Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
Former Motown producer Frank Wilson – who worked on music for The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye among others – died Thursday after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 71.
At one time, Wilson was also a singer who released one record … the 1965 single “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do).” The BBC said the record was so rare that in 2009 one of the few remaining copies was sold for more than $40,000 at an auction, making it the most expensive record ever sold at auction.
However, singing wasn’t what wilson wanted to do professionally. It was all about producing other artist for him. Some of his Motown successes include: Stevie Wonder’s “Castles In the Sand;” Diana Ross and The Supremes’ “Love Child,” “I’m Living in Shame,” “Up the Ladder to the Roof,” and “Stone Love;” The Temptations’ “All I Need;” Marvin Gaye’s “Chained;” and Four Tops’ “Still Water (Love).”
But life changed for Wilson and in 1976 he left the secular world to become a born-again Christian. However, he continued to write throughout the years apparently. His most recent work is represented by John Legend’s “Each Day Gets Better.”
As an ordained minister a Wilson also penned two books: “The Master’s Degree — Majoring in Your Marriage” and “Unmasking the Lone Ranger.”
Wilson is survived by Bunny Wilson, his wife of more than 26 years and their six children
Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2012/09/we-remember-former-motown-producer-frank-wilson-dies-at-71/#g51olEwd9Vcr2c7F.99
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 October 2012 13:28
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) While most Detroit movers and shakers are staying mum on the suspension of Police Chief Ralph Godbee, one man is speaking up — really speaking up.
Former Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans lashed out early Wednesday at coverage of the Godbee scandal after the married Godbee was outed for an alleged affair with a fellow officer that blew up when she reportedly found out he was out of town with another woman. The officer reportedly posted a Twitter photo of herself with a gun in her mouth, and was relieved of duty while she seeks counseling.
Evans posted this on Facebook: ”Single man openly dates single woman = forced resignation. Married man has affair with single woman=promotion to Chief. Married man has another affair with married woman=30 day suspension.”
Evans lost his job to Godbee in 2010 after a “sizzle reel” he filmed to promote a new reality show was released showing him breaking down doors and toting automatic weapons. Evans was also tainted by a relationship he was having with a fellow officer, and in an odd twist it was revealed at the time his replacement — Godbee — was having an illicit relationship with the same woman. In the wake of scandal, it was revealed Godbee and his wife have been in the midst of divorce proceedings since late summer.
But now their stories are much different, Evans says, and he thinks Godbee is getting off too easily.
“As a single man, I had an open and public relationship with a member of the department who was also single,” Evans wrote in a letter to the media. “This is a significant distinction between my relationship and the current chief’s extramarital affairs.”
Evans goes on to say he made his relationship “clear” to the mayor at the time “and was not challenged about it or admonished for it.”
“In fact, the mayor and I, along with my girlfriend, attended functions where we spent time socializing together,” Evans said.
He added that he got permission from the mayor’s office for the “sizzle reel” that was later used as the reason he was forced to resign.
And then he issued this salvo.
“It should also be noted that I did my job to reduce crime significantly by systematically using data driven intelligence and produced remarkable results with less money and fewer resources,” Evans wrote. “My crime was that I got more and better press than the mayor. That in politics is a capital crime.”
Evans would not speak on the record about the controversy; Bing, and others, have refused to comment beyond the announcement of the 30-day suspension.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 October 2012 13:18
Category: News Briefs Written by mlive.com
DETROIT, MI -- The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has suspended 34 workers pending termination, saying the striking employees "endangered public health and safety by unlawfully abandoning their jobs at the plant."
Workers from the Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant walked out and began picketing Sunday, protesting a planned 81 percent reduction in the city's Water and Sewerage Department.
"The individuals were ordered not to enter on to any DWSD property and directed not to misrepresent themselves as department employees in good standing during the suspension period," department officials announced in a news release Tuesday.
Their termination will go into effect Oct. 10, but workers can request a hearing to contest their suspension.
The striking workers have defiantly picketed outside the plant, ignoring a federal court order to return to work.
Lawyers for AFSCME Local 207, which represents 950 water workers, were reviewing suspension notifications and have been fighting for a court hearing to challenge the ruling from U.S. District Judge Sean Cox, who they say caused the labor dispute in the first place.
AFSCME Local 207 is an affiliate of Michigan AFSCME Council 25.
AFSCME Council 25 officials have urged the workers to comply with the court order, but Local 207 officials refused.
Council 25 President Al Garrett said that he sympathizes with the workers' frustrations with "poor working conditions, lack of equipment and inadequate staffing levels," but said they should comply with the court order.
Shanta Driver, an attorney for Local 207, said Council 25 officials' pleas for an end to the strike were firmly rejected by demonstrators.
The Local reprimanded Council 25 in a release sent Monday night.
"The leaders of Council 25 know that their decision to try to break the Local 207 strike has completely discredited them with Local 207 members and will discredit them with other union members that hear about what they did," the Local said in a detailed document (Read in full here). "But they have a sense of how powerful our strike is and how quickly it could go from the strike of one union to the strike of many."
Detroit's water department supplies drinking water to the city and 126 other Michigan communities, many of which have had to raise water rates to pay for the service.
Ypsilanti City Council will discuss proposed water and sewage rate increases tonight.
Cox ruled last year that water department union contracts could be broken to improve efficiency, in an order stemming from a federal pollution lawsuit.
A Board of Water Commissioners given broad authority to make dramatic changes has planned sweeping reductions and privatization moves in the department.
AFSCME Local 207 has rejected contract concessions that include the right to replace workers with non-union contractors and voted last week to authorize a strike.
Cox on Monday morning issued a temporary restraining order against the strike, ruling that "the job duties performed by DWSD employees represented by the unions perform job duties that impact the safety of the public and the threatened strike by such employees will harm the safety of the public."
Driver filed motions asking for the dissolution of the restraining order and for the recusal of Cox from the case.
"Judge Cox is the cause of this strike," said Driver. "He took over and unilaterally started deciding what union rights would be... We just don't think he can be employer and judge. We don't think you can act as management and then pretend to be neutral party."
The dispute is one of several over sweeping department cuts in the city.
A number of other departments are being reduced under a separate fiscal stability plan outlined in a consent agreement with the state approved in April after Gov. Rick Snyder determined Detroit to be in financial emergency.
A judge last week dissolved a restraining order that stalled the outsourcing of the city's health department to a nonprofit agency. That move was scheduled to begin this week.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 October 2012 10:39
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
Got milk? Your answer may be no come January when milk prices could double.
If the Farm Bill is not renewed by Congress by the end of the year, the price of milk could surpass $6 a gallon, according to CBS News. That would be a big problem for Americans who are already spending on average 10.6 percent of their grocery budget on dairy products.
The Farm Bill currently regulates the price of milk. Without the bill, milk prices are projected to climb around four times higher than what the current bill permits, which could lead to skyrocketing prices in grocery stores across the country.
“My lord, the grocery stores, it’ll just be unbelievable,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the Chippewa Herald “So Congress has to get this done.”
Dairy prices are already climbing due to this summer's record-setting drought. While cows in Illinois typically produce around 90 pounds of milk per day, today they're producing around 60 pounds, Jim Fraley of the Illinois Milk Producers Association told USA Today.
Milk isn’t the only refrigerator staple that is fueling an uptick in food prices. Prices for snacks like chicken wings, chips and burgers have skyrocketed as much as 20 percent and an increase in the price of feed for pigs due to the drought could lead to a bacon shortage in 2013. The drought has also caused fluctuating fruit prices, according to Business Insider.
Bloomberg News reported that Americans could pay between 3 and 4 percent more for food next year on top of this year's 3.5 percent increase, according to data from The Department of Agriculture.
Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have said they will not consider the new farm bill until after the November elections, according to ABC2 News.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 October 2012 10:10
Category: News Briefs Written by The Root
We spoke about fast food and black obesity to Greg Watson, who is tasked with making the chain's menu healthier.
(The Root) -- Obesity is more common in African Americans than in other ethnic groups. But when it comes to black people and weight, that's where the agreement seems to end. Is food the culprit? Is exercise the solution? Is there even a real problem to begin with, or should we be focusing on health -- or even self-acceptance -- rather than the number on the scale?
Against the backdrop of a first lady's mission to slim down the nation's kids, black celebs getting endorsements after shedding inches and a booming weight-loss industry, The Root will publish a series of interviews with medical professionals, activists and fitness enthusiasts that reveal the complexity of this issue and the range of approaches to it.
For the 14th in the series, we spoke to Greg Watson, senior vice president of menu innovation at McDonald's USA, at a Washington, D.C., event highlighting what the restaurant calls its "nutrition journey." What that means is calorie counts on restaurant and drive-through menus nationwide starting last month, a "Favorites Under 400" campaign featuring lower-calorie items and healthier choices (including more fruits and vegetables, and egg-white breakfast sandwiches on whole-grain English muffins) in the works for 2013.
We asked Watson, who's responsible for keeping the McDonald's menu up to date and in line with customer preferences (which, these days, often have to do with health), about what the changes could mean for African Americans and obesity specifically.
"We think it is just going to be a natural way for us to help out in the community," he told The Root.
Here's what else he had to say about his industry's take on obesity, what the company knows about African-American food preferences and what he believes fast-food fruits and veggies could do for urban food deserts.
The Root: According to the latest statistics, African Americans are 1.5 times as likely as whites to be obese. Did you consider any special focus on the needs and preferences of the black community when revamping the menu to include calorie counts and healthier foods?
Greg Watson: When we develop our new menu items, we're thinking pretty broadly about the U.S. population. We know that we serve a lot of customers -- somewhere in the area of 25 million every day. So it's a pretty broad consumer base. But we know that the overall trends are prevalent across multiple segments. The concerns about getting more whole grains, lower-calorie options and portion control, and more fruits and vegetables are applicable to the African-American community.
And as we're developing our products, we do focus our development on different ethnic segments. There are a couple of items that do well for various segments. The mango-pineapple smoothies do very well with Hispanic and African-American consumers. The wild berry does extremely well with African-American consumers. So we're excited that we can come up with these products that do well overall, but then they do extremely well with a certain segment.
TR: If you could make just one suggestion for people to implement in their daily lives with respect to weight and health, what would it be?
GW: I would say balance is important for your eating experience throughout the day. I would encourage our customers to think about their total calorie intake for the day, and make sure that they balance their meals appropriately. So if you go a little heavy on calories at breakfast, you should back it off the rest of the day. Or, if you work out, maybe you can have more calories. I think balance is the key word.
TR: One issue that some experts we've spoken to say affects the African-American obesity rate is the prevalence of "food deserts," where fresh, healthy food is unavailable. Do you see the increased number of "wholesome choices" on the new menus -- in particular, salads and fruit options -- as part of the solution to that phenomenon?
GW: That is a big concern for our customers that live in those areas. We're excited that we can bring more fruit and more vegetables into those restaurants. We think it is just going to be a natural way for us to help out in the community, by having these types of items on our menu. We're seeing a pretty favorable response to our real-fruit smoothies, for example -- that's half a cup of fruit that our customers are getting whether they think about it that way or not.
TR: What's your response to those who might say that places like McDonald's and the food and beverages they sell are largely to blame for the American obesity crisis generally, and the black obesity crisis specifically?
GW: Well, we know that there is a tendency for people to make that connection, and it's unfortunate. I think that McDonald's, being the leader in the industry, is put at the center of that conversation. But what we do is we continue to focus on our customers' needs. And we know that we're giving our customers choices, and we're giving them variety. We provide nutritious options at great quality and an incredible value.
The more we continue to tell that story, the less we'll be concerned about what people are saying about the industry. We're trying to separate ourselves and say, "McDonald's is doing what's right for the customers."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 October 2012 10:36
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
LANSING (WWJ) – The percentage of teens in high school (aged 16 and older) who drove when they had been drinking alcohol decreased by 54 percent between 1991 and 2011, according to a Vital Signs study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study found that nine out of 10 high school teens did not drink and drive during 2011.
“We are moving in the right direction. Rates of teen drinking and driving have been cut in half in 20 years,” CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden said in a release. “But we must keep up the momentum — one in 10 high school teens, aged 16 and older, drinks and drives each month, endangering themselves and others.”
For the study, CDC analyzed data from the 1991-2011 national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. These national surveys asked high school students if they had driven a vehicle when they had been drinking alcohol one or more times during the 30 days before the survey. CDC researchers focused their analysis on students aged 16 and older.
The study also found that:
•Teens were responsible for approximately 2.4 million episodes of drinking and driving a month in 2011; some engaged in the dangerous behavior more than once a month.
•High school boys ages 18 and older were most likely to drink and drive (18 percent), while 16-year-old high school girls were least likely (6 percent).
•Eighty-five percent of teens in high school who reported drinking and driving in the past month also reported binge drinking — having five or more drinks during a short period of time.
“Teens learn from adults,” Pamela S. Hyde, the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, said in a release. “That is why it is critically important that parents, teachers, coaches and all caring adults in a young person’s life talk with them early and often about the dangers of underage alcohol use as well as drinking and driving.”
Many efforts have been helping to reduce teen drinking and driving. Some of the proven, effective strategies include the laws in place in every state that make it illegal to sell alcohol to anyone under age 21 and for those under age 21 to drive after drinking any alcohol, plus the graduated driver licensing systems in every state that allow teens to gain privileges, such as driving at night or driving with passengers, over time.
Parents also have a crucial role to play in keeping their teens safe on the road. They can model safe driving behavior and can consider using tools like parent-teen driving agreements with their teens. Safe driving habits for teens include never drinking and driving, following state GDL laws, and wearing a seat belt on every trip.
For more information and to see detailed survey results, visit www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 October 2012 09:57
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit Public Schools is starting a new program that provides take-home Netbook computers for students in grades eight through 12.
DPS officials say the giveaway is part of an initiative to emphasize the value of continual attendance on Count Day, October 3, and every day following.
As part of the district’s Count Day incentives, several schools will begin distributing Netbooks, which are small laptop computers, to students on Wednesday. Distribution will continue each week throughout the month of October until roughly 19,000 Netbooks are distributed, providing students access to technology outside of the classroom.
Count Day was specifically selected to kick-off the take-home Netbook initiative to remind parents and students of the day’s significance.
DPS emergency manager Roy Roberts said attendance on Wednesday is extremely important as each student translates into state funding.
“There are many factors why attendance is important including financial, legal, and state reporting requirements. But the reason we’re most focused on getting children in school and making sure they are here every day is educational. For all of the efforts we’ve made to ensure that classroom instruction, technology and the most highly qualified teachers are in place, we’d be foolish to not work, with all of our might, to make sure that students receive a full day’s instruction, each and every day,” Roberts said in a statement.
The district’s new attendance theme: “First Day. Every Day. All Day.” has been proven successful with early attendance data exceeding previous years’ attendance rates. By the second day of the school year, the attendance rate had reached 85%, and that number increased to 90% by the start of the third week of school.
To date, the district has recorded more than 51,000 students, which is several hundred students above the anticipated enrollment amount for the 2012-2013 academic year. The adopted fiscal year 2012-13 budget is based on a fall term enrollment of 49,852.
The take-home Netbook program, along with an Individualized Learning Plan for every student and an Academic Blueprint for every parent, can further assist in making the connection for families between success in school and success in life, Roberts added.
DPS is also partnering with Internet Essentials from Comcast to ensure families are aware of a special low-cost home Internet service available to those qualifying for free- and reduced-price lunch.
The district’s goal in providing this service is to promote educational excellence not only during school hours, but also at home by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, and unlimited communication.
“Access to Netbooks will enable students to complete homework assignments, explore thousands of libraries, databases, and bulletin boards while exchanging messages with Internet users throughout the world in the comfort of their own homes,” Roberts said.
All Netbooks have LoJack tracking devices on them, and the Netbook devices are clearly marked with the DPS property logo. All parents were required to sign consent forms prior to the Netbooks being released to students.
As a proactive approach to control how students access and utilize the Internet, a student email system titled Gaggle has been programmed on each Netbook. Aside from being a student email provider, Gaggle has several popular features for communication and collaboration all within a safe, filtered, and controlled environment.
Gaggle’s collection of tools include Digital Lockers, Discussion Boards, Chat Rooms, Blogs, Profile Pages, Assignment Drop Boxes, Calendars, a Social Wall, GaggleTube, Zoho Docs and filtered texting, according to the program website.
Other Count Day initiatives include a full-school pizza party and raffles and prizes for students with perfect attendance during a 10-day period.
The district said they will hold an end-of-the-year event to honor the students with perfect attendance, along with an invited staff member who was impactful in each “perfect attendance” student’s teaching and learning.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 13:07
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) For the 11th time, Providence Hospital was ranked as one of top 50 hospitals in the United States for heart care, according to an independent national study conducted by Truven Health Analytics, formerly the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters.
They were included in the category of Teaching Hospitals with Cardiovascular Residency Programs.
“This recognition is a tribute to the entire heart care team at Providence and their commitment to providing the highest quality and most compassionate care to our patients,” says to Shukri David, M.D., chief of cardiology at Providence Hospital.
The study, now in its fourteenth year, singled out 50 hospitals that achieved superior clinical outcomes.
“This year’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals have proven that a commitment to deliver excellent care is still attainable in times of economic uncertainty,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and the 100 Top Hospitals® program at Truven Health Analytics. “The hospitals in this study have achieved higher levels of care and efficiency than their peers, demonstrating incredibly strong focus by cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, and cardiovascular service administrators and staff on basic care and outcomes.”
The study shows that cardiovascular outcomes in U.S. hospitals are improving nationwide. Across all U.S. hospitals, 96 percent of cardiovascular inpatients survive and remain complication-free. Among the 50 Top Hospitals, performance surpasses these high-water marks as indicated by:
*Better risk-adjusted survival rates (41 percent fewer deaths than expected, compared with 9 percent fewer than expected at peer hospitals, for bypass surgery patients).
*Lower complications indices (35 percent lower rate of heart failure complications than peers).
*Fewer patients readmitted to the hospital after 30 days.
*Shorter hospital stays. The typical winning hospital released their bypass patients a full day sooner, and their heart attack and heart failure patients about three-quarters of a day sooner than their peers.
*Lower costs. Top hospitals spend $3,500 less per bypass case and $1,000 less per angioplasty than non-winners.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 12:58
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - The gift shop at Comerica Park opened at 5 a.m. Tuesday to several fans who were eager to snag limited edition memorabilia after the Detroit Tigers clinched the AL Central title Monday night.
The Tigers, paced by MVP front-runner Miguel Cabrera, beat the Kansas City Royals 6-3 to clinch back-to-back division titles for the first time since the 1934-35 seasons.
Among the people catching playoff fever is Sydney Hunter, who was waiting at the ball park to buy a special edition back-to-back championship t-shirt.
“I was watching every bit of it and watched the replay also, I loved it just that much. It was great that they didn’t have to depend on anyone but themselves and they deserve it. I’m looking forward to Miguel Cabrera getting the whole shot, he’s going to get the triple crown,” Hunter told WWJ’s Ron Dewey.
Hunter said even if they don’t win the World Series, winning the division for the second consecutive year makes this season special enough.
Ann Newton also made it a point to be downtown Detroit Tuesday morning to get her collectibles, dropping over $500. She thinks the team has what it takes to go all the way.
“Part of me had doubts but then I thought, if they continue to play small ball then they’ll be great. And that’s what they kept doing and they won. And that’s how you win the game, is to play small ball,” she said.
The Tigers (87-73) will have the worst record among AL division champions, which means they’ll open the playoffs Saturday at home against the division winner with the second-best mark, the Associated Press reported.
After the game, Coach Jim Leyland got emotional while talking about the monumental win with Fox Sports Detroit.
“This is about the players, this about the three million people and probably a lot of them that couldn’t afford to come that didn’t show up but were with us in spirit every night, I thank you for that,” he said.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 09:32
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - Retailer giant Meijer is preparing to hire thousands of new employees for its stores as it prepares for this year’s holiday season and continued growth throughout the Midwest.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer announced Tuesday it will be hiring 12,000 additional employees to staff its 200 stores across five states.
Meijer stores are open 24 hours, and only close on Christmas Day. While staffing needs vary from store to store, all Meijer stores have positions available. Interested candidates are asked to complete an online application at www.jobs.meijer.com. During the online application process, prospective team members can indicate their store preference.
Candidates may also complete an online application at the employment kiosks located at the front of most Meijer stores. The local store management will then follow-up with qualified candidates.
“While most of the seasonal opportunities are part-time, these jobs can provide a gateway to a full-time career at Meijer,” Jenny Hawat, vice president of talent recruitment and retention, said in a release.
“As we move into a new year, we frequently look to seasonal employees first to fill our ongoing part-time and full-time needs. It is a wonderful opportunity to get your foot in the door and demonstrate success within a growing company,” she said.
Meijer was recently named to the National Retail Federation’s “Hot 100 Retailers” list. The company is preparing to open six new stores in 2013, including the first Meijer in the city of Detroit.
For more information and to apply, visit www.jobs.meijer.com.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 09:22
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