LANSING, MI – Likely budget cuts have state officials asking Michigan residents which of the state's 145 state forest campgrounds should close.
The Department of Natural Resources already has had to close 12 of the rustic campgrounds because of a lack of money. DNR official Lynne Boyd says she expects more cuts are coming in the budget year that starts Oct. 1, so more state forest campgrounds will have to close or be given to others to manage.
SEATTLE – Like a towering fir tree that survives after the primeval forest around it has vanished, the Seattle Opera's production of Wagner's "Ring" cycle now stands alone as the only traditional depiction of the epic music drama on an American stage.
LANSING, MI – Mid-Michigan children who are behind on immunizations have a chance to play catch-up this week.
The Ingham County Health Department is holding a back-to-school health fair today through Friday at its South Cedar location in Lansing. The event's focus is on helping schoolchildren who are behind on immunizations.
DETROIT – Josh Anderson scored the go-ahead run in the 10th inning on third baseman Ryan Raburn's third error of the game, lifting the Kansas City Royals to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
With one out in the 10th, Anderson reached on a dribbler down the third-base line and David DeJesus followed with a grounder through Raburn's legs. Both runners moved up on Willie Bloomquist's comebacker to Fernando Rodney (2-3).
BROOKLYN, MI – Brian Vickers outlasted Jimmie Johnson in yet another fuel-mileage duel at Michigan International Speedway, taking the lead with two laps to go after Johnson ran out of gas and holding on to win his first Sprint Cup race of the season Sunday.
It was the second time in two races at Michigan this season that Johnson's crew gambled on gas and lost. Johnson also was in the lead when he ran out of fuel back in June, handing a win to Mark Martin.
DETROIT – Detroit's mayor and the emergency financial manager of the city's public school district plan to hear from experts, residents and parents about school safety and security.
A roundtable discussion with Mayor Dave Bing and Robert Bobb is planned for Monday afternoon at Cass Technical High School. They're seeking suggestions about safety and security policy in the district.
LANSING, MI – Michigan's state workforce has been cut by more than 11 thousand people since 2001. The economist who came up with the numbers for a new study comparing public and private sector jobs says that number is alarming.
EAST LANSING, MI – The outlook for a financially strapped St. Johns mint farm appears bleak after an important deadline to redeem the property passed on Friday. Linette and Jim Crosby were hoping to hear from their lender---Greenstone Farm Credit Services---about requests to workout new terms for a $330,000 loan.
LANSING, MI – Entertainment and sports organizations are on guard in case a proposal to put a 6% sales tax on tickets is revived during Michigan's budget talks.
A proposal to tax entertainment tickets was pitched in 2007 but never happened after a coalition of fans and owners of sports and entertainment complexes lobbied against the idea. A spokesman said Friday the coalition would be revived if the plan resurfaces.
AUBURN HILLS, MI – A panel of law professionals met Friday in Auburn Hills to discuss how and why Michigan's public defender system is inadequate.
Michigan's system is run by counties. And the panel members agreed a statewide system would help insure defendants in all areas receive the same legal counsel opportunities. The panel compared the state's current system with that of Montana, which changed from a county to state system three years ago.
HASLETT, MI – A mid-Michigan church is $70,000 richer courtesy of the Michigan Lottery.
The Covenant Life Worship Center and its 25 members in Haslett had one of the second-prize tickets in the Lucky 7s raffle held May 4. Michigan Lottery officials say the church will receive the full amount because it is tax-exempt.
The $10 ticket was purchased at a convenience store in Haslett. The lottery Web site says the odds of a single ticket winning $70,000 in Lucky 7s are one in 55,556.
LANSING, MI – State regulators have approved an average 22% rate increase for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan health insurance policies covering about 200,000 people.
The rate increases announced Thursday are significantly lower than the company initially requested for the non-group and group conversation policies typically bought by people under 65 who aren't covered by employer-based or government health plans. Blue Cross had sought rate increases averaging 42% to 56%.
EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan Congressman Mark Schauer says he expects over 10,000 people---both supporters and opponents----to take part in a telephone town hall meeting Thursday evening. Speaking Thursday in Lansing before an invitation-only crowd dominated by senior-citizens, Schauer said the approach ensures that all voices are heard:
"We can have a much more productive conversation here, talking, where we don't have someone shouting to make sure we actually can't communicate," he said.