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Friday, February 25, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, February 25, 2005

March Madness! Michigan High School tournament schedules for basketball, volleyball, skiing and a host of other sports are posted by the MHSAA.

House Speaker Criticizes Merit Award Elimination
The Associated Press reports that State House Speaker Craig DeRoche criticized Gov. Jennifer Granholm's proposal to eliminate $500 scholarships for high school students who scored well on the state's MEAP tests while in middle school. The Governor proposed saving $9 million by not giving the Michigan Merit Award scholarships to almost 50,000 graduating seniors.

Water Laws Draw Fire
The Michigan Land Use Institute has a pair of in-depth reports looking at the partisan conflict over Great Lakes water protection. The Water Legacy Act introduced last March by Gov. Granholm to safeguard water resources has stalled in the Legislature but the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is reviewing the state Inland Lakes and Streams Act to see if it can be used for the same purpose. Michigan Republicans are attacking these measures as harmful to business growth & job creation.
Also read Granholm Administration Eyes New Strategy to Move Water Legacy Act from MLUI

Ford Will Not Sponsor Jazz Festival
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Ford Motor Co. will not renew its $250,000 title sponsorship of the Detroit International Jazz Festival. As Ford's contribution is 20% of the annual Labor Day weekend event's budget, organizers are facing a serious challenge that could result in the end of a 25 year tradition.

Sour News for Michigan Sugar Beet Growers
The Lansing State Journal reports that the Michigan Sugar Co. announced that it is eliminating its final three installment payments to its 1,250 beet producers in 21 Michigan counties (and in Ohio and Ontario). The cooperative stands to lose $33 million because more than 200,000 tons of beets spoiled due to dramtic temperature swings last fall & this winter.

Rise in Lakes Good News for Some, Otherwise for Others
The Detroit News reports that snow & rain in southeast Michigan have raised the Lakes Erie, Ontario and St. Clair 18 inches above last winter's levels (and could have the same effect on the other Great Lakes by summer). Good news for shippers (who can carry more cargo), boat owners and potentially boat sellers. The downside of course is many who have had flooding problems.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:13 AM 1 comments links to this post
Thursday, February 24, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, February 24, 20052005

Hungry? Better head over and see what Kitchen Chick is cooking!

When a Promise Isn't a Promise
The Detroit News reports that Gov. Granholm's proposed changes to Michigan Merit Scholarships include reneging on a 2000 pledge by the Engler Administration to award an estimated 48,600 middle school students scholarships of up to $500 for college if they passed state achievement tests.

MSU Clinches Share of Big 10 Crown
The Lansing State Journal reports that the No. 6 Michigan State women's basketball team clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title with a 77-34 shellacking of U-M. The Spartans were led by 21 from center Kelli Roehrig, 20 from forward Liz Shimek (who scored her 1000th career point) and 14 from guard Victoria Lucas-Perry.

Detroit Techno Fest Gets Agreement
The Detroit Free Press reports that Detroit artist Kevin Saunderson has signed a deal with the City of Detroit to produce Hart Plaza's annual techno party. The new contract, a two-year deal with an extension option, will also bring a new name to the Memorial Day weekend marquee: "Fuse-In Detroit: Electronic Movement." It may also bring an admission charge to fans of the traditionally free fest.
Visit the FUSE inDetroit web site

The Reel Thing - Student Film Festival
WZZM TV-13 Grand Rapids reports that the "Reel Thing" student film festival starts today in Grand Rapids. The event is open for filmmakers and videographers ages 14 to 21 from Kent County and surrounding counties and is at the Wealthy Theater from today through Saturday.
Visit the Reel Thing Film Fest web site

Unemployment Loophole Closing
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Michigan Senate approved a four bill package that will prohibit companies from transferring payroll to other employers to obtain a lower unemployment insurance rate and pay less taxes. The practice cost the state unemployment fund $62-95 million last year according to state estimates.

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# posted by farlane @ 11:11 AM 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Michigan History Magazine tells us that on February 23, 1922, 29 inches of snow fell on Ishpeming.

Michigan Energy (Affordability) Crisis
The number of Michigan households facing unaffordable energy bills has reached crisis proportions according to The Heat And Warmth Fund (THAW), a non-profit emergency energy assistance program. The study found that more than 180,000 households with incomes 50% below the Federal Poverty Level pay 38 percent of their income to keep heat and lights on in their homes (6% is considered affordable).

Boy Scout Camp Sale Approved
The Chicago Tribune reports that the Boy Scouts Chicago Area Council on Tuesday approved the sale (by a vote of 14-12) of its 4,800-acre summer camping property in Michigan (on Big Blue Lake near Muskegon) to an investor group for $19.4 million. The sale is contingent on a rezoning request to permit residential construction on parts of the property.

22 Conductors for 2005-06 DSO Series
The Detroit News reports that 22 conductors will preside over classical concerts by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra next season and that many will be potential successors to outgoing music director Neeme Jarvi. The list includes directors of US & foreign symphonies and Scottish composer James MacMillan.

Michigan Early Childhood Investment Corporation Created
Governor Granholm approved the formation of a new non-profit public corporation to coordinate state and local efforts to promote early childhood development activities in Michigan yesterday. The Michigan Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) will establish standards that will be implemented throughout the state by the ECIC in partnership with local ISDs.
Visit Michigan Project Great Start for information about local services

Hybrid Hipsters
The Detroit News reports that in addition to being cheaper to operate, hybrid cars offer some the chance to fashionably project an appreciation for technology and possession of a social conscience when it comes to auto pollution and oil consumption.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:43 AM 0 comments links to this post
Tuesday, February 22, 2005

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

We bid a sad farewell to Luke Walton's Forehead (which has to be one of the best blog names ever). Somehow "The Sports Dude Sports Scene in the......." just doesn't evoke the same passions.

Not the Kind of Record You Want to Break
The Detroit News reports that personal bankruptcy rates in Michigan rose to an all-time high last year with over 63,700 Michigan residents filing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 protection. The figure was a 2.3% increase from 2003 and 38% higher than 2001.

Democrats Propose Nation's Highest Waste Dumping Charge
Michigan House Democrats announced a sweeping plan Monday to reduce the flow of trash into Michigan from Canada and elsewhere. The Detroit Free Press reported that Michigan's low dumping charge is a big reason the state is the No. 3 importer of trash in the United States, behind only Pennsylvania and Virginia. The Democrats plan includes raising the dumping fee from 21 cents per ton to $7.50 (would be the nation's highest dumping charge), revoking certification for a year if out-of-state jurisdictions send banned and dangerous items to Michigan landfills, strengthening enforcement and banning landfill expansions until 2010.
Read House Dems to propose $7.50 to dump ton of trash in the Freep

Soup's On!
Lansing Noise has a five-part feature that has some great recipes for soups to warm you up from Lansing area restaurants. Soups include Black Bean, Chicken Corn Chowder, Tomato Tarragon, Potato Bacon Cheddar Ale and Veggie Gumbo.

Challenges for African American Scientists
Today's Michigan Daily has an interesting feature on how black scientists must still struggle to succeed in fields where personal connections and politics can have as great an impact as skill. The article includes profiles of past and present day scientists.

Fewer Elections, More Voters?
The Detroit Free Press reports that voters in 28 Michigan counties will cast ballots today in the first of just four elections this year. Michigan's new election consolidation law limits the number of annual elections four: the fourth Tuesday in February and the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May, August and November. The hope is that fewer elections will bring more voters to the polls.
Read Secretary Land reminds voters of Feb. 22 election in certain counties from the Michigan.gov Newswire

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# posted by farlane @ 8:39 AM 0 comments links to this post
Monday, February 21, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, February 21, 2005

It's President's Day, and a Washington College poll finds Lincoln rated as our greatest President while George Washington (who had a major role in inventing the office) rated 6th, behind Reagan, FDR, Kennedy, Clinton & George W. Bush ... guess he scored low in the "What have you done for me lately" category.

AuSable River Train Derailment
The Iosco County News-Herald reports thata 44-car Lake State Railway freight train derailed at about 10 PM Friday in Oscoda Township and collapsed the historic 1913 AuSable River trestle bridge in the process. Fortunately, the train was returning from dumping fly-ash rather than carrying it, which would have been a major disaster for Michigan's most famous fishing river.

Winter Storm Report
The Detroit Freep Press reports that a winter storm dumped snow across Michigan on Sunday, with up to 14 inches falling in the central Lower Peninsula and about six inches falling in metropolitan Detroit. Freezing rain is on tap for today.
Storm report with video from WJRT TV (Flint, Saginaw, Bay City)

Rick Larson Wins 2005 UP 200 Sled Dog Race
Rick Larson and lead dog Aspen have won the 2005 U.P. 200 Sled Dog Race with a time of 6 hours, 18 minutes, beating second-place finisher Tasha Stielstra by 10 minutes. Keith Aili finished third while defending champion Frank Teasley finished 9th.
Also read the feature Defending champ eyes repeat: Dashing to the finish line in the Mining Journal

Study: U-M Consumer Confidence Data "Useless"
WLNS TV (Lansing) reports that a new study says consumer confidence indices are essentially useless for forecasting Americans' spending patterns. The 2 closely-tracked indexes from the University of Michigan and the Conference Board may reveal the mood of Americans when they are surveyed, but they don't predict whether people will spend more or less.
In-depth feature from the Associated Press

Friends of Belle Isle Aquarium Make 11th Hour Effort
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Friends of Belle Isle Aquarium, a pro-Belle Isle Aquarium activist group, are seeking to find benefactors or convince the Detroit City Council to intervene at a hearing this morning.

Read More (external link) »

# posted by farlane @ 8:37 AM 0 comments links to this post
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