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Environment & Science
5:50 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Worried about fracking, citizens group sues the DNR

Steve Losher lives in Barry county, and he's worried. So worried, he and the rest of the citizens in the non-profit group called the Michigan Land Air Water Defense are suing the state. 

They're upset about what they believe could happen once the Department of Natural Resources auctions off the mineral rights to gaming areas in Barry and Allagen counties. It's a totally typical auction - the DNR does this kind of thing twice a year since about 1920. 

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Politics & Government
5:08 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Stateside for Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On today's show Cyndy speaks with Charley Ballard about Michigan. Are we better off than we were four years ago?

We talk about the role of alcohol in Detroit's history with Detroit news writer, Bill Loomis.

Andy Markovitz and Emily Albertson, co-authors of “Sportista: Female Fandom in the United States," speak about women's role in sports fandom.

In Stateside's third and final installment of our look at Michigan's film industry, we speak with Scott Watkins about the incentives' sustainability.

Auto
5:07 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Ford, GM move to stem losses in Europe

Both Ford and General Motors announced steps this week to reduce their losses in Europe.

The region is experiencing a disabling recession that's expected to last at least through 2015.

Car sales are abysmal in Europe, down more than 30-percent from normal demand.

Ford says it may lose a total of one billion dollars in the region for the entire year.

General Motors' losses might be more than that.

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Politics & Government
5:03 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Voting rights hotline and volunteers ready for Election Day

A voting rights group says it will be on call on Election Day.

Volunteers will staff a hotline that voters can call if they experience problems casting a ballot.

Jocelyn Benson is with the Michigan Center for Election Law.

She says the phone number will be on yard signs outside most precincts.

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Sports
4:18 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Spirit of Detroit suits up for the Tigers, Bing talks trash

The Spirit of Detroit is ready for Game 1 of the World Series.
Matt Helms Twitter

This photo was tweeted out by Matt Helms, City Hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press.

Helms writes in today's Detroit Free Press that Mayor Bing has been trash talking with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

The two have made a wager, writes Helms, "the losing mayor has to visit the other team’s city to participate in a day of service for youth and youth programs."

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Economy
3:59 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Stateside: Is Michigan Improving?

Dr. Ballard calls for a focus on Michigan's education system.
Michigan State University Press

Is Michigan better off than it was four years ago? The question is important when assessing the progress of both our state’s citizens and the politicians who govern it.

To further investigate this question, Stateside’s Cyndy Canty spoke with Michigan State University Economics Professor, Dr. Charley Ballard.

Although no simple answer to this question exists, Ballard felt generally positive about our state’s status.

“For the state as a whole, I would say the state is definitely better off than it was three years ago.”

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Politics & Government
3:54 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

"Free speech is alive again at Michigan bars and restaurants"

Michigan bar owners will be allowed to display political signs in their taverns.

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission today agreed to stop enforcing a 1954 rule which barred businesses with liquor licenses from posting signs endorsing political candidates.

The owners of Ann Arbor's Aut Bar filed suit against the rule last week, after they were told they had to take down signs for Democratic candidates.

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Arts & Culture
3:46 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Stateside: Watkins' critique of Michigan's film plan

On the Detroit set of Paramount Pictures’ "Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon."
Robert Zuckerman Michigan Film Office

Stateside continues its look at Michigan's film industry.

Yesterday, we spoke with a Michigan actor who found that film producers, by and large, headed to other states when Michigan's film subsidies were dramatically cut.

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Sports
3:15 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Stateside: Sportistas seek entry into a male-dominated realm

The book by authors Albertson and Markovits.

Women’s place in sports is an important one, claim Andy Markovits and Emily Albertson, co-authors of “Sportista: Female Fandom in the United States.

Markovits, a Sociology professor at the University of Michigan, and Albertson, a U of M law student, coined the term “Sportista.”

According to Markovits, a “Sportista is a female who loves sports and is knowledgeable about them.”

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Politics & Government
2:53 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

President of the Union of Concerned Scientists stumps in Michigan for Prop 3

Kevin Knobloch, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists was in Grand Rapids and will be in Kalamazoo tonight to ask people to vote in favor of Proposition 3. In an essay Knobloch called it "the most important clean energy vote this year".

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Environment & Science
2:44 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

New study looks at cancer risk near nuclear facilities, including one in Michigan

The Big Rock Point Nuclear Power Plant in Charlevoix, Michigan. The plant was decommissioned in 1997.
NRC

A new federal study will look at cancer risk around nuclear facilities.

The National Academy of Sciences study will look at cancer types in infants and the general population near six nuclear power plants and one nuclear-fuel plant for the Navy.

The sites being studied are in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and Tennessee.

Researchers will look at the area around the decommissioned Big Rock Point Nuclear Power Plant in Charlevoix, Michigan.

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Politics & Government
2:41 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Hundreds of Auburn Hills absentee ballots not delivered

On October 3rd, Terry Kowal, City Clerk for Auburn Hills, sent out 1,455 absentee voting ballots to residents who had requested them.

She knew she had a problem about a week later.  Calls started coming in from voters, saying things like, "Where's my ballot?  My husband got his, but I didn't get mine."

"That always raises a red flag for clerks because they're mailed at the same time," Kowal told Michigan Radio.  (And) they're filed alphabetically, so they'd be in the same mail tray."

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Politics & Government
12:30 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Windstream customers have phone service back

AT&T says fewer people are using land lines these days.
flickr - photodu.de

Updated:  4:48 p.m.

A Windstream spokeswoman says service to all customers has been restored, as of 3:30 today.

Customers of the company lost their phone service this morning, after multiple problems that happened on the same day.

Spokeswoman Erin Ascione says first, a key computer card that controls phone service failed.  The company is looking into why.

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Sports
11:23 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Tigers manager Jim Leyland 'the bridge' to Detroit's past

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
Detroit Tigers

The odds makers are picking the Detroit Tigers, but the San Francisco Giants are a loose bunch.

They fought off three elimination games on their way to the World Series... twice.

Here's one statistic NPR's Tom Goldman pointed out this morning:

"Three times in the past in World Series when a team that's swept its way into the Series, like Detroit did, played a team that went the full seven games, like the Giants did, the team that went seven won every time."

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Politics & Government
8:24 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Commentary: Should we have early voting?

If you are a politician, or promoting one of the ballot proposals and want to influence my vote, don’t waste your time.

I voted a week ago, by absentee ballot, even though I may be home on election day. I can do that because I am 60 years old. Hey, you should be able to get some benefit out of being 60.

But here’s the thing. Unless you are my age or older, you can’t legally get an absentee ballot, except in a very few cases, mostly if you know you are going to be in jail on election day, or out of town.

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Politics & Government
8:00 am
Wed October 24, 2012

The week in Michigan politics

User: cncphotos flickr

This week Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry talked about Proposal 6, how a new report indicates that the Michigan Merit Curriculum that was implemented in high schools in 2006 has not shown good results, and how two campaign staffers of former US Representative Thadeus McCotter will stand trial. They're charged with conspiring to get then-Congressman McCotter on the 2012 ballot with bogus petitions.

Politics & Government
7:48 am
Wed October 24, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Sports concussion bills signed

"Youth sports coaches in Michigan will have to immediately take a player out of a game if they suspect a concussion. Governor Rick Snyder signed bills Tuesday that also require the state to provide coaches, players, and parents with training and information on how to protect student athletes from head injuries," Jake Neher reports.

Meningitis update

"Authorities are reporting six deaths and 69 infections in Michigan as part of a national outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated steroids. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the figures Tuesday. Nationwide, it reports 308 cases and 23 deaths," the AP reports.


Detroit arts scene gets financial boost

"Detroit's arts scene is getting its biggest financial gift in recent memory. The Knight Foundation is investing $20 million in the city's cultural institutions. Half of it goes to big names like the Michigan Opera Theater and the Detroit Institute of Arts. That money will beef up their anemic endowments as they weather the recession. But any local artist or musician can compete for grants totaling $3 million a year," Kate Wells reports.

Politics & Government
1:01 am
Wed October 24, 2012

GOTV time: Michigan political campaigns shift into "Get Out The Vote" mode

A Democratic volunteer in Lansing calls Michigan voters to see who they support for president.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Political campaigns in Michigan are turning their focus to getting out the vote.

In campaign offices across Michigan, a small army of volunteers is busy calling voters just to confirm who they’re voting for.

In the basement of the Michigan Republican Party headquarters, volunteers use telephones which automatically dial the telephone numbers of eligible Michigan voters. 

When someone answers the phone, the volunteer’s first question is “If you are going to vote…are you going to vote for Mitt Romney…or Barack Obama?”

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Business
11:53 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Bar owners won’t let liquor control commission spoil employee appreciation day

Michele and Mark Sellers stand above the main dining area at HopCat, one of three establishments they own in Grand Rapids.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Co-owners of Barfly Ventures Mark and Michele Sellers wanted to thank their employees for working their tails off during ArtPrize. So they designated Tuesday as employee appreciation day; whatever alcohol they sold would be split among the employees.


But before they opened, Mark Sellers got a call from the liquor control commission. Turns out, the state doesn’t like servers having an incentive to sell lots of alcohol, and it’s against the law.


“I can’t really be too mad at them because they gave us a courtesy call in advance and told us ‘hey don’t’ do this or you’re going to get in trouble’. It’d be like if a police officer called you and told you to slow down or he’s going to give you a ticket,” Mark Sellers said.


So instead of alcohol sales the Sellers’ will give their employees the food sales, not for just one day but three. They’ll pool the money from food sales at all three Grand Rapids establishments (HopCat, McFadden’s, and Stella’s Lounge) and split the total among all employees; cooks, servers, busboys, managers, and even HopCat’s official “chief beer geek” I met a couple weeks ago.

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Politics & Government
6:10 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Governor Snyder signs legislation attempting to reduce youth concussions

New legislation attempts to reduce the number of sports-related concussions in kids.
YMCA of Western North Carolina flickr

Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation to help schools reduce the number and severity of sports-related student concussions.

The bills require coaches to immediately remove a player from a game if they suspect a concussion.

Coaches, players, and parents will also have access to new information and training materials about serious head injuries.

Senator John Proos sponsored one of the bills. He says the state needs to be in position to provide the best and most up-to-date information to schools and parents.

“Every time we answer a question about traumatic brain injury or concussions, we learn that there are ten more questions that come up,” he said.

The bills easily made their way through the state Legislature last month.

Michigan is now one of many states that have passed anti-concussion legislation.

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