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Friday, October 21, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, October 21, 2005

Michigan History Magazine gave us a great story on Notre Dame's George Gipp (aka "The Gipper"), who came from Michigan's Upper Peninsula (Laurium on the Keweenaw) and was (according to those who saw him) one of the greatest football players ever.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:52 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Michigan Dance Students Perform with Kirov Ballet

The Detroit Free Press reports that 39 young dance students from Michigan and Ontario will dance small parts in the Kirov Ballet's "The Sleeping Beauty" at the Detroit Opera House (Oct 15-18). Founded in the late 18th Century, Kirov's notable dancers have included premier dancers Anna Pavlova, Rudolf Nureyev, Vaslav Nijinksy and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Detroit Opera House web site

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# posted by farlane @ 9:50 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Federal Agencies to MI Senate: Reject Real Estate Bill

The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a joint letter urging the Michigan Senate Committee on Economic Development, Small Business, and Regulatory Reform to reject House Bill 4849 as currently drafted as the legislation would reduce consumer choice and cause Michigan consumers to pay more for real estate brokerage services. The letter stated that the bill would change current law to restrict the ability of licensed real estate brokers to offer consumers the option to pick the specific brokerage services they want.
House Bill 4849 & 4850 (As Introduced, the two bills are tie-barred)

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# posted by farlane @ 9:49 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Comcast Cable Jumps into IP Telephony

Detroit Free Press tech columnist Mike Wendland writes that Michigan and the nation's biggest broadband provider, Comcast Cable, is making a new service available to 800,000 southeast Michigan households. Comcast calls the service Digital Voice and will charge $39.95 a month for unlimited local and domestic calling that runs on Comcast's privately managed network.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:49 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Ann Arbor Group Honors Michigan Women in Computing

The Great Lakes IT Report tipped us off to the announcement from Ann Arbor Association for Women in Computing of the winners of their third annual "Top Michigan Women in Computing" Awards. They will present the awards at a gala in November with proceeds from the event helping to fund scholarships for women studying information technology.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:48 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

KI Sawyer Lands New Tenent

The Mining Journal reports that two hunters who began USA Hunting Supplies in a Marquette basement are expanding the operation to K.I. Sawyer. Dennis Anderson & Steve Gonyou started with a product known as "Baitsense" (designed to attract deer and bear) and have expanded to offer hundreds of products.
USA Hunting Supplies site (dead deer warning!)

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# posted by farlane @ 9:37 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

KI Sawyer Lands New Tenent

The Mining Journal reports that two hunters who began USA Hunting Supplies in a Marquette basement are expanding the operation to K.I. Sawyer. Dennis Anderson & Steve Gonyou started with a product known as "Baitsense" (designed to attract deer and bear) and have expanded to offer hundreds of products.
USA Hunting Supplies site (dead deer warning!)

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# posted by farlane @ 9:37 AM 0 comments links to this post
 
Thursday, October 20, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, October 20, 2005

 

Challenges to the Michigan Wind Power Industry

The Great Lakes Bulletin News Service has an excellent and in-depth feature reporting on the difficulties faced by companies seeking to jump-start wind energy in Michigan. While Michigan is the 14th windiest state and could generate 7,460 megawatts of electricity (enough to power almost 2 million of Michigan's 3.7 million households), most local governments have no turbine ordinances and the state lacks policies and tax incentives that other states use to stimulate aggressive, successful wind development. It is estimated that wind power could generate more than 8,000 jobs in Michigan if the state's potential was fully developed.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:17 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Report on Michigan Students' Math & Reading Levels

The AP reports that public-school students in Michigan's fourth and eighth grades have gotten better at math, but their reading skills have slipped a bit, according to government test results. In more disturbing news, Michigan African-American 4th & 8th graders scored much worse in reading and math than African-American students in the US as a whole, a gap that has been growing over the last decade.
Also see Black Mich. students lag nation's in the Freep
Details in The Nation's Report Card

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# posted by farlane @ 9:16 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

September Unemployment Rate Best Since November 2002

The Associated Press reports that Michigan's unemployment rate fell to 6.4% in September, over lowest rate in nearly three years. Government, education, health and professional and business services all added jobs while about 8,000 jobs were lost in trade, transportation and utility sectors. Michigan's jobless rate remains well above the national average of 5.1%.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:15 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Michigan Looking at Restricting Eminent Domain

The Detroit News reports that in the wake of a US Supreme Court decision citing Michigan as an example of how states can set limits on eminent domain, some lawmakers want to amend the state constitution to permanently restrict its use. The measures would seek to better shield property owners from the court's ruling that allows local governments to take private property for commercial developments.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:14 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

New Michigan Motorcycle Guidebook

The Detroit Free Press has a review of Motorcycling Across Michigan by East Lansing author William Murphy. The book offers 27 routes for scenic rides including the wine country of southwest lower Michigan, M-22 near Arcadia along Lake Michigan, M-119 north of Petoskey and the Upper Peninsula (as well as routes to avoid).
Publisher Arbutus Press

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# posted by farlane @ 9:14 AM 0 comments links to this post
 
Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, October 19, 2005

 

Commission Seeks to Ease Winter Heating Impact

The Detroit Free Press reports that the Michigan Public Service Commission has established emergency billing rules for gas and electric customers to ease the burden during the winter. The new rules are designed to make the system easier for low-income residents and senior citizens on fixed incomes to navigate and include changes in late fees and service shut-off.
Also see Heating bill help is on way in the Detroit News

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# posted by farlane @ 9:20 PM 0 comments links to this post
 

Michigan AG Challenges Gas Rate Increases

Crain's Detroit Business reports that Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox is challenging natural-gas rate increases sought by utilities in Southeast Michigan and throughout the state. Cox wants regulators to approve a plan that would postpone rate increases and to have utilities spread their recovery of higher costs over 12 months.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:06 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Michigan Blueberry Growers Start Own Breeding Program

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that in response to the selling of cultivation rights west of the Mississippi for three new blueberry varieties released by Michigan State University 2 years ago, the Michigan Blueberry Growers Association has started its own plant breeding program. Michigan is the nation's leading producer of cultivated blueberries. Recommended Reading!
Or see Michigan blueberry growers' group sets up breeding program in the Freep (the Gazette article will vanish after 2 weeks)

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# posted by farlane @ 9:05 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Port Huron Struggle With Double Digit Unemployment

The Port Huron Times-Herald has an in-depth feature on the struggles of the city of Port Huron with a double-digit unemployment rate, 10.1% in August of 2005 (nearly twice Michigan's 6.7% rate and far above the national rate of 4.9%). Only five cities statewide had higher rates for August.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:04 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

The Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal produced a nice feature on the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Located near the Michigan-Wisconsin line in the Upper Peninsula, the 92 square mile state park is one of the wildest spots in the Midwest with large tracts of virgin white pine, maple and eastern hemlock, 90 miles of hiking trails, black bears, pristine Lake Superior shoreline, inland lakes (including Lake of the Clouds) and wild rivers with waterfalls.
Visit the Ontonagon County web site

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# posted by farlane @ 9:03 AM 0 comments links to this post
 
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, October 18, 2005

 

GM & UAW Agree to Health Care Deal

The Detroit Free Press reports that General Motors's deal with the UAW to dramatically cut union health care expenses could reshape the benefits all of Detroit's auto companies offer workers. The tentative agreement cuts $1 billion from GM's $6-billion annual health care expenses and UAW workers and retirees will pay about 25% to 30% of their annual health care costs.
Also see GM workers dread higher health costs in the Detroit News

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# posted by farlane @ 9:18 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Two Michigan Counties in Top 20 of Tech Adoption

The Great Lakes IT Report pointed us to this USA Today feature on the most technologically advanced households in America, those that are early adopters of tech like Wi-fi, TiVo and internet telephones. The article has a map that shows a county-by-county look at the nation. Washtenaw County was tops in Michigan at 48% (#15 overall), followed closely by Oakland (47.7%). Macomb, Kent & Waukesha had around 42%.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:16 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Grand Rapids Could Close 4 More Schools

WZZM TV-13 reports that the official school closing plan for Grand Rapids Public Schools was released at last night's GRPS school board meeting. The tentative plan affects mostly elementary schools and would close 4 of the following: Congress, Fountain, Eastern, East Leonard, Kent Hills, Dickinson, Jefferson, Aberdeen and North Park.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:15 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Tips for Avoiding Deer Crashes

The Lansing State Journal reports that there are 1.75 million whitetail deer roaming the state, and experts warn that October through December is the most dangerous time for car-deer collisions. Nearly half of all deer-related crashes occur in this mating and hunting season. Last year, 62,707 motorists were involved in car-deer crashes, resulting in three deaths and 1,647 injuries. Key Fact: motorists should never swerve for a deer because they are more likely to hit a tree or something else.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:14 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Gaming Centers Growing on Michigan

The Detroit Free Press has a feature on video gaming centers, networked facilities stocked with the latest games & harware, and how they are slowly growing in Michigan. Across Michigan, between 20 and 30 centers have opened in downtowns and shopping strips from Petoskey to Canton in the past three to five years.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:06 AM 0 comments links to this post
 
Monday, October 17, 2005

Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, October 17, 2005

Mitch Albom writes that Joey Harrington is only part of the Lion's problem. (one assumes that the fact they are the Lions, the NFL's all-time leader in heartbreaking finishes, is another)

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# posted by farlane @ 9:20 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Clear Cutting in Michigan State Forests Draws Outcry

The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan's policy of clear-cutting trees in some state forests has been drawing criticism from officials and residents Roscommon & Ogemaw counties. Roscommon County Commissioner Jim Smolarz says that the cutting has lowered property values, decreased wildlife and hurt tourism. Affected are Ogemaw and Houghton Lake state forests (270,000 acres of state forest).

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# posted by farlane @ 9:19 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Tough Times for Michigan Schools

The Mining Journal highlights the tough times facing UP schools (and those elsewhere in Michigan) with the example of an auction that raised $3000 ... for textbooks. District numbers have been declining following the closing of the Republic Mine and the school may be foreshadowing the future with its four-day school week to save costs on fuel, heating, and maintenance on the building.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:19 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

September FBI Raid Shuts Down Michigan's Spam King

The Detroit News reports that warrants unsealed last week revealed that FBI agents in September seized computers, laptops, financial records and disks from the 8,000-square-foot West Bloomfield home of Alan M. Ralsky. The raid effectively closed one of the world's largest houses of spam.

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# posted by farlane @ 9:18 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Demand for Organic Food Rewards Michigan's Organic Farmers

The Cadillac News had a nice feature reporting that as the demand for organic foods rises, Michigan organic farmers are reaping the benefit of years of hard work to gain organic certification. One benefit highlighted by the article: though cows can live up to 18 years, the average cow life is 46 months in the state of Michigan (according to dairy farmer Bill Straathof).

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# posted by farlane @ 9:17 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Free Press Celebrates 174th Birthday

Sure it's a bit self-congratulatory, but the Detroit Free Press profile of its 174 years of service (updated in honor of their new, high tech printing press) is an entertaining read.
Also see High-tech presses just the beginning of improvements at the Free Press in the Freep

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# posted by farlane @ 9:17 AM 0 comments links to this post
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