Category: Breaking News Written by Beith Fisher, WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – Governor Rick Snyder has launched the Michigan Saves Business Energy Financing program to help businesses save money by making their businesses more energy-efficient.
Julie Metty Bennett is Executive Director of the Michigan Saves program and she tells WWJ’s Beth Fisher the purpose of the program.
“The goal of the program is to help reduce costs for businesses so that they can use that money to hire more workers, expand operations. It’s really about saving these businesses money,” she said.
Metty Bennett says Hiller’s Market in Northville is one of the first businesses to take part with low-interest loans.
She says they hope to help one thousand Michigan businesses with the program, adding that those that cut energy costs by 20-percent will receive two thousand dollars.
“That program is helping businesses reduce costs by upgrading their equipment and making their buildings more energy-efficient,” she said.
Hiller’s vice president, Justin Hiller, explains some of the improvements they’ve made.
“We put anti-sweat controllers inside of all the freezer doors so they have sensors that keep track of how many times the doors open and close, and will base the amount of refrigerant it uses — just off the usage,” said Hiller. “So it’s far more efficient when the store is dark at night.”
Hiller says they’re looking at saving 25 percent in energy costs and will make improvements in other stores.
Metty Bennett says the state already has a home energy loan program.
You can find out more about the Michigan Saves program, here.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 December 2012 14:46
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – There will not be a change at the top for the Detroit Federation of Teachers.
The DFT union has re-elected their president, Keith Johnson.
Johnson tells WWJ things are getting better for the district financially, but not academically, and he takes a jab at Emergency Financial Manager Roy Roberts.
“You have someone in charge of the district who is not an academician therefore he is not astute about what it really takes to move education forward. Unfortunately, he surrounds himself with people who tell him what they think he wants to hear rather than what is truthful,” said Johnson.
Johnson says teachers in the district deserve a raise.
“They’ve taken concessions for the past few years in order to help the district become financially solvent,” said Johnson. “We’ve got to get the respect for the profession not just in Detroit but throughout the state.”
Johnson squared off against teachers Steve Conn and Victor Gibson for the union’s presidential title.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 December 2012 14:29
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) –- Making your New Year’s Eve plans? This year, Detroit will once again have its own New York City-style ball drop.
“The Drop” will happen New Year’s Eve at the Compuware Atrium and Hard Rock Café with fancy food, musical entertainment and a “technological marvel” of a ball to be lowered at midnight in celebration of a new year. Details of the ball itself are shrouded until a week before the event.
“As we go into our third year, our guests can continue to expect an experience un-rivaled in Michigan. ‘The Drop’ has always been about the community and ultimately offering the region a proper New Year’s Eve celebration,” says event organizer Jerrid Mooney. “We are insanely focused on producing a bigger and better event this year and I’m pleased to announce that we are on-track to do just that.”
Erik and Israel Nordin of the Detroit Design Center are creating this year’s art piece of a ball that is described as “symbolically and literally” descending upon the city during the countdown. “Our guests of course can choose to be a part of the premier VIP Gala inside the elegantatrium of Compuware or they can join us outside at Campus Martius and help us bring in the New Year with the community at large,” Mooney said.
In addition, musical entertainment will be provided by DJ Tom T, DJ Bruce Bailey, DJ Vin. Food will be catered by The Whitney and their talented culinary staff, plus complimentary cocktails throughout the evening.
Finally, and in the holiday spirit of giving and true celebration of community – attendees are encouraged to bring a brand new fresh pair of mittens to the event for Mittens For Detroit.
“‘The Drop’ has been designed to be that other positive bookend to the holiday season and to offer up a new tradition for all of our shared aspirations and the collective optimism for our future as we celebrate the coming New Year,” Mooney said.
The inside of the event is only for those 21 and over, beginning at 9 p.m. and running until 4 a.m. — but all ages are welcome outside to experience the festivities at midnight. Single tickets start at $100 with VIP Cabanas starting at $160 per person. Tickets are available at www.motorcitynye.com.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 14:19
Category: News Briefs Written by Ron Dewey, WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - What would you like to see in a mass transit plan for Metro Detroit?
Residents along the Woodward Avenue corridor are being asked for their input at a series of hearings starting Monday evening.
Talking to WWJ Newsradio 950′s Ron Dewey, Ferndale resident Jim Poole said it would have to be user-friendly.
“I think that both connecting to some of the northern suburbs and south into the city — I think that’s the key, is it’s got to be useful for both those things,” Poole said. “I think it’s be a really plus for the city and this sort of section of southeast Oakland county.”
For Lou Beckham, walking is his current mode of transportation along Woodward, but while he would prefer light rail system, he says he would take whatever can get people from one point to another quickly and efficiently.
“People will get to work more quicker and more better, more faster, on time, you know, so they can have a very productive day,” Beckham said. “I think the plan, if they put it in motion … I think it would work out right.”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 14:21
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) A new “Kids Count” report shows many young people in Michigan are caught in a tough place — with no job and no higher education. More than 220,000 teens and young adults in Michigan are in that position, the report found.
Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult Connections to Opportunity, released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, shows just how dramatic the impact of the economic decline has been for young people: One in five young adults in Michigan ages 20 to 24 were not working and not in school in 2011, and less than half of 16- to 24-year-olds held any kind of job.
“With fewer jobs in our state and so many experienced workers searching for jobs, the opportunities for youth are especially diminished,’’ said Jane Zehnder-Merrell, Kids Count in Michigan project director at the Michigan League for Public Policy. “The doors to a financially successful future are closed to many young people in our state.’’
In 2000, 13 percent of Michigan teens and young adults (ages 16 to 24) were considered idle or disconnected, meaning they were jobless and not in school. By 2011, that had jumped to 17 percent — representing 222,000 disconnected youth in Michigan. Nearly two-thirds of the disconnected youth were ages 20 to 24 with a startling jump from 14 percent idle in 2000 to 21 percent a decade later.
Nationwide, there are more than 6.5 million disconnected youth. The problems worsen for youth from low-income families, poor educational backgrounds and those from racial and ethnic minorities. And 20 percent of the disconnected youth are parents themselves.
Many are missing out on the confidence and skill-building experience of part-time and starter jobs. In Michigan in 2011, just 45 percent of those 16 to 24 were employed, dropping from 67 percent in 2000.
“The world is changing and more highly skilled workers are needed. Though improving, our education and workforce systems are not keeping pace,” said Gilda Z. Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy.
Studies show the consequences for disconnected youth are severe and lasting, increasing the risk for unemployment and reducing the chances for successful careers. Those shut out of the labor market for long periods have markedly reduced prospects for later connections to jobs.
“It’s not just the youth who suffer,’’ Zehnder-Merrell said. “Families and communities are hurt by this, too, and neither the state nor the federal government has developed a cohesive plan to provide disconnected youth with opportunities to complete their education or obtain job experience.’’
Among strategies recommended:
*National policymakers must develop a national youth employment strategy that mobilizes public and private institutions together to tackle this issue.
*Successful youth employment models (such as the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe in Battle Creek) must be launched more broadly.
*Employers need to step up with career pathways and jobs for young people.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 14:23
Category: Breaking News Written by Sam Fulwood, The Grio
I’ve heard plenty about the GOP’s wish to attract more Latino voters. Noting that President Barack Obama won “a stunning 71 percent of the Latino vote on Election Day,” former Speaker of the California Assembly Fabian Núñez confessed in a recent Huffington Post essay that he was mistaken to predict that the Republican Party would have a challenge to get Latino votes. No, he wrote, “It turns out I was wrong. Republicans don’t have a problem; they have a crisis.”
Some within the party seem to have gotten the message and now want to make nice with Latino voters. Just days after the election, a line of Republican leaders such as former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a party elder, and conservative talk show host Sean Hannity urged the GOP to put aside opposition to immigration reform that opens a path to legal status for undocumented workers. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) quickly agreed, telling reporters “a comprehensive approach is long overdue.”
But apparently the same logic doesn’t apply to black voters. Black voters cast a ballot for President Obama over Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by a 9-to-1 margin—a significantly bigger disparity than Latino voters. In some largely black and urban areas, Gov. Romney failed to get even a single vote. But in all of the post-election analysis, I’ve discerned precious little interest in a Republican outreach to African-American voters.
I fear the party has sadly concluded that black voters are totally beyond its grasp. If so, they may be hoping to cleave a slice of the Latino voting populace. In effect, the GOP hopes such a plan would produce a majority in presidential elections by finding common ground with enough Latino voters who would be acceptable within their bloc of white and Southern voters. That, in turn, would leave black and urban voters entirely to Democrats.
This isn’t a far-fetched idea. The formula for this transmogrification was noted in historian Noel Ignatiev’s classic book, How the Irish Became White. Ignatiev’s work documents how deliberate political moves early in the 20th century allowed some European immigrants to shed an undesirable status by separating themselves from and displaying overt hostility toward a more despised other: black Americans.
Such a view seems to be supported by the drumbeat of bad news in the weeks following the election regarding the GOP’s relationship with black voters. GOP leaders seemed to have doubled down on insulting and isolating black voters.
Last weekend, The Palm Beach Post reported that GOP activists in Florida passed laws claiming to combat voter fraud but which in reality were intentionally meant to inhibit traditionally Democratic voters. The report gave a lift to widespread fears among many voting-rights observers who suspected GOP activists were working to prevent black voters from exercising their franchise in the state by passing the law, which contributed mightily to long lines and forced some people to abandon voting at all. Rather than courting black voters, it seems some in Florida would just as soon as block them from going to vote at all.
The newspaper also reported that former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer said he attended meetings beginning in 2009 where party officials pushed for the law to limit Democrats in general and black voters in particular from voting early and in large numbers.
“The Republican Party, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates,” Greer told the Post. “It’s done for one reason and one reason only. … ‘We’ve got to cut down on early voting because early voting is not good for us.’” Greer said he was told by those staffers and consultants.
(Greer is under indictment, accused of stealing $200,000 from the state GOP through a phony campaign fundraising operation. He, in turn, has sued the party, saying officials knew what he was doing and voiced no objection.)
Then, of course, there’s another strategy. Even when accomplished black leaders rise to prominence, there are some mossbacks seeking ways to discredit them. How else to explain the tag-team dissing of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice by Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Their crude act has done little good and a lot of harm to the reputation of the party with black voters.
So far, the tepid approach to solving the GOP’s black-and-brown issues is what I call the “Bobby Jindal Solution.” By promoting its growing roster of elected officials with minority or ethnic heritage, such as Jindal, the Louisiana governor, some in the Republican Party seem to believe that a dark face is the only necessary solution to selling unpopular policies in non-white communities.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, the former head of the Republican Governors Association, embraces that concept, bragging recently that his party is actually more diverse than Democrats, if you judge by counting governors.
“They have I think two women and minorities,” he told reporters covering the association’s recent meetings. “We have seven. And, so, we’re not keeping score but the point is that the people that are coming in.
“We are keeping score, 30 to 19 though,” he continued as the reporters interrupted with laughter. “That’s the score that matters. But the point is the people that are coming in and are now the leaders of our party reflect a much more diverse group than the Democratic governors today.”
I doubt such Machiavellian moves will succeed. If for no other reason than that the just-completed election offered a glimpse of the future for African-Americans and Latino politics in a browning America.
What’s more, Republicans have proven to be their own worst enemy. The strategy to win over minority voters will be to lure, not repel them, with programs and priorities. Indeed, Republicans have tried to plaster a colored face on bad policy and mean-spirited rhetoric before.
Ask former Florida Rep. Allen West, a Republican and Tea Party darling who lost his seat after one term in Congress, how that worked out for him.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 December 2012 13:35
Category: Breaking News Written by thehuffingtonpost
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), who lost his congressional reelection bid to Democrat Patrick Murphy, said Friday that his recent defeat does not mean his political career is over, pointing out that Abraham Lincoln only served one term in Congress.
During an interview with NPR, host Michel Martin asked the often outspoken congressman what he intends to do after he leaves office, just two years after his 2011 debut on Capitol Hill.
"Look, you know, God closes a door so that he can open up greater doors. I will continue to, you know, stand up and fight for this country. That's my goal," West said. "And always remember, Abraham Lincoln only served one term in Congress, too."
After a hard-fought battle that often took a turn towards bitter, West narrowly lost to Murphy in Florida's 18th congressional district. After two weeks of challenges from West's camp, including recount demands and accusations of improper vote counting, the Tea Party favorite conceded to his Democratic opponent.
"I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own," West said in a statement.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 December 2012 11:44
Category: Breaking News Written by The Huffington Post
The Kennedy Center Honors is one of Washington D.C.'s most glamorous nights, when A-listers like Meryl Streep and Naomi Watts get to rub shoulders with the capitol's finest (President Barack Obama included).
Unfortunately for the evening's honorees, winning means you get draped with a rather gaudy rainbow-striped ribbon that's, like, totally outfit-ruining. (A shame, because 2012 honoree David Letterman was looking mighty dapper last night.) Fortunately Michelle Obama gets to attend every year without donning a multicolored collar... and last night was her best Kennedy Center Honors dress yet.
FLOTUS, who sat in an opera box with her husband, glowed in a gold lamé chiffon gown from Michael Kors' Resort 2013 collection. The dress featured crystallized embellishments around the neckline and a high waist and high armholes that highlighted her upper arms -- a classic FLOTUS cut. (Also, Michael Kors again! Trend alert...)
This is Michelle's fourth Kennedy Center Honors appearance: in 2009 she wore a lavender Grecian gown, in 2010 she chose glittering burgundy velvet and in 2011 she stunned in a vivid blue Vera Wang. But we say this gold creation was our favorite look yet.
Also stunning was Tina Fey, who spoke onstage in a long-sleeved gold lace dress, and Naomi Watts and Meryl Streep. Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi also held their own sartorially among the Hollywood glitterati, sporting jade green and light blue respectively.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 December 2012 11:36
Category: Breaking News Written by Detroit News
As Reported By The Detroit News...
Nearing release, Monica Conyers could move to halfway house
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121202/METRO01/212020313#ixzz2E0ULg54e
Detroit — Monica Conyers' stint at Camp Cupcake is almost fully baked.
The imprisoned ex-Detroit City Council member is expected to be released as early as Dec. 10 from a West Virginia federal prison dubbed Camp Cupcake, so named because of its low security and mountainous setting. The wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, could move into a halfway house for six months while finishing a 37-month sentence for bribery, said a source with knowledge of the situation.
For Complete Story: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121202/METRO01/212020313#ixzz2E0Tl0FcV
Last Updated on Monday, 03 December 2012 11:26
Category: Breaking News Written by Jeff Riger
Detroit had won the game, there was no question. The Lions were up 12 points on Indy with less than 9 minutes remaining and all in attendance in downtown Detroit had to be feeling pretty good. Sure, every one of those fans knew the Lions’ track record but when the Colts were left with less than four minutes to make up that deficit, fans had to have thought “even the Lions can’t blow this.” I did.
Oh, how wrong we were. The Lions proceeded to give up two touchdowns late in the game, the winning one with no time left on the clock to allow the Colts to steal one — as Detroit might as well have been officially eliminated from a playoff spot.
The whole scene was brutal.
Anybody who has grown up in these parts has experienced their fair share of heartbreaking losses, especially when it’s the Detroit Lions that are involved. The Lions have found every possible way to lose over the course of my lifetime. They get blown out, they miss a game winning field goal, they take the wind in overtime, and they let a no name dominate them. I know it is cliché and all, but the Lions truly do find new ways to lose on a weekly basis.
But none of those losses can compare to what we witnessed Sunday against the Colts.
After the game, as you can imagine, the locker room was somber with players explaining how yet another one got away. Below are some of the more interesting quotes from Lions players after a 35-33 miserable loss to the Colts.
Dom Raiola was asked about the Lions play calling and if a run play to Mikel Leshoure should have been called on 3rd and 2 late in the 4th quarter. If the Lions converted, they would have won the game for sure.
“Don’t ask me about play calling because I run what is called. I don’t call the plays. I am 100 percent behind Scott (Linehan) so don’t ask me about play calling, that’s bull (expletive)
Mikel Leshoure was asked about that 3rd and 2 play late in the 4th quarter and if he was surprised he got the ball?
“I’m not surprised by it. The offensive coordinator makes the calls, it’s our job is to go out and execute. It’s not about if it’s a good or bad call. It’s no blame on the offensive coordinator for the call, it’s our fault, we didn’t execute, we didn’t get the first down and we gave the offense another chance to score.”
Leshoure continued explaining that 3rd and 2 call that was not converted.
“You don’t lose sleep over it, I mean you wish, as a running back you could get the first down but it takes 11 people to execute a play. We just all were not there on that play where we needed that play and we got to have it. It just is no excuse, we need to get a first down and keep those chains moving.”
There was also a defensive breakdown that allowed the Colts to come to life late in the game. Cliff Avril describes the last play, an Indy touchdown pass from Andrew Luck to Donnie Avery with no time remaining.
“I was just trying to pass rush, get after him, He had a step up lane, dumped it off and he scored. I saw the same thing that everybody else saw.”
Chris Houston admitted that guys got complacent when the Lions went up 12 with less than 4 minutes to play.
“Guys were too relaxed instead of going out there and being focused. Just have to keep grinding. Once our offense scores than we give up a touchdown, we got to have that mentality that when the offense scores we got get another 3 and out and give out offense another chance to go out and put up points. We can’t win like that.”
Last Updated on Monday, 03 December 2012 11:26
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