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Friday, September 09, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, September 9, 2005

The Freep's Susan Ager says Northern Michigan resident Nancy Kotting could replace Mike Brown as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Michigan Playwright Explores the Lives of Iraqi Women
The LA Weekly has a feature on Michigan born writer-performer Heather Raffo and her play Nine Parts of Desire, a one-woman show about the lives of Iraqi women. You might be compelled to dismiss this article after a paragraph. Do yourself a favor and read it to the end.
More about Heather Raffo's Nine Parts of Desire at the Geffin Playhouse

Michigan's Winter Heating Bill Could Skyrocket
WZZM TV-13 Grand Rapids reports that before Hurricane Katrina hit, forecasts called for Michiganders to pay 25% more this winter to heat their homes with natural gas. Now, winter heating bills could rise as much as 70%. Government programs to provide emergency fuel assistance have run dry, and it's unclear if they will have enough money to meet increasing demand when the fall funding cycle starts.
Also see Winter gas bills could rise $18 to $37 in the Lansing State Journal

Batali Headlines 2005 Traverse Epicurean Classic
The Northern Express has a feature on Chef Mario Batali and others who will offer classes at the 2nd annual Traverse Epicurean Classic which will be held September 15-17, 2005 at the Great Lakes Culinary Institute in Traverse City. The event benefits the GLCI and features an amazing array of classes, food & wine tastings and other items for the "foodie" in you.
Traverse Epicurean Classic web site

The Michigan Prairie Lady
The Detroit Free Press has a feature on Aunita Erskine, a self-confessed prairie nut, who studies prairies, tours prairies, volunteers at prairies and educates others about prairies. She will be leading a prairie walk in Ann Arbor at 1 PM this Sunday at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. A prairie is a mostly treeless landscape dominated by grasses. In Michigan, some prairies have a few trees, mainly oaks, and flowering plants and sedges. They depend on fire to survive and stay open.
Also see Visit local prairies in the Freep

Great Michigan Fall Travel Stops
The Detroit News has a nice collection of their readers' favorite food, dining and shopping businesses including Clyde's Drive-In in Sault Ste. Marie, the Tawas Bay Yarn Company, the River Rock Bar & Grill in St. Louis, Goldie's Cafe on Carp Lake, Iva's Chicken Dinners in Sterling and Spike's Keg 'O' Nails in Grayling.
Also see 12 spots not to miss on your trip up north from the Detroit News

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# posted by farlane @ 9:28 AM 0 comments links to this post
Thursday, September 08, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, September 8, 2005

News bits: Metro area teens reach out to Katrina victims, Health care, housing & jobs top needs for Michigan's Katrina Evacuees Seems like they top the list for many Michigan residents as well

Michigan Hotel Occupancy Near the Bottom
According to Smith Travel Research, Michigan continues to lose market share in the U.S. commercial lodging industry. By the end of 2004 Michigan ranked 49th in state hotel occupancy rates. So far this year, through July 2005, Michigan's occupancy rate continues to be the lowest of any state and among the lowest in growth rate.

Michigan Bumper Crops May Be Hard to Transport
mLive.com reports that while 2005 was a great growing season for Michigan farmers producing corn, soybeans and other crops, many may find they have no way to sell or ship crops as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina collides with the rapidly approaching harvest season. Our $3.8 billion-a-year agriculture industry is likely to take a hit as the state competes for a limited number of rail cars.

Lions in Super Bowl XL ... It Could Happen
From the "Fantasy Island" department comes this Detroit Free Press feature that despite 48 years of NFL Championship drought, theDetroit Lions have a shot at Super Bowl XL at Ford Field. Fun fact: Nine times in the last 11 years a team has made the Super Bowl after going .500 or worse the year before and the last Detroit Super Bowl featured two teams (San Francisco & Cincinatti) rebounding from 6-10 records. Zee plane, zee plane!

Mervyns to Close All Michigan Stores
The Detroit News reports that an undefined image, poor marketing and heated competition helped push Mervyns out of the Michigan retail market. The discount department store chain said Wednesday that it will close all 15 of its Michigan stores by February and lay off 1,108 workers.

Lugnuts Deal Not Yet Reached
The Lansing State Journal reports that Lansing could be looking to field a new minor league baseball team in 2010. While Lansing Lugnuts owner Tom Dickson has said he doesn't want to leave, a deal has not yet been reached. A Battle Creek official said the city has had four owners and four major league affiliations, and that Lansing would have no trouble attracting a new team if necessary.

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# posted by farlane @ 11:08 AM 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, September 7, 2005

News Bits: Lansing couple's greenhouse business celebrates 25 years, Ottawa County man uses graffiti for historical preservation.

Initiative to Restore the Great Lakes Could Also Restore Jobs
The Great Lakes Bulletin News Service has a feature that explores how a multi-billion dollar proposal to restore the Great Lakes would generate hundreds of thousands of jobs in Michigan and the Great Lakes region as a whole. While ecological issues have long been central to restoration, policy experts have begun stressing that the initiative is necessary if the region is to kick aside its Rustbelt image, reverse unemployment trends, retain existing businesses, and lure new ones.

Lake Erie Wind Tower May Lead to Wind Farms
Down in Cleveland, Ohio they have built a 165 foot, 6,000-pound offshore wind tower on Lake Erie. Michigan touches Lake Erie, so we'll take the leap. Wind power is one of the fastest growing means of energy production worldwide and Green Energy Ohio, a nonprofit group behind the venture, expects it to produce the kind of results necessary to take the next step: gauging the public's interest in putting utility-scale wind turbines out in the lake.

Some Katrina Evacuees Plan to Stay in Michigan
The Detroit Free Press reports that while some Gulf Coast evacuees to Michigan, are moving into new, safe homes as temporary residents, some of them are saying they'll stay for good. Recommended reading.

Books Uncovers Forgotten Michigan History
The Traverse City Record-Eagle ran a feature a couple weeks back about Ogemaw County journalist Dale Killingbeck's new book Michigan Triumphs and Tragedies. The book details 10 nearly forgotten Michigan events including the fires of 1871 & 1881, a circus train wreck in Durand, a massive tornado that destroyed blocks of homes north of Flint and a 1913 storm that claimed 10 ships & 235 lives.

Labor Day Bridge Walk Wrapup
The Mining Journal has a feature on Monday's annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk with a nice photo (though it looks more like a Bridge Run).
More coverage from Michigan.gov
Mackinac Bridge Authority Bridge Walk Album

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# posted by farlane @ 8:16 AM 0 comments links to this post
Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Mitch Albom wites that schools should start after Labor Day while Detroit News sportswriter Jerry Green says Charley Sanders deserves the Hall of Fame, maybe more than Madden. No argument here

New MEDC Head Working to Change Image
Crain's Detroit Business reports that new Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) head Jim Epolito is working to change the perception of Michigan's business development agency. Dissatisfaction with MEDC job-creation performance, particularly for small business, was a reason state House Republicans cited in cutting $7.5 million from the MEDC in their proposed fiscal 2006 state budget but in reality, the agency spends a majority of its time with businesses of 100 employees or less.

Michigan Drug Suit Law Under Fire
The Lansing State Journal reports that Michigan's 1995 law protecting drug companies from lawsuits if the drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and labeled properly is generating outcry from users of presription drugs who believe they have been harmed and House Democrats. A group called DIIME (Drug Industry Immunity Must End) has formed to support the efforts.
DIIME web site

Fall Spraying for Emerald Ash Borers Now Recommended
The Detroit Free Press reports that experts are now advising homeowners that they may be able to save their healthy ash trees by starting insecticidal treatments this fall to kill emerald ash borers. It is still recommended that this be followed with an application every spring.

Michigan Boating Accidents, Deaths Down in 2005
The Detroit Free Press reports that despite a rise in boat traffic on Michigan's lakes, Michigan Department of Natural Resources statistics show that there were 12 fatal boat accidents through the end of August, down from 2004, when there were 25 fatal boat accidents and 27 people killed in those accidents. Overall, there were 93 boating accidents involving 118 vessels in the state by the end of August, down from 168 accidents involving 217 vessels in 2004.

Port Huron's Secory Flyers Win National Softball Championship
The Port Huron Times-Herald reports that the Secory Flyers came out of the losers' bracket to win their last five games, including three Monday, to claim the Class A 10-man modified national softball championship. They finished it by beating Bonnell's Steel City Softball (Pennsylvania) twice - 5-4 and 9-6.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:39 AM 0 comments links to this post
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