Ben Thorp

Reporter

Ben grew up listening to WCMU and has become an obsessive of podcasts, radio, and the home life of Ira Glass. Ben joined WCMU in December, 2015 as a general assignment reporter. Since then, Ben has won multiple statewide awards for his reporting efforts, and had several stories aired nationally on NPR's 'Morning Edition' and 'All Things Considered.'

Ben is a native of Petoskey, and graduated from Michigan State University in 2014.

Ways to Connect

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Caden Crawford

A new report, from the Michigan League for Public Policy, looks at the real cost of living in each of Michigan’s 83 county and calculates the income needed to make meet basic needs.

https://flic.kr/p/chEN1u
Carol

A 70 year old Flint man was sentenced this week for returning more than ten thousand pop cans and bottles to illegally collect on Michigan’s ten cent bottle return.

State officials say John Custer Woodfill partnered with an Indiana scrap dealership that bought uncrushed cans from residents at 60 - 80 cents per pound.

Andrea Bitely is the press secretary for Attorney General Bill Schuette. 

Jeff Kramer / https://flic.kr/p/xSThT

A new bill in Lansing would protect people who leave their car idling in their driveway from getting a ticket. 

The measure would change an existing law that allows police to ticket drivers who leave their cars idling.

But some lawmakers argue that law is intended to protect residents from car theft.

The current law allows police to ticket idling vehicles - whether they’re in public parking lots or in private driveways.

https://flic.kr/p/78ENbT
Ujjwol Lamichhane

Student enrollment has been on a steady decline across Michigan since 2010.

New data from the Michigan Department of Education show the trend has continued into the 2016-2017 school year.

https://flic.kr/p/nMJKs9
Mike Fritcher

The Air Force said it will not comply with a new Michigan safe water law because it says it is discriminatory.

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary/NOAA.

Scientists are launching an exploratory mission into the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in search of undiscovered shipwrecks.

Brian Stansberry / http://bit.ly/2pEodjZ

Cities statewide have been struggling financially, according to the Michigan Municipal League.

The league is proposing legislative solutions to help balance municipal budgets.

Matt Bach is with the Michigan Municipal League. He said city revenue has not tracked with the economy.

“People might think ‘oh the economy is getting better there is more jobs, there are more things happening.’ Which is true, Michigan’s economy is improving, but Michigan’s cities aren’t seeing that because of the way things are structured. The cities aren’t seeing that growth.”

Saginaw Future INC / https://flic.kr/p/7AJ4Fb

Major worker shortages in the tool and die industry could spell trouble for auto manufacturing in the US.

A recent study from the Center for Automotive Research says more than three-quarters of workers in the tool and die industry are 45 years or older.

The U.S. Supreme Court will be asked to review a case claiming the Michigan Emergency Manager Law violates the federal Voting Rights Act.

The move comes after a decision this week by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission to order an amicus brief be filed with the nation’s high court reviewing a lawsuit against the Governor’s office.

Agustin Arbulu is the Director of the Michigan Office of Civil Rights. He said the lawsuit against the Governor’s office claims voter’s rights are being violated.

Flickr user DVIDSHUB https://www.flickr.com/photos/dvids/6477369747

Michigan residents are being urged to volunteer in service of veterans as part of National Volunteer Week, running through April 29th.

John Kleindienst is the National Director of Voluntary Services for DAV. He said through local veteran assistance programs volunteers can help with a number of things. “Grocery shopping, running traditional errands for veterans in their community, doing yard work, painting veterans homes. Those are just a few needs that our volunteers can help with

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