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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

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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. . .

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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.

Politics & Government
6:07 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Stateside for Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Today Jack Lessenberry and Daniel Howes speak with Cyndy about last night's presidential debates.

We continue our look at Michigan's film industry and hear from Michigan Film Office's Carrie Jones.

What do celebrities and political candidates have in common? Cyndy speaks with Michael Lempert, a linguistic anthropologist at the University of Michigan, to discover their similarities.

Bats, a species dealing already with an ominous depiction in society, are now facing white-nose syndrome. Find out more about the fungus on today's show!

Politics & Government
6:06 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Stateside: Auto industry's place in the debate

President Obama and Mitt Romney in their final debate.
Commission on Presidential Debates

The auto industry continues to resonate throughout this year’s presidential election.

Cyndy Canty spoke with Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry and Daniel Howes, business columnist for the Detroit News, about the auto industry’s role in last night’s presidential debate.

“It drives home the point how important the industrial Midwest is in this election,” said Howes.

Obama suggested last night that Mitt Romney called for Detroit’s bankruptcy.

This was a point of contention for Mr. Romney and, according to Howes, for good reason.

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Politics & Government
6:00 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

The week in review

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Every Saturday Michigan Radio's Rina Miller talks with political analyst Jack Lessenberry about the week's top regional news stories. This week they talked about who Michiganders are likely to vote for in the presidential election, how the Teamsters are backing Proposal 6, and the death of inventor, Stan Ovshinsky.

Education
5:26 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

New Public Safety and Security Division at U of M

Steven Jenson is a former University of Michigan Hospital pediatric resident. He was charged in federal court with receipt and possession of child pornography.

The University of Michigan has consolidated police and security departments into one division of Public Safety and Security.

U of M Police Chief Jo Piersante is now the interim executive director for the division of Public Safety and Security. Campus Police, Hospital Security and Housing Security all now report to him.

This new division is a direct result of last week's report to the Board of Regents detailing how a pediatrician in training continued working with children for six months after another resident reported him for viewing child pornography in a staff area.

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Newsmaker Interviews
5:08 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Immigration and the Latino vote

The Latino community is one of the fastest growing minority groups in Michigan.
Flickr/jnn1776

Recently, there was a protest rally in Southwest Detroit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement over raids and deportation, and what’s seen as overreach by ICE officials. Non-citizens can't legally vote, but how does the heightened sense of tension impact the Latino vote here in Michigan? Also, the Latino community is one of the fastest growing minority groups in the state. Should there be more Latino representation among lawmakers? Jennifer White talks with Laurence Garcia, an attorney, and the Chairman of the Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan.

Politics & Government
5:07 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Michigan awards grants to 32 communities to find new ways to get along

Getting along with your neighbors isn’t always easy. So Governor Rick Snyder came up with a pretty simple plan to get townships, counties and cities to find new ways to work together; give them some kind of incentive, specifically, money.

Michigan Department of Treasury spokesman Terry Stanton says these Competitive Grant Assistance Grants are incentives to get neighboring cities, townships and counties to work together in new ways.

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Arts & Culture
4:12 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Stateside: A State with Coming Days of Fame

Tax incentives aim to bring film production back to Michigan.
Lloydpictures.com

Michigan’s days of filling films’ frames are far from over. Carrie Jones, executive director of the Michigan Film Office, foresees a steady increase in the state’s film production.

Cyndy spoke with Jones in what was a continuation of Stateside’s look at Michigan’s film industry.

Once the top film incentive program in the country, Michigan now ranks within the top 10.

With a budget increase to $58 million for the 2013 fiscal year, Michigan expects to enjoy an increase in film production.

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Politics & Government
4:10 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Stateside: A hand gesture, a hidden meaning

Romney's gestures may mean more than we think.
Gage Skidmore Flickr

We know the importance of posture when reading one’s disposition. But how about something as subtle as finger placement?

Stateside’s Cyndy Canty spoke with Michael Lempert, a linguistic anthropologist at the University of Michigan, about what these minute gestures convey.

According to Lempert, a candidate is a combination of meticulously crafted elements.

“Not just speech but also gesture, comportment, clothing even hairstyle. Any of these materials can be treated as revelatory, as windows onto who the candidates really are,” said Lempert.

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Environment & Science
4:06 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Stateside: A fungus threatening Michigan's bats

Michigan bats are at risk of being infected by white-nose syndrome.
By Jim Conrad [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There is a disruption in our caves. Hibernating bats across the United States are suffering from white-nose syndrome. Named after the white fungus that grows on bats’ muzzles, the disease has killed millions of bats across North America.

Allen Kurta, a biology professor at Eastern Michigan University, spoke with Stateside’s Cyndy Canty about the future of Michigan’s bat population.

“We are dealing with a disease that is potentially going to wipe out numerous species of bats,” said Kurta.

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Election 2012
2:21 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Michigan Radio's Guide to the Ballot Proposals

The rules lawmakers in Lansing play by could change after November 6.

That's when you will decide on six statewide ballot proposals.

Proposal 1 is a referendum on the state's Emergency Manager Law.

Proposals 2 through 6 seek to amend the state's Constitution.

Voters in Michigan have not been faced with this many proposed amendments to the Michigan Constitution since 1978, when they decided on nine amendments.

So is the state constitution a good place to make these changes?

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Education
11:35 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Michigan racetrack to become place of environmental education

7th grade students from Dundee board buses at Michigan International Speedway as part of the new Track and Explore program
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan school children will soon study nature at a place many people might find surprising: Michigan International Speedway.

The auto racing track hosts crowds in excess of 100 thousand when NASCAR comes to Brooklyn twice each summer.

But Adrian College biology professor Jeff Lake says the other 50 weeks of the year, the track's campgrounds are ideal for exploring the ecosystems of the Irish Hills.

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