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Detroit and Michigan

Springtime in Michigan

Hey Michigan kids, your state reps. have a present for you

From an article of the same title by Erica Ogg on

The state is apparently facing a budget crisis--to the tune of $1 billion. On Thursday, House Democrats delivered a spending bill that includes the idea of putting $38 million worth of public funds toward outfitting every student with a digital music player. The plan also included measures to tax soda and satellite TV services, among other things, to raise funds. Seems like an interesting idea because iPods could easily be used as educational devices--to transport or store digital documents and projects, or to listen to lectures. It's also not a new idea--Duke University famously gave iPods to all incoming freshmen. But, The Detroit News' editorial makes an astute point wondering "how financially strained Michigan residents will feel about paying higher taxes to buy someone else's kid an iPod."

Rumor has it that some of the next cuts coming to our school system are middle school athletic programs and the gifted and talented program.

One dead one hurt in Dow High shooting

Today a high school student was shot 4 times in the parking lot of one of our two local high schools. From an article of the same title in the Midland Daily News:

A double shooting took place late this morning at H.H. Dow High School. One person, 17-year-old David Benjamin Turner of Coleman, shot himself in the head, police said. He was not a student at the school. Before killing himself, he fired four rounds at a 17-year-old girl who recently had transferred to the school. The girl - Jessica Forsyth, his ex-girlfriend - was not in class for the day. Turner went to the school but was kicked out by officials who recognized he did not belong there. He called Forsyth, whose mother drove her to the school. Forsyth began talking to Turner in the parking lot. During the conversation, he opened a backpack and pulled out a handgun. He shot her four times, once in the arm and two to three times in the chest. The mother drove her car onto the sidewalk to separate the pair. She did not see Turner shoot himself. The incident was witnessed by a school security guard and several students.

Jan Penney, director of emergency services at MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland, confirmed that Forsyth was brought to the hospital about 11 a.m. and was in serious condition.

Prisons or Universities

I mentioned recently that the US incarcerates a larger fraction of its citizens than any other country in the world. Yesterday I came across a couple more tidbits:

  1. The state of Michigan spends more on prisons than it does on public universities
  2. Spending on prisons takes approximately 20 % of the state's general fund.

So sad. Something has got to change.

Suspect Arrested in Carjacking

A carjacking was big news in Midland this week. Relatively speaking, crimes like that are rare around here (comparison to national average). A suspect was arrested the next day. What really got me was this (from an article by Kelly Nankervis in the Midland Daily News):

As he took off across the parking lot, she kept trying to unlock her door to get out. Eventually she got the door open. He grabbed her hair, but she fell out as he turned the corner onto Joe Mann Boulevard. One man, a Meijer store employee, saw the events and came to the woman's rescue. "He was the only one," she said, beginning to cry. "He's really a hero."

Lane pointed out that crimes like this show Midland is changing, and it's up to citizens to be vigilant in order to maintain a low-crime community. At least two motorists drove their vehicles around the woman while she was lying on the pavement in the Meijer parking lot, Lane said. "That disappoints me, people not willing to help anybody. It's sad, it really is."


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