Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (WWJ) – A Hamtramck firefighter was injured overnight as crews battled flames at two burning homes.
The fires broke out overnight at neighboring houses on Lumpkin, near I-75 and Holbrook. Fire officials say the first fire broke out in a vacant house, then spread to the other house — a multi-family unit.
The injured firefighter suffered smoke inhalation and was treated at the hospital and released. However, he won’t be returning to work right away.
No one else was injured. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 October 2012 09:37
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – Tigers fans are dealing with their disappointment Monday morning after their team is swept out of the World Series.
Some fans leaving Comerica Park were downright mad! “They can’t hit,” said one fan. “Choke under pressure.”
Scott Young has been a Tigers fan since 1984 and he stayed at the ballpark with his son until the final out.
“It’s a little devastating, I bought my almost two-year-old son to his first World Series game and when I bought the tickets for the game, the fourth game sounded like it was going to be great and it turns out not to be,” Young said.
“I’m always hoping for next year,” lamented one man as he left the park. “That’s the story of the Tiger fan.”
Last Updated on Monday, 29 October 2012 09:31
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
(Photo Credit: WWJ Photo: Ron Dewey)
ROMULUS, Mich. (WWJ) – Transit systems in New York and Washington are shut down, airlines are grounded and many East Coast workers have been told to stay home ahead of Hurricane Sandy’s arrival.
Sandy is expected to merge with two other systems creating the potential for havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. New York City could face an 11-foot tidal surge.
WWJ’s Ron Dewey reports from Metro Airport that a number of flights to the northeast have been scrapped. On Delta’s board at the McNamara Terminal, Dewey says there are 23 outbound flights that have been canceled; nine inbound were also scratched — all from the New England area — basically an area east of Pittsburgh and north of Raleigh.
Louis Deguirre and Amy Wilborn were among the travelers at Metro Airport who found themselves making alternate plans.
The couple was heading to Norfolk, Virginia — one of the areas scratched off Delta’s board.
“So we got stuck over here last night in Detroit,” Degare said. Their Plan B?
“To go to Raleigh-Durham and then drive to Norfolk.”
Once there, they say they have to be concerned about whether there would be a rental car available to complete the final leg of their longer-than-expected journey.
If you have a flight out of Metro today, you’re advised to double check with your air carrier before heading to the airport to make sure that you’ll be able to catch your flight on time.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 October 2012 09:22
Category: Breaking News Written by Michael David Smith ,nbcsports
In Detroit last week, Lions players were declaring the game against the Seahawks a must-win. So it’s a good thing they won.
But as usual for the Lions, they didn’t make it look easy, starting slowly and needing a fourth-quarter comeback to win 28-24. This was a win that saved the Lions’ season, improving their record to 3-4 and allowing them to cling to playoff hopes. The Seahawks fall to 4-4, and their own playoff hopes have taken a hit.
The best news for the Lions is that after losing receiver Nate Burleson for the season to a broken leg, the two young receivers Detroit needs to step up — Titus Young and Ryan Broyles — both stepped up. Young led the way with nine catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner with 20 seconds to play. Broyles had three catches for 37 yards and scored the Lions’ first touchdown.
For Seattle, a good start on offense fizzled: Marshawn Lynch had a 77-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter, but Seattle surprisingly gave him just 12 carries, and he finished with 105 yards on a day when it looked like he’d gain a lot more than that. And Russell Wilson had some good moments, completing 24 of 34 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns, but he also had a costly late interception.
Seattle’s chances of getting to the NFC playoffs are probably still better than Detroit’s. But on this day, the Lions were the ones who gave their hopes of making the postseason a boost.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 October 2012 09:11
Category: Breaking News Written by CNN News/Candy Crowley
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The beauty of being a president and a candidate is that when a monster storm stalks up the East Coast you can run over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and be seen as a president on the job.
Which also works if you are reapplying.
"It's so important for us to respond big and respond fast as local information starts coming in," President Barack Obama said at FEMA.
The president canceled his campaign trips Monday and Tuesday to the swing states of Florida and Colorado, far beyond the reach of Hurricane Sandy. His people say the president needs to stay home and monitor things, which one Republican found interesting.
"You notice that he's canceling his trips over the hurricane. He didn't cancel his trips over Benghazi," former GOP presidential candidate and ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on ABC's "This Week."
Both the president and Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney canceled appearances in the weather-threatened swing state of Virginia so as not to chew up resources and otherwise get in the way of storm preparations.
But suppose they held an election and the electricity was out. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is supposing.
"The state board of elections is already planning for extended hours in advance for absentee voting, and it's now a priority, moved up to the same level as hospitals and police stations to have power restored," McDonnell said on "State of the Union."
And what about states where the polls are already open to one degree or another? Maryland has already canceled early voting Monday.
What these storm-driven timeouts will mean for the election stumps even master politicos:
"Obviously we want unfettered access to the polls because we believe that the more people come out, the better we're going to do, and so to the extent that it makes it harder, you know, that's a source of concern," Obama senior adviser David Axelrod told me. "But I don't know how all the politics will sort out."
That brings us to the Romney-Ryan ticket: They are not in power, can't really do much, but still have to pay attention.
"I know that right now some people in the country are a little nervous about a storm about to hit the coast," Romney said. "And our thoughts and prayers are with the people who will find themselves in harm's way."
Just the forecast of a potential disaster can make politics look small. So far, the Romney campaign has stopped fund-raising e-mails into affected states, made a campaign bus available for relief efforts, started taking up collections in campaign offices and put up a blog with weather-related advice.
And the itinerary may change.
Optics are tricky, said one top Republican who added the schedule may change depending on what the storm does. A disaster somewhere would make campaigning anywhere difficult.
Mixing politics and weather is to double-down on the unknown.
™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 October 2012 09:03
Category: Breaking News Written by CNN News/ Ed Payne
(CNN) -- Don't mess with San Francisco when it comes to the World Series.
For the second time in three years, the Giants claimed Major League Baseball's top prize.
Completing their sweep of the Tigers took extra innings, but the Giants prevailed 4-3 Sunday night.
"It's amazing what they accomplished," San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy said after the 10-inning win. "I think when you look at this club ... They set aside their own agenda and asked what's best for the club."
San Francisco struggled mightily to get to the championship set.
Down 2-0 in the divisional series, the Giants took three straight to advance. Then trailing defending champs St. Louis three games to one in the National League series, San Francisco won the next three games from the Cardinals to punch their ticket to the World Series.
Detroit came into the series seemingly with the upper hand. They had plenty of rest and were riding high after a 4-0 sweep of the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.
Giants ace Matt Cain said he couldn't have imagined a sweep.
"With that Tigers lineup and what they've done already in the postseason, I definitely thought it was going to be down to the wire," Cain said. "It just so happened that we got kind of hot, and scored some right runs at the right time, and ended up pulling off some close games."
A party is waiting for the Giants when the return home.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced on his official Twitter page that the city will coat the streets in black and orange during a ticker tape parade at 11 a.m. PT (2 p.m. ET) Wednesday.
Some Bay Area residents got an early start on the revelry, starting a handful of bonfires late Sunday. Firefighters, backed by police, moved from fire to fire to douse the flames. It was not immediately known if authorities made arrests.
™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 October 2012 08:43
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
The NHL made it official on Friday and did what had been expected for several days now.
The league canceled the entire schedule for the month of number, bringing the total number of games missed in the NHL lockout to 326.
This also eliminates any hope of the league playing a full 82-game schedule during the 2012-13 season. According to the league the deadline for salvaging the full season was Thursday, and that deadline passed without any new talks. The NHLPA attempted to meet with the league on Wednesday but was turned away because in the NHL’s view there was nothing to talk about at that point.
This latest round of cancelations does not include the Jan. 1 Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Michigan, or the NHL All-Star game on Jan. 27 in Columbus, Ohio, but those games appear to be hanging by a thread. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly did however refute a report that the cancelation could come as early as Monday.
Last Updated on Friday, 26 October 2012 16:32
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) As the Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau urges downtown business owners to “light up” the city for the World Series, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network is going beyond the call of duty.
They’re turning on a nine-story Olde English D at their headquarters building on Lafayette Avenue near I-375 in downtown Detroit. The lighting display is visible at dusk.
But it’s not just a tribute, it’s an energy efficient tribute.
The “D” has upgraded lighting fixtures from traditional incandescent bulbs to new LED technology. The new fixtures reduce energy consumption from 600 watts per fixture down to 25 watts per fixture. The “D” is composed of 39 total fixtures, all made in Michigan.
According to Michael Schneider, facilities manager for the Blues, the new LED lights also serve as a cost savings. “In the past, we had to stockeach different color light bulb, and this year, we’ve installed a cost-effective way to show the nation we’re proud of the D,” Schneider said. “The new technology allows the LED lighting to change colors through a programmed remote control, saving time while reducing cost.”
The Blue Cross headquarters is known to downtown workers and helicopter pilots for its light displays. For more than 30 years, the building has had a huge holiday tree in green lights in November and December. The building also has displayed a red heart in February to support National Heart Month.
The classic Olde English D will remain into November, when it will be replaced with the all holiday tree display. The 2012 holiday tree will feature updated LED lights, with the ability to be programmed to flash and fade from each color, allowing the tree to actually twinkle.
Tigers fans traveling southbound on I-375 might have already seen another tribute to the team. A billboard along Jefferson Avenue at the foot of I-375 has featured an Olde English D and two words: We Believe. The billboard was installed Oct. 5 before the division playoffs.
Last Updated on Friday, 26 October 2012 15:45
Category: Breaking News Written by Jordan Malter , moneycnn
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- One of America's fastest-growing wireless carriers is a company you've probably never heard of: Tracfone Wireless. It's the U.S. arm of a telecom empire controlled by the world's richest man, Carlos Slim, and it's the biggest player in an increasingly lucrative market: subsidized mobile phones for low-income Americans.
The subsidy became a political flashpoint recently thanks to an incendiary YouTube video featuring a Cleveland resident praising her free "Obama phone." Hype from the Drudge Report and conservative ringleaders like Rush Limbaugh propelled the video to nearly 5 million pageviews.
The real story behind the phones is more nuanced than the 45-second clip.
The subsidy is from a government-created program called Lifeline, which is paid for by customer fees on most phone bills. The program is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission, and has its roots in a universal access initiative that began in 1985, during Ronald Reagan's administration.
Here's how it works: If you're eligible for other forms of government assistance like Medicaid or food stamps (the rules differ by state), then you qualify to receive a $9.25 per month phone subsidy.
Participating wireless companies will typically offer a free phone (paid for by the company), with an allotment of Lifeline minutes each month.
Lifeline subscribers can collect only one monthly subsidy, for either a landline or a wireless phone. Around 75% of them have chosen to go wireless.
Where does the money for Lifeline subsidy come from? You.
Take a look at your phone bill and you'll see a charge -- typically a few dollars a month -- for payments to the "Universal Service Fund." That's the umbrella program covering various ventures, including Lifeline, that are designed to make telephone communications universally available to all Americans.
The government requires most telecoms to pay into the fund. The carriers then typically pass the costs on to their customers as a monthly surcharge. Last year, Lifeline accounted for 20% of the $8.1 billion Universal Service Fund distributed to support connections for rural areas, schools, hospitals and low-income individuals.
There are 17 million households currently signed up for the program, up from under 7 million just four years ago.
There are two reasons for the rapid growth.
First, the recession dramatically increased the number of people who are eligible.
Second, in 2008, during George W. Bush's administration, the FCC allowed wireless carrier Tracfone to join the program's list of approved providers.
Tracfone has aggressively gone after Lifeline customers. It advertises its "free phone" on television, pays commissioned street teams to canvas low-income neighborhoods for new subscribers, and signs customers up through a splashy website that promises "250 Free Minutes Every Month! Pay Nothing!"
Those tactics are paying off. Tracfone now has more than has more than 4 million subscribers in its Lifeline program, called SafeLink, and collected $452 million last year from the program's subsidies. That's twice what it took in two years ago, and far more than any other provider. (The runners-up, AT&T (T, Fortune 500)and Sprint (S, Fortune 500), each collected around $274 million.)
The Lifeline cash is a substantial chunk of the $3.8 billion Tracfone generated last year in annual sales. The company is the American subsidiary of América Móvil, the Mexican telecom giant run by Carlos Slim, the world's richest billionaire.
Lifeline customers aren't as profitable for Tracfone as traditional ones, but the streams are reliable and help expand the company's customer base.
"The wonderful thing about the program is that individuals who no longer qualify for the phone keep the phone," says Jose Fuentes, Tracfone's director of government relations.
"They can continue to remain Tracfone customers."
Advocates say the program is an essential safety net: A telephone links people to emergency services, and it's almost impossible to get a job without a phone number.
"I use it to keep in touch with my family and my friends, and work-related services like business appointments," says Kathy Jarrett, a Brooklyn, N.Y. resident who has been a Lifeline subscriber for four years. "If I didn't have a phone I would be a wreck."
But in the days leading up the election, the booming Lifeline expansion is raising eyebrows. The program paid out $1.6 billion last year, more than twice the $772 million it spent in 2008.
Congressman Tim Griffin, a Republican from Arkansas, blasted it as a "government-run, taxpayer-funded" boondoggle that's "riddled with instances of abuse." He introduced a bill that would drop mobile phones from the program.
"That is one of the biggest misconceptions that are out there today, that federal dollars go directly to the Universal Service Fund," says Tracfone's Fuentes. "That is completely incorrect."
Griffin's retort: "Consumers are forced to pay it, and where I come from, that's a tax."
Democrats have also challenged Lifeline's excesses. Senator Claire McCaskill, from Missouri, drew attention last year to Lifeline's minimal oversight after receiving a flyer at home inviting her to get a free cell phone. (With an annual Senate salary of $174,000, McCaskill isn't exactly the target market.)
The FCC implemented anti-fraud measures earlier this year, requiring subscribers to prove their eligibility, canceling service if the phone is not used for 60 days, and preventing individuals from having multiple phones. The agency says it canceled 800,000 duplicate contracts and expects to save $200 million this year.
Lifeline "wreaks havoc" in the competitive market, according to Roger Entner, the founder of Recon Analytics, a wireless industry research and consulting firm. Carriers targeting the prepaid market -- one of the industry's fastest-growing segments -- can't compete with free phones.
But in the end, he thinks the safety net is worth it.
"As a country we want everyone to have communications. Without a phone, you can't get a job," Entner says. "I'm sure that Lifeline has literally saved people's lives."
Last Updated on Friday, 26 October 2012 14:33
Category: Breaking News Written by Kathryn Larson, wwj
Michigan Voters will take up the question of whether to build a new span over the Detroit River, and if the Canadian government has their way — that bridge will be built.
WWJ’s Kathryn Larson went over the border to talk with to Transport Canada’s Mark Butler for part three of her story.
Even though they’re just architectural plans right now, Butler his country is way beyond shovel ready.
“The bridge will be built with no cost to Michigan or Michigan tax payers,” said Butler. “Canada has committed to come up with those funds so, zero cost to Michigan, zero cost to Michigan tax payers, but 110 benefits.”
Canada is already knee-deep in a construction project for the Windsor Essex Parkway — an I-696-like below grade road that will funnel into the mouth of the new bridge. Butler said construction on the parkway will be completed by 2014 and is another integral part of the International Bridge Project.
Butler said the Canadian government believes one bridge isn’t enough.
“The issue that we have with the ambassador bridge is that it’s an 80-some-odd-year-old structure, it’s done yeoman’s job in providing service to Canadians and Americans traveling the border, but it is an 80-year-old structure,” said Butler.
Windsor’s Mayor Eddie Francis agreed, saying the international crossing has to happen.
“This is an economical lifeline, so the choice is very clear. If you agree with the Ambassador Bridge, then you’ve basically agreed to cut that economic lifeline,” said Francis.
Francis said 28 percent of all North American trade happens across the Detroit River, or $150 billion in industry.
“If you believe that the economic lifeline is very important and critical to our jobs, to our economy, then we have no other choice,” said Francis.
Last Updated on Friday, 26 October 2012 14:26
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