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Friday, January 06, 2006

Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, January 6, 2006

 

E85 Fuel in Michigan

The Detroit Free Press has a feature on E85. Also known as "flex fuel", E85 is a blend of gasoline and ethanol made from corn or other crops. Only 4 Michigan gas stations offer E85 (500 nationwide), but the number is expected rise to about 2,500 by year-end as filling stations take advantage of new tax credits for the costs of retro-fitting pumps and tanks.
Read ALTERNATIVE FUELS: Gas stations selling ethanol to grow in '06 in the Freep (has list of gas stations)

National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition web site

Also see Energy from Nitrous Oxide? It's No Laughing Matter from Crain's Detroit Business

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# posted by farlane @ 9:32 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Kilpatrick Inauguration Address Calls for Regional Unity

The Detroit Free Press reports that in his second inaugural address Thursday, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick offered a vision of Detroit that embraces its rough edges and gritty image, where black, white, city residents and suburbanites join to rebuild a once-grand industrial metropolis. The Freep looks at reactions to the speech, checks the facts and offers a pretty cool video montage set to the speech.
Read Mayor invites region to help rebuild Detroit in the Freep

Watch VIDEO: Mayor Kilpatrick's message in the Freep (bonus: it's not 3 hours long!)

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# posted by farlane @ 9:31 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Quest for the Average Mid-Michigander

The Lansing City Pulse has an interesting romp through Census, income, polling and other data to find the average mid-Michigan resident. Most are female (51.4%) and white (82.2%). About 77% were born in Michigan and they appear to be very evenly split in terms of politics. Along the way they talk with a number of folks from all walks of life.
Read If you seek the average mid-Michigander, look about you in the City Pulse

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# posted by farlane @ 9:30 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Metro Theatre Season

The Detroit News looks at the 2006 metro area theater season. Highlights include "Electra" at the Hilberry Theatre, Lee Blessing's "Going to St. Ives" at the Detroit Repertory Theatre, "Chicago" at the Fisher Theatre, Michigan playwright Jeff Daniels' latest comedy, "Norma and Wanda" (Gem Theatre) and likely the hottest ticket of the season: "Wicked" at the Masonic Temple Theatre.
Read Stage forecast: Wickedly good in the Detroit News

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# posted by farlane @ 9:30 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

UP Homesteader's Memories

Michigan History Magazine has a feature in which Carmen Carter recounts memories of her family's homesteading experience. In 1915 her family moved to the small village of Raco, about eighteen miles south of Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Read Homesteading in the Upper Peninsula from Michigan History Magazine
Also see Michigan's Land Grants - Homestead Act from Michigan History

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# posted by farlane @ 9:29 AM 0 comments links to this post
 
Thursday, January 05, 2006

Interview with Artist Sarah Miller by Detroit Bad Boys

Detroit Bad Boys writes: A while back, I was sifting through some Pistons-related Google results when I happened across some intriguing portraits of Ben Wallace, Chauncey Billups, Darko Milicic, Joe Dumars, Rasheed Wallace, Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. After some more poking around, I discovered the artist to be Sarah Miller from nearby Toledo, Ohio.

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# posted by Tami @ 1:50 PM 0 comments links to this post
 

MC Sheed by Need 4 Sheed

Need 4 Sheed writes: I thought I would share this little gem that I found hidden on RasheedWallace.com. It's a minute long clip of Sheed rapping.

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# posted by Tami @ 10:24 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Faygo: A Detroit Original Still Rockin' & Rye'in by DetroitWonk

DetroitWonk writes: On November 7, 1907, Ben and Perry Feigenson, bakers from Russia, began Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works in Detroit. Their original flavors, Fruit Punch, Strawberry and Grape, were based upon their own cake frosting recipes.

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# posted by Tami @ 10:22 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

CES Unveiled - My Video Preview of the Big Showby PC Mike's E-Journal

Mike Wendland writes: LAS VEGAS - The show doesn't officially start until tonight night, but early media arrivals last night were given a sneak peek at some of the coolest gizmos and gadgets to be displayed at this year's Consumer Electronic Show.

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# posted by Tami @ 10:21 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Even when you're dead, the media hype continues - Mozart's skull found?by What's Opera Doc

What's Opera Doc writes: He's been dead since 1791, but still the media hype over which grave is Mozart's continues. Now his skull may have been identified.

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# posted by Tami @ 10:20 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Lace up the Skates by NOISE PhotoBlog

NOISE PhotoBlog writes: Not everyone enjoys learning to ice skate. Nadine Morrison skated with her three-year-old son Conner for only his second time last week at Suburban Ice. "It's a life lesson," Nadine Morrison said. "He has to get through his fear."

Read More (external link) »

# posted by Tami @ 10:20 AM 1 comments links to this post
 

Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, January 5, 2006

 

Budget Surplus Found, Might Avert Mid-Year Budget Cuts

mLive reports that mid-year state budget cuts (a Michigan tradition since 2001) could be averted as higher tax revenues and unspent funds have produced an unexpected surplus of nearly $320 million in Michigan's treasury. Business tax cuts will cost $60-$100 million in fiscal 2006, and a House-passed measure pending in the Senate would provide about $35 million in additional revenue to schools.

Read State closes fiscal 2005 with $220M general-fund surplus; school-aid fund finishes $98M in the black from Crain's Detroit Business

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# posted by farlane @ 10:16 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

State Official Steps Down to Head Prima Civitas

Crain's Detroit Business reports that Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth Director David Hollister is stepping down to lead a new Lansing-area regional economic-development organization. The new organization is called Prima Civitas, Latin for "first city". The organization will encourage education, manufacturing, agriculture, life-science and information-technology sectors.

Also see MSU president endorses economy-boosting groups from the State News (September 30, 2005)

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# posted by farlane @ 10:15 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Abramoff Allegations Grow in Michigan

The Gun Lake Tribe (Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians) is alleging that lobbyist Jack Abramoff was hired to help stall the building of their new casino. According to their news release "Investigations to date have shown that Jack Abramoff and his partner Michael Scanlon were paid more than $14 million by a past tribal council of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe to prevent the development of competing Indian casinos in Michigan, including the Gun Lake Tribe's proposed casino in Wayland Township." The tribe also says that Congressman Peter Hoekstra received campaign contributions from Abramoff's former lobbying firm, Greenberg Traurig and should return or donate the money.

Gun Lake Casino News Archive (see "Abramoff Plea Should Provide Truth, Justice for Gun Lake Tribe")
Also see Indian Tribe Concerned Political Payoffs Slowed Casino from WZZM TV-13

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# posted by farlane @ 10:14 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Michigan Teachers Receive Poor Rating

The Detroit News reports that with a "D+" for the fourth consecutive year, Michigan has earned a D rating in teacher quality once again rank near the bottom of the nation, according to the Quality Counts 2006 national report released yesterday by Education Week. The report says Michigan has done well granting teaching licenses to those who majored in the subject they teach at the high school level, but lacks ongoing efforts to fund professional development or mentoring for new teachers. Only Alaska and Arizona scored worse than Michigan.

Education Week web site

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# posted by farlane @ 10:13 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Cold? How About a Little Bikram Yoga

The Northern Express says that if a tropical getaway isn't possible this winter, you may want to consider making the trip to a Bikram Yoga studio, where the workouts are often conducted above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (with 50% humidity). The yoga path is named after Bikram Choudhury, a superstar in the world of yoga.

Also see Get Fit or Else in the Northern Express

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# posted by farlane @ 10:10 AM 0 comments links to this post
 
Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Class III Firearms now LEGAL in Michigan!!!! (although still strictly regulated) by Republican Michigander

Republican Michigander writes: Gun Owners across the state owe a debt to (unfortunately term limited) State Rep Leon Drolet (R - Macomb County) and to our AG Mike Cox. Cox promised us reciprocity of conceal carry in his 2002 elections and kept his promise many times over for us. For those that do not know what I am referring to, that means many other states now recognize our CPL permits.

This latest opinion overturns a previous opinion by anti-gun democrat Frank Kelly.

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# posted by Tami @ 9:57 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Super Bowl Sunday 2006, Kick Off Time, Party Ideas, TV Schedule & Commercials by Super Bowl XL Detroit 2006

Super Bowl XL Detroit 2006 writes: The Super Bowl halftime show is already shaping up with a slated appearance by none other the The Rolling Stones, while Steve Wonder is getting ready to rock the joint at Ford Field during the Super Bowl pregame show.

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# posted by Tami @ 9:55 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

ASININE LOCAL CRIMES by ypsi~dixit

Y. writes: ASININE LOCAL CRIMES in the past few days included the daring theft of a Hostess fruit pie, heisted with the aid of an air gun, the pocket-bulging theft of $1,000 in quarters from an East Cross Street house

Read More (external link) »

# posted by Tami @ 9:55 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Not Guilty by detroitblog

detroitblog writes: Recently, as we've been scouting abandoned buildings downtown, we've encountered unmarked police cars rolling down the street and stopping at the sight of us walking with camera equipment, and bundled in thick clothes, boots, gloves and hats. Luckily, so far, they've all moved on without getting out of their cars and harrassing us, but nevertheless it's an encounter I usually prefer to avoid.

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# posted by Tami @ 9:54 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Discardia plans for winter 2005-2006 by Vacuum

Edward Vielmetti writes: My favorite holiday, Discardia, is already come and gone for the year, but in the Discardian spirit I'm ignoring that and continuing its observance for a while. It's a celebration of letting go, of getting rid of things in your life, of detaching yourself from the stuff that gets in the way of being you.

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# posted by Tami @ 9:53 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, January 4, 2006

 

Abramoff Scandal Impacts Saginaw Chippewa Tribe

The Lansing State Journal reports that the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan was among the tribes caught up in the web of federal conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion charges filed yesterday against lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former partner Michael Scanlon. Abramoff and Scanlon's firm was retained by the Mount Pleasant based tribe in 2002 to perform lobbying and grass roots services. Purported bribes, kickbacks and fraud include charging $4.5 million for a Michigan voter database that could have cost $750,000 and the pair influencing the tribal election.

Read More (external link) »

# posted by farlane @ 8:30 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Running Onto Ford Field ... and Not Being Arrested

The Detroit Free Press reports that if your group of 20 or more is among the first 2,000 people to sign up online today to be in the pregame and halftime festivities at Super Bowl XL, you'll get to be on the field while Stevie Wonder performs in the Motown-themed pregame show and the Rolling Stones perform at halftime.

Sign up online at Star Flow Entertainment

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# posted by farlane @ 8:29 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Northern Michigan City Goes Virtual

The Traverse City Record-Eagle has a feature on "Virtual Frankfort", a digitized version of the Benzie county city. Shops, restaurants, city hall, and streets can be navigated like a video game (albiet a 1992 game). It's hoped that the technology will attract visitors to Frankfort businesses (or at least their web sites). City planners could also require developers to build virtual models of proposals so they could see how a development would fit in to the city before it's approved.

Visit City Simulation's Virtual Frankfort

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# posted by farlane @ 8:26 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Great Lakes Songwriting Contest Announced

MichiganBands.com announces that the 2006 Great Lakes Songwriting Contest is now open to residents of the eight Great Lakes states and the Province of Ontario. Formerly the Michigan Songwriting Contest, the new contest features a Grand Prize of $1000 cash. There will be 13 winning songs, great prizes and five of the top winners will have a chance to perform in a live concert.

Great Lakes Songwriting Contest web site

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# posted by farlane @ 8:23 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

A Strategy for Great Lakes Action

The Michigan Land Use Institute lays out a 10-point strategy for state leaders designed to inspire innovation, accelerate job growth, strengthen the economy, and enhance the Great Lakes. Recommendations include establishing a Water Resources Trust Fund, a tax shift from profits to activities like pollution & wasteful water extraction and encouraging water-friendly technologies.

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# posted by farlane @ 8:20 AM 0 comments links to this post
 
Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Joanne by The Snowsuit Effort

The Snowsuit Effort writes: "I invented the Barbie Dolll - I kept it a secret for 30 years."

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# posted by Tami @ 12:52 PM 0 comments links to this post
 

Get ready Apple: Here comes the video competition by PC Mike's E-Journal

Mike Wendland writes: Reuters is reporting that the Starz Cable TV network, in a deal backed by Microsoft and Sony, today launches the Vongo movie download service, which will offer a rotating slate of feature films currently showing on its cable channel for download to PCs and portable media devices for a $9.99 monthly fee.

Read More (external link) »

# posted by Tami @ 12:51 PM 0 comments links to this post
 

McGregor Public Library by dETROITfUNK

dETROITfUNK writes: The unusual coffered entryway has a massive broze set of doors that has been concealed behind plywood for years. It has been momentarily revealed now that the plywood barrier has failed.

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# posted by Tami @ 12:50 PM 0 comments links to this post
 

Better Late than Never by Elephant in my Coffee

Elephant in my Coffee writes: COWS: Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that our government can track a cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington. And they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give them all a cow.

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# posted by Tami @ 12:49 PM 0 comments links to this post
 

Slow Learners by Gary Said

Gary writes: "I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three." -Elayne Boosler

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# posted by Tami @ 12:48 PM 0 comments links to this post
 

The truffle machine by Chocolate Runner's Blog

Chocolate Runner writes: This is picture of the temperer itself, the Hilliard Little Dipper. It was a gift from my wife one Christmas. It weighs a ton so I really have to wonder how she carried it into the house.

WARNING: This WILL make you hungry for truffles!

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# posted by Tami @ 12:48 PM 0 comments links to this post
 

Deconstructing misconceptions by Detroit Bad Boys

Detroit Bad Boys writes: Can the Pistons win 70 games? I asked that question last month, and it's now become a hot topic among sports fans and writers (from Chicago to Texas to New Jersey) across the nation - despite that darned loss to the Cavs on New Years Eve.

What's the consensus? 1) It's too early to really have this discussion, and 2) sports columnists are generally lazy.

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# posted by Tami @ 12:47 PM 0 comments links to this post
 

THIS RESOURCEFUL MICHIGAN LUMBERMAN by ypsi~dixit

Y. writes: THIS RESOURCEFUL MICHIGAN LUMBERMAN hacked himself a home-stable dwelling from the stump of a goliath virgin tree.

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# posted by Tami @ 12:46 PM 0 comments links to this post
 

Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, January 3, 2006

 

Chilly Superstitions plus a Blizzard of Snow Information

The Detroit News has an AP feature talking about some rituals from folks in cold-weather climes to encourage wintry weather. In Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where snow attracts skiers and snowmobilers, they have the Finnish-American "Heikki Lunta" song and dance (named for the snow god Hank Snow). The article also looks at kids' efforts to invoke the all important Snow Day.

Check out Heikki Lunta - A Modern Copper Country Folk Hero from Pasty.com
NOAA's Ultimate Snow Page (super cool!)
Also see Nature Baroque: Snowflakes & Crystals by Jerry Dennis with drawings by Glenn Wolff in the Northern Michigan Journal (even cooler!!)

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# posted by farlane @ 10:15 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Report to Call for Additional Power Plants

The Detroit Free Press reports that a Michigan Public Service Commission report on the state's electric generation capacity is scheduled to be released today. The report is expected to call for two large coal-fired power plants by 2011 to avoid likely shortages. The facilities are know as base-load plants, generate between 500 and 1,000 megawatts and are the largest source of power for customers. Michigan's 20 coal-fired plants generate about 62% of all electricity used in the state.

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# posted by farlane @ 10:14 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Eaton Rapids Mushers are World-Class

The Lansing State Journal has a profile of Ken and Julie Roggow of Eaton Rapids. The couple have been racing sled dogs for many years and have won three world championships with their Siberian Husky teams. In 2005, Ken finished 9th in the US (3rd in Michigan). Michigan has two of the largest speed races in the world, the Mackinaw Mush and the Kalkaska Winterfest sled dog race.

Mackinaw Mush Web Site
Kalkaska Winterfest

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# posted by farlane @ 10:12 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Great Lakes Town Hall Features Author Barbara Spring

This week's speaker at the Great Lakes Town Hall is Grand Haven author Barbara Spring, writer of The Dynamic Great Lakes, a critically acclaimed book about the ever changing Great Lakes ecosystems, and The Wilderness Within, a book of nature poetry and essays. You're invited to visit and participate in discussion. Every week, there's a new guest speaker, so sign up for their email!

Barbara Spring's Dynamic Great Lakes web site

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# posted by farlane @ 10:11 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

2005 Detroit Area Newsmakers

One of the better "year in review" pieces is from Crain's Detroit Business in which they profile 10 folks and the news they made. They include Oakland County chief information officer Phil Bertolini (behind the Wireless Oakland plan to create a countywide wireless internet network), Sam Logan, publisher of the Michigan Chronicle and Michigan FrontPage, Delphi CEO Steve Miller, Super Bowl XL Host Committee chairman Roger Penske and Nancy Schlichting, President and CEO of Henry Ford Health System.

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# posted by farlane @ 10:10 AM 0 comments links to this post
 
Monday, January 02, 2006

Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, January 2, 2006

 

Absolute Michigan Launches Michigan Photo Blog

New for 2006 is Michigan in Pictures, a blog that will showcase photos of the Great Lakes State. We'll try to bring you a new photo (lots from Flickr) every day and we'll also be checking out professional & amateur photographers' web sites and other spots where the beauty of the Great Lakes State is presented. We hope to add video and info about movies being filmed in Michigan as well!

Read More (external link) »

# posted by farlane @ 10:20 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Michigan PACs Raking in the Cash

The Lansing State Journal reports that according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, special interest groups that donate to politicians and political candidates are well on their way to setting a new fundraising record for the 2005-06 election cycle. The top 150 political action committees have already raised 23% more through October 2005 than the top 150 had raised at this point in the 2003-04 election cycle: $13.6 million compared to $11.1 million. Three biggest PACs: House Republican Campaign Committee ($1.2 million), Senate Republican Campaign Committee ($938,240) and the Michigan House Democratic Fund ($810,852). With Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema not eligible to run for re-election in 2006 because of term limits, GOP senators such as Wayne Kuipers of Holland and Jason Allen of Traverse City each have raised about $100,000 in a bid to contribute money to GOP Senate races and earn enough support to become the next Senate leader.
Michigan Campaign Finance Network web site

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# posted by farlane @ 10:18 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Auto Industry Seeks to Climb Out of Its Ashes

The Detroit Free Press has a typically excellent feature on how the decline if the auto industry is affecting workers, how they're adapting and what the auto industry of the future will be. While it starts fairly gloomily, the pieces on young workers moving into Michigan's auto industry and the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance plant, a DaimlerChrysler, Mitsubishi and Hyundai joint venture in Dundee are heartening.

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# posted by farlane @ 10:18 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Detroit News Charts the Car Companies' Road Ahead

As we approach the 2006 North American International Auto Show (Jan 14-22), the Detroit News is amid a 5-part feature looking at the future of the auto industry. The first looks at the pressure to innovate, changes in technologies for safety and new additions like Bluetooth. Part 2 explores how computer-aided design systems and rapid prototyping technologies are allowing vehicles to become more personalized.
Also see Design gets personal: Styling goes in many directions as car market splinters in the Detroit News
2006 North American International Auto Show web site

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# posted by farlane @ 10:17 AM 0 comments links to this post
 

Michigan's Bob Woodruff Debuts as ABC News Anchor

The Detroit Free Press reported that Michigan native Bob Woodruff debuts tonight (Tuesday January 2, 2006) as co-anchor of ABC's World News Tonight. He will share duties with Elizabeth Vargas of 20/20 and the network hopes that the team can bring them. The network will also launch a live Webcast on Tuesday that features the pair.
Also see A Michigan boy on top of world news in the Freep

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# posted by farlane @ 10:13 AM 0 comments links to this post
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