Monday Morning State News Summary
Mon, 01 Jul 2013 01:38:24 EDT
(MI-Unemployment Ranking)
Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Michigan's 8.4 percent
unemployment rate in May meant the state had the seventh highest jobless rate
among all the states.
Michigan's rate was unchanged from April, and seven other states also saw their
rates remain unchanged.
The bureau said the jobless rates in 25 states dropped from April to May, while
it increased in 17 states.
Nevada continued to lead the nation with the highest jobless rate at 9.5
percent, down from 9.6 percent in April. It was followed by Mississippi and
Illinois both at 9.1 percent.
North Dakota remained the state with the lowest unemployment rate at 3.2
percent, while Nebraska was second lowest at 3.8 percent and South Dakota was
third lowest at 4 percent.
Illinois had the highest jobless rate of the Great Lakes states, followed by
Michigan and then Indiana.


(Mi-Retail Sales-Pure Michigan)
Despite a number of other factors that are being credited for strong retail
sales in May, mostly in Northern Michigan, the head of the Michigan Retailers
Association is also pointing to the highly successful "Pure Michigan" ad
campaign for boosting tourism and spending.
M-R-A President and C-E-O, Jim Hallan, says warm weather was mostly responsible
for generating higher consumer confidence and spending during May. However, he
also says 75-percent of Northern Michigan retailers received the most benefit in
May, and there's no question that the "Pure Michigan" campaign is luring many
out-of-state tourists to Michigan, who are bringing their dollars with them.
Hallan also predicts a strong summer for retailers, mostly in Northern Michigan,
and is pleasantly surprised at the success despite a spike in gas prices to over
four-dollars per gallon a few weeks ago. Those prices have since dropped to
near three-dollars 50-cents a gallon.
May was the second consecutive month of improved retail sales in Michigan,
according to an M-R-A survey.


(Detroit/DC-NHTSA Taurus Investigation)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is closing its eight-month
investigation into 467,000 older Ford Taurus cars that have reported problems
with a speed control cable.
The NHTSA announced Sunday that it is not seeking a recall of 467,719 2000-2003
Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable cars with Duratec engines after Ford agreed to a
voluntary fix to prevent damage to an engine cable.
The Detroit News reports that Ford told dealers the cables are susceptible to
damage or becoming partially disconnected during under hood vehicle maintenance
-- like replacing a battery or changing the air filter -- and that a damaged
cable could interfere with the throttle's full return to idle when the
accelerator pedal is released.
Ford dealers will inspect the cables and replace those with any portion of
either collar retention tab missing.
The NHTSA says it reviewed 100 complaints from owners of vehicles who had
trouble braking and reports of five crashes that may have been caused by a
damaged cable.


(MI-Big Tax Incentives)
Michigan has done more big tax incentives for companies than any other state.
According to a new report, "Megadeals," from the Washington, D.C.-based
progressive group Good Jobs First, Michigan has the most local and state tax
breaks with 29. That's followed by New York with 23; Ohio and Texas with 12
each. Forty states plus D.C. have done at least one megadeal.
Executive Director Greg LeRoy says despite their high costs, some of the deals
involve little if any new-job creation. He says some are instances of job
blackmail, in which a company threatens to move and gets paid to stay put.
In dollar terms, New York is spending the most, with megadeals totaling $11.4
billion. Next is Michigan with $7.1 billion, followed by five states in the $3
billion range.
For Michigan, the biggest tax break was given to Chrysler in 2010 -- $1.3
billion for a new auto plant. It was the seventh-largest megadeal on the list of
240 incentives worth $1 billion or more. GM came in next for Michigan with a
2009 tax credit worth $1.01 billion in state and local tax credits and property
tax abatements for a new plant.
Both of those were during the Governor Jennifer Granholm administration.
The packages frequently reach nine or 10 figures, and the cost per job average
is $456,000 and often exceeds $1 million, according to the report.



(Grand Haven-Man Overboard)
The Ottawa County Dive Team and U.S. Coast Guard Grand Haven spent much of
Sunday night looking for a 47-year-old man from Walker that jumped off a boat
into Lake Michigan about three-quarters of a mile offshore.
Ottawa County Sheriff's Sgt. John Wolffis says the man, named John English, was
on a boat with friends traveling from Muskegon to Grand Haven. English jumped
into the water after the operator of the boat stopped and asked the passengers
if they wanted to swim. Wolffis says English quickly drifted away from the boat.
Passengers tried to throw lines and seat cushions to him, but they never made it
to him and he went underwater.
The U.S. Coast Guard Grand responded to the man overboard call within 15
minutes. The search continued until dark.
It is unclear yet if alcohol was a factor in the incident.



(Warren-Auto Worker Death)
An autopsy was scheduled to be performed Sunday to determine how a Chrysler
worker died while on the job Saturday.
The 61-year-old man was found slumped over at a table at the Warren Truck
Assembly Plant Saturday morning.
A Chrysler spokesperson says the man was performing quality control at a table
that rotates 180-degrees when he was found.
Authorities did not release the man's identity pending notification of family.
(24/7 News Source)


(Grand Haven-Plane Crash)
The pilot of a homemade biplane was injured Sunday when the plane crashed into a
tree in Grand Haven Township.
The Ottawa County Sheriff's Department says the pilot, who is not the owner of
the plane, was taken to North Ottawa Community Hospital.
Officials say the plane struck the top of a tree with its wing, which was ripped
off, then the plane fell to the ground near the water of Pottawattomie Bayou
around 1:15 p.m. Sunday.
A resident of the property where the plane crashed called 911.
The National Transportation Safety Bureau is investigating the crash.


(Romulus-New Metro Airport Stores)
Travelers making their way through Detroit Metropolitan Airport will have some
new stores to visit while waiting for their flights.
Seven new stores, including a health spa, a Detroit memorabilia shop and an
upscale jewelry store are opening in concourse A in the McNamara Terminal.
Airport officials say nearly thirty more venues will open up shop by next
spring. Last year, over 32-million-passengers traveled through the airport.
(24/7 News Source)


(Midland-School Performance)
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has released a report card that ranks
2,362 elementary and middle schools in Michigan.
The Context and Performance report card takes student poverty level into
account, in order to better examine school performance, and is based on four
years of student test scores.
The highest scoring school in the entire state was Detroit Public Schools
Thirkell Elementary. Iris Becker Elementary School in Dearborn scored the best
in the Small City category.
Crestwood Accelerated Program was tops in the Suburb category, Franklin
Elementary School in Cadillac was the best for Town and Jamestown Elementary
School in Hudsonville scored the best among Rural schools.
The Midland-based free market think tank says the report card provides a more
apples-to-apples comparison of schools for parents, educators and policymakers.


(Dearborn-Ford Health Care Program)
Ford is going to launch a new program that will make health care very personal
for workers who are dealing with critical illnesses.
The workers and pre-medicaid retirees chosen for the program will be assigned to
nurses who will individually guide them through the health care system, and
coach them on the best ways to deal with their ailments.
The voluntary program will seek to identify workers, and pre-medicaid retirees,
who have chronic health problems, or at risk of those issues. It will be up to
the workers physician to decide if that individual would get a benefit from the
program.
About a dozen nurses have been hired. Each nurse will be assigned no more than
125 patients to work with as coach and consultant.
Ford expects 1200 to 1500 people to take part in the two year pilot program. All
must be referred by their doctors.
The UAW says its discussing a similar program for active GM and Chrysler
workers, but has nothing to announce now.
A similar program at Boeing helped cut the companys health care costs by 17
percent.
(Jeff Gilbert, WWJ, Detroit)


(Bloomfield Hills-Football Prayer)
A parent complaint to the American Civil Liberties Union has led to a metro
Detroit area high school to ban praying on the football field during and after
games.
The football team at Lahser (Lah-sur) High School in Bloomfield Hills had a
tradition to kneel in prayer on the field after games. The school announced this
week, that the tradition would not be allowed anymore because it could be seen
as discriminatory to a minority of team members who aren't members of a certain
religion.
While the reaction has been mixed, many at the school are upset that the ritual
will no longer be allowed.
(24/7 News Source)


(Detroit-Pugh Located)
Charles Pugh, the embattled and missing Detroit City Council President, was
spotted Friday sitting in a Seattle, Washington Starbucks.
WDIV-TV has learned that Pugh has been staying at the Grand Hyatt Hotel while in
Seattle.
Pugh has been missing since asking Detroit's Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr for a
four-week medical leave early last week, which was denied. When Pugh failed to
show up for work as summoned by Orr, the emergency manager started the process
of stripping Pugh of his salary and removing his title as council president.
(24/7 News Source)


(MSU-Education Improvement)
Michigan State University has been selected as one of eight sites to host a
project designed to improve science and math education.
The effort is organized by the Association of American Universities.
MSU will focus on reforming the core lecture courses with large enrollments
required by all math and science majors.
Melanie Cooper, science education professor for MSU says, many students are
turned off by these courses, or look at them as a difficult hurdle to clear. So
a team of MSU faculty will come together to make these courses more interactive.
The AAU initiative is funded by a three-year, $4.7 million grant from The Leona
M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
The grant enabled the association to develop the new course framework, as well
as provide five-hundred-thousand-dollars to each project cite.
These changes will make teaching and learning more interactive and will enhance
overall student learning reducing the number of student drop outs from these
majors.


(Lansing-Cogeneration Plant)
The first new utility power plant built in Michigan in 25 years begins operation
in Lansing today (Monday).
The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) REO Town cogeneration plant will be
fully operational today and providing energy to customers.
The cogeneration plant will generate up to 300,000 pounds of steam for 225 steam
customers in Downtown Lansing and provide 100 megawatts of clean and highly
reliable electricity, 20-percent of BWL's electric generation.
The plant is part of a $182 million project that includes a headquarters office
building and the restored Grand Trunk Western Railroad depot, to be used as a
meeting place for BWL Board of Commissioners.


(MI-MckBrdge Traffic)
Traffic on the Mackinac Bridge was up slightly last month.
Robert Sweeney, Executive Secretary of the Mackinac Bridge Authority, says that
308,440 vehicles crossed the span during the month of May compared to 307,260 in
2012, up 0.4%.
However, fare revenue is down 2.1% compared to last year.
Officials say all revenue collected is used to maintain, operate, and protect
the 55-year-old bridge linking Michigan's two peninsulas.



(Weekend Lottery)
There were no tickets that matched all the numbers in Saturday's Classic Lotto
Jackpot drawing worth eight-point-five-five (M) million dollars.
That means Wednesday's jackpot will be worth eight-point-eight-five (M) million
dollars ($8,850,000).   
The numbers drawn Saturday were: 05, 08, 11, 13, 17, and 37.
The winning numbers for the midday 3 lottery on Sunday were: 5-9-6.
The winning numbers for the midday 4 lottery were: 6-8-0-1.
The winning numbers for the evening 3 lottery were: 9-9-2.
The winning numbers for the evening 4 lottery were: 1-9-2-9.
The winning numbers for the fantasy 5 lottery were: 05-15-24-35-37.
The winning numbers for the keno lottery were: 03, 04, 07, 08, 12, 14, 15, 24,
26, 34, 38, 45, 52, 53, 54, 55, 60, 67, 69, 75, 77, 78.
The winning numbers for the Powerball lottery for Saturday are: 08-28-30-53-56.
The powerball number was: 16.
The next drawing will be held Wednesday.
The jackpot is projected to be $60 (M) million dollars.
The winning numbers for the Midday 3 lottery on Saturday were: 7-5-7.
The winning numbers for the Midday 4 lottery Saturday were: 0-7-0-0.
The winning numbers for the Evening 3 Saturday were: 5-4-5.
The winning numbers for the Evening 4 game Saturday were: 1-3-1-9.
The winning numbers for the Fantasy 5 lottery were: 10-14-18-20-27.
The winning Keno numbers Saturday were: 01, 06, 07, 09, 11, 12, 15, 17, 23, 25,
29, 34, 41, 46, 49, 53, 54, 55, 56, 66, 70, 78.
Tuesday's Mega Millions Jackpot will be worth $70 (m) million dollars.

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