Wednesday Morning State News Summary
Wed, 28 Nov 2012 01:52:39 EST
(MI-Local Unemployment Rates)
Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates edged downward in 16 of Michigans 17
major labor market areas in October. According to the Michigan Department of
Technology, Management & Budget, total employment and labor force levels
increased in the majority of regions over the month.
A spokesman says Michigans local labor markets were very stable in October while
two industry sectors have been a driving force in nearly all metro regions;
professional and business services and manufacturing.
The Ann Arbor area had the state's lowest jobless rate last month at
four-point-six percent while the metro Detroit area had the highest at
10-point-five percent.
Michigan seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in October was 9.1 percent.


(Capitol-Animal-Fighting)
The Michigan House has approved bills designed to strengthen penalties for
organized animal fighting.
Specifically, the bills say that properties involved with animal fighting are
declared a nuisance.
As a result, authorities could then seize the property and its contents.
The focus is largely on animal fighting rings and dog fighting.
If approved by lawmakers, the package of bills is expected to be signed by
Governor Rick Snyder.
Animal fighting is illegal in all states and has been proscribed in Michigan
since at least the 1870s, however sponsors of the bill say toughening the law is
important.
The bills now go to the State Senate for further consideration.


(Capitol-PPT)
Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley, along with a bipartisan group of lawmakers
have unveiled an updated proposal that would phase out the main portion of the
state's personal property tax on business.
But before it could get final approval, under the proposal, a statewide vote is
required.
Phasing out the tax would severely cut into the revenue that goes to local
government, so the proposal includes dedicating up to one and one-half cents of
the six cent use tax, with the revenue going to local governments to replace
most of the lost PPT revenue.
The use tax consists of revenue from things like online sales, mail order and
purchases via the telephone.
Critics of the PPT applaud the proposal, saying the current law punishes
businesses for being successful.
While the plan will not provide full reimbursement to local governments, the
locals would have the option to impose a special assessment to reimburse police,
fire and ambulance services to make sure they receive 100 percent of the funding
they now get from the PPT.
If approved by the legislature, a statewide vote would be most likely scheduled
in 2014.


(Capitol-Det-Transit)
The Michigan Senate has approved a package of bills that create a regional
transit authority for the Detroit Area.
The bill creating the makeup of the governing authority was the most
controversial, passing on a 22-to-16 vote.
Under the plan, one member each will be appointed by the governor and Detroit
mayor, and two members each will be appointed by Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and
Wayne counties.
The bills now go to the Michigan House for consideration.


(Capitol-Adoption)
Testimony was held Tuesday in Lansing on a two bill package that allows adoption
agencies to refuse to be part of an adoption if it objects to those who adopt on
religious or moral grounds.
Gay rights and some individual liberties organization vehemently oppose the
measure.
Under the proposal, a child placing agency is not required to perform, assist,
counsel, recommend, facilitate, refer, or participate (quote) "in a placement
for adoption that violates its written religious or moral convictions or
policies."
Some supporters of religious freedom applaud the measure, saying its an effort
to confirm religious freedoms in Michigan.
But critics say it's a license to discriminate against gays and others who wish
to adopt a child in Michigan.
The bills are before the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee.


(MI-Lottery-Online)
They're lining up today (Wed) at lottery agents around the state, as the
Powerball jackpot has hit a half-(b) billion dollars, the largest lottery
jackpot in history.
But soon, the lines at the biggest jackpots could be shorter, as the Michigan
Lottery prepares to offer online wagering.
There's still a lot of preparation, as there are a long list of security-related
issues to deal with, but the Michigan Lottery could be allowing players to bet
on their lucky numbers from their home computer within a year.
Andi Brancato of the Michigan Lottery notes that online wagering is already
allowed in Illinois, and Michigan Lottery officials also wish to offer it,
adding (quote) "we're moving forward (on this)...hopefully we'll be able to do
it a year from now.
The Powerball jackpot drawing is tonight (Wed).


(Marquette-Power Plant Saved)
Governor Rick Snyder and executives from We Energies and Wolverine Power
Cooperative have announced a landmark agreement that will keep Marquettes
Presque Isle Power Plant operational by adding state-of-the-art emissions
equipment to its five units.
The companies will now jointly own the plant, guaranteeing that 170 jobs are
safe. Snyder says the partnership is good news for the current and future
availability of a reliable electric supply for businesses and residents in the
Upper Peninsula.
With the joint venture, Wolverine will acquire a minority interest in the
facility by funding and constructing the air quality control additions, which
will allow the plant to make required federal Environmental Protection Agency
pollution control upgrades.
While Wolverine will invest approximately $130 million to $140 million to
retrofit the facilitys units, We Energies will continue to operate the plant as
well as the air quality control system.
The 431 Megawatt facility generates 90% of the Upper Peninsula's electricity and
12% of the electricity in the Wisconsin Energy system. Half of the plant's
generating capacity goes to the Empire and Tilden iron ore mines on the nearby
Marquette Iron Range.


(MI-Texting While Driving)
One in four teens text while driving despite efforts to educate the public about
the dangers, according to a study from the University of Michigan Transportation
Research Institute.
The national study found that 25-percent of teens say they read or send at least
one text message every time they get behind the wheel, while only one-percent of
parents think their child texts while driving.
It also found that children of parents who eat or drink while driving are three
times more likely to eat or drink behind the wheel than children of parents who
don't.
Toyota Motor Corporation sponsored the study. Doctor Tina Sayer is principal
engineer of Toyota's Collaborative Safety Research Center in Ann Arbor. She says
as the study shows the actions parents take and, by extension, the expectations
they set for young drivers each day are powerful factors in encouraging safe
behavior behind the wheel.


(Bay City-Bennett Trial)
A federal judge in Bay City has set an April 23rd trial date for a Mount
Pleasant man accused in the death of a four-year-old boy last summer.
20-year old Anthony Bennett, a member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, is
charged with first degree murder in the death of Carnel Chamberlain, which
garnered national attention. He's also charged with assaulting a child, assault
with a dangerous weapon, animal cruelty and witness tampering.
The child's body was found under the porch of his mother's home on the tribe's
reservation near Mount Pleasant on June 28th after a week-long search. Carnel
was being watched by Bennett while his mother was working the night he went
missing.
Bennett, who was living in the home with Carnel and his mother Jaimee, was
already being jailed in Bay County on charges of assaulting the boy.
The case is being handled in federal court since the crime occurred on an Indian
reservation.


(Osceola Co-Teacher Sex Charges)
A teacher in Northern Michigan is accused of having a sexual relationship with
one of her students.
32-year old Janet Brown of Evart was arraigned in Osceola County District Court
on three counts of third degree Criminal Sexual Conduct.
Officials say the alleged relationship took place while Brown taught the
16-year-old boy at the Ashmun School on the campus of Eagle Village Youth
Detention Center in Hersey.
Brown was put on administrative leave last Wednesday for improper communication
with a student outside of school. Mecosta/ Osceola Intermediate School District
officials will recommend her employment be terminated during its school board
meeting December 10th.
(WBRN, Big Rapids)


(UM-Research Spending)
For the third straight year, the University of Michigan ranks first in research
and development spending among the nation's public universities, according to
the latest numbers from the U.S. National Science Foundation.
The annual rankings, released Monday by the federal agency, show U-M atop the
R&D expenditures list for public universities and behind only Johns Hopkins
University on the list of all U.S. universities and colleges. The latest NSF
rankings cover fiscal year 2011.
Research and Development spending at U-M increased 8 percent between fiscal
years 2010 and 2011 to $1.28 billion, according to NSF.
Because the agency and U-M use different accounting standards, their tallies for
research spending vary slightly. U-M reported a $1.24 billion research
enterprise in 2011- lower than that reported by the NSF.
Federal funds accounted for 64.1 percent of the research spending at U-M,
including $113 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,
often called the stimulus bill.
The 2010-2011 fiscal year marks the 13th time in the past 27 years that U-M has
held the top position among the nation's public universities, including every
year from 1991 through 1999.


(MI-McCotter Staffers Plead)
Two previous staffers of former U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter have
entered pleas to all but one of the criminal charges they faced concerning their
involvement in a petition scandal that prompted McCotter's resignation.
33-year old Don Yowchuang (YOW-chang) of Farmington Hills pleaded no contest to
ten counts of forgery and six counts of falsely signing a nominating petition as
circulator. 47-year old Paul Seewald of Livonia pleaded guilty to nine counts
of falsely signing a nominating petition as circulator. Both face up to 93 days
in jail when they are sentenced January 18 in Wayne County Circuit Court..
A five-year felony charge of conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal
manner is still pending against each man.
Yowchuang and Seewald are two of four staff members charged with altering
petitions in order qualify the five-term congressman for the 2012 Michigan
ballot.
58-year old Mary Turnbull of Howell has been bound over for trial in Oakland
County Circuit Court on similar charges.
In September, 52-year old Lorianne O'Brady of Livonia pleaded no contest to
numerous misdemeanor counts. She was sentenced to 20 days in jail or 20 days in
a work program.


(Hartford-Officer Dragged-UPDATE)
A southwest Michigan woman was arraigned on multiple charges for dragging a
police officer with her car.
27-year old Tiffani Oliver of South Haven is charged with fleeing and eluding
police, resisting and obstructing police, assault on a police officer and
operating under the influence of drugs.
Authorities say Oliver was stopped by Hartford Police for a traffic violation
Sunday morning. She handed the officer a fraudulent out of state driver's
license, and upon questioning Oliver tried speeding off.
The Hartford officer attempted to physically stop her as she accelerated,
dragging the officer along side the car. A pursuit followed with Oliver
attempting to ram patrol cars several times.
The woman crashed into a ditch on Red Arrow Highway and fled on foot into a
heavily wooded area near the Van Buren County Fairgrounds where she was
arrested.
Oliver is being held in the Van Buren County jail on a $10,000 bond.
(Help from: Jason Scott, WSJM, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor)


(Detroit-Losing Millionaires)
Detroit is losing it's millionaires faster than other major metropolitan areas,
according to a recent study.
CNBC examined the study by French multinational business consulting giant
Capgemini. It found that Detroit's population of millionaires fell 2.2 percent
to 90,100 individuals last year.
San Jose, California led other metropolitan areas in growth of millionaires last
year, with in increase of 2.1 percent for a total of 90,700 millionaires.
New York had the highest number of millionaires at 727,100.
Mlive.com reports the study defines a as those with $1 million or more in
investible assets, excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and
consumer durables.


(Ishpeming-Underdog Winner)
Ishpeming High School has officially won Sports Illustrated's Underdogs
competition.
SI profiled ten athletes/schools from across the country that the magazine
considers to be "underdogs."
The school's athletic department will receive a $25,000 grant after the story of
Eric Dompierre received the most votes in the online competition that ended
November 15th.
Dompierre, who has Down Syndrome, fought and won a battle with the Michigan High
School Athletic Association for a waiver to play sports his senior year at the
age of 19. He started school late because of his disability.
In addition to the grant, ten members of Eric's team also won a trip to the
Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Awards in New York City.


(Grand Rapids-Rapper Steals Bus)
A Grand Rapids man says he stole a bus to drive to Detroit to become a rapper.
25-year-old Josiah Daniel Curtis was arrested in the Ann Arbor area Thanksgiving
morning after being stopped by police for driving a school bus erratically.
Washtenaw County Sheriff Sgt. Geoffrey Fox said they saw the bus swerving and
weaving and when they stopped the bus Curtis told them he was headed to Detroit
to work on some music.
WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids reports that Curtis attempted to steal seven school
buses from a locked lot in Wyoming, crashing several into a loading dock and
fence before making off with one of the vehicles.
Curtis, who was driving without a license, was arrested and charged with
receiving and concealing stolen property. He is incarcerated in the Washtenaw
County Jail in on $25,000 bond.


(Grandville-Cabela's Job Applications)
It won't open for several months, but Cabela's says now's the time to apply and
be considered for jobs with their new Grandville store.
The outdoor sports retailer plans an 88,000 square foot facility near the
Rivertown Crossings Mall with their trademark log construction, stonework and
wildlife displays.
The store manager says a passion for service and experience with outdoor sports
will benefit job applicants.
Cabela's is looking to hire around 200 people for full and part time jobs. All
applications must be made online at www.cabelas.jobs. Interviews will be held
from December 16th to the 20th.
The store opening is slated for Spring of 2013.
(John C. Smith, WOOD, Grand Rapids)


(Tue Lottery)
There was one winner from Georgia that matched all numbers and the mega ball in
Tuesday night's Mega Millions drawing worth $49 (M) million dollars.
That means Friday's jackpot will be worth $12 (M) million dollars.
The Mega Millions numbers drawn Tuesday night were: 05, 12, 26, 42, and 49. The
mega ball was 24. The megaplier was: 4x
The winning numbers for the Midday 3 lottery were:   1-0-6.
The winning numbers for the Midday 4 lottery were:   2-8-4-0.
The winning numbers for the Evening 3 lottery were:   8-9-1.
The winning numbers for the Evening 4 lottery were:   7-1-3-7.
The winning numbers for the Fantasy 5 lottery were:   02-03-11-20-39.
The winning numbers for the Keno lottery were: 08, 09, 11, 16, 25, 28, 32, 34,
35, 38, 40, 41, 43, 56, 61, 63, 64, 69, 72, 76, 77, 79.
Tonight's (Wed) Classic Lotto 47 jackpot is worth one-point-four (M) million
dollars.

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