Ted Roelofs, "Michigan gets serious about high cost of prisons" : Michigan prisons have increased seven-fold as a percentage of the state's budget since 1980. Michigan also holds prisoners behind bars far longer than other states, a cost that conservatives say the state can no longer afford.
Ted Roelofs, "Judge haunted by 26-year-old conviction" : In 1988, Judge Norman Lippitt sentenced Karen Kantzler to life in prison for killing her husband, who she said was abusive. Lippitt never imagined she would actually spend her life behind bars.
Ted Roelofs, "Conservatives seek to lead on prison reform" : Republicans are rethinking the wisdom of "tough-on-crime" formulas of the past, as they eye alternatives to incarceration.
Derek Cohen and Marc Levin, "Texas conservatives to Michigan: Cut prisons now" : Texas has shed its "throw-away-the-key" mantra for nonviolent offenders. Seven years ago, it invested in drug courts and community monitoring for low-level offenders. The result: crime is way down, so is recidivism. And the state has saved billions in prison costs.
Well it’s official: The cold season of 2013-14 is the snowiest on record for the metro area.
The 3.1 inches of snow that fell Monday night into Tuesday morning brought this season’s total to 94.8 inches, topping the old record of 93.6 inches set during 1880-81.
For the full article, see Tom Greenwood, "Metro Detroit breaks seasonal snowfall record", Detroit News, April 15, 2014.
For the first time since the 1960's, students and members of the public are now once again able to fish the Red Cedar River. During the December 2012 Board of Trustees Meeting, the Board of Trustees lifted the fishing ban. To commemorate the occasion, the DNR released into the Red Cedar River over 3,000 steelhead trout. This act of being able to fish the Red Cedar River will be in affect for three years. At the end of the three years, the Board of Trustees will decide if they will extend the fishing ordinance.
For more information on fishing in Michigan, visit http://www.michigan.gov/fishing
Red Cedar River at MSU to be stocked with steelhead to enhance fishing on campus, Michigan Newswire, April 15, 2013.
On April 15, 1977, the formal dedication the Detroit Renaissance Center, the gleaming cluster of four 39-floor office towers and a 73-story hotel, was held.
In 1996, General Motors bought the Center and announced major renovation plans — the removal of the berms at the top of the list. Other changes to what became GM World Headquarters, such as the five-story Wintergarden and a glass entry, opened the skyscraper’s face to downtown.
Has Henry Ford II’s vision for revitalization finally come to fruition at the hands of GM? Or has downtown’s recent resurgence, led largely by another business titan, Quicken CEO Dan Gilbert, benefited the complex? Whatever the answer, the newly illuminated GM RenCen has become synonymous with Detroit, a photo-op image for the country as seen from the Goodyear Blimp and an anchor for the RiverWalk and summer activities along the international border.
At any rate, the central tower, the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, is the tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, and features the largest rooftop restaurant, Coach Insignia. It has been the tallest building in Michigan since it was erected in 1977.
For the full article, see Mark Kurlyandchik, "GM Renaissance Center Celebrates 35 Years", Hour Detroit, April 2012.
At the suggestion of the crew, the newlyweds Helen and Dickinson Bishop (Helen was pregnant) were put in the first lifeboat to be lowered into the water from the Titanic. Their lifeboat had 28 people, although it could carry twice that number. While "the officers implored people to get aboard," Dickinson Bishop said, many thought the lifeboats were more dangerous than the ship. Millionaire John Jacob Astor and his wife for example declined a spot on the first lifeboat. By the time they realized the boat was really sinking, only Mrs. Astor was allowed on a lifeboat.
The Bishops were among the 706 survivors; 1517 passengers and crew were not.
For the full article, see Julie Mack, "Titanic tale: Southwest Michigan newlyweds survived ship's sinking but did not live happily ever after", MLive, April 7, 2012.
See Dowagiac Daily News, May 10, 1912, posted in Encyclopedia Titanica.
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