Category: News Briefs Written by Zack Burgess, Editor-at-Large
One thing is for sure, after Illinois beat No. 1 ranked Indiana last night 74-72, with 0.9 seconds to play, it confirmed that Big Ten Basketball is back. Thursday night, marked the fifth straight week that the nation's top-ranked team lost.
For years Big 10 basketball, the ACC and the Big East dominated college basketball. Well the Big East is going away, North Carolina is having somewhat down year, but the way Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Michigan State and Ohio State have been playing, it gives everyone something to cheer about. So we have decided to rank the team within the Big East as March and tournament time approaches.
1. Indiana (20-3 / 8-2)
Great passing team, but they still have more turnovers in Big Ten play than assists, which could be a problem down the road.
2. Michigan (20-2 / 7-2)
The Indiana Hoosiers seem to be standing in their way. If the Wolverines meet again in postseason tourneys, they could play some great games. They are simply a good-shooting, good-passing, good-rebounding team.
3. Michigan State (18-4 / 7-2)
The Spartans are definitely still in the race. Isn’t it great to see both Michigan teams playing well?
4. Ohio State (17-4 / 7-2)
The Buckeyes are the surprise team in the conference this year.
5. Wisconsin (15-7 / 6-3)
The story of the Badgers has to be Free-throws. Zero at Ohio State, 4
2 versus Illinois.
6. Minnesota (17-5 / 5-4)
Every now and then this team comes alive. You have a tendency to forget about them.
7. Iowa (15-8 / 3-6)
Good team. But they lack some mental toughness.
8. Northwestern (13-10 / 4-6)
Unfortunately they have a hard time with head-to-head matchups. They are just not quite strong enough.
9. Illinois (16-8 / 3-7)
Beating Indiana says something. They know how to protect the basketball.
10. Purdue (11-9 / 4-5)
This team is not going to go anywhere, but they play tough in a very stacked Big Ten.
11. Nebraska (11-12 / 2-8)
Let’s face it…Nebraska is a football school.
12. Penn State (8-13 / 0-9)
Their record speaks for itself.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 February 2013 14:53
Category: News Briefs Written by Zack Burgess, Editor-at-Large
On Thursday Gov. Rick Snyder, revealed a bold 2013-14 budget plan that seems to have both conservatives and liberals alike, not very happy. One group definitely seemed to be satisfied – the business community.
The plan will impose $1.2 billion in new taxes on motorists. The budget calls for a spike in the cost of gas, vehicle registrations, and hunting and fishing licenses. In the meantime, Snyder has pledged to make improvements to the state's roads and wildlife areas, while expanding Medicaid coverage and early childhood education. The governor noted that the bond rating agencies will like his plan because it's balanced, pays down long-term debt and adds $178 million to two state savings accounts.
Mark Griffin, president of the Michigan Petroleum Association, which represents fuel distributors, said to The Detroit News that Snyder's proposal would hike the cost of a gallon of $3.50 gas to $3.64, leaving Michigan with the "worst gasoline tax in the country and the highest gas prices in the country."
The gas tax hike would raise $728 million annually for roads, bridges and other infrastructure improvements.
"If you use the roads more, you should pay more," Snyder said. "If you use the road less, you should pay less."
Snyder's budget also calls for increasing heavy truck and trailer registration taxes by 25 percent and increasing light vehicle registration fees by 60 percent to raise another $508 million annually.
"This is a really solid budget," Snyder said to reporters on Thursday.
Rich Studley, president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, agreed, saying that fixing roads is a major priority and that the increases the budget sets out are in the form of user fees.
Still, "I don't think anybody expects the budget to zip through the legislative process," Studley said to the Detroit Free Press.
House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, commended Snyder for a budget. He said to the Free Press that this "continues his commitment to be fiscally responsible," cautioning that it was still up to the Legislature to "determine the best way to proceed."
However, there are conservative lawmakers, who are dismayed with Snyder’s plan to expand Medicaid to include about 470,000 more uninsured low-income people under the Affordable Care Act, which he announced on Wednesday.
Democrats said the impact of the gas tax and vehicle registration hikes – estimated by Snyder to average about $120 per vehicle – will have an impact on low and middle income families.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 February 2013 15:02
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Rhonda Gillespie, Chicago Defender
The Defender has confirmed that First Lady Michelle Obama will attend the funeral service for slain teen Hadiya Pendleton.
The 15-year-old was gunned down Jan. 29 at a park located one mile north of where the First Lady and the first family live in the Kenwood neighborhood on the South Side.
Hadiya's father, Nathaniel Pendleton, told the Defender that he had only heard from media reports of the first lady's plans to attend the funeral. Still, he was pleased with the news.
"I feel supported. When (Obama) gets finished with being the first lady, she's still a parent," he said.
The White House confirmed Thursday that the first lady will be accompanied by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. Duncan and Jarrett are Chicagoans, too. Duncan served as the chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools before heading to Washington in his current position. Jarrett is a longtime friend of the Obamas, former deputy chief of staff to former Mayor Richard M. Daley and she served for a decade on the Chicago Transit Authority board.
Pendleton will be laid to rest Saturday following a funeral service at Greater Harvest Baptist Church, located at 5141 S. State St. Services begin at 9 a.m. The day before, there will be a visitation at Calahan Funeral Home, 7030 S. Halsted St.
Calahan Funeral Home President Edward Calahan said the first lady's attendance demonstrates her endearment to nation's children, including the ones in her hometown.
"It means a lot to Chicago. This is her home," Calahan told the Defender. "To come home, being the 'mother' to the nation ... she is letting Chicago and the nation know that her love for the children and the community is constantly being displayed."
The funeral home expects a crowd of more than 3,000 each on Friday and Saturday.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 February 2013 09:32
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Jackie Berg
The proposed ATEC facility, located in Warren, Mich., adjacent to Macomb Community College (MCC), will involve the renovation of an existing structure on the 3.5-acre site at 14601 East 12 Mile Rd.
The new ATEC facility will offer students in Macomb County the opportunity to attain four-year degrees in marketable academic programs such as engineering, computer science, business, advanced manufacturing and other disciplines, while providing collaborative opportunities with the business community in the area.
Wayne State, working closely with MCC, also will have an opportunity to create an electric vehicle technologies center of excellence where WSU and MCC faculty can engage in research, program development, and delivery of electric and automotive battery technologies.
“We are excited about implementing this next phase of the university's education strategy in Macomb County, which will serve as a center of excellence and a national model for university–community college partnerships,” said Ahmad Ezzeddine, vice president of educational outreach and international programs at Wayne State University. “We look forward to working with our partners at Macomb Community College and the Macomb business community to develop and offer educational and research programs that meet the talent and workforce needs of Macomb and the State of Michigan.”
A construction start date for the ATEC facility has not yet been determined, but design phase activities are under way.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 February 2013 09:31
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Britney Spear
Is Michigan on the comeback? As the rest of the country continues to struggle financially, the state is no stranger to the devastation of a disheveled economy. Facing a questionable future, Governor Rick Snyder has taken a step to do what he believes will restore and replenish Michigan’s diminished finances.
On Thursday, Snyder announced his new budget plan. The $50.9 billion dollar proposal is our state government's initiative to get it on the right track for the future. Amidst what he calls a 'messy' government and financial struggles in Washington, the governor wants to lead Michigan in the right direction. Yet, what Michigan residents want most to know is how the new plan will directly impact their everyday lives.
The most key components of Snyder's new budget plan include an increase of state gas taxes and vehicle fees, extending Medicare eligibility to residents who are currently uninsured, and expanding early childhood education, specifically to youth who are most at-risk. Perhaps the one aspect of the initiative that raises the most eyebrows is that it will cost more to drive in Michigan. But, it is a measure that will allow the state to improve its road conditions.
The governor’s proposal, which will require legislative approval, calls for increased spending on a rainy day fund. It will also increase the Michigan State police force, providing more troopers to areas most prone to crime. Finally, the proposal will allocate greater financial resources to K-12 as well as post secondary schools.
Other important features of the plan include an increase in fees for hunting and fishing licenses, as well as a sharp decrease in the current tax incentives for movie makers.
Governor Snyder hopes that these measures will maximize funding opportunities, yet also ensure its residents can take advantage of resources needed to achieve the best quality of life.
Let’s hope Snyder’s new proposal is exactly what Michigan needs to move it in the right direction.
Follow Britney Spear on Twitter @missbritneysp
Last Updated on Friday, 08 February 2013 14:03
Category: News Briefs Written by Britney Spear
The average Detroiter might never get the opportunity to travel halfway across the globe. Yet, you'd be surprised what fun and exciting ways residents are experiencing culture in their own neighborhood.
On Saturday, Wayne County Community College District will hold it's eleventh annual 'Passport to Africa' Celebration. The event incorporates food, fun, and entertainment to grant attendees with an up close and personal experience of African culture. It’s free of charge and open to the public.
The series is just one of the college's many initiatives to provide not just students but the entire community with an educational experience that is both entertaining and engaging. Under the leadership of Chancellor Dr. Curtis L. Ivery, WCCCD continues to expand its reach by providing exciting opportunities outside of the classroom.
Learning truly does lead to a better life. Expanding our knowledge of the world around us is one of the best steps we can take toward educational enrichment. Thanks to institutions like WCCCD, you don’t have to travel too far to do so. The opportunity is right in your backyard.
‘Passport to Africa’ takes place at the Downtown campus of WCCCD on Saturday, February 9, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information and to register for the event, visit www.wcccd.edu or call 313-496-2600.
Follow Britney Spear on Twitter @missbritneysp
Last Updated on Friday, 08 February 2013 09:02
Category: News Briefs Written by huffingtonpost
Detroit's tech industry growth is outpacing national hubs like Silicon Valley, Boston and Chicago in a number of categories, according to the latest annual report from Automation Alley.
East Lansing's Anderson Economic Group was asked by the tech business association develop a study that benchmarked Southeast Michigan's progress in developing a thriving technology sector. Metro Detroit was ranked against 14 select other metropolitan areas, many of them Midwestern (Silicon Valley/San Jose was included, but not New York City).
This study counts jobs in advanced automotive and manufacture design and engineering, IT and computer-oriented careers, and even non-tech jobs created by companies in those fields. That includes the Detroit Big Three and auto-related companies, who dazzled the world at this year's Detroit Auto Show, tech startups big and small who are coming together to create a thriving community downtown, the attraction of companies like Twitter and Google, and young Michiganders learning the latest in mobile innovation who are the future bearers of this state's economy.
New to this year's report are stats tracking the number of STEM university degrees granted, which reflects Southeast Michigan's commitment to education a future talent pool. Another statistic on patents granted by region demonstrates corporate and entrepreneurial investments in innovation.
For the purpose of the study, seven counties across Southeast Michigan were counted as part of Metro Detroit, a region encompassing more than four million people. And one thing's clear -- after living through the Great Recession and watching jobs and population migrate away to other states, Metro Detroiters looking for jobs have plenty to celebrate.
"Every day at Automation Alley, businesses from around metro Detroit share exciting anecdotal evidence of the region’s emersion from the recession, providing plenty of fuel for an optimistic outlook. But the data presented here is hard evidence of the region’s leadership position and global reach in the technology industry," wrote Automation Alley Executive Director Ken Rogers in the report. "That’s fuel for rebuilding a reputation.”
Click through the slideshow for seven reasons to get seriously excited about Detroit's tech scene.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated incorrectly that Ken Tucker is the executive director of Automation Alley. His name is Ken Rogers.
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 February 2013 09:09
Category: News Briefs Written by huffingtonpost
From April 10 to 14, Midtown venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Detroit Institute of Arts will host events and work created by the 38 Kresge Eminent Artists and Kresge Artist Fellowship Awardees, listed below.
Art X Detroit is funded by the Kresge Foundation and produced by Midtown Detroit, Inc. The development organization's president, Sue Mosey, explained why they felt Midtown was the perfect setting for a large-scale arts event.
“As home to Detroit’s Cultural Center and a neighborhood that values creativity, we are excited to host this spectacular arts celebration in Midtown,” Mosey said in a statement.
A schedule of events is forthcoming. We can barely wait: after last year's DLECTRICITY, the Detroit Design Festival, and Belle Isle Public Art Exhibit, we can't seem to get enough of arts festivals -- and either can Detroit.
2011 - 2012 Kresge Eminent Artist Award and Kresge Artist Fellowship awardees:
Bill Harris (2011)
Naomi Long Madgett (2012)
Visual Arts Fellows (2011)
Literary Arts Fellows (2012)
Cheryl A. Alston
Mary Jo Firth Gillet
Performing Arts Fellows (2012)
Don “Doop” Duprie
Natasha “T” Miller
Xiao Dong Wei
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 February 2013 09:01
Category: News Briefs Written by David Sands, huffingtonpost
Think Detroit's Gran Fondo bicycle ride has been derailed? Not so fast!
True, the original sponsor of the 54-mile Woodward Avenue bicycle event, the Woodward Avenue Action Association (WA3), may have pulled out due to resistance from the city of Royal Oak. But a Ferndale bike shop owner is ready to pick up where it left off.
Jon Hughes, owner of the Downtown Ferndale Bike Shop, plans to keep the ride alive on June 30, even if city leaders don't give the event their blessing.
Gran fondo means "big ride" in Italian; it's an umbrella term covering a variety of large-scale biking events, which have been common in Italy for years but are just starting to catch on in the United States. According to Bicycling magazine, almost every large U.S. city now sponsors a gran fondo event.
As originally planned, Detroit's Gran Fondo would have featured a professional bike race stretching from Detroit to Pontiac and back, followed up by a large community ride. WA3, a public-private nonprofit, decided to sponsor the event as a way to raise money for improvements along the Woodward Corridor. It got the idea from Dale Hughes, Jon's father and a long-time bike race organizer and track designer, who approached the organization for logistical support.
Heather Carmona, WA3's executive director, said the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) had endorsed the Gran Fondo and her organization was expecting a smooth approval process. Unfortunately, it ran into some heavy push back from the city of Royal Oak.
"We didn't anticipate some of the resistance philosophically from the safety angle -- just the push back we were receiving," Carmona told The Huffington Post. "We started to get resistance from a few communities, and we decided it would not be in our best interests to push this event and jeopardize the relationships we have with them."
In a memo to commissioners, Royal Oak City Manager Don Johnson raised safety objections, characterizing the ride as "a very high-risk/low-reward event.” The city's police chief, Corrigan O’Donohue, told Royal Oak Patch he wasn't concerned about the race portion of the event, but was concerned about elderly drivers getting to church on Sunday morning and whether city police officers would have to work during the event.
Although WA3 bowed out of this June's Gran Fondo, Carmona said it would like to sponsor a race in the future with municipal support. In the meantime, Dale and Jon Hughes have vowed to keep the ride's momentum going.
Jon Hughes told The Huffington Post the race portion has been canceled, but the community ride will go on as planned. He pointed out that a support crew will be on hand, equipped with a van to pick up overtired riders. "It's not going to be as organized as much as other big cities are," he said. "Nothing's set in stone right now, because we can't do it with WA3. It's going to be more of an underground ride."
As for the resistance from Royal Oak, he said city leaders have a bike bias, citing a recently revised ordinance that fines cyclists $50 to $100 if they are caught riding on sidewalks downtown.
But Hughes notes that the community ride is legal and hopes Royal Oak will eventually warm up to the event. For now, though, he seems to be getting a kick out of the fact that it's become "underground."
"It was super uptight: 'Fill out all these forms. You gotta wear the right shirt to be in the race,'" Hughes said. "They make up all these crazy rules, you don't really need. I think that scares off people -- a lot of the gritty, grimy racers from showing up -- a lot of those guys get scared off."
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 February 2013 09:00
Category: News Briefs Written by Kate Abbey-Lambertz, thehuffingtonpost
An app cooked up by a software developer in his free time and quietly released last month is making it easier for iPhone-carrying bus riders to get around Detroit.
Stop313, available for free in the iTunes store, determines a user's location and then shows arrival times from nearby bus routes, explained developer Evol Mark Johnson. It's great for riders who are might otherwise have to wait for long periods without knowing when their bus will show up -- a frequent problem in the city.
Johnson navigates the city by car. But he said he was struck by the many people he sees waiting for buses when he drives up Woodward Avenue to work in the suburbs.
My wife is from Detroit," Johnson said. "She used to tell me, they used to wait for long hours in the cold for the bus to get there when she was in high school. That kind of stayed with me ... if I were in that situation, I'd want to have to wait the least amount of time."
"I thought was a good project to tackle."
Johnson said he stumbled on Text My Bus, a service developed by Code For America Detroit that allows riders to receive arrival times by text message. The three fellows for the nonprofit that promotes civic engagement worked with the city and Detroit Department of Transportation to make real-time bus information accessible, not only for Text My Bus, but for other developers, like Johnson, to use.
Though he may have been in Detroit for only three years, the Costa Rica native and Compuware employee has 24 years of software development experience under his belt. Johnson worked on his app for just over two months in his free time. He said that hard work wasn't easy, but wasn't "Mission Impossible," either. His next step? Creating a version that works on Android phones. And while Johnson has other possible app ideas for the future, he wants to first make sure Stop313 is running smoothly.
Even though Stop313 is entirely independent of DDOT, it does source all of the bus authority's data, so Johnson cautions riders that a DDOT glitch could result in inaccurate information on his own app.
But he said Text My Bus, which uses the same information, had so far had few problems.
While Johnson and the Text My Bus creators aren't affiliated, their two apps share a common mission and focus. But there are some differences -- Text My Bus was purposely designed to be available to the widest range of people possible, so it relies on simple text messaging. For those who do have a smartphone, Stop313 presents the information in a more user-friendly format. Frequent riders can bookmark the routes they use most often, and users can send feedback.
"As a city we have a set of problems, which technology can really help … Text My Bus and Stop313 are really good examples of how technology can help alleviate problems citizens have," Johnson said.
"One of the things that we as developers [can do] is to see how we can help the city move forward by disseminating information and making it more readily available, and I think that's a very good use of our time."
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 February 2013 09:30
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