Category: News Briefs Written by huffingtonpost
The obesity rate in the United States is, on a whole, staying steady, according to a new Gallup-Healthways report. The report shows that the obesity rate was 26.2 percent in 2012, which is about the same as the 26.1 percent rate in 2011. State obesity rates have also largely remained unchanged, with only three states experiencing an increase in obesity -- New Jersey, North Carolina and Georgia -- and one state actually experiencing a decrease in obesity -- Delaware. Of all the states, Colorado had the lowest obesity rate at 18.7 percent. Meanwhile, West Virginia had the highest obesity rate at 33.5 percent.
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 09:01
Category: News Briefs Written by Kate Abbey-Lambertz, huffingtonpost
After Michigan Gov. Rick. Snyder declared that Detroit has a financial emergency, Mayor Dave Bing said Wednesday he would not stand in the way of Snyder's ensuing appointment of an emergency financial manager. "The fighting must stop now," said Bing. "We need to end the drama and the infighting and understand whether we like it or not, an emergency financial manager is coming to Detroit."
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 09:36
Category: News Briefs Written by huffingtonpost
Trinosophes, a new art gallery and performance space in Eastern Market, has been hosting monthly events for the past few months, but they are now ready for their full-time debut with a grand opening set for this Saturday, March 9. Musician and event producer Joel Peterson and MOCAD Deputy Director Rebecca Mazzei have partnered on this project, which includes an integrated café, gallery and performance space. Peterson had previously been booking shows through the Bohemian National Home, and it had been his intent to find a new space since 2008.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 March 2013 09:20
Category: News Briefs Written by David Sands, huffingtonpost
Michigan pundits may be scrambling to name the state's possible picks for an emergency financial manager in Detroit, but that speculation has done little to quell the ongoing campaign for the city's next mayor.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 March 2013 08:45
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Britney Spear, Regional Content Editor
After officially announcing his run for Detroit mayor, Mike Duggan hit the pavements to connect with potential voters.
Not even a snowstorm could stop the candidate’s momentum last week.
Recently, Duggan spoke one-on-one with residents and students at Wayne County Community College District in Detroit. The public forum moderated by Michigan Chronicle's Senior Editor Bankole Thompson, gave participants a chance to ask their most pressing questions about Detroit’s future and how Duggan plans to get the city back on track.
When asked his motivation for entering the race, the mayor hopeful kept it short and sweet.
"I came here from my own conclusion.”
Born and raised in Detroit, Duggan described his unwavering loyalty to the city. It is one that has existed since his college days as a law student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
“My friends all wanted to go to Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta. I only wanted to be one place. I wanted to be in Detroit.”
Referencing his past positions, he noted that each one has been in close radius to the city’s center. Duggan even pointed out that his last five careers were within two miles of WCCCD’s downtown campus.
Duggan’s resume stands out even among Detroit’s most devoted. He worked as a county attorney and Deputy Wayne County Executive before managing the SMART bus system. Perhaps his most recent positions are what he’s well known for: serving as Wayne County Prosecutor and later, CEO of the Detroit Medical Center. It’s a track record that might be hard to keep up with, but Duggan candidly described how he plans to restore Detroit to its greatness.
A city desperate for answers seeks someone who can deliver undisputable results. Duggan talked specifics, drawing parallels between Detroit’s current condition and that of the DMC in 2003 before his takeover. He used the example to describe just how he intends to implement improvement.
The DMC’s history is one that most Detroiters are familiar with. What used to be three-hour emergency room waits was a main factor in driving patients away from its facilities. Under Duggan’s management, the “29 minute” program guaranteed patient care before paperwork, ultimately bringing patrons back to the city’s hospitals. So much so that doctors returned, and others began to restore belief in the medical system. As a result, the Vanguard Company made the largest investment in Detroit’s history, putting over $800 million into DMC renovations.
“When people said you need to close down the hospitals in Detroit and move them to the suburbs, we proved them wrong,” said Duggan.
Noting the transformation of the DMC, Duggan also reiterated that his team members came directly from the community. He made a convincing case for the fact that he has what it takes to change Detroit’s current state of affairs.
“The kind of mayor you need happens to match up with my background.”
When asked about the biggest challenge he anticipates facing in the election, Duggan cited the reality of racial division. He, however, expressed that he believes building a rapport with residents will overcome this would-be barrier to the mayoral seat.
"If we're going to get past the racial gap, we can't do it in 30-second TV ads. We’ve got to do it in rooms like this,” said Duggan.
The mayoral candidate has forged relationships within the community by meeting individuals and addressing their concerns with real, tangible solutions. Duggan mentioned he has held regular “house parties” with residents, visiting salons, churches and even the basements of local homes.
“The people in this city are fighters, they are extremely angry about the violence and want to be safe,” said Duggan.
When asked about Forbes’ recent rating of Detroit as the “Most Miserable City”, Duggan expressed a sentiment shared with most residents, and the need to end embarrassing narratives about the city. He however, recognized that action is what’s needed to get the job done.
“You don't turn around your image by hiring PR firms. You start when you stop embarrassing yourself, and make new accomplishments,” said Duggan.
Acknowledging Dave Bing as a friend, he nevertheless, identified what he considers the current mayor’s critical mistakes that he hopes to avoid if voted into office.
“There's an art to turning around government and management. We need a turnaround administration and it's not something that fits his strong suit.”
Duggan also protested the possibility of an emergency financial manager, asserting there’s no evidence that proves the success of such an appointment. He referenced the cities of Benton Harbor and Ecorse, pointing out that after having undergone a state takeover they continue to struggle years later. Duggan instead offered what he feels will be a more appropriate solution.
"You must face reality as it is, not as you wish it to be.”
Duggan recounted the current mayor and city council’s failure to address the deficit “honestly”. He expressed that there is a strong necessity to take action.
After answering questions from the moderator, Duggan then responded to inquiries regarding such issues are crime prevention, budget cuts, abandoned homes, and building the economy. He addressed each area, again calling attention to his previous work and the progress made during that time. Duggan also expressed how he will use that experience to respond to Detroit’s challenges if elected to office.
The prospective mayoral pick suggests three major goals he will work on in his first year that include lowering the rate of violent crimes, turning the street lights back on and getting abandoned buildings occupied. Duggan beliefs that if the above-stated can be accomplished, the community’s overall feeling will greatly change in the next few years.
Despite growing concerns about the city’s financial state, Duggan reiterated that all is not lost.
“We can do a lot more with the resources we have.”
Detroit is in major need of a turnaround. Is Mike Duggan the man to do it? More events like the forum at Wayne County Community College District will allow Duggan to engage directly with residents and potential voters.
Will a proven track record and connecting with the community be enough to sway voters in the 2013 election?
Follow Britney Spear on Twitter @MissBritneySp
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 March 2013 12:56
Category: News Briefs Written by Ashley Woods, huffingtonpost
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is on the hunt for an emergency manager to turn around Detroit's financial crisis after declaring the city in a state of financial emergency last Friday. Should Snyder determine a city manager is necessary, which he is likely to do this month, his appointee will face long-term structural debt obligations estimated north of $14 billion, a short-term cash flow problem and pushback from Detroit City Council, the mayor's office and citizen groups who object to the law allowing emergency managers to assert control.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 March 2013 09:26
Category: News Briefs Written by Laura Ly, CNN
(CNN) -- Oberlin College in Ohio suspended classes Monday after a student reported seeing a person resembling a Ku Klux Klan member near the college's Afrikan Heritage House.
The sighting of the person wearing a white hood and robe was reported early Monday morning and follows a string of recent hate incidents on Oberlin's campus that have ignited shock and confusion among the student body.
"Since the beginning, there's been anger, frustration, sadness and fear, but we've been working toward a concentrated effort toward change," said Eliza Diop, 20, a politics and Africana Studies major who serves on the college student senate and is a resident of the Afrikan Heritage House, which offers programs focused on the African diaspora, according to the college's website.
Oberlin College is a small liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio, with almost 3,000 students. An emergency meeting among the college's officials was immediately called after the report.
In lieu of classes, college administrators asked students, faculty and staff to "gather for a series of discussions of the challenging issues that have faced our community in recent weeks," a statement on Oberlin's website said.
"We hope today will allow the entire community — students, faculty, and staff —to make a strong statement about the values that we cherish here at Oberlin: inclusion, respect for others, and a strong and abiding faith in the worth of every individual," the statement said.
The programming included a campuswide teach-in led by Meredith Gadsby, an associate professor and chairwoman of the Africana Studies Department; a collective demonstration of solidarity, including musical performances by campus groups and speeches by campus leaders; and a community convocation entitled "We Stand Together."
Gadsby has been teaching at Oberlin since 2000 and was notified of the incident at 3 a.m., just hours after the sighting was reported.
"I am worried about the students who have been made to feel incredibly unsafe and still feel targeted," Gadsby told CNN Monday.
The reported sighting of KKK regalia is the latest in a spate of incidents on Oberlin's campus. According to an incident report provided by the Oberlin Police Department, 15 hate-related events have been reported in the last month alone.
Police have not yet been able to substantiate the reports of the alleged KKK regalia sighting.
"We're looking into it and we're trying to talk to other students to see if we can verify the incident," said Oberlin Police Sgt. David Jasinski.
The other incidents have included several posters containing multiple racial slurs and other derogatory statements targeting various student communities placed around campus. Other reports include various fliers placed around campus containing racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic language and swastika graffiti.
"The frequency of these reports is astounding," Gadsby said. "Over the past four weeks, there has been a concentration of bias incidents in such a short period of time. I have no idea why this happened, no idea who the culprits are, no idea where this is coming from. Students are saying this is not what they came to Oberlin to experience."
Shimon Brand, Hillel director at Oberlin for more than 30 years, noted that these types of incidents were "exceedingly out of the ordinary" but that students have worked together to address the incident.
"Instead of students acting as victims, they reacted through understanding and engagement. There's a real sense of sadness and anger, but solidarity that there's work to be done," he said.
Chris Landers, 21, an English major and co-editor-in-chief of the college's newspaper, the Oberlin Review, said the paper has welcomed letters to the editor and has asked people to contact the staff with any incident reports to encourage dialogue from all groups on campus.
"We value every member of Oberlin. We know we're not the perfect place, but we strive to be an inclusive place. We want Oberlin to be a place where every member of every community feels valued and feels that they have a legitimate voice," he said.
These incidents are being investigated by both Oberlin College security and the Oberlin Police Department.
Scott Wargo, director of media relations for the college, said, "No official disciplinary action has been taken."
No official charges have been filed.
But Jasinski said that two students had been removed.
"It's an ongoing investigation. At this time, college security caught a couple of students. Two students have been removed from campus," Jasinski said.
Vicki Anderson, special agent for the FBI's Cleveland Division, said, "We have been made aware of the incidents and we have been in contact with the Oberlin Police Department and will continue to assess the situation accordingly."
Gadsby still feels that Oberlin can be a model for other campuses that have dealt with hate-related incidents. She hopes students will continue to mobilize and share information with law enforcement.
"It's good to be made uncomfortable; it strengthens our resolve," she said. "These incidents don't just happen at small liberal arts colleges. These moments are important for students to engage in the theories that we teach and put them into practice."
For students, it's a reminder that they need to remain vigilant in their fight against hate on their campus.
"Racism is still here. It may not be as visible as it was 50 years ago, but it's still visible. We still need to fight it, even in 2013," Diop said. "I want us to remember that hate is unproductive. Love reigns supreme."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 March 2013 09:16
Category: News Briefs Written by Joe Sutton, CNN
(CNN) -- Twelve former students now face manslaughter charges in the November 2011 hazing death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion Jr., attorneys familiar with the case said Monday.
Ten of them were previously charged with felony hazing resulting in death. They and two new defendants will now also be charged with manslaughter, said Craig Brown, the attorney for one of the students.
State Attorney Jeff Ashton "thought the proper charges in the case would be manslaughter and hazing with death," explained Assistant State Attorney Nicole Pegues in an e-mail sent to the defendants' attorneys.
Brown's client, Aaron Golson, was among those charged with third-degree felony hazing. He now also faces a manslaughter charge, according to Brown.
"I really find this to be a tactic by the state to pressure all of the defendants into some sort of prison time," Brown told CNN. "Clearly a manslaughter charge could have been brought about initially."
Florida A&M launches anti-hazing effort FAMU alumni: Wait for 'due process' FAMU scandal affects rising freshmen
The defendants face a maximum of 15 years in prison with the charge, if convicted, Brown said. He expects the next hearing to be in September.
Champion, 26, died after a band hazing ritual in which he was beaten aboard a school bus after a football game in Orlando, Florida. The initiation requires pledges to run down the center of the bus while being punched, kicked and assaulted by senior members, band members have said.
A medical examiner ruled Champion's death a homicide and said he died within an hour of being beaten. Champion suffered multiple blunt trauma blows, the medical examiner said.
The lawyer for Champion's parents said Monday they feel the manslaughter charge is appropriate.
"Robert Champion wasn't injured by hazing, he was killed by hazing," attorney Christopher Chestnut told CNN. "The family is encouraged by ... that (and feels) this is the right message and hopes that this is the right message regarding hazing."
One student who was involved in Champion's death was convicted in October of felony hazing resulting in death. Bryan Jones pleaded no contest and was sentenced to six months of community control, two years of supervised probation and 200 hours of community service.
Florida A&M was put on a one-year probation in December for its handling of the incident, and the famed band was suspended for the 2012-13 school year.
The school has said it is making reforms to address the problem of hazing both on and off campus, including requiring students to sign an anti-hazing pledge.
The school's band, known as the Marching 100, is one of the top university marching bands in the United States, famed for its elaborate dance formations and innovative style incorporating popular music.
CNN's Chandler Friedman contributed to this report.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 March 2013 09:04
Category: News Briefs Written by huffingtonpost
While the certainty of death and taxes is well-known, several U.S. cities might prefer the former to get to them before the latter. Just ahead of the 2013 tax season, MarketWatch recently shared a wallet-stressing report that families in the America's largest cities will be shelling out "15 percent or more of their income" this year — and that's before federal taxes.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 March 2013 08:50
Category: News Briefs Written by huffingtonpost
The United States and the United Kingdom's six "super brands" have pulled farther away from the rest of the world's colleges and universities, but the nations’ other colleges and universities are increasingly vulnerable to global competition, according to Times Higher Education's 2013 World Reputation Rankings, a leading ranking of the world's universities.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 March 2013 09:16
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