1:02 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Long drives continue for most northern Michigan veterans, despite new VA health program

Credit Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center

Veterans in northern Michigan often have to drive a long way to see their doctors. That’s because official VA hospitals are mostly downstate, like the one in Saginaw.

Congress passed legislation over the summer that was meant to change that temporarily. It pays for more local, private care options for those enrolled in health plans through the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

But in Michigan, most veterans don’t qualify under the rules.

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Games & Humor
10:02 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Listen: The Not-So-True Story Of Santa's Naughty-Or-Nice Division

Photo Illustration by NPR

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 12:13 pm

Santa sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake ... but how does he do it? Sure, the elves lend a hand — but, as it turns out, hours of surveillance video make the job a lot easier.

This year, we present an audio Christmas card to share the real* story on how the North Pole decides who's naughty or nice.

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Dark Sky Park
9:03 am
Mon December 22, 2014

The 12 Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas, from December 25th to Epiphany,January 6th, are likened to the journey from shepherds to kings, a microcosmic experience of the macrocosmic cycle of 12 months, and the Sun's apparent movement through the 12 starry regions of the zodiac

The season of Advent comes to a close this week, and now begins the 12 Days of Christmas.

So here’s how it works: There are 12 days between the festivals of Christmas, December 25, and Epiphany, January 6.  We’ve just had the darkest moment of the year at Solstice.  Now we celebrate he return of light, also known as as the sacred birth that takes place three days later, atmidnight between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

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Cold Case
3:44 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Hung jury will mean yet another trial over a 1996 rape and murder in Kalkaska County

An 18-year-old murder case was not resolved this week, as Kalkaska residents had hoped. A jury could not come to a decision in the case against Jason Ryan for the 1996 rape and murder of 68-year-old widow Geraldine Montgomery.

So now, after Kalkaska has endured two long trials, the community is heading for a third.

A jury was not able to agree whether Ryan is guilty of the crime after a nearly two-week trial. The prosecutor has said he will try again. Ryan, 36, is said to have been staying down the street from Montgomery’s home at the time of the murder.

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6:01 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Michigan lawmakers look to voters for a road deal

Michigan lawmakers want you to decide on roads.

Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative leaders have struck a deal on road funding.

After many, many closed-door meetings, the announcement was made at a news conference at the Capitol.

To get to more than $1 billion in funding, the centerpiece of the plan is an increase in the state sales tax. It’s something voters would have to decide in a ballot question in May.

Snyder says that’s OK with him.

Listen to our conversation with Rick Pluta and Zoe Clark below.

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