Midwest Memo: Medicaid Cuts In Illinois, Job Losses In Wisconsin And Ohio Sues BP

A plan for Medicaid Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has a $2.7 billion plan to keep the state’s Medicaid program solvent. According to partner station WBEZ, the plan makes deep cuts in coverage and eligibility, and raises revenue by increasing the state’s cigarette tax.

Losing jobs Wisconsin lost 4,300 jobs in March. That could have an effect one other important job: Scott Walker’s. The Governor is facing a tough recall campaign, and the state is nowhere near reaching the 250,000 new jobs he promised by the end of his term.

Gaining jobs Illinois added 9,100 jobs in March, and the state unemployment rate dropped to 8.8 percent, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

BP lawsuit Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is suing BP for $100 million, according to partner station WCPN Ideastream. DeWine says BP is responsible for a drop in its stock price after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The Ohio pension system was an investor in BP at the time.

Starting over WCPN Ideastream also talks to people in their 50s, who are starting a career all over again.

Brain gain The University of Michigan will spend $163 million to build the state’s first hospital focused on neuroscience, according to the Detroit News.

Midwest Memo: Obama Stumps, Emanuel Delays And Michigan Teaches Online

Stumping President Obama was in the Midwest yesterday. He talked about job training in Ohio, according to partner station WCPN Ideastream. At a stop in Dearborn, Mich., the president emphasized the importance of “making things,” according to Michigan Radio.

Delayed, not defeated Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has agreed to a six day delay on a vote for his $7.2 billion infrastructure plan, after getting more pushback than expected from City Council. The Chicago Tribune says the Mayor will probably still get approval, and “the brief nature of the pause suggested the maneuver was primarily tactical and designed to project the appearance of compromise.”

Fewer teachers  The number of school teachers in Wisconsin dropped 2.3 percent last year, according to the AP. Despite the cuts, Gov. Scotte Walker’s spokesperson says his education reforms are working.

Internet instruction The University of Michigan is one of only three universities in the country that will try out a new, more interactive online learning program, according to Michigan Radio. The program was developed at Stanford.

Paying for pensions Chicago teachers are pushing to get support from the state to fund their pension plan. Partner station WBEZ reports that many public employee pension accounts in Illinois are underfunded.

Help Wanted: Must Be Able to Stand, Ring Bells

The University of Chicago has posted a job opening. The requirements include being able to stand for 45 minutes at a time, and climb 235 winding stairs to get to work. And oh, yes, have some musical ability.

The posting is for a carillon player at the Laura Spellman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon. GapersBlock.com has the details.

What’s a carillon, you might ask? According to the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance:

“A carillon is a musical instrument consisting of least two octaves of carillon bells arranged in chromatic series and played from a keyboard that permits control of expression through variation of touch. A carillon bell is a cast bronze cup-shaped bell whose partial tones are in such harmonious relationship to each other as to permit many such bells to be sounded together in varied chords with harmonious and concordant effect.”

Continue reading “Help Wanted: Must Be Able to Stand, Ring Bells”

The Material Girl Shows Her Midwest Love, We Wonder: Who’s The Greatest Cultural Ambassador For The Midwest Today?

Madonna talked about her love of the Midwest during an interview on the NFL Network yesterday. She's performing the halftime show at the Super Bowl in Indianapolis on Sunday.

This year’s Super Bowl is between two east coast teams, but everything else about it is a showcase for the Midwest. The game itself is in Indianapolis, which gives the city global media exposure.

And then there’s the halftime show performance by Madonna. Before she was the Material Girl, Madonna was just a Midwestern girl.

Yesterday, Madonna sat down for an interview with the NFL Network’s Rich Eisen, and the conversation seemed to promote the Midwest as much as it promoted football.

Continue reading “The Material Girl Shows Her Midwest Love, We Wonder: Who’s The Greatest Cultural Ambassador For The Midwest Today?”

Here & Now’s Robin Young Will Moderate Changing Gears’ Town-Hall Meeting Next Wednesday in Ann Arbor

Next Wednesday, Changing Gears will co-host a town hall-style discussion that explores the global economic crisis and its impact throughout the Great Lakes region.

Robin Young, host of public radio’s Here & Now program, will moderate the event, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Blau Auditorium at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

Panelists include Linda Lim, Professor of Strategy at the Ross School, Doug Rothwell, President and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan and Changing Gears senior editor Micki Maynard.

Michigan Radio and the Ross School of Business are co-sponsoring the event with Changing Gears.

Midwest Memo: Jobs in Chicago, More Michigan Start-ups, Later School Start in Ohio?

Today’s must-read stories about the Midwest economy.

More Jobs in Chicago: Mayor Rahm Emanuel and JP Morgan Chase announced the opening of four new Chase bank branches in the city yesterday, a move that will create more than 400 jobs. Chase now has the most bank deposits of any financial institution in the city. 

Meanwhile, Crain’s Chicago Business reports today that Starbucks and Caribou Coffee are both expanding in the city. Each coffee company expects to open dozens more stores in the area over the next few years. It would be the first expansion in Chicago for Starbucks since 2008, when the company closed 600 stores nationwide. Continue reading “Midwest Memo: Jobs in Chicago, More Michigan Start-ups, Later School Start in Ohio?”