9.18.14:  Gala set for Western Michigan’s new medical school


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A celebration is planned for Thursday in honor of the opening of Western Michigan University’s new medical school.


The gala celebrating the Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine is to include performances by the university’s Bronco Marching Band and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra as well as a keynote address by Doctor A. Lorris Betz, chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ board of directors.


The Stryker Medical School recently welcomed its inaugural class of 54 students. The Kalamazoo school is named for Stryker Corp. founder Homer Stryker.


The number of medical schools in Michigan doubled from three to six in recent years, largely in response to a shortage of doctors in many areas.

 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.


9.18.14:  Census figures show Michigan incomes rise in 2013


DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. Census Bureau says household incomes in Michigan rose 1.7 percent in 2013 after years of decline.


Census data released Wednesday show the percentage of Michigan residents living in poverty was the same as in 2012, at about 17 percent. The share dropped slightly for children, to 23.8 percent.


Median household income rose to about $48,300 in 2013 from $47,450 in 2012. The median was about $54,500 in 2006, before the recession.


The poverty line is an income of $23,550 for a family of four.


Kurt Metzger says the report is the “first real indication” of improvement in the state. The director emeritus of Data Driven Detroit says there is still plenty of progress to be made.

9.18.14:  Border town of Nogales avoids flooding from storm


NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) — The mayor of Nogales, Arizona, says city crews were able to prevent the flooding of two trailer parks as a Pacific storm slammed much of southern Arizona on Wednesday.


The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood warning for the border community, where a major street was flooded with several inches of water.


Mayor Arturo Garino said officials initially thought they would have to evacuate two nearby trailer parks where about 100 families live. However, the water receded, and the city’s public works department was able to clear the street.


Earlier, a larger wash that cuts through the middle of the city was close to overflowing. Garino said it also receded from an at-risk level of 12 feet to between 5 and 6 feet.


Meanwhile, a flash-flood watch for Tucson was canceled.

9.18.14:  Group says 3 million Syrian children not in school


BEIRUT (AP) — An international aid group says that nearly three million Syrian children are not attending school due to the war raging in their country.


The report by the Britain-based Save the Children adds that hundreds of thousands of displaced children are struggling to enroll for school in their host countries and in Syria.


The report released today spotlights how Syria’s conflict, now entering its fourth year, is denying a decent education to a generation of children, with consequences that may last for generations.


Within Syria, the report estimated that 3,465 schools, or one-fifth of the country’s educational buildings, were either destroyed or damaged, or are being used for military purposes.


Syria’s civil war has killed at least 190,000 people, according to the U.N. Nearly three million Syrians have fled the country.

9.18.14:   Polls open in historic Scottish independence vote


EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — The fate of the United Kingdom is at stake today as voters in Scotland go to the polls to decide whether to become an independent country.


More than 2,600 polling places are open and turnout is expected to be high.


Polls suggest the result is too close to call.

9.18.14:  Tigers fall while Royals win


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Danny Santana tripled, doubled and drove in two runs as the Minnesota Twins beat Detroit 8-4 Wednesday night to tighten the AL Central race ahead of the Tigers’ big weekend series in Kansas City.


Kyle Gibson recovered from a rough start to pitch Minnesota to its second straight win over the division leaders. The Tigers ended the night with a half-game lead over the second-place Royals, who beat the Chicago White Sox 6-2.


Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera went 4 for 5 with a pair of doubles but was thrown out after a costly baserunning mistake in the seventh. With the Twins up 6-4 and Torii Hunter on first, Cabrera hit a one-out double to advance Hunter to third. Victor Martinez grounded to first base and Cabrera — apparently expecting Hunter to break for the plate — was tagged out for an inning-ending double play.


The Royals beat the White Sox Wednesday and are a 1/2 game behind Detroit in the AL Central.


9.17.14:  Gun found at Muskegon School


Muskegon High School was locked down for 2 hours Tuesday afternoon after a loaded handgun fell out of a student’s pants during a fight between two freshmen.


The fight took place after lunch when the students were walking back to the freshman building.  It started verbally and then became physical.


A teacher took the gun and turned it over to police.  They found that the gun had been reported stolen to the Muskegon Police Department earlier this year.

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.