Items of potential interest to government documents librarians or government information managers in Michigan. For more information contact Jon Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ron French, "Michigan weighs “read-or-flunk” law for 3rd graders" : State lawmakers are considering a bill that could require up to 80,000 Michigan students to repeat third grade if they can't pass the state's new reading test. Supporters say they are standing up for children at a critical stage in their education, rather than promoting them to 4th grade with poor reading skills. Critics note studies that show that retaining struggling students does more harm than good, and argue the state should instead invest money in intensive reading interventions.
Amber Arellano, Teresa Weatherall Neal, Audrey Spalding, Michael Rice, Ray Telman, Jon Felske and Harrison Blackmond, "Michigan needs a smart, statewide system to measure student growth" : If teachers' evaluations are based in part on how much students achieve, we must ensure we don't penalize educators for teaching in high-poverty schools, where students are more likely to begin kindergarten far behind their middle-class peers. Michigan must support a consistent, reliable student-growth tool that accounts for poverty, past performance and other factors that impact student learning.
Charles Hill, "Proposed laws will make public records truly public" : Government officials have gamed the Michigan Freedom of Information Act for too long. Some refuse to turn over public records, or arbitrarily delay their release. Others charge high fees to collect or copy records. Bipartisan bills that would curb these abuses by public officials are overdue and will promote open government.
Bridge staff, "Bridge expands statewide reporting team, earns new investment" : Fueled by new philanthropic investment, Bridge Magazine has doubled the size of its reporting staff to expand coverage of Michigan cities, intensify publication of data-driven special reports, and help lead a new Michigan nonprofit news reporting collaborative.
It’s a safe bet that 99 percent of us will never be enshrined in a Hall of Fame of any kind. Steve Smith belongs to three: the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame, the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame, and now the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.
On the strength of his impressive résumé — standout basketball star at Detroit Pershing High School, second all-time leading scorer at Michigan State, first-round NBA draft choice, 14-year pro, and Olympic gold medalist — Smith was inducted last month at the Max M. Fisher Music Center.
Smith’s career highlights include his 2003 NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs and his 2000 Olympic medal. “There’s not a lot of guys who get the chance to do both,” he says.
But Smith is proudest of what he calls “Mom’s center” — the Clara Bell Smith Student Athlete Academic Support Center at MSU. It’s named for his late mother and financed in part by his $2.5 million donation — the largest gift by a professional athlete to any college or university — and the Steve Smith Scholarship Fund he established in 1999 at Pershing to send one outstanding senior to MSU each fall for four years.
The members of the 57th Michigan Sports Hall of Fame Include Induction Class: Mateen Cleaves-MSU basketball/Flint Northern H.S. ; Lomas Brown-Detroit Lions; Tony Dungy/NFL football & Jackson Mich. Parkside H.S.; Mark Howe-NHL hockey & Detroit Red Wings/U.S. Olympian; Pam McGee-Flint Northern H.S. & U.S. Olympian; Dick Kimball-UM Diving & U.S. Olympian; Steve Smith-MSU Basketball & Pershing H.S./U.S. Olympian; Tyrone Wheatley-UM football & track & field/Dearborn Heights Robichaud H.S.
For the full article, see Jim McFarlin, "Mr. Smith Goes to the Hall of Fame - THREE-PEAT: Steve Smith adds Michigan Sports Hall of Fame to his list of ‘little goals’ accomplished", Hour Detroit, March 2013.
On December 5, 1922, James Couzens resigned as Mayor of Detroit to accept his appointment to the U.S. Senate. Couzens was appointed by Governor Alexander Groesbeck to fill the Michigan senate seat that was vacated by the resignation of Truman H. Newberry in the wake of election campaign irregularities. Couzens went on to be elected in his own right for two additional terms before his death in 1936.
Source : Detroit Historical Society
On this day, the namesake for Okemos, Michigan, died near Portland and is honored to this day with a grave marker. Although details on his life are spotty, Chief John Okemos was the nephew and a scout for Chief Pontiac, who attempted to drive the British out of Michigan by laying siege to Detroit early in Michigan's history. During the Battle of Sandusky, he was severely wounded fighting on the side of the British against the Americans and bore saber scars for the rest of his life. Later on Chief Okemos made his peace with the Americans at Fort Wayne in Detroit in 1814 and later signed the Treaty of Saginaw with Lewis Cass, the first territorial Governor of Michigan in 1819.
Michigan Every Day.
Chief Johnny Okemos with pictures.
The Sebewa Recollector, June 1994, Volume 29, Number 6; “Danby Township – Grand River Heritage” from the Grand River Heritage Water Trails Assn.; The Portland, Michigan Centennial Book
Built at Erie, Pennsylvania and commissioned in 1843, the U.S.S. Michigan spent its entire career patrolling the Great Lakes. For most of its term of service, it was the only iron-hulled ship patrolling the Great Lakes in the United States Navy. During its early years of service, the ship and its crew patrolled the Great Lakes for timber pirates. On one occasion, a timber-pirate steamer rammed the U.S.S. Michigan, but due to the U.S.S. Michigan's iron hull, the pirate ship was disabled and captured by the U.S.S. Michigan's crew. In may 1851, the U.S.S. Michigan also assisted in the arrest of James Jesse Strang, the leader of a dissident Mormon colony on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan.
During the Civil War, the U.S.S. Michigan continued to patrol the Great Lakes. Union officials utilized the ship to protect the Great Lakes as well as to quell civilian unrest in port cities. Authorities dispatched the U.S.S. Michigan to prevent draft riots in Detroit, Michigan and in Buffalo, New York. Following the Detroit expedition, John C. Carter, the commander of the U.S.S. Michigan, reported, I found the people suffering under serious apprehensions of a riot....The presence of the ships perhaps did something toward overawing the refractory, and certainly did much to allay the apprehensions of the excited, doubting people."
On multiple occasions during the war, Confederate forces hoped to commandeer the ship. In early 1863, William Henry Murdaugh, a lieutenant in the Confederate Navy, intended to capture the U.S.S. Michigan by sailing a steamship, which he would purchase in Canada, alongside the warship and commandeering the ship with Southern naval officers. Confederate authorities never endorsed the plan, and the mission did not occur.
In September 1864, Confederates actually carried out an attempt to capture the U.S.S. Michigan. The leaders of this attempt were Captain Charles Cole, a purported member of Nathan Bedford Forrest's Confederate cavalry, and Captain John Yates Beall, a member of the Southern navy. Confederate officials hoped that these two men could free the Confederate officers at Johnson's Island, a Northern prison camp on an island in Sandusky Bay of Lake Erie. The freed men would then proceed by hijacked railroad train to Camp Chase, a Union prison camp for Confederate enlisted men, which was located in Columbus, Ohio, where the former prisoners at Johnson's Island would free these other inmates. The two sets of prisoners would return to Sandusky, Ohio, where they would form a new army with the 2,700 prisoners currently at Johnson's Island and the approximately 5,000 inmates from Camp Chase. Commanded by Major General Isaac Trimble, the highest-ranking officer imprisoned at Johnson's Island, this new Confederate Army of the Northwest would principally operate in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, helping other Southern armies defeat the North.
Cole was the principal ringleader of the expedition. During the summer of 1864, he entered Sandusky, posing as the secretary of the Mount Hope Oil Company of Titusville, Pennsylvania. He soon befriended several officers on the U.S.S. Michigan. Cole hoped that he and his associates could seize control of the ship and use the vessel to free the Confederate prisoners on Johnson's Island. He also had ten Confederate soldiers successfully enlist in the 128th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which served as the main force that guarded the prisoners. Cole also sought assistance from members of the Sons of Liberty, a group of Confederate sympathizers who resided in Northern states, and from Jacob Thompson, the Confederate States of America's commissioner to the Canadian government. Beall also recruited twenty-five men to assist him in his portion of the expedition.
On September 19, 1864, Cole and Beall launched their plan. Beall and his compatriots boarded the Philo Parsons, a passenger and transport ship that principally travelled from Detroit, Michigan, to Toledo, Ohio, and finally to Sandusky, with stops at Windsor, Malden, and Sandwich, ports on Lake Erie that are located in Canada. Some of these twenty-six raiders boarded the Philo Parsons at each Canadian stop. The only luggage that these men brought onboard the ship was a single trunk, filled with revolvers and hatchets. Following a stop at Kelley's Island, Ohio, the Confederates seized control of the ship. They ordered the helmsman to head for Middle Bass Island, Ohio, where the Southerners put the Philo Parsons's passengers, including thirty-five members of recently discharged Company K of the 130th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, onshore. While the Confederates were still at Middle Bass Island, another ship, the Island Queen, came along side and tied onto the Philo Parsons. The Confederates seized this new ship, but in the process, gunshots occurred, with the Southerners wounding the Island Queen's engineer and Alonzo Miller, a resident of Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Beall then had these two ships sail towards Sandusky, but approximately three miles from Middle Bass Island, he had his crew scuttle theIsland Queen on a reef. The Philo Parsons continued towards Johnson's Island, where it stopped just short, in sight of the U.S.S. Michigan but disguised by darkness.
Meanwhile, Cole was onboard the U.S.S. Michigan. He was participating in a dinner with his befriended Union officers. His intention was to drug the wine, incapacitating the Union officers. Beall would then sail the Philo Parsons alongside the U.S.S. Michigan, allowing Beall's men to jump onboard the U.S.S. Michigan, taking control of the ship. The Confederates would then use the U.S.S. Michigan to free the prisoners on Johnson's Island.
Several factors caused the plan to fail. First, seventeen of Beall's men became convinced that Union authorities knew of the plan and refused to participate. Beall immediately sailed for Sandwich, where he destroyed the Philo Parsons and dismissed his crew. Union officials did know of the plan, due to a prisoner, a Colonel Johnson from Kentucky, notifying his guards at Johnson's Island. A Union officer from Johnson's Island boarded the U.S.S. Michigan shortly before midnight, the appointed time for the attack. He approached Cole and stated, "Captain Cole, you are my prisoner." Cole responded, "Captain--captain of what? Certainly no man will accuse me of being a soldier." The Northern officer responded, "No. But here is a telegram saying you are a Confederate spy and are in a conspiracy to capture Johnson's Island. It orders your arrest. We must at least take you into custody." Thus ended Cole's attempt to seize Johnson's Island.
Following the Civil War, the U.S.S. Michigan continued to patrol the Great Lakes. On June 17, 1905, officials renamed the ship the U.S.S. Wolverine, as the U.S. Navy was preparing to commission a new battleship named the U.S.S. Michigan. Authorities decommissioned the warship on May 6, 1912, when it joined the Pennsylvania Naval Militia. The ship remained with the Pennsylvania Naval Militia until August 12, 1923, when a connecting rod in the warship's port cylinder broke, ending its military career. The U.S.S. Michigan's prow is now part of the Erie (Pennsylvania) Maritime Museum.
"U.S.S. Michigan" (2012) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved August 19, 2012, from Ohio Civil War Central.
Naval Warfare, December 31, 2007.
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