JACKSON, MI – A Jackson County commissioner who held up a sign with a crossed-out swastika last week at a health care protest outside Democratic Rep. Mark Schauer's office says the sign misrepresented his views.
Phil Duckham said at a board of commissioners meeting Tuesday night the sign did not convey his message properly.
But he told the Jackson Citizen Patriot that he stands by his comparisons between Nazi politics and President Barack Obama's plans for restructuring America.
LANSING, MI – The tiny community of Standish is suddenly becoming an important stop for Republican gubernatorial candidates campaigning against bringing Guantanamo detainees from Cuba to the state prison.
The Obama administration has sent officials to look over the maximum security prison. It's also considering moving the detainees to a federal military prison in Leavenworth, Kan.
LANSING, MI – The state Legislature is trying to solve problems with high school math requirements. Both the House and Senate would like to see more options created for students struggling with the algebra-two graduation requirement. Lawmakers say some vocational training should be offered in place of the course.
MARQUETTE, MI – Environmental groups vow they'll appeal if the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality once again approves permits for a nickel and copper mine in Marquette County.
The National Wildlife Federation and local entities filed suit in 2007, saying Kennecott Minerals Company's application contained serious flaws and would hurt the environment. On Tuesday, an administrative law judge upheld their approval.
EAST LANSING, MI – Area schoolchildren and Mayor Virg Bernero have opened what officials say is Lansing's first community-built playground. About 50 volunteers created the site in about a half-day last Saturday, erecting play equipment and seating in Burchard Park near the Grand River south of Old Town.
Brittany Hoskiew is with the Old Town Commercial Association. She hopes the playground will attract more families to the district:
TOKYO – Soprano Hildegard Behrens, one of the finest Wagnerian performers of her generation, has died while traveling in Japan. She was 72.
Jonathan Friend, artistic administrator of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, said Tuesday in an e-mail to opera officials that Behrens felt unwell while traveling to a festival near Tokyo. She went to a Tokyo hospital, where she died of an apparent aneurism.
Friend's e-mail was shared with The Associated Press by Jack Mastroianni, director of IMG Artists.
EAST LANSING, MI – As the Michigan State football team continues to prepare for the opening of the season, one of the big question marks entering this year is running back.
Michigan State has the tough task of replacing first-team all Big Ten selection Javon Ringer, who last year as a senior posted in 13 games 1,637 yards with a 4.2 yards per carry average and a single season Spartan record with 22 touchdowns.