WMUK News
1:02 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Michigan "Right to Work" law faces lawsuit

Anti-right to work protestors face State Police in Lansing in December (file photo)
Credit The Associated Press

Opponents of Michigan’s new “Right to Work” law have asked a judge in Lansing to throw it out. The Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed the motion in Ingham County Circuit Court Thursday. It amends a lawsuit filed early last month when Republican legislative leaders closed the Capitol Building to the public during protests against the law. This week, Governor Rick Snyder asked the Michigan Supreme Court to rule on whether or not the “Right to Work” statute is constitutional.

Read more
SW Michigan
12:57 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Blue Cross reform on again in Lansing

Credit WMUK

State lawmakers are trying again to reform Michigan’s largest health insurer. The Gongwer News Service reports that the Senate unanimously approved a reform plan for Blue Cross Blue Shield today. It would turn it into a non-profit mutual company.

Debate in the House is not expected to go as smoothly.

Governor Snyder vetoed a similar reform plan last month. It included restrictions on abortion that are not part of the new Senate bill.

Read more
NPR Story
11:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Violence In The Windy City

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We turn now to an all-too-familiar story of violence here in the U.S. In Chicago, 15-year-old honor student Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed on Tuesday. She was the 42nd person killed in Chicago since the beginning of the year. Last year, there were more than 500 killings. And a number of these murders, particularly of young people, brought the city to tears, but Pendleton's death has brought national attention because she recently performed with her high school drill team at the president's inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Read more
NPR Story
11:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Gabourey Sidibe, From 'Precious' To 'AfroPop'

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 12:04 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we will pay tribute to the late Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner. The leader of the funk band, The Ohio Players, died earlier this week at the age of 69 and we will tell you more about him in a few minutes.

Read more
NPR Story
11:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Is Egypt Better Or Worse Off Now?

It's been two years since Hosni Mubarak was ousted as Egypt's President. Today, there's new leadership, but the country is still in turmoil. And some Egyptians wonder if things are changing for the best. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR Cairo Bureau Chief, Leila Fadel, to learn more about the new Egypt.

Local Music
11:52 am
Thu January 31, 2013

WMU Orchestra prepares essential Russian repertoire

Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra
Credit WMU

Interview with Lori Sims and Bruce Uchimura

Pianist Lori Sims is the soloist in Rachmaninoff’s formidable Piano Concerto No. 3, with Bruce Uchimura conducting the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra this Sunday in Chenery Auditorium.

Read more
Music Reviews
11:10 am
Thu January 31, 2013

A 'Special Edition' Box Set Of Jack DeJohnette And Band

Jack DeJohnette.
Chris Griffith Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 1:13 pm

On a new box set collecting the first four albums of Jack DeJohnette and his band Special Edition, two discs are gems and the other two have their moments. DeJohnette's quartet-slash-quintet was fronted by smoking saxophonists on the way up, set loose on catchy riffs and melodies. The springy rhythm section could tweak the tempos like no one this side of '60s goddess Laura Nyro.

Read more
Television
10:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Spacey And Fincher Make A 'House Of Cards'

Kevin Spacey is the star and a producer of the new Netflix series House of Cards, on which David Fincher is a co-producer.
Melinda Sue Gordon Netflix

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 12:18 pm

Ten months on the road playing Richard III in theaters around the world is a good way to prep for playing a ruthlessly ambitious politician and Washington insider — according to Kevin Spacey, at least.

Just before he took the role of Francis "Frank" Underwood, the fictional majority whip of the House of Representatives who hatches a plan to take down the president in the new Netflix original series House of Cards, Spacey spent nearly a year playing Shakespeare's murderously ambitious king.

Read more
10:54 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Survey finds Holland residents feel secure, but concerned about gang activity

Lead in text: 
Two surveys find Holland residents satisfied with city services.
Holland residents are concerned about the rise in property crimes and gang activity in the city, according to two surveys, though most feel somewhat or very safe in their neighborhoods.
9:50 am
Thu January 31, 2013

MI groups say Obama immigration plan "inadequate"

Lead in text: 
The Detroit-based group By Any Means Necessary says a bipartisan plan endorsed by the President and by several senators doesn't go far enough.
DETROIT, MI - A group of local immigrants' rights activists plan to push for more far-reaching immigration reforms, calling the plan President Barack Obama unveiled this week inadequate. "We demand no second-class treatment for anyone who lives, works and goes to school here," said Monica Smith, an immigration attorney and organizer for liberal Detroit activist group By Any Means Necessary.
Europe
7:49 am
Thu January 31, 2013

German Company's Giant Cookie Goes Missing

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. When the huge golden cookie that stood for 100 years outside the headquarters of a big German cookie maker went missing, the company put up a reward. Then the kidnapper sent a ransom note. I have the biscuit, it said with text cut from magazines. It demanded the company donate cookies to children in a local hospital, and the reward to an animal shelter. Signed: Cookie Monster. Cute. But so far the bakery has not bitten. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
7:41 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Super Bowl Attracts Battle Of Craft Breweries

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Sunday's Super Bowl - a contest between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers - is also a battle of craft breweries. Maryland's Flying Dog Brewery made a bet with Anchor Brewing of San Francisco. The loser must pour the winner's beer in its taproom for a week. And the loser's brewery tour guides will have to wear the winner's Super Bowl championship gear. Could be tough, but if they need a beer after all that, they're all set.

Child Poverty
7:39 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Kids Count report shows child well being slips

Foreclosed house - file photo
Credit AP photo

The latest report on child well-being in Michigan finds more children living in poverty. The Kids Count report released Wednesday finds child poverty went up 28% in Michigan from 2005 to 2011. 

Read more
6:41 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Benton Harbor's New Emergency Manager says he will bring different approach

Lead in text: 
Tony Saunders II says his first goal is to return the city to local control.
BENTON HARBOR - Benton Harbor's new emergency financial manager, Tony Saunders II, who officially begins work in the city Friday, said he has goals for the city but wants to hear from residents before he forms the specifics of a plan.
6:37 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Kids Count report shows child well being slips

Lead in text: 
Report measures child well-being through areas such as poverty, health and neglect
Ottawa County is No. 1 in the state for child well-being. That's the good news. The bad news is the state isn't faring too well in that area and has, in fact, been declining in many categories of child well-being. The latest Michigan Kids Count study was released today and shows eight of 15 child well-being indicators worsening.
Politics
6:33 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Gun Hearing Airs Issues, Disagreements On Solutions

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

This is the time when we begin to find if the emotional power of the Newtown school shooting will translate into political change. People affected by mass shootings are now talking with state and federal lawmakers.

Susan Aaron's daughter escaped the shooting in Newtown after seeing her teacher and friends killed.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

Read more
Business
6:29 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with advertisers liking Facebook.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Facebook says its mobile advertising business nearly doubled from the third to fourth quarter of 2012. As a whole, the company's ad business grew at its fastest rate since it went public last May.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
6:28 am
Thu January 31, 2013

KPS, teachers ratify new three contract

Lead in text: 
Economic provisions of contract will renegotiated for the second and third year.
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
KALAMAZOO, MI -- The Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education and the Kalamazoo Education Association have ratified a three-year contract for the district's 800-plus teachers. Teachers will get a 0.25 percent raise for the remainder of this school year and a 1.25 percent one-time bonus. The contract covers 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Various winter weather advisories, watches and warnings are in effect throughout Southwest Michigan.  Cold and windy weather along with continuing snow fall will make for potentially dangerous conditions. 

Middle East
6:10 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Syria Accuses Israel Of Bombing Its Military Facility

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 12:52 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's sort through what we know and do not know about Israel's reported airstrike on Syria. Syrian officials, the government of Bashar al-Assad, have affirmed that Israeli warplanes struck, although we have conflicting reports about what the target was. We're going to work through the information with NPR's Jerusalem correspondent, Larry Abramson. Hi, Larry.

LARRY ABRAMSON, BYLINE: Hi there, Steve.

INSKEEP: What do you know, and how do you know it?

Read more
Planet Money
5:03 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Should Gun Owners Have To Buy Liability Insurance?

George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on

Note: We originally published a version of this post a few weeks ago. We are republishing it now to coincide with our story airing today on Morning Edition.

All kinds of proposals to reduce gun violence have been floated recently. One idea that has gotten the attention of economists is liability insurance. Most states require car owners to have liability insurance to cover damages their vehicles cause to others; some economists think we should require the same of gun owners.

We reached out to a few economists to get their thoughts.

Read more

Ashley Gross is KPLU's business and labor reporter, covering everything from Amazon.com and Boeing to garbage strikes. She joined the station in May 2012 after working for five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.

She studied history at Brown University and earned a master's in international affairs at Columbia University. She grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She lives in West Seattle with her husband and two sons.

Business
4:16 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Boeing Contract Offer Could Prompt Engineers Strike

A Boeing 787 under construction inside a production facility at a Boeing plant in Everett, Wash., last year.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 2:18 pm

Boeing is scrambling to figure out why batteries malfunctioned on its 787, prompting officials to ground the airplane this month. And at a time when Boeing most needs its skilled engineers, they're weighing a possible strike. Union leaders are considering the company's final contract offer.

The standoff between Boeing and about 23,000 engineers and technicians — mostly in the Seattle region — has been brewing for months. Dozens of them recently packed a union hall south of Seattle for training in how to run a picket line.

Read more

Mike Pesca first reached the airwaves as a 10-year-old caller to a New York Jets-themed radio show and has since been able to parlay his interests in sports coverage as a National Desk correspondent  for NPR based in New York City.

Pesca enjoys training his microphone on anything that occurs at a track, arena, stadium, park, fronton, velodrome or air strip (i.e. the plane drag during the World's Strongest Man competition). He has reported from Los Angeles, Cleveland and Gary. He has also interviewed former Los Angeles Ram Cleveland Gary. Pesca is a panelist on the weekly Slate podcast “Hang up and Listen”.

It's All Politics
3:18 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Cabinet Picks Show A Shift In How U.S. Wages War

President Obama shakes hands with his nominee to head the Defense Department, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, at the White House on Jan. 7. John Brennan, Obama's choice for director of the CIA, looks on.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 8:34 am

Chuck Hagel, who spent more than a decade in the Senate asking witnesses questions at hearings, will be the one answering them Thursday as his confirmation hearing to be secretary of defense begins.

His hearing follows that of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who was confirmed this week to be secretary of state.

Kerry and Hagel have a prominent biographical detail in common: service in Vietnam.

Read more
Sports
3:17 am
Thu January 31, 2013

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Colin Kaepernick?

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick throws before the NFC Championship game against the Atlanta Falcons on Jan. 20.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:55 pm

There's always a question surrounding San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Years ago, people wondered whether the talented athlete would be good enough to start in college.

Then there was the question of what role he would play in the NFL. And after the 49ers took him, fans questioned whether he could throw enough to be more than a backup.

Read more
Music Interviews
2:03 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Ben Harper And Charlie Musselwhite Get Muddy

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite's new collaborative album is titled Get Up!
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 1:12 pm

Ben Harper grew up roaming the aisles and restoring guitars at his family's music store, the Claremont Folk Music Center. Going on its 60th year of business, the storefront in Southern California is where Harper first discovered the harmonica playing of blues legend Charlie Musselwhite.

"We had Charlie's records stacked high at my family's store and at my house," Harper tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.

Read more
The Record
8:03 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Patty Andrews, Leader Of The Andrews Sisters, Dies

The Andrews Sisters (from left, Maxene, Patty and LaVerne) in the 1940s. Patty was the star of the sibling act.
GAB Archive/Redferns Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 1:40 pm

Read more
National Security
7:31 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

NPR's Dina Temple-Raston discusses counter-terrorism and the changing battle against Al Qaida

BP natural gas plant in Algeria where hostages were taken in January
Credit AP photo

NPR correspondent Dina Temple-Raston covers counter-terrorism, including legal issues, national security and the changing nature of groups like Al Qaida. Temple-Raston will speak at Western Michigan University’s Fetzer Center at 11:00 Monday morning

Read more
Music News
6:09 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Remembering Butch Morris, The Man Who Conducted Improvisation

Butch Morris leads a conduction at the 2007 Skopje Jazz Festival in Macedonia.
Samir Ljuma for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 6:18 pm

The jazz musician Butch Morris was beloved by his fellow musicians and acclaimed by critics and fans for his ability to conduct improvisation. While that may sound like a contradiction, Morris pulled it off — with jazz musicians and symphony orchestras around the world.

A resident of New York City, he died yesterday in a Brooklyn hospital of cancer. He was 65 years old.

Read more

Pages