Midwest Memo: May 2, 2011

Americans celebrated the death of Osama bin Laden outside the White House soon after the news broke. Photo courtesy of user theqspeaks via flickr.

The news of the death of Osama bin Laden broke last night. This morning, Northeastern Ohioans shared how they felt about the death of the man behind the 9/11 attacks on The Sound of Ideas. Lawmakers from Illinois also weighed in on the event, as both Democrats and Republicans nationwide praised the successful raid by Navy Seals. The economic benefits of this political success are already being felt: stocks are up since news of the death of bin Laden has spread.

Chrysler announced today that it earned its first profit since declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy two years ago. said it earned $116 million. The company also announced how it plans to refinance its debt, replacing loans from the United States and Canada.

April showers may bring May flowers, but they don’t bring many of the Midwest’s biggest cash crops. Farmers in Ohio and Michigan say their corn and soybeans may have to be replanted because of the heavy rain last month.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels says he plans to sign a bill that would slice the state’s Planned Parenthood program. The bill would cut $3 million in state funding from the program. Daniels says he’s doing it because he opposes abortion, but supporters of Planned Parenthood say the clinics provide mostly basic health care services, such as pap and STD tests.

More Michiganders are opting to take the bus, thanks to rising gas prices. Photo courtesy of Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio.


To trim the state’s budget, Illinois governor Pat Quinn is considering suspending one billion dollars in aid to local governments. But some experts say this may just be a move to convince lawmakers to let Illinois borrow $4 billion to stuff the state’s budget gap. That plan was initially opposed because it follows hikes in personal and corporate taxes.

Rising gas prices are leading more people to opt to take the bus in Michigan. But gas prices are also up for bus drivers. The Michigan legislature is also considering cutting upto $20 million in state funding for public transit.

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