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February 28th, 2012
Manufacturing promises Reuters asks economists whether the new political focus on manufacturing will actually create jobs. The answer is, basically, no.
Driving downloads The state of Ohio is spending $10 million to increase its broadband internet speeds tenfold between colleges and universities.
It’s over After 13 weeks, the Cooper Tire lockout in Findlay Ohio is finally over. The Toledo Blade reports that workers approved a new five-year contract yesterday. They could be back in the plant later this week.
Split opinions Yesterday, we asked “Who gets credit for the bailout?“ Meanwhile, the BBC looked into why opinions of the auto industry bailout are split, even in Michigan.
Want to become a landlord? The federal government has a new plan to auction off foreclosed homes owned by Fannie Mae and turn them into rental homes. Chicago is one of the first cities where it will happen.
Ready for a recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has decided not to challenge any of the 1 million recall signatures filed against him. That means the recall election will almost certainly move forward.
Something fishy The US Supreme Court once again declined to weigh in on the debate over what to do about Asian Carp. Partner station WBEZ has the story.
UAW speech President Obama will give a speech to UAW members at a conference in Washington this morning. The event starts at 11:45, and you can watch it live here.
Big day There’s something going on in Michigan today. What was it? Maybe Michigan Radio can help.
February 24th, 2012
Right to Fight Reuters reports that Indiana union members are expected to be in court today to try to overturn the state’s new Right to Work law.
$50 million That’s what the federal government expects to spend this year fighting invasive Asian Carp.
Ohio power State regulators in Ohio have overturned electricity price increases they approved in December. But, as partner station WCPN Ideastream reports, the fight isn’t over. Meanwhile, a trash to energy plan in Cleveland is showing signs of life, despite strong opposition.
Down, down, down The number of union jobs in Ohio continues to decline. The Dayton Daily News says union numbers in the state have been falling for at least the last 10 straight years.
Lockout over? A three-month lockout at Cooper Tire could be coming to an end, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Workers peace out CNNMoney takes a look at “Michigan’s Incredible Shrinking Workforce.”
Manufacturing, yo A new report says in order to build the future economy, Michigan should look to the “old economy.”
Occupy movement About 60 employees of a Chicago window-making company occupied their plant for 11 hours yesterday. They were trying to stop the plant’s closing. Partner station WBEZ reports the workers claimed victory after owners agreed to keep the plant open an extra 90 days. The workers will now try to find a buyer, or raise money to buy the plant themselves.
Dustin Dwyer · Midwest Memo: A $3 Billion Idea To Stop Asian Carp, New Plans For Navy Pier And Streetcars In Milwaukee
January 31st, 2012
The $3 billion fish What’s the best way to keep invasive Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes and terrorizing the sport fishing industry? A new report says Lake Michigan should be disconnected from the Mississippi River. The two water bodies have no natural connection, but they’ve been connected by a series of man-made canals. Problem is, undoing that work will cost at least $3 billion.
Plans for the Pier Chicago’s Navy Pier is planning an $85 million face-lift. The Chicago Tribune has a look at five ambitious plans for the pier. One official admits to the paper that all the plans would exceed the budget for the project. But he’s hoping to generate enthusiasm for the Pier – and maybe some donations.
Streetcars in Milwaukee A plan to put streetcars in downtown Milwaukee moved one step forward yesterday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that federal regulators say the plan will have no negative environmental impact. The question of paying for the rail line is more complicated.
Homeless, not hopeless The number of homeless children in Ohio has nearly doubled since 2006. Partner station ideastream Cleveland has a look at one program trying to keep those kids in school.
A visit from the Veep Less than a week after President Obama visited Ann Arbor, Mich., Vice President Biden will be in the Mitten State for a speech in Grand Rapids on Wednesday. Partner station Michigan Radio has the details.
Pete Bigelow · Midwest Memo: Michigan Lawmakers Approve Health Benefit Limits, Federal Court Won’t Intervene in Asian Carp Case
August 25th, 2011
Three stories making news across the Midwest today:
1. Michigan approves health-care changes. The Michigan state Legislature approved a proposal Wednesday that requires local municipalities, school districts and counties to pay no more than 80 percent of their employees’ health-care costs or limit payments to no more than $15,000 per family. The vote was 25-13 in favor, largely along party lines. Proponents of the legislation say it gives local governments the means to trim benefit spending. Critics say the bill is an attack on middle-class families and public employees.
2. Courts won’t stop carp. On Wednesday, a federal appeals panel denied a request from five Great Lakes states to close shipping locks in the Chicago area. The states had asked for court intervention to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, but the court panel ruled the invasive species did not appear to be an imminent threat, according to the Chicago Tribune. Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin had asked the courts to close locks at the Cal-Sag Channel and Chicago River.
3. JobsOhio announces partner. A jobs-creation group in Cincinnati has won a $4 million grant to help facilitate job growth at existing companies in the region. The Cincinnati USA Partnership announced Thursday a “grow your own” strategy that is supported by Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s JobsOhio plan, according to Cincinnati.com. Ohio’s unemployment rate inched upward to 9.0 percent in July, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cincinnati USA Partnership is one of six organizations that will officially be supported by JobsOhio.
Pete Bigelow · Midwest Memo: Asian carp fight could cost Indiana jobs, Ohio study says business subsidies backfire
July 7th, 2011
Three stories making news across the Midwest today:
1. Complications from Asian carp fight. A leading Indiana lawmaker says efforts to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes could cost thousands of workers their jobs in northwest Indiana. Mike Pence, a U.S. Representative and possible Republican candidate for governor in 2012, wants a review of how closing Chicago-area waterways could impact industry in Indiana, reports WBEZ, our partner station.
2. Ohio study: subsidies fuel sprawl. Tax breaks intended to keep companies in Cleveland and Cincinnati instead exacerbated wealth disparities and fueled suburban sprawl, according to a new report. A study of 164 companies which received tax deals showed “they moved jobs away from areas hardest hit by plant closings and with higher rates of poverty, unemployment and people of color to more affluent and less diverse areas,” says the report, financed by the Ford Foundation.
3. Brownfield sites slated for cleanup. Six industrial sites in northeast Ohio will receive nearly $8 million for cleanup and renovation efforts. Approximately half that money will go to two brownfield sites in Cleveland that officials hope to turn into a medical office building and a senior center. “Hopefully, we can fund projects so that something new can happen on the property,” Clean Ohio spokesperson Amy Alduino tells WKSU.