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Mon April 2, 2012
In this morning's Michigan news headlines...
Deadline coming for Detroit
Detroit City Council is meeting today to mull over potential changes to a "financial stability agreement" with the state. Gov. Rick Snyder has said this Thursday is his deadline to decide whether or not to appoint an emergency manager for the city, but some think there might be some wiggle room. From the Detroit Free Press:
On Friday, Snyder's chief of staff Dennis Muchmore said on "Off the Record" on public TV's WKAR that "there's a little bit of flexibility that's built into the law" establishing the emergency manager process, and April 13 becomes "another target date" because of an appeal period. But in a comment that received less attention, Muchmore also said that Thursday is "a hard and fast deadline" for Snyder to decide on an emergency manager.
Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reported last Friday that another court hearing on the legality of the state's consent agreement process could further muddle the process. A court hearing is set for April 9th, after Gov. Snyder's April 5th deadline.
Dow to lay off 900 workers
Dow Chemical Co. is set to lay off around 900 people in response to weak demand for its products in Europe.
The Associated Press reports the chemical manufacturer said today the positions will be cut as part of a plan to trim about $250 million in annual costs. They said they will shut down factories in Illinois, Portugal, Hungary, and Brazil, and it will idle a plant in The Netherlands.
Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris said the company made the decision to adapt to a volatile economy, especially in western Europe.
Dow says it will book a first-quarter charge of $350 million in the first quarter for severance packages, asset impairments and other items related to its cost-cutting plan.
Shares rose 3 cents to $34.67 in morning trading.
Gas prices rising
Gas prices rose about 7 cents during the past week, according to AAA Michigan. Prices are at a statewide average above $4 per gallon for the first time since last June.
From the AP:
The auto club says Monday the average of $4.04 is about 37 cents per gallon higher than last year at this time.
Of the cities it surveys, AAA Michigan says the cheapest price for self-serve unleaded fuel is in the Flint area, where it's $3.95 a gallon. The highest average is in the Ann Arbor and Marquette areas at $4.07.
AAA says Michigan's all-time high was $4.26.