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
Category: Breaking News Written by Similoluwa Ojurongbe, thegrio
A new study by the The Nielson Company; African-American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing 2012 Report, suggests that black consumers are not only a vital socio-economic group but a growing one.
Together with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), Nielsen produced a “comprehensive single-source report highlighting the buying power of African-Americans … [it] demonstrates what a sustainable and influential economic force African-Americans are.” wrote Cloves Campbell, Chair of the NNPA.
Released during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) 42nd Annual Legislative Conference, the report highlights key subsectors of the African-American population, their purchasing and viewing habits as well as the disparity between the size of the market and the amount of advertising dollars spent with African-American media.
Blacks in America have reached a whopping 43 million, according to the report, making it 88.8 percent of the minority population.
- Advertising spending in black media totaled $2.10 billion in 2011, compared to $120 billion spent with general market media during the same time period.
- 91 percent of blacks believe that black media is more relevant to them.
- 81 percent of blacks believe products advertised on black media are more relevant to them.
“Marketers underestimate the opportunities missed by overlooking black consumers’ frustration of not having products that meet their needs in their neighborhoods. And companies that don’t advertise using black media risk having African-Americans perceive them as being dismissive of issues that matter to Black consumers,” said Campbell.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 09:17
Category: Breaking News Written by Perry Bacon Jr. and Caryn Freeman,Thegrio
His suit jackets were too big back then. His hair wasn’t as carefully trimmed. His ties had more patterns than the solid red or blue he deploys almost daily as president.
But cosmetics aside, President Obama, who will have his first one-on-one session with Mitt Romney on Wednesday, speaks and debates in a remarkably similar way to when he first arrived on the national scene in 2004. Obama’s careful mid-sentences pauses, professorial asides that include detailed references to history and data and style of highlighting agreements with his opponents then shifting to differences remains consistent from his encounters with Illinois Republican Alan Keyes back in 2004, then Hillary Clinton and John McCain in 2008 and now when he faces tough questioning during interviews.
The president is known for his soaring, optimistic rhetoric, but that largely comes from his speeches. By their nature of specific questions and a contest between candidates, debates require Obama to show different characteristics: sarcasm, combativeness, even indignation.
“While I was working on those streets, watching those folks see their jobs shipped overseas, you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of Wal-Mart,” Obama told Clinton in a January 2008 debate after his rival at the time suggested he had spoken favorably of Ronald Reagan’s economic policies in the 1990′s.
Obama’s style is not likely to shift. Like in 2004 and 2008, the president will face an opponent who is trailing and looking to alter a race in which Obama is the favorite. Obama, like in the past, won’t be looking to level new shots as much as he is playing defense.
And while his aides are urging the president to keep his answers short, that too is unlikely to happen. Obama’s answers became crisper from 2004 to the 2008 primaries and then he again improved in his brevity when facing McCain. But at the core, he likes to fill his answers with context and detail, not only explaining his policy but how he arrived at it.
The series of one-on-one debates in 2008 against Clinton during the Democratic primary, after all of the other candidates dropped out, are perhaps the best model for what will happen over the next month. Romney, like Clinton, is an experienced debater who thrived in a series of multi-candidate sessions during the primaries. Romney is likely to frequently interrupt the Obama frequently during the debates, as Clinton did.
The former Massachusetts governor, like Clinton back then, has been casting Obama as a hopeful idealist whose record does not match his rhetoric. And Romney, like Clinton, is viewed as less likable than Obama with voters. Romney must attack Obama but not make voters like him even less, something Clinton struggled with as well.
Obama faces two obvious challenges. Back in 2004, President George W. Bush seemed surprised and angered by the barbs that came from his opponent John Kerry in the first debate. Being elected president guarantees people treat you with a heavy amount of deference for three and half years, and Romney may criticize the president in a way he has not heard in years.
“Presidential incumbents are not used to someone challenging them and saying things to their face,” said Samuel Popkin, a University of California, San Diego professor who advised Jimmy Carter during his debates against Ronald Reagan in 1980. “They have spent four years in office and they think they know everything. When you’re president, you think you’re hearing from people how they’re really feeling. You’re not.”
But Bob Shrum, a longtime Democratic strategist who has advised a number of the party’s presidential candidates on debates, said, “I don’t think the president will get irritated in this debate. I am sure his team is prepping him for that.”
What Obama may have to guard against most is an unprompted aside that draws attention away from the issues. In one of the 2008 debates, Clinton was asked why voters seemed to like Obama’s personality better. She said, “I don’t think I”m that bad.”
Unprompted, Obama then declared “you’re likable enough Hillary,” a comment some took to be a sarcastic jab at Clinton.
“I don’t think we are going to see that (in 2012) because he is very conscious of the environment in which the debates are taking place and he is conscious of that fact that this race is so close,” said Corey Ealons, a Democratic strategist who worked on Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 09:10
Category: Breaking News Written by Michigan Chronicle
LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today signed the Violent Offense-Fourth Felony (VO-4) legislation, requiring a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison for violent repeat offenders. The measure is part of Attorney General Bill Schuette’s public safety and crime prevention initiative.
“This is an important part of reinventing public safety in Michigan,” Snyder said. “By holding chronic offenders accountable we can keep our communities safe, bring peace of mind to victims and their families, and help Michigan reach its full potential.”
Under Senate Bill 1109, sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones, those who have committed four felonies while progressing to more violent crimes like attempted murder, assault with the intent to commit murder, criminal sexual conduct, carjacking or kidnapping are subject to the stricter penalty.
“VO-4 helps ensure safer communities by giving prosecutors a tool to remove the worst of the worst – violent, repeat offenders – from our streets,” said Schuette. “I am pleased to join Governor Snyder, Speaker Bolger, Majority Leader Richardville, Representative Walsh and Senator Jones to make Michigan safer by putting public safety first. We will never have a full economic recovery until we have safety in our streets, neighborhoods, and schools.”
SB 1109 is now Public Act 319 of 2012.
More information can be found at www.michiganlegislature.org.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 09:00
Category: Breaking News Written by Cloves C. Campbell, Jr.
A few years ago NNPA was holding its annual board meetings in March in Washington, D. C., then, Senator Barack Obama walked in the room in the room to welcome the Publishers to Washington. He also indicated he wanted to share some news with us. The news was that he was planning on seeking the office of the President of the United States of America. There were some young and many older Publishers in the meeting. He said if any of us would like to talk with him in the lobby, he would be happy to share his thoughts. I remember many of the Publishers being very excited. Francis Page and I were especially interested in talking with Senator Obama. (During our Black Press Week events that week, then NNPA Foundation President, Brian Townsend was honoring the Senator as well.) As we listened, we too saw what many people already knew and millions more would eventually learn about this very charismatic man. There
was something special about him. Something that would change the history of Black Folks in politics forever. It was then that I and the other members of NNPA voiced our support first for the 44thPresident of the United States of America. The Black Press was there FIRST.
Fast forward, to August 2012. It was then that I asked the question about the
President’s campaign spending. It was then, when several members of the campaign questioned my article. As I stated then and I will state again, THE NNPA, THE BLACK PRESS of AMERICA has always supported President Obama. We have encouraged Black Folks to get registered to vote. We encouraged Blacks to go to the polls and exercise their right to vote. We have published hundreds of articles about President Obama, his administration and his programs. We have also on numerous occasions championed his issues on our front pages.
There is no doubt, that when other media outlets brought unnecessary criticism on the President, it was the BLACK PRESS that was there to support him. As we prepare to go to the polls in November, I am here to say that the National News Paper Publishers Association endorses President Barack Obama once again. It is our belief that the United States of America can be best served with President Obama being re-elected. We at the NNPA look forward to working with the Presidents' administration in the formulation of strategies for the next four years. It is our hope that those plans include more opportunities for Blacks to procure Business with the Federal Government, greater employment opportunities for Blacks in America and enhanced opportunities for all students seeking higher education. We encourage our readers to register to vote, go out and vote and be sure to take the proper identification with them to the polls on election day, vote to re-elect President Barack Obama November 6th!
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 09:00
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
WASHINGTON (WWJ) Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, is lashing out at House Republicans following a failure to vote on the farm bill, saying they should have been able to devote just one day to rural America and the 16 million jobs that rely on agriculture.
The House allowed the farm bill to expire.
“When we get back after the (November) election, it has to be the top priority because our farmers need to know how to plan for next year and every single one of our counties is under disaster assistance declaration because of the deep freeze or the drought,” said Stabenow, chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said the House acted quickly to pass urgent disaster aid for livestock producers and says it’s disappointing that Stabenow and other senate Democrats chose to ignore that bipartisan bill. Stabenow countered that farmers need a five-year sustainable bill, not just disaster aid.
And if it doesn’t happen? She says if a long-term bill isn’t approved, it could affect milk prices as soon as January.
“One (bill) relates to the drought and support for our growers to help them with dollars to offset their losses and then for those in the food industry that don’t have access to crop insurance,” Stabenow said. “We would be providing them some direct assistance to offset their losses.”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 09:18
Category: Breaking News Written by Similoluwa Ojurongbe, thegrio
Several studies have found evidence that too much television is bad for the development of children, even when it is only on in the background.
A new study in The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has tracked just how much background TV American children are exposed to. The results are a startling 232.2 minutes, or 4 hours, every day.
Unfortunately, children who are African-American, younger or from low-income families are absorbing the most background television.
Children living in single-parent households and those with parents having less formal education were exposed to much more background television. African American and younger children were found to get, on average, 5.5 hours per day, and children from poor families nearly 6.
The report also cites that children from these groups are typically at risk for other “social and cognitive problems” such as “struggle with self-regulation and have higher rates of obesity.”
The study used a national phone survey asking 1,454 parents with at least one child between 8 months and 8 years of age. Parents were asked questions such as: “whether the child had a television in his/her bedroom (0, no; 1, yes), number of televisions in the home, and how often the television is on even when no one was watching it (0, never; 5, always).”
Background television exposure has been “linked to lower sustained attention during playtime, lower quality parent-child interactions, and reduced performance on cognitive tasks.” Even though more research has been put into the effects of foreground television, USA Today reports:
“Heather Kirkorian, an assistant professor of human development and family studies a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who has published studies on background television’s impact on both parent-child interaction and children’s play patterns, says “until now we could only guess at the extent of the impact in children’s day-to-day lives.” The new study “documents just how great the real-world impact may be, particularly for very young children.”
What the study does show is how pervasive television has become in the lives of Americans. The results hope to bring awareness to the relationships of adults with television and the effects on children within the home.
AAP suggests children under the age of 2 years not be exposed to any television at all. And in order to reduce background television, turn off the television at key points of the day such as bed time and mealtime, and also when no one is watching.
Last Updated on Monday, 01 October 2012 15:58
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) As President Barack Obama and Republican contender Mitt Romney prepare to battle it out in the debate ring, the most recent poll shows Obama is pulling no punches in his lead over Romney in Michigan.
The newest EPIC/MRA poll shows Obama with a 47 to 37 percent margin over Romney.
The GOP candidate has lost five percentage points in the state since the previous poll, and pollster Bernie Porn thinks the drop can directly be attributed to Romney’s remark about the ”47 percent” of Americans who would rather rely on government handouts than take care of themselves.
“I think in terms of the impact of that, it was very profound, and I think most people may well consider it a revealing comment more than thinking that it was an invasion of his privacy in comments before fundraisers,” Porn said.
Porn said if Obama maintains his current lead in Michigan and other battleground states, he will have more than enough votes to easily win the electoral college.
“It will be difficult for him to overcome this, not only in Michigan but I think in every one of the battleground states he is trailing President Obama from a couple to a few to several points,” Porn said. “If you were to award the states, Obama would come in with about almost 350 electoral votes.”
Last Updated on Monday, 01 October 2012 15:42
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffingtonpost
Breaking news about the economy, everybody: It still stinks. The good news? At least we're not in another recession.
Some of you may think we never left the last recession, and that's understandable. Others will ask, who cares? The economy is so lousy that there's not much difference between recession and growth. Also understandable.
Recently, Wall Street has been chattering about the possibility that a new recession has already begun. Last week we saw a report on the big plunge in demand for long-lasting goods made in U.S. factories in August, which raised recession alarms.
The week before that, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said a little-watched index of mid-Atlantic business activity had also tumbled in August, which some observers warned was a recession signal.
The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a private research firm that tracks leading economic indicators, has been warning that a new recession is coming for more than a year now. It still hasn't backed down from that call -- in fact, ECRI chief Lakshman Achuthan said we are in a recession as we speak. The ECRI has a decent track record, or at least it has convinced Wall Street that it does, so it has gotten a lot of attention with its call.
Europe is already in a recession, which has crushed global trade, including the U.S. export sector -- something we've already seen reflected in fairly weak factory readings this summer. Economic growth has bumped along well below 2 percent so far this year, meaning it is vulnerable to shocks.
"It's rough out there," said Jeffrey Rosen, chief economist at data and research site Briefing.com. Rosen thinks the economy may have grown at a rate of less than 1 percent in the third quarter, "on the margin of error of being in recession."
So far, though, most economists doubt that a new recession has begun. Most economists, of course, are usually the last people on earth to get word of changes in the economy. But the evidence is on their side so far.
That could well change as we get closer to the end of the year, if Congress doesn't deal with the "fiscal cliff" of higher tax rates and looming government spending cuts when the calendar flips. There are already anecdotes floating around about businesses being more cautious ahead of that moment. The sentiment will only get worse as the end of the year draws closer. Nobody thinks the economy is safe and sound, least of all the Federal Reserve. If it did, it wouldn't have embarked on another round of bond-buying to try to stimulate the economy.
But there is still some solid evidence that suggests we're not in a recession -- yet:
1. ISM Manufacturing:
The Institute for Supply Management on Monday said its index of U.S. factory activity rose to 51.5 from 49.6. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the factory sector. The new reading is the ISM's best in four months and the first to show factory output expanding since May. Better yet, the ISM's index of new factory orders rose, while its index of inventories fell. When businesses are placing new orders and working down inventories, this is usually a pretty good sign that factories are going to be producing more stuff in the months to come. Not since 1973 has a recession begun in a month when the ISM index was above 50.
2. Weekly Jobless Claims:
New weekly claims for unemployment benefits are a sensitive leading indicator. Changes in the economy are typically reflected in how businesses hire and fire workers, and usually pretty quickly. "If we're falling into a recession, one of the first things to react would be jobless claims," said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at brokerage firm BTIG. Since the recession, jobless claims have stayed annoyingly high, refusing to fall back to their pre-recession level of about 300,000 per week. But they have been drifting lower. Last week, they decreased to 359,000. And the four-week moving average for the claims, which smooths out weekly peaks and valleys, has drifted down to about 374,000, down from a peak of about 650,000 during the recession. Since 1965, we have not had a recession without a corresponding spike in jobless claims. That's not to say it's impossible to still get a recession -- after all, so many people are already unemployed that it's hard to imagine we'd get another huge wave of layoffs. But this would be a first.
3. Consumer Confidence:
If consumers were feeling a sudden squeeze in their finances or getting jittery about their jobs, then it would have an effect on their confidence. But confidence readings -- while still painfully low -- have been grinding higher this year. Recently, the Conference Board, a private research firm, said its consumer confidence index rose to 70.3, nearly the highest level since the recession ended. Recessions can begin when consumer confidence is rising, but not usually. In fact, a better (and possibly false) recession signal came last year, when consumer confidence tumbled sharply, from its post-recession high of 72 down to about 40. It has been recovering ever since.
The housing market, which led us into the last recession, has been so decimated that it's hard to imagine it getting much worse. That means it might not be the world's strongest recession indicator. Still, by most measures housing has been improving steadily in recent months. The National Association of Home Builders' index of home-builder confidence rose last month to the highest since June 2006, more than a year before the recession began. New-home construction has dribbled higher, hitting a rate nearly double its recession low in August. And home re-sales were at two-year highs in August. We could still get a recession with a strong housing market, but, again, it's not likely.
5. Car Sales:
We'll get fresh data on September car sales on Tuesday, but so far this year the trend has been encouraging: Car sales have risen steadily from their recession bottom to an annualized rate of nearly 14.5 million units in August. That's the highest since April 2008, if you don't count the one month, August 2009, when sales were given a steroid injection by the Cash-For-Clunkers program. It would be unusual to see a recession begin at a time when car sales are marching steadily higher.
Last Updated on Monday, 01 October 2012 15:35
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffingtonpost
UPDATE: 1:08 p.m.-- U.S. District Court Judge Sean Cox issued a temporary strike injunction Monday morning, prohibiting Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) workers from interfering with the DWSD's operations.
About 40 employees walked off the job Sunday morning to strike against proposed job cuts.
Bob Warfield a spokesman for Detroit's Mayor Dave Bing said in a release that the mayor was pleased with the judge's ruling.
"It is imperative that there be no interruption in the service or an impact on the quality of water provided to our citizens or any negative impact on the environment," he said.
Attorneys for AFSCME Local 207 have scheduled a press conference at noon Monday to respond to Judge Cox's temporary injunction, which they believe to be an illegal restraining order.
A hearing for a permanent injunction is scheduled for October 11.
PREVIOUSLY: About 40 workers from Detroit's waste water treatment plant walked off the job Sunday morning to picket against proposed job cuts, the Detroit News reports.
In September, the Detroit Board of Water Commissioners approved a four-year $48 million no-bid contract with the Minnesota-based EMA consulting firm, which has proposed cutting the department's staff by 81 percent.
The action follows a strike authorization approved by AFSCME Local 207, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department's largest union, on Sept. 27 in the event that contract negotiations failed, Voice of Detroit reports. Local 2920, which represents clerical and other DWSD staff, authorized a similar proposal on Sept. 25.
AFSCME Local 207 President John Riehl told The Huffington Post in April that the local had been considering a strike in regards to a deal authorized by U.S. District Judge Sean Cox, as well as the signing of the Detroit's consent agreement with the state of Michigan.
"Either we go on strike and take a more combative position or they destroy us. There's going to be a lot of conflict coming up -- a lot of union contracts to negotiate," he said.
Last year Judge Cox authorized an arrangement giving suburban residents more input over the Detroit Water Board. The city's consent agreement includes a plan to restructure city services and collective bargaining agreements.
The city's water department provides drinking water to 4.3 million residents in Detroit and 126 neighboring Southeast Michigan communities.
Last Updated on Monday, 01 October 2012 14:44
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