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Health
3:36 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Another death in Michigan linked to the national meningitis outbreak

The latest Centers for Disease Control map of the national fungal meningitis outbreak
Centers for Disease Control

Another death has been linked to a tainted steroid injection in Michigan.

The Centers for Disease Control says five people in Michigan have now died as part of a fungal meningitis outbreak tied to the tainted injections. A sixth person from Michigan died in Indiana.

Angela Minicuci is with the Michigan Department of Community Health. She says state health officials have made contact with almost all the 1927 people who received the injections at four Michigan clinics.

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Economy
3:33 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Michigan 4th worst in gender-based income inequality

Gender-based income inequality by county.
screenshot Slate/New America Foundation

Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” comment from the second presidential debate became an instant Internet meme, but it also brought attention to the issue of income inequality based on gender.

It’s an issue with particular relevance for Michigan.

The state ranks fourth in the country for the largest pay gap between men and women.

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2:10 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

A lunker is landed, new record set

Lead in text: 
He doesn't look all that thrilled, but he did fight this thing for two hours, so maybe he's a little tired.
At 58 pounds and 59 inches, a new state-record Great Lakes muskellunge was caught by a Portage man on Antrim County's Lake Bellaire last Saturday, the Department of Natural Resources announced today. Joseph Seeberger was fishing for bass with a minnow when the big muskie bit.
Election 2012
1:11 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Senator Debbie Stabenow on "Michigan Calling" this morning

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow in Studio East at Michigan Radio.
Cameron Stewart Michigan Radio

There won't be a U.S. Senate debate this year, but that doesn't mean the candidates aren't taking questions.

This morning, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow stopped by our studios to talk with callers from around the state.

Host of Michigan Calling Rick Pluta directed the conversation which covered topics such as jobs and the economy, green energy, education and student debt, Asian carp, and Michigan agriculture and the Farm Bill.

You can listen to the conversation above.

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Health
12:53 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Washtenaw Co. death is Michigan's 5th in meningitis outbreak

Current case count for fungal meningitis outbreak. State officials have reported 49 infections related to contaminated steroids.
CDC

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Authorities are reporting a fifth Michigan death in a national outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated steroids.

The Michigan Department of Community Health said Thursday that its death count has risen by one in the last day. Mlive.com says the latest victim was a 62-year-old Washtenaw County man.

The state agency now reports 45 Michigan cases of fungal meningitis, plus four non-meningitis infection cases related to the same contaminated steroids.

Politics & Government
11:37 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Commentary: Farewell to Stan Ovshinsky

Somewhere in most Michigan newspapers today, past the stories about the Tigers winning the pennant and the campaign ads, you may find an obituary for a gentle man who changed the world.

Stan Ovshinsky died at his Bloomfield Hills home Wednesday night, a few weeks short of his 90th birthday. You may never have heard of him, but he almost certainly touched your life.

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10:27 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Witness testifies how he kept money flowing to the Kilpatricks

Lead in text: 
An update on the public corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his dad, his friend Bobby Ferguson, and former Detroit Water and Sewerage director Victor Mercado.
When Kwame Kilpatrick needed money, wealthy homeless shelter operator Jon Rutherford always delivered. Rutherford told jurors in the ex-mayor's public corruption trial Thursday that he helped bankroll Kilpatrick's political campaign, his lifestyle and his father's $10,000-a-month salary to the tune of more than $440,000 over a two-year period.
Politics & Government
7:26 am
Fri October 19, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

ACLU files challenge to state ruling banning election signs in bars and restaurants

"The American Civil Liberties Union filed a legal challenge to a state rule banning election campaign signs at bars and restaurants Thursday. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission rule forbids businesses with liquor licenses from displaying signs endorsing a political candidate or party," Jake Neher reports.

Rapid transit system to be built in Grand Rapids

"Michigan’s first bus rapid transit system will be built in the Grand Rapids area. Federal transportation officials signed the agreement Thursday. Bus rapid transit operates similar to light rail, but at a fraction of the cost. Buses will arrive at stops every ten minutes. They’ll have designated lanes and be able to shift traffic lights so they don’t have to slow down," Lindsey Smith reports.

Expansion of oil pipeline comes under fire in northern Michigan

"A planned expansion of an oil pipeline that passes through the Mackinac Straits is coming under fire. The National Wildlife Federation released a report opposing Enbridge Energy’s plans to increase the amount of oil passing through the straits. Beth Wallace is with the Federation. She fears the nearly 60 year old pipeline could rupture like another Enbridge pipeline near Marshall did in 2010. An Enbridge spokesman says the Calgary-based oil company is reviewing the Federation report," Steve Carmody reports.

Sports Commentary
7:06 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Ann Arbor high school football players show better sportsmanship than coaches

user: Michael Knight /flickr

Last week, the Ann Arbor Pioneer high school football team went across town to play long-time rival Ann Arbor Huron.  It wasn’t the players’ performance during the game that made news, however, but the coaches’ behavior afterward.  And the news wasn’t good.

Ann Arbor Pioneer came into the annual rivalry with Ann Arbor Huron, sporting a solid 4-3 record and a good chance to make the playoffs.  Huron hadn’t won a game all year, and was simply playing out the season.  The only stakes were bragging rights – and even those weren’t much in question.

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Investigative
7:03 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Truth Squad: foul for Stabenow; flagrant foul for Hoekstra

After the presidential race, the top of the ballot in Michigan is the U.S. Senate race.  Michigan Watch teamed up with the Center for Michigan’s Truth Squad to review recent ads produced by Republican Pete Hoekstra and Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow.

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Sports
9:21 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Next Stop, The World Series: Tigers rout Yankees 8-1 for 4-game ALCS sweep

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Max Scherzer capped a stupendous stretch for Detroit's starting rotation, and the Tigers advanced to the World Series for the second time in seven years by beating the New York Yankees 8-1 Thursday for a four-game sweep of the AL championship series.

Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta hit two-run homers in a four-run fourth inning against CC Sabathia, who was unable to prevent the Yankees from getting swept in a postseason series for the first time in 32 years.

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Auto
4:59 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Battery company bankruptcy refuels electric car debate

The recent bankruptcy of battery company A123 has some questioning the profitability of electric cars like the Nissan Leaf.
user cliff1066 flickr

Tuesday’s bankruptcy announcement by A123 Systems Inc. has many taking another look at the prospects of the electric car.

Conservative commentators have taken the opportunity to bash the Obama administration for its green energy investments.

In 2009, A123 received a $249 million grant from the Department of Energy.

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Politics & Government
4:53 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Political Roundup: Collective bargaining, Proposals 2 & 4

Michigan voters face six questions on November’s ballot. And those questions can be very confusing. Today, we look at two proposals that focus on collective bargaining. Proposal 2 would protect collective bargaining in the state constitution, and Proposal 4 would reinstate collective bargaining for in-home health care workers.

Transportation
4:10 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Super fast bus line coming to Grand Rapids in 2014

Wyoming Mayor Jack Poll adds his signature to a giant construction agreement for the Silver Line at a press conferece Thursday.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Michigan’s first bus rapid transit system will be built in the Grand Rapids area. Bus rapid transit operates similar to light rail, but because less infrastructure is needed, bus rapid transit is much cheaper. Buses will arrive at stops every ten minutes. They’ll have designated lanes and be able to change traffic lights so they don’t have to slow down.

On Thursday federal, state and local officials gathered at The Rapid Central Station to officially sign the agreement. Peter Rogoff is with the Federal Transit Administration.

“It’s going to lower commute times by some 40-percent and even for folks that never take the bus, it’s going to take congestion off of US-131 and off of Division; in a way that’s going to be beneficial to everybody,” Rogoff said.

The new bus line, the Silver Line, won’t be complete until the summer of 2014, according to The Rapid CEO Peter Varga. It will run almost ten miles between the residential suburbs south of Grand Rapids up to major employers and the ‘medical mile’ in the downtown area.

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Issues & Ale
3:13 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Issues & Ale: Election Night Viewing Party

Listen to audio from our Election Night Viewing Party here.

Tuesday, November 6, 8:00 PM-11:00 PM
Buffalo Wild Wings 
205 S. State St. 
Ann Arbor, MI  48104

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Economy
2:56 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

DuPont opens innovation center in Michigan

TROY, Mich. (AP) - Chemical giant DuPont Co. is opening an innovation center in suburban Detroit that's aimed at speeding the introduction of new products for the automotive industry.

The Wilmington, Del.-based company's facility opened Thursday. It is DuPont's eighth-such center and is located at its Automotive Development Center in Troy. The innovation center connects DuPont's Detroit-area customer base with 9,500 company scientists and engineers worldwide.

DuPont says one aim of the innovation center is to boost collaboration with customers, government, educational institutions and business partners.

The company already had automotive industry-focused innovation centers in India, South Korea and Japan.

Environment & Science
1:18 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Report: Oil pipeline plans put Michigan vacation destination at risk

The Straits of Mackinac
GoogleEarth image

A national environmental group says plans to expand an oil pipeline near Mackinac Island presents a serious ecological threat.

The National Wildlife Federation opposes Enbridge Energy’s plans to expand the nearly 60 year old pipeline that passes through the Straits of Mackinac.

Beth Wallace, with the National Wildlife Federation, said the age of the pipeline, the Straits of Mackinac's dangerous currents, and a lack of safety equipment close by threatens to put the vacation destination at risk of a major spill.

"With Enbridge’s estimates and average current speeds for the Straits, we believe oil could spread to Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island in the three hours it would take them to respond," said Wallace.

"If six hours passed, oil could spread to Wilderness State Park. Twelve hours, and oil could be all the way to Cheboygan [Michigan],” said Wallace,  “and the damage from a spill, without a doubt, would be devastating."

It took Enbridge 17 hours to realize it had a broken pipeline near Marshall, Michigan in 2010.   

That spill released more than 800,000 gallons of crude oil. The cleanup of Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River has cost close to a billion dollars.

There is still oil in the river.

An Enbridge spokesman says the Calgary-based oil company is reviewing the National Wildlife Federation's report.

Jeannie Layson, PHMSA's Director for Governmental, International, and Public Affairs, issued a written statement on the NWF report:

Pipeline safety is a top priority at PHMSA, and we hold pipeline operators accountable when they violate federal requirements. For example, Enbridge just paid thehighest civil penalty in the agency’s history for the Marshall, Michigan spill. In addition, PHMSA executed a consent agreement which imposed morestringent safety requirements for the entire Lakehead System, including Line 5.

Pipeline safety requires a combination of enforcement, information sharing and transparency and public education. PHMSA  created  the Stakeholder Communications website to provide the public comprehensive, searchable information on the safety records of pipeline companies, such as incident rates and PHMSA’s oversight actions and enforcement activities including fines, warnings, and violations. Additional information on pipeline operators in Michigan can be found on our Michigan State Pipeline Safety Profilepage.

Election 2012
1:18 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Teamsters local throws support behind Proposal 6, the bridge vote

Teamsters Local 299 has agreed with Matty Moroun to support Proposal 6.
Steffen Norgren flickr

Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun has secured the support of Michigan’s 5,000-member Teamsters Local 299 for Proposal 6.

Proposal 6 would amend the state Constitution to require a statewide vote before Michigan constructs or finances any new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles.

The Moroun-backed amendment is opposed to Governor Snyder’s New International Trade Crossing.

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People
12:03 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Scientist, inventor Stanford R. Ovshinsky dies at 89

Stan Ovshinsky
courtesy of the Ovshinsky family

An obituary from the Ovshinsky family:

Stanford R. Ovshinsky died peacefully at his home just 39 days short of his 90th birthday.  The cause of death was prostate cancer. 

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Sports
10:16 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Baseball: 'I can't come out to play! It's raining out!' Why not?

Why don't they play baseball in the rain?
Beyer Weckerle wikipedia

Last night's rain delay of Game 4 of the ALCS reminded me of one of my all-time-favorite George Carlin bits....

...the differences between football and baseball.

"Football is played in any kind of weather... rain, sleet, snow, hail, mud. Can't read the numbers on the field, can't read the yard markers, can't read the players numbers... the struggle will continue.

In baseball, if it rains, we don't come out to play!"

So why can't baseball be played in the rain?

I found the rules that outline how a game is called (by the home team manager during the regular season, and by the league in a championship series).

But not why it's called.

This explanation seemed to explain it well enough.

Rain affects the game of baseball differently because "it's a game of precision":

As a result, heavy rain makes the ball extremely hard to grip. This actually harms the team on defense dramatically more than the team on offense. If a pitcher is unable to grip the ball, he will throw erratically and will have to significantly slow his pitches. As a result, the batting team will be at a great advantage as it is not significantly harder to swing a bat or run on a dirt track in the rain.

When it's raining, the advantage goes to the offense.

Runs could be scored in bunches while the defense struggles to get three outs. Once an inning does end, the rain might let up, and the opposing team would no longer have the same advantage.

That makes sense to me. Although it does seem like it would be hard to slog through the mud to get on base.

How does this explanation sit with you? Are there any other explanations that you know of?

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