Five must-read stories about the Midwest economy
1) Bridging the debate from Detroit to Windsor. The annual Mackinac Policy Conference is under way in Michigan, and the idea of a new bridge between the U.S. and Canada is taking center stage. Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, says the bridge is an important economic development tool. But the owners of the Ambassador Bridge are fighting the idea, and even members of Snyder’s own Republican party are skeptical. There is plenty of MPC coverage at our partner Michigan Radio, and you can get updates from attendees on Twitter via #mpc11.
2) A new college neighborhood: One of the largest downtown apartment developments that Cleveland has seen for years will rise at Cleveland State University in 2012. Campus Village is aimed at CSU faculty, staff and graduate students as well as young professionals. It will include nine buildings with 308 units, a parking garage, outdoor pool, stores and restaurants on 6.8 acres. Three buildings are scheduled to open by next August, and the others by October 2012.
3) Kids are actually eating breakfast: There’s some good news from the efforts in Chicago aimed at getting kids to eat the first meal of the day. Chicago schools have been gradually rolling out the federal Breakfast in the Classroom program, which is now mandatory in city run grammar schools. The final schools begin the program today. But already, nearly 300,000 students at some 475 schools are now participating in the program. Early numbers show the percentage of kids eating breakfast has jumped from 26 percent to 62 percent at schools that added the program, Louise Esaian, head of food programs for CPS, told our partner WBEZ.
4) Auto sales winners and losers: Yesterday, we told you that Chrysler had returned to the Big Three automakers for the first time since February 2006. Now, Edmunds.com offers some winners and losers from May auto sales and there is lots of news affecting operations in our region. Along with Chrysler, the big news was Korea’s Hyundai and Kia, which have a development center outside Ypsilanti, Mich. Taken as one, the sister companies shot past Honda, which has big operations in Ohio, to rank as the No. 5 automaker last month. Toyota, meanwhile, came in at No. 4. The carmaker, which has safety and design operations in and near Ann Arbor, has ranked as high as second in the American market, behind G.M.
5) Where is he now? It hardly seems possible, but one year ago tonight, Armando Galarraga pitched a near-perfect game for the Detroit Tigers. Since then, however, his fortunes have fallen. Galarraga gained major points on the graciousness scale for refusing to challenge umpire Jim Joyce’s call that robbed him of a place in history, even though Joyce admitted he was wrong. The Tiger pitcher got a car from G.M. in a ceremony the next day. But he’s now in the minor leagues. You can find him toiling on the Reno Aces, a AAA team in Nevada.