what the campaign is calling a “victory rally.”

From MLive:

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Law
2:55 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

CEO of West Michigan auto supplier sues feds over Affordable Care Act provisions

The leader of another Michigan business is suing the federal government over provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

John Kennedy, CEO of Kentwood-based Autocam Automotive, filed a complaint in a federal court in Grand Rapids Monday. In it, he says his company shouldn’t have to provide employees with health insurance that includes contraception coverage he considers “intrinsically wrong and gravely sinful”.

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Law
12:59 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Muskegon prison reopens; set to employ 240

Ken Mayer flickr

The Muskegon Correctional Facility has reopened and will employ 240 people.

That is freeing up space for inmates in other parts of the state.

Michigan began closing prisons in 2007 as part of budget cuts. The Muskegon Correctional Facility was shut down in 2009.

Now the 1,300 bed, medium-security facility is open again and the state has begun transferring inmates from other places—mostly from the Ryan Correction Facility in Detroit.

Russ Marlan is a Department of Corrections spokesman.

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Health
12:56 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Dogs helping veterans with PTSD

Scott King flickr

As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series, Morning Edition Host Christina Shockley talked with Terran Frye. He’s a veteran of the Marine Corp and had two deployments in Iraq. He’s now the veteran liaison for an organization called Stiggy’s Dogs, based in Howell Township. It trains psychiatric service dogs to help military vets who suffer from PTSD or Traumatic Brain Injury.

Politics & Government
12:53 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

CRC to offer webinar on 3 ballot proposals today at 2pm

The Citizens Research Council has been analyzing the six ballot proposals facing Michigan voters.
CRC

The non-partisan, independent Citizens Research Council has been busy analyzing the six ballot proposals facing Michigan voters.

Today at 2 p.m., they're holding an online "webinar" to discuss proposals 1, 2, and 4.

From the CRC:

CRC will offer summaries of its analyses of the referendum on Public Act 4 of 2011, the proposed constitutional amendments to enshrine the right to collective bargaining in the constitution, and the proposed constitutional amendment to establish the Michigan Quality Home Care Council and provide limited collective bargaining rights to home health care workers.

To take part in the webinar, you can follow this link.

Law
12:21 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Michigan Supreme Court opens session with no-fault, medical marijuana cases

The Michigan Supreme Court opens its 2012 session this week.
Subterranean Flickr

The Michigan Supreme Court formally opens its 2012 session this week.

Its first cases deal with no-fault insurance benefits, Michigan’s open meetings law, and medical marijuana.      

The first arguments of the court’s session will be on the case of a woman who wants her auto no-fault coverage to pay for her treatments for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

She was diagnosed after witnessing her son’s death in a motorcycle accident. She was following him in her car when he was struck by another vehicle.

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Politics & Government
12:18 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Detroit group offers alternative to controversial Belle Isle plan

A Detroit-based group says it has developed a model to refurbish Detroit’s Belle Isle without turning it into a state park.

The group says a Belle Isle Park Authority could both run the island, and provide a mechanism for making needed investments.

Tom Barrow, a former Detroit mayoral candidate and a spokesman, said the plan includes a governing structure, entry fees, and other revenue sources.  

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Detroit
10:11 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Detroit's police chief 'retires'

Mayor: Detroit police chief retires amid allegations of sex scandal involving subordinate.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing suspended Ralph Godbee following claims the city's police chief was involved in a sexual relationship with a subordinate.

Godbee was suspended last week after a lawyer for internal affairs officer Angelica Robinson revealed the two had been involved in a sexual relationship.

Godbee has not publicly commented on the claims.

9:17 am
Mon October 8, 2012

2,000 new jobs coming to Michigan from GM

Lead in text: 
The announcement is expected later today.
General Motors Co. and the state are expected to announce today that GM will create 2,000 new jobs in Michigan, beginning with up to 1,500 at a new information technology innovation center in Warren. The automaker and the Governor's Office are expected to make formal announcements later today.
Politics & Government
7:25 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Commentary: Citizenship and voting

Three days ago, U.S. District Judge Paul Borman ruled that Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson had to stop asking voters to check a box reaffirming they are a U.S. citizen before casting a ballot at their polling place during next month’s election.

His ruling was about as surprising as snow in January, and I have to confess that I have a hard time understanding where the secretary of state is coming from. This was something the governor vetoed and her own legal staff told her to keep off absentee ballots.

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morning news roundup
7:03 am
Mon October 8, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

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Romney campaign in Michigan this week

"Mitt Romney's campaign is showing Michigan some love this week. Romney's running mate Paul Ryan holds a rally at Oakland University tonight. That follows Saturday's appearance by Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in suburban Detroit. And this Friday, Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, will stop in Grand Rapids," Tracy Samilton reports.

Voter registration deadline is tomorrow

The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election is tomorrow. According to Michigan Secretary of State's website.

"Voters may register by mail, at their county, city or township clerk's office, or by visiting any Secretary of State office. The mail-in form is available at www.Michigan.gov/elections. First-time voters who register by mail must vote in person in their first election, unless they hand-deliver the application to their local clerk, are 60 years old or older, are disabled or are eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. To check their registration status, residents may visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at www.Michigan.gov/vote. On the website, residents can view a sample ballot, find their polling location, learn about absentee voting, get information on Michigan's voter ID laws and view contact information for their local clerk."

Twenty cases of meningitis in Michigan

"At least 20 cases of meningitis have been confirmed in Michigan, including two deaths. The meningitis outbreak has been linked to a steroid produced by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts. The steroid has been recalled," the AP reports.

Environment & Science
2:36 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

Grant program to help fix or remove aging dams in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering grants to help maintain or remove aging dams.

The $2.3 million program will provide funding and technical assistance to state agencies, local governments, nonprofits and other applicants.

DNR Director Keith Creagh says more than 90 percent of Michigan's dams will reach or exceed the lifespan for which they were designed by 2020. Most were built decades ago for power generation, transporting logs, recreation or other purposes.

That's What They Say
9:00 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Dictionary notes suggest grammar usage, acceptability

Open The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language and you will inevitably find Usage Notes under certain words. These notes warn readers there might be problems or controversies involving grammar, diction, or writing style.

Anne Curzan, a professor of English at the University of Michigan, who specializes in linguistics is 1 of 200 panelists asked to comment on the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

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Health
5:26 pm
Sat October 6, 2012

2 Michigan deaths reported in meningitis outbreak

Officials say there are at least eight confirmed cases of meningitis in Michigan, including two deaths.

The Michigan Department of Community Health said Saturday it won't be able to release any details about the deaths until after the weekend.

The meningitis outbreak has been linked to a steroid produced by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts. The steroid has been recalled, and officials have been scrambling to notify anyone who may have been injected with it.

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Arts & Culture
11:08 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Armed with a sock, a pencil, and an eraser, Adonna Khare wins 2012 ArtPrize (VIDEO)

'Elephants' by Adonna Khare - 2012 ArtPrize winner.
ArtPrize

Adonna Khare won the big $200,000 prize for the 2012 ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids for her pencil drawing 'Elephants.'

From her ArtPrize profile page:

Raised in a small town in Iowa, I've been drawing my family and animals since I was three. I create using the pencil, the eraser and a sock as my tools. The drawings are not pre-planned rather they evolve through my experiences with people and the absurdities of life.

Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith reported on the announcement last night.

Here's a video of her installing her entry at the Grand Rapids Art Museum:

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