Michigan Radio: Tracy Samilton

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3:09pm

Mon February 24, 2014
Politics

After Nearly Six Decades In Office, Dingell Decides Not To Run

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:02 pm

John Dingell of Michigan, the longest-serving congressman in U.S. history, announced he won't run in 2014. As Tracy Samilton reports, Dingell's state will lose more than an icon when he retires.

4:17pm

Mon December 16, 2013
Around the Nation

All Aboard! Real-Life Polar Express Chugs Through Michigan

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 5:12 pm

The Pere Marquette 1225 rolls into view in Owosso, Mich. It's been a local favorite for decades and especially gained popularity after inspiring the look and sounds of the train in a 2004 film.
James DeVleeschouwer Jr. Flickr

6:19am

Wed December 11, 2013
Business

GM's New CEO Marks A Return To Tradition

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 9:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And here's even bigger news from General Motors, it has chosen a woman as its next chief executive officer, a first in America's auto industry. She's an engineer at the company insider - which could be a lot more important to GM's future than her gender.

Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.

TRACY SAMILTON, BYLINE: Mary Barra follows in the wake of two CEOs from outside the auto industry. Dan Akerson ran a large private equity fund before taking the helm of GM. Before him, it was Ed Whitaker - a telecommunications guy.

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2:06am

Wed December 4, 2013
Business

Around The World, Ford's Mustang Fuels A Dream

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 9:46 am

If American Mustang fans are hungry to see the new version, European fans are starved. Ford hasn't sold the Mustang there since 1979.
Miguel Medina AFP/Getty Images

Just about every Mustang owner has a story about how their love affair with the car began.

Laura Slider's story began the day a red Mustang appeared in the driveway across the street.

"I've wanted one ever since I was 15," she says. "It was owned by a very cute boy that I liked. And then we rode in it and it was very fast and sporty and fun and pretty, and I thought, I want one someday."

Now, decades later, she has one. And, yes, it's red.

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4:22am

Wed August 21, 2013
Around the Nation

Museum Raises Money To Save 'Rosie The Riveter' Plant

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Rosie the Riveter, with one of the most famous clenched fists in American history, embodied the message of hardworking women during World War II: We Can Do It. Now a nonprofit is hoping to carry on that legacy. In a little more than a month, the historic Michigan factory where Rosie and thousands of other women built B-24 bombers could face the wrecking ball. That's unless the Yankee Air Museum can raise enough money to salvage part of that massive plant.

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4:25am

Fri August 16, 2013
Business

Ford Lowers Mileage Rating On C-Max Hybrid

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 4:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an EPA crackdown.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Ford Motor Company will reduce the fuel economy sticker on its new C-Max hybrid to 43 miles per gallon, down from its earlier estimate of 47.

As Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports, the change has generated a new review of fuel economy testing standards.

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1:10pm

Sun August 4, 2013
History

Museum Tries To Save The Plant Where Rosie Riveted

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 5:38 pm

The former Willow Run Assembly Plant, in Ypsilanti Township about 40 miles west of Detroit, is where Rosie the Riveter worked during World War II.
Paul Sancya AP

The historic Michigan factory where the iconic Rosie the Riveter and thousands of other women built B-24 bombers during World War II could face the wrecking ball two months from now.

A modest nonprofit is trying to raise enough money to salvage some of the massive plant, which Ford sold to General Motors after the war. The Yankee Air Museum figures the factory is the perfect place to start anew, after a devastating fire destroyed its collections in 2004.

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6:07am

Sun July 28, 2013
News

At Henry Ford's 150th Birthday Party

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 11:31 am

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

Amid all the gloom in Detroit, some people were celebrating this weekend. It's the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company. There was a big party at the Ford Stage in Dearborn, and people gathered there to remember the inventor who, by the way, was known for his passion for folk dance. Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton sent us this audio postcard.

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2:23am

Mon April 1, 2013
Business

EPA's Push For More Ethanol Could Be Too Little, Too Late

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 7:50 am

A decal advertising E85 ethanol is displayed on a pump at a gas station in Johnston, Iowa.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could soon issue a final ruling that aims to force oil companies to replace E10, gasoline mixed with 10 percent ethanol, with E15.

This move could come just as widespread support for ethanol, which is made from corn, appears to be eroding.

Mike Mitchell was once a true believer in ethanol as a homegrown solution to foreign oil imports. He owns gas stations, and he went further than most, installing expensive blender pumps that let customers choose E15, E20 and all the way up to E85.

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5:02pm

Tue August 21, 2012
All Tech Considered

Study To Test 'Talking' Cars That Would Warn Drivers Of Unseen Dangers

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 8:55 pm

Connected car technology could warn drivers when vehicles ahead of them suddenly brake.
iStockphoto.com

4:05am

Fri August 3, 2012
Energy

States Ask Detroit: 'Build Us A Natural Gas Car, Please'

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 4:31 am

Honda's CNG Civic is the only natural gas-fueled sedan currently available in the United States. With so few CNG passenger cars on the road, pumping stations are few and far between.
Tracy Samilton for NPR

More than 20 state governors are taking an unusual step to boost the natural gas vehicle industry. Independent of the federal government, they're asking Detroit carmakers to build them a new kind of car: a midsize sedan that runs on compressed natural gas instead of gasoline.

The governors are hoping to boost demand for natural gas cars with their collective buying power. Combined, the states say they could ultimately buy thousands of CNG vehicles to replace their current vehicle fleets — if those cars were available.

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6:24pm

Tue July 24, 2012
Business

Ford's Little Engine That Could Challenge Hybrids

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:37 am

The 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany featured Ford Motor Co.'s new three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which will hit the U.S. market next year.
Courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

Ford Motor Co. intends to prove that good things come in small packages — really small packages. The company has taken engine downsizing to a new level with its new three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which has been introduced in Europe and is set to hit the U.S. market next year.

The EcoBoost offers more power than many conventional four-cylinder engines, with fuel economy numbers a hybrid could envy. Early fans are calling it a modern "little engine that could," and Ford is betting that American customers are ready to embrace a three-cylinder engine.

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3:39am

Fri July 20, 2012
Business

GM Retirees Face Friday Pension Deadline

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You've got to escape from your Escape.

Now, today is an important day for more than 40,000 salaried retirees of General Motors. They're facing a major financial decision. This evening marks the deadline for accepting a pension buyout.

Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton explains.

TRACY SAMILTON, BYLINE: The GM retirees have two choices: either take a lump-sum payment - which can range from 400,000 to $800,000 - or their pensions will be shifted from GM's books to the private insurance company Prudential.

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4:44pm

Thu June 14, 2012
Economy

New Schedules Push Graveyard Shift Off The Clock

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 9:54 pm

A worker builds cars on the assembly line at Ford's Chicago Assembly plant, which has adopted the "three crew" work schedule. The new third shift can increase efficiency in factories, but it can also wreak havoc on sleep needs and home lives.
Scott Olson Getty Images

As car companies struggle to meet growing demand, the third shift is making a comeback. But many factories running on three shifts are doing it differently from in the past. And that new "three crew" shift pattern could make what's normally a hard job even harder.

At Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, employees work 10-hour shifts four days a week. The so-called A crew gets days, while the B crew gets afternoons. But the C crew shift rotates its start time every week. On Fridays and Saturdays, workers start at 6:00 a.m. On Mondays and Tuesdays, they start at 4:30 p.m.

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2:20pm

Thu May 10, 2012
Around the Nation

Hear That? Annoying Hum Has Canada Making Noise

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 9:50 pm

Thousands of people in Windsor, Ontario, say they are being invaded by an obnoxious noise emanating from outside Detroit. They call it the "Windsor Hum," and it's really two sounds — a deep, very low-frequency hum, like a diesel truck idling in your driveway, and a deep, vibrating pulse that you feel more than you hear.

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