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Friday, May 06, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, May 6, 2005

Things that make you go "Hmmmm": Epic Lutheran Church (Utica) will conduct a series of Star Wars-themed sermons. Hmmmm.

GM, Ford Rated High-Risk
The Detroit News reports that after Standard & Poor's flagged the debt-rating of General Motors and Ford as high-risk, the State of Michigan can no longer buy bonds or commercial paper from the companies. Michigan will still consider buying GM and Ford stock for pension funds.

Curtain Call at Lansing Car Assembly Factory
The Lansing State Journal has a feature on the closing of General Motors' Lansing Car Assembly Verlinden Avenue plant. At about 9 PM last night, the plant's final car body (a Pontiac Grand Am) came out of the plant. The facility was purchased by GM in 1935 and was known as Lansing Fisher Body, the Buick-Oldsmobile-Cadillac plant and Lansing Car Assembly in later years.

Mt. Clemens Regulars - an Old, Old School Ballclub
The Detroit Free Press has a feature on the Mt. Clemens Regulars, part of an international collection of baseball teams that celebrate the early uniforms, rules and traditions of baseball in spring and summer games before small crowds. The team moved from Sterling Heights and changed their name from the Upton Base Ball Club as the Regulars were an actual 1860s group that played in Mt. Clemens.

Lake Michigan Salmon Fishing Good
The Muskegon Chronicle reports that early May is usually when salmon action picks up on Lake Michigan and that 2005 is no exception. Anglers are reporting catches of king salmon (many 15-16 pounds) off Grand Haven, Mona Lake and a few near Muskegon Lake. Coho, lake trout and a few steelhead have been reported as well.

100 Years of Automobiles Celebrates MDOT's Centennial
The St. Ignace News reports that plans are moving forward for Michigan Department of Transportation's 100 year celebration that will take place in St. Ignace over the Labor Day holiday weekend with a "100 years of automobiles" event, a historical exhibit, a fireworks display, and the unveiling of a historical marker, concluding with the 48th annual Mackinac Bridge Walk September 5.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:37 AM 0 comments links to this post
Thursday, May 05, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, May 5, 2005

5/5/05 ... The Ultimate Cinco de Mayo! The LSJ has a regular "This Day in History" feature. On May 5, 1961, a rocket went 115 miles up with first U.S. astronaut, but the item at the bottom of the page is absolutely priceless...

Habitat Building Project Comes to Michigan
The Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun reports that Habitat for Humanity's Jimmy Carter Work Project will be working in Michigan this summer. The program aims to help low income folks have a home of their own. Throughout the year, the Project (which needs volunteers statewide, see JCWP site) will provide 230 homes in the state of Michigan to those in need.
Jimmy Carter Work Project 2005 in Michigan web site

Kerkorian Proposal Boosts GM
The Lansing State Journal reports that GM shares soared more than 18% Wednesday after Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. offered to pay almost $870 million for a nearly 5 percent stake. That would boost Tracinda's holdings to about 9% and make Kerkorian one of GM's largest shareholders.

Whooping Cranes Sighted in Eastern Upper Peninsula
The Soo Evening News reports that Goetzville resident Jim Traynor sighted (and photographed) a pair of the rarest birds in North America. Whooping cranes are 5' tall, weigh only about 15 pounds, white with long black legs and a patch of bare red skin on their heads.
A photo is (or at least was) right here!

Granholm Details Tech Plan
The Detroit Free Press reports that Gov. Jennifer Granholm detailed her $2-billion bond proposal to lure high-tech industry to Michigan, and urged lawmakers to put the issue on the November ballot. Money from the sale of bonds would be used to foster Michigan-based companies that develop and manufacture new products for four areas: biomedical, automotive, alternative fuel and homeland defense.

Warm Weather & High Lakes are Good News for Michigan Boaters
The Detroit News reports that the combination of high lake levels and a warm weekend has boaters excited about first week of the boating season. (of course, as anyone who knows or is a boater knows, boaters would be excited anyway) According to Michigan State University, recreational boating has an estimated $2.4 billion impact on the the Michigan economy.

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# posted by farlane @ 10:25 AM 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Pistons top 76ers, on to Round II.

Michigan Politicians Face IRS Scrutiny
The Detroit Free Press has a typically hard-hitting investigative report that Michigan legislators have used campaign cash to purchase cars, jewelry, gifts and other items. The IRS is investigating whether politicians in Michigan and other states are violating federal restrictions on the use of tax-exempt political funds.

Travel Michigan Finds Promotion Investment Pays Off
Travel Michigan announced a study that found their 2004 advertising program drew nearly one million visitors who spent $163 million statewide. Overall the tourism industry contributes $16 billion to Michigan's economy annually, accounting for 182,000 jobs and generating $853 million in state tax revenues, making tourism the second largest industry in the state.
Visit Travel Michigan for a copy of the study

Bill to Allow Governor to Appoint Michigan School Chief Fails
The Associated Press reports that the Michigan House fell a few votes short on a measure to allow voters to decide whether to give the governor, instead of the elected Board of Education, the ability to appoint the state school superintendent. The House voted 72-32 to approve the constitutional amendment, but needed 74 to send the measure to the Senate.

Lansing Regional SmartZone Fuels Startups
The Lansing State Journal has a feature on the Lansing Regional SmartZone, which provides incubator space for high-tech startups, offers entrepreneurial advice and assists businesses with securing capital. Other community organizations, including Lansing Community College and the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the cities of Lansing and East Lansing also are key players.

The Lake Express Car Ferry Tests New Stabilization
The Muskegon Chronicle reported earlier this week that The Lake Express, a 192-foot vehicle-passenger ferry, was scheduled to make a trip across Lake Michigan to test its new ride stabilization system -- large "T-foils" on each of the two catamaran hulls. The hydraulic, computer-controlled devices are designed to improve the ride comfort of the ferry in high winds and heavy waves.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:10 AM 0 comments links to this post
Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, May 3, 2005

School elections are today. Vote.

Granholm Unwilling to Allow Michigan to Become "Meal"
The Detroit Free Press has a report on Gov. Jennifer Granholm's speech at the Detroit Economic Club on Monday. She said that the state faces a jobs crisis that can only be solved with a better-educated workforce, fairer taxes and more-aggressive pursuit of technology industries and that "We must eat or be eaten as a state. I, as governor, refuse to let us become some other country's meal."

Michigan Supreme Court Reverses Girls Sports Decision
The Detroit News reports that the Michigan Supreme Court set aside a lower U.S. Circuit Court ruling that Michigan high schools discriminated against female athletes by scheduling their basketball and volleyball seasons during nontraditional times of the year. The decision sends athletic directors into scheduling limbo but may ultimately solve nothing.

Big Layoffs for Grand Rapids Public Schools
WZZM TV-13 Grand Rapids reports that 270 Grand Rapids school teachers are getting pink slips. The Grand Rapids Public School Board hopes that retirement incentives they'll reduce that number to 90. The board has also voted to privatize bus driving positions which may cut hundreds more jobs.

Ben Wallace wins 3rd NBA Defense Award
The Detroit Free Press reports that Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace has won the 2005 NBA defensive player of the year trophy (his 3rd in 4 years). Wallace will receive the award tonight before the Sixers game and joins Dikembe Mutombo as the only players to win the defensive player of the year award three or more times.

FUSE-in Band Lineup - Memorial Weekend
The Detroit News reports that the lineup for Detroit's annual FUSE-in Memorial Day techno festival has been set. More than 120 artists including Kevin Saunderson, hip-hop collective Slum Village, Richie Hawtin, Juan Atkins, Stacey Pullen, Kenny Larkin, Carl Craig and rapper Mos Def will perform on four stages over three days at Detroit's Hart Plaza.
Visit the FUSE-in Detroit web site

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# posted by farlane @ 8:45 AM 0 comments links to this post
Monday, May 02, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, May 2, 2005

Freep columnist Dawson Bell has nothing against Mackinac, but he wonders why state budget-cutters skipped over Mackinac State Historic Parks.

Michigan Parent Attitudes Toward Education
It's fashionable to bash schools, but the Sunday Detroit News reported on a survey of Michigan parents that found (among other things) that almost half don't think everyone should have a college education and only one in four believe that a good education is essential for getting ahead in life.
Also see this Nolan Finley editorial: Attitude may make Michigan the new Mississippi

Mr. Gates Goes to Detroit
Detroit Free Press technology writer Mike Wedland has a feature on the visit of Bill Gates to the Motor City and Detroit's auto industry. Gates spoke to over 400 auto industry executives about how Microsoft software could make cars more convenient, safer, easier to maintain and fun to drive. Gates also gave a million dollars to the Henry Ford for a new exhibit on the evolution of technology.

Michigan Technology Companies to Watch
Today's Great Lakes IT Report highlights "50 Companies to Watch in Michigan" is a program designed to shine the spotlight on the second-stage companies that generate the bulk of new, sustainable jobs and are a powerful economic force underpinning the high quality of life most Americans enjoy.
Sign up for the Great Lakes IT Report

Tuesday Election for School Districts in Michigan
The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that Michigan's first election on the new May schedule will be held this Tuesday (May 3). In addition to offering school board candidates, many Kalamazoo area schools will be asking for sinking funds, building funds and other forms of supplemental income (like many of the school districts in the state).

Antrim County Struggles with Anchor Business Troubles
The Traverse City Record-Eagle has a report on community concerns after last month's closing of the Second Chance body armor plant in Central Lake and uncertainty over Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire after its recent foreclosure. The story is a common one in Michigan right now...

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# posted by farlane @ 9:31 AM 0 comments links to this post
Sunday, May 01, 2005

Let's Go Fishing for Northern Pike

The Wayne County News-Herald has a nice piece by an uncredited writer about fishing for Northern Pike that will likely bring back your own childhood memories of fishing for pike (or perch or bluegill) in Michigan's rivers, lakes and streams.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:18 AM 0 comments links to this post
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