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Monday, April 17, 2006

Monday, April 17, 2006: Five Things You Need to Know

Records fall: Pistons top Bad Boys with team-record 64th win, Slugger Chris Shelton hits 8th HR in 12 games, fastest 8 by a Tiger or American Leaguer

Michigan's Farmers Get Creative

Sunny Bliss by Sara Steffens

This weekend's Free Press had a pair of great features looking at several entrepreneurs in Michigan's agriculture industry who are finding ways to boost their operations' bottom lines without trying to squeeze more crops from their plots. Innovations profiled include:
  • The U-Ball, a cone-shaped container for balled-and-burlapped trees that requires less labor for digging and wrapping

  • Wind turbines on farms in the Thumb (previous articles, Thumb links)

  • Kevin Brabant of Saginaw County's St. Charles Township who farms 2,000 acres of corn, wheat, soybeans and sugar beets in, bought himself a corn-burning stove and also sold dried corn for fuel to neighbors

  • Peterson Farms of Shelby who employ 60 (with plans for 40 more) to package Apple Dippers (McDonald's apple slices plus low-fat caramel dip)

  • Cherry Republic, creating a cherry product mecca in Northern Michigan

  • Russ Allen of Seafood Systems Shrimp Farm who is pioneering commercial, indoor shrimp farming in Michigan

  • The Earth Shine Farm in Shiawassee County, who raised and processed 2,400 organic chickens last year
The second article looks at how Michigan's 21st Century Jobs Fund is poised to provide assistance to entrepreneurs in the agricultural and food-processing industries.

Read Farmers find creative, energetic ways to earn extra cash in the Freep (if that article is gone, try this link!)

Also see Agricultural risk-takers help grow, diversify Michigan's economy in the Detroit Free Press

The Tax Man Cometh

Portion of Miners Castle Collapses

Friday's Mining Journal reported that the northeast turret of the Miners Castle rock formation in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore collapsed due to erosion and fell into Lake Superior on Thursday. The formations of Pictured Rocks are constantly changing due to the action of wind, water and ice. In 1900, the Grand Portal Arch collapsed in 1900 and The Munising News wrote:
The Grand Portal was one of the grandest, most sublime and interesting sights of the Pictured Rocks. The cavity was large enough for a good-sized steamer to enter into and it was perhaps a hundred feet or more in height from the surface of the water.
The LSJ article has a large before and after photo that you should definitely check out.
Read Superior Claims Landmark! in the Mining Journal

Read One turret of Pictured Rock's Miners Castle collapses in the LSJ

Check out Rock Collapses at Grand Portal Point for more from the 1900 article, including photos!

Michigan Women Win, Lose Representation

The Associated Press reports that when Gretchen Whitmer became the 12th female in the 38-member chamber, it marked the highest number of women in the Michigan Senate's history. However, her departure from the 110-seat House dropped the number of women there to 18, the lowest since 1985-86 and far below the 31 who served from 1997-2000. All but one of the Senate's 12 women came from the House.
Read Despite gains in Senate, number of females down in Legislature in the Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan City Sell Off

The Detroit News reports that several communities in Metro Detroit are considering selling golf courses, parking lots and other property in hopes of generating immediate cash and future tax benefits. Some see selling assets as a necessary one-time fix; others say it only delays the inevitable reshaping of services and resources that residents expect from their communities. Mayor Daniel Paletko said "You're delaying a budget problem, but you're not solving it. There is a great need to recognize in Lansing the economic model for financing a community is broken."
Read Cash-hungry cities sell assets, sparking fears in the Detroit News

# posted by farlane @ 10:51 AM
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