Last week we learned that e-commerce sales on Cyber Monday 2014 topped $2-billion. That’s up more than 15-percent over last year. Big box giant Walmart and online powerhouse Amazon saw sizeable surges in their bottom lines. But the reports are not welcome news for everyone, including traditional brick and mortar retailers in Michigan.
A group of pastors and volunteers for a local non-profit in Ft. Lauderdale are facing jail time and hundreds of dollars in fine after a run-in with police last week. Their crime? Passing out food to the homeless in a city park. Advocates for the homeless says these kinds of ordinances are part of a larger trend of cities criminalizing the activities of homeless people. Here in Michigan, a number of cities have ordinances restricting vagrancy and panhandling.
One of the biggest challenges faced by new Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is the poor condition of thousands of houses in the city. People won’t choose to live in a city where they can’t get a decent house. The Detroit Land Bank Authority hopes a new system of auctioning off vacant houses will spur a wave of movement into the city. It’s called “Building Detroit”.
Are we truly a Comeback State? Just how much can a governor influence the economy? The Citizens Research Council, an independent, non-partisan research organization that analyzes public policy questions, recently analyzed data to try to answer these questions.
Strange weather in Michigan continues to affect various kinds of agriculture. Current State’s Melissa Benmark has been checking into the effects of a hard winter and a cool summer on the wine industry in the state.
Federal officials consider housing “affordable” when it costs less than 30-percent of its residents’ income. By that measure, affordable housing is outside the reach of more than 60,000 families in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As of this morning, there’s a new game plan for to increase quality, affordable housing in the Lansing area.
When we think of capturing solar energy, we often think of the large, clunky panels on rooftops that are expensive and inefficient. But what if your windows could capture the energy of the sunlight as it passes through them to help run your coffee maker or heat your house in the winter?
David Bieri is assistant professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His main research and teaching interests are at the intersection of urban planning and real estate economics, public finance and economic geography.
Last week, General Motors announced plans to expand its Delta Township plant and requested a 50% tax break over 12 years from the Lansing City Council. Similarly, the new logistics center at General Motor’s Grand River plant that just started construction that comes with a $4-million tax break.
In Flint, city leaders and residents continue to struggle with serious fiscal challenges. Lately, the focus of the debate has been over whether city services or benefits for municipal retirees is more important.
Michigan’s 69th House district covers parts of the cities of Lansing and East Lansing, as well as Meridian and Williamston Townships. It’s one of the state’s most culturally diverse political districts and historically, the 69th has leaned Democratic.
As Michigan works to recover from the economic downturn and the decline in its manufacturing base, there have been plenty of debates over which policies will set Michigan on a long-term path toward more prosperity.
Flint is renowned as the birthplace of General Motors and for the prosperity it once enjoyed as “Vehicle City.” More recently, that success has been overshadowed by troubles that have trailed the decline of auto manufacturing such as population loss, blight, crime, drugs, and debt.
A host of challenges associated with Michigan’s prison system make corrections one of the state’s biggest and most persistent issues. No discussion of Michigan corrections lasts long without the topic of its dollar cost coming up.
A sharply growing percentage of Ingham County children appear to be victims of abuse and neglect. And five years after the great recession, more children in Ingham County remain eligible for food assistance than the statewide average.
For three hours yesterday, attorneys representing influential Michigan labor unions and others had a chance to question Gov. Rick Snyder under oath about events leading up to his July decision to authorize bankruptcy for the city of Detroit.
Today on Current State: Update on fiscal conditions in Detroit and other U.S. cities; Lansing's historical Knapp's building renovation; MSU Theatre's production of "Widows"; Michigan native on her goal to make it to Mars; and Lansing Makers Network takes over city landmark.
Back in July when state officials filed for federal bankruptcy protection for Detroit, worries spiked about other fiscally troubled U.S. cities. Frank Shaforth is keeping an eye on several of those cities. Shafroth is a noted municipal finance expert coming to Detroit tomorrow to participate in the Michigan Municipal League’s annual meeting. Mr. Shafroth is a Professor of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
Michigan's signature cherry crop, among other agricultural state staples, depend heavily on thousands of migrant workers each year. Even after a killing frost destroyed much of the crop in 2012, a new report shows Michigan's migrant and seasonal farm population is growing.
In a recent opinion piece in the Lansing State Journal CEO of Capital Area Michigan Works Doug Stites wrote that the 20% funding cuts to his agency come at a critical time when efforts to retrain Michigan workers for in-demand jobs is extremely important. At the same time, a number of taxpayers are skeptical of the publicly funded agency's work.
Exports are big business in Michigan. In 2012, $53 billion, which is about 15 percent of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP), was attributed to the state’s export economy. And that’s up 12 percent from 2011.
Today on Current State: Ingham County Chief District Judge talks Indigent Defense; the Lansing Information Technology Empowerment Center; Michael Finney from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and re-imagining the Grand River corridor.