News

10.22.14:  Gov. Snyder signs law to ban Tesla direct sales

 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law tighter restrictions to prohibit electric car maker Tesla Motors from selling vehicles in Michigan.

 

The governor’s move Tuesday is welcomed by mainline automakers and dealerships that say all manufacturers should follow the same rules. Tesla has said the “anti-competitive” bill would definitively prohibit it from selling directly to Michigan consumers because it doesn’t have franchised dealerships.

 

Snyder says Michigan law already prohibited automakers from selling straight to drivers and the change lets manufacturers without franchised dealers sell through another automaker’s dealers.

 

Tesla warns it may be unable to even open a viewing gallery in Michigan under the legislation.

 

Palo Alto, California-based Tesla says it expects to be able to build 100,000 vehicles annually by the end of 2015, up from 35,000 this year.


10.22.14:  Red Cross official: 6 months to contain Ebola

 

BEIJING (AP) — A top Red Cross official says he is confident the Ebola epidemic can be contained within four to six months.

 

The secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Elhadj As Sy, told a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday that the time frame is possible if there is “good isolation, good treatment of the cases which are confirmed, good dignified and safe burials of deceased people.”

 

The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people since it emerged 10 months ago. Most of the deaths have been in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

 

The humanitarian network is holding its four-yearly Asia Pacific regional conference in the Chinese capital.


10.22.14:  American detained in NKorea arrives home in Ohio

 

CINCINNATI (AP) — An American man just freed from North Korea has arrived in his home state of Ohio this morning.

 

Jeffrey Fowle was detained for nearly six months after leaving a Bible at a nightclub.

 

The 56-year-old had been awaiting trial. Fowle was flown out of North Korea yesterday on a U.S. military jet.

 

Two other Americans who have been convicted of crimes in the North are still being held.


10.22.14:  Giants take game #1

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Madison Bumgarner was on top of his game, James Shields was not, and the San Francisco Giants cruised to an easy victory over the Royals in Game 1 of the “wild card” World Series in Kansas City.

 

Bumgarner was superb as the Giants earned a 7-1 victory, holding the Royals to a run and three hits with five strikeouts in seven innings. The Giants ace was working on a two-hit shutout until Salvador Perez homered with two out in the bottom of the seventh. Before the blast, the Giants already had forged a 7-0 lead.

 

San Francisco got all the runs it needed during the first inning off Shields as Pablo Sandoval hit an RBI double before scoring on Hunter Pence’s two-run homer. Pence was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

 

The Giants added two runs in the fourth before Joe Panik laced an RBI triple off Danny Duffy and came home on Sandoval’s run-scoring single in the seventh.

 

Gregor Blanco padded the Giants’ 10-hit attack by going 1-for-3 with bases-loaded walk and two runs scored.

 

It was a short evening for Shields, who was tagged for five runs and seven hits in three-plus innings. Although his nickname is “Big Game James,” Shields is 3-5 with a 5.74 ERA in 53 1/3 innings over 10 career postseason starts.

 


10.21.14:  Grants available for animal welfare programs

 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is offering grants of $10,000 or less to shelters and other organizations that work to prevent cruelty to animals.

 

The agency will allocate $175,000 for the purpose next year and is accepting proposals through Nov. 10.

 

Registered animal control and animal protection shelters can apply for funds to help increase the adoption rate of sterilized dogs and cats and to enforce anti-cruelty laws.

 

Grants also could be awarded to train animal control officers, increase the percentage of dogs and cats that are altered when adopted, provide education and training on anti-cruelty laws and proper animal care, and buy needed equipment for such programs.


10.21.14:  Great Lakes water levels rise to above average

 

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit says water levels in Lakes Michigan and Huron are above average this season for the first time since 1998.

 

Army Corps watershed hydrology chief Keith Kompoltowicz  says  the lakes are 19 to 20 inches higher than they were at this time last year. A six-month forecast predicts levels will stay about 15 to 19 inches higher than they were last year, or about 2 to 4 inches above average.

 

September was the first month since December 1998 that the levels were above average. Kompoltowicz says a wet spring and snowy winter contributed to the rising water.

 

The increase could mean a faster current in the St. Clair River and less beach space, as well as heavier loads on commercial freighters.


10.21.14:  Grand Rapids Community College plans buyouts

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Grand Rapids Community College plans to offer buyouts to some faculty and staff as part of an effort that could save $5 million over the next decade.

 

The offers seek to trim expenses because of declining enrollment.

 

School President Steven Ender says any money that the school can save “without having to take a hard look at programs, the better we like that scenario.”

 

The college’s Board of Trustees approved the buyout offers on Monday night. The college estimates the buyouts would generate $1.3 million in savings over three years if 15 faculty and 10 staff members take them.

 

The plans come as the college is projecting a budget deficit of between $2 million and $5 million for the 2015-16 school year.

___


10.21.14:  Chamber plans petition drive on Michigan roads

 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Chamber of Commerce plans a petition drive to force lawmakers to pass a road funding plan or place the issue on the ballot for voters to decide.

 

Group executive director Rich Studley tells Nolan Finley of the Detroit News the chamber is “tired of lame excuses” from the Legislature, which didn’t pass a road-funding fix after months of negotiating over taxes and spending.

 

The chamber’s petition drive would call for dedicating the state’s 6 percent sales tax on fuel exclusively to roads. Michigan has some of the country’s highest taxes at the pump because the fuel sales tax mostly goes to schools and local governments.

 

Studley says the threat of reconfiguring the budget to accommodate such a tax could motivate lawmakers to reach their own spending compromise.


10.21.14:  Ebola workers get new guidelines

 

ATLANTA (AP) — Federal officials have released new guidelines for health care workers taking care of Ebola patients.

 

Health workers had been pushing for guidance since two nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas were infected by a Liberian man with Ebola who eventually died.

 

The guidelines call for being covered head to toe with face shields, hoods, boot covers, and training and monitoring of putting on and taking off protective equipment.

 

The CDC cannot require hospitals to follow the guidance; it’s merely official advice.


10.21.14:  Pistorius gets prison time in shooting death

 

LONDON (AP) — The International Paralympic Committee says Oscar Pistorius will be ineligible to compete during his five-year prison sentence.

 

The double-amputee South African runner, who has won six Paralympic gold medals, was given a five-year jail term Tuesday for killing Reeva Steenkamp.

 

Although Pistorius could be released after 10 months to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest, the IPC says its rules bar him from running in Paralympic events for the full five years.

 

That would rule the 27-year-old Pistorius out of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics.

 

In 2012, Pistorius became the first double-amputee sprinter to compete at both the Olympics and Paralympics in London.