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Friday, April 01, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, April 1st, 2005

Wow. What an amazing day of news stories. We don't expect to see anything like this in Michigan news for at least a year...

Google to Purchase GM
Google announced at 12:01 AM, April 1, 2005 it will purchase a controlling interest in General Motors. The Internet giant plans numerous enhancements to the offerings of the world's largest automaker including the 2006 GM Coogle featuring an MP3 player with the ability to download 23 simultaneous music streams and the top-secret "SRCH nGine", reputed to burn free AOL CDs rather than gas.

Granholm to Cut All Funds to the UP, Balance Budget
In a surprise budget-cutting move, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm announced that she had found a way to balance Michigan's precarious budget. The convoluted plan has its roots in the MEAP tests Michigan students are required to take. "While the UP has always been a vital part of Michigan, it does not lend itself well to our new 'Where is it on the Hand?' method of geography testing preparation," the Governor explained. "By removing the UP from the state, we expect to realize a 1.3% increase in test scores." Meanwhile, Upper Peninsula officials are purportedly in merger talks with several southwestern states who would like to add Lake Superior to their states' water resources inventory.

Izzo to Pistons, Will Not Coach in Final Four
Spartan faithful were shocked at the announcement on ESPN-9 late last night that MSU coach Tom Izzo had resigned to take over the reigns for the Detroit Pistons. Outgoing Piston Coach Larry Brown called into the program from LAX where he was waiting for a limo to whisk him to the Staples Center and his new job as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Brown congratulated Izzo and explained "My year-and-a-half in Detroit was special, and I'll always be proud of what we accomplished, but let's face it: I thrive on challenge and the Lakers are a real doozy!" It was announced that MSU legend Jud Heathcoate will coach the Spartans in the Final Four.

Michael Moore Takes New Job
Controversial filmmaker and Michigan native Michael Moore confirmed persistant rumors that he will accept a position as chief cinematic strategist for the Republican National Committee. Moore, reached at his new mansion in the Flint suburb of Davison responded, "Frankly, it's darn tiring chasing people around with movie cameras who don't want to be chased and they really get mad. Now that I'm with the RNC, the people I'd be hounding are happy to stand still and smile."

Sleeping Bear Awakes!
The village of Glen Arbor was stunned today when Mishe-Mokwa (the "Sleeping Bear") woke up! The 52.3 foot mother bear had been slumbering for several thousand years and apparently woke up very hungry and cranky. Read the complete story for much more and actual photos!
Read the rest of Sleeping Bear Awakes! (with photos!!)

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# posted by farlane @ 9:17 AM 0 comments links to this post
Thursday, March 31, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, March 31, 2005

As you pull up to a red light, remember this date in 1976 when turning right on red received legal blessing (courtesy Michigan History Magazine).

Hard Economic Times Hit Michigan Veterans
The Detroit News reports that the state's largest assistance center for former soldiers (Michigan Veterans Foundation) reported a 36% increase in veterans seeking homeless assistance since last year.

Baby Broadway in Detroit
The Detroit Free Press has a feature detailing the area near Ford Field & Comerica Park that asserting itself as a theater district. There are six theaters in easy walking distance of the stadiums (the Gem, Century, Music Hall, Fox, City Theatre and 1515 Broadway with 2 more to open) that are attracting patrons, theater groups and performances of nationally known plays & musicals and new offerings.

GM Inks Deal with US Energy Dept. for Fuel Cell Vehicles
The Detroit Free Press reports that General Motors Corp. and the U.S. Department of Energy have signed a five-year, $88 million deal to build a fleet of 40 hydrogen fuel vehicles. GM will spend $44 million to distribute fuel cell vehicles in Washington, New York, California and Michigan. The Energy Department also will provide $44 million.

Migrant Worker Training Budget Cuts
The Lansing State Journal reports that migrant workers in Michigan could have a harder time getting training for permanent jobs under President Bush's proposed budget cuts, farm workers' advocates say.

Oscoda & AuSable Townships Seek Joint Harbor
The Oscoda Press reports that for more than a decade, AuSable and Oscoda have envisioned separate recreational harbor and marinas on the Lake Huron. Now the AuSable Township trustees have agreed to support Oscoda's grant applications, provided the harbor/marina is pursued as a joint AuSable-Oscoda project.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:38 AM 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, March 30, 2005

There's hungry, really hungry and 5700-pound corned-beef sandwich hungry.

MSU Women Beat Stanford, Make First Final Four
The Detroit News reports that the MSU Women's basketball team defeated top-ranked Stanford 76-69. Michigan State will face top-seeded Tennessee in their 1st ever Final Four appearance on Sunday at 9 PM.
Also see MSU women grab Final Four glory in the Detroit News

Students to Create South Fox Light Exhibit
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that students from Fife Lake Elementary and Northport Public School are the newest experts on the history of the South Fox Island Lighthouse. They've teamed up with a coalition set on saving the lighthouse to establish a new exhibit at Leelanau's Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum. This is a nice article that features the memories of lightkeeper Doug McCormick.

Michigan Wi-Fi Usage Doesn't Live up to Wi-Fi Hype
Detroit Free Press technology guru Mike Wedland writes that lost amid the hype in Michigan about Wi-Fi (wireless Internet) is the fact that the demand for the service is relatively small. For example, since Wi-Fi service was launched last summer at Michigan rest areas, state parks and highway welcome centers, the number of users statewide can be measured in the dozens, rather than the hundreds.

No Ice Problems on UP Shipping Channels
The Soo Evening News reports that winter ice appears to be departing peaceably from area shipping channels just three days after the Soo Locks opened for the new season. This means that there's been no major ice jams or other hazards to shipping.

Survey Says: Economy, Governor in Trouble
The Detroit Free Press reports that a new poll indicates that nearly half of Michigan residents think the state's economy is heading downhill. The poll also showed Gov. Granholm's job approval ratings falling. 45% of those polled say they think the state economy has worsened in recent months, and 39 percent expect it to remain that way in the next six to 12 months.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:38 AM 0 comments links to this post
Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Ypsi~dixit, a Ypsilanti blogger, has a nice photo feature on her Easter Egg Microactivism.

Steelcase to Cut 600 Grand Rapids Jobs
The Detroit News reports that Steelcase Inc., the world's largest office furniture maker, said Monday it will close several manufacturing facilities in the Grand Rapids area over the next two years. The company expects to cut about 100 salaried and 500 hourly positions and about 2.6 million square feet of manufacturing space and will vacate the remaining factories at its sprawling Grand Rapids campus. Steelcase eliminated about 6,000 positions in recent years.
View a video report on job cuts from WZZM TV-13 Grand Rapids

USGS Study of Yellow Dog Plains Sought
The UP Mining Journal reports that a scientific study of northern Marquette County's watershed could be on the way, which would include the area proposed for the mining of nickel in the Yellow Dog Plains area. Funding for the U.S. Geological Survey survey of northern part of the county was made in a mid-March appropriations request, according to U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Menominee.

Granholm's Job Creation Plan Criticized
The Detroit News reports that Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced Monday that she's found a formula to create up to 40,000 jobs throughout the state in the next three years. The Michigan Republican Party criticizes the fact that many jobs created under the plan are short-term.

Where Nobody Knows You're a Dog
The AP reports that the Michigan Senate is considering legislation that would require Internet dating companis serving Michigan residents to disclose on its Web site whether it has conducted criminal background checks on users, based solely on the names provided. Critics (including most online sites) say there is no way to ensure people give their real names.

Going Grade Free in Flint
The Flint Journal reports that Carman Park Elementary School may soon be the first grade-free school in Genessee County. Under the innovative system, students would learn based on ability level, regardless of age. If a fourth-grader is ready for algebra, he or she would be grouped with children of varying ages studying algebra.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:50 AM 0 comments links to this post
Monday, March 28, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, March 28, 2005

Michiganders are a generous, intelligent and noble group. Unfortunately, many of us are also completely insane.

Spartan Men in Final Four, Women One Game Away
How do you top a Saturday elite 8 slate that featured both games going to overtime? If you're the MSU Spartans, it's a double overtime, 94-88 victory over Kentucky! The women's team moved to the Elite 8 with a 76-64 come-from-behind victory over Vanderbilt. They will play second-seeded Stanford on Tuesday, seeking a first-ever Final Four berth.
Read MITCH ALBOM: Spartans punch surprise ticket to St. Louis for Final Four in the Freep
Read MSU women one game from joining men in the Freep

King Salmon Boom on Lake Michigan, Bust on Lake Huron
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that a chinook (king salmon) boom on Lake Michigan corresponds with a bust on Lake Huron. Salmon numbers on the state's east side are falling so far, so fast that many discouraged local anglers dismiss nearby Huron and trailer their boats cross-state seeking the premier game fish.

Michigan Gardening Season Opens (Sort Of)
The Detroit Free Press reports that a wintry February & March have the ground still too saturated for planting, but that supply stores have lots of plants for sale which may translate into great deals for gardeners. The lesson: know what plants you can buy early and how to keep them alive until planting time.

In-Depth Look at Social Security
The Detroit News had a Sunday feature that presents the history of the Social Security system and looks at how proposed reforms are creating a divide between older and younger Michiganians -- well worth a read.

ArtTrain USA Makes a Stop in Mid-Michigan
The Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun reports that Artrain USA, a nationally touring art museum, is making its way to Mt. Pleasant. Aboard the train is a display on Native American art entitled "Native Views: Influences of Modern Culture" that will be on display May 18-22.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:29 AM 0 comments links to this post
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