DETROIT – A judge has scheduled a hearing on a lawsuit aimed at forcing the Detroit city clerk to place a proposal to elect council members by district on the Nov. 3 ballot.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Wayne County Circuit Court by Detroiters for City Council by Districts. It says Clerk Janice Winfrey "has been hampered" by the current city council, which refuses to draft ballot language for the proposal.
Judge Virgil Smith hears the case at 11 a.m. Friday.
DETROIT – Several city offices are closing with the first of Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's 26 budget-mandated unpaid furlough days for nonunion workers and appointees.
Bing's office says Friday's closings include administrative hearings, the Detroit Building Authority, Cable Communications Commission, Environmental Affairs, Targeted Business Development, and Jobs and Business Development.
ALLEN PARK, MI – The Detroit Lions say the NFL gave them an extension to sell out their home opener against the Minnesota Vikings to avoid a blackout.
The Lions said Thursday they have 1,700 tickets to sell by 1 p.m. Friday for the game to be on TV in the Detroit, Lansing, Saginaw-Flint and Toledo, Ohio, markets.
Detroit had 50 straight sell-outs at Ford Field until Oct. 26, 2008, when it played Washington. The Lions failed to sell out other games later in the season en route to setting an NFL mark with the first 0-16 season.
LANSING, MI – Budget negotiations continued for another day at the state Capitol. Lawmakers are starting to make fallback plans in case there's no deal before the deadline that's less than two weeks away.
LANSING, MI – The state House passed a state police budget that would restore the jobs of about half the state troopers who were laid off because of budget cuts. The bill had been stagnant since June.
While the lawmakers all agreed it would be good to fund those jobs, the debate quickly turned to the new, empty state police headquarters in Lansing. Many Republicans would like to sell the building because they say it's too small and too expensive.
DETROIT – Ernie Harwell has said a goodbye of sorts to the Detroit Tigers' fans.
The long-time radio play-by-play man humbly waved to the crowd at Comerica Park on Wednesday night after thanking them for their "devotion, support, loyalty and love." Harwell was the voice of the Tigers for more than 40 years.
He spoke halfway through the third inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals.
Harwell drew loud ovations before and after he came to the batter's box to speak.
DETROIT – Placido Polanco hit a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning, lifting the Detroit Tigers to a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
Zach Miner (7-5) and three other relievers kept the Royals scoreless for five innings to help the Tigers stay 4 1/2 games ahead of Minnesota in the AL Central. Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth to earn his 33rd save in 34 chances.
Adam Everett drove in a pair of runs against Royals starter Lenny DiNardo (0-1), including a tying single that chased him in the sixth.
EAST LANSING, MI – Welcome sports fans to the third installment of Predictions of Earle. Sports Talk AM 870 host Earle Robinson gives his predictions on the Michigan State Notre Dame match up as well as the "Who is the Man" contest.
LANSING, MI – A state lawmaker wants to make sure 96,000 Michigan college students eventually get the state scholarship money they were expecting even if the program is cut during budget negotiations.
The bill announced Wednesday by Republican Rep. Ken Horn of Frankenmuth would create an income tax credit to reimburse students if they don't get as much money as expected through the Michigan Promise scholarship program.
LANSING, MI – There were 736,000 people without jobs and looking for work in Michigan last month as the ranks of the unemployed grew by 6,000. Michigan's unemployment rate bumped up very slightly in August to 15.2%. The July rate was 15%.
Bruce Weaver is with the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth. He says the state is not seeing enough new jobs created in other sectors to make up for the loss of factory and construction jobs.
LANSING, MI – Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop and Democratic House Speaker Andy Dillon have signed an agreement to cut $1.2 billion in spending to resolve a deficit in the budget year starting Oct. 1.
Bishop says the deal requires no new tax increases.
Lawmakers will be given budget targets and it will left for them to try and come up with plans that could pass both the Democratic-led House and the Republican-led Senate.
LANSING, MI – The Lansing Board of Water and Light on Wednesday dedicated its new chilled water facility in downtown Lansing. The plant will provide air conditioning for many downtown office buildings. BWL general Manager Peter Lark says the new facility will save its customers money.
"The plant is 60% more efficient than the old one, which keeps steam costs low for customers and translates into drmatic reductions in greenhouse gases," he said.
LANSING, MI – Democratic state House Speaker Andy Dillon and Republican Senator Mike Bishop may have reached a budget deal for the coming fiscal year. It's believed Governor Granholm was not included in their decision.
DETROIT – Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard says he will seek the Republican nomination for governor with Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land as his running mate.
Bouchard made the announcement Wednesday in downtown Detroit. Land, who's from the Grand Rapids area, had been considering her own run for governor but said no in June, the same month Bouchard jumped in.
Bouchard says Land's experience means she can step in on the first day and "begin to move the ship."
LANSING, MI – The state Senate on Wednesday voted to change the Legislature's rules to speed up the budget process. Senate lawmakers say a new rule should require the House and the Senate to adopt budget plans by June 1.
State Senator Alan Cropsey says budget negotiations should not have gone down to the wire in two of the last three years.