Thursday Morning State News Summary
Thu, 29 Nov 2012 01:56:10 EST
(Snyder-Renewable Energy)
Governor Rick Snyder says the state needs to increase its use of renewable
energy, but in his message to the legislature on energy and the environment
Wednesday he did not propose a new level to set that use at.
Instead, Snyder said in 2013 all sides on the issue should talk and reach an
agreement on what new level of renewable energy usage to set.
The Governor also said he wanted to have a summit of the Great Lake governors
and Canadian premiers on Mackinac Island to discuss how better to use and
protect the lakes from invasive species. He also called for improved land and
water usage, a summit on timber use, a changed tax structure for the states
extractive industries, greater use and planning for natural gas, and improved
recycling across the state.
Snyder also said the state needs to do more to improve energy efficiency.
He also says Michigan has an opportunity to leverage its own natural resources
for economic growth that also allows for environmental protection.
So the Governor is calling for Michigan to consider having a natural gas
strategic reserve, because (quote) "Michigan is a very strong natural gas
state," although he notes that Michigan is not a nation-leader in natural gas
reserves.
But he emphasized that (quote) "compared to coal, (natural gas) is a much better
alternative," give its effectiveness, and the fact it burns cleaner than coal.


(UM Researchers-Fracking)
Just as Governor Rick Snyder on Wednesday called for more emphasis on the use of
natural gas and the extraction of gas, known as fracking or hydraulic
fracturing, the University of Michigan announced that it is conducting a
detailed study of the environmental and societal effects of the process.
In hydraulic fracturing, large amounts of water, sand and chemicals are injected
deep underground to break apart rock and free trapped natural gas. Though the
process has been used for decades, recent technical advances have helped unlock
vast stores of previously inaccessible natural gas, resulting in a fracking
boom.
U-M Assistant Professor Brian Ellis says the combination of hydraulic fracturing
and horizontal drilling that has occurred in the last decade has environmental
implications, and learning more about those effects and what policies need to be
made to control them is important.
He is studying how the combination is creating geologic formations and affecting
surface water.
U-M researchers are working with government regulators, oil and gas industry
representatives and environmental groups to explore seven critical areas related
to the use of hydraulic fracturing in Michigan: human health, the environment
and ecology, economics, technology, public perception, law and policy, and
geology/hydrodynamics.
Detailed technical reports on the seven subject areas are to be released early
next year for public comment.


(MSU-Gay Marriage Poll)
Support for gay marriage is growing in Michigan, mirroring changing attitudes in
many parts of the United States. That's according to Michigan State Universitys
State of the State Survey.
The recent survey found that 56 percent of the states residents support gay
marriage while 39 percent oppose it. Two years ago, 48 percent supported gay
marriage and 51 percent were opposed.
The survey, a telephone poll of 1,015 Michigan adults, was conducted June 12 -
August 13.
MSU economics professor and director of the State of the State Survey Charles
Ballard says although a majority of Michigan residents favored gay marriage in
this survey, there remain substantial differences among different groups.
Among those with at least some college education, 63 percent favored gay
marriage, while it was favored by only 26 percent of those who had never been to
college. About 71 percent of those with household income over $100,000 favored
gay marriage, compared with only 26 percent of those with household income below
$20,000.
Some 57 percent of whites favored gay marriage, whereas only 30 percent of
blacks did so. Gay marriage was favored by 58 percent of Catholics, 48 percent
of Protestants and 78 percent of those with no religious preference.


(Missaukee Co-Deadly Shooting-UPDATE)
Police in northern Michigan are investigating a deadly shooting that took place
late Tuesday night.
The Missaukee County Sheriff's Department says 46-year-old Charles Cuykendall
(KWY-kenn-dahl) of Lake City was shot to death at a home on Lachance Road near
the intersection of M-55 in Lake Township.
48-year-old Donald Staats was arrested on Wednesday and charged with Open Murder
and Felony Firearms.
The investigation is ongoing.
(Help from: Bill Froehlich, WTCM, Traverse City)


(MI-Bond-Refinance)
Some good news for Michigan on the financial front.
The State has closed on a refinancing deal that it says is a historically low
interest rate of one-point-one-six (1.16%) percent.
That generated nearly ten percent in debt service savings over previous
bonds.The bonds were issued to refund outstanding general obligation
environmental program bonds.
State Treasurer Andy Dillon says (quote) "the eagerness of bond purchasers to
invest in Michigan is a testament to the strong financial turnaround that is
taking place."
The extremely low 1.16% interest rate was made possible by the economic
turnaround in the state as well as sound financial decisions that have resulted
in a consistently balanced budget. Each of the major rating agencies has
recently commended the states strong fiscal management, according to Dillon.


(St. Clair Co-Murder Trial Begins)
One man pleaded guilty and one is on trial this week in the shooting death of
another man in Port Huron last summer.
23-year old Jason Williams was found shot to death outside the Village Manor
Townhomes on the city's south side June 15th.
28-year old John Little of Detroit has entered a guilty plea for tampering with
evidence, as well as accessory after the fact to murder, according to officials
with St. Clair County Circuit Court. He's set for sentencing on January 7th.
Meanwhile, a jury has been seated and a trial is now underway for 33-year-old
Cidney Ingram of Detroit who's charged with open murder and felony firearm.
(WPHM, Port Huron)


(MI-Cougars)
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced that it has verified
three photos of cougars taken by trail cameras in the Upper Peninsula this fall.
A press release from the DNR says two of the photos were taken in Menominee
County in October and in both cases the cougar was wearing a radio collar.
A third photo was taken in northern Marquette County in November and on that
occasion, the cougar was not wearing a radio collar.
The closest states that implement radio collars on cougars are North and South
Dakota, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Since a cougar was killed near Newberry in 1906, there have been 20 cougar
verifications, but all of them occurred since 2008, according to the DNR.


(Jackson Co-Murder Conviction)
A 29-year-old Jackson man has been convicted in the shooting death of another
Jackson man.
A Jackson County Circuit Court jury on Wednesday found 29-year-old Roger Stein
guilty of first degree murder for shooting 22-year-old Ricky Upshaw in the back
following an argument in June. Jurors also found Stein guilty of using a
firearm to commit a felony and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
A judge will sentence him on January 9 to a mandatory sentence of life in prison
without the possibility of parole.


(Saginaw Twp-Missing Woman)
Saginaw Township Police are working with Midland County Sheriff deputies looking
for a missing woman.
Relatives say Leigh Swanson who was last seen November 18th. Officers say the
45-year-old Saginaw woman was said to have gone on a date with a Midland man she
met through an on-line dating service.
Swanson was last known to be wearing black jeans and a dark purple shirt. She's
described as 5' 10" tall, weighs 180-pounds, with brown eyes and sandy, blonde
hair.
Anyone with information about Swanson can contact their local police agency.
(WSGW, Saginaw)


(Wed lottery)
There were no winning tickets sold in Wednesday's Classic Lotto 47 game.
That means Saturday's jackpot will be worth one-point-six (M) million dollars.
The numbers drawn Wednesday were: 21, 24, 33, 38, 41, and 47.
The Powerball numbers from last night: 05-16-22-23-29.
The power ball was 6.
There were two winners, one from Missouri and one from Arizona, that matched all
the numbers and the powerball in last night's drawing worth $550 (M) millions
dollars.
The winning numbers for the Midday 3 lottery on Wednesday were: 3-8-1.
The winning numbers for the Midday 4 lottery were: 9-9-7-3.
The winning numbers for the Evening 3 lottery were: 5-3-2.
The winning numbers for the Evening 4 lottery were: 7-7-0-2.
The winning numbers for the Fantasy 5 lottery were:   22-31-32-34-36.
The winning numbers for the Keno lottery were: 10, 13, 15, 16, 20, 24, 26, 27,
33, 36, 45, 47, 54, 56, 57, 65, 66, 69, 73, 74, 77, 78.
Friday's Mega Millions jackpot will be worth at least $41 (M) million dollars.
Saturday's Powerball jackpot will be worth $40 (M) million dollars.

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