heritage tower http://michiganradio.org en In this morning's news: Common Core hearings, limits on public employee benefits, the Heritage Tower http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-common-core-hearings-limits-public-employee-benefits-heritage-tower <p><strong>Common Core hearings</strong></p><p>A state House panel began a<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/common-core-standards-debate"> series of hearings about the Common Core State Standards </a>yesterday. Republican Representative Tom McMillin says the standards take away local control and were developed and adopted without public input. Committee Chair Tim Kelly says the panel should make its recommendation on Common Core in September, Michigan Public Radio's Jake Neher reports.</p><p><strong>Legislation to limit public employee benefits</strong></p><p>There’s legislation in Lansing that would allow local ballot drives to cap public employee benefits. Leon Drolet, head of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance, says the ballot campaigns would act as a safeguard against cozy relationships between public employee unions and local elected officials who bargain with them. Unions say the bill is not necessary because local officials are already accountable to voters, Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports.</p><p><strong>Reviving Battle Creek's Heritage Tower</strong></p><p>Battle Creek city commissioners voted last night to create a special tax district in hopes of <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/battle-creek-looks-use-special-tax-district-revitalize-downtown-landmark">reviving an iconic downtown building</a>. The Heritage Tower is an 82-year-old art deco building and the upper floors of the former bank building have been condemned. Ken Tsuchiyama, Battle Creek’s city manager, fears the building may have to be demolished unless the new owner can revitalize it.</p><p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 11:45:20 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13570 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Common Core hearings, limits on public employee benefits, the Heritage Tower Battle Creek looks to use special tax district to revitalize a downtown landmark http://michiganradio.org/post/battle-creek-looks-use-special-tax-district-revitalize-downtown-landmark <p>An historic landmark in downtown Battle Creek may be rehabilitated.&nbsp;The art deco Heritage Tower was built between 1930 and 1931 to house Battle Creek’s oldest bank.</p><p>Over the decades, the building has changed owners and names.&nbsp;In recent years, the building has fallen into disrepair. Its upper floors have been condemned, and it no longer has tenants.</p><p>A Grand Rapids company bought the tower earlier this year.</p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 04:43:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 13569 at http://michiganradio.org Battle Creek looks to use special tax district to revitalize a downtown landmark Tower without power now has power again http://michiganradio.org/post/tower-without-power-now-has-power-again <p>Update 4:15pm</p><p>The power is back on at Battle Creek&#39;s Heritage Tower.&nbsp;</p><p>Consumer Energy shut off electricity to the building due to a dispute with the 80 year old building&#39;s owner.&nbsp;</p><p>The power outage affected wireless and 911 service in part of Battle Creek.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The utility issued a statement after restoring power to the tower:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Consumers Energy understands how important it is to the city of Battle Creek to have a fully functioning 911 system and cellular telephone service. Finding a solution to this issue was a priority for us, and we worked closely with the local officials and many others to find this temporary solution.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Original Post&nbsp;&nbsp; 4:48pm</p><p>A power outage this week could force the last tenants out of <a href="http://www.heritagebattlecreek.org/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=68&amp;Itemid=70">Battle Creek&rsquo;s Heritage Tower</a>. The owner apparently failed to pay the building&rsquo;s utility bill.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The 80 -year-old Heritage Tower is acknowledged as an <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_deco_buildings">Art Deco</a> gem. But in recent years, various problems have left the 19-story building largely vacant.</p><p>Cheryl Beard is with <a href="http://www.bcunlimited.org/home">Battle Creek Unlimited</a>. She says the economic development group is willing to work with the owner to help bring the city&rsquo;s iconic downtown tower back to life.</p><p>&ldquo;If the owner is interested in selling&hellip;maybe we look for parties that are interested in acquiring it. If that&rsquo;s what they desire,&rdquo; says Beard, &ldquo;Or with coming up with a plan for redevelopment and searching for tenants.&rdquo;</p><p>Efforts to contact the Florida business that owns the Heritage Tower have been unsuccessful. Thu, 10 May 2012 20:16:01 +0000 Steve Carmody 7405 at http://michiganradio.org Tower without power now has power again