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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

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

NOTE!
Five Things You Need to Know will be skiing at Searchmont in Ontario and be back (much refreshed) on Monday, March 28th!

The Jetsons Go to the Hospital
The Detroit Free Press reports that today the Detroit Medical Center will become the world's first hospital system to deploy an entire fleet of real robots that can see, hear, talk, scoot around and allow doctors to be in two places at once. The RP-6 robot stands 5' 7" and has a two-way video screen for a head and will allow immediate consultation with specialist doctors in critical situations.

Smart Growth in Grand Rapids
The Michigan Land Use Institute reports that ten years of Smart Growth policy has generated an urban comeback in Grand Rapids. has generated there. Like so many other downtowns in our state, Grand Rapids was facing abandonment, decay, and despair. Unlike many others cities in Michigan, their downtown is gaining population and prosperity.

Plan to Eliminate School Bus Inspections Worrisome to Many
The Detroit News reports that Gov. Jennifer Granholm wants to eliminate annual state school bus inspections to save $1.3 million. Inspections last year sidelined almost 2,200 of the 17,800 buses because of serious safety violations. This has parents and school administrators worrying about the safety of the state's school bus fleet (and their passengers).

Audrey Hepburn replaces Britney Spears
Risque is out, sophisticated is in for 2005 prom dresses according to the Detroit News. It may seem frivolous, but any parent of a prom-going girl knows that it's serious business!

Homer Says ... It's Tulip Time!
In keeping with the lighthearted, cartoon vibe, Holland and Tulip Time (their annual May Festival) received endorsement from an unlikely source -- Simpsons cartoon character Homer Simpson who remarked that he wouldn't mind taking an RV to the tulip festival. The episode's writer said: "People need to know there is more to Michigan than Detroit -- There is Detroit and the tulip festival."

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# posted by farlane @ 9:49 AM 0 comments links to this post
 
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 0 comments links to this post
 
Monday, March 21, 2005

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

The Detroit News reports that while Sunday was the first day of spring, you couldn't have deduced it from the thermometer or the conditions. The extended outlook calls for continued cooler-than-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation.

Banner Weekend for Spartans
The Michigan State University faithful had a lot to cheer about as both men's & women's teams rolled on in NCAA tourney action. The No. 1-seeded MSU women's squad whipped 16 seed Alcorn State 73-41 on Saturday. They face 8 seed USC at 7 tonight. The men notched a solid 72-61 victory over 13th-seeded Vermont, following up an 89-81 victory over 12th-seeded Old Dominion and face #1 seed Duke Friday.
Read MSU faces bigger test in the Freep (women)
Read Dance with the Devils in the Freep (men)

Mackinac Bridge Commemorative Stamp
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that a Mackinaw City Group is working to lobby the U.S. Postal Service to issue a Mackinac Bridge commemorative stamp in June 2008 - the 50-year anniversary of the bridge's dedication. A stamp of the Bridge was released in 1958, the last 3-cent commemorative stamp issued by the service. An application filed last year was rejected as "too local or regional".

Metro Detroit Students Get Involved in Local Government
The Detroit News has a feature exploring ways in which Detroit area students are getting involved in the process of local government that's well worth a read.

Michigan's Most Senior Employee Retiring
The Lansing State Journal has a feature on Michigan Department of Education consultant Ben Hamilton, 84, who is retiring after working for the state for 56 years. He retires next week as the longest-serving state worker in Michigan history.

Michigan Legislators Split on 2006 Budget
The Detroit free Press reports that Michigan's delegation broke along party lines over 2006 budget proposals last week, with Republicans calling the plans a step toward reducing the federal deficit and Democrats questioning cuts to domestic programs. The $2.6 trillion budget proposal was adopted by the Senate on a 51-49 vote.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:49 AM 0 comments links to this post
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