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A bill authorizing the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools alongside the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence was introduced in the Michigan Senate and will be debated by a Senate panel Wednesday.
Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) is sponsoring two bills that would ban censorship of "America's founding documents" by public schools and require civics and American history education during "Constitution Week." He introduced Senate Bill 423 on Tuesday.
For the full article, see Brian Smith, "Displaying Ten Commandments in schools is part of 'censorship' bill in Michigan Legislature", MLive, June 11, 2013.
State law already requires DNA swabs from people arrested on suspicion of murder, rape and other violent felonies. Bills up for debate today by a Senate committee would require DNA collection from arrestees suspected of lesser felonies.
Law enforcement says the move would solve more crimes, while civil liberties advocates say collecting DNA before someone is convicted violates the presumption of innocence.
For the full article, see "Michigan panel to debate DNA collection of all arrestees", Detroit Free Press, June 11, 2013.
Pat Shellenbarger, "Moving from ‘we had money’ to ‘they want money I don’t have’" : The line began forming an hour before the food truck arrived, starting in the parking lot next to the barren acreage where once stood the nation's largest refrigerator factory ... While there are hopeful signs that the economy is recovering -- including rising corporate profits, a booming stock market and a declining unemployment rate -- many in Michigan who once considered themselves solidly middle class are struggling to hang in there, or even have slipped beneath the poverty line. Bridge begins a multi-month look at the present and future of the middle class in our state.
Pat Shellenbarger, "So you think you are a member of the middle class?" : Marketers aim for its money, politicians insist they are looking out for its best interests, and the vast majority of Americans claim to be members of this club. Yet there is no universal agreement of what it means to be middle class.
Ron French, "Thousands of low-income, minority students missing out on college-prep classes" : Only 3 percent of low-income and African-American students in Michigan are enrolled in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs that help them gain access to, and be better prepared for, college, among the lowest rates in the nation in a study conducted by Education Trust. The education advocacy organization projects that about 12,000 Michigan low-income and African-American high school students would be taking the advanced classes if their rate was the same as that of white students.
Peter Luke, "Snyder needs to tell Legislature that budget is far from finished" : Michigan has a balanced budget for next year, also a bad one, writes Bridge columnist Peter Luke. The absence, so far, of Medicaid expansion, stable road funding and Common Core academic standards will be a drag on the state's economy -- and on Gov. Rick Snyder. The governor needs a demonstration that conservative Republicans aren't, actually, in charge to help his dismal approval ratings and show to frustrated voters that he can make state government work.
Derek Melot, Land of Links : A transportation project in Atlanta, Ga., stands in stark contrast to Michigan's paralysis on the subject. * Michigan is a bad place to be an aspiring lawyer. * Men don't dress the way they used to. * Painkillers take the lives of more Americans than heroin and cocaine * What is an appropriate salary for a teacher? * Michigan Radio reports on the 15 school districts now running the biggest budget deficits. Not all of them are in struggling urban centers, either. * Do you use the accepted pronunciation for the mayonnaise?
Norm Cash became the first Detroit Tiger to his a ball out of Tiger Stadium.
Source : Michigan History, May/June 2012.
For another Norm Cash story, see Bill Dow, "When Norm Cash took a table leg to the plate for the Detroit Tigers", Detroit Athletic Company, November 1, 2011.
He didn't have a peg leg. There's no evidence he ever uttered "arggh." And, unlike a certain buccaneer popular at the movies these days, he didn't wear eyeliner.
But "Roaring" Dan Seavey was, by legal definition and lengthy lore, a pirate -- the only one arrested as such on Lake Michigan.
Ninety-nine years ago today -- June 11, 1908, -- Seavey made his mark by commandeering a Great Lakes cargo ship and sailing it to Chicago. He didn't do it with swords and swashbuckling. "Apparently, he drank the captain and the crew under the table," said John Moga, curator of a new pirate exhibit at the Door County (Wis.) Maritime Museum.
"He certainly wasn't in the great and grand tradition of Blackbeard -- of the pirates of the Caribbean," added Frederick Stonehouse, who has written dozens of books on the Great Lakes. "He was a low-life scum."
Ran off-shore brothel and casino
In June of 1908, as is the case today, there was a fascination with pirates. When Seavey, 43, was arrested and brought to Chicago "in irons," the Chicago Tribune exclaimed: "Pirate on Lake Caught in Chase." A Chicago Daily News reporter noticed Seavey "did not have the appearance of a pirate" but "wore a drooping mustache, which appeared to be in sympathy with his feelings."
Seavey, after stealing the 40-foot schooner Nellie Johnson in Grand Haven, Mich., found no fortune in his pirating: He was unable to sell the load of cedar posts in Chicago and was captured back near his home in Frankfort, Mich.
Like Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow, Seavey liked to drink -- a lot. He also got into his share of scrapes and managed to weasel out of most of them. Indeed, though he was arrested on federal piracy charges, he was ultimately charged with a lesser offense. And when the owner of the Nellie Johnson failed to appear in court, Seavey was set free to sail the fringes of the law for decades. He smuggled alcohol during Prohibition and ran a floating off-shore brothel and casino that served miners.
"Dan Seavey would steal anything that wasn't nailed down," said Stonehouse. "He had his little bucket, the Wanderer, and anything he could throw on its deck and get away with, he'd do it."
Not only did he drink with two fists, he fought with them, too. At 6 feet 2 inches and 225 pounds, he was a large man by turn-of-the-century standards.
Roarin' Dan is a mystery that grows with each retelling. Did he really kill a man by dropping a piano on him? Did he really hunt gold in Alaska with beer scion Frederick Pabst? Where did those skulls he kept in the hull of his ship really come from?
"Somebody remembers what somebody's dad used to say. It becomes mythic," acknowledged Moga.
Died 'a lonely man'
Seavey "didn't talk much about being a pirate, but everybody else did," said Thomas Dale Vinette, 92, who remembers Seavey in the 1920s hanging around Escanaba, Mich.
Vinette, now a retired boat builder, said Seavey once caught him and his friends using their fishing poles to steal apples off the deck of Seavey's ship. "He bawled us out," Vinette said, but then "he gave us each a good apple, without holes in them."
"He was an odd guy working a little on the edge, making a buck wherever he could," said Vinette.
Seavey passed away on Valentine's Day 1949 at age 84, in a Peshtigo, Wis., nursing home. He died, wrote one journalist, "a lonely man."
For the full article, see Andrew Herrmann, "Lake Michigan's very own pirate; 'Low-life scum' fascinated city nearly 100 years ago", Chicago Sun-Times, June 11, 2007.
For another, see Dr. Richard J. Boyd, "Roaring Dan Seavey : The Pirate of Lake Michigan", Michigan History, May/June 2012, 44-48.
Michael Bie, The life and crimes of Dan Seavey, ClassicWisconsin.com 2009
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