Absolute Michigan's Michigan Blog
Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, March 22, 2005

99% of Michiganians recognize the name of George W. Bush and 98% of them can identify Jennifer Granholm. However, Detroit News columnist George Weeks, Congresswoman Debbie Stabenow doesn't enjoy the same recognition.

Grand Rapids Schools Ponder Privatization
WZZM TV-13 (Grand Rapids) reports that the Grand Rapids School District is considering privitation of some support staff jobs in an effort to trim costs in the face of an $18-million deficit. Transportation, food service workers and custodians could be affected.

Mercury Hot Spots
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium reports that while the new EPS cap and trade program to reduce mercury emissions will produce lower emissions over time, some dirtier power plants can buy the rights to emit higher levels of mercury. That could cause mercury hot spots in inland lakes as dirtier plants buy rights to pollute from cleaner plants.
Read a transcript

Chrysler to Add 5000 Metro Jobs
In the wake of a lot of bad news from the Michigan auto industry comes this good news: Chrysler is expected to announce today that it will invest over $500 million to renovate two Sterling Heights factories to prepare the plants to build a new line of midsize sedans beginning next year. The project will secure more than 5,000 Metro Detroit manufacturing jobs. The carmaker and the UAW are also expected to announce labor agreements at the plants that provide for team-based work rules similar to those in Japanese plants.

Building a Better Snowmobile
The Associated Press reports that teams from 13 engineering schools around the country put their ideas to the test in the annual Clean Snowmobile Challenge in Houghton, modifying ordinary machines to make them quieter and less polluting. The State University of New York-Buffalo entry won top honors in this year's competition, which ended over the weekend.

New Record High for Michigan Gas Prices
The Associated Press reports that Michigan gas prices are up 4.6 cents this week, setting a new record high and bringing the increase since the start of the year to 38.5 cents according to AAA Michigan. The current statewide average for a gallon of self-serve, unleaded gasoline is $2.136, 39.7 cents higher than last year's average and eclipsing the previous high from May 2004.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:31 AM
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