9.22.14:  Gas prices fall in Michigan


DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says gasoline prices in the state fell about 13 cents in the last week, totaling a 25-cent drop over the past two weeks.


The auto club says that the average price per gallon of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was $3.36 on Sunday. That’s about 22 cents less than it was one year ago.


Dearborn-based AAA Michigan surveys fuel costs at 2,800 Michigan gas stations daily. It says the cheapest price was $3.23 a gallon in the Lansing and East Lansing area, and the most expensive was $3.56 in the Marquette area.


Gas in the Detroit area decreased about 10 cents from last week to roughly $3.41 per gallon.


9.22.14:  Grant money to help Muskegon non-profit


MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials have awarded $2.1 million in grants to a western Michigan nonprofit organization that provides services for seniors and disabled residents.


Pioneer Resources director Greg Scott says the Muskegon-based group used the state Department of Transportation grants to buy 15 buses and retire a fleet of 10. He says the new buses provide more space for clients who use wheelchairs.


The nonprofit offers specialized housing, job training and recreational programs and provides transportation to clients. Scott says the group serves about 1,350 people each day during the school year.


He says Pioneer Resources expects the department to give another $300,000 to install GPS technology in the new buses.


9.22.14:  Jimmy Carter to visit Grand Rapids


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter is to appear in Grand Rapids at a lecture and book signing.


The 39th president and his wife, Rosalynn, are scheduled to visit Monday as part of Grand Rapids Community College’s Diversity Lecture Series. It’s the 20th anniversary of the series and the college’s 100th anniversary.


The 89-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner is to lecture for about 45 minutes before a question-and-answer session.


He has written 28 books, including “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power.” It was released in March.


The lecture is free to attend but tickets need to be reserved in advance. Tickets for the signing are $28 and include a copy of Carter’s book.

9.22.14:  GM/Chrysler recalls


DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is recalling 221,558 Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala sedans because the brake pads can stay partially engaged even when they’re not needed, increasing the risk of a fire.


The recall involves Cadillacs from the 2013-2015 model years and Impalas from the 2014 and 2015 model years. There are 205,309 vehicles affected in the U.S.; the rest of the vehicles are in Canada and elsewhere.


GM says the electronic parking brake arm that applies pressure to the back of the brake pads may not fully retract after use. If the brake pads stay partially engaged with the rotor, excessive brake heat may result in a fire.


GM says it knows of no accidents or injuries related to the defect.


GM will notify owners and repair the vehicles for free.


Meanwhile, Chrysler is recalling nearly 189,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos in the U.S. to fix a fuel pump problem that can cause the SUVs to stall.


The recall covers some 2011 models with 3.6-liter V6 or 5.7-liter V8 engines. Chrysler says a relay can fail, increasing the risk of a crash.


Chrysler traced the problem to a spring that can deform because of heat.


The vehicles also might not start, and the fuel pump could keep working even when the engine is shut off. The company says that as of August 25th it’s not aware of any crashes or injuries from the problem.


Dealers will replace the fuel pump relay for free starting October 24th.

9.19.14:  Missing sailboat found in Lake Michigan


The Coast Guard has found the boat of a man who was reported missing earlier this week.


The 48-year-old was last seen at the Milwaukee Harbor on Tuesday.


The captain of the Lake Express ferry spotted the sailboat about 9 miles off the west coast of Lake Michigan.  The boat was in good condition but the captain was not found on board.

9.19.14:  Ceremonies remember US POWs and missing soldiers


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Prisoners of war from Michigan and soldiers listed as missing in action will be remembered as part of POW/MIA recognition day.


National observances will be held Friday for 83,200 U.S. soldiers unaccounted for from past military conflicts. The POW/Missing Personnel Office says more than 500 Michigan soldiers are among that number.


A ceremony Saturday at the Veterans Administration Ann Arbor Healthcare System will feature a rose in a vase to serve as a reminder to families and loved ones who keep faith awaiting the return of the missing.


The vase will sit on a small table for one person that symbolizes the frailty of prisoners against their oppressors. An empty chair is a reminder of those who have not returned.

9.19.14:   GM to introduce new, high-end Cadillac next year


DETROIT (AP) — General Motors will begin building a new, top-end Cadillac sedan late next year at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.


The auto maker says that the rear-wheel drive car will make its debut in the first half of 2015, and that it will reveal the name of the new model soon.


The new Cadillac is part of a $384 million investment GM announced last spring in the assembly plant, which straddles the border of Detroit and the enclave of Hamtramck. That plant also makes the Opel Ampera, the Chevrolet Impala and the Cadillac ELR, a luxury version of the Volt.


 9.18.14:  State’s jobless rate off 0.3 points to 7.4 percent


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state says Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percentage points to 7.4 percent in the latest month.


The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget released the August employment report Wednesday. The jobless rate was 7.7 percent in July and 9 percent in August 2013.


The national unemployment rate for August was 6.1 percent, down 0.1 percentage points from July.


The state says that Michigan’s civilian labor force fell by 11,000 to 4.731 million in August. It says the number of people working rose 4,000 to 4.382 million.


The state says 348,000 Michigan residents were unemployed but actively seeking work last month.


9.18.14:  Michigan university gets $1 million stained glass


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Christian university in West Michigan has hired a Danish artist to construct four stained glass windows valued at $1 million for its new chapel.


Cornerstone University on the East Beltline in Grand Rapids, commissioned the windows from Peter Brandes to be the hallmark feature of the chapel, scheduled to open in fall 2015. The windows will be funded through donors and completed in about eight months under supervision of the artist.


Brandes says the red, blue and yellow light will invigorate worshippers when the sun fills the room with color. The university president says the windows will serve as a reminder of Cornerstone’s commitment to Christ.


The university is also making a documentary about the windows that will be shown at the chapel.


9.17.14:  Area lawyers visit 5th graders


Today, September, 17 is Constitution Day.


In honor of the 227th Anniversary of our nation’s founding document, attorneys from the Grand Rapid Bar Association will volunteer their time to educate students about the U.S. Constitution.  They will visit more than 1,400 5th grade students in 47 classrooms.


The law requires any school receiving federal money to education their students about the Constitution on or around Constitution Day.  GRPS students have the opportunity to learn first-hand from attorneys about the U.S. Constitution and how it impacts their everyday lives.