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Friday, July 15, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, July 15, 2005

Looks like Freep tech writer Mike Wedland had to eat a little digital crow (and a $41 reconnect fee) when his VoIP service crashed. Tom Walsh is cutting any phone lines, but he does argue for fuel freedom now.

Eminem May Quit While Ahead
The Detroit Free Press reports that Encore, the fourth album from Detroit rapper Eminem, the best-selling hip-hop artist in history, may well be his last. A detailed feature and an engaging read.

Chicago to Mackinac Sailing Race
The Chicago Tribune reports that the 333-mile Chicago-to-Mackinac race, the world's longest freshwater sailing competition, celebrates its 97th running this weekend. The race starts at noon on Saturday east of the Monroe Street Harbor in Chicago and finishes at Round Island off Mackinac Island. Although most boats finish in 40 to 60 hours, the fastest can finish in a day (record 23 hours 30 minutes by Roy Disney's Pyewacket).
Chicago Yacht Club (official sponsor)
Chicago to Mackinac Race web site

City of Warren on the Cutting Edge
The Great Lakes IT Report let us know that the City of Warren is among the first municipalities in the country to offer podcasting. The half hour "Warren Town Talk" launched last Friday (July 8, 2005) and features a talk show format. Cool!

CMU Hikes Tuition, But Will Guarantee Rate
The Detroit News reports that Central Michigan University will raise freshman tuition 19% (to $6,390 per year) for the coming school year. The cloud comes with a silver lining, however, as CMU is guaranteeing the rate for five years. Tuition at the university increased increased 26.6% over the last five years, so this may be a good deal.

Meijer Says 'No Receipt, No Return'
From the Vanishing Small Town Culture Department comes this Detroit Free Press news that Michigan-based Meijer will no longer allow returns without receipt. For over 70 years, since Meijer was a small-town grocery in Greenville, customers have been allowed to return merchandise to stores for refunds without sales receipts. Losses to shoplifters are cited as the impetus for the change.

Read More (external link) »

# posted by farlane @ 8:56 AM 0 comments
Thursday, July 14, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, July 14, 2005

The middle of July is apparently a good time to pass along tips to young folks, as evidenced by the LSJ's 10 great ways to fry your parents' last nerve and this Times-Herald feature on summer sleepovers.

Bright News from Michigan Small Businesses
Mitechnews reports that the latest quarterly Small Business Barometer survey finds that 18% of Michigan small business owners hired more workers in the second quarter of the year - the highest percentage of small businesses reporting hiring increases since the third quarter of 1999.

GVSU & MTU Raise Tuition
The Detroit Free Press reports that in response to expected funding cuts, two Michigan schools have raised tuition rates for 2005-06 and others are expected to follow. Grand Valley State University increased 7.6% to $6,334 annually and Michigan Technological University bumped 7.7% to $8,194 per year.

Supreme Court Rules Dow Not Liable for Testing Costs
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Michigan Supreme Court ruled yesterday that residents cannot sue Dow Chemical to pay the cost of testing for future dioxin-related health problems. Residents near Dow's plant in Midland along the Tittabawassee River had filed a lawsuit asking that Dow set up a medical monitoring trust fund to pay for dioxin testing.

Dewitt Makes Best Place to Live List
The Lansing State Journal reports that Dewitt, Michigan has been named one of 100 finalists in CNN/Money Magazine's "Best Places to Live 2005". The historic city 8 miles north of Lansing was one of 4 Michigan cities on the list including Rochester (39), Saline (43) and Caledonia (99).

One Thing You Might Rather Not Know
The Bay City Times reports that in in Saginaw, and most other towns in Michigan, the leftovers are recycled into a sludge known as biosolids, which are spread for free onto farmer's fields. The biosolids are neutralized with lime and tested to make sure harmful pathogens have been removed.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:54 AM 0 comments
Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Mitch Albom writes: "...the 76th All-Star Game, with its countless snapshots of crowded summer streets and open-air tents and rock bands and sleeveless women and men piggybacking their kids may have done more for Detroit's cloudy image than any snowy week in February will match." Read Mitch's column.

Vote Would Prevent Meijer from Building Store
The Grand Rapids Press reports that Michigan-based Meijer faces an August 2 vote in Acme Township that could bar it (or any other superstore) from setting up shop in the community just north of Traverse City. The Acme Towship Board wants to put a nine-month moratorium on the construction of "big box" stores larger than 50,000 square feet while it studies way to control commercial development.

Detroit Area Energy Efforts
The Detroit News has a feature on measures Metro Detroit communities and schools are taking to battle rising energy costs including dialing down the thermostat and experimenting with fuels made from animal fats. Interesting fact: according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Michigan customers pay an average of 7.16 cents per kilowatt hour (midwest average is 6.53 cents).

Hot Time for a Cool City
The Mining Journal has a report on Ishpeming's celebration of their designation as a 2005 Cool Cities Michigan Main Street (where temps topped 90). Grand Haven, Howell & Midland also received this designation.
Cool Cities - Michigan Main Street overview from the MEDC

Homeworks Pays Off in SE Michigan McDonald's
The AP reports that starting this fall, the owners of two Livingston County McDonald's restaurants will pay high school and college students in their employ an extra hour before or after their shifts to do homework.

MTU Signs Downloading Agreement
The Great Lakes IT Report passes along news that for a fee of 14.95 a semester, students at Michigan Tech will have access to over 700,000 songs for legal download. The university's agreement with digital entertainment service Ruckus will also offer access to a rotating library of blockbuster movies and TV shows.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:11 AM 0 comments
Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, July 12, 2005

ESPN's Jason Whitlock writes that though beating up on Detroit is easy and sportswriters across the nation will be doing just that, Detroit is the best sports town in America, blowing away New York, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia. Crazy? Probably, but we'll take it!

All Star Madness
Detroit Tiger Catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez (representing Puerto Rico) finished second to Phillies slugger Bobby Abreu in last night's Home Run Derby. Fans are gearing up for tonight's All Star Game and first time visitors to the Motor City are apparently impressed.
Read Hitsville U.S.A. in the Detroit News (great photo gallery!)
Read Fans get into groove, praise city's welcome in the Freep

$2.38 per Gallon Gas Price Record Won't Stand Long
WZZM TV-13 Grand Rapids reports that gasoline prices across Michigan are higher than ever and are probably going to get worse because retail gasoline prices haven't kept up with recent increases at the wholesale level. According to AAA Michigan, gas stations are charging an average of 10.6 cents more than last week and 45.3 cents more than this time last year.

GOP Radio Ad Blasts Granholm for Job Loss
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Michigan Republican Party has launched a 60 second statewide radio ad called "State of Denial," that criticizes Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm for the number of jobs lost in the last 2 1/2 years. Democrats contend the ad is a response to charges that GOP candidate Dick DeVos moved jobs from Michigan to China when he was the president of direct sales giants Alticor and Amway.
Ad script, fact sheet and terribly unflattering photo from Michigan GOP

Archer to Head Granholm Campaign
The Lansing State Journal reports that although Gov. Jennifer Granholm has not officially announced her candidacy, former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer will head her 2006 re-election campaign. Archer served on the Michigan Supreme Court from 1985-1990, was Detroit mayor for 8 year, served as the first black president of the American Bar Association and now is chairman of the Dickinson Wright PLLC law firm in Detroit.
Graholm for Governor web site

Throwing Shoes in St. Clair Shores
The Detroit Free Press has a feature on the 95 member St. Clair Shores Horseshoe Club. With several state and world champions on its rolls and a 12-court outdoor facility at Kyte Monroe Park, the club has seen its membership double over the past 15 years.
Pitchhorseshoes.com - a great reource for Michigan Horshoe Information

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# posted by farlane @ 8:50 AM 0 comments
Monday, July 11, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, July 11, 2005

The Detroit News has a nice feature on the Tahquamenon Falls and other UP waterfalls.

21 Turbine Wind Farm Proposed
The Detroit News has a feature on the plans of Grand Rapids-based Mackinaw Power to build a 21-turbine wind farm on an elevated 8,000 acres of farmland north of Muskegon. The project could generate enough power for all all 27,000 residents of Oceana county. Wind turbines currently produce less than 1% of Michigan's power and Michigan ranks 24th in capacity.
Visit the Mackinaw Power web site

Great Lakes Shipwreck Research
The Mining Journal has a detailed feature on various efforts to preserve maritime history through the study of Great Lakes shipwrecks. Efforts include paintings and models of sunken ships and advanced remotely operated vehicles that the Great Lakes Shipwreck Society at Whitefish Point is currently using to catalog five wrecks in Lake Superior.

Company to Deliver Rural & Urban Broadband
The Lansing State Journal reports that a Lansing company has received a $2.2 million federal grant to help bring wireless Internet access to five rural communities that are considered low- to moderate-income areas. Arialink Broadband will provide service throughout Muskegon County. Arialink was also selected by East Lansing to provide downtown Wi-Fi under the Cool Cities Neighborhoods in Progress.
Read Arialink Broadband Selected for East Lansing Technology Connection, Cool Cities Project from Arialink

Courtney Fountain: 2005-2006 National Cherry Queen
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports on new national cherry queen is Courtney Fountain, a biological sciences student at Michigan State University. She will reign for one year, making appearances at other festivals and industry functions in Michigan and elsewhere, starting at Tuesday's All-Star Game.

Whole Lot of Michigan Cherries
While we're on the subject of cherries, Taste the Local Difference reports that we have a bumper crop this year, offers lots of cherry facts and history (such as, it takes 250 cherries to make a cherry pie), tells you where to purchase tart & sweet cherries and gives a recipe for Carmelized Salmon with Cherry Salsa.

Read More (external link) »

# posted by farlane @ 8:35 AM 0 comments
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