Category: News Briefs Written by Huffington Post
"Anyone want a fighting dog?"
A Detroit rapper named Calicoe recorded a tour of his pad, which may, from the looks of it, house a dog-fighting operation.
Young Calicoe, according to his Facebook and Myspace pages, lives in the Detroit neighborhood of Brightmoor and is supplementing his nascent hip-hop career by raising pit bulls. The rapper, who calls the animals "fighting dogs," seems to crates the pups in the back of his home. Reddit readers flagged this video this morning, and it's quickly going viral.
Calling it, "The worst Cribs' episode ever," Gawker wrote, "There is also a strong suggestion that roosters kept on the premises are also being used for the purposes of staging cock fights. One of them is introduced as 'Grand Champion.'"
The rapper denied the charges on Twitter. "If u find a video of me "FIGHTING DOGS" PLEEEEZE LET ME KNO," he Tweeted.
According to the Humane Society, involvement in dog fighting can result in variable fines and up to five years in prison in the state of Michigan.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 14:57
Category: News Briefs Written by Patrick Keating, Chronicle Staff Writer
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson was the keynote speaker at the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 8th annual public policy breakfast.
During the course of his comments, Patterson said Oakland County got to where it is now — with a AAA bond rating, a nice surplus and jobs on the rise — through changes to the benefits packages.
“We’ve had 20-some adjustments that really have put us in good shape,” he said. “In 1984, we discontinued longevity pay. What that meant is if you were with the county more than 10 years, you got 10 percent. Well, we discontinued doing that. That was a handcuff in the old days.”
He said the county has subsequently saved $55 million in payments.
“In 2006, we discontinued the traditional defined benefit and went to our DCP plan, defined contribution,” he said. “On that one, we saved $400 million. If you take all of the adjustments we’ve saved to benefits and so forth, the total we’ve saved is $650 million. That’s why the county is in such good financial shape. We started a long time ago.”
Patterson reiterated his mantra: “thoughtful management vs. crisis management,” and said this is the result of decades of thoughtful management.
“Now the benefits have come home to roost,” he said.
Patterson added that Oakland is the only county in the United States to have paid off its legacy costs.
“You hear so much about legacy costs or promises made for retired health care,” he said. “We’re done. We paid it off a couple of years ago.”
He called it a win/win/win all around.
As to the future of Oakland County, Patterson said that the county once had all its proverbial eggs in the automotive basket, and that he couldn’t get out of that basket fast enough.
He said county officials could see that there would be a change in the kind of jobs available for the future.
“We went out there and did our research, and we found 10 sectors for employment in the future, and those sectors, of course, are the ones we now call the emergent sectors,” he said. “Every month, my staff gives me a report on how we’re doing in bringing in business in these 10 sectors.”
The sectors are advanced electronics, advanced materials and nanotechnology, aerospace, alternative energy, communication and IT, defense and homeland security — which Patterson said is one of the Top 10 growth sectors — film and digital media, insurance, Medical Main Street, and robotics.
He noted that since the inception of this program in 2004, the county has brought in 205 companies within those sectors. Those companies have invested $1.8 billion and created 26,000 jobs, and have paid $46 million to the federal state and local units of government. Of that, Oakland County got $4.3 million.
“So it’s paying for itself,” Patterson said.
“Diversification is the future of Oakland County,” Patterson stated. “We’re going into the high-tech sector. You might call it the knowledge-based economy. That’s where I’m gambling that I think this country’s going to go.”
He believes a knowledge-based economy will result in sustainable, high-paying jobs in the future.
Patterson also said it will take about 25 years before the county gets to the diversification he thinks is necessary. At that point, the county will likely be recession resistant.
He said he has got 109 people in the county’s Economic Development Department “laser focused” on emerging sectors.
He also said the budget dominates in this climate, and that the Budget Task Force works on it every week.
“But we still can walk and chew gum,” he said, adding that the Center for Digital Government has recognized Oakland as the most digitally progressive county in the country.
“For two years in a row, we’ve been ranked No. 1 out of 3,000 counties,” he said. “So we’re doing other things besides the budget.”
He pointed out that the county has had time to develop quality of life issues. One of them is Arts, Beats and Eats, which started in 1999.
“It’s now a major festival, ranked in the Top 10 in the country as far as attraction,” he said.
Another program is Count Your Steps, another major attraction.
“I asked my friends in the corporate sector to help buy pedometers for every third and fourth grader in Oakland County,” Patterson said. “We walk for a whole month.”
He said the kids have walked a combined 17 billion steps.
The Brooksie Way, named for Patterson’s late son, Brooks Stuart Patterson, who died in a 2007 snowmobile accident, is a half marathon Patterson initiated as a physical fitness initiative.
He said it grows every year and that profits are put into a fund called the Brooksie Way Mini.
“Any organization in Oakland County that has as its mission, its purpose for that group, to improve the health of its membership or improve the health of the community, we’ll help fund their costs,” he said.
During a subsequent question and answer session, Patterson spoke of the county’s efforts to attract foreign investment. He said Automation Alley, the technology and business association established in the 1990s, takes two or three trade missions a year.
He also noted that the county does a lot of international recruiting.
“We now have 840 foreign firms in Oakland County, creating about 140,000 to 145,000 jobs,” Patterson said.
He also pointed out that the county takes firms to foreign countries.
“They want to expand into the international market, so it’s a two way street, it’s not just imports,” he said.
L. Brooks Patterson addresses Hispanic business forum
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 June 2012 14:33
Category: News Briefs Written by Cornelius Fortune
Cobi Jones competes with his son during E3 in Los Angeles.
The E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) in Los Angeles wasn't just about showcasing jaw-dropping demos and new product announcements; it was a launch pad for an important cause: combating HIV/AIDS globally. Cobi Jones, a World Cup qualifier and soccer star, came out to support the (RED)RUSH TO ZERO campaign whose goal is to deliver an AIDS free generation by 2015.
Jones, a midfielder who starred for the U.S. Men’s National Team and MLS for nearly two decades, played 164 international games for the United States, a record that holds today, and tallied 15 goals and 22 assists. He competed in 11 World Cup games and was part of the Galaxy’s “double” winning team that won both the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup, giving him five championships during his time with the club. In short, Jones is a competitor.
He's also a huge gaming fan and even graced the cover of a Sega game. First-person shooters are usually his games of choice, especially the "Halo" series. The latest entry, "Halo 4" was another draw to attend the E3. "I had to see 'Halo 4,'" Jones said. "I play the soccer games, and lots of sports games." More important than "Halo 4," Jones was compelled to support the (RED)RUSH TO ZERO campaign, which officially kicked off earlier this month. "I think it's huge that they're trying to battle, combat, (and) rid the world of AIDS," Jones said. "And every time you play, you're actually donating to the cause, which I think is important."
Part grandiose, part social media, the (RED)RUSH TO ZERO campaign is aiming to raise funds and awareness to help deliver an AIDS Free Generation by 2015. The goal is to eliminate mother to child transmissions of HIV, which is part of eight Millennium Development goals. Extreme poverty and halting the spread of HIV/AIDS is another battle the campaign intends to fight. Celebrities supporting the RED initiative include Wayne Brady, Michelle Rodriquez, Kris Allen, Kate Upton, Cobi Jones, and a host of others. "This partnership is just starting out," Jones said, "but I'm sure as it gets bigger and bigger, more people are going to see what a great cause it is, and hop on board." For more information about the campaign, visit www.redrush.com.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 June 2012 12:09
Category: News Briefs Written by Cornelius Fortune
JOYSTICK required: The MOGA controller hopes to change the face of mobile gaming. "Pac-Man" is one of a select list of titles to use the new technology.
"Angry Birds" excluded, most games designed for your phone don't replicate the game controller that well ("Angry Birds" was designed for mobile platforms). While touchscreen technology has a plethora of advantages and intuitive controls, it's not always compatible with video game play. Enter the MOGA Mobile Gaming System just unveiled at the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) in Los Angeles, Calif. Developed by PowerA (a leader in gaming innovation) this device connects to your tablet or cell phone, giving a much richer game experience on par with your console experience.
Once a very small industry, the mobile gaming field has moved from its infancy, and is now toddling towards a maturity that might reveal itself in just under a few years. And top game publishers have already thrown their support behind the technology. Industry leaders Gameloft, MachineWorks, Namco Bandai, SEGA, Atari and Ratrod Studio Inc. will deliver new and classic favorites such as "N.O.V.A. 3 – Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance," "Six-Guns," "Dungeon Hunter 3," "Painkiller: Purgatory HD," "Pac-Man," and others.
The prime objective is to bring console-quality gaming to consumers on the go. "Mobile devices are capable of console quality graphics today, but providing precision control is the key," said John Moore, vice president of product development and marketing for PowerA. "With MOGA we are unleashing the power of today’s smartphones and tablets to enable console quality gaming experiences that you can enjoy anytime and anywhere.
MOGA is the first and only complete mobile gaming system that combines a true state-of-the-art mobile controller, top quality game titles enabled by robust development software and a unique game library app that makes finding, using and sharing MOGA Enhanced games fast and easy.” Not only do you have a state-of-the-art game portable controller to rival what you use at home, the MOGA Pivot App also enables gamers to easily browse, find, and play a library of MOGA Enhanced games in one convenient location. MOGA Pivot will land as a free app via Google Play.
So far, the device is will only be available for Android 2.3 + users. Mobile gamers interested in taking their game to the next level will want a MOGA controller of their own, which will be available later this year. Till then, you can learn more about it at www.PowerA.com/MOGA.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 June 2012 12:02
Category: News Briefs Written by Michigan Chronicle
This year’s book will include a special tribute to Black presidents and leaders
Who’s Who Publishing recently announced the return of veteran PR guru Cathy Nedd as the associate publisher of the sixth edition of “Who’s Who in Black Detroit.” This year’s book will include a special tribute to African American presidents and leaders. There will also be a special section that features the “Who’s Who in Grand Rapids, Michigan.”
“We are happy that Cathy is again serving as the associate publisher this year,” said Hiram E. Jackson, president and CEO of Who’s Who Publishing. “She is a great fit for this project because she knows this community and has been a part of Detroit’s business circles for a long time. She has the passion to advance the vision, mission and goals of Who’s Who Publishing, which is to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of African-American men and women.”
Nedd has worked in marketing and communications for more than 20 years. No stranger to Who’s Who, she guided the production of the company’s first custom book, “DRIVEN: A Tribute to African American Achievement in the Automotive Industry,” which was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show. She later headed the 5th edition of Who’s Who’s Detroit Book.
“Who’s Who does an excellent job of recognizing African-American achievement in Detroit and throughout the country,” said Nedd. “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with them again on this prestigious publication.”
Who’s Who Publishing creates and distributes first-in-class publications that document the significant accomplishments and outstanding achievements of African-American citizens in the top 25 largest African- American markets in America.
For more information about Who’s Who in Black Detroit, call Cathy Nedd at Real Times Media, (313) 963-8100, or visit www.whoswhopublishing.com.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 June 2012 18:39
Category: News Briefs Written by Michigan Chronicle
Attorney General Bill Schuette has announced that the Attorney General’s Criminal Division will investigate allegations of possible fraud related to nominating petitions filed in Representative Thaddeus McCotter’s 2012 candidacy for the 11th Congressional District.
The decision to investigate follows a formal referral from the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections.
“We will follow the facts, without fear or favor,” said Schuette. “It’s our duty to maintain the integrity of our election process. We will conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation. If evidence of criminal violations is uncovered, we will not hesitate to prosecute.”
Earlier this month, Representative McCotter submitted nominating petitions to the Michigan Secretary of State for his candidacy for the 11th Congressional District. A formal review by the Bureau of Elections revealed various discrepancies in the petition filing, including duplicate signatures and the appearance of altered petitions.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 June 2012 11:26
Category: News Briefs Written by Michigan Chronicle
In his usual eloquent and subdued manner, Detroit’s 36th District Court Judge Willie G. Lipscomb, Jr. spent his last days on the bench listening to an array of criminal cases. The only thing different was that he was preparing himself to leave the courtroom for a new and challenging career. He notes that he has enjoyed nearly 30 years of what he calls the rare privilege of presiding over some of the most serious criminal cases, prosecuted by the best prosecutors in the country, and defended by the best criminal bar anywhere.
“I am retiring at this time to complete and promote my first novel (a fictional work about a mythical African king who attempts to curb the spread of slavery) and explore other endeavors. I believe that my most significant and lasting accomplishment while on the bench is the founding and administration of the Handgun Intervention Program,” the retiring judge said.
Lipscomb is known across the United States for commitment to The Handgun Intervention Program (HIP) which was the first of its kind court administered program, which started in 1993. For almost two decades, Lipscomb has dedicated his Saturday mornings to conducting intense workshops and classes with defendants, as a condition of their bonds.
These defendants, who have been charged with gun crimes, have benefited greatly from their involvement with HIP, according to Judge Lipscomb. His relentless dedication to this cause has earned him numerous honors and awards including Michiganian of the Year, and The University of Notre Dame Alumni of the Year Award.
“The program has helped to educate citizens about the senseless violence that too often results from the possession of handguns. Although I have retired from the court as a sitting judge, I intend to continue with my involvement in this program and others, aimed at improving the quality of life in The City of Detroit,” Lipscomb said.
Judge Lipscomb is a U.S. Air Force veteran, and has served as an adjunct professon of criminal law for 30 years at Wayne County Community College District. He resides in Detroit and is the father of one adult daughter and has two grandsons.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:19
Category: News Briefs Written by AJ Williams
Greektown Casino Hotel’s Eclipz Lounge was host to Detroit Piston’s Charlie Villanueva, along with several other V.I.P’s. on April 24th. Detroit’s basketball elite came out to support a private fundraiser for cause very near to Vllianueva’s heart. The ‘Wish Upon a Teen’ Organization.
In the mist of the cocktails, music and beautiful people change was being made by donations of the guest along with an silent auction with proceeds going to support the programs at ‘Wish Upon a Teen’. “I strongly believe in the work that the folks at Wish Upon a Teen are doing,” said Villanueva, power forward for the Detroit Pistons,” I just want to be one more advocate to help bring awareness to the teens that are sometimes forgotten.”
Detroit Piston, Point Guard, Rodney Stuckey was also in attendance,“Charlie is one of my teammates and like a brother to me, I am here to support him, his cause and the foundation.”Stuckey said.
Founder and President, Michelle Soto, talked about what gave her the vision for this organization “I have always worked with children and one of the things I learned working with children is that teenagers are always left behind. People want to do things for the younger children, typically under the age of eight. But those children do get older and the services start to become more minimal.” Soto continued, “My goal was to create a organization that didn’t leave any teenager behind. Teenage life can be difficult, imagine being a teenager with a life altering issue.”
Wish Upon A Teen is a non-profit organization that through creative, interactive social and educational events the teens they assist will rediscover and rebuild their self-esteem and continue the healing process towards a healthy reintegration into society.
For more information on this great organization or how you can get involved please visit www.wishuponateen.org
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 May 2012 11:28
Category: News Briefs Written by Steve Jacob
The new health reform law is expected to create 32 million more insured Americans, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The federal government plans to expand Medicaid to low-income adults and subsidize purchases on the health-insurance exchanges when it requires most Americans to carry insurance in 2014.
However, an insurance card will not mean much to patients without providers to care for them.
Michigan will have 750,000 more insured residents because of reform, according to an Urban Institute analysis.
A primary-care physician is the first contact for people with undiagnosed illnesses. They include family physicians, pediatricians and internal-medicine doctors. Primary-care physicians’ share of the U.S. health-care dollar is only 7 cents. However, primary-care doctors control 80 cents of the health-care dollar by sending their patients to hospitals, referring them to specialists and handing out prescriptions.
The U.S. has the about the same number of physicians per capita as other industrialized nations. However, the U.S. has far fewer primary-care physicians than specialists. They make up about 50 percent of the physician workforce in most other developed nations, compared with 35 percent in the U.S.
Massachusetts reformed its state health-care system in 2006, giving the nation a glimpse of what is to come when access to health insurance is expanded without expanding the supply of primary care. The average wait for a non-urgent appointment with an internist rose from 17 days in 2005 to 48 days in 2011. Less than half of family physicians there are accepting new patients, compared with 70 percent four years ago.
The primary-care workload is expected to increase by nearly 30 percent between 2005 and 2025. A number of factors feed this demand, including a growing population, a flood of baby boomers becoming Medicare beneficiaries and acquiring medical conditions as they age, and the newly insured because of the reform law.
However, the supply of primary-care physicians is expected to rise by only 2 to 7 percent. Three out of four physicians say they already are at or over capacity. The math screams that there will be a crisis of health-care access in the next 15 years. Expect longer waits for appointments, shorter physician visits, greater use of nonphysicians for routine care, and higher prices.
The U.S. trains about 16,000 doctors a year. The nation would have to increase that number by 6,000 to 8,000 annually for 20 years to meet expected demand.
Adding to the sense of urgency is the fact that about 1 out of 4 Michigan physicians is age 60 or older.
About 10 percent of Michigan residents currently live in federally designated primary-care shortage areas. Physicians tend to cluster in areas where supply is already high rather than where the need is greatest. About 80 percent of new physicians in the 1980s and 1990s did this. They like affluent areas with well-insured patients, high-tech hospitals and civic amenities that offer a better quality of life. These high-income enclaves are also home to the nation’s healthiest people.
Most do not want to recognize that health care is rationed. It is done so by lack of insurance. Health reform is expected to rectify that, but it will exacerbate a new form of rationing: the doctor is not in.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:33
Category: News Briefs Written by Michigan Chronicle
The Stand Up for Democracy coalition filed a writ of mandamus today with the Michigan State Court of Appeals, seeking to force the Secretary of State to place the repeal of the emergency manager law on the November ballot.
Last Thursday, the State Board of Canvassers failed to certify over 200,000 petition signatures that were collected in accordance with state elections law. The only basis offered for rejection of the petition was a claim that one font size in the petition was too small — a claim that was not only contested by expert witnesses, but also irrelevant to the requirement that petitions’ format be only “substantially as provided” by law.
“Ignoring the sworn testimony, ignoring its own staff recommendation, and in cavalier defiance of a quarter of a million Michigan voters, the Board of Canvassers voted … to withhold certification of the petitions for the November 6, 2012 general election ballot,” the filing read. “This was a breach of the Board of Canvassers’ clear legal duty.” The 2-2 vote was along straight party lines, with both Republican members of the Board voting no.
The filing explained, “This is really what the instant case comes down to. Plaintiffs’ expert, through testimony and a Printer’s Affidavit verifies that the font is 14 point bold type. The Challenge states it believes it is still too small, though this claim was roundly dismantled by expert testimony at the hearing.”
News that the challenger’s printer’s affidavit may be perjury is no surprise. No experts testified in person at the hearing in support of claims that the font size on the petition was incorrect. The entire affair calls into question whether the challenger affidavits are little more than pieces of paper signed by “ghost” printers.
Citizens from around the state of Michigan continue to express outrage in the wake of that despicable decision by republicans at the State Board of Canvassers meeting. Expert testimony, physical evidence and scientific evaluation proved the petition to repeal emergency managers was, is and remains in compliance with the legal font-size as required by law.
If the Court of Appeals rules that the challenge was invalid—and therefore that the Board of Canvassers exceeded its authority by rejecting the petition — repeal of the Emergency Manager law will go on the November ballot. Once on the ballot, the law will be immediately suspended until the election.
Stand Up for Democracy is a coalition of individuals and organizations that formed to collect voter signatures to place repeal of Emergency Manager Law on the November 2012 general election ballot. The group exceeded the 161,305 valid signatures needed by more than 40,000.
For more information call 1-866-306-5168.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:26
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