Local

Economy
10:05 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Dow Chemical gets $2 billion award for canceled Kuwait project

Dow Chemical's headquarters in Midland.
wikimedia commons

Dow Chemical says an international court has awarded it $2.16 billion in damages from its dispute with Petrochemical Industries Co., a subsidiary of state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp.

Dow shares are up 4 percent in trading Thursday before the opening bell.

Midland, Mich.-based Dow, one of the world's largest chemical companies, formed a $17.4 billion joint venture with the Kuwaiti company in 2008 to produce plastics for consumer products, automotive parts and drug processing. But the deal was scrapped later that year by that country's government following lawmaker criticism that could have led to a political crisis in the small oil-rich state.

"This outcome brings resolution and closure to the issue," Andrew Liveris, Dow`s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.  "We remain focused on continuing to move forward with our transformation and profitable business partnerships -- both in Kuwait and around the world."

Dow has Chemical Co. been doing business with Kuwait for nearly 40 years.

Politics
6:51 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Governor Rick Snyder and GOP legislative leaders reach budget deal that could lower income taxes

www.michigan.gov

 It appears a budget deal between Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature’s Republican leaders could include an election year tax cut. An early version of the proposal would accelerate a drop in the state income tax rate and increase the personal exemption.

The governor and G-O-P leaders want to wrap up the budget by the end of next week.

 Governor Snyder says he was skeptical at first, but he says revenue projections look promising enough to at least start talking about a tax cut for individuals and families.

Read more
Economy
9:00 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

"Work share" program could help curb layoffs

Work share programs allow employees who see their hours cut collect partial unemployment benefits
Bytemarks flickr

Some Michigan workers who get their hours cut would be able to keep working and draw partial unemployment benefits, under a bill approved by the state Senate. The legislation would create what's called a "work share" program - similar to ones in about two dozen other states.

The idea is to avoid layoffs, and help maintain a skilled workforce.

Read more
Politics
6:32 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Detroit Works online game offers residents a chance to help shape the city

Detroit 24/7 is an online game that gives people the chance to answer questions and give input about their community's future.
Community PlanIt screen shot.

Community meetings about the future of Detroit neighborhoods wrap up this week.

The Detroit Works Project focuses on how to make neighborhoods more viable, and how to keep current residents while attracting new people to the city.

Dan Pitera is co-leader of Civic Engagement for Detroit Works long-term planning. He is also also a professor of architecture at the University of Detroit-Mercy.

Some main concerns from Detroit residents, Pitera said “are safety for everybody, education and health for everybody in the city.”

Detroit Works has used several methods to engage the Detroit community. One of the newest is an online video game called Detroit 24/7. “Some people love to go to meetings, other people don’t,” Pitera said.

So far more than 900 people are playing the game, which lets players describe what they encounter everyday as they move around the city of Detroit, point out the pros and cons, and then suggest strategies that can improve the city. The idea is to engage a younger population, those ages 18 to 35.

“It actually deals with many of the same issues we are dealing with in the community conversations but done online, and we are attracting those people that are not going to meetings.”

According to Pitera, the intention of the project has been to first collect data from city residents, and then create city wide strategies that are informed by what is happening in different neighborhoods.

Read more
Politics
5:10 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Juvenile court competency standards would include mental health treatment

Anita Patterson MorgueFile

Michigan lawmakers are expected to vote next week on two bills that would create a system to determine the mental competency of juveniles who break the law.

Some troubled children in Michigan don't have access to mental health services until they wind up in court.

The state Senate  bills would let a prosecutor or a juvenile's defense lawyer ask for a competency evaluation. A judge would also be able to order an evaluation.

Michelle Weemhoff is with the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Read more
Politics
5:00 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Bills would tighten tort reform in Michigan

There's a bipartisan fight growing in the state legislature over Michigan's medical malpractice laws. 

In 1995, tort reform in Michigan made it more difficult to file a medical malpractice suit and get a jury trial. The law also put limits on monetary settlements.

Now a package of Republican-led Senate bills would further limit medical malpractice cases. Among other things, they would require proof that a physician's mistake was intentional.

The medical and insurance industries support the measures.

Read more
Politics
4:58 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Legislators move to exempt drink pouches from Michigan's bottle deposit law

A state House committee has voted to exempt drink pouches from the state’s 10-cent bottle deposit law. The pouches are made of plastic, aluminum, and paper. They are not biodegradable or recyclable. Harold McGovern is the president of a beverage wholesale company. He said there are environmental benefits to pouches.

"It's a fraction of the up-front emissions from the standpoint of a carbon footprint. More importantly, the emissions on the transportation cycle - whether it’s delivery to our warehouse, whether it’s delivery to stores - also has dramatic incremental savings because of the weight difference between aluminum, glass, and this pouch technology," said McGovern.

If the House bill becomes law, it would preempt a state Treasury determination that the deposit could apply to alcoholic drink pouches. Environmental groups say the state should not encourage packaging that’s not recyclable.

Economy
12:16 pm
Mon July 18, 2011

Michigan's Best campaign expands

Scott Schopieray Flickr

Some grocery store shelves are being filled with more Michigan-made products. Grand Rapids based Spartan Stores recently expanded its Michigan’s Best program by stocking more Michigan products in more stores. Spartan Stores started the Michigan’s Best campaign in 2009 to stimulate local businesses and farms. Alan Hartline is an executive at Spartan Stores. He says the campaign is great for Michigan.

Read more
Election 2010
8:25 am
Tue November 2, 2010

Local election results

We've gathered up all the county election results sites in our listening area.

Click here to find your local election results

Read more
Grading Michigan Schools
10:27 am
Thu November 29, 2007

Islands of Success at DPS

Nov. 29, 2007
Tracy Samilton
Detroit students score far below the state average in reading and math. But within Michigan's largest school district, a few schools are providing a high-quality education, despite the odds. 

Read more
Grading Michigan Schools
10:58 am
Wed November 28, 2007

The Dropout Dilemma

Nov. 28, 2007
There are disagreements about just how bad the dropout rates are in many school districts. But what's being done to fix the problem?

Read more
Grading Michigan Schools
11:08 am
Tue November 27, 2007

Unschooling

Nov. 27, 2007
Some parents have rejected the traditional school setting for their children's education. For unschoolers, the classroom is the world around them.

Read more
Grading Michigan Schools
11:12 am
Mon November 26, 2007

International Baccalaureate Schools

Nov. 26, 2007
International Baccalaureate Schools teach the same curriculum all around the world. There is one in Michigan and could soon be more. 

Grading Michigan Schools
12:00 am
Fri November 23, 2007

Grading Michigan Schools: Charter Schools Help Education

Commentary: Charter Schools Help Education
Nov. 23, 2007
Andrew Coulson
The Director of The Cato Institute Center for Educational Freedom says public educators should not fear charter schools.

Read more
Grading Michigan Schools
11:23 am
Mon November 19, 2007

Schools of Choice and Urban Districts

Nov. 19, 2007
Kaomi Goetz
State and local schools of choice programs are affecting large, urban school districts, but opinions differ on whether that's good or bad. 

Michigan created the schools of choice program in 1996 to give parents more options for their children's education. The program allowed parents to register their child in a neighboring school district without having to live there. But critics say school choice is decimating the state's large, urban districts.

Read more
Grading Michigan Schools
10:10 am
Thu November 30, 2000

An Unschooler's Radio Diary

Nov. 30, 2007
Samara Freemark
Alyse Guenther is twelve years old, and she's an unschooler. We gave her a microphone and a recorder, and asked her to explain what that means. 

Pages